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The following Comedy presents a pleasing picture of adventures, in a family all life and spirit, during the summer recess in the Country. It was brought out at Drury Lane in 17761776, and was the last play superintended by Garrick. His Epilogue contains a humorous description of the fashions of that day.

In Lady Dinah is held up to contempt, as fully as representation in a Theatre would well admit, the freethinking Philosophy of a Female Student. In the under Plot, between her and her Servants, that mutual infidelity, by a law of the moral world, is inherent in a conspiracy of fraud on others, is enforced, not by dull maxims, but pleasantly by Example.

Emily in this Comedy was the only new character in which Mrs. Siddons appeared when she was a Candidate, the first time, before a London Audience.

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The Runaway.
A Comedy.

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Prologue.

Oh, the sweet Prospect! what a fine Parterre;

Soft buds, sweet flowers, bright tints, and scented air! Boxes.

A Vale, where critic wit spontaneous grows, Pit.

A Hill, which noise and folly never knows! Gallery.

Let Cits point out green paddocks to their spouses,

To me no Prospect—like your Crowded Houses,

If, as just now, you wear those smiles enchanting,

But, if you frown! my heart will soon be panting!

Your brows from wrinkling into Frowns to night

I’ll bribe—but how? Oh, now I’ve hit it—right.

Secrets are pleasant to each child of Eve;

I’ve one in store, which, for your Smiles, I’ll give.

Oh list! a tale it is, not very common,

Our Poet of to night, in faith’s a—Woman!

A woman, too, untutor’d in the school,

Nor Aristotle knows, nor scarce a Rule

By which fine writers fabricated Plays,

From sage Menander’s, to these modern days:

How she could venture here I am astonished!

But, ’twas in vain the Mad-cap I admonished;

Told her of squeaking Cat-calls, Hisses, Groans,

Off-offs, and Critic’s dread condemning moans.

I’m undismay’d, she cried; for critic men

Will smile on folly from a Woman’s pen.

Then, ’tis the Ladies’ cause! why, I’m secure—

Let him who hisses no soft Nymph endure,

May he who frowns, be frown’d on by his Goddess,

From Pearls, and Brussel’s-point Boxes to Maids in Boddice. Gallery.

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Now, for a Hint of her intended feast:

’Tis rural, playful,—harmless ’tis at least;

Not over-stock’d with repartee or wit,

Though, here and there, perchance there is a hit.

She ne’er has sought Apollo’s classic fire,

Or Muse invoked, or heard th’ Aönian Lyre;

Her Comic Muse—a little blue-eyed maid,

With cheeks which innocence and health displayed,

In lieu of Phœbus—but a romping Boy,

Whose Taste is trap-ball, and a kite his joy;

Her Nursery, the study where she thought,

Framed fable, incident, surprise, and plot.

As, from surrounding hints, she caught her plan

Her Fancy flew from infancy to man;

Tom plagues poor Fan, she sobs—and loves him still,

Kate aims her wit at both, with roguish skill,

Our Painter watch’d the lines, which Nature drew,

Her fancy glowed, and coloured them for You;

A Mother’s pencil gave the light and shades,

A Mother’s eye through each soft scene pervades,

Her Children rose before her flatter’d view,

Hope spread the canvass, whilst her Wishes drew!

We’ll now present you drapery and features,

And warmly hope you’ll like the sportive creatures;

Whilst Tom plays on with kites, and Fan with Dollies,

Till time matures them for important follies!

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Characters.

Men.

Mr. Hargrave. Mr. Yates.

George Hargrave. His Son.Mr. Smith.

Mr. Drummond. Mr. Bensley.

Sir Char. Seymour. Harriet’s Lover.Mr. Brereton.

Mr. Morley. Emily’s Uncle.Mr. Aikin.

Justice. Mr. Parsons.

Justice’s Clerk.

Jarvis. Mr. Palmer.

First Hunter. Mr. Bannister.

Women.

Lady Dinah. Mrs. Hopkins.

Harriet. Mr. Hargrave’s Daughter.Miss Hopkins.

Bella. His Niece.Miss Younge.

Emily Morley. Mrs. Siddons.

Susan. Mrs. Wrighten.

Scene. Mr. Hargrave’s House in the Country.
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The Runaway.

Act the First.

Scene I.

A garden. Enter Bella, Harriet, and George Hargrave.

George.

Oh, for the Luxury of dressing-gown and slippers!—the roads are so dusty, and the sun so hot—’twould be less intolerable riding Post in Africa.

Bella.

What a wild imagination! But, by what mishap are you alone? What have you done with all the College youths?—This is the first Vacation you ever came home unaccompanied; I assure you Sir we are quite disappointed.

Geo.

Most unconscionable creature! Never to be satisfied with Conquest. There’s poor Lumley shot through by your merciless eyes.

Bella.

A notable victory indeed! However, his name serves to add a Unit to the list of one’s conquests, and so you may give him hope enough just to feed his sighs—but not to encourage his presumption.

Geo.

Paragon of Generosity! And what portion of comfort will you in mercy bestow on Egerton 08 B4v 8 and Filmer, who still hug the chains of the resistless Arabella!

Bella.

Upon my word, your Catalogue grows interesting—’tis worth while now to enquire for your Vouchers—Proofs, George, proofs!

Geo.

Why, the first writes sonnets in your praise, and the last toasts you till he cannot see.

Bella.

Oh, most surprising fortune! The Dulcinea of one; and to the other a Circe—transforming him into a beast. I hope you have better love-tokens for the blushing Harriet—How does

looking at Harriet.

Harriet.

Fie Bella—you use me ill!

Geo.

Why sister! you plead guilty before the Charge is finished. But tell me, my sweet Harriet, who is the favoured mortal of whom you wish to hear?

Har.

Indeed, Brother, I have no enquiry to make; —but, I imagine my Cousin can inform you whom she meant.

Bella.

Oh, doubtless, I could make the enquiry for you; but you look so offended Harriet, that I dare not venture—ask for Sir Charles Seymour yourself.

Geo.

Seymour! (Aside.—Oh, oh! very confidential is my friend, Sir Charles, truly; and this then is the object of his intended Visit!)—If Seymour be the man, my Sister set your heart at rest; he is not very distant from marriage—if I am not mistaken—with a fine blooming girl; looking at Harriet not more than nineteen—soft dove-like eyes—pouting lips— teeth that rival, doubtless, oriental pearl—a Neck— I want a Simile now—ivory, wax, alabaster—no! they wont do.

Har.

With an air of Pique One would imagine, Brother, you were drawing the picture of your own Mistress, instead of Sir Charles’s, your colours are so vivid.

Geo.

A fine woman, Harriet, gives animation to 09 B5r 9 all around her: she is that Universal Spirit about which Philosophers talk, the Attraction that binds the system of Society.

Bella.

Heydey, George! Did the charms of Lady Dinah inspire this rhapsody!

Geo.

Charms! What, of that antiquated, gaudy, sententious, philosophic Lady, who blessed us with her long Speeches at dinner?

Bel.

You must learn to be more respectful in your Epithets, Sir, for that antiquated, sententious, philosophic Lady designs you the honour, we suspect, of becoming your Mother!

Geo.

My Mother! Heaven forefend—you jest, surely!

Bel.

You shall judge.—We met her in our late visit to Bath. She renewed her acquaintance with your Father, with whom she had been intimate in Mrs. Hargrave’s life time. He invited her to return with us, and she has been here this month. They are, frequently, closeted together. She has forty thousand pounds, and is Sister to an Irish Peer.

Geo.

She might have been Grandmother to a Peer, by the years she has numbered. But, her excessive Stateliness and Decorum overcame me;—how can they agree with my father’s vociferation, october, and hounds!

Bel.

Oh, I assure you, wonderously well—she kisses Jowler, takes Ringwood on her lap, and, as for the october, she had more than once sipped out of your Father’s tankard. Obstructing Delicacies are easily made to give way, when Schemes are formed in minds of her stamp.

Geo.

My pretty Coquette Cousin Bella, take care to avoid that state in which your delicacy may give way! when you may rise from the labours of your toilette with no end in view but the conquest of— some Quixote Galant in his grand climacteric, on whom you’ll squander more encouraging glances, than all the sighs and ardor of two-and-twenty can extort from you now.

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Bel.

Memento mori! Quite a College compliment! you ought rather to admit that my power will encrease, until, like Ninon, I sway more peremptorily at Eighty than at Eighteen. But, here’s John coming, to summon us to Coffee.—Harriet!

Geo.

Come, Harriet—why that pensive air? give me your hand.

Har.

I’ll only step and look at my birds, and follow you instantly.— Exeunt George and Bella playfully Set your heart at rest, my Sister!—Oh Brother, you have robbed that heart of rest for ever. Cruel Intelligence! Perfidious Seymour! Yet, of what can I accuse him? He never professed to love me. Yes! his ardent looks, his sighs, his confusion, his respectful attentions, have a thousand times professed the strongest passion. Oh! a man cannot in honour be exculpated, who, though the word Love never pass his lips, by such methods defrauds a woman of her heart!

Exit.

Scene II.

A Garden Parlour. Enter George and Bella, at the Garden Door. Bella seating herself at a Tea Table.

Bel.

Hang this Lady Dinah—one’s forced to be so dressed, and so formal! In the Country we should be all Shepherds and Shepherdesses;—Meadows, Ditches, and Rooks, make a strange combination with Court Manners!

Geo.

Hist—she’s in the Hall I see; I’ll go and squire her in.

Exit, and returns with Lady Dinah.

Lady D.

To you, Sir, who have been so long conversant with the classic manners of the Antients, the frivolous custom of Tea-drinking must appear ridiculous!

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Geo.

No Custom can be ridiculous, Lady Dinah, that gives us the society of the Ladies. The state of the young men of those days excites pity; they never partook of such elegant hours.

Lady D.

aside He is all that his Father described!

Enter Mr. Hargrave.

Mr. H.

No; Barbary Bess is spavin’d, let her be taken care of; I’ll have Longshanks, and see that he is saddled by five. So, we shan’t have you in the Hunt tomorrow, George; you must have more time to shake off the lazy rust of Cambridge, I suppose. —What sort of hours d’ye keep at College?

Geo.

Oh, Sir, we are frequently up before the Sun, there.

Mr. H.

Aye, then it must be when you have not been in bed all night I believe. And how do you stand in other matters? Have the old ones tired you with their Greek, and their Geometry, and their learned Experiments to shew what Materials air, and fire, and water, are made of—eh?

Bella.

Oh, Sir, he never studied them closely enough to be tired. His philosophy and mine keep pretty equal pace, I believe.

Geo.

As usual, my lively Cousin! Why not say my Philosophy and your Coquetry—that would have been a Compliment! However, Sir, I am not tired of my Studies, though Bella has not exactly hit the Reason.

Lady D.

to Mr. H. The Muses, Sir, sufficiently recompence the most painful assiduities. Those indeed who court them like the Toasts of the season, merely because it is the Fashion, are neither alive to their beauties, nor penetrated with their charms. But, these are faithless Knights;—your Son, I dare say, has enlisted himself amongst their sincerest votaries.

Geo.

You do me great honour; and I have no 12 B6v 12 doubt that with the Muses you are familiarly acquainted. They shed their favours on a few only, but those who obtain them must, like you, be irresistible! (Aside. I’ll catch her Ladyship’s stile!)

Mr. H.

aside Humph—I’m glad he likes her.

Lady D.

You men are so full of Flattery! In Athens, in Lacedemon, that vice was, for ages, unknown—it was then that the Athenians were the happiest, and the Lacedemonians the most—

Bel.

Oh mercy!—I have burnt my fingers in the most terrible manner!

Enter Harriet, from the Garden.

Harriet.

Dear Bella, I am quite concerned!

Bella.

aside. Pho!—I only meant to break in upon her Harangues; there’s no enduring so much Wisdom!

Enter Servant.

Serv.

Mr. Drummond.

Enter Mr. Drummond.

Mr. D.

Ah! my dear Godson!—why this is an unexpected pleasure. I did not know you were arrived!

Geo.

I have had that happiness only a few hours, Sir, and was on the point of doing homage to you at the Park.

Mr. D.

Ungracious Rogue! a few hours, and not been with me yet! However—stay where you are— stay where you are, George; you cannot come under my roof with Safety now, I assure you; such a pair of eyes—such a bloom—such a shape!――Ah Girls, Girls!

Harriet.

Dear Mr. Drummond of what, or whom, are you speaking? You make me quite jealous.

Mr. D.

Oh! you are all outdone, eclipsed—you 13 B7v 13 have no chance near my Incognita. Then she has the prettiest foot, and moves—a Grace!

Bel.

Teasing Creature!

Mr. D.

Pretty Bella! well, it shall be satisfied. Mr. Hargrave, I wait on you, Sir, to request a reception for a young Lady of Beauty and Honour, who has put herself under my care. But, as I really think my house a dangerous situation for her, considering that I am single, young, and handsome touching his cheeks—I cannot, in Conscience, subject her to the risk!—You, being a grave, orderly, man, and having a couple of decent, well-behaved young women for a Daughter and Niece, I think she will be more certainly protected here—And this is my business.

Mr. H.

A young Lady put herself under your care! Who is she?

Mr. D.

Her name she wishes to conceal.

Mr. H.

That’s very odd! Where did you meet with her?

Mr. D.

At the house of a Widow Tenant of mine, where she had taken Refuge from a marriage to which her Uncle would have forced her. She had no companion but the good old Lady; whom I found employed in assisting her to weep instead of consoling her. In short, there were reasons for thinking her situation there placed her within reach of Intrusion, and I prevailed on her to leave it.

Mr. H.

And so your Credulity is again taken in! —and the air of a weeping Beauty is the lure that caught you—ha! ha! ha!—will you never be discouraged by impositions?

Mr. D.

I dont remember that I was ever imposed on.

Mr. H.

No! dont I know how many people you have plagued yourself about—who had not one grain of Merit?

Mr. D.

I want Merit, Mr. Hargrave; yet, all the blessings of Health and Fortune have not been withheld from me.

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Mr. H.

Aye, aye—there’s no getting you to hear Reason on this subject.

Mr. D.

’Tis too late to reason now. The young Lady is at my house, I have promised to bring her hither, and we must endeavour to raise the poor girl’s Spirits. She would have spoiled the prettiest face in England—I beg pardon Ladies—one of the prettiest faces, with weeping at the old Widow’s.

Bel.

An old Widow, a pretty Girl, a Lover, a tyrannical Uncle!—’tis a charming group for the summer amusement of a village circle. I long to see this Beauty.

Lady D.

Her mere Beauty, according to Mr. Drummond, may be conspicuous enough—but, her Pretensions to Birth and Honour seem to be a more doubtful matter.

Geo.

Pardon me, my Lady, why should we doubt of either? A Lady in such a situation has a Right to protection; and I hope, Sir to his father you will not withhold your’s.

Mr. H.

Oh, no, to be sure, George.—Sbud! refuse reception to a fine Girl! ’twould be, with you, a crying Sin, I warrant! But Mr. Drummond, I should suppose—

Mr. D.

Come, you shall be satisfied. Though the weakness with which you reproach me would have induced me to have snatched her from an alarming situation without much Examination, yet, in compliment to your Delicacy, I have made proper enquiries:—she was placed under the care of Mrs. Carlton by a person of character, and she has dispatched a Messenger to her Uncle, who, I presume, will be here to-morrow.

Harriet.

To Mr. H. Pray, Sir, permit us to wait on the Lady, and conduct her; I am strongly interested for her.

Mr. H.

’Tis an odd affair.—What say you to it, My Lady?

Lady D.

As your family seems desirous to receive 15 B8r 15 her, Sir, I am sorry to perceive an Impropriety in the request. But I should apprehend that any appearance of Encouragement to young Ladies in disobedience—particularly when accompanied with the glaring Indecorum of an Elopement—

Mr. H.

Aye; very true. Sbud, Mr. Drummond, how can you encourage such—

Mr. D.

My Lady, I do not mean to encourage, but to restore the young Lady to her family. She seems terrified at the peculiar severity of her Uncle’s temper; so, we’ll put ourselves in form, receive him in full assembly, and divide his anger amongst us. Your Ladyship, I’m sure, must be happy to render the recovery from the first false step as easy as possible.

Mr. H.

Why, aye, my Lady, there can be no harm in that, you know.

Lady D.

Very well, Sir, if you think so, I can no longer perceive Impropriety.

Mr. H.

Well then, Harriet, you may go I think.

Bella.

And I with you, Cousin.

Mr. D.

Come then my pretty doves—I’ll escort you.—George, steel your heart, steel your heart! you Rogue.

Geo.

Oh, it is steeled, already, Sir.

Ex. Mr. D. with Harriet and Bella.

Mr. H.

You need not go, George, I want to speak to you.

Lady D.

(aside.—Bless me! What does he intend to say, now? he is going to open the affair to his Son —well—these are the most anxious moments in a Woman’s life—but, one must go through them.) I have Letters to write, which I’ll take this leisure to do, if you’ll pardon my absence, Gentlemen.

Mr. H.

To be sure, my Lady. Both bowing. Exit Lady D. Well, George, how do you like that Lady?

Geo.

Inexpressibly, Sir.—I never saw a Lady so learned!

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Mr. H.

Oh, she’s clever—she’s an Earl’s Sister too, and a forty thousand pounder! boy.

Geo.

That’s a fine fortune.

Mr. H.

Aye, very fine, very fine—and then her Interest! suppose I could prevail with her—eh, George—if one could keep her in the family, I say— would not that be a hit?

Geo.

An alliance with so noble a Family, Sir, is certainly desirable.

Enter Servant.

Serv.

The Gentlemen are in the smoaking parlour, Sir.

Mr. H.

Very well—are the pipes and october in readiness?

Serv.

Yes, Sir.

Exit.

Mr. H.

Well then, we’ll talk over the affair tomorrow. What, I suppose your stomach is too squeamish for Tobacco and strong beer? You’ll find the Justice, and some more of your old friends, there.

Geo.

Pardon me, Sir, I made too free with the bottle at Dinner. I believe a turn in the Garden is a better recipe than tobacco fumes.

Mr. H.

Well, well, we wont dispute the matter with you now, boy—but, you know, I dont like Milksops.

Geo.

smiling Nor I Sir.

Exit.

Mr. H.

Aye, aye, George is a brave boy; he is not of the set of whipsters who, affecting to despise the jolly manners of their Ancestors, only show us— how greatly manners may be altered without being mended! Enter Justice. It is at least doubtful whether we are a bit wiser, happier, or greater, than we were in good old Bess’s days, when the men of Rank were robust, and the women of Fashion buxom.

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Justice.

Aye, aye, I wish the innovations of Pretty Fellows, and Puny Girls were antiquated. A rosy buxom lass, with eyes that sparkle like the glasses we toast her in—adad, I’d drink her health till the earth went gaily round under me.—But, what a plague, ’Squire, d’ye stay here for?—come and make your Speeches in t’other room; we can drink in the mean time—and there’ll be no time lost.

Mr. H.

Well, well, I’ll go; but, I want to consult you;—I have been thinking whether this Greenwood estate—

Jus.

Tush, you know, very well, that I can neither consider or advise, till I have had my brace. I am as dark, till the liquor sends its Fires into my brains, as a lanthorn without its candle; so, if you’ve any obscure point to be examined, keep it until I’m enlightened.

Mr. H.

Well, come along.

Going. Enter Clerk.

Clerk.

The people from the Crown, your Worship, and the Rose, and the Antelope, are here, again, about their Licences.

Jus.

to Mr. H. There! this is what I’ve got by coming for you. I charged the Butler not to let this dog in.—Why how can I help it? bid ’em come again to-morrow.

Clerk.

And here’s a Pauper to be passed, a lame man with four children.

Mr. H.

Well, turn him over to the Cook, and let him wait ’till we are at leisure;—he’ll be better off than in the world at large.

Clerk.

And a Constable has brought up a man for breaking into Farmer Thompson’s barn last night.

Jus.

Has he? seeming irresolute Well, tell him to wait too—we are going to be busy now. But, I hope he wont let the prisoner escape, as he did that dog Farlow.

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Clerk.

I wish he mayn’t. But, Sir, Justice Manly is now in the smoaking-room, I have spoke to him about the Licences—and we mayn’t have another bench this—

Jus.

Will you please to march, Sir?

Exit Clerk.

Mr. H.

Well done, old Boy! Burn himself could not have dispatched business with more Expedition.

Going. Enter Clerk.

Clerk.

The Miller is here, Sir, with a man that he catched with a Hare that he had taken in a Springe; but, the poor fellow, please your Worship, has a large Family!

Hargrave and Justice return.

Mr. H.

What!—a Hare! Come along Justice!

Exit, with the Clerk. A burst of laughter from the smoaking Room, on the opposite side; the Justice looks wistfully back, and then follows Mr. Hargrave.

Scene III.

The Garden. Enter George, reading.

Geo.

Here’s a special fellow of a Philosopher now, would persuade that Pleasure has no existence, when nature abounds with it, courting the senses in a thousand varied modes; reigning, in the Understanding, in the faculty of Reason, and seizing the Heart— in the form of beauteous, all subduing, Woman!— And one there is—Memory! be faithful to her charms; shew me the beauteous Form—the Mind beaming in her eyes—the Blush and Smile that repaid my Admiration—

19 C2r 19 Enter Bella.

Bel.

Oh! monstrous—George Hargrave soliloquizing in the Garden, whilst the finest girl in England is in the Parlour! What is become of your Gallantry?

Geo.

Gone, sweet Cousin, gone.

Bel.

Indeed! Who has robbed you of it?

Geo.

A Woman.

Bel.

Come then and regain it from—such a Woman!

Geo.

Is she so beautiful?

Bel.

Beautiful! look at me—I myself am not so handsome.

Geo.

Ha! ha! ha!—that I confess is an infallible proof. But, I’ll bet this whole Volume of Wisdom against one of your Billet-doux, that she’s not within fifty degrees of her who witched my heart away.

Bel.

Witched indeed, if, in six weeks, it has not made one Excursion. I never knew you so constant before; however, I prophecy her Charm is broke. The divinity who will reign—perhaps for another six weeks—is coming down the steps with Harriet. But, that her Rays may not dazzle your mortal sight at once, shelter yourself behind the clump, and examine her through the Leaves. George goes and returns. Well, how d’ye like her?

Geo.

Like her!—The air is all Ambrosia—every happy star has lent its influence, and, led surely by the Planet Venus, they have guided the event.

Bel.

Hey dey! what event? This cannot be your Masquerade Lady!

Geo.

It is, it is—the sweet thief herself! She is my Wood-Nymph—Oh, I am transported!

Bel.

And I amazed. How can it be?

Geo.

No matter how, whether by Chance or Witchcraft;—how could my thoughts be gadding now amongst the Stars!—Pshaw—away—and, at her feet indulge these transports!

Going. C2 20 C2v 20 Enter Mr. Drummond.

Mr. D.

So, so, so! and pray what’s the Cause of all these transports?

Geo.

You are the cause—’tis to you my dear Mr. Drummond that I am indebted for the happiness which dawns on me.

Mr. D.

Then, God grant, my dear boy, the dawn may not deceive thee—but brighten into the fairest day. But, how have I been instrumental in all this?

Geo.

That Lady I have seen before at a Masquerade—she possessed herself of my heart at once— but, I despaired of ever beholding her again—come, and present me!

Going.

Mr. D.

Hold, George, hold; perhaps you had better never be presented; for, though you may have put her in possession of you heart, it by no means follows that she has had a corresponding complaisance for you. Suppose, for instance, such a trifle —as her’s being engaged?

Bel.

Oh unconscionable! to fancy the o’erbounding Imagination of a man in Love can pause over such a reasonable supposition—But, pray George postpone your entrée till you are more composed; I’ll go and prepare her for the reception of a strange creature, that you may appear to advantage.

Exit.

Geo.

Oh I will hope every advantage from so fortunate a Chance; her heart cannot—shall not—be engaged;—and she shall be mine! Pardon, my dear Sir, the effusions of my Joy!

Mr. D.

I do pardon them. ’Tis a strange rencontre; are you acquainted with the Lady’s Name?

Geo.

No one knew her—She seemed like an angel descended to astonish each beholder, and vanish the moment she had fixed his adoration. Unluckily Mrs. Medlar stopped me, and a jealous Coxcomb, in the suite of my Incognita, seized that moment to hurry her out of the room.

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Mr. D.

Your ignorance perhaps I can relieve; but, you seem so disposed to Raptures, that I hardly dare tell you that I know something of her family. Perhaps I should not otherwise have been so ready to put her in your way.

Geo.

I am convinced you know nothing that will not justify my Passion!

Mr. D.

This eagerness to believe, might have been fatal to you. But, you are fortunate; she is the daughter of a deceased Major Morley, a man to whose friendship, and elegance of Manners, I was indebted for happy and rational hours amidst the bustle of a Camp.

Geo.

Fortunate indeed! for then my passion has your sanction. But, I thought that, when you received her, you had not known who—

Mr. D.

I knew her Father’s picture on her bosom. But, her delicacy was so alarmed at the idea of exposing the Name of her Family, in such a situation, that she would not consent to be introduced here, but on condition of its being concealed.

Geo.

Charming delicacy! I’ll keep her secret— but—

Mr. D.

Impatient Rogue! Well, come, I’ll introduce you, and may the moment be auspicious!

Exit.

Geo.

following him Love! sweet Tyrant! I willingly submit to thee—never may I experience the cheerless void of Indifference again!

Exit.
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Act the Second.

Scene I.

A Court before the house. Enter a Hunt in Uniform.—A Flourish of Horns.

Several.

Hollo! hollo! ye hoicks, Hargrave! ille, ille, hoa!

First Hunter.

Hollo—indeed! ’tis almost seven— looking at his watch the scent will be cold. Let’s rouse the lazy rogue with a Song.

Second Hunt.

Aye, a good thought—come begin.

First Hunt.

Song.

Arouse, and break the bands of Sleep,

Blush, Idler, blush, such hours to keep!

Somnus! what bliss canst thou bestow,

Equal to that which Hunters know!

Whether the mountains they attain,

Or swiftly dart across the plain,

Somnus! what joys canst thou bestow

Equal to those which Hunters know?

Hark, through the Wood, how our music resounds!

Horns are re-echoed more sweet, by the hounds,

Deep throated and clear,

Our spirits they cheer;

They give us such Glee,

No dangers we see,

But follow with pleasure

’Tis Joy beyond measure

To be the first in at the Death, at the Death,

To be the first in at the Death!

Chorus.

Deep throated, &c.

23 C4r 23 Enter George, from the House.

First Hunt.

Ay! my young Hercules!—But how in this dress? dont you hunt?

Geo.

Oh, I have only changed Liveries. I used to wear that of Adonis the Hunter, but I resign it now for that of his mistress, Venus.

Second Hunt.

And a hazardous service you have chosen. I should prefer Acteon’s fate to the Caprice and Insolence of the handsomest coquette in England.

Geo.

Acteon’s fate would be less than you deserve, if, knowing my Goddess, you should dare profane her by such a description.

2d Hunt.

May I never start Puss, if I believe your Goddess to be more than a very Woman;—that is, a Being whose Soul is vanity, form deceitful, and manners artificial.

Geo.

Heydey!—turned Satirist on the Sex at eight and twenty!—what jilting Blowsalind has worked this miracle?

2d Hunt.

Faith, I take my specimens from higher schools. Amongst the Blowsalinds there are still Nature and Honesty; but, examine Drawing-rooms and Operas—you’ll find Nature discarded, and Honesty exchanged for Affectation and Hypocrisy;— so henceforward smacking his whip I abandon all Ladies but those of the Woods, and pursue only the simple game to which my hounds conduct.

Geo.

Ha! ha!—until you become Society for hounds only.

Enter Mr. Hargrave and the Justice.

Mr. H.

So George,—come, you had better mount; —on the Downs I’ll give you a Lecture upon Air, and the advantages of a sound constitution, of more 24 C4v 24 real advantage than all you could hear in a musty college in fifty Terms.

Geo.

I beg Sir to be excused this morning. Tomorrow I’ll resume my usual post, and lead—where you only will venture to follow.

Mr. H.

Well—we shall put you to the test!

Exit.

Justice.

to George Yes, yes, you’re a keen Sportsman—I have seen the game you are in pursuit of, scudding away to the Garden;—beat the bushes, and I’ll warrant you’ll start!

First Gent.

Troth, I started a fine young puss a few days ago;—She was shy and made her doublings, but I followed close and should infallibly have got her, if that sly poaching rogue, Drummond, had not laid a Springe in her way.

Justice.

The very puss I mean! Drummond housed her here!

First Hunt.

What, belonged she to a Preserve?— I’ll lag after her no more. Come along Boys—come along—Ille ye hoics—for a lawful game!

Exeunt, all but George.

Geo.

How critically did Mr. Drummond come to her relief!—from that brute she would have suffered every indignity that Ignorance, supported by the Pride of fortune, could have inflicted.—In the Garden! that’s fortunate beyond expectation; midst Groves and Fountains a Lover should tell his tale; —and the sweet animation which beamed in her eyes last night, flatters me that she will not hate me for telling mine.—I’ll go, in all the Confidence of Hope!

Exit.

Scene II.

The Garden. Enter Emily.

Em.

What a heavenly morning! Surely ’tis England that Summer visits in her very perfection— sh 25 C5r 25 is no where else so lovely.—And, what a sweet Garden! But, should I not divert my attention from these, to commune with my Heart! Is it the brightness of the Morning, the verdure of the Garden, or the melody of the birds, that gives thee these enchanting sensations?—Ah, no—it is that thou hast found thy Lord—it is that I have again seen the man, who, since I first beheld him, has been the only Image in my mind. How different from the empty, the presuming Baldwin! Yet, to him I owe this obligation, that, if his hateful perserverance had not forced me from London, I might have seen but once the man who, that once, possessed himself of my tenderest wishes.—Ha!

starting. Enter George.

Geo.

Abroad so early, Madam! In London, fine Ladies are yet in their first repose.

Em.

If the Morning had been less enticing—yet, it would have been impossible to have resisted the chearful call of the Hunters.

Geo.

Oh, it was my good Genius, I thank her, that inspired them, and did me the favour to lead me hither.

Em.

Does she usually exert herself to no better purpose; her claims to your gratitude seem but weak!

Geo.

’Till lately I thought so, and supposed her the worst Genius that ever fell to the lot of poor mortal. But she has retrieved herself by one or two capital hits, and made me believe her one of the best disposed Sylphs in all the regions of Fancy.

Em.

Smiling You recommend your attendant very strongly. Have you any intention to part with her?

Geo.

I’ll willingly exchange her, if your Genius will be so obliging as to take a fancy to me; I’ll accept her with all my heart, and give you mine.

26 C5v 26

Em.

You would lose by the exchange.

Geo.

Impossible! My quondam friend would say a thousand things for me; so I should obtain your good opinion, which would be gain—whatever touching his bosom I might lose to attain it.

Em.

Your Genius is gallant I perceive. But I was on the point of leaving the garden;—the Ladies I imagine are descended by this time.

Geo.

Indeed they are not. But, though they were, these are precious moments which I must not lose! May I presume to use them in telling you, how happy I am made by the event which placed you in my Father’s house? But you perhaps have forgot the presumptuous Tancred, who gave such disturbance to the Gentleman honoured with the charge of protecting you at the Masquerade?

Em.

No, Sir, I remember;—and, if I dont mistake, you were nearly engaged in a fracas with that Gentleman. I was happy when I observed you stopped by a Mask, and seized that moment to leave the room.

Geo.

A moment, Madam, which I have never ceased to regret, ’till now;—but now, felicity so unexpected, and unhoped for—

Em.

All this is out of place here, Sir. Under a mask a Shepherd may sigh, or an Eastern Prince indulge in florid speeches, but the delicacies to be observed in real life are quite incompatible with the stile of a Masquerade.

Geo.

You, who are thus severe on supposed Compliment, will yet I hope treat more favorably a tender and respectful Passion.

Em.

Sir!

Geo.

I comprehend what your Delicacy must feel, and will therefore only add that, from the first moment I beheld you, my Heart has known no other object. You have been the Mistress of its wishes, and of its fate.

Em.

hesitates Indeed, Sir, this—at a time when 27 C6r 27 I must appear in so strange a light to your family, hurts me greatly—surely my situation here ought—

Geo.

I acknowledge, Madam, the confession I have dared to make nothing can excuse—but, the peculiarity of our situation. In a few moments your Uncle may arrive, and snatch you from us—such an opportunity never may be mine again—

Enter Mr. Drummond.

Mr. D.

So, so, my young ones, have I found you? ’Tis a most delicious morning;—but, is it usual with you, Madam, to taste the air so early?

Em.

Yes, Sir, in the Country at least, I seldom sacrifice such hours to sleep.

Mr. D.

Aye, ’tis to that practice you are indebted for the roses in your cheeks. What, I suppose, you brought the Lady into the Garden, George, to give her a lecture on the beauties of Flowers—or—on other beauties—or, perhaps, more abstracted subjects have engaged your thoughts.

Geo.

With such an Object before me, my thoughts cannot be abstracted, Sir. I found the Lady here, and had scarcely paid her my Morning Compliments when you appeared.

Mr. D.

For which you do not thank me, I presume. But come, Madam, you are my Ward, until I have the pleasure of presenting you to your Uncle; and I come to conduct you to breakfast. George, you may follow—but, keep your distance!

Exit, with Emily.

Geo.

Distance!—as well might you expect shadow not to neighbour sunshine, or erring mortal to give up hope of mercy. With what sweet confidence she gives her hand to Mr. Drummond!—if these are the Privileges of Age, I’ll be young no longer!

Exit.
28 C6v 28

Scene III.

Lady Dinah’s dressing-room. Lady Dinah at her Toilette, Susan attending.

Lady D.

Both in the Garden?—and in deep conversation!

Susan.

Yes, my Lady, I saw them from the window; he looked eagerly in her face, and she blushed, and looked confused.

Lady D.

Confused indeed!—yes, so the impertinent affected to appear last night; though it was evident that she had neither eyes or ears but for Mr. Hargrave’s Son.

Susan.

I dare to say she is some Imposter. Husbands, as we servants say, in good truth are not so plenty, that a woman need to run away to escape one.

Lady D.

I have no doubt of her being a low person. And, as to her Prettiness—’tis that of a wooden Doll; cherry cheeks, and eyes that, from want of expression, might be taken for glass.

Susan.

I wonder that Mr. Hargrave did not stand by his own opinion, and let her stay where she was; but, whatever Mr. Drummond says is Law here.

Lady D.

Because Mr. Hargrave imagines he’ll make his son his Heir—but, if he does, he’ll only come in for his share with the Paupers of the village.

Susan.

Oh, nothing more; for that Mr. Drummond knows no better than to believe every melancholy tale that’s told him—(here’s the Bow, my Lady)— but, if he fancied her prettiness was in danger, he had better have kept her in his own house, and stood guard himself.

Lady D.

Aye, whatever keeps him at home, would preserve his neighbours from much inconvenient interference.—Want of Rest looking in the Glass 29 C7r 29 absolutely transforms me. The detestable Horns, and their noisy accompaniment waked me from refreshing Sleep. How do I look to day, Susan?

Sus.

Oh, charmingly, my Lady.

Lady D.

’Tis a most provoking circumstance that the colour of my hair should be so very soon changed —but, the Liquid entirely hides that accident, I believe.

Sus.

Entirely, my Lady;—and then the Bloom, it is impossible to distinguish it from Nature.

Lady D.

You need not speak so loud!—Pray what do you think of the young Collegian?

Sus.

Oh, my Lady, he is the sweetest, smartest, man—exactly like the picture of your Ladyship’s Brother that died when he was Twenty.

Lady D.

People used to say that brother, and myself, bore a strong resemblance.

Sus.

I dare say you did, my Lady; for, there’s something in the turn of young Mr. Hargrave’s face, vastly like your Ladyship’s.

Stooping and laughing behind her.

Lady D.

Do you think so?—why then Susan, I believe I may trust you!—I think you can be faithful.

Sus.

Most surely, my Lady, I would rather die than betray your Ladyship.

Lady D.

Well then—I protest I hardly know how to acknowledge it—But as it must—

Sus.

What my Lady? Your Ladyship alarms me.

Lady D.

I too am alarmed, but I know your faith —Sighs—There will soon be a most intimate, and never to be dissolved alliance between me—and— Young Mr. Hargrave.

Sus.

Law! Young Mr. Hargrave!

Lady D.

Yes, young Mr. Hargrave, Madam. What dost stretch thy eyes so widely at, wench! Mr. George Hargrave, I say, is to be my Husband—I am to be his Wife—Is’t past thy comprehension?

Sus.

I must humbly beg your Ladyship’s pardon —the whole house concludes your Ladyship is to 30 C7v 30 marry Old Mr Hargrave!—but, ’tis clear, the Son is a much more suitable match for your Ladyship!

Lady D.

OldMr Hargrave indeed! the whole house is very impertinent in its Conclusions. Go and bring the Bergamot hither.—Exit Susan. I marry old Mr Hargrave! monstrous absurdity!—and, by so preposterous a union, become the Mother of that fine young fellow his Son! ’twould be insupportable—no Mistress Susan, ’tis Young Mr. HargraveEnter Susan, suppressing a Laugh Here, scent that handkerchief, whilst I write to my Agent to prepare for the Writings.

Exit.

Susan.

Scenting the handkerchief To prepare for the writings! a very fine business indeed, and what you’ll sorely repent of, my good Lady, take my word for it. Not all these scented waters—nor any other waters—will be able to give you sufficient spirits this time twelvemonth. A never to be dissolved Alliance between Fifty and Twenty, ha! ha! ha!— I shall expire with the ridiculous Secret—I must find Jarvis, to tell him—Never to be dissolved Alliance! ha! ha! ha!

Exit.

Scene IV.

An Apartment. Enter George, Harriet, and Bella.

Bel.

What Transformations this Love can make! You look as grave, George, and speak as sententiously, as a Fortune-teller.

Geo.

And is it only to preserve your Spirits, Bella, that you keep your heart so cold?

Bel.

The Recipe is certainly not a bad one, if we may judge from the Effects, on your spirits, of a heart inflamed by Love. But, I advise you, George, not to let an appearance of Gravity steal upon you— ’tis the most dangerous character in the world for you.

31 C8r 31

Geo.

How so?

Bel.

Oh, whilst you can sustain that of a giddy, thoughtless, undesigning, Great Boy, all the impertinent and foolish things you commit will be excused —laughed at—nay, if accompanied by a certain manner, they will be applauded. But, do the same things with a grave reflecting face, and an important air, and you’ll be condemned, nem. connemine contradicente.

Enter Servant.

Serv.

Sir Charles Seymour is driving up the Avenue, Sir.

Exit.

Geo.

Is he?—I am rejoiced at his arrival.

Harriet.

Sir Charles Seymourhere Brother? I thought you told us yesterday that he was on the point of Marriage.

Geo.

Well my dear Harriet and what then? Is his being on the point of Marriage any reason why he should not be here?—He is now hastening to pay his devoirs to the Lady. I left him yesterday at a friend’s house on the road, and he promised to be here to day—but I hear him.

Exit.

Bel.

Harriet! you look quite pale. I had no idea that Sir Charles was of serious consequence to you.

Harriet.

My dear Bella—I am ashamed of myself. I’ll go with you to your dressing room—I must not see him whilst I look so ridiculously; I dread my brother’s Raillery.

Bel.

Come then, hold by me. Deuce take it, what business have Women with Hearts? Interesting men should be shut out of Society, ’till they grow harmless by becoming Husbands!

Exeunt. Enter George, and Sir Charles.

Geo.

Ha! the birds are flown.

Sir Ch.

Let us pursue them then.

Geo.

Pho!—they are not worth pursuing. Bella’s a Coquette, and Harriet in Love.

32 C8v 32

Sir Ch.

Harriet in Love!

Geo.

Aye, she is indeed!—but that’s nothing. I have Intelligence for thee man—my Incognita’s found, she’s now in the house—my beauteous Wood Nymph!

Sir Ch.

Miss Hargrave’s heart another’s!

Geo.

Miss Hargrave’s heart anothers! Why, my Sister’s heart is certainly engaged. But how’s all this?

Sir Ch.

O George!—this blow destracts me.— Though I had not, ’till now, summoned courage to declare myself—I love—I love your Sister—to distraction doat on her!

Geo.

Oh—oh! I’m to have your Secrets confided to me, Sir, when they can be but an incumbrance! Why did not you tell me this before? If your Heart had been as open to me, as mine has ever been to you, I might have served you; but now—

Sir Ch.

Oh, reproach me not, but pity my disappointed hope, I long have loved her.

Geo.

And not confide your Secret to me! You distrusted me, Charles, and will be properly punished.

Sir Ch.

Fool, fool, that I was, thus to have planned a superstructure of happiness for all my life, that in one moment dissolves into air! I cannot trust myself to see her—I must leave you.

Geo.

Indeed you shall not leave me, Seymour.— On what Foundation did you build your superstructure, that you seem so greatly disappointed?—Had my Sister favoured your addresses?

Sir Ch.

No, I never presumed to make her any; my Fortune was so small that I had no hopes of obtaining your father’s consent—and therefore made it a point of Honour not to endeavour to gain her affection.

Geo.

Aside. Yes, you took mighty great care!

Sir Ch.

But my Uncle’s Will having removed every cause of fear on that head, I flattered myself I had nothing else to apprehend.

33 D1r 33

Geo.

Courage, and your difficulties may vanish! ’Tis your humble distant Lover who has sung, through every Age, his scornful Phillis. You never knew a bold fellow, who could love women without mistaking them for Angels, whine about their cruelty.

Sir Ch.

You tell me your Sister’s heart is engaged —then what have I to struggle for? it was her Heart I wished to possess. Could Miss Hargrave be indelicate enough—I am sure she could not—to bestow her hand on me without her Heart, I would reject her.

Geo.

Bravo!—nobly resolved! keep it up by all means. Come, now I’ll introduce you to one of the finest girls you ever saw in your life—but remember, you are not to suffer your heart to be interested there, for that’s my quarry—and peril to the man who attempts to rob me of my prize!

Sir Ch.

Oh you are very secure, I assure you; my heart is impenetrable now forever!

Exeunt.

Scene V.

The Garden. Enter Hargrave and a Servant.

Mr. H.

Run and tell my Son I want to speak to him here. Exit Servant. Her Forty thousand pounds will just buy the Greenwood Estate: we shall then have more land than any family in the County, and a Borough of our own into the bargain. Aye—But suppose George should not have a mind to marry her? Why, as to his Mind, when two parties struggle, the weaker must give way;—the match is for the advancement of your Fortune, say I, and if that cant satisfy your mind, you must teach it, what I have always taught you—Obedience. Vol. I. D 34 D1v 34 Enter George. Oh, George, there’s an affair of consequence that— that—

Geo.

I am all Attention, Sir.

Mr. H.

I—I dont design that you shall return to College any more. I have other views, which I hope will not be disagreeable to you.—You—you like Lady Dinah, you say?

Geo.

Hesitates She is a Lady of great Erudition without doubt.

Mr. H.

I dont know what your notions may be of her Age; I could wish her a few years younger, but—

Geo.

Pardon me, Sir, I think that to her Age there can be no objection, and the preference her Ladyship gives to our family is certainly a high compliment.

Mr. H.

Oh—oh! then you are acquainted already with what I was going to communicate to you—I am surprised at that!

Geo.

Matrimonial Schemes are seldom long concealed, Sir.

Mr. H.

I was a little uneasy about what you might think of this affair, on which I have never conversed with any one but Lady Dinah; but perhaps she may have hinted it to her Woman, and then I should not wonder if the whole parish knew it—and all the neighbouring parishes too! However, you have no objection, and that’s enough; though, if you had, I must have had my way, George.

Geo.

Without doubt, Sir.

Mr. H.

Have you spoken to Lady Dinah on the subject?

Geo.

Spoke—who I Sir?—n--o—Sir. I could not think of addressing Lady Dinah on so delicate an affair, without your permission.

Mr. H.

Well then, my dear Boy, I would have 35 D2r 35 you speak to her now. And, I think, the sooner the better.

Geo.

To be sure, Sir—I shall obey you.

Mr. H.

Well, you have set my heart at Rest—I am as happy as a Prince.—I never fixed my mind on any thing, in my life, so much as I have done on this marriage; it would have galled me sorely if you had been against it—but you are a good boy, George, a very good boy, and I’ll go in, and prepare Lady Dinah for your Visit.

Exit.

Geo.

Why, my dear father, the prospect of your nuptials has quite elated you. But, why must I make speeches to the Lady?

Enter Bella.

Bel.

What, have you been opening your heart to your father, George?

Geo.

No, he has been opening his to me!—he has been making me the confident of his passion for Lady Dinah.

Bel.

No!—ha! ha! ha!—is it possible?—What stile does he talk in? is it flames and darts—or Esteem and Sentiment?

Geo.

I dont imagine my good father thinks of either;—her Fortune, I presume, is the object. I shall not venture to hint an objection; for contradiction, you know, only gives him fresh ardor: Where are Seymour and Harriet?

Bel.

Your Sister is in the drawing-room, and Sir Charles I just now saw in the Orange-Walk, with his arms folded thus—and his eyes fixed on a Shrub, in the most Penseroso stile you can conceive! Why, George, he has no appearance of a happy youth in a state of transmigration into a Bridegroom!

Geo.

Ha! ha! ha!

Bel.

Why do you laugh?

Geo.

At the embarrassment I have thrown the simpletons into—ha! ha! ha!

D2 36 D2v 36

Bel.

What simpletons? What embarrassment?

Geo.

That you cannot guess, my sweet Cousin, with all your penetration.

Bel.

I shall expire if you wont let me know it— now do—pray George—come—be pleased to tell me!

Curtseying.

Geo.

No, no, you look so pretty whilst you are coaxing, that I must see you in that humour a little longer.

Bel.

That’s unkind! Come—tell me the Secret— though I believe I begin to guess it!

Geo.

Nay, then I must tell you; for I shall lose the pleasure of obliging you if you should find it out. I have made each believe that the other has a different engagement—and yet Seymour and my Sister are equally attached to each other!

Bel.

Oh, I’m rejoiced to hear it.

Geo.

Rejoiced! I assure you, Sir George has highly offended me.

Bel.

How so? He is your Friend, and in all respects an eligible match for your Sister.

Geo.

Very true—but he has been as chary of his Secret, as though I had not deserved his untmost confidence.

Bel.

I believe he never addressed your Sister.

Geo.

So he pretends, and perhaps he did not in Form; but that is a ridiculous Subterfuge;—he tampered with her Heart, by silent tender observances, the surest battery when there is time to play it off. If any man, who had thus obtained my Sister’s heart, had left her a prey to disappointment, and then insisted—that he had said nothing—my resentment should have taught him that his conduct was not less dishonourable, than if he had knelt at her feet, and sworn a thousand oaths.

Bel.

Mercy on us! If every girl had such a Snapdragon of a brother, no Beau would venture to come near her.

Geo.

I perceive that Sir Charles has been heaping 37 D3r 37 up the measure of his offences some time. I recollect now the tricks he played to get Harriet’s picture.— At last he begged it to get the Drapery copied for his Sister’s;—I have not a doubt that it is at this moment in his bosom, though he has sworn a thousand times that it is still at the Painter’s.

Bel.

Ha! I’ll fly and tell her.—If I dont mistake, she’d rather have her picture there, than ranged in a Gallery of Beauties.

Geo.

Destruction—stop!—And pray why are you not as angry as I am? Shut out, by parchment provisoes, from all the flutters of Courtship yourself— you had a right to participate in Harriet’s.

Bel.

Very true. But what pleasure can we have in tormenting two hearts so attached to each other?

Geo.

I do mean to plague them a little—and it will be the greatest favour we can do them; for they are such sentimental people, you know, that they’ll blush, and hesitate, and torment each other six months—before Explanation. By alarming their Jealousy, they’ll betray themselves in as many hours.

Bel.

So there’s not one grain of Mischief in all this!—all downright Charity! Well, really, in that light, there is some reason—

Geo.

Aye, more than is necessary to induce you to join in it, even though there were mischief;—so promise assistance with a good grace.

Bel.

Well, I do promise; for I really think—

Geo.

Oh, I’ve your Word—no more parley.

Bel.

A-propos! Here’s Harriet—I’m just as angry as you wish me, and you shall have a good account of her.

Enter Harriet.

Harriet.

Brother, Mr. Drummond I fancy wonders at your absence; he’s alone with the Lady—

Geo.

He possesses a privilege then that half mankind would grudge him!

Exit. 38 D3v 38

Bel.

Have you seen Sir Charles yet?

Harriet.

Indeed I have not. I confess I was so weak as to retire twice from the Drawing-room, because I heard his Voice; though I was conscious my absence must appear odd, and fearful the cause might be suspected.

Bel.

Ah! pray be careful that you give him no reason to guess it. I advise you to treat him with the greatest Coldness, Harriet.

Har.

Most certainly I shall, whatever it costs me. It would be the most cruel mortification if I thought he could ever suspect my weakness. I wonder, Bella, whether the Lady he is to marry—is as hamndsome as George describes her.

Bel.

What is that to you, child?—never think about it. If you take any interest about him, you’ll never behave with a proper degree of Scorn.

Har.

Oh, do not fear it; I assure you I possess a vast deal of scorn for him.

Bel.

(aside. I’m sure you fib!)—Well, now for a Sample, he is coming this way I see.

Har.

Is he? come then let us go!

Bel.

Yes, yes, you are quite a Heroine I perceive. Surely you will not fly, to prove your indifference? Stay to mortify him with an appearance of Carelessness and Good humour.—For instance; look at him with the unmeaning eye with which one looks over an acquaintance shabbily dressed.—When he speaks to you, look another way, and, suddenly recollecting yourself, exclaim—What are you saying, Sir Charles! I beg pardon, I really did not attend— then without minding his Answer,—Bella, I was thinking of that elegant fellow who opened the Ball with Lady Harriet—did you ever see such expressive eyes? and then the air with which he danced!

Har.

You’ll find me a bad scholar, I believe,— however I’ll go through the interview if you’ll assist.

Bel.

Fear me not.

39 D4r 39 Enter Sir Charles.

Sir Ch.

Ladies, I had despaired of finding you— I hope I don’t intrude.

Bel.

Sir Charles Seymour can never be an unwelcome intruder.

Sir Ch.

Miss Hargrave—I have not had the happiness of paying my respects to you since I arrived— I hope you have enjoyed perfect Spirits since I left Hargrave place.

Confusedly.

Har.

Affecting Gaiety. My Spirits are seldom so good as they seem to be now, Sir.

Sir Ch.

You looks indeed speak you in possession of that happiness I wish you! Sighing. You, Miss Sydney, are always in spirits.

Bel.

In general, Sir. I have not Wisdom enough to destroy my happiness by Reflection.

Sir Ch.

Do you deem being wise a proof of unhappiness?

Bel.

One might really think so; for wise folks are always grave.

Har.

Then I’ll never aim at Wisdom;—henceforward I’ll be all Gaiety, devote myself to pleasure, and live only to laugh!

Bel.

Unless you do as I do—laugh at your own absurdities—you may not always find a subject, Cousin.

Har.

Oh, we need not confine our views at home; the world abounds with subjects for Mirth;—the Men will furnish a sufficient number, though other resources fail.

Sir Ch.

Miss Hargrave was not always so severe.

Har.

Fie, Sir Charles—dont mistake Pleasantry for severity;—but, exuberant Spirits frequently overflow in impertinence—I pardon your thinking that mine do.

Sir Ch.

Impertinence! Surely you cannot suppose I meant to—

Har.

Nay, Bella, I appeal to you; did not Sir Charles intimate some such thing?

40 D4v 40

Bel.

Why—a—I dont know—To be sure there was a kind of distant intimation;—though, perhaps, Sir Charles only means—that you are rather awkward in your merriment!—ha! ha!

Sir Ch.

Vastly well, Ladies!—well then we’ll mutually agree to understand expressions in what manner we please; and therefore—when a Lady’s eyes speak Disdain, I may construe it Love!

Har.

That’s an error men are apt to fall into; but the expressions of the eyes are always sincere— they come from the Heart!

Sir. Ch.

Then pray examine mine, Madam, and, by the report you make, I shall judge of your proficiency in their language.

Bel.

Oh, I’ll examine them, Sir Charles;—I am a better judge than Harriet. Let me see—aye—’tis so—the one talks Love and Jealousy—the other of Hope and a Wedding. Now, dont I read well?

Sir Ch.

Could but that hope be fulfilled, I would ask no more of Fate! Will You examine whether she reads correctly or not, Madam?

To Harriet.

Har.

You are so entirely satisfied with Bella’s performance, Sir, that I will not attempt to render them differently. Come, Cousin, let us return to our company. Impatiently.

Bel.

Apart Fie! that air of Pique is enough to ruin all.

Sir Ch.

Do you then not find the garden agreeable, Miss Hargrave? I begin to think it charming!

Har.

I find nothing particularly agreeable in it, Sir,—and the happy seek Society! I wondered to see you alone. Come Bella.

Bel.

Bravo!

Exit, with Harriet.

Sir Ch.

Why,—what is become of that dove-like Softness which threw me into dreams of bliss?— Seek Society! Oh Harrietmy Harriet! to possess thy society, with the hope that once glowed in my bosom, would be a blessing for which I would willingly sacrifice every other hope in Life

Exit.
41 D5r 41

Act the Third.

Scene I.

An Apartment. Lady Dinah, and Mr. Hargrave, sitting.

Mr. H.

I am surprised Lady Dinah at your thinking in this manner. When I spoke to my Son this morning, I assure you he expressed a great deal of Satisfaction about the affair—I wonder indeed he has not been here.

Lady D.

Now, I almost blame you, Mr Hargrave —pardon me—but you have certainly been too precipitate; your Son has scarcely been at home four and twenty hours, and cannot possibly have received any Impression! or formed an Idea of my Character. —He has been—I must say too—so much engaged with other persons, that I have had no opportunity of conversing with him; and how, so circumstanced, can he have formed a Judgment of his own Heart?

Mr. H.

Why—he has given the best proof in the world that he has formed a Judgment, for he told me, this morning, that the prospect of the union made him quite happy! I dont know what other proof a man can give that he knows his own heart; —and let me tell you, Madam, I have accustomed my children to pay a proper regard to my Inclination!

Lady D.

I am apprehensive, Sir, that Mr. George 42 D5v 42 Hargrave’s Obedience may influence him more than I could exactly wish. And, I assure you, I cannot think of uniting myself to any man, who does not prefer me for my own sake.

Mr. H.

His Obedience to me influence him more than you could wish! Why really I dont understand you my Lady.—(Aside. Zooks! I thought she had been a sensible woman.)

Lady D.

Not understand me Mr. Hargrave! I have too high an opinion of your Good Sense, to suppose that I can be unintelligible to you!

Mr. H.

My opinion is that an obedient Son is likely to make a kind husband. George is a fine young fellow as any in England, as I have often told you; and there’s not a woman in the kingdom, who might not be proud to call him her husband.—Too obedient!

Lady D.

(Aside. Bless me! this man has no Ideas!) You mistake me, Mr. Hargrave; I do not mean to lessen the Merit of Obedience—but—I confess—I wish him to have a more delicate, a more tender motive, for offering his hand to me.

Mr. H.

Why, look ye, you have a great Understanding to be sure—and I confess you talk above my reach—but, I must nevertheless take the liberty to blame your Ladyship. A person of your Ladyship’s experience, and, allow me to say, your Date in the world, must know that there occasions on which we should not be too nice!

Lady D.

Too nice! Mr. Hargrave. Rising.

Mr. H.

Aye, too nice, my Lady.—A Boy and Girl of Eighteen have Time before them; they may be whimsical, and play at shilly-shally, as long as they have a mind. But, my Lady, at a certain Season, we must leave off these tricks, or be content to go to the grave, old Bachelors and—

shrugging his shoulders

Lady D.

I am utterly astonished! Mr. Hargrave, you surely mean to offend—you insult me!

43 D6r 43

Mr. H.

No—by no means—I would not offend your Ladyship for the World. I have the highest Respect for you, and shall rejoice to call you my Daughter; if you are not so, it will be your own fault; for George, I am sure, is ready, the moment you give your consent. The writings shall be drawn when you think proper, and the marriage brought about without delay.

Lady D.

Well, Sir, I really do not know what to say.—When Mr. George Hargrave shall imagine it a proper period to talk to me on the subject—I—I—

Mr. H.

Well, well—I allow this is a topic on which a Lady does not chuse to explain herself, but to the principal. I waited on your Ladyship only to inform you that I had talked to my Son concerning the affair, and to incline you, when he waits on you, to give him a favourable hearing.

Lady D.

Mr. Hargrave, a person of your Son’s merit is intitled to a proper attention from any woman he addresses.

Mr. H.

There—now we are right again; I was fearful that you had not liked my Boy, and that your Difficulties arose from that quarter; but, since you like George, ’tis all very well, very well.—I am sure George loves you; I’ll go and send him to you this moment, and he shall tell you so himself—you’ll surely believe him!

Exit.

Lady D.

Mr. Hargrave, Mr. Hargrave! bless me, what an impetuous obstinate Old Man. What can I do—I am in an exceedingly indelicate situation—he will tell his Son that I am waiting here in expectation of a Declaration of Love—surely never woman was in so awkward an embarras! I wish the son possessed a little of the Father’s impetuosity—this would not then have happened.

44 D6v 44 Enter George.

Geo.

Your Ladyship’s most obedient Servant.

Lady D.

Curtseying confusedly S-i-r—

Geo.

Very gravely. My father permits me to make my acknowledgments to your Ladyship, for the Honour you design our Family.

Lady D.

I must confess, Sir, this Interview is somewhat—unexpected—it is indeed quite premature —I was not prepared for it—and I am really in great Confusion!

Geo.

I am sensible that a visit of this kind, to a Lady of your Delicacy, must be a little distressing; but I intreat you to be composed. I hope you will have no reason to regret a resolution which myself, and the rest of the family, have so much cause to rejoice in—particularly my Father.

Lady D.

You are very polite, Sir. We have had so little opportunity of conversing, Mr. Hargrave, that I am afraid you express rather your Father’s sentiments than your own. It is impossible, indeed, from so short a knowledge, that you can have formed any Sentiments of me yourself.

Geo.

Pardon me, my sentiments for you are full of Respect! and I am convinced your Qualities will excite the Veneration of all who have the honour of being connected with you. (Aside. My father could hardly have done it better).

Lady D.

(Aside. Why this young man has certainly been taught to make Love by his Tutor at College!) —I think it necessary to assure you, Sir, that—that this affair has been brought thus forward by Mr. Hargrave, and that the Proposals he made, in which it was evident his whole Heart was concerned, were quite unexpected.

Geo.

I have not the least doubt of it, my Lady, nor am I at all surprised at my Father’s earnestness 45 D7r 45 on a subject so interesting.—(Aside. What can she mean by apologizing to me!)

Lady D.

It would certainly have been proper, Sir, to have allowed you time to have formed a judgment for yourself.

Geo.

The time has been quite sufficient. I highly approve the steps my father has taken; but, if I did not, Obedience to his determination would certainly have prevented my opposing them.

Lady D.

Aside. Really! A pretty extraordinary confession!

Geo.

(Aside. I must end this ridiculous visit!) Shall I have the honour of conducting your Ladyship to the company?

Lady D.

Sir!—N-o—Sir! I have some orders to give my woman; I will rejoin the Ladies in a few minutes.

Geo.

Then—I’ll wish your Ladyship a good morning!

Exit.

Lady D.

Amazement! what a visit from a Lover! Is this the language in which men usually talk to women with whom they are on the point of Marriage? —Respect! Veneration! Obedience to his Father! —And—Shall I have the honour of conducting your Ladyship to the Company?—A pretty Loverlike request truly!—But, this coldness to me proceeds from a cause I now understand. This morning, what fire was there in his eyes! what animation in his countenance! whenever he addressed himself to that creature Mr. Drummond brought here? Would his request to her have been, to conduct her into Company?—no—no!—But I must be cautious—I must be patient now;—but, you will find Sir, when I am your Wife, your glances, if not directed to me, shall, at least in my presence, be addressed to no other!

Exit.
Scene II. 46 D7v 46

Scene II.

Another Apartment. Bella playing.

Song.

Haste, haste, ye glowing steeds of Day,

In Ocean’s bosom hide the beams;

Mild Evening, in her pensive grey,

More soft and more alluring seems.

Yet why invoke the pensive Eve?

Or, sighing, wish away the Morn?

Their interchanging can’t relieve

The Heart by pangs of Absence torn!

Away with Music! it only makes me melancholy. Heighho! the Lovers infect me I believe.—Attractive Italy! what are your Spells? Oh, for Fortunatus’s Cap! I’d convince myself in a moment whether my doubts are justly founded.—And, suppose they are, what then? Ah! whilst they think me but Ice, the gaiety of my disposition only serves to conceal a Heart as susceptible as those of the most tender of my sex— Enter Emily. ah, my dear Madam, I am rejoiced to see you; I have been just long enough alone to be tired of myself, and charmed at so agreeable a relief.

Em.

Can that ever be the case with Miss Sydney? I though you had possessed the happiest flow of Spirits in the world.

Bel.

Oh! your great Spirits are mere Jack-alanterns in the brain, dancing about, shining, and making Vagaries; whilst those who possess Happiness, enjoy their Treasure soberly and quietly.

47 D8r 47 Enter George.

Geo.

Ladies in Council!—on Fashion or News?

Bel.

On a less important subject—laughing at the Slaves we have, and forging chains for more.

Geo.

I dont believe it;—for, Beauties have no Contrivances. Nature spares them the trouble; for Schemes, she substitutes sparkling eyes, timid blushes, and a Multitude of Graces gliding o’er the form.

Looking at Emily.

Bel.

Well, after all, men are delightful creatures; their Flattery, in conjunction with Cards and Scandal, help one through the day tolerably well. I dont know how we should exist without all these, in the Country.

Geo.

And which of them would you relinquish in Town?

Bel.

Not Flattery, because it keeps one in Spirits, and gives a glow to the Complexion.—Scandal you may take away;—but pray leave us Cards, to keep Fashionable Crouds awake!

Geo.

You would give up Scandal to substitute, I suppose—Conquest.

Bel.

Ridiculous! Conquest is not such an object with Women as the Men imagine. I, for one, should conceive a Net, that would catch the hearts of the whole sex, a property of very little value.

Geo.

But you would think it a very pleasant one, my Gentle Coz; for, at least archly you’d pick out one happy Favorite, before you gave the rest to despair.

Bel.

Positively no—I dont know one that I should not let escape with the rest.

Geo.

Now, how can you fib with such an unblushing face? I’ll give you to Emily Bella’s Secret. She has, at this moment, an Image in her heart that says—Oh fie! to her tongue.

Bel.

Indeed Mr. Effrontery!—whose Image?

48 D8v 48

Geo.

Listen with greediest ear; to catch the transporting sound!—breathe not e’en softest Zephyrs whilst I articulate the name of—

Bel.

stopping her ears Oh, I wont hear it!

Geo.

Belville!

Loudly.

Bel.

Oh, frightful!—Dont attend.—George’s belief is always under the influence of his Fancy.

Em.

If I may judge from your Looks, he has not, in this instance, hinted at a Fiction.

Bel.

His guess would have been as good, if he had named Prester John.

Geo.

H-r-r-m—I with it may be so! for I have heard a story about a certain Lady upon the Continent, whom a certain Gentleman—

Bel.

Thinks handsomer than Bella Sydney— mortifying—ha, ha, ha!

Geo.

Nay more, to whom he devotes his hours.

Bel.

Petulantly His Heart!

Geo.

On whom he doats.

Bel.

Pshaw!

Geo.

Grows melancholy.

Bel.

Nonsense!

Geo.

Fights for her.

Bel.

Ridiculous!

Geo.

Lives only at her feet.

Bel.

You are really very insupportable, Sir!—do find some other subject to amuse yourself.

Geo.

Ha! ha! ha! the gudgeon has bit! See, Miss Morley, a Coquette struggling with serious Love! Are not those pouts, and angry blushes, proofs of Belville’s happiness?

Em.

I cannot perceive these proofs—I think you flatter Mr. Belville too highly.

Bel.

Oh, you are a good Girl! and, I assure you, perfectly right. Lovers, thank our stars! are too plentiful, for an absent one to give much pain.— (Apart to George.—What! turn your arms upon your associate, George? I’ll break the League, and discover all.)

49 E1r 49

Geo.

You dare not—you love Mischief too well; it is as dear to you as the sighs of your Lover.

Bel.

A-propos! where is Sir Charles?

Geo.

In the garden, probably—sighing to the winds;—and I wish you’d find him, and leave us.

Bel.

Why, aye—the winds perhaps will waft his sighs to Harriet, and she must not hear them yet— and so, Sir Charles

Exit.

Em.

Oh, pray make me one of your party!—

Going.

Geo.

Stay, I intreat you. Believe me they will not thank you—come I’ll tell you all about it—

Em.

I’ll hear it from Miss Sydney.

Geo.

Nay, if you are determined—

Exeunt.

Scene III.

The Garden. Enter Harriet.

In vain do I endeavour to conceal it from myself —this spot has charms for me that I can find in no other! Here have I seen—perhaps for the last time —Sir Charles Seymour. Bella’s presence was unlucky—I should have heard him! To be sure talking of Love to me would have been an insult that I must have resented—and yet, ’tis the only subject on which I could have wished to have heard him!— This is distressing—he is here again—he haunts this place. He does not observe me; I’ll conceal myself, lest, unaided by Bella, I should not keep up my new character.

Goes behind an Arbour. Enter Sir Charles, looking anxiously around.

Sir Ch.

Ah! not here either!—Sweet resemblance of her I love, come from thy hiding-place! takes a Picture pendent by a ribbon from his bosom, and kisses it. In her Absence, thou art the dearest object Vol. I. E 50 E1v 50 that can present itself to my eyes. What a Face is this! ’Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and whiteNature’s own sweet and cunning hand laid on!

Enter George. Catches his hand with the Picture.

Geo.

Ho! ho! so the Picture’s come from the Painter’s, is it Sir, and the drapery quite to your fancy?

Sir Ch.

Recovering from Confusion. The artifice I used, he who loves can pardon!

Geo.

And how many times a day dost thou break the Decalogue, in worshipping that image?

Sir Ch.

Every hour that I live. I gaze on it, until I think it looks and speaks to me; all night it lies on my heart, and is the first object I address in the morning.

Geo.

Why, man, instead of silken ties, your passion will end in hemp—come, confess, have you not been examining on which of these trees you would be most gracefully pendent?

Sir Ch.

This gaieté de cœur, George, is inconsistent with a tender passion; to be plain, I believe you know very little about it.

Geo.

You are egregiously mistaken. We are both Lovers, but the difference between us lies thus: Cupid to me—is a little familiar rogue, with an arch leer, and cheeks dimpled with continual Smiles;— to you—a terrible Deity, deck’d out in his whole Regalia of Quivers, Darts, Flames, and so forth! I play with him—you—

Sir Ch.

Spare yourself the trouble of longer Explanation;—All you would say amounts to this, you love with Hope—I with Despair!

Geo.

Very concise, and most pathetically expressed! Melancholy suits your features, Charles— ’twere pity your Mistress should encourage you; it 51 E2r 51 would deprive you of that something in your air which is so touching—ha! ha! ha!—poor Seymour! Come, let us go in search of the Girls, they are gone to the Wood; who knows but you may find a Nymph there, who’ll have the kindness to put hanging and drowning out of your head!

Sir Ch.

Oh, would sweet Celia meet me there, With soften’d Look, and gentler air, Transported, to the Wood I’d fly, The happiest Swain beneath the sky, Sighs and Complaints I’d give the wind, And Io’s sing, were Celia kind.

As he pronounces the Verses, George laughs, and scans them on his fingers.

Geo.

Why Cupid’s deaf as well as blind!

Exeunt. Harriet comes from behind the Bower.

Har.

Her Picture in his bosom! and kiss it with such rapture too! Well, I am glad I am convinced. —I am perfectly at Ease! He loves then without Hope, and George was mistaken in supposing him so near Marriage. But he loves, notwithstanding. Her Picture lies all night on his heart, and her Idea is never absent from his mind.—Well, be it so; I am perfectly at Ease! and shall no longer find a difficulty in displaying an Indifference that is become real—Oh, Seymour!

Exit.
Scene IV. E2 52 E2v 52

Scene IV.

The Wood. Enter Lady Dinah. Looking behind her.

Insolent wretch! Nothing less than the conviction of my own Senses would have induced me to believe so shocking an Indecorum. I saw you look at him with eyes that were downright gloting; I saw him snatch your hand, and press it to his lips with an ardour that could not be exceeded. And, when the Creature pretended to blush, and made a reluctant effort to withdraw it,—my Youth, so full of Veneration and Respect for me, refused to resign it, till she had given him a gracious Smile of Reconciliation! Surely they do not perceive me. See there! Nay, if you will come—

Goes behind a Shrub. Enter Emily, followed by George.

Em.

I entreat you, Sir, not to persist in following; You’ll force me to appeal to Mr. Drummond for protection.

Geo.

You need none Miss Morley, that you will not find in my Respect! It is ungracious to deprive me of conversing with you.

Em.

If you presume to believe your attentions would not displease me in my proper character, I ought to be offended that you address them to a person of whose Name and Family you are ignorant.

Geo.

Can a Name deprive you of that face, that air—or rob you of your mind?—those are the Objects which I address with the most passionate vows of—

Em.

I positively will not listen to you. When you 53 E3r 53 know who I am, I may, perhaps, converse with you on my own terms (Lady Dinah listening—Aye or on any terms)—That is—the instant you attempt to be dangerous, I shall be reserved.

Geo.

How, dangerous?

Em.

Oh, if, unexpectedly, you should appear to grow of Consequence enough to endanger my heart, I shall escape from you.—I shall remain only, whilst you are harmless.

Geo.

This is not to be borne—I will not be harmless—I declare open War against your heart, not in play—but downright earnest.

Em.

Nay, then, I collect at once all my Force to oppose you;—my heart will stand a long Seige depend on it.

Geo.

A ten years siege would not deter me; if I could hope it would yield at last.

Em.

Oh, I permit no hopes. If you should vanquish in spite of me—I can only bewail its captivity.

Geo.

Your admission that I may take the field, is all that I can at present hope; and therefore—in all due and regular form—on my knees attractive creature—

Lady D.

Listening—Aye, such Veneration and Respect as this indeed!

Em.

Hold, Sir—I will be so merciful, as to give you this notice—that, whenever you kneel, I shall fly.

Runs out.

Geo.

And I—that I shall pursue, till my Atalanta confesses I have won the prize— As George is following Emily, Lady D. comes out against him with a reproachful air, and passes him. So! (Aside.—There’s a Look! what a blessed Mother-in-law I shall have!)

Exit.

Lady D.

What! not stay even to explain—to apologize!—follow her before my face—Revenge! Yes, yes, she’ll yield without the trouble of a ten years siege—she’ll capitulate in less than ten hours. Oh, 54 E3v 54 ye shall both suffer for this—I’ll go this instant and effect something.

Exit. Enter Susan.

Ha! ha! ha! is it so, my Lady? I must see if I cant make myself useful here. A Lady like mine is the only one that a Girl of Spirit should serve. I’ll follow, and aid your Ladyship with my counsel before you have time to cool—going, returns—oh, ’tis needless, here she ebbs back—after her flood of passion.

Enter Lady Dinah not seeing Susan.

Lady D.

A moment’s Reflection has convinced me that I should be wrong. He must not suspect that I influence his father against the Minion, nor will I allow her the satisfaction of thinking she gives me the pangs of Jealousy. But, I will not lose him! something must be done.

Sus.

Oh, my Lady, I was witness to the whole! A base man! I could have trampled him under my feet.

Lady D.

Base, indeed. But ’tis on her my resentment chiefly falls—oh, Susan, Revenge!

Sus.

I am sure my heart aches for you, my Lady, there’s nothing I would not do.—Oh, she’s an artful slut!

Lady D.

If thou canst discover any thing that will rid me of her—command my Fortune!

Sus.

Oh, my dear Lady—your fortune—as to that my Lady, that’s out of the question. But I know your Ladyship’s generosity; I think I could send her packing—perhaps before night.

Lady D.

Can you!—The instant she goes I’ll give you two hundred pounds.

Sus.

Curtseying She shall go, my Lady, if I have management, or Jarvis a tongue.

55 E4r 55

Lady D.

Jarvis! are you mad? I would not have him suspect that I am concerned in the affair for the universe.

Sus.

Oh, dear my Lady, I vow I would not mention your name—no, not for three hundred pounds from any body else—no, no, Miss shall be got rid of without giving Jarvis, or any one, the least reason to suspect that your Ladyship is privy to the matter. Miss told a fine tale to get into the house, I fancy I know as fine a tale that will get her out of it.

Lady D.

I am convinced she is an Impostor, and I wonder Mr. Hargrave does not see it; but, there will be more time spent, and labour lost, in rousing his stupid apprehension—than in explaining to an Enthusiast the conceptions of a Bolingbroke!

Sus.

I am more afraid of Mr. Drummond, than of him.

Lady D.

Aye, he will support that Girl’s Interest —in order to mortify me.

Sus.

That does’nt signify, my Lady. I have a card, as good as any he holds, to play against him. Your Ladyship must have seen that the old Justice has full as much weight with the ’Squire as Mr. Drummond.

Lady D.

I have observed that Mr. Drummond is continually wavering between them. They influence his actions like two principal Senses; Mr. Drummond is the friend of his Understanding, the other of his Humour.—But, what card have you to play?

Sus.

I mean to play one of these senses of his against the other, that’s all. As for this Justice, I am mistaken if I cant govern him as much as all his Senses put together.

Lady D.

My hopes catch life Susan! I suppose you have the way to the old fool’s heart; at all events the Girl must be got rid of.

Sus.

To be sure what I am doing, behind her 56 E4v 56 back, against the young Lady, according to the notions I once had, is not quite right—but—

Lady D.

Some vulgar notions, I suppose, and common-place; but you may trust to me! My track of Reading has taught me, that to act upon extended Principles is the most enlightened course—that the fulfilment of a Duty sanctifies the Means, and that to procure our own welfare is our first Duty.—There’s the Dinner bell!—I must walk a little, to recover my Composure, before I take my seat as the young Lady’s foil!

Exit.

Sus.

I’m sure she cant have a better.—Ha! ha! ha! two hundred pounds! Oh the advantages of Jealousy and Revenge! I might have served one of your good sort of orderly old women till I had been grey. These two hundreds will quicken Mr. Jarvis a little—we shall see him more attentive I fancy than he has been, and then farewell to Servitude—ah! Jarvis.

Enter Jarvis, bowing affectedly.

Jar.

So look’d the Goddess of the Paphian Isle, When Mars she saw, and conquer’d with a smile. My dear Goddess, I kiss your fingers—I have been hunting for you in every walk of the Wood.

Sus.

Tenderly Why, how came that, Jarvis?

Jar.

Why, I have the same kind of necessity for you, that a Beau has for a Looking Glass—you enable me to perceive the effect that my appearance produces, which keeps me in good humour.

Susan.

Oh, if you want to be put in temper, I have got an excellent Cordial.—Now, to prove yourself the clever fellow you think you are!

Jar.

That you think me, my Dear, you mean. But, what extraordinary occasion has occurred for the exhibition of my talents?

Sus.

Listen!—We have discovered that the young 57 E5r 57 ’Squire thinks Eighteen a prettier age than Fifty— that he prefers Nature’s roses to the Perfumer’s—and that Gravity and Learning are no match for the fire of two hazel eyes, assisted by—the Reasoning of Smiles and Dimples!

Jar.

And he’s in the right on’t. Did’nt I tell you this morning they reckoned without their host?

Sus.

Here he has been on his Knees at the feet of the Damsel, and her Ladyship behind that bush— deeply impressed with his Transports—Ha! ha! ha!

Jar.

Ha! ha! ha! George Hargrave marry our Old Lady!—No, no; I have a very good opinion of that young fellow;—he’s exactly what I should be if I was Heir to his father’s Acres—just such a spirited, careless, deportment—a certain prevailing Assurance. Upon my Sagacity, Susan, you and I ought to have moved in a higher Sphere!

Sus.

Come come, to Business. You must consider this affair in a more serious point of view: ’twould be a Shame that, because this Girl has a pretty face, and was found weeping by an old Gentleman who took compassion upon her—it would be a Shame, you know, that for these reasons she should marry into a great family—and cheat the Sister of a Peer of a Husband! Read the Story this way, act with Spirit, and our Lady will give us Two Hundred Pounds—on the day of our Marriage!

Jar.

Humph!—on the day of our Marriage! Cannot you child prevail upon your Lady to give me the Two Hundred, without tacking that Condition to it?

Sus.

Pho! Sauce-box!—Well, but the Two Hundred—what will you do for them?

Jar.

Do for them—oh, any thing—the most extravagant thing in the world;—run off with the Girl —blow up the house—turn Turk—or marry you!

Sus.

Well, you have only to contrive to open some Door—for this stray Girl to walk out of the house.

Jar.

But how?—by what means?

58 E5v 58

Sus.

Have you forgotten the occupation which once gave employment to these talents of your’s, fitting you, as you think, for any Company—I mean, have you forgotten when you belonged to a Company of Country Players?

Jar.

Oh, I well remember the Barns that I have made echo with the Ravings of Orestes, and the Stables in which I have sighed forth the woes of Romeo!

Sus.

Well, Mr. Romeo, have you no recollection of a pretty Juliet? an elegant Girl—in short do you not remember one of the strolling party exceedingly like the strange guest now in the house!

Jar.

Humph!—Why, what evil spirit sent thee to tempt me this morning?—So, I am to sell my Honour!—my Honesty—

Sus.

Pho pho!—Honesty and Honour are sentiments for people whose Circumstances exempt them from Temptation. Let our Industry—we may as well call it by that name you know—but make us independent, and we’ll be as honourable and honest as the best of ’em—so let’s go in and settle our Plan!

Jar.

It has ever been the Fate of Great men to be misled by Women—and, therefore, my sweet Abigail—I am your’s!

Leads her off.
59 E6r 59

Act the Fourth.

Scene I.

An Apartment. Harriet and Bella seated.

Bel.

Nay but hear him—only hear him Harriet.

Har.

Can this be you, Bella, who this morning seemed fearful that I should not treat him with sufficient Scorn, who would now persuade me to allow a private interview to a man, who is professedly the Lover of another?

Bel.

How apprehensive you are! Why must you suppose he wants to talk to you about Love, or on any topic that his approaching marriage would make improper?

Har.

Why, what can he have to say to me?

Bel.

Perhaps to consult your Taste about his Carriages—or some Presents to his Bride—or

Har.

Bella—this is downright Ridicule!

Bel.

Well then you wont admit him.—Seeming to go Though he is going to leave us directly I shall tell him you dont chuse to see him. But I approve your Caution, Harriet, you are perfectly right.

Har.

Going to leave us directly, Bella!

Bel.

Immediately, my dear; I heard him order his chaise, and mutter something about insupportable! But I think you’ll be exceedingly imprudent 60 E6v 60 in receiving his visit, and I advise you by all means to refuse it.

Har.

Dear Bella!

Bel.

Well, then you will see him—I shall acquaint him. But remember, Scorn Harriet—Scorn!

Exit.

Har.

Now, what am I to expect? My heart beats strangely. But, remember, foolish girl, the Picture of his mistress is in his bosom!

Enter Sir Charles.

Sir Ch.

The request, Miss Hargrave, I ventured to make, by Miss Sydney, must appear strange to you. The Engagements which I—

Har.

Render it an extraordinary request, indeed, Sir!

Sir Ch.

I fear’d you would think so; and, conscious of those engagements, I should not have presumed to have made it—but that, as it is probably the last time I may ever see you, I seize it—I know not with what view—to tell you—that I adore you!

Har.

Sir Charles! I am astonish’d;—in my Father’s house at least, I should have been secure from such an insult.

Sir Ch.

Oh, forgive! Nothing could have driven me to this declaration but Distraction.

Har.

The Picture you wear, Sir Charles, might console you, surely.

Sir Ch.

Ah! I thought you were ignorant Madam of my possessing it.

Har.

I am not, Sir; and I wonder how you could presume—but I deserve this insult for listening to you a moment.

Going.

Sir Ch.

Oh, stay, Miss Hargrave, I intreat you.— I will give up the Picture, since it so offends you— yet, how can I part with it?

Har.

Oh, keep it, Sir—keep it by all means. I have no right to claim such a Sacrifice.

Going. 61 E7r 61

Sir Ch.

You have a right, Miss Hargrave; here it is—kissing and offering it—but, do not rob me of it!

Har.

Rob you of it! In short, Sir Charles, you redouble your rudeness every moment—

Sir Ch.

I did not think you would have so resented it; but, I resign it to you—nay you must take it.

Har.

I take it, Sir!—Glances it, then takes it with an air of Doubt—My Picture—incredible!

Enter George and Bella, both laughing.

Sir Ch.

Your Picture alone, Miss Hargrave, I could so value.

Geo.

Look at the Simpletons—ha! ha! ha!

Bel.

What a fine Attitude!—do it again, Sir Charles—ha! ha! ha! Well Harriet, how do you like Sir Charles’s mistress? Is she as handsome as George represented her yesterday?

Geo.

Hold, hold! ’tis time now to have Mercy. My dear Harriet, allow me to present you my most valued Friend, as the man whom I should rejoice to see my Brother. To you, my Seymour, I present a Sister—whose Heart has no engagement, that I am acquainted with, to supercede your claim.

Sir Ch.

I am half frantic, with Joy and with Amazement.

Geo.

Forgive the embarrassment I have occasioned you; you have suffered, but your felicity will be heighten’d by Comparison. My dear Harriet, that Seymour has always loved you, the picture that so offended you is a proof that you cannot doubt.

Sir Ch.

And that you were so offended, is now my Bliss!

Har.

You, George and Bella, have taken a Liberty with me, which you must never expect me to pardon.

Geo.

Nay, but you shall pardon; and in token thereof—give him back your picture this minute!

Sir Ch.

Return it, I intreat you.

Bel.

Come, give the poor thing its bauble.

62 E7v 62

Har.

Well Sir, as you had no Share in this brilliant contrivance—you may take the picture. Gives it him. You, George, are never so happy, as in exercising your Wit at my expence!

Geo.

And you, Harriet, never so heartily forgave me in all your life—and therefore—

Sir Ch.

Hold, George; I cannot permit that Miss Hargrave should suffer in this manner. This hour I shall ever remember with—

Bel.

Come Harriet, I must take you away, that Sir Charles may bring down his Raptures to the level of common mortals; at present I see they have mounted him into the clouds.

Har.

’Tis merciful to relieve me!

Exit, with Bella.

Sir Ch.

Charming Miss Sydney!—I’ll never quarrel with your vivacity again. But, pray Sir, why have I been made to suffer thus?

Geo.

Because you did not make me the confident of the Passion which prompted you to obtain my Sister’s picture. But, my vengeance has been friendly; for my Plot has told you more of my Sister’s Heart in a few hours, than all your Sighs and Humility would have obtained in as many months.

Sir Ch.

I thank you; and my present happiness receives a brighter glow, from this illusion of misery. I’ll fly and pour forth my joy and gratitude at the feet of my charming Harriet.

Going. Enter Bella.

Bel.

Oh, stay, stay—we may want your assistance. Here’s your Father coming George. Your repartee to Lady Dinah, at dinner, spoiled her Digestion, and she has been representing you—that’s all!

Geo.

I hope she represented her Sneer too; which suffused with tears the loveliest eyes in the world. Could I do less than support her against the Illhumour of that antiquated Pedant?—By Jupiter, I’ll 63 E8r 63 draw her in Colours to my Father that shall make him shrink from the Fate he is preparing for himself.

Enter Mr. Hargrave.

Mr. H.

Why, George, how’s this? Do you know what you have done?—you have affronted Lady Dinah.

Geo.

To affront her was not my Intention, Sir; I only meant to convince her that she should not insult the amiable young Lady whom Mr. Drummond placed here for Shelter.

Mr. H.

Dont tell me—Amiable young Lady! how do you know what she is? On the footing on which you are with Lady Dinah, let me tell you, if she had insulted a hundred young Ladies you ought not to have seen it—at least not resented it.

Geo.

Pardon me, Sir! I did not conceive that Lady Dinah would have assumed so much Privilege in your house—at least not until she became your Wife.

Mr. H.

What!—what’s that you say, Sir!

Geo.

This unexpected Remonstrance prompts me to express my Astonishment, Sir, at your Attachment to that Lady. She is the last woman in the World, Sir, whom we could wish to see in the Station of our amiable Mother.

Mr. H.

—Your Mother!

Geo.

If you saw her in the light I do, Sir, you would think on your Wedding-Day with dread!

Mr. H.

—Why—why—are you mad!

Geo.

Sir, if you wished to keep your Engagement to her a Secret, then I am sorry I mentioned the Affair—but—

Mr. H.

Look ye Sir,—I now perceive that you have all that backwardness in obeying me that I at first expected, and, in order to conceal it, are attempting to make the connection appear ridiculous. But, 64 E8v 64 I give you Notice that wont do! I know what I’m about, and my Commands shall not be disputed.

Geo.

Commands! Sir. What can this mean?— I am quite at a loss—

Mr. H.

Going Well then, to prevent all further Mistakes, and to stop all further Parley—I acquaint you, Sir, that I design Lady Dinah, not for your Mother—but for your Wife:—and moreover, that the Marriage shall take place immediately!

Exit. A long Pause, staring at each other.

Bel.

So! so! so!—and is this the end of all the closetings?

Sir Ch.

What Confusion!—it must be all a Dream!

Geo.

Wife!—Lady Dinah my Wife.

Bel.

Ha! ha! ha!—Dear George, forgive me! but I must laugh, or I shall expire—ha! ha! ha! oh—my Cousin Dinah!

Geo.

Pray, Bella, spare your Mirth, and tell me what I am to do—for I am incapable of thinking.

Bel.

Do! why run to Lady Dinah! fling yourself at her feet, tell her you had no idea that the Bliss was designed for you!—and—ha! ha! ha!—that you’ll make her the tenderest, fondest, Husband in the world!

Geo.

Oh, Bella—for once forget your Sprightliness—I cannot bear it. Seymour! what am I to do?

Sir Ch.

My dear George, I pity you from my Soul—but, I know not what advice to give you.

Bel.

Well then, seriously; I think—but—ha! ha! ha! ’tis impossible to be serious! I am astonish’d you are not more struck with your Father’s tender Care of your future Fortune, and Felicity!

Geo.

Have you no Mercy, Bella?

Bel.

You have none upon yourself, or, instead of standing here, with that sorrowful countentance, you would be with Mr. Drummond.

Geo.

Ah!—He is indeed my only Resource, I’ll fly to him this instant; if that fails me—I am the most miserable man on Earth!

Exit. 65 F1r 65

Sir Ch.

What can induce Mr. Hargrave to sacrifice such a fellow as George—to a Lady Dinah!

Bel.

Her Rank and Fortune.—His god is Pluto, he forgets that the ancients deified also Love. I dread the lengths to which his Obstinacy may carry him. Let us find Harriet, and tell her the strange Story;—but—she is not the only person, I fear, to whom it will be painful.

Sir Ch.

Is it possible that Lady Dinah—in all the Profundity of the Sagacity which she gives herself credit for—can imagine such an union prudent?

Bel.

Come—be merciful!—No wonder that Love, which has made Philosophers forget their Systems, and Heroes their Valour, should make a woman—forget her Wrinkles!

Scene II.

The Garden. Enter Jarvis and Susan.

Jar.

Whu! ’tis a service of Danger. Shrugging his shoulders.

Sus.

Sure—you’ve no qualms!

Jar.

No no, child, no qualms;—but, though an affair of this sort would, in another region, make my Fortune, in this cold Northern Latitude there’s no room for the bold hits of a man of Genius.

Sus.

Oh, dont despair—there’s tolerable encouragement at home!

Jar.

Why yes—in the first instance; but then, we’ve an ill-manner’d custom, of a dozen people of dull Morals in a Jury box being inquisitive every now and then. What the Lawyers mean by Vacation I cant conceive; the fellows seem to be always upon the Stir, and make a man constantly ask himself—how will such an act tell next month at a trial? Vol. I. F 66 F1v 66 —However, I must venture!—Let us consider our foundation:—this Girl was placed under the care of the old gentleman by a person of credit—

Sus.

Pho! she only brought a Recommendation. Dont we know how easily a Character is to be had —of silver purity, or of golden brightness? ’Tis a wonder she did not obtain a Name too—I warrant she had sufficient reasons to conceal her own.

Jar.

It does look like it; there’s a Mystery in the affair. Now, our Lady, you know, has often condescended to tell us that the Philosophers say that we have a right of explaining mysteries as we please.

Sus.

Aye, to be sure; and this is the Explanation. —She is an artful Girl, who would rather be a fine Lady in real life than merely acting the Character on a Country Stage; and thinks the shortest way is by quitting it, and gaining the heart of some credulous Youngster, who’ll make her his wife for the sake of her Beauty.

Jar.

True—That with this view she told her story to Mr. Drummond, who—innocent soul—not seeing her drift, introduced her here, where she plays off her artillery on the gun-powder heart of George Hargrave, Esquire, the Younger.

Sus.

Delightful! My Lady will be quite in my power—I shall, in turn, be Mistress after this! And, now I think on’t, I believe, to obtain the fruits of it, I must continue to live with her—You and I can be married just the same you know!

Jar.

Oh just the same, my dear, just the same; nothing shall prevent that—( Aside. But my being able to coax you out of the Two Hundred!)

Sus.

Hark! here comes the Justice. Slip away, and leave me to manage him; I’ll, at least, so hoodwink him, that he shall be blind to our manœuvres, and lend a willing ear to our Proofs. You need not be jealous now.

Jar.

Jealous! no, no; I have none of your good sort of people’s vulgar feelings.

Exit. 67 F2r 67 Enter Justice.

Jus.

Aye, aye! have I caught you, my little picksey? come, no struggling—I will have a kiss, by Jingo.

Sus.

Prevents him Laws, you are the strangest Gentleman—

Jus.

You are mighty coy, methinks!

Sus.

Coy—so I should be. What have Gentlewomen, without Fortune, else to recommend them?

Jus.

Aye, but that rosy pouting mouth tells different tales I warrant to the fine gentlemen in London.

Sus.

Lawk! Sir, why dont you return to London? Lady Dinah speaks mightily of your Talents, and says, if you’ll try your Luck again, you need not be a Justice—but a Lawyer; and that, to make up for your not having Interest before, you shall have all her’s—when she is Lady Dinah Hargrave.—But pray! wont Mr. Drummond be in the way of all this, isn’t he against the Match?

Jus.

Oh, I know nothing of him—he’s queer and close. One can never get him in at a bout—he’s not staunch!

Sus.

I believe he is not staunch to our match; and, if that is prevented, we shall leave you in the Country directly!

Jus.

Who can prevent the match, Sweety?

Sus.

Perhaps Mr. Drummond;—he can manage Mr. Hargrave.

Jus.

Not so well as I can, I believe, you little sly rogue you!

Chucking her chin.

Sus.

Use all your Interest, and bring the match about; then we shan’t part—you little sly rogue you!

Chucking his chin.

Jus.

Oh, I’ll plead for the Wedding!

Sus.

Well, but that’s not all.—I dont like the young Stranger this same ’Squire got room for here!

F2 68 F2v 68

Jus.

Adad, the sparklings of her Eye fire one’s heart as if it were made of tinder.

Sus.

Upon my word! the sparklings of her eye!

Jus.

Oh—I dont mean—that is—Oh, I would rather have one kind look of thine, sweet Mrs. Sukey, than—

Sus.

Ah! I believe you’re a Coquette!—However, I think there are reasons for getting this sparkling Angel out of the house. I have observed looks, I dont like, between her and young Hargrave, and, you comprehend me, whatever interrupts the Marriage —we leave you!

Jus.

Let me see—and consider—and weigh—

Sus.

Not Scruples of Conscience—too nicely— Mr. Justice!

Jus.

Not if your Smiles should draw off my Attention—sweet Mrs. Sukey.

Sus.

You wont oppose, if we should show full grounds for sending her packing?

Jus.

Why, on the Honour of a Magistrate, I must oppose—if the grounds are clearly illegal;—to be sure the Law is not very apt to be clear—Come now, give me one kiss, you little, dear, cruel, soft, sweet, charming baggage.

Sus.

Oh, fie! you wont ask your wages before your contract is performed—

Runs off.

Jus.

following Stop—dont run so fast!—dont run so fast, Hussey—

Exit.

Scene III.

An Apartment at Hargrave’s. Enter Mr. Drummond and George.

Mr. D.

I wish I had known all this, before proceedings had gone so far. On a Subject of this nature, no woman can be affronted with Impunity.

Geo.

I am careless of her Resentment. I will never 69 F3r 69 be her Husband; nor husband to any woman—but her to whom I have given my vows.

Mr. D.

Ah! are your proceedings so forward?

Geo.

Yes, Sir; I have made the offer of my heart and hand; and, though her Delicacy forbids her to give, whilst our families remain unknown to each other, the assent my Heart aspires to—yet, she allows me to catch hopes, that I would not forfeit to become Master of the Universe.

Mr. D.

There’s a little of the Ardor of Youth in this—the Rashness of Youth, George. However, I will not blame you; many, who are now old and prudent, once would have entered the lists with equal ardor in competition for such an object.

Geo.

The more the better! I would bear off my lovely prize from amidst an embattled Phalanx.

Mr. D.

I dont restrain you George! I like to see a man romantic in Love and Friendship: he who is not an Enthusiast in those noble passions, has not a Mind of sufficient Strength—to rise hereafter into flights of Honour, Fortitude, and Patriotism.—But, begone! here comes your Father.

Geo.

May the Subject inspire you with resistless reasoning.

Exit. Enter Mr. Hargrave.

Mr. D.

So! Mr. Hargrave.

Mr. H.

So, Mr. Drummond; what, I guess your business!

Mr. D.

I suppose you do; and I hope you are prepared to hear me with Temper.

Mr. H.

You’ll talk to no purpose; for, like most who listen to Reason, I have already an unchangeable opinion.

Mr. D.

Strange Infatuation! why must George be sacrificed to your Ambition? Surely it may be gratified without marrying him to your Lady Dinah.

Mr. H.

How?

70 F3v 70

Mr. D.

By marrying her yourself, which, till now, all supposed to have been your design;—and that would have been sufficiently preposterous!

Mr. H.

What! make me, a second time, the Slave of Hysterics, and Vapours! no, no, it is his turn now; I have escaped, catch me again who can.— What, her Ladyship is not youthful enough for George—that’s the objection I suppose?

Mr. D.

True, and the consequent dissonance of their Minds; it would not be less reasonable to expect a compact between Fire and Water, than agreement in such a marriage.

Mr. H.

Pshaw!—I tell you the study of my life has been to make George—a Great Man; I brought Lady Dinah here with no other design. And now, when I thought the matter was brought to bear, when Lady Dinah had consented, and my son, as I supposed, was ready for the wedding—why! ’tis all a flam!

Mr. D.

My good friend—the motives, on which you would sacrifice your son’s Happiness, appear to me so weak—

Mr. H.

Weak!—why I have so managed, as to provide a wife for George who will make him perhaps one of the First Men in the kingdom!

Mr. D.

That is, she would make him a Court- Dangler—an attendant on Minister’s Levees—one whose Ambition is to be foster’d with the Cameleon food of Smiles and Nods, and who would receive a familiar squeeze with more rapture—than the Plaudits of a Nation!—You would transform An Independent English Gentleman into such a Being, and fancy you had made him—Great!

Mr. H.

Well, I’ll cut the Argument short;— George shall marry Lady Dinah, or never have an Acre of my Land, that’s all.

Mr. D.

And he never shall possess a Rood of mine if he does!

Crossing each other; and traversing the Stage. 71 F4r 71

Mr. H.

There, I thought ’twould come to this: what a Shame it is for a man to be so obstinate! (Aside. But hold! if so, I may lose more than I get by the bargain!—he’ll stick to his word.)

Enter Justice.

Jus.

I am very much surprized, Mr. Drummond, Sir, that I cant be let alone in the discharge of my Magisterial Duties, but must be continually thwarted by you!

Mr. D.

This Interruption, Mr. Justice, is ill-timed, and rather out of rule;—I could wish you had chosen another opportunity.

Jus.

You’ve a mighty right indeed, to complain of my not observing rules, Sir—you, who are continually breaking the Laws!

Mr. D.

Ha! ha! ha!—What hen-roost robbery have you to lay to my Charge now?

Jus.

Aye, Sir, you may think to turn it off by a Joke, if you please; but, for all that, I can prove you to be a bad member of Society—for you counteract the wise designs of our Legislators, and obstruct the Operations of Justice,—yes, Sir, you do!

Mr. H.

Dont be so warm. What is this affair?

Jus.

Why, the Poacher, whom we committed last night, Mr. Drummond has released, and given money to his Family! How can we expect a due Observance of our laws, when there is such shocking encouragement for breaking them?—Shall the Lords and Commons, in their Wisdom, assemble in Parliament to make Laws about Hares and Partridges— only to be laughed at?—’tis abominable!

Mr. H.

Very true! And let me tell you, Mr. Drummond, it is very extraordinary that you will be continually—

Mr. D.

Peace! ye men of Justice. I have all the regard for the Laws of my Country which it is the Duty, and the Interest, of every member of Society 72 F4v 72 to feel:—if the man had been a practised Poacher he should not have been protected by me;—the poor fellow found the Hare in his garden, which she had considerably injured—

Mr. H.

Oh—oh! What, the rascal justifies himself!—an unqualified man give Reasons for destroying a Hare!—Destruction! if a gang of ruffians should burn my house—would you expect me to hear their Reasons?

Jus.

(Aside. Aye, there it works! a quarrel between them may be useful Mistress Susan!)—There can be no reasons—if he had found her in his house— or on his table—and offered to touch her, I’d prosecute him for poaching.

Mr. D.

We were talking on a subject, Mr. Hargrave, of more importance, at present, than this; and I beg you’ll hear me further.

Mr. H.

Enough has been said already, Mr. Drummond!—or, if not, I’ll give you one Answer for all; —I shall never think myself obliged to study the Humour of a man who thinks in such opposition to me; I have a humour of my own, which I am determined to gratify in seeing George—a Great Man!—He shall marry Lady Dinah in two days; and all the Reasoning in the world, you will see, has less strength than my Resolution;—if I cant have the willing obedience of a Son, I’ll enjoy the Prerogatives of a Father.—Come along Justice.

Exit. The Justice following—returns.

Jus.

I did not know he was inclined to be so much up, Mr. Drummond, but I hope—

Mr. D.

Why dont you follow, Sir! Exit Justice. —My Son shall be—a Great Man!—To such a Vanity as this, how many have been sacrificed! The happiness of Love, the felicities of a suitable Union, his Heart may be a stranger to;—but he shall convey my name, deck’d with rank, to a Posterity I 73 F5r 73 shall never see, though for this he may live a wretch! —This is the selfish Motive which beings, supposed to be rational, mislead themselves to believe is— Paternal Care!—This is the silent language of the Heart, which they persuade themselves is the dictate of Reason and of Prudence— Enter Emily. Miss Morley!—why this pensive air?

Em.

I am distressed, Sir. The delicacy of the motive, which induced you to place me here, I am perfectly sensible of—yet—

Mr. D.

Yet, what my dear child?

Em.

Do not think me capricious, if I entreat you to take me back to your own house, till my Uncle arrives.—I cannot think of remaining here.

Mr. D.

(Aside.—’Tis then as I hoped.)—What can have disgusted you?—Come, be frank; consider me as a friend to whom you can safely open your Heart.

Em.

Your goodness, Sir, is excessive.—If I must explain myself, the Lady who will soon have most right here treats me unkindly.

Mr. D.

That you cannot wonder at. Be assured, I will effectually defend you from her insults. But —do you not pity poor George for the fate his father designs for him?

Em.

Yes——I do pity him.

Mr. D.

If I dared—I would go still further—I would hope that, as his Happiness depends on you—

Em.

Sir!

Mr. D.

Let me not alarm you. I am acquainted with his Love for you—May I know that it is not displeasing to you?

Em.

So circumstanced, Sir—what can I say?— He is destined to be the husband of another.

Mr. D.

It is enough. I pledge myself to you from this moment, and promise to effect your happiness,74 F5v 74 ness, if within the compass of my abilities or Fortune. But, that I may know my task—favour me with the key to your Uncle’s Character.

Em.

My Uncle—Sir—possesses a heart that would do him honour, if he would be guided by it. But, unhappily, he has conceived an opinion that his Temper is too flexible—that he is too easily persuaded; and the Consequence is, he’ll never be persuaded at all.

Mr. D.

I am sorry to hear that; a man who is positive from such a mistake, must be in the most incurable stage of obstinacy. Howver, we’ll attack this man of Might; his inflexibility shall be besieged, and if it wont capitulate, we’ll undermine it.

Em.

Ah, Sir! my Uncle is in a state of mind ill prepared for yielding.—He returned from Spain, with eager pleasure, to his native country; but, the Disgust he has conceived at the alteration of Manners, which he supposes to have taken place, during his absence, has given him an Impatience that you will hardly be able to combat.

Mr. D.

Take Courage! Let me, for the present, lead you back to your companions. I am obliged to be absent, it is but for a short time; I’ll watch over you, and, if possible, lead you to Happiness.

Exit, leading Emily. Enter Mr. Hargrave and Lady Dinah.

Mr. H.

Aye, aye—Mr. Drummond’s fine feelings have produced an adventure in my family indeed! And yet, I am a little puzzled—a Stroller—

Lady D.

It is, doubtless, an extraordinary Story, Mr. Hargrave—and I beg you will yourself question my servant concerning it.

Mr. H.

Why, what can the Design be?

Lady D.

To you I should imagine the Design must be very obvious, though Mr. Drummond’s penetration was so easily eluded. By assuming the airs and manners of a person of station, she doubtless 75 F6r 75 expects to carry some young heir on a Northern Jaunt, Mr. Hargrave!

Mr. H.

Oh!—now, I understand your Ladyship! If your man can prove what he asserts, be assured she shall not stay in my house another moment.— We have no Young Heir to spare, here.

Lady D.

But consider, dear Mr. Hargrave—before you take any steps in this affair—that ’tis possible we may have been deceived. For, though my servant avows he is sure of her—yet, he may be mistaken—

Mr. H.

Oh, Lady Dinah—I shall see into that immediately.

Enter Justice.

Jus.

(Aside. Why the Gipsey seems to have found out a Charge against her, with a vengeance).—Where does my Clerk stay with Burn!—But, I know I am right;—yes, yes—’tis a clear case. By the Statute Anno primo Caroli Secundi, obtaining goods on false pretences is felony—with Benefit—h-r-r-m—with Benefit—Goes to the Side. Tell my Clerk to bring up Burn, and the Young Man to the Witness—d’ye hear?—Now, obtaining Entrance into Houses, upon false pretences, must be worse.—I have no doubt that it amounts to a Burglary, and that I shall be authorized to commit— Enter Jarvis, and the Justice’s Clerk. Here Witness, do you stand there. The Clerk gives him Burn’s Justice—In the first place—settling his Wig—in the first place, how old are you?

Mr. H.

Fiddle de dee—What signfies how old he is?

Jus.

Why, yes it does—for—if he is not of Age competent—

Mr. H.

Pshaw, Pshaw—I’ll examine him myself 76 F6v 76 The Justice pores over Burn. How long is it since you left the Strollers you was engaged with?

Jar.

It is about two years since I had the Honour of being taken into my Lady’s service—I had left the Company a month.

Mr. H.

And did you leave the young Lady in the Company, when you quitted it?

Jar.

Yes, Sir; and I have never seen her since, till now.

Mr. H.

I am strangely puzzled—I dont know what to think—

Jus.

It is indeed a difficult Case—a very difficult case—Burn says, in his chapter on Vagrants

Mr. H.

Prithee be silent—this time you are not likely to clear up matters.

Jus.

A Justice be silent!—A silent Justice!—a pretty thing indeed—close the mouth of the Law!

Mr. H.

What does your Ladyship advise?

Lady D.

I advise! I dont advise, Mr. Hargrave!

Jus.

Why then let the Parties be confronted.

Mr. H.

Aye,—let the parties be confronted.—

Rings

Jar.

Aye, aye, let us see one another! when I have once accused her a little—she’ll be too much dash’d to be able to deny the Charge!

Enter Servant.

Mr. H.

Go and tell my Daughter, that I desire she’ll bring her Visitant here—the young Lady.

Exit Servant.

Jar.

(Aside. Two glasses of Brandy—and tremble yet! I wish I’d swallowed the third Bumper!)

Enter Harriet and Emily.

Har.

Robert informs us, Sir, that you request our attendance.

Mr. H.

Yes, Harriet—I did send Robert—’Tis 77 F7r 77 about an odd affair—I had rather—but I dont know. Pray, Madam, be so kind as to tell us if you know any thing of that person?—Pointing to Jarvis.

Em.

No, Sir, I believe not—I do not recollect— —I may have seen him before.

Jar.

Humph!—What, Miss Jenny! you dont recollect—what have you forgot your old companion William Jarvis?

Em.

I do not remember indeed that I was ever honoured with such a companion; and the mistake you have made in my Name convinces me I never was.

Jar.

Poh, poh! This wont do now! You was always a good Actress; but, you know when we are not on the Stage—we come down from our Stilts, and talk in our own proper persons.—Why sure, you will not pretend to forget our Adventures at Colchester—or the affair of the blue Domino at Warwick?

Emily expresses the utmost Surprise.

Har.

Dear Sir, nothing is more evident than that the man has mistaken this Lady for another person. I hope you’ll permit us to go, without enduring more impertinence.

Mr. H.

If he is mistaken――I dont know what to say—’tis a perplexing business. But, I wish you would be so kind as to answer the man, Madam.

Em.

Astonishment has kept me silent until now Sir—and I must be silent in future;—I have not been taught to make Defences!

Enter George, behind Jarvis.

Jar.

Dear Ma’am, why surely you have not forgot how often you have been my Roxana, and I your Alexander?

Geo.

Hark ye, Sir!—Dare utter another Word to that Lady, and I’ll be your Destruction;—leave the room, Rascal, this instant.

Mr. H.

You are too hot, George. He shall stay; 78 F7v 78 and since things are gone so far, I’ll sift the story thoroughly. If the young Gentlewoman is not what he represents her, she has nothing to fear.—Speak boldly; where did you last see that Lady?

Jus.

Aye, speak boldly; give her a few more Circumstances—perhaps some of them may hit;—People on occasions of this sort want their Memories refreshed.

Geo.

Surely, Sir, you cannot allow this—

Mr. H.

I do allow, Sir—and, if you cant be silent, leave the room.

Jus.

Aye, Sir, or else you’ll be committed for Contempt of Court!—Now, for your Name, child, your Name, and that of your family?

Em.

The Name of my Family—demanded on such an occasion—I think myself bound to conceal. My silence on that subject, hitherto, arose from a point of Delicacy, and that motive is now greatly strengthened. I refuse to discover a Name which my rash conduct may subject to temporary disgrace.

Jus.

Oh—Oh!—the Proof’s clear, for, she refuses to answer Interrogatories!

Geo.

Sir, I cannot be a silent witness of these Insults.—Your presence, Lady Dinah, supports that Rascal, or he should feel the immediate Effects of my resentment.

Lady D.

Your resentment will be unnecessary, Sir. If he is not supported by Truth—I shall take care that he is properly punished.

Enter Servant.

Serv.

A Gentleman, in a Coach and four, is at the Gates—his name is Morley.

Em.

Ah!—’tis my Uncle!—Now, Sir, you will be satisfied concerning my Family—and I no longer dread his presence!

Exeunt Emily Harriet and Servant. 79 F8r 79

Mr. D.

to Lady D. Her Uncle, Lady Dinah! —What means all this?

Exit.

Lady D.

Mean!—(Nothing—madness!—(Aside.

Jus.

(Aside. The Niece of a man who keeps a Coach and four! What, Mistress Susan, all Invention!—sly Cupid blinded me, or I should have seen clearer.) How’s all this—I must enquire—and—

Going.

Geo.

Stay Sir, we have not done with you yet; you have another Office yet to perform—what says your Oracle Burn to such a Fellow as this, Justice?

Jus.

Aye, you rascal—’tis now your turn! Thou art a Vilifier, a Cheat, an Impostor!—’tis a downright Conspiracy.—The Niece of a man who keeps a Coach and four!—why how dost think to escape?—thou’lt cut a noble figure in the Pillory, Mr. Alexander the Great!

Jar.

Sir—your honours—I humbly crave pardon for my mistake—the likeness is so strong I could have sworn the Lady had been my old acquaintance—but, I implore pardon;—my Lady!

Lady D.

The dilemma into which you have deceived me excites my warmest Resentment. Expect no protection from me;—from this moment I discharge you from my Service.

Geo.

Since your Ladyship gives him up, he has no protection—who’s there?— Enter Servants.Secure this fellow, until I have leisure to enquire into the Origin of this affair—he is only an Agent I am convinced!

Jar.

Why, age, Sir—(Aside. But I am dumb, or —we shall lose the reward!)—I implore your Honour! ’twas but a Mistake.

Geo.

Away with him!

Exeunt Servants with Jarvis.

Lady D.

(Aside. Ah! are you suspicious, Sir!— I hope Susan has not disobey’d me, and put me into Jarvis’s power—I must be sure of that!)

Exit.

Jus.

’Tis a Conspiracy, that’s certain—and will, I believe, come under Scan Magscandalum magnatum—for ’tis a most scandalous80 F8v 80 ous Libel!—But, let me see—it can be no Libel—for ’tis a false story—if it had been true—aye, then indeed —if it had been true!—but, I’ll retire home to my Study, and Rubbing his forehead consult Burn without disturbance—and find out the meaning of what he says; you shall know it I warrant ye!

Exit, with his Clerk.

Geo.

Surely, surely she must have been privy to this infamous plot!—My Fate is at its Crisis—Mr. Morley’s arrival determines it.—At this moment, my Fortitude forsakes me, I tremble to meet the man, on whose Caprice depends all my Interest in Existence!

Exit.
81 G1r 81

Act the Fifth.

Scene I.

An Apartment. Enter Mr. Morley and Emily.

Mor.

A pretty freak indeed! a pretty freak, in return for all the Care and Attention with which I have watched over you!—I have broke with the Doctor, for his share in this romantic affair.

Em.

I am much concerned, Sir, that his Compassion on my distress should have led that worthy man to have taken any step that you can think unpardonable. But, when he found that he could not move my Resolution, he thought it his Duty to provide me with a retreat amongst persons of reputation.

Mor.

—A Retreat!—So, whilst I was condemning my sweet, innocent, niece for Stubborness, Wilfulness, and Ingratitude, she was only gone to a—Retreat! to sit I warrant ye under Elms, listen to the cawing of rooks, and carve her melancholy Story on the young bark.

Em.

I am glad you can be so sportive with my unhappiness, Sir; where you jest with misery, you always design to lessen it.

Mor.

Aye—that wont do. The Easiness of my Temper has been my misfortune; I never made a mistake in Trade in my life myself never—but, have been persuaded, and led to listen to Advice, until I Vol. I. G 82 G1v 82 have been half ruined. But, I’ll be resolute now, for your sake!

Em.

Surely, Sir—

Mor.

Aye, aye, I understand that speaking face —there is not a line in it but calls me cruel! But pray, Madam, what is it in Baldwin that so particularly displeases your Fancy?

Em.

His person is ungraceful, his manner assuming, and his mind effeminate.

Mor.

And is not this the description of four fifths of the young men of the age?—but, he has four thousand a year, that’s not quite so common a circumstance.—Come, take the pencil again, lay on coarser colours, or you wont convince me, considering the Times, that the picture is a bad one.

Em.

(Aside. Ah! if I could urge his merit, how different is Mr. Hargrave!)—You have heard my objections so often, Sir, that the repetition can have no weight. But, surely I may urge my Happiness.

Mor.

Oh, I intend to secure that—therefore, John, order my Carriage up, we are going directly.—The very moment we reach Grosvenor Street, though you dont deserve it, the indissoluble tie with Baldwin must take place. He is now waiting with the Parson at his elbow; we’ll away as quickly as if Cupid was our Coachman.—If you fancy that the horses are too quick, ’tis only to extend your fancy, and suppose that I hate Baldwin—that you are therefore driving to Scotland with him—and I pursuing; —why the horses will move so slowly, you’ll be ready to swear they dont gallop above three rood an hour!

Em.

I intreat you, Sir, stay—at least till to-morrow! —(Aside. Oh, where is Mr. Drummond?)

Mor.

Not a moment!

Em.

You have not yet seen Mr. Drummond, Sir, to whom I am so much obliged.

Mor.

I have made enquiries, and have heard a very extraordinary Character of him; we can make him acknowledgments by Letter—and you may send him 83 G2r 83 Gloves.—I know your design, you hope he will be able to talk me out of my Resolution, and, perhaps I may be a little afraid of it myself; and so, to avoid that danger, we’ll go directly.

Em.

’Tis so late, Sir; and the night is dark. (Aside. Yet, why should I wish to stay here!)

Mor.

No more trifling! Conduct me to the family, that we may take leave. If you complain of this as an act of Tyranny in me, be comforted child— it is the last; to-morrow morning I shall be the most obedient of my dear Niece Baldwin’s humble servants.

Exeunt. Enter George, and Sir Charles.

Geo.

In great Agitation. To be reserved in Assistance at such a moment—talk to me of Prudence when I must be half frantic if I am human! Though he who can be discreet, as to his own Interest, when his Friend’s happiness is at stake, may gain the approbation of his own Judgment—my Heart renounces him!—Where can Mr. Drummond be?

Sir Ch.

I am at your Command in every thing—I ask you only to reflect.

Geo.

Well! and what’s the Result of reflection? —that, in a few hours, she will be irrecoverably another’s—lost to me for ever!

Sir Ch.

What, then, is your precise resolution?

Geo.

There is but one way—she is on the very point of a precipice, from which, if I do not snatch her in an instant, nothing can retrieve her.—Let your carriage attend them, at some distance, with our Servants; we will follow on horseback;—I’ll force her from this Tyrant Uncle, carry her instantly to Dover, and, in a few hours breathe at her feet in sweet Security in France.

Sir Ch.

Considering that your plan is an Impromptu, I admire its Consistency.—But, my dear George, have you weighed all its Consequences?—your Father—

G2 84 G2v 84

Geo.

Will possibly disinherit me; be it so—I have six hundred a Year independent of his Will; and six hundred a year in France, with Emily Morley— Paradise!

Sir Ch.

Pity the days of Chivalry are over, or, what Applause might’st thou not expect—adventurous Knight!

Geo.

Come! we’ve not a moment to lose—let us get our people ready, to follow the instant the carriage sets out.

Sir Ch.

But, George—I’ll not accompany you a step after the Lady is under your care:—for, if your Father should suspect that I have any hand in the enlevement, I can hope for no Success when I ask for my Charming Harriet!

Geo.

Agreed—let me have your chaise, and leave me to my fortune—I will not endanger your happiness; this key will let you back at the garden door— you may give fifty reasons for your short absence.— Now, Cupid, Venus, Jupiter, and Juno— descend to our assistance!

They hurry out. Enter Lady Dinah.

Lady D.

She’s gone! and my Alarms are at an end. After all, what passed in the garden was mere gallantry, and the effects of her Art; he suffered her Uncle to carry her off, with an abstinence that transports me;—it is plain I had never the least Foundation for my fears. How weak I have been, to allow my Credulity to be imposed upon, and my Temper ruffled, at a time when it was of so much importance to me—to have been serene!

Enter Susan.

Sus.

Oh, my Lady!—she’s gone! thanks to the delightful obstinacy of the old Uncle. It was well Mr. Drummond wasn’t here, I was afraid—

85 G3r 85

Lady D.

Your intrusive Joy wears a familiar aspect!—I know she’s gone.

Sus.

I beg pardon, my Lady—I thought I might congratulate your Ladyship on her being carried off. —I was terribly afraid—

Lady D.

Yes, you have had fears sufficiently extraordinary! You ought to have known that the man— whom I had received as a Lover—could have felt passion, but for a moment, for such a girl as that!

Sus.

(Aside. So! so! so! how soon our spirits are got up!) I’m sure, my Lady, ’twasn’t I who caused the interview in the Wood to-day, which so enraged you, and confirmed your fears; you was ready enough then to believe all that was said against him!

Lady D.

How! do you presume to reproach me with the Error into which you led me! by your fears I was governed, and not my own.—And your useless Plot, too, was as absurd as your fears.

Sus.

Useless plot! my Lady, as to that, I am sure it was a good one—and would have sent her packing even though the Uncle had not come. ’Twasn’t our fault he came. We have had the same trouble, and —Service is no Inheritance—and I hope your Ladyship will consider—

Lady D.

How dare you think of a reward for implicating me in a scheme—not precisely submitted to my Discrimination!—If you obtain my Pardon, you ought to be highly gratified. Leave me, Insolent, this moment!

Sus.

Muttering. Ha! do you venture to use me in this manner;—I am glad you have betrayed yourself, when I can yet take a severe Revenge!—However harmless the Plot which you instigated may have been to others—you shall find it mischievous enough to yourself!

Lady D.

Stand not muttering there—retire from my Presence! Exit Susan. But—I have gone too far. —Now must I court my Servant! to forgive the resentment86 G3v 86 sentment which her assumptive Impertinence occasioned. Well; ’tis but for a short time—the Marriage over, and I have done with her! I must retire now, to recover my Composure.—Perhaps he’ll visit me, but not to talk of Veneration and Respect again! —Oh, how I’ll torment him for that, and his Adventure! nothing gives a woman such fine means of plaguing her Lover as an Affectation of Jealousy; if she actually feels it, she is his Slave; but, whilst she affects it—his Tyrant!

Exit. Enter Bella and Harriet.

Har.

How very unfortunate that Mr. Drummond is absent. He would have opposed the reasoning of Lady Dinah, and prevented their departure. Never any thing was so distressing!

Bel.

Oh, there’s no bearing it. Your Father is quite a manageable being, compared to this odd provoking mortal—whose imagined Flexibility withstands art, reason, every thing!

Har.

Never shall I forget the Look which she gave me, wild, yet composed, agonized, though calm, as her Uncle led her out.—I wonder where Sir Charles is? he passed me in the Hall, saying, hastily, he must tear himself away for half an hour.

Bel.

I wonder rather where your Brother is?— Enter Sir Charles. —oh, here’s one of our truants, but where’s the other? poor George I suppose is binding his brow with willows.

Sir Ch.

That’s not George’s stile in love; he doesn’t cross his arms, and talk to his shadow, when he may employ his hours to more advantage.

Bel.

What do you mean?

Har.

Where is my Brother!

87 G4r 87

Sir Ch.

On the road to France.

Both.

France!

Sir Ch.

Unless Mr. Morley has as much Activity as obstinacy;—for George is in Advance of him, after having made Capture of his Niece.

Bel.

Oh! how I doat on his Knight Errantry! He is the true Lover, who, instead of patiently submitting to circumstances, boldly seizes on Fortune, and governs the accidents which he cannot avoid.

Har.

How can you praise such conduct, Bella? I, tremble for the Consequences!

Sir Ch.

What consequences, Harriet, can alarm him, who snatches the woman he loves from the fate she dreads?

Enter Servant, hastily.

Serv.

My Master is returned—the Lady fainted in the chaise—and he has brought her, by a cross-road, to Mr. Drummond’s.

Sir Ch.

Ruin! Is Mr. Drummond at home?

Serv.

No Sir. And Mr. Morley is come back too; he drove through the gates this minute.

Bel.

Then, George will lose her at last! he erred in not pursuing his route.

Sir Ch.

He has no chance now, but through Mr. Drummond; and what can he hope from him, who has to combat the passions of three people, with no weapon but Reason!

Bel.

There they are!—and Mr. Hargrave as loud as his Huntsman.

Har.

Let us hurry to the parlour, and then we can send Intelligence of what passes to George!

Exeunt.
Scene II. 88 G4v 88

Scene II.

Another Apartment. Enter Mr. Morley and Mr. Hargrave.

Mor.

Yes, yes, ’tis Fact, matter of Fact—upon my Credit! You Son was actually the person who took her out of the coach!

Mr. H.

Sir, it is impossible. My Son! why, he is under engagements that would make it madness.

Mor.

Then Sir, you may depend upon it the Fit is on him now; for he clapt Emily into a chaise— whilst an impudent Puppy fasten’d on me. By Hercules! twenty years ago, I’d have given him sauce to his Cornish hug. His face I could not discern— but the other’s I’ll swear to.

Mr. H.

George! look for George there! I’ll convince you, Sir, instantly. Enter Harriet. —where’s George?

Harriet.

Sir, my Brother is at Mr. Drummond’s?

Mr. H.

There! I knew it could not be George; though you would not be persuaded.

Mor.

What a plague—you cant persuade me out of my Senses. Your Son, I aver, took her out of the coach—with her own consent no doubt—and on an honorable design without doubt—Sir, I give you Joy of your daughter.

Mr. H.

Whether they live on their honour, or starve by it—not a single sous shall they have from me. But, I wont yet believe my George could be such a fool.

Mor.

Fool! Sir—the man who loves Emily gives no proof of Folly either. But, she shall be punished 89 G5r 89 for her’s. ’Twas a concerted affair, I see it plainly, all agreed upon—but she shall repent!

Mr. H.

Your Resentment, Sir, is extremely extraordinary.—I must tell you that my Son’s ancestry, or the Estate to which he is Heir, if he has not forfeited it by Disobedience, are not objects for the Contempt of any man.

Mor.

They are objects to which I shall never be reconciled. What! have I been toiling these thirty years in Spain, to make my Niece a Match for any man in England, but to have her Fate determined by an adventure in a Post-Chaise; an evening’s Frolic for a young Spark, who had nothing to do but to push the old fellow into a corner, and whisk off with the Girl? Sir, if there was not another man in the kingdom, your son should not have my consent to marry Emily.

Mr. H.

And if there was not another woman in England, I would suffer the name of Hargrave to be annihilated, rather than he should be husband to your Niece!

They walk about in great Anger. Enter Mr. Drummond.

Mr. D.

Gone! Her Uncle been here, and the amiable girl gone! What Infatuation, Mr. Hargrave, could render you so blind to the happiness that awaited your family? I’ll follow this obdurate man, —where’s George—look for George there—

Mr. H.

There, Sir, that’s the person to whom you must address your complaints.

Mr. D.

I have made discoveries of such a fraud practised upon you as must have shaken even your Prejudices—to Hargrave. But this Uncle! surely, my dear Harriet, you might have prevailed.

Harriet.

Sir, this Gentleman is Mr. Morley;— Mr. Drummond, Sir.

Mr. D.

Ah! I beg pardon Sir, I am rejoiced to see you; I understood you were gone.

90 G5v 90

Mor.

I was gone, Sir; but I was robbed of my Niece on the road; she was taken out of my coach; which forced me to return.

Mr. D.

What—carried off?

Mr. H.

Aye Sir, carried off by George, whom you have trained to such a knowledge of his Duty.

Mor.

Stopped on the King’s Highway, Sir, by the fiery youth, and my Niece dragg’d from my side.

Mr. D.

Ah—ah!—admirable!

Mr. H.

What’s this right too? Human Patience wont bear this!

Mr. D.

Where are they?

Harriet.

At your house, Sir.

Mor.

What a country I am returned to! Can a person of your Age and Character approve of—

Mr. H.

Let George do what he will—he’s sure of his Approbation.

Mr. D.

Gentlemen, if you are sure Miss Morley is at my house, I am Patience itself—under all attacks!

Mor.

Sir, I’m resolved to—

Enter Lady Dinah. Exit Harriet, frightened.

Lady D.

So, Mr. Hargrave! So Sir! what your Son—this new Insult deprives me of Utterance!— Your Son! What is the Reason of this complicated outrage?

Mr. H.

My dear Lady Dinah, I am as much enraged as you can be—but, he shall fulfil his Engagements—depend on it he shall.

Mor.

Engagements! What the young Gentleman was engaged too!

Lady D.

To Mr. Hargrave Your honour is concerned, Sir; if I was sure he was drawn in by the Girl’s art, and that he was convinced of the Impropriety—

91 G6r 91

Mor.

Drawn in by the Girl’s Art! Whatever cause I may have to be offended with my Niece’s conduct Madam, no person must speak of her with contempt in my presence. I presume this Gentleman’s son was engaged to your Daughter; but that’s not a sufficient reason for—

Lady D.

Daughter!—No, Sir, ’twas to me that he was engaged;—and but for the Arts of your Niece—

Mor.

To you!—A matrimonial engagement between that Young Fellow and You! Nay then, I dont wonder at your Rage—a disappointment in Love, at your time of Life, must be the Devil.

Lady D.

Mr. Hargrave, do you suffer me to be thus insulted?—

Mr. H.

Why, my Lady, we must bear something from the Gentleman—the mistake we made about his Niece was a very awkward affair.

Mr. D.

To Lady D. And, in consequence of that affair, I must now entreat you—without making it necessary for me to take upon myself a most disagreeable task—to retire from this family. If you compel me to explain myself—

Lady D.

What new Insolence is this?

Mr. D.

I would spare you, my Lady—but, you are not inclined to spare yourself. Blush then, whilst I accuse you of entering into a base league with your Servants, to drive an amiable young Lady from the protection of Mr. Hargrave’s family!

Mr. H.

Aside What!—in League with her servants?

Lady D.

And, how dare you accuse me of this? am I to answer for my Servant’s conduct!

Mr. D.

Their wickedness I have lately learnt is but a natural result from the Principles with which you have disported yourself in poisoning their minds. Led from behind the protection of religion, they were left without support against Temptations to which, Madam, you know Philosophy opposes its shield in vain.

92 G6v 92

Lady D.

(Aside. I fell his Superiority to my inmost Soul!—but, he shall not see his triumph.)— Is it Virtue, Sir, that prompts you to induce Mr. Hargrave to break through every tie of honour— through the most solemn of engagements!

Mr. D.

I have just heard these convenient terms prostituted too by your Servants, as they reproached you with not keeping your Engagements to them.

Lady D.

Aside Ah!—am I then betrayed?

Enter George, leading Emily.

Geo.

Miss Morley, Sir, commanded me to lead her to you. I cannot ask you to pardon a rashness of which I do not repent.

Mr. H.

Then I shall make you, I fancy.

Mor.

Ah! did you really insist on returning to me?

Em.

I left Mr. Drummond’s, Sir, the moment I knew you were here.

Mor.

I’ll not forget it. Come child, the coach is at the door, and we must make speed to retrieve our lost time. But, have a care, young Gentleman, though I pardon your extravagance once, a second attempt shall find me prepared for your reception.

Geo.

If Miss Morley consents to go with you, Sir, you have no second attempt to fear. But,—to Emily in this Crisis of our Fate, I publicly intreat you to accept the eternal Love which I swear to you!

Mor.

So, so, so!

Mr. H.

What, without my Leave!

Lady D.

Amazing!

All together.

Em.

At such a moment as this, meanly to disguise my sentiments would be unworthy of the woman to whom you pay such a tribute. I therefore frankly confess that the only bar to my acceptance of your proferred Love is—the want of their Consent who have a right to dispose of us.

93 G7r 93

Mor.

That you will not have frank Madam—so no more Ceremonies, but away.

Seizing her arm, and going off.

Mr. D.

Impenetrable man! I have discovered Sir, that your Niece is the Daughter of Major Morley—one of the earliest friends of my youth. He would not have inflicted the distress she now endures: I will be a Father to his orphan family, and ensure the Felicity of two children on the point of being sacrificed to the Ambition and Avarice of those, on whose hearts nature has engraven Duties which they wilfully misunderstand.

Lady D.

What! are you not content with the insults you have offered to me and Mr. Hargrave, but you must interfere with this Gentleman in the disposal of his Niece!

Mr. H.

There’s never any stopping him—he knows not how to value the Authority of a Parent.

Mr. D.

But, I will show that I know how to perform its Duties! And, whilst you, mistaken men, condemn these to misery for Life, the Happiness they vainly claim from you—they shall receive from me. On Miss Morley I will settle the jointur’d land of my departed wife—and George shall now partake that Fortune, to which I have already made him Heir.

Mr. H.

What can these Servants have told him, that makes him so warm? It is time that I should hear their tale!

Exit, unperceived by Lady Dinah.

Mor.

Why, Sir, this is Friendship indeed! settle Estates!—I am glad Brother Tom had Prudence enough to form such a Connection—’twas seldom he minded the Main Chance;—instead of that, Honour and running after ragged colours with a greasy knapsack were—

Mr. D.

Hold, Sir! I have served! and love the Profession. The Army is not more the school of Honour, than of every Generous Passion. A British Soldier is fellow-citizen with the whole World; 94 G7v 94 he feels that every man of Character is his Friend and Brother—except in the moment in which he is the Enemy of his Sovereign; and, when his sword had made his foe his Captive, the Urbanity of his Heart—gains a willing Subject to his country!

Mor.

Nay, if you have all this Romance, I dont wonder at your proposal.—However, though your Lands might have been necessary for Mr. Morley’s Daughter—my Niece, if she marries with my consent, shall be obliged to no other man for a Fortune.

Lady D.

The Insolence of making me witness all this—is become insupportable!—Is this you, Sir, who this very morning paid your Vows to me!

Geo.

Your Pardon for the Error of the morning; I imagined myself paying my devoirs to a Lady who was to become—my Mother!

Lady D.

Your Mother! Sir—your Mother!— Mr. Hargrave?—where is Mr. Hargrave?

Enter Mr. Hargrave.

Mr. H.

I am here, my Lady—and have just heard a tale of so atrocious a nature from your servants, that I would not, for half my Estate, that such an affair should have happened in my family.

Lady D.

And can you believe the Malice?

Mr. H.

Indeed I do.

Lady D.

Mr. Drummond’s Arts have then succeeded!

Mr. H.

Your arts have not my Lady, and you have no chance for a Husband now, I believe, unless you can prevail upon George—to make a Runaway match with You!

Lady D.

Insolent Wretches!—Order my Equipage!—Beneath this roof I will not stay another moment. When Persons, of my Rank, thus condescend to mix with Plebeians—like a Phœnix, that appears within the ken of common birds they are stared at 95 G8r 95 and flouted, till, to escape from the Insults of Ignorance and Envy, they are forced to ascend again to their proper region!

Exit. As Lady Dinah goes off, George fixes his eye on his Father; and points after her.

Mr. H.

catching George’s hand. My dear Boy, I believe we were wrong here, and I am heartily glad we have escaped. But, I suppose you’ll forgive and forget, when I tell you I have no objection to your endeavouring to prevail on this Gentleman.

Geo.

Nothing, dear Sir, can diminish the most unbounded Gratitude for the permission. Now—may I hope Sir—

Mor.

Hope, Sir!—Upon my word I dont know what to say;—you have contrived to carry affairs to such a length, that asking my consent, I begin to perceive, is become but matter of Form.

Mr. H.

I, for my part, begin to find out, Sir, that, in some cases, Children should lead. But— pray keep me in countenance, that I may’nt think I yielded too soon.

Mr. D.

To become a very joyous Circle, your Consent, Sir, is all we want. Let us prevail upon you to permit your beloved Emily to receive the Addresses of my Godson, and, for many happy years hence, your Memory will recur to his boldness on the road, as the most fortunate rencontre of your life.—You shall come and live amongst us, and we will study to reconcile you to your native Country; amidst the degeneracy which may exist, we will find room enough to act virtuously, and in England to enjoy the Rewards of virtue—more securely than in any other part of the Earth.

Mor.

Sir, I like you; promise me your Friendship, and you shall dispose of my Niece.

Mr. D.

I accept the condition with pleasure.

Mor.

Well—here I am—as usual—persuaded out of my resolution—a perfect proverb for Flexibility!

Geo.

Oh, Sir, permit me—

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Mor.

Nay, indulge not in Joy too soon. Now you have got me on your side, Emily begins to feel her usual reluctace to a choice of mine—eh? what say you?

Em.

The proof I have given of my sentiments, Sir, shows that in displaying reluctance I should make a vain attempt to disguise my feelings.

Geo.

Enchanting Frankness! my heart, through life, will thank you.—But, what shall I say to you To Drummond—to you, Sir, to whom I already owe—

Mr. D.

Nothing. The Heart, George, must have some Attachments—mine has for many years been center’d in you; if I have struggled for your happiness ’twas to gratify myself.

Geo.

Oh, Sir, why will you continually excite feelings—to which you refuse Utterance?—Seymour, behold in me the happiest of men!

Sir Ch.

May your Bliss, my dear George, be as permanent as it is great!—Allow me Sir to Mr. Hargrave to seize this propitious moment to ask your consent to a second union. I’ll prove George’s exclusive claim a vain boast—if you permit me to entreat Miss Hargrave for her hand.

Mr. H.

Sir Charles, there was no moment in which I should not have heard this request with pleasure. Why, Harriet—I perceive no Anger in your eye at Sir Charles’s request!

Har.

Your Harriet, Sir, is spared the pain of feeling reluctance—to that which gives you so much pleasure!

Bel.

Upon my word you look quite insulting with your happiness. I seem quite a deserted damsel amongst ye! But—I chance to have received a Letter, which informs me—that a certain person—

Geo.

Of the name of—Belville

Bel.

Be quiet!—is landed at Dover, and posting hither—with all the saucy Confidence our Engagement inspires him with.

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Mr. D.

Say you so? Then we’ll have all the Weddings celebrated in one day.

Bel.

Oh, mercy!—I wont hear of it. To love may be endurable—but to honour! and obey! ’tis strange we never had Interest enough to get the ungallant Form mended.

Mr. D.

The Vow, my dear Bella, in the Marriage Ceremony, was prudently introduced for common apprehensions. But Love—in refined minds—excites a train of sweet Attentions, which, without the Alloy of feeling that a mere Contract is performed, are bestowed with constant delight! May those who are entering on this state—You—and You to Bella significantly and You to the Audience possess the blissful envied lot of—Married Lovers!

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Epilogue.

Written by Garrick.

Spoken by Bella.

post haste from Italy arrives my Lover!

Shall I to you, good friends, my Fears discover?

Should Foreign Modes his virtues mar and mangle,

And Caro Sposo prove—Sir Dingle Dangle,

No sooner joined than separate we go,

Abroad, we never shall each other know,

At Home, I mope above—he’ll pick his teeth below.

In sweet domestic Chat we ne’er shall mingle.

And, wedded though I am, shall still live single.

However modish, I detest this plan:

For me no maukish creature, weak and wan,

He must be English, and an english Man.

To Nature and his Country false and blind

Should Belville dare to twist his form and mind,

I will discard him: and, to Britain true,

A Briton chuse—and, may be, one of You!

Nay—dont be frighten’d—I am but in jest,

Free Men, in Love, or War, should ne’er be press’d.

If you would know my utmost expectation,

’Tis one unspoil’d by travell’d education;

With Knowledge, Taste, much Kindness, and some Whim,

Good Sense to govern me—and let me govern him:

Great love of me must keep his heart from roving,

Then I’ll forgive him, if he proves too loving.

If, in these times, I should be bless’d by Fate

With such a Phœnix, such a matchless Mate,

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I will by kindness, and some small discerning,

Take care that Hymen’s torch continues burning—

At Weddings, now-a-days, the Torch thrown down

Just makes a smoke, then stinks throughout the town!

No married puritan, I’ll follow pleasure

And e’en the Fashion—but, in moderate measure:

I will of Op’ra Extasies partake

Though I take Snuff to keep myself awake;

No rampant Plumes shall o’er my temples play

Foretelling that my Brains will fly away,

Nor from my head shall strange Vagaries spring

To show the soil can teem with every thing—

No Fruits, Roots, Greens, shall fill the ample space

A Kitchen-Garden to adorn my face!

No Rocks shall there be seen, no Windmill, Fountain,

Nor Curls, like Guns, set round to guard the Mountain!

Oh, learn ye Fair, if this same madness spreads,

Not to hold up—but, to keep down—your heads.

—Be not misled by strange fantastic art,

But, in your Dress let Nature take some part—

Her skill alone a lasting Power insures,

And best can ornament such Charms—as your’s!

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