X7r

Which Is the Man?

A Comedy.

X7v

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.

X8r

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!

X8v 320

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!

Y1r

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 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. 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 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— 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. 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 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 frequently Y4v 328
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, 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 hand
“That’s a fine Girl! Twenty thousand you say? I
think I’ll have her. Yes—I—I’ll call on her tomorrow, Y5v 330
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.
Y6r 331

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 Racket
Miss 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. 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.
Y7r 333

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— 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 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 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? 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 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 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 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 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 Importance”
going
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 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! 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 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 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. 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 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 particular Z6v 348
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, 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 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! 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 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. 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-and-
twenty 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 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 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 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 weakness AA3r 357
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. 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. 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 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! 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 Belmour“I 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.
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 notes
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. 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.
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 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. 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 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 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 RosehillVol. I. BB BB1v 370
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! 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 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— 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. 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 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? 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.
BB5r 377

Act the Fifth

Scene I. An apartment at Lady Bell’s.

A Table with Candles.—Enter Lady Bell, annd
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. 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 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 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 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? 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 Ready”
“Mrs. Spudder’s Lanthorn waits”“Mrs. 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 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, 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 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 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 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 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
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!