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Which Is the Man?

A Comedy.

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This Comedy was brought out at Covent Garden Theatre in the year 17821782. Doricourt in The Belle’s Stratagem is the Man of Fashion undepraved and happy, Lord Sparkle, in this Comedy, is the Man of Fashion depraved and disappointed.

Letitia Hardy in the former Comedy, always understood to be a Gentlewoman, is however almost always seen under some species of Disguise; Lady Bell Bloomer, in this Comedy, is the Model of an English Gentlewoman throughout.

The Adventures of the Pendragons, deluded to London from their distant homes by the florid language lavished during an Election, form certainly a lively and pleasant Memento to Country Electors, and sometimes possibly even a useful one, at the moment of returning new Members to the Legislature.

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Prologue.

Spoken by Beauchamp,

in Regimentals.

Called forth Thalia’s standard to display

And here maintain her sovereign comic sway

As Chief, I’ll reconnoitre well the ground

To learn what hostile lines are drawn around. Surveys with a Glass.

That’s not a dark defile in yonder glade!

For, should it prove a treach’rous ambuscade

No puffing miners have I here in pay

To sap their works, or turn their covert way,

No mercenary bands who have been wont

To hack and hew, like pioneers, in front.

With flying shells our Engineers shall try

That well mann’d battlement that towers so high! Upper Gallery.

Beneath, our point-blank shot will surely reach,

And in yon half-moon battery make a breach. Second Gallery.

This post advanced, the picket-guard to keep, Stage Boxes.

And that Reserve, entrenched below chin deep, Pit.

We hope to carry by a bold exertion,

At least amuse with some well-plann’d Diversion!

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My troops are Vet’rans: it has been their lot

To form in front of service—hissing hot;

And, when their ranks are gall’d, or put to flight,

They’re sure to rally, and renew the fight

Unless—and then no light-dragoons scour fleeter,

Their powder fails for want of true salt-petre!

Our plan’s avow’d; it is, from this firm station

To gain the Heights of public approbation!

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Characters.

Men.

Lord Sparkle,Mr. Lee Lewes.

Fitzherbert,Mr. Henderson.

Beauchamp,Mr. Lewis.

Belville,Mr. Wroughton.

Pendragon,Mr. Quick.

Women.

Lady Bell Bloomer,Miss Younge.

Julia,Miss Satchell.

Sophy Pendragon,Mrs. Mattocks.

Clarinda.Mrs. Morton.

Kitty,Mrs. Wilson.

Tiffany,Mrs. Davenett.

Mrs. Johnson,Miss Platt.

Vol. I. Y 322 Y1v 322

Which Is the Man?

Act the First.

Scene I.

A drawing room. A loud Knocking. Mrs. Johnson crosses the Stage, a Boy following.

Mrs. Johns.

Here, Betty, Dick! Where are you? Dont you see my Lord Sparkle’s Carriage? I shall have my Lodgers disturbed by the thundering. Boy runs out. What in the name of Wonder can bring him here at this time in the Morning?—Up all night I suppose as usual!—Here comes the rake— Enter Lord Sparkle.

Spark.

Bid’ em turn, I shant stay a moment.—So Mrs. Johnson, I pulled the string just to see how your Sylvans, the Pendragons, go on.

Mrs. J.

As usual, my Lord; but how surprisingly early your Lordship is!

Spark.

Late, you mean. I have not been in bed since yesterday at One. I am going now to rest for an hour or two, and then to the Drawing-room. 323 Y2r 323 —But, what are the two Rustics about? I have not been plagued with them these three or four days.

Mrs. J.

They are now out.

Spark.

I supposed that—or I should not have called! But, prithee do they talk of returning to their native Woods again?

Mrs. J.

Oh no! The young Gentleman, at least, seems to have very different ideas. Miss too has great Spirits, though she seems now and then at a loss what to do with herself.

Spark.

Why dont you persuade her to employ herself in going back to Cornwall? You should tell them what a vile place London is, full of Snares!—You dont preach to them, Johnson!

Mrs. J.

Indeed I do, my Lord; but their constant answer is—Oh, Lord Sparkle is our friend, Lord Sparkle would take it amiss if we should go, ’twould look like distrusting his Lordship!

Spark.

Was ever man so hamper’d!—Two Fools! to mistake common Election forms and civilities— for serious Attachment!

Mrs. J.

I fear my Lord that, towards the young Lady at least, you appeared to be serious.

Spark.

Oh never. I saluted her; so I did all the women in the Parish—the Septennial Ceremony. The Brother I used to drink vile Port with, listen to his Village-Stories, call his vulgarity—Wit! and his impudence—Spirit! was not that Fatigue and Mortification enough, but I must be pestered with them here in Town!

Mrs. J.

But, Miss boasts of pressing Invitations, and Letters—

Spark.

Oh—things of course. They had Influence, and got me the Borough for my friend; I, in return, said she was the most charming girl in the World, that I adored her, and some few things— that every body says on such occasions, and nobody thinks of.

Mrs. J.

But, it appears that Miss did think— Y2 324 Y2v 324

Spark.

Oh! both of them regard all I said during the Election as serious—can you conceive any thing more ridiculous! I mentioned something about being happy to see them in Town et cœtera—which I meant to have suspended our Acquaintance until the General Election. They took me at my word!—and, almost before I had reached it myself, they were in my house—all Joy and Congratulation! I did not chuse to be incumbered with them, and so placed them with you.

Mrs. J.

I must say, I wish I was quit of them at present; for, my constant Lodger, Mr. Belville, came to Town last night, and he wants this drawing room to himself: he is obliged to share it now with Mr. Pendragon and his Sister!

Spark.

Do what you please with them! The Boy was, at first, amusing, but, our Circles have had him. I feel nothing about them but that I want to get rid of them.—But, who is this hobbling up stairs? Ha! old Cato the Censor, my honourable kinsman. By what Detour shall I escape;—no avoiding him!— Exit Mrs. Johnson. Enter Mr. Fitzherbert. I wish I had been out of the house Fitzherbert before you appeared; I know I shall not escape abuse.

Fitz.

I never attempt a Remedy, where there are no hopes of Amendment—your Lordship is safe!

Spark.

Ha! ha! Was that meant for Wit?

Fitz.

No—or I must have broken another of my Rules—to address to no mind what is beyond its apprehension.

Spark.

Positively, you must now give me more of the felicity of your conversation—that I may catch some of that happy Ease which you possess in your rudeness; ’twould to me be an acquisition! I am eternally getting into the most horrid Scrapes— 325 Y3r 325 merely by my Politeness and Good-breeding! Here are two persons now in this house for instance—

Fitz.

Who do not know that the language, of what you call politeness, differs from that of Truth and Honour. You see I know to whom you allude. But we mutually waste time—Good day my Lord.

Spark.

Waste time! ha! ha! ha! Why of what Value can Time be to you? the greatest Enemy you have—it adds every day to your Wrinkles and Ill humour. I’ll prove to you now, that I have employed the last twelve hours to better purpose than you. Nine of them you slept away;—the last three, you have been running about town, snarling and making people uneasy with themselves, whilst I have been sitting peaceably at White’s, where I have won— guess what?

Fitz.

Half as much as you lost yesterday—a thousand or two Guineas perhaps.

Spark.

Guineas! Poh! you are jesting! Gold is as scarce with us as in the Coffers of a Revolutionary State—like them we stake with Counters, and play for solid Earth.

Fitz.

impatiently. Well!

Spark.

Bullion is a mercantile kind of wealth, passing through the hands of Dry-salters, Vinegarmerchants, and Lord Mayors.—Our Goddess holds a Cornucopia instead of a Purse, from which she pours all the riches of cultivated Vallies and fruitful Hills. This morning, she popt into my dice-box a snug Villa, five hundred Acres arable and pasture, with the next Presentation to the Living of Guzzletun.

Fitz.

A church-living in a Dice box!—And I suppose—will be bestowed as worthily as it was gained! Good day, my Lord, good day. Turning from him.

Spark.

Good night, Crabtree—good night! Going off. 326 Y3v 326 Enter a Servant. Tell Belville, I called to congratulate him on his escape from the Stupors of the Country. Going.

Fitz.

My Lord!

Spark.

Sir.

Fitz.

I am going this morning to visit Lady Bell Bloomer—I give you this intimation that we may not risk another rencontre.

Spark.

Civilly designed; and, for the same polite reason, I inform you that I shall be there—in the Evening. Exit Lord Sparkle.

Fitz.

Your Master in bed yet! what time was he in Town yesterday?

Servt.

Late, Sir; we should have been earlier, but rapidly we met with Sir Harry Hairbrain on the road with his new Fox-hounds. Fell in with the hunt at Bagshot—broke Cover—ran the first burst across the Heath towards Datchet—Reynard then took right an end for Egham, sunk the wind upon us as far as Staines, where—he took the road to Oxford, and we Sir the road to Town. Bowing.

Fitz.

Very geographical indeed Sir.—Now, pray inform your Master—Oh! here he comes— Exit Servant. Enter Belville, in a Robe de Chambre. Just risen from your pillow!—a Fox-hunter, and in bed at eleven!

Belv.

My dear, morose, charming, quarrelsome, old friend; I am ever in Costume. In the Country, I defy fatigue and hardship; up before the lazy slut Aurora has put on her pink to captivate the ploughboys, I scamper over hedge and ditch—alight at a Cottage half dead with hunger—drink milk out of the mug of a brown wench, and eat from a wooden platter. In Town, I am a fine gentleman—my hair 327 Y4r 327 is exactly arranged—my cloaths au dernier gout—I cant dine but on made-dishes—I drink Burgundy, and—in five words—am every where in Ton.

Fitz.

So much the worse, young man! To follow customs where Vice and Folly are the ruling Deities proves that you must be sometimes—not wise; and sometimes—

Belv.

Oh! You Satirists, like moles, shut your eyes to the Light, and grope about for the dark side of the human character. There is a great deal of good sense and good Meaning in the world. As for its Follies, I think Folly mighty pleasant, it gives objects to amuse us; and to play the fool, at least gracefully, requires more talents than would set up a dozen Cynics.

Fitz.

Then half the people I know must have never failing talents, for they have been playing the fool through many an added year;—in point is my precious kinsman Lord Sparkle whom I found here.

Belv.

Aye! there’s an instance of the fortunate result of total indifference to the sage maxims you recommend.

Fitz.

Fortunate do you call it?

Belv.

Most triumphant! Who so much admired? who so much the fashion?—the general favorite of the Ladies—the Model for Imitation with the men Is not Lord Sparkle the fortunate man who is to carry, from so many Rivals, the rich and charming widow Lady Bell Bloomer?—and will not you, after quarrelling with him half your life, at the end of it leave him a fine estate?

Fitz.

No, no! I tell you no! with warmth.

Belv.

Nay, his success with the Widow is certain. He boasts his triumph every where; and the Estate will follow of course, as she at least is a favorite of your’s.

Fitz.

If she marries Sparkle, she will be a favorite no longer! Yet, she receives him with such distinction, that sometimes she makes me fear it; how frequently328 Y4v 328 quently do we see women of Accomplishments and Beauty, to which every heart yields homage, throw themselves away on the vicious, the silly, and the vain! Enter Servant.

Servant.

Mr. Beauchamp.

Fitz.

Oh! I expected him to call on you this morning; you must obtain his Confidence, it will assist me in my designs. When I found myself disappointed in his Lordship, I selected Beauchamp from the younger Branches of my family. But of this he knows nothing, and thinks himself indebted for every thing to the Patronage of Lord Sparkle; an error in which I wish him to continue, as it will give me an opportunity of proving them both.—But, here he comes, this way I can avoid him. Exit. Enter Beauchamp.

Belv.

Beauchamp!—and in Regimentals? Why, prithee George what spirit has seized thee now? When I saw thee last, thou wert devoted to some grave profession—the Law—or the Church. I expected to see thee, inveloped in Wig, wrangling at the bar; or placed in a Benefice—to receive tythepigs and poultry.

Beauch.

Those Belville were my School designs; but, the fire of youthful manhood gave me ardors of a different sort. The heroes of the Areopagus and Forum have yielded to those of Marathon. I feel that, as it has so chanced that my choice is to be made at such a moment as this, I ought not to devote a life to learned Indolence—that might be gloriously hazarded for my Country struggling amidst surrounding foes!

Belv.

I shant give you credit now for that fine Flourish!—This sudden ardor for—The Pride, 329 Y5r 329 Pomp, and Circumstance of War—I dare swear springs from the Whim of some fine Lady, who fancied you would be a smarter fellow in a cockade and gorget, than in a stiff band and perriwig.

Beauch.

If your insinuation means that my heart has not been insensible to the charms of some fair Lady, you are right. But, my transformation is owing to no whim of her’s; for, oh! Charles—she never yet condescended to make me the object of her thoughts!

Belv.

Modest too!—Aye, you were right in giving up the Law! But pray, who may this exalted Fairone be—who never condescended?

Beauch.

I never suffer my lips to pronounce the charming sounds that form her Name. I have a kind of miserly felicity in hoarding the idea of her from others.

Belv.

Ha! ha! ha! who can the Nymph be, who has inspired so obsolete a passion! In the days of Chivalry it would have been the Rage.

Beauch.

I will gratify you thus far—The Lady has Beauty—but, above all, Wit, Spirit, a Mind.—Is it possible Charles actually to love a woman without a Mind?

Belv.

Has she a mind for you? That is the more important Question.

Beauch.

I dare not nourish my passion with so presumptuous a hope; yet, I would not extinguish it if I could. For mine is a love that drives me not into corners to wear out my days in complaint—its ardors shall be felt in the land of our Enemies; they shall know how well I love.

Belv.

Poh! Poh! This is the gallantry of One thousand One Hundred and One; or, ’tis the kind of passion that animated our fathers in the fields of Cressy and Poictiers.—Why, no Beauty of our Age man will be won in this stile!—Now, suppose yourself at the Opera looking through his handThat’s a fine Girl! Twenty thousand you say? I think I’ll have her. Yes—I—I’ll call on her tomorrow,330 Y5v 330 row, and tell her so.—Have you Spirit and Courage enough for that my Achilles?

Beauch.

—No truly.

Belv.

Then give up all thoughts of being received!

Belv.Beauch.

I have no thoughts of hazarding a Rejection! The Pride of Birth, and some hundreds for my education, were the sole patrimony the imprudence of a father left me. My relation Lord Sparkle, has procured me a Commission; at least it was sent to me, and I cannot doubt that it was he who obtained it for me. Generously to offer that, and a knapsack, to a Lady of five thousand a year, would be to merit the dismission I should incur.

Belv.

But, suppose she were to take a fancy to the knapsack?

Beauch.

That would reduce me to the torturous necessity of retreating from Success; for never can I submit to be quartered on a wife’s fortune in Idleness, whilst I have a sword to carve subsistence for myself.

Belv.

That may be in the great stile, but ’tis scarcely in the fashionable.—Will you take chocolate in my dressing room?

Beauch.

No. I am going to receive Orders at my Colonel’s. Where shall we meet in the evening?

Belv.

Why, I know not, I commit myself to Chance for the remainder of the day—it will finish as she directs.

Exeunt, on opposite sides.
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Scene II.

An apartment at Clarinda’s. Enter Clarinda, reading a Catalogue, followed by Tiffany.

Clar.

Poor Lady Squander! So the Auctioneer has her Jewels and Furniture at last. Mark those Pearls. Gives her the Catalogue It must be a great Comfort to her, to see her Trinkets worn by her friends! Who was here last night? Sitting down, and taking some Cards from the table. I came home so late, I forgot to enquire. Reads Mrs. JessamyLady RacketMiss BelvoirLord Sparkle starting upLord Sparkle here! What Dulness led me to go to Lady Price’s? I wish she, and her Concert of three fiddles and a flute—had been playing to her kids on the Welch Mountains! Why did you persuade me to go out last night?

Tiff.

Dear Ma’am, you seemed so low spirited, that I thought—

Clar.

I missed him every where! At four places he was just gone as I came in.—But, what does it signify? ’twas Lady Bell Bloomer he was seeking— his attachment to the Relict is every where the Subject. I wish the term Widow was abolished, I really believe there is something cabalistical in the word.— Since last February, no less than fourteen fine young fellows of Fortune have been drawn by them into the matrimonial compact.

Tiff.

Well, I am sure I wish Lady Bell was married; she’s always injuring your sweet temper Ma’am.

Clar.

Gives she not cause? Till she broke upon the Town, I was the Star of Fashion; my Dress, my Equipage, my Furniture, and myself, were the Criterions of Taste; but, a new French Lady’s Maid enabled her, Presto, to turn the tide against me. 332 Y6v 332

Tiff.

Aye, I dont know what good these Ma’amselles do.

Clar.

But, Tiffany, she is to be at Court to day, out of mourning for the first time—I am resolved to be there.—No, I wont go. If she should outshine me, by my being witness to it—her triumph will be encreased. I wont go to St. James’s, but I’ll be at her Rout this evening, and, if ’tis possible, prevent Lord Sparkle’s being particular to her. Perhaps that will put her into an ill-humour—and then the advantage will be on my side! Exit Clarinda.

Tiff.

Mercy on us! To be chamber-maid to a Miss on the brink of Thirty—one need have more skill than those who manage the Nation. Now, if she should rise from her toilette to day—not quite in looks, or, if the desertion of a Lover, or the victory of a Rival, should happen—ten to one but I, without a Pension to live on, shall be compelled to retire!

Exit.
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Act the Second.

Scene I.

An elegant apartment at Lady Bell Bloomer’s. Enter Julia, with Letters in her hand.

Julia.

What an invaluable Treasure! These dear Letters, that have lain so long within the chill walls of a Convent, uninteresting to every one around, are to me the source of utmost Happiness. He is in England! How little he suspects that I too am here! Enter Kitty.

Kitty.

Mr. Fitzherbert will be here immediately, Ma’am.

Julia.

Mr. Fitzherbert? very well. Has Lady Bell left her Toilette yet?

Kitty.

exceedingly fast. No Ma’am. Mr. Crape the hair dresser has been here these three hours, her Maid is running here and there, and Mr. John is flying about to Milliners and Perfumers, and the new Vis-a-vis is at the door to carry her Ladyship to Court. Black is banished, and the Liveries are shining with Silver! All the rest of the house are in such a hurry about the Rout that her Ladyship is to give this Evening! They say that all the World— 334 Y7v 334

Julia.

Ha! ha! ha! Prithee stop! I cant wonder that Lady Bell is transported at dropping her Weeds, for it seems to have turned the heads of the whole family.

Kitty.

Oh! dearee, Ma’am to be sure! For, now Lady Bell has such fine Spirits, we shall be so gay! —And tis well she has; for the servants tell me, their old master would have broke her heart. They all adore her.—I wish you were a little gayer Ma’am— somehow we’re so quiet!—Tis a wonder so young and so pretty a Lady—

Julia.

Dont run into Impertinence. I have neither the taste or talents for Public Life that Lady Bell Bloomer has.

Kitty.

Laws, Ma’am tis all Use. You are always at home; but Lady Bell knows that Wit and Beauty are lost at a fire-side—at home. drawling. She shines every evening at half the houses of half a dozen parishes—and in the Mornings we have Copies of Verses in the Papers, and all the fine things said that fine ladies are so fond of.

Julia.

I can bear your Freedoms no longer! Carry these flowers, and tell her Ladyship that I sent to Richmond for them, as I know her fondness for natural Bouquets; and bid Harry deny me to every body this morning—except Mr. Fitzherbert. Exit Kitty. Enter Mr. Fitzherbert.

Fitz.

Happily excepted, my dear Ward. But, I suppose you heard my step, and threw in my name for a Douceur. I can hardly believe that you, who shut your door against Youth and Flattery, would open it to a cross Old Man—who seldom entertains you on any subject but your foibles.

Julia.

How you mistake, Sir! You are the greatest Flatterer I have—your whole conduct flatters me 335 Y8r 335 with Esteem and Love; and smiling as you do not squander these on many—

Fitz.

They are excited but by few Objects, it is true; but then, my sentiments of them are proportionably more fervent. My attachments are fifty times as strong as those of your smiling people, who are every one’s humble servant—and scarcely any body’s Friend.—Where is Lady Bell?

Julia.

Yet at her Toilette I believe. My dear Sir, I am every hour more indebted to you for having given me a Friend so charming!

Fitz.

So I would have you. When you arrived from France I prevailed upon her Ladyship to grant you her society, that you might add, to the polish of an elegant Mind, the Graces of elegant Manners. Here she comes! her Tongue and her steps keeping time— Enter Lady Bell—dressed for Court. Aye, aye, if all the women in the world were merely prating young Widows, pining Love would disappear, and our Bachelors grow reasonable and discreet!

Lady Bell.

Oh you monster! But, I am in such divine Spirits, that nothing you can say can destroy them.—My sweet Julia, what an elegant Bouquet! Lady Serena will expire. She was enveloped in flowers and evergreens last night in such ill taste, that she looked like the Picture of fair Rosamond in her Bower.—My dear Fitz, do you know we dined yesterday in Hill street, and had the fortitude to stay till Eleven!

Julia.

My Patience was exhausted by the fatiguing visit.

Lady Bell.

Now I came away with a fresh Want for Society. The persevering Civilities of Sir Andrew, and the maukish Insipidity of his tall daughter, act like your Olives Sir—which though not very 336 Y8v 336 pleasing themselves heighten your Gusto for the residue of your wine.

Fitz.

Why then you cant do better than serve up Sir Andrew and his Daughter at your next Entertainment.

Lady Bell.

So I would—but, as one cannot remove them at Will, they will give the Guests but a Gusto for Departure!—But, how do you like me? did you ever see so delightful a Head? Dont you think I shall make a thousand Conquests to day?

Fitz.

Doubtless, provided those on whom you make War are weak! But pray near which of those prisoners you have already made, will these gay Insignia of your Liberty be chiefly displayed?

Lady Bell.

Perhaps, near him who will feel little interested about them.

Julia.

Pray who is that?

Lady Bell.

Oh, your mercy! to answer that requires more reflection than I have ever given the subject.

Julia.

Should you build a temple to Love, would Lord Sparkle’s name be found on the Altar?

Lady Bell.

Oh! Lord Sparkle!—Who can resist the gay, the elegant, the all-conquering, Lord Sparkle? —the most distinguished Feather that floats in the region of fashion—void of all the barbarous solidity that would sink him down to characters of Weight. Fashionable—because, he is well dressed, brilliant— because he is of the first Clubs, and uses his borrowed Wit, like his borrowed gold, as freely as though it were his own.

Fitz.

But, pray how is it that you receive this man, whom you understand so well, as though his Tinsel were pure gold?

Lady Bell.

Oh—why the world is charitable, and receives tinsel for Gold in most cases.

Fitz.

But, is none of this sunshine to extend beyond Lord Sparkle—will you not dart a Ray on the spirited yet modest Beauchamp? 337 Z1r 337

Lady Bell.

A ray for Beauchamp!—You know his Mistress is War! Sighing—Were I so inclined, I must change my Fan for a Spear, mount my Feathers on a Helmet, and stand forth a Minerva—both in Wisdom and Courage. But, why do I trifle thus?— the hour of Triumph is at hand!

Fitz.

Of what?

Lady Bell.

The moment of Conquest—the moment when, after having shewn myself at half the houses in St. George’s, I am set down at St. James’s:—as I ascend, the whisper’d question flies through the croud —Who is she? Who is that sweet creature? one of the four Heiresses, says one—a Foreign Ambassadress, says another.—I ascend the stairs—move slowly through the rooms—drop my fan—incommode my Bouquet—stay to adjust, that the little gentry may have Time to fix their admiration. Again move on —enter the drawing room—throw a flying Glance round the Circle, and see—nothing but Spite in the eyes of the Women, and a thousand Anxieties in those of the men.

Julia.

The very soul of Giddiness!

Lady Bell.

Say—of Happiness!—Think of a widow just emerged from her weeds, for one to whom her father, not her Heart, united her. My jointure elegant —my figure charming—nay deny it if you dare! Pleasure, Fortune, Youth, Health, all attending me, whilst Innocence and Conscious Honour are my handmaids to guide me through the dangerous Ordeal.

Fitz.

Though Innocence and Conscious Honour attend you, you may as well let Prudence join the Party, or your Centinels may—

Lady Bell.

Oh! I’m mistress of my whole situation, and cannot be surprised.—But foolish I! am losing Empire every moment I stay. The Loves have prepared their rosy garlands—my triumphal car is waiting—and my proud steeds neighing to be gone —Away to Conquest! Exit.

Fitz.

A charming woman, Julia! she conceals a Vol. I Z 338 Z1v 338 fine Understanding under apparent giddiness, and the tenderest Sensibility beneath an air of Indifference.

Julia.

Her Sensibility is greater than she permits herself to suspect! I rally her about Lord Sparkle— but, Mr. Beauchamp is never mentioned without her cheeks telling such blushing truths—as she would never forgive me for observing.

Fitz.

Julia!—you seem well acquainted with your friend’s Heart.—Will you be equally frank as to your own?

Julia.

in great Confusion Sir!—my heart!

Fitz.

Yes; will you assist me in reading it?

Julia.

Sir!—certainly, Sir!

Fitz.

Then tell me whether, amongst the powdered gilded moths whom your Beauty, or Fortune, have allured, there is one whom you would honour with your hand?—Aye, take time; I would not have you be precipitate.

Julia.

hesitatingly. No Sir—not one.

Fitz.

Julia! in perfect reliance on what you have now stated, and much pain may ensue if you deceive me, I inform you that a friend of mine is arrived in town, whom I mean this morning to introduce to you.

Julia.

As—

Fitz.

As a Lover—who has my warmest wishes that he may become your husband.

Julia.

Do I know the person, for whom you are thus interested, Sir?

Fitz.

You do not; but I have had long intimacy with him, and ’tis the dearest wish of my Heart, to see him and Julia Manners, in due time, united.

Julia.

I trust, Sir, you will allow—

Fitz.

Be under no apprehensions. Much as I am interested in this union, your inclinations must be attended to. I am now going to your Lover, and hope to introduce him to you this morning. Come, be not distressed at the approach of that 339 Z2r 339 period which will give you Dignity and Character in Society:—the marriage state is that in which your sex evinces its importance; it is in the interesting circle of domestic duties that a woman has her best opportunity of cultivating every virtue that constitutes the Great and the Amiable. Exit Fitzherbert.

Julia.

The moment I so much dreaded is arrived! When may I reveal that I am already married?— that I have dared to take upon me those important Duties!—My serious promise to my Husband prevents me. But where is he—whilst I am left defenceless to brave offended Authority?

Exit.

Scene II.

Belville’s lodgings. Enter Belville, new dressed, and a Servant.

Bel.

Let the chaise be at the door tomorrow at Six, for I shall dine at Dover. Exit Servant. Enter Fitzherbert.

Fitz.

Ha! just in time I hear. You are ready for Flight!

Belv.

True, but it would have been first to you— to know the cause of your summoning me from the Dryads and Hamadryads of Berkshire. Your Letter reach’d me at the very instant I was setting out for Dover, in my way to Paris.

Fitz.

Poh! poh! You are but just returned—stay where you are. The passage between Dover and Calais is destructive to this kingdom; I wish there were Toll-Houses erected on our confines, to restrain, with a heavy Tax, the number of Travellers.

Belv.

I fear the Tax would be more felt than the Z2 340 Z2v 340 Benefit;—it would not only restrain folly-mongers and fashion-mongers—but the rational enquirer.

Fitz.

So much the better—so much the better. Our travelling Philosophers have done more towards destroying the nerves of their country than all the Politics of France. Their aim seems to be establishing Infidelity, and captivating with delusive views of manners still more immoral and licentious than our own.—Why who can this be? Oh, the Cornish Lad, I suppose, whom Lord Sparkle placed here.

Belv.

laughing Yes; an odd being! He was designed by Nature for a Clodpole, but—the Notice of a Lord overset the little understanding he had, and, so he commenced fine-gentleman. He has a Sister, who till her father’s death ran wild upon the Commons; but she fancies her wildness is Wit, and satirizes Bruin. Here he comes. Enter Pendragon.

Pen.

My dear fellow-lodger, I’m come to—Oh! your Servant, Sir to Fitzherbert—Is this Gentleman a friend of your’s?

Belv.

He is.

Pen.

Your hand Sir! passes Belville, and stands between them If you are Mr. Belville’s friend, you are my friend, and therefore we are all friends—I soon make acquaintance.

Fitz.

You are a happy man!

Pen.

Oh yes—it is owing to my Politeness. I have been in the Great World almost six weeks, and I can see no difference between the Great World and the little world, only they’ve no Ceremony; and so, as that’s the new Mark of Good-breeding, I try to hit it off.

Fitz.

And with Success!

Pen.

To convince you of that, I’ll tell you a good thing.—You must know—

Fitz.

Excuse me now; but I am convinced you 341 Z3r 341 will amuse me, and desire your company to dinner— they’ll give you my address below. Mr. Belville I have business of Importance with you. Exit with Belville.

Pen.

He must be a Lord by his want of Ceremony —I’m glad he ask’d me to dinner! imitating Mr. Belville, I have business of Importance with you— and so they cut!—Now in Cornwall we should have thought that blank rude;—but, ’tis easy—Mr. Belville, I have business of Importancegoing Easy—Easy—Easy! Enter Sophy Pendragon.

Sophy.

Brother Bob!—brother Bob!

Pen.

returning I desire Miss Pendragon you wont brother me at this rate—making me look, as if one didn’t know Life.—How often shall I tell you, that ’tis the most unfashionable thing in the world for relations to Brother, and Father, and Cousin, one another—and all that kind of thing. I didn’t get the better of my Shame for three days, when you bawled out to Mrs. Dobson at last Launceston Concert— Aunt, Aunt, here’s room between Brother and I, if Cousin Dick will sit closer to Uncle and Father!

Sophy.

Lack-a-day!—and where’s the harm? What d’ye think one has relations given one for?—To be ashamed of ’em?

Pen.

I dont know what they are given us for; but I know few young men of Fashion put much value on them.

Sophy.

More shame for your young men of Fashion. But I assure you, Brother Bob, I shall never give in to any such unnatural new-fangled ways. As for you, since Lord Sparkle took Notice of you, you are quite another thing. You used to creep into the parlour, when Father had company, hanging your head like a dead Partridge; steal all round the room behind their backs, to get at a chair; and sit down on 342 Z3v 342 one corner of it, tying knots in your handkerchief; and, if any on drank your health, rise up, and scraping your foot—so—say Thank you kindly, Sir!

Pen.

By Goles, if you—shaking his fist.

Sophy.

But now! when you enter a room, your hat is tossed carelessly on a table; you pass the company with a half bend of your body; fling yourself into one chair, and throw your legs on another;— Pray, my dear Sir, mimicking—do me the favour to ring—John, Lemonade!—Mrs. Plume has been driving me all the morning in Hyde Park against the wind, and the dust has made my throat mere Plaister of Paris!

Pen.

Hang me, if I dont like myself at second hand better than I thought I should! Why, if I do it as well as you Sophy, I shall soon be quite the thing! And, now I’ll give you a bit of Advice:— as Lord Sparkle must introduce you to High Life, ’tis fitting you should know how to behave; and, as I have been amongst them, I can tell you.

Sophy.

Well!

Pen.

Why, first of all, if you should come into a Drawing Room, and find twenty or thirty people in the Circle, you are not to take the least Notice of any one.

Sophy.

No!

Pen.

No.—A servant, who does not know Manners, will perhaps present you a chair—if not, glide into the nearest. The conversation will not be interrupted by your entrance; for, they’ll take as little notice of you, as you of them.

Sophy.

Pshaw! for shame.

Pen.

Then, be sure to be equally indifferent to the coming in of others. I saw poor Lady Carmine one night dying with confusion for the vulgarity and illbreeding of her friend, who actually rose from her chair at the entrance of Lady Betty Blurt.

Sophy.

Be quiet Bob!

Pen.

True, as I am now a young man of Fashion! 343 Z4r 343 Then, you must never let your discourse go beyond —one word.—If any one should chance to take the Trouble to entertain the Company, you may throw in—Charming!Odious!Capital!— Never mount to a Phrase—unless to that dear delightful one of—all that sort of thing.— The use made of that is wonderful! All that sort of thing is an apology for want of Wit; is a Substitute for Argument;—it serves instead of the Point of a Story, or the Fate of a battle!

Sophy.

Well then—upon going away!

Pen.

Oh—you go away, as you came in. If one has a mind to give the Lady of the house a nod nodding one may; but, ’tis still higher breeding to leave her—with as little Ceremony, as I do you! Exit without looking at her.

Sophy.

I wish I could be quite sure it was, as he says, the Fashion not to mind Forms—I’d go directly and visit Lord Sparkle. In all the Books I have read, I never met with a Lover so careless as he! Sometimes I think the Reason is because —I make myself but too agreeable! and then, I recollect all I have read about the good effect of half breaking Lover’s hearts by treating them with Disdain!—but then, he wont come near me! I’ll know, though, what he intends soon. He shant think to bring me from the Land’s end to make a Fool of me—Sophy Pendragon has more Spirit than he thinks for! Exit. Enter Fitzherbert and Belville.

Bel.

A Wife! Heaven’s last, and best, Gift!— But—a—no I cant bring my mind to marry any one now.

Fitz.

But, I say you shall! I have studied you from Eighteen, and know your Character—faults and virtues; and, such as you are, I’ve pick’d you out 344 Z4v 344 from all the blockheads about you—to take a fine girl off my hands with twenty thousand pounds.

Bel.

’Tis a Bribe doubtless—is she Coquette, Prude, or Vixen?

Fitz.

You may make her what you will. Treat her with Confidence, Tenderness, and Respect, and she’ll be an Angel; be morose, suspicious, and neglectful, and she’ll be—a Woman. The Wife’s Character and Conduct is a Comment on that of the Husband.

Bel.

gaily Any thing more?

Fitz.

She is my Ward, and the daughter of a Friend of my youth who died last year in the West Indies. I feel parental affection for her, and give you the highest proof of my Esteem—in transferring to You the care of her Happiness. Refuse it, if you dare.

Bel.

Dare! My dear friend, I must refuse the honour—

Fitz.

How!

Bel.

To be serious, I am not at Liberty to wed the Lady.

Fitz.

I am disappointed! I should have mentioned this subject to you, before I had suffered it to make so strong a feature in my Picture of future Happiness.

Bel.

Would you had, that I might have informed you at once—that I am—married.

Fitz.

Married! Where—when—how—to whom?

Bel.

Where?—in France.—When? about three months since. How?—by the Embassador’s Chaplain. To whom?—Ah—such a one! Her Beauty is of the Greek kind, pleasing the mind more than the eye—yet, to the eye, nothing can be more lovely;— to this charming creature add the name of—Julia Manners, and you know my Wife.

Fitz.

Julia Manners!—Julia Manners did you say?

Bel.

Yes Julia Manners. I first knew her at the house of a friend in Paris, whose Daughters were in 345 Z5r 345 the same Convent. I often visited her at the Grate; at length, lest in the vicissitudes of life I should lose her—I on being summoned by my Uncle suddenly prevailed upon her, through the assistance of Mademoiselle St. Val, to give me her hand; but was instantly torn from her to join him at Florence, whence I was dispatched to England in official employ.

Fitz.

(Aside.—So, so, so—very fine.)—I suppose you had the prudence to make yourself acquainted with the Lady’s family before you married her?

Bel.

Yes, her Family and Fortune are distinguished. She has a Guardian, whose Address the sweet Obstinate refused to give me, that she might herself break to him the marriage; that however I had important Reasons to make her promise not to do, until we were, both of us, in England!

Fitz.

Then, you have not seen your bride here?

Bel.

Oh, no! My Julia is yet in her Convent, I have been preparing for her reception in Berkshire, and had written to inform her that I would meet her at Calais; but, I fear my Letters have missed her, and shall therefore set out for Paris to conduct to England the Woman—on whom depends my every Felicity.

Fitz.

(Aside. And, has Julia been capable of marrying without being sure of my Approbation?—Ungrateful Girl! is it thus she rewards my Anxieties!)—

Bel.

Your reserve and resentment my dear friend, whilst it flatters, distresses me.

Fitz.

I am indeed offended at your marriage, but, not with you—on You I had no claims.

Bel.

I do not apprehend you.

Fitz.

Perhaps not, and at present I shall not explain myself. Going.

Belv.

If you will leave me, Adieu! I am going to saunter over the Town. My mind, impatient for the moment which carries me to my sweet Bride, feels all the intermediate time a void, which accident must fill up.

Exit. 346 Z5v 346

Fitz.

Spite of my displeasure, I can hardly conceal from him his happiness! Yet, I will—Julia must endure some little punishment! Why dread to entrust me at once—did she think me severe? To Vice and Folly I am content so to appear; but she ought not to have thought me so. I must correct this want of Confidence, and—let me see—Pendragon shall be my instrument! I’ll take him home with me.—Yes yes, young Lady, you shall indeed be plagued by a Lover!

Act 347 Z6r 347

Act the Third.

Scene I.

Lord Sparkle’s. Lord Sparkle and Beauchamp at a writing Table. Sparkle superbly dressed.

Spark.

Poor George! and so, thou wilt really be, in a few days, on the Atlantic. Farewell to Green Fields, and sweet Groves, Where Chloe engaged thy fond Heart! Rises, and comes forward. Hey for Counterscraps, Wounds, and Victory!

Beauch.

I accept your last word for my Omen! —and now, in the true spirit of Homer’s Heroes, I should depart with its Influence on me.

Spark.

First, take an office which I know must charm you—you admire Lady Bell Bloomer?

Beauch.

Admire her! Heaven knows, Yes! with great warmth.

Spark.

No Heroics, dear George—no Heroics! They are totally out now, both in Love and—War.

Beauch.

How so, my Lord?

Spark.

Indifference!—that’s the Rule.—We love, hate, quarrel, and even fight! without suffering our Tranquility to be incommoded—nothing disturbs. The keenest discernment will discover nothing particular348 Z6v 348 ticular in the behaviour of Lovers on the point of Marriage—or of the Married whilst the Articles of Separation are preparing.

Beauch.

Disgusting Apathy! The Energies of the Heart are lost in this wretched system! Suffer you your feelings thus to be annihilated?

Spark.

Oh, no! I feel, for instance, that I must have Lady Bell Bloomer, and therefore I feel a degree of curiosity to know her Sentiments of me—of which however I have very little doubt. But, all my Art cannot make her serious; she fences most skilfully. To you she will be less on her guard.

Beauch.

Me! you surprise me, my Lord! How can I be of use in developing her Ladyship’s sentiments?

Spark.

Why, by scrutinizing them. When you talk of me, see whether she blushes. Mention some woman as one whom I am supposed to admire—and observe whether she makes some spiteful remark on her Shape, Complexion, or Conduct; provoke her to abuse me with Violence, or to speak of me with Confusion—in either case, I have her.

Beauch.

Your Instructions are comprehensive, my Lord; but, I do not feel myself equal to the Embassy.

Spark.

piqued Your pardon, Sir! You refuse me then?

Beauch.

I cannot refuse—my obligations to your Lordship make it impossible; but of all mankind, I perhaps am the last you should have chosen.

Spark.

Nay, prithee dont be ridiculous; it is the last service you can render me; and you are the only man whom I could trust with so delicate an office.

Beauch.

I must then my Lord accept the office as a proof of your Confidence, and will discharge the Commission faithfully.—(Aside. This will at least give me an occasion to converse with Lady Bell, 349 Z7r 349 and to converse with her on Love; How shall I restrain myself in the trying moment! Exit.

Spark.

Ha! ha! ha! I am confirmed in my suspicions that the fellow has had the Vanity to indulge a passion for Lady Bell himself. So much the better! the Task I have given him will secure him a sufficient punishment for his presumption! Enter a Servant.

Serv.

Mrs. Kitty is below, my Lord, Miss Manners’s Woman.

Spark.

Ha! show her up—show her up. Exit Servant.—The News just arrived of the Agent’s having absconded through whom the whole of Julia’s Fortune was to be remitted from the West Indies, gives hopes that she may sink within my reach! I wont give up that affair—no—it will be rather brilliant to have Lady Bell for a Wife—and her friend for my friend—’twill be a Point, I’ll have the eclat of it!— Enter Kitty. Well Kitty, what Intelligence—what says the frostpiece Julia?

Kitty.

Oh, nothing new my Lord. She is as sensible as ever to the Loss that depresses her (which for some reason she conceals from Mr. Fitzherbert) and is as insensible as ever to you! I makes Orations, all day long, of your Lordship’s Merit, and Goodness, and Fondness, and—

Spark.

Merit, and Goodness, and Fondness!—and dont you throw in a word or two on my Sobriety and Neatness too!—Ha! ha! ha! you foolish Novice I thought you knew better! Tell her of my Fashion, my Extravagance, that I play deepest at the Subscription house, am the most tastefully dressed at the 350 Z7v 350 Opera, and have flirted with, and broken the hearts of, half the fine women of the day.—Goodness and Fondness are for Prudes of the old school, and not for modern females.

Kitty.

What, my Lord, is boasting faults the way to win a fair Lady!

Spark.

Faults! What, have all past Lessons been thrown away upon thee! have I not made thee comprehend that the governing passion of many a female mind is—the rage of being envied? How many of them, think’st thou, would dislike breaking the hearts of half-a-dozen of their Rivals? Go home again, good Kitty, and con your Lessons afresh; and, if you can pick up any stories of irregularities, affix my name to them, and repeat them to your Mistress.

Kitty.

But she’ll tell them to Lady Bell perhaps, for a Warning!

Spark.

For a warning, quotha! My devoirs to Lady Bell are of a different kind, and we understand each other. I address her for a Wife, because she is the Fashion; and I have Designs on Julia—as a Friend, because, in the state of Modern Manners, we get them if we can from higher Orders than Sempstresses. The Girl is beautiful, and the ruinous loss of her Fortune gives some hope of attaining her.

Kitty.

Your Bribes are high, my Lord, but—

Spark.

Yes, but—no buts if you please. And, remember, we must keep our Secret, the with whom, and the place, of her retreat from her Guardian Mr. Fitzherbert my relation—or it may mar my Expectations there!

Kitty.

Oh Gemini! I’ll do any thing to plague Mr. Fitzherbert—and can go on now with a safe Conscience—for he had like to have lost me my place once because he thought I was flighty;—but I’ll be up with him now!

Spark.

Aside.Alas!—alas! Mistress Kitty, we easily find Reasons, when we are inclined to do wrong! 351 Z8r 351 Enter Servant.

Serv.

Mr. Belville. Exit.

Spark.

My dear Belville! (Apart. Go Kitty, wait without; I’ll speak to you presently.) Exit Kitty. Welcome once more to the region of business and pleasure.

Belv.

I thank you. But pray, my Lord, dont dismiss the Lady.

Spark.

The Lady! Ha! ha! ha! That Lady, Sir, is a Lady’s Gentlewoman, a’n’t please you.—I suppose you have heard that I am going to marry Lady Bell Bloomer; we are the two greatest Powers in the regions of Fashion, and of course must endeavour to form an Alliance.

Belv.

A clear Deduction.

Spark.

Now, she has a friend, humbled by late events, whom I mean at the same time to endeavour to take—as mine;—wont that be a Hit—eh!

Belv.

Decidedly. Every thing with you my Lord is a Hit.——But, attempts in such circumstances are rather irregular!

Spark.

Oh, I detest mechanical regularity. Men of Sense have one mode of getting through life; men of Genius, another.

Belv.

Doubtless. And the advantage is with the men of Genius, for to their Genius are all their Faults imputed; which are considered as the graceful Meanderings of a mind too ethereal to be kept down within the Rules of Common Sense and Decorum; a mighty easy way of raising reputation—Ha! ha! ha! You are dressed with infinite malice to day, my Lord.

Spark.

Malice! Not at all. Women now are neither caught by finery or person;—I am dressed for Court. I hear there is to be a presentation of Misses to day, and I would not for the world lose the dear creatures’ blushes on their first appearance—the 352 Z8v 352 whole of their remaining stock is frequently expended on the occasion—Will you go?

Belv.

’Tis too late to dress. Besides I have devoted this day to idle rambling, so that perhaps I may see some of them. And dangerous enough it is to gaze upon the new stars that have come out in the Galaxy of Beauty in high Life during my absence. As I came, the rays of a pair of black eyes might have annihilated me, had not, at the same instant, two beautiful blue ones from a window encountered me, from which I was relieved by a little rosy mouth that betrayed, with a deceitful smile, teeth most murderously white. A Galatea darted by me on the right, whilst a Helen glided in her Car on my left; in short, from such sweet besiegers nothing could have preserved me, but the sweeter chrams of a beloved, though absent, fair one! Sighing.

Spark.

Absentees! I never trouble my head about them. I admire Beauty as much as any one; but, it must be all in the present tense. Shall I set you down any where? I must go.

Belv.

No; but, if you’ll permit me, I’ll pen a short Note to Beauchamp on business I had forgot this morning.

Spark.

Use my writing table. I have been penning a Note to my Steward to raise my Vassals rents. Belville begins to write. I really pity them! but, how can one help it whilst one is obliged to wear the produce of so many Acres in a Suit? Adieu!

Belv.

writing. Good morning!—my Compliments to the Ladies blushes!

Exit Lord Sparkle. Enter Kitty; passes Belville in front of the Stage.

Kitty.

So, so, his Lordship has forgot me! I must go after him.

Belv.

coming forward Ah! that’s the Confidante! So pretty-one, whose chattels are you?

Kitty.

My Mistress’s, Sir. 353 AA1r 353

Belv.

And who is your Mistress?

Kitty.

A Lady Sir.

Belv.

Her Name?

Kitty.

That of her Father, I take it.

Belv.

Upon my word your Lady has a very brilliant Servant.—Is she as fond of shining as you?

Kitty.

Not quite—or she would not keep me to eclipse her.

Belv.

Bravo! I wish I could know who she is. Will you tell me her Name?

Kitty.

Can you spell?

Belv.

Why—Yes.

Kitty.

Why then—you’ll find it in the four-andtwenty Letters. Going.

Belv.

Catching her hand Nay you go not until you have satisfied my Curiosity.

Kitty.

Poh! what signifies asking me? You know well enough who she is.—I heard you and Lord Sparkle talking about her. Let me go, for I am to carry a Message from my Mistress to Mr. Fitzherbert.

Belv.

Mr. Fitzherbert!

Kitty.

Aye, her Guardian.

Belv.

Her Guardian! What, Fitzherbert of Cambridgeshire?

Kitty.

Yes; and if you want to know more, he’s the crossest old wretch that ever breathed. You’ll find him out easily by that Description—and so your servant! Exit.

Belv.

Fitzherbert’s Ward! and this creature her servant! and Lord Sparkle plotting against her—the very Lady this morning offered for my Bride! I will find Fitzherbert instantly.—Humbled by late Events! —this heightens Interest in her welfare. That I may not be guilty of a breach of Humanity and of Gratitude, I must pay that obedience to the dictates of Honour, which Lord Sparkle, according to his sytem of Ethics, will perhaps deem a breach of it!

Exit.
Vol. I. AA 354 AA1v 354

Scene II.

Lady Bell Bloomer’s. Enter Fitzherbert, followed by a Servant.

Fitz.

Tell Miss Manners I am here. Exit Servant. I cannot perhaps be seriously angry with Julia; but, before I acquaint her with the felicity that attends her, I must take some little revenge on her disobedience. Come in, Young Cornish, pray! Enter Pendragon.

Pen.

What, does the Lady live in this fine house?

Fitz.

Yes. But, pray observe—I dont engage she will be absolutely smitten with you. I can but introduce you—the rest must depend upon the brilliancy and Spirit of your Manners!

Pen.

Oh then leave me alone for that! I knew how ’twould be, if once I shewed myself in London. If she has a long purse, I’ll whisk her down to Cornwall, jockey Lord Sparkle, and have the Borough myself!

Fitz.

You have Spirit I see.

Pen.

Oh, that nobody ever doubted! I have beat our Exciseman, and gone to law with the Parson; and, to show you I didn’t leave my Spirit behind me in the Country, since I came to London I have ridden for nothing, by summoning a Coachman for impertinence in demanding too great a fare.

Fitz.

A prudent Reformer!—But, here comes the Lady.— Enter Julia. Mr. Pendragon, this is my Ward, who, I am sure will 355 AA2r 355 give your Addresses—all the encouragement they merit!

Pen.

Your devoted Ma’am.—(Apart.—She looks plaguy glum!)

Fitz.

Pray, my dear, speak to Mr. Pendragon. You seem greatly confused!

Pen.

Oh, Sir, I understand all that! Young Ladies will look confused and embarrassed, and all that sort of thing, on these occasions; but, we men of the World are up to all that.

Julia.

Aside.—Is it to such a Being that I should have been sacrificed!

Pen.

I see your Ward is one of the diffident ones —I thought you told me she was high bred!

Fitz.

Oh, now and then, you find a person of that cast in the best company.

Pen.

Do you know, I used to blush formerly, and be modest and all that kind of affair; but, if any one ever catches me in that state again I’ll give ’em my estate for a Pilchard.

Julia.

Then it seems impossible—(to Mr. Fitzherbert—pardon me Sir!)—that a union can take place between you and me—for I place modesty amongst the Elegancies of manners, and think it absolutely necessary to the character of a Gentleman!

Fitz.

(Aside.—Well said, Julia!)—Fie!—why treat my Friend with such asperity?

Pen.

Oh, leave her to me Sir,—she’s ignorant; but, I’ll cultivate her mind. There are but three points Miss necessary to the character of a Gentleman —a good Air—good Teeth grinning—and good Assurance.

Julia.

to Mr. Fitzherbert Doesn’t his list, Sir, want—good-manners?

Pen.

Oh no, Madam; if you had said—good taste, it would have been nearer; but, even that is unnecessary. He can get his friends to furnish his table, his house, his books, and his pictures, and he can learn, by heart, to criticise them;—nothing is so AA2 356 AA2v 356 easy as to criticise—at least as far as finding Fault goes—the dullest people do it continually.

Fitz.

You see, Mr. Pendragon has Information, Julia!—I’ll leave you a few moments, that he may display his mind to advantage; and remember, Julia, what I now say to you—if you do not feel happy in the idea of marriage with the man I, of all others, have wished to see your husband, you lose me. (Apart to Pendragon.—Keep it up with Spirit! I’ll wait for you below.)—Aside Now shall Disobedience and Impertinence correct each other! Exit.

Pen.

(Aside.—Now, to strike her with my superior Ease!) So, Miss, your Guardian, I think, has a mind that we shall—marry, to speak in plain language.

Julia.

Well Sir; but are you not in great Anxiety at your supposed approach to such a state! Do you know what ought to be the Character of a Husband?

Pen.

Aye! Do you know what ought to be that of a Wife?

Julia.

I guess that to your wife will belong Illhumour with you at home—Shame with you abroad; in her Face, forced Smiles, in her Heart—hidden Torture.

Pen.

Whu! You have found your tongue, Ma’am! Oh, I shall have a fine time on’t I guess, when we are married.

Julia.

Married!—Pray, Sir, awake not the idea.— Were it possible for me to become your wife, I should be the most wretched of women!

Pen.

Oh no you wouldn’t—you would be as well off as many!

Julia.

Unfeeling man! Would you presume to enter into a state, to the Happiness of which union of soul, delicacy of sentiment, and all the elegant attentions of polished manners, are indispensable?

Pen.

What’s all that! Union of Soul—Sentiment —Attentions—Manners!—I’m sure, that’s not Life!

Julia.

I am not able to conceive by what Witchcraft Mr. Fitzherbert has been insensible of the weakness357 AA3r 357 ness of your head, and the want of feeling in your heart! I am under the necessity of requesting you to tell him, Sir, that there is not a fate I would not prefer to that of being united to a man, whose vice is the effect of folly, and whose folly is as hateful almost as his vice. Exit.

Pen.

Yes, yes, I’ll go and tell, depend on’t! She’s a spirit!—So much the better, more Pleasure in taming her! A meek wife cheats a man of opportunities of exercising his Authority, and deprives him of the proud pleasure of exacting Obedience. Let me see—Vice—Folly—Impudence—Ignorance――Ignorance too! Exit. Re-enter Julia.

Julia.

What have I done! I dare not now see my Guardian after his very serious threat. I am under Promise to my Belville not to reveal our marriage until his arrival—but persecution by a Lover during his absence is not to be endured, it will degrade him and me if persevered in!—I must discover some mode of avoiding it.—Oh, where art thou Belville! arrive and shield thy unhappy Bride.—muses What step can I take! Enter Kitty.

Kitty.

Dear Ma’am, I’m so grieved to see you so unhappy! If I had such a cross Guardian, I’d run away from him.

Julia.

Alas! that thought was, this instant, presenting itself to my mind. Have you not told me that some relation of your’s has Lodgings?

Kitty.

Yes Ma’am; the most elegantest in London.

Julia.

I dont want elegant apartments; but I wish for a short time to be concealed in some family of Reputation. 358 AA3v 358

Kitty.

To be sure, Ma’am, ’tis the most prudent thing you can do.

Julia.

And yet—my Heart fails me!

Kitty.

Oh, dont give yourself time to hesitate! I’ll go and pack up a few things, and call a Coach; to save all disagreeables, we’ll be off before Lady Bell comes from Court.

Julia.

I fear ’tis a wrong step; and yet, what other can I take? The destruction of my Fortuntes I am obliged to conceal from Mr. Fitzherbert for the present, lest he should be the more anxious for a Marriage he might deem to be therefore the more prudent.

Kitty.

Oh, Ma’am, you are quite right—pray let’s be off without any of his interferences! (Aside. Or you’ll never reach Lord Sparkle’s!)

Julia.

(Aside. Bound as I am, by promise to my Husband, not to reveal our marriage before his arrival, until then I can only thus avoid both the Importunities of my Guardian, and the Addresses of a Lover—the Honour of Belville would be insulted should I permit them to be repeated!) Exit.

Kitty.

There’s some other Mystery I find. So there should be! If Ladies had not Mysteries, their service would hardly be worth keeping.—I have Mysteries too; she shall have their Explanation from Lord Sparkle! Exit.

Scene III.

Clarinda’s house. Enter Lady Bell, meeting Clarinda.

Lady Bell.

Ha! ha! what an embarras! My dear creature, driving swiftly through the streets, Lady Flare dashed upon us in her Phaeton and Four, and, giving a monstrous big Newmarket word to my poor Fellows, with infinite dexterity entangled the traces. 359 AA4r 359 It happened near your door, so I have taken shelter with you, and left her Ladyship to settle the dispute with my Coachman, ha! ha!—But, why were you not at Court to day?

Clar.

I had a teazing head-ache.—But, pray, tell me what happened there. (Aside. Heighho! she looks as well as ever!)

Lady B.

The Ladies, as usual, brilliant! but nothing so flat as the Men! The horrid english custom ruins them for Conversation with us. They make themselves Members of Clubs in the way of Business, and Members of Parliament in the way of Amusement; any Wit the creatures have is reserved for the Parliament, and all their Wisdom for the Club!

Clar.

’Tis better in Paris.

Lady B.

At least, ’tis quite another thing. Whilst our men absurdly copy the Follies of the Parisians, they omit what you and I must think the more tolerable part of their Character. In their assiduity to acquire Elegance, the Parisians catch their Opinions and their Bon Mots from the Ladies. ’Tis in the Drawing-Room of Madame the Dutchess that the Marquis learns his Politics; whilst the sprightly Countess dispenses Taste and Philosophy to a Circle of their Bishops Generals and Statesmen!

Clar.

I am mistaken, however, if you have not found one Englishman to reconcile you to the manners of the rest! Lord Sparkle, for instance; your Ladyship thinks, I am sure, that Wit is at all times within his reach.

Lady B.

Oh yes, always! his Wit, like his Essence- Bottle, is a skilful Collection of all that is poignant; he has recourse to both alike, when he feels that he is vapid himself!

Clar.

With such Sentiments, I wonder you can suffer his Addresses!

Lady B.

Oh, I tolerate them—at least for a time; the man is so much the Fashion—and I am so much 360 AA4v 360 envied: why you my dear are enclined to stick a poisoned Nosegay in my bosom.

Clar.

Ha! ha! ha!—ridiculous! Believe me, Lady Bell, I shall neither prepare a Bouquet, nor, to signalize your nuptials, like her of old—invoke a fiery shower.

Lady B.

(Aside. No your shower would be tears I fancy.—Here he comes!)

Clar.

Ah! Lord Sparkle!—Your Ladyship’s accident was fortunate! Sneering. Enter Lord Sparkle.

Spark.

Lady Bell—your horses fly! they are Venus’s Doves metamorphosed. I followed you from St. James’s; but my poor earth-born cattle couldn’t keep pace.

Clar.

Oh, dont complain! If her Ladyship flies for a time, you see she stops for you at last!

Spark.

Charming Miss Belmour, what an enlivening intimation! Where was your Ladyship on Friday? You would have found excellent food for Satire at Mrs. Olio’s: We had all the Law-Ladies from Lincoln’s Inn Fields; a dozen Satins from Bishopsgate; with the Wives and Daughters of half the M.D.’s and L.L.D.’s in Town.

Lady B.

Oh, my entertainment was quite as good as yours! We were in Brook Street, at Lady Laurel’s, and found her surrounded by her Literati of all denominations.—We had Masters of Art, and Misses of Science: on one hand there was an Essayist, now and then associated with a Moralist. There a Poetaster, here a Translator;—in that Corner a Philosopher, in the other a Writer of Romances.—Tropes, Epigrams, and Syllogisms flew off like Sky-Rockets in every direction; till the ambition of pre-eminence inflaming Controversy, they gave each other the lie literary with infinite Spirit! 361 AA5r 361

Spark.

Excellent! I’ll repeat it every word, where the Satire will be enjoyed.

Clar.

Then your Lordship may safely enter every door in the street—Satire is every where welcomed.

Lady B.

Why yes—if it raise a Laugh; tis that is its Zest. They say we are fond of mere Satire; rob it of its Laugh, ’twould soon be banished to the second table, for the amusement of Butlers and Cambermaids.

Spark.

Then some of our acquaintance would slide to the second table,—to partake with the servants of the most relishing fare. Enter Servant gives Lord Sparkle a Letter. Exit.

Spark.

Reading, aside.—Julia! astonishing! So sudden in your movements Mistress Kitty!—turning. This vulgar thing called Business is the greatest Evil in life; it intrudes on our most brilliant hours, and is fit only for Younger Brothers, and humble Cousins. Miss Belmour—I must tear myself away! Shall I attend your Ladyship to your Carriage?

Lady B.

If you please. Miss BelmourI must tear myself away! but, you’ll shine upon us at night. Exit with Lord Sparkle.

Clar.

Shine upon you at night! I know you are insolent enough to believe that impossible.—What am I to think of her Sentiments for Lord Sparkle? Sometimes I believe it is a mere attachment of Vanity on both sides. That reserved creature Beauchamp is in his Confidence; but he leaves Town this very day, and I shall have no opportunity of conversing with him.—Muses.—There is one Chance—going to visit him! but, how can I possibly do that?—I’ll pretend a Whim to look at his Library; those who have obtained nothing else are the likeliest men to be found to possess Books!—Go however I will; and, if I cant invent an excuse, I’ll put a good face upon the matter, and leave my excuse to Chance—To be bold, is sometimes to be right!

Exit.
362 AA5v 362

Act the Fourth.

Scene I.

An apartment at Lady Bell’s. Enter Lady Bell, followed by her Maid.

Lady B.

Miss Manners gone out in a Hackney Coach, and no message left!

Maid.

None, my Lady.

Lady B.

Very strange!

Maid.

Mr. Beauchamp has been waiting nearly an hour for your Ladyship’s return.

Lady B.

Here, unfold and scent this handkerchief Exit Maid. Now—shall I admit him or not? this formal Waiting looks very like formal business—and I hate that! I suppose he has at length vanquished his Timidity, and is come to tell me that—that— Well I vow I wont hear him!—Yes, I will;—I long to know the Stile in which these serious men make Love.—But, to what Imprudence would my Heart betray me? Yet, I may surely indulge myself in repressing his love—in hearing, probably for the first time, its genuine language. Enter Maid, and presents the handkerchief Tell Mr. Beauchamp I am here. Exit Maid Now, how shall I receive him? It will be intolerable to be formal. Takes her fan, and walks up and down the room, singing a few notes363 AA6r 363 Enter Beauchamp. Oh, Mr. Beauchamp, your Call is fortunate! I have had ten disputes to day about the figures on my fan, and you shall decide. Is that beautiful Nymph a flying Daphne, or an Atalanta?

Beauch.

looking at her fan From the Terror of her averted eye, and the eagerness of her step, it must be a Daphne. I think Atalanta’s head would be more at variance with her feet; and, whilst she flies, her eye would be turned on her pursuer.

Lady B.

Yes—there does want a glance, to be sure.

Beauch.

What a misfortune to a Lover! I know one, to whom you are the disdainful Daphne. How happy! could he behold in your eye the less extreme dislike of Atalanta’s.

Lady B.

Aside Mercy! for so reserved a man, that’s pretty plain.

Beauch.

This is probably the last visit I can make you, before I leave England. Will your Ladyship permit me before my departure to acquaint you, that there is one—whose happiness depends on your favour? Agitated.

Lady B.

(Aside.—So, now he’s going to be perplexing again!—about to quit the country immediately!)—One whose happiness depends on me, Mr. Beauchamp! looking on her fan.

Beauch.

Yes!—and—and—(Aside. I cannot go on. Why did I accept a commission in which Success would destroy me?)

Lady B.

Aside. How evidently this is the first time he ever made Love! The man seems to have chosen a very diffident Advocate in you, Sir.

Beauch.

’Tis more than diffidence, Madam,—my task is painful.

Lady B.

I thought so! You have taken a Brief in a cause you dont like; I could plead it better myself.

Beauch.

I feel the reproach. 364 AA6v 364

Lady B.

Your difficulty perhaps arises from speaking in the third person; try it now, by way of Whim, in the first. Suppose now, ha! ha! only suppose, I say, you were the person in love—and then try how you can plead!

Beauch.

kneeling Thus—thus would I plead; and swear, that thou art dear to my heart as Fame and Honour! To look at thee is Rapture; to love thee—though without Hope—felicity!

Lady B.

Aside. Oh! Oh! brought out at last!

Beauch.

rising. (Aside. To what dishonesty have I been betrayed!) Thus speaks—my Friend through my lips;—’tis thus he pleads his passion.

Lady B.

(Aside.—Provoking!) What friend Sir is weak enough, to use the language of another to explain his heart?

Beauch.

Lord Sparkle.

Lady B.

Lord Sparkle! Was it for him you knelt? he bows Then, Sir, I must inform you that the Liberty you have taken——(Aside. Oh! how do I betray myself!) Tell me Sir, on your honour, do you wish to succeed in pleading the passion of Lord Sparkle?

Beauch.

hesitating My—obligations to his Lordship—our Relationship—the Confidence he has reposed in me—

Lady B.

Stop, Sir, I too will repose Confidence in you! Though—perhaps—there is one whom I sometimes suspect not to be indifferent to me—it is not Lord Sparkle. Tell him so;—and tell him—that— tell him agitated—what you will!

Beauch.

Aside. Heaven! what means this? What language is this her Agitation speaks!

Lady B.

If, Sir, you join my Party this evening, you may see me in the presence of him—for whom my heart feels—perhaps—some preference— He bows, goes to the door, returns, advances towards her, makes a vain effort to speak, bows, and retires. 365 AA7r 365 What persuasion in that bashful irresolution! what necessity have Lovers for Words? Now—shall I let him quit England or not? What! give up a Coronet and Lord Sparkle—for an Epaulette and Beauchamp —preposterous! says Vanity. But—what says Love? I dont exactly know; but, I’ll examine their separate claims, and settle them—with all the casuistry of four-and-twenty.

Exit.

Scene II.

A room in Lord Sparkle’s house. Enter Julia and Kitty.

Julia.

I am so agitated with this rash step, that— I hardly breathe! throwing herself into a chair. Why did you confirm me in my imprudent resolution?

Kitty.

Imprudent! I’m sure, Ma’am, ’tis very prudent and very right that a young Lady should not be snubbed, and have her inclination thwarted by an ill-natured positive old Guardian.

Julia.

looking round What Apartments! and the Hall we came through had an air much beyond a Lodging-House! ’Tis all too fine for my purpose, I want to be private.

Kitty.

O dear Ma’am, you may live as private here as you please. A rapping at the door There’s my Cousin come home, I dare say. Exit.

Julia.

I feel I have done wrong, and yet, I was so distracted by my various difficulties, I know not how I could have done otherwise— Enter Lord Sparkle. What means this—Lord Sparkle here!

Spark.

Yes, my lovely Julia, here I am; and, if 366 AA7v 366 you knew the engagement I have broken for this happiness, you would really feel gratified.

Julia.

Gratified! I can feel only astonished— equally so at your being here, and at your strange Address!

Spark.

Astonished at my being here? To be sure it is not usual to find a man of fashion in his own house; but, when I heard you were in my house, how could I do less than fly home?—How you chanced to come, at this particular time, has not been explained to me.

Julia.

Home!—Your own house! what can all this mean?

Spark.

Mean?—Love!

Julia.

Oh! I am betrayed! Where is my depraved servant?

Spark.

Think no more of her. Why all this flutter my sweet Girl? You have only changed Guardians; and shall find that being Ward to a young man of Fashion and—

Julia.

Heaven! Shield me from this Insolence—

Spark.

Nay, this is ridiculous—after having recourse to my Mansion! Honoured thus by your Confidence I will take care to deserve—

Julia.

Why do I remain here an Instant?— Going towards the door.

Spark.

holding her. This is downright Rudeness. You young Ladies are so fickle! Be assured that, after having thus honoured my house, I shall not be so inattentive as to suffer you to seek another.

Julia.

Wretched Artifice! You know that your house, and you, I should have fled from to the furthest corner of— Enter Beauchamp. Oh Mr. Beauchamp— save me! I have been basely betrayed hither. 367 AA8r 367

Beauch.

Betrayed! Miss Manners! Madam, I will protect you at every hazard.

Spark.

Come, none of your antique virtues George pray! This is the badinage of the present century, and you cant possibly understand it. Miss Manners chose to pay me a Visit, and I desire you’ll leave us.

Julia.

My Lord! how presume you thus to trifle with a woman’s honour!

Beauch.

Be not alarmed, Madam, I will defend you.

Spark.

taking him aside Poh, prithee, George, be discreet. This is all female artifice—a Salvo for her Reputation.

Beauch.

Pardon me, my Lord—in believing you, in opposition to the evidence of this young Lady’s Terrors, I may be guilty of an irremediable error.

Spark.

Nay, if you are serious――Sir—how venture you to break in upon my privacy?

Beauch.

This is not a time fully to explain that to you, my Lord. The Task you imposed upon me I now feel indebted to; I should not but for that have prevented your base designs!

Spark.

Base designs?—Mr. Beauchamp!

Beauch.

Yes! Lord Sparkle. Shall I attend you home, Madam?

Julia.

Oh, Sir, I dare not go thither! I fled from Lady Bell’s when I was betrayed into this inhuman being’s power. Convey me to some place, where I may have Leisure to reflect.

Spark.

And do you think Mr. Beauchamp, I shall put up with this!—remember Sir—

Beauch.

Yes, my Lord, that, as a Man, it is my Duty to protect endangered Innocence; that, as a Soldier, it is a part of the essence of my Character; and that, whilst I am grateful to you for the Commission I have the Honour to bear, I ought not to disgrace it by suffering myself to be intimidated by your frowns. Exit Beauchamp, leading Julia.

Spark.

So!—so!—so!—an antient Hero in the 368 AA8v 368 house of a modern Man of Fashion! Alexander, in the tent of Darius!—The fellow’s Morals are of the date of the Olympiads. Enter Servant.

Serv.

Mr. Pendragon and his Sister, my Lord.

Spark.

Pshaw—who! with an air of Disgust.

Serv.

Mr. and Miss Pendragon.

Spark.

Carry them to the Housekeeper’s room, give them Jellies and Plumb-cake, and tell them— Enter Pendragon, leading Sophy. runs up to her Oh, my dear Miss Pendragon in a tone of great pleasure you honour me!—But, I am the most unlucky man on earth! I am obliged, on business of infinite importance, to be at Whitehall within five minutes.

Pen.

But, first, my Lord, you must settle a little business here, with Miss Pendragon.

Sophy.

I tell you, Bob, I’ll speak for myself; and, as few words are best,—pray, my Lord, what do you mean by treating me in this manner?

Spark.

I shall be miserable—beyond bearing—if any treatment of mine has incurred your displeasure!

Sophy.

Well, now you talk of being miserable, you have lighten’d my heart at once. But, pray my Lord, is it fashionable for people, engaged as we are, never to see each other?

Spark.

aside What can the Girl mean?

Sophy.

Never even write! no Billets! no bribing the maid to slip notes into my hand! Why, though ’tis five days since you saw me—you dont even complain.

Spark.

Complain! I’m sure I have been exceedingly wretched.

Sophy.

Then why did you not write me so? Why 369 BB1r 369 that’s the very thing I wanted. Why did you not comfort me, by letting me know that you were wretched?

Pen.

I see, by all this, I shall lose an Opportunity here.—I came to challenge you my Lord!

Spark.

Challenge me!

Pen.

Yes; Miss Pendragon told me she was dissatisfied—then says I, I’ll demand Satisfaction! And I didn’t care if the Quarrel had gone a little further; for, to call out a Lord would be a feather in my cap as long as I live.—However, you’re agreed.

Sophy.

Do be quiet Bob!—we’re not agreed. I’ve heard nothing of the Lawyers and Settlements yet— nor of the Jewels.

Spark.

My dear Ma’am, you are pleased to amuse yourself!

Sophy.

Why, my Lord, you know, those things must be arranged before hand.

Spark.

Before what?

Sophy.

What! why before our Marriage, to be sure.

Spark.

Marriage—ridiculous! ha! ha! ha!

Sophy.

Hey-dey—what—do you pretend that you did not intend to marry me! I can prove that you courted me from twenty instances.

Spark.

Indeed!

Pen.

Aye, that she can! instances as glaring as the splendor of your Lordship’s dress. Come Miss Pendragon—your proofs. I’ll support them, whatever they are!

Sophy.

Why, in the first place, my Lord, you once gave me a Nosegay for my bosom, and said—Oh! I wish I were these happy Roses!—the very speech that Sir Harry Hargrave made to Miss Woodville! —Another time you said—You are a bewitching and adorable Girl!—exactly what Colonel Finch said to Lady Lucy Lustre.—Another time you said—How would a Coronet become those brilliant tresses—the very speech that Lord RosehillI. BB 370 BB1v 370 hill made to Miss Danvers; and these couples were, every one, married!

Spark.

Pray who are they all? I never heard of them! In what Region do they live?

Pen.

Live! Why strutting up to him in our County to be sure!

Sophy.

No, no, Bob, in The Constant Lovers and Roderick Random, and Sir Charles Grandison.

Pen.

At Random Sir with Sir Charles Grandison! do you know them now?

Spark.

Ha! Ha! you would be an excellent little Lawyer Sophy; for you argue but by Precedent! And your precedents you might perhaps establish to all future times, if Grandison were on the Bench; but, though fit for nothing else, I never heard of Sir Charles being made a Judge.

Pen.

What! not bring your Proofs from real fashionable Life?—And were you such a fool all along, that you did not understand what we call—Common- Place!

Sophy.

Common Place!

Pen.

Yes, we of elegant life are permitted to indulge in the Figure—Hyperbole!

Sophy.

Why, what’s a Hyperbole!

Pen.

Why, that is as much to say a—Stretch!

Sophy.

What!—all a mere Stretch! Then, my Lord you have only been making your Mock of me? weeping.

Spark.

Not in the least; I shall be the happiest man in existence always—(Aside. I must take care of my Phrases!)—to render myself worthy of any Interest—I mean, that I shall always, and upon all occasions, be tres humblement votre Serviteur!— Aside.—Were there ever two such Bumpkins! Exit.

Sophy.

What, is he gone? Oh! Monster, Villain! I am forsaken—I am rejected! crying.—Oh! all Cornwall shall know it! 371 BB2r 371

Pen.

All the Mines shall echo with it! But, dont ye cry, Miss Pendragon, dont ye cry!

Sophy.

Is this his Gratitude for getting his friend a Borough! Bob, you told more lies for him in five weeks, than you need have told in your own affairs in five years. And I myself introduced him to the Miss Coulters, and their Sweethearts would have got him twice as many Votes as he wanted.—Oh! the ungrateful man—I’m rejected!

Pen.

I’m glad on’t with all my Heart! for now I can challenge him! And they wont know in Cornwall exactly how it was; they’ll hear that a Lord fought and so forth! and, whether for like or dislike of ye, no matter—as long as it was about ye!

Sophy.

But, will you challenge him really Bob?

Pen.

Upon Honour! I admire the Claw of the thing!—Soph, I’m glad he has forsaken thee—for now my character will be finished. A man isn’t quite established in Company, till he has stood a shot, and fired his pistol in the Air!

Sophy.

In the air! If you dont fire it through him—

Pen.

Oh, never fear, I’ll do all that sort of thing in a high stile. Come along—I’ll home directly, and practise at the Hen-Coop in the yard, and tomorrow morning I’ll challenge him.—I’ll fire through one end, and you shall hold your Parasol at the other, and, if I dont hit—say I’m no Marksman.

Exit, with Sophy under his arm.

Scene III.

Beauchamp’s lodgings. Enter Beauchamp and Julia.

Beauch.

I entreat your pardon—I have only been able to conduct you to my own Lodgings, which I BB2 372 BB2v 372 surrender to you. Here, Madam, you will be safe, until you determine how to act.—What are your commands to me?

Julia.

Oh, Mr. Beauchamp, I have no commands —I have no prospects!—I have been very imprudent. —I am still more unhappy.

Beauch.

Shall I acquaint Mr. Fitzherbert?

Julia.

It was to avoid him that I left Lady Bell. —I have reasons that make it impossible to see Mr. Fitzherbert now.

Beauch.

Is there no other friend?

Julia.

Oh,—I have one friend! Were he here, all my difficulties would vanish——Ah! how am I exposed!—here is Company! ’Tis Miss Belmour, the last woman on earth whom I would trust!—where can I go?

Beauch.

Miss Belmour—most surprising! But pray, be not uneasy—the back drawing-room, if you will condescend. She hastens through the door. Enter Clarinda laughing.

Clar.

Ha! ha! I expect your Gravity will be amazingly discomposed at so hardy a visit; but, I took it very ill that you did not design to call upon me before your departure; and so I stopped, in passing, to send for you to my Carriage door to enquire the cause, but, hearing you had Company—I thought I might venture up. Bless me—where are they?

Beauch.

Oh, you was misinformed—but—but —I’m thankful for the delusion which has procured me this Honour.

Clar.

Oh, your most obedient! But—looks round with anxiety You are going to leave England for a long while! You’ll find many in different situations probably on your return.—Your friend Lord Sparkle for instance; I am informed he is really to marry Lady Bell—but I dont believe it— do you?

Beauch.

’Tis impossible, Madam, for me— 373 BB3r 373

Clar.

Impossible! oh, such friends as you are, I suppose, keep nothing from one another.—We Women cant exist without a Confidante; and, I dare say you men are full as communicative. Not that it is any thing to me! but, as I have a prodigious regard for Lady Bell

Belv.

withoutBeauchamp! Beauchamp!

Clar.

Oh! I am the nicest creature breathing in my reputation—Here is some man—what will he think—I’ll run into this room. runs towards the door.

Beauch.

preventing her Pardon me, Madam, you cannot enter there.

Clar.

pushing the door I must—oh!—oh! the door is held. I should not have been in this distressful situation, Sir, if I had not heard of your company, but—I am to endure exposure, to protect one who ought perhaps to be exposed.

Beauch.

My dear Madam, I am infinitely sorry for the accident; but suppose—Madam—I say— that a friend of mine has been in a duel, and concealed in that room.

Clar.

Ridiculous! I saw the corner of a Lady’s gown—is that the dress of your fighting friends?— So! ’tis too late! Enter Belville.

Belv.

So! so! I beg pardon. How could you be so indiscreet Beauchamp? Though a young Soldier, I thought you knew enough of Generalship to be prepared for a Surprise.

Clar.

Oh! he was, for one, but not for two surprises. One has happened already—and a hasty Retreat the consequence.

Beauch.

Believe me Belville――To Clarinda.— I am infinitely concerned.

Clar.

Oh keep your impertinent concern for the Lady in the other room Sir. 374 BB3v 374

Belv.

A Lady in the other room too! Hey-dey! Beauchamp, who would have suspected—

Beauch.

’Tis all a mistake—the Lady in the other room—But prithee go!

Belv.

Only tell me whether you have seen Fitzherbert? I have been seeking him this hour on business of the utmost consequence.

Beauch.

I have not; but, about this time you’ll find him at home.

Belv.

Enough.—Miss Belmour, pray suffer no uneasiness; depend on my honour. Beauchamp taking him aside who is the Lady in the other room?

Beauch.

Had I meant that to be known, a retreat would have been unnecessary. Belville seems still inquisitive, and continues drawing him to the side.

Clar.

Now do I die to know who it can be. Indeed it is necessary for my own sake. Whilst she has been hid, I have been exposed; and who knows what the creature may say, if she is not silenced? I’ll try once more. She has my secret, and I’ll have her’s. forces open the door.

Julia.

rushes outBelville!running towards him.

Belv.

Julia! starting back.

Clar.

Ha! ha! Miss Manners!

Julia.

Oh Belville, throw me not from you!

Belv.

Distraction!

Clar.

Charming! The modest Julia, and the reserved Beauchamp—ha! ha! ha! But, Mr. Belville, how came you of this sober party?

Julia.

Listen to me, Belville—

Clar.

Now, Mr. Beauchamp, you know the real object of my visit. I had heard that Miss Manners had been seen to visit you, and, not being willing to trust merely to report, was resolved, if possible, to ascertain the Truth.

Belv.

to Julia Wretched Woman!

Julia.

Barbarous! hear me I conjure you!

Belv.

Hear you! No Madam—and, if my Contempt—my Hatred—my—You, Sir, I must speak to 375 BB4r 375 in another place—yet! perhaps you were not acquainted that I am—What would I say!—The word which I have pronounced with Rapture—now choaks me in the utterance. From this moment to Julia Farewell! Exit.

Beauch.

What can I think of all this?

Julia.

Oh! Mr. Beauchamp.

Beauch.

Permit me, Madam to ask—whether you have been long acquainted with Mr. Belville?

Julia.

Yes, too long!

Clar.

Aye, young Ladies should be cautious how they form acquaintance. For my part—but you look ill child—taking her hand Well, I have no hard heart—I wont upbraid you now. My Carriage waits —shall I conduct you home?

Julia.

Yes, to Lady Bell—to Lady Bell!

Clar.

Adieu! Mr. Beauchamp. This has been an unlucky frolic.—’Tis amazing you grave people can be so careless. Exeunt Julia and Clarinda.

Beauch.

An unlucky frolic, indeed! And, I am so thoroughly confounded that I know not what Judgment to form of the adventure. I always considered Miss Manners as a pattern of delicacy and virtue; nor dare I now, spite of circumstances, think otherwise—the strength of her Character supports her! Enter Lord Sparkle.

Spark.

So, so! Signor Quixote—what, so soon lost your prize! Aye, better assault the windmills, than defend these women of Character.—Have you seen Lady Bell, in my behalf?

Beauch.

Lady Bell, my Lord! Why, surely, ’tis impossible after your conduct to Miss Manners

Spark.

Pshaw! that is a hit in my favour. She will be the better pleased with his devoirs whom another has found dangerous. What did you discover of her sentiments towards me? 376 BB4v 376

Beauch.

I meant to have given the intelligence softened; but, the various agitations I have gone through make it impossible; I must therefore inform you, in few words—Lady Bell Bloomer’s choice is made; but has not fallen on your Lordship.

Spark.

Then, I must inform you, in three words, that—you are mistaken. But, your reasons, Sir, your reasons?

Beauch.

Her Ladyship furnished me with a decisive one: she acknowledged a pre-engagement of her heart—and added that I should see her in the presence of the man her heart prefers—if I visited her this evening.

Spark.

Laughing violently. Excellent!—charming Ingenuity! Ha! ha! ha! the kindest, softest, message that ever woman framed; and you, like the sheep loaden with the golden fleece, bore it insensible of its value. Ha! ha! ha! You dont see the pretty Artifice?

Beauch.

No, really.

Spark.

Why—’tis I who am to be there—by particular Invitation! You’ll see her in my presence; and this is her pretty mysterious way of covertly informing me that, I am the object of her choice.

Beauch.

Indeed!

Spark.

Without a doubt! but, you deep people are the dullest fellows at a hint!—a man of half your wisdom would see it.—But I am satisfied;— and shall go to her Rout in the most brilliant Spirits! You shall come, and see my Triumph confirmed, see the lovely Widow—in the presence of the man her heart prefers! Exit.

Beauch.

Vanity! how didst thou construe her sweet Confusion!—Is Lord Sparkle right?—this night decides! Narrowly will I watch each Tone and Look to discover who it is—Oh ever blest! whom her heart prefers.

Exit.
377 BB5r 377

Act the Fifth

Scene I. An apartment at Lady Bell’s.

A Table with Candles.—Enter Lady Bell, and Servant.

Lady B.

Are the Tables placed in the Inner Rooms?

Serv.

Yes, my Lady, all but the Pharaoh Table.

Lady B.

Carry that in too. I positively will not have a Table in the outer room. Exit Servant Those who play visit the card-tables, not me; and, where they find them is very immaterial.――Hey-dey!— Enter Clarinda, and Julia. Why Julia! where can you have been?

Clar.

Aye, that’s a circumstance you would not have known, but for an accident; I am very sorry it fell to my lot to make the discovery.

Lady B.

taking Julia’s hand—Speak my Love!

Julia.

Miss Belmour will tell you all she knows.— I am too wretched!

Clar.

Nay, I know very little;—I can tell what I saw indeed.—Having received Intimations, not quite consonant to one’s notions of Decorum, I pretended a Frolic and called on Mr. Beauchamp, and there I found this Lady—concealed!

Lady B.

Julia!—’tis impossible.

Clar.

Discoveries relating to another Gentleman had nearly been made too; but, Miss Manners may explain them herself—for I see your rooms begin to fill. I shall report that your Ladyship is a little indisposed, as an excuse for your not immediately appearing. Exit. 378 BB5v 378

Lady B.

with a look of terrorJulia! you at Mr. Beauchamp’s!

Julia.

Lady Bell, though the result of my rash conduct has been that I was indeed found at Mr. Beauchamp’s, I am not the guilty wretch you imagine.—I am married!—I will no longer conceal it. bursting into tears.

Lady B.

Married! Oh Heaven! Throws herself into a chair, and turns from Julia.

Julia.

I was prevented from revealing it to my Guardian, by a promise to my husband; and, to avoid importunities, fled from your house.

Lady B.

Oh Julia, and you are married! What self-destruction have I nourished! But, forgive me! —You knew not—alas! I knew not myself, till this moment, how much Beauchamp

Julia.

My dearest Madam, do not add to my Afflictions—for indeed they are severe.

Lady B.

Why was your marriage—unkind Girl! concealed from me?

Julia.

Oh! is it destined that one imprudent step is to deprive me of every blessing? In Agony I flew to your friendship, and you destroy me with reproaches.

Lady B.

And, by your want of confidence in me, you have destroyed me! Ah, Julia! had you revealed—

Julia.

Oh—I am sure you will feel with me that I dared not; for when I was prevailed upon to give my hand to Mr. Belville

Lady B.

eagerlyMr. Belville!—Mr. Belville did you say!

Julia.

Yes. It was in Paris we were married.

Lady B.

(Aside. So, so, so! what an interesting Mistake have I made!—But, tell-tale Heart! compose thyself,—for, it is a Mistake!)――And so, my sweet Julia is married!—married in Paris! Sly thing! —But, how came you at Mr. Beauchamp’s my Love?

Julia.

In my rash flight this Morning, my abandoned servant betrayed me into Lord Sparkle’s 379 BB6r 379 house. There, Mr. Beauchamp snatch’d me from Insult, and gave me up his Lodgings as a temporary Asylum until—

Lady B.

Did Beauchamp!――(Aside. Ah! cannot he do right, but my Heart must triumph?)

Julia.

At Mr. Beauchamp’s my Husband found me! and found me hid with so suspicious a Secrecy! —Ah! here comes Mr. Fitzherbert—how can I see him? Enter Fitzherbert.

Fitz.

My Julia!—my dear Julia!

Julia.

Oh Sir!—I dread—

Fitz.

Come—I know all!—and, to relieve one cause of your distress, inform you that the faithless Agent is seized with nearly the whole of your property, and to relieve the other will tell you that the Lover I shocked you with to day, was only my instrument in the little revenge I had resolved to take for your having married, without thinking my Consent necessary, the very man for whom, as it chances, all my cares designed you.

Julia.

clasping his hand. Is it possible!

Fitz.

At the moment he left Paris for Florence, you received my directions to return home; thus Belville’s Letters from Italy missed you, and, by his arriving here, he received no information that you was in London.

Julia.

Oh Sir! had you revealed this to me this morning, what Evils should I have escaped?

Fitz.

My dear Girl, I decreed you but a little punishment; your own rashness in withdrawing yourself, and leaving me in ignorance of your distress through the villainy of your father’s Agent, have occasioned you a severer portion than you had deserved.

Lady B.

My dear Julia, I sincerely congratulate you! But, where is the Bridegroom? I long to see 380 BB6v 380 the Necromancer, whose Spells could melt a Vestal’s heart—in the chill regions of a Convent.

Fitz.

He is without; satisfied from the mouth of Beauchamp concerning your Conduct to Julia— and impatient to fold his Julia to his heart.

Julia.

Oh Sir, support me to him!—To be forgiven by you, and to find my Husband to lay my Fortune at his feet, are felicities almost too great. Exit. Led by Fitzherbert.

Lady B.

What a Discovery has Julia’s adventure made to me of my own Heart! I doubted whether it had any passion but the desire of Conquest—or any motive for admiration but Vanity; but, the pang of Jealousy indeed proves to me—that all its sense is Love!

Exit.

Scene II.

Suite of rout rooms. Numerous Card Parties seen in Inner Rooms, beyond Folding Doors. Clarinda in the outer room in front of the Stage with other Company, who, by degrees, all join the Card Parties in the Inner Rooms. A Lady enters.

Lady.

I protest I have been three quarters of an hour getting from the top of the street to the door! But the Bustle without doors is more the object of a Lady in her Rout, than the Company within.

Clar.

Oh, the Racket in the Street is frequently the pleasantest part of her Entertainment; to plague one’s Neighbourhood is delightful! Ha! ha! ha! My next door neighbour, Mrs. Saffron, always wheels into the Country on my Public Nights—on pretence 381 BB7r 381 of delicate Nerves; but, the truth is, her Rooms will hold but ten Card-tables—and mine nineteen.

Gent.

I wish the Ladies would banish Cards from their Assemblies, and give us something in the naure of Conversaziones.

Clar.

Oh! it wont do on this side the Channel; our Men in general have no knack at Conversation— they think too much to be able to talk. Good talkers never think—Sir Harry Glare, full of Bon Mots, never thinks—you Sir, I believe, never think!—Why! here comes Lord Sparkle’s borough acquaintance— Mr. Pendragon. Enter Pendragon, extravagantly dressed.

Pen.

Bobs! Miss Belmour, how d’ye do? I didn’t think to find you here. Fitzherbert told me I might come; I have been examining the other Ladies faces to see whether I knew any body; but, fine Ladies are so alike that I am puzzled to distinguish my acquaintance—red cheeks, white necks, and lips with, what we call in our Country, the long Smile, croud every room.

Lady.

Hey-dey! a natural curiosity! Pray Sir, how long have you been in the World?

Pen.

How long! Just twenty years, last Lammas.

Lady.

I dont enquire your Age! How long is it since you were caught?—you’re an odd creature.

Pen.

No, there are a pair of us—Sister and I. I’ve lost her somewhere in the Crowd looks round. As ladies when they receive a Few hundred friends cant know all their acquaintance, I made bold to bring her here without an Invitation, as this may be her only opportunity of telling them in Cornwall all about a Rout. I shall have a slight fashionable affair upon my hands tomorrow, which may make it necessary for us to be off.

Lady.

Fashion!—ha! ha!—Was you ever at a Rout before? 382 BB7v 382

Pen.

Aye, that I was, last week.—It beat this all to nothing! ’Twas at our Wine-Merchant’s—not in the City, but at his Country house at Kentish Town; he sold us some Wine, and asked us to come.

Clar.

Oh, how I wish I had been of your party— I should have enjoyed a Kentish-Town Rout!

Pen.

Oh, you must have been pleased—The Rooms were so little, and the Company so large, that nothing was done—without the leave of all the rest; we were packed so close, that if one person stirred, all were obliged to obey the motion.

Clar.

Delightful!—Well Sir—

Pen.

We had all the notable Misses, managing Wives, and fat Widows who have Country Houses in the Parish. We had no Scandal—for all were there. At length, when the Assembly broke up, such Clattering and squeedging down the gangway staircase! whilst the little Footboy bawled up from the Passage—Miss Bobbin’s Bonnet is ReadyMrs. Spudder’s Lanthorn waitsMrs. Jobson’s Pattens stop the way!

Clar.

Oh, you Creature, come with me! I must exhibit him through the rooms. Clarinda and Pendragon, with others, withdraw into the other rooms.

Lady.

as they go Remember, I shall be at home on Wednesday, and I insist on you;—you shall receive a Card. He is really amusing— Enter Lord Sparkle, down the rooms. But, hide your heads Beaus and Witlings!—here comes Lord Sparkle. Exit.

Spark.

speaking as he comes down With all my heart, provided the Belles dont hide their’s.

Gent.

Well my Lord—our circle have obeyed Summons; had you not pressed it we should not have been here. But, why so earnest?

Spark.

To give eclat to my particular reception 383 BB8r 383 here. This fête is given by Lady Bell to me—and I expect your congratulations! Here comes the dear creature! Lady Bell comes down through the Rooms, into which all but Lord Sparkle retire.

Lady B.

How d’ye do? How d’ye do? on each side—You wicked creature why did you disappoint me last night! Harriet I have not seen you this age! —Oh, Lord Sparkle—I have been detained by Mr. Fitzherbert, planning a Scheme for your amusement.

Spark.

Indeed! I did not expect plans for my amusement from him—but, for the enchanting Scheme of the evening, I acknowledge my obligations to your Ladyship.

Lady B.

(Aside.—That air of self possession, I fancy, would be incommoded, if you guessed at your coming entertainment)—Have you seen Mr. Beauchamp?

Spark.

For a moment. But, charming Lady Bell taking her hand, and drawing her aside I shall make you expire with laughing. I really believe—ha! ha! ha!—the poor fellow explained your message in his own favour!

Lady B.

Well!—did he?—ha! ha! ha! Enter Beauchamp, from the rooms behind.

Beauch.

Aside. Ah!—’tis true! There they are, retired from the Crowd, enjoying the sweet converse of Lovers.

Lady B.

See—there he is. I long to have a little badinage with him.

Spark.

Oh, nothing can be more delightful!— Hither, sighing Shepherd, come!Beauchamp, take one last—one lingering look!—shan’t he, Lady Bell?

Lady B.

Doubtless, with your Lordship’s leave.

Spark.

He seems astonished—ha! ha! ha!—Nay, 384 BB8v 384 it is cruel! If the poor youth has the misfortune to be stricken, you know he cant resist Fate—Ixion sighed for Juno.

Lady B.

And was punished too.—What Penalty, Mr. Beauchamp, shall we decree you?

Beauch.

I am astonished! Was it for this your Ladyship commanded me to attend you?

Lady B.

How did I command you? Do you remember the words?

Beauch.

You bid me come—that I might behold you in the presence of the man your Heart prefers.

Lady B.

Well—and—Sir—you see me!

Spark.

Oh, the sweet Confusion of the enchanting Confession!

Beauch.

Since you knew my heart, this Ostentation of felicity is ungenerous—and unworthy You. But, I am pleased I have witnessed it—I shall have a pang the less. Going.

Lady B.

—Sir—do you set out instantly!

Beauch.

This instant. I remained but in obedience to your Commands; my chaise is at your door, and, before your gay assembly breaks up I shall be far from London, and, in a day or two, from England. I probably now see your Ladyship for the last time. ――Farewell!

Lady B.

Stay—Mr. Beauchampagitated.

Spark.

Aye, prithee stay! I believe Lady Bell has a mind to make you give her away at the Wedding.

Beauch.

I forgive You, my Lord. Excess of Happiness heightens frequently into Insolence;— the mind that is absorbed in felicity is unfeeling.— But, why should the humble passion which has so long consumed my life prompt you, my Lady, to this cruelty? I have not insulted you with my love; I have scarcely dared whisper it to myself; how then have I deserved—

Lady B.

Mercy! dont be so grave! I am not insensible to your Merit, nor have I beheld your passion 385 CC1r 385 with disdain. Lord Sparkle’s Fashion—Elegance—

Spark.

My dearest Lady Bell!— you overpower me—your Discernment!—thus I thank you for the distinguished Honour—kneeling to kiss her hand. Sophy bursts in—crying.

Sophy.

Oh, you false hearted man!

Spark.

starting up Hey-dey!

Sophy.

Dont believe a word he says—for all you are so fine a Lady. He’ll talk to you of his happiness, and miseries, and this, and that, and t’other, but—’tis all Common-place and Hyperbole and all that sort of thing! Crying.

Lady B.

Indeed! What, has this young Lady prior claims on your Lordship?

Spark.

Claims! Ha! ha! ha! Surely your Ladyship can answer that in a single Glance. Claims! is it my fault that a little Rustic does not know the Language of the day? Compliment is merely the particular Idiom of modern conversation, and every one, under penalty of disappointment must learn to appreciate its real import. Enter Pendragon.

Pen.

clapping him on the shoulder. Well my Lord, pray then teach me the Value of your Compliment, when you told me you would use your Influence to obtain me a Commission, and said—I should make quite a Figure in the Guards!

Spark.

Ha! ha! ha! Value! Why just as much as it would bring! you yourself estimated it at Forty Votes, and now, strangely, can’t comprehend its worth! Enter Fitzherbert and Julia.

Fitz.

But here, Lord Sparkle, is a Lady who claims Vol. I. CC 386 CC1v 386 an explanation of a different kind. She had no Interest, to excite your Flatteries, yet you scrupled not to profess Love to her—whilst you were soliciting the hand of her friend in Marriage.

Julia.

Fancy not, Lady Bell, that Lord Sparkle can be bound in the honorable chains of Marriage with you!

Spark.

Mere malice Lady BellFitzherbert’s malice!—I never had a thought of seriously addressing Miss Manners in my life. Enter Belville.

Belv.

What, my Lord! and have you to this Lady then dared talk of Love at all!

Spark.

And, pray Sir, what right have you—

Belv.

What you perhaps will deem trifling—the right of a Husband!

Spark.

Your Wife!—my dear Belville runs up to him I give you Joy with all my Soul! You see the danger of keeping Secrets from your Friends. But, am I to be accused of any other crimes?—any more witnesses coming into Court?

Belv.

No; but, I am now a witness in another cause. I accuse you of loading the mind of my friend Beauchamp with a sense of Obligation you had neither Spirit nor Justice to confer.

Lady B.

A Commission, my Lord, sent him under a blank Cover, by one who could not bear to see his noble spirit dependent on your Caprice.

Belv.

And, when his sense of claims on your Lordship pointed you out as his Benefactor, you accepted the honour—to lay heavy claims on his Gratitude.

Spark.

Well, and what is there in all that? Beauchamp did not know to whom he was obliged; and would not it have been lamentable to let a good action run about the world belonging to nobody?— I found it a stray Orphan, and adopted it. But, you 387 CC2r 387 I see Fitzherbert are the lawful owner; so prithee take it back, and thank me for patronizing it.

Fitz.

Your affected Pleasantry, Lord Sparkle, though it shield you from Resentment, will not from Contempt. Your Effrontery—

Spark.

Effrontery! Prithee make distinctions!— What in sober walks of life would be effrontery, in me is only—the Ease of fashion; that delightful something which enables me at this moment to stand serene amidst the storm you have raised around me. Come, my dear Lady Bell, we will leave these good Gentry; and love—amidst the delights of Fashion and the charms of high life. Tenders her his hand.

Lady B.

Withdrawing her’s Pardon me, my Lord! Caprice, you know, is one of the ingredients in the Character of a Fine Lady, so you will not be surprised if, in preference to your Elegance, Fashion, and Wit, I present my hand presents it—to this poor Soldier, who boasts only—Worth, Spirit, Honour, and Love!

Beauch.

Madam!—be cautious—Feelings like mine are not to be trifled with! Once already the hopes you had inspired—

Lady B.

The hour of Trifling is past; and surely it cannot appear extraordinary, that I prefer the internal worth of an uncorrupted heart, to outward polish—springing from a mind too feeble to support itself against Vice! I were indeed a Trifler, if, in so serious a moment, I could hesitate to declare— which is the man of my Heart!

Spark.

What! your Ladyship too in the Plot?

Fitz.

A Plot has existed longer than you, my Lord, conceive. As it is my misfortune that you are my nearest relation, it was my Duty to watch over your Conduct—and I have found you but a Gambler and a Libertine, unworthy the high Order to which you belong. I have seen your Plans generally tend to your Confusion and Disgrace; and many of them I have defeated, though you knew not the means.— But, what Fate does your Lordship design for these CC2 388 CC2v 388 young people, decoyed by you from their natural Station and Home?

Spark.

Let them return to their natural station and Home as fast as they can!

Pen.

No, no; hang me if I do that! I know Life now, and Life I’ll have; Hyde-Park, Plays, Operas —and all that sort of affair for me!—But, Old Gentleman, perhaps you’ll give me a Commission, as he wont. The Captain there cant want his now, suppose you turn it over to me?

Fitz.

Young Man, your proper, and therefore your happiest, station is that from which you were removed. The requisite of a Soldier—is not Vulgarity assuming Assurance. Intrepid Spirit, nice Honour, Generosity, and Understanding, all unite to form him. By these the British Soldier continues the First Character in Europe, makes England for ever invincible, and her resplendent arms triumphant in every quarter of the Globe.

Sophy.

Well, Bob may do as he will! I’ll go back to Cornwall directly, and warn all my Neighbours to take special care—how they trust to a great man’s Promises at an Election!

Pen.

Oh dear! Heigho! With all my high London-Finish I believe I too must return to the Rustics —and all that sort of thing!

Both.

Heigho! Oh dear! Exeunt, arm-in-arm.

Spark.

Well, great Attempts, and great Failings mark the Life of a Man of Spirit! There is an eclat even in my disappointment to night, and I am ready for a fresh set of Adventures tomorrow. Going.

Fitz.

Stay, my Lord! though you are incorrigible, you shall be made to feel, and then I have done with you.—Beauchamp has answered all my Hopes; this charming woman, in rewarding him, merits the happiness that awaits her; and that I may give the fullest Sanction to her choice, I declare him, though more distantly related to me than your Lordship, Heir to my possessions.—As more Estates go from, than 389 389 come to, your Lordship through the Dice-box, you will feel this blow, on which I know you had not reflected.

Spark.

agitated. What! disinherited! strikes his forehead—discomposing that!—Are you――I must escape Reflection—or at least postpone it— amidst the distractions of Dissipation! Exit.

Beauch.

And was it then to You, Sir!—the Emotions of my Gratitude—

Fitz.

Your Conduct has compleatly rewarded me; and, that your Profession may be no interruption to your happiness—

Lady B.

Oh! I protest against that! Our union would then appear a prudent, sober affair, and I should lose the credit of being romantic in my attachment, to the man my Heart prefers.

Fitz.

To you I resign him with Pleasure—his Fate is in your hands.

Lady B.

Then, he shall continue a Soldier! one of those whom—Love and his Country constitute their Guardians!

Beauch.

Love and my Country! Yes, ye shall have equal rule in my Heart! These were the passions by which our Forefathers were animated to the acquisition of their Renown;—and I shall glory in joining those Bands, that yield not in Fame—even to their Ancestors!