323 Y2r

The Town
Before You.

A Comedy.

Y2 324 Y2v

After flights into different Climates, and, in one instance, retrograding into a long past Age, the Author’s Muse returns—to close her dramatic career at home. Perhaps, after her long course, on a flagging wing if compared with herself—a test which is severe in proportion to an Author’s own Merits!—If this be so, her Muse however will be found invigorated to Strength again in the Volume of her Poetry.

This Comedy was brought out at Covent Garden in the year 17951795. The Cant, that preceded and caused the present disturbed state of Europe, that Vice peculiarly abounds amongst the higher and richer orders, and that Virtue is rather the attribute of their inferiors, was, in the moment in which it flourished, controverted in this play, in as much detail as a mixed audience would admit of. The doctrine, as has generally been the case in real life, is made to proceed from the lips of a man—who has sunk to be an adventurer.

Though some of the Characters have the elegant Manners of the Author’s earlier plays, the general object in this was, to give the mingled Scenes Manners and Characters of the East and the West of The Town. The Thoughts of the Adventurer, the weakness of the dupe, and the phraseology of Commerce, immingle with the more refined Manners and Language of higher Life; the frolic but not rude vivacity of Georgina, just introduced into life, imparting considerable liveliness throughout.

325 Y3r

Prologue

Ha! Ha! you’re here! and comfortably tight!

Well squeezed and pressed I see, from left to right,

Waiting the moment when the curtain rises,

Gaping for Plots Adventures and Surprises!

Were I a Poet, a Dramatic Wit,

And by the Stage Tarantula were bit,

My Prologue should, as was the good old way,

A word or two upon the Subject say,

Hint a slight outline of the scheme within,

T’excite your guesses ere the Scenes begin.

In present times, the Prologue and the Play,

Are as near kin as Michaelmas and May,

Confined then not to say a word of that,

I’ll tell some Story—and I have one pat!

A Boniface of late placed o’er his door

Good larder here, of genuine wine rich store

In Gold the gaudy invitation hung,

And to the shifting Zephyrs gently swung.

It chanced a Traveller, with stomach keen,

Leapt from his Rozinante tired and lean,

Talked of his Supper with an eager air,

Resolved for once—that no Expence he’d spare!

Bring your stewed Carp, he cried, and Chicken roast,

And give me of the Burgundy you boast!

Y—e—s Sir! the staring curtesying Damsel said,

And, in a trice, the Table-cloth was laid.

I’m my own Man! he adds, in accents bold,

Nor shall I fear to night my household Scold!

326 Y3v 326

One hundred miles betwixt me and my Dear,

At least her shrill Alarum can’t reach here!

At length came back the smirking simpering Kate,

And placed—one Egg upon his lonely plate!

Our startled Traveller the Landlord called,

Host! Host! in angry accents fiercely bawled,

Where are your Carp exclaimed, your Chicken, Hare?

Why there you see them—in the Bill of Fare!

The cheated Guest, enraged, the Inn forsook,

And the road, grumbling, to another took.

There, without Promise, all was neat and clean,

Food, not quite tasteless, and the House not mean.

We, not to raise high hopes, we may not meet,

But ay—this night’s plain fare is fresh and sweet,

And, should you like the dressing, we invite ye,

To come as often as the fare delights ye!

327 Y4r 328 Y4v

Characters.

Men.

Sir Simon Asgill.Mr. Powell.

Asgill.His Nephew.Pope.

Conway. In love with Georgina. Holman.

Sir Robert Floyer.Quick.

Fancourt.Munden.

Brisk.Lewis.

Perkins.Hull.

Humphrey.Fawcett.

SlopSeller.Thompson.

Holdfast.Cross.

Women.

Lady Horatio Horton. Mrs. Pope.

Georgina. Sir Robert’s Daughter. Miss Wallis.

Mrs. Fancourt.Mrs. Mattocks.

Lady Nelville.Miss Chapman.

Jenny.Mrs. Martyr.

329 Y5r

The Town.

Act the First.

Scene I.

a plain apartment, with a few books. Fancourt sits reading. Mrs. Fancourt at Work.

Fancourt.

How well those fellows wrote, those Ancients! How finely they satirize the Rich, and what Respect they have for virtue in Rags! My Dear, I translate the passage—off hand now, d’ye hear, off hand!

Reads

Poliarchus the rich Athenian, wantoning in Gluttony, looks with Contempt on the poor Straw, thanks the Gods that he hath Health and Virtue! and prays that he may be preserved from the Misfortune of being rich like Poliarchus, whose floors are stained with the wine of Drunkenness, and whose luxurious couch is constantly crowded by Physicians!

Mrs. F.

Are you sure that is a just translation, Mr. Fancourt?

330 Y5v 330

Fancourt.

What, Mrs. Fancourt, do you doubt my knowledge of Greek!—There are, who can hardly, at Sight, read English, I can at Sight translate— thanks to the skill I gained at Oxford; where, by the bye, they had rather too much respect for Riches and the Rich!

Mrs. F.

That is better perhaps than having too little! I am much inclined to suspect the Philosophers whose sarcasms are confined to the Rich!

Fancourt.

I do maintain, Madam, that the Rich are the most—

Mrs. F.

Come, come, Mr Fancourt, now that your extravagance has rendered you poor, you are always uttering Philippics against people of Fortune, as though vice and folly were confined to the mansions of the Great, and Virtue could only live in a Garret! The Wants of the Poverty that has grown of Idleness lead us at least as much into a state of Temptation as the attractions of Luxury.

Fancourt.

Hey-dey! Madam!

Mrs. F.

There is at least as much goodness, where Prudence has preserved fortune, as amongst those who through Extravagance are poor. I never could perceive why living elegantly, in well educated society, should debase the Heart, or weaken the Understanding.

Fancourt.

In great anger.You do not perceive! Why you are the greatest, the most abominable— upon my soul you are the most provoking fool that ever—

Mrs. F.

My dear Sir, you have repeated these opinions so often, that their solidity has certainly made its due impression on me. But really now, between ourselves rising and laying down her work. as Opinion is nothing without example, I will take the liberty to quote Yourself in support of mine!

Fancourt.

Me!—quote me!

Mrs. F.

Even your great and mighty self!—Mr 331 Y6r 331 Fancourt, when I married you, you were in better circumstances, at least, than you are now! and, I think, at that time you had no particular Vices. But, as Dissipation has brought on Poverty, I have observed that, by little and little, your good-will has distended itself into a mere Theory of Benevolence to mankind at large, without being practically displayed to a single individual, not, you know, even to your Sister! and as is the case with your friend Mr. Brisk, who, with grief I hear it, is just returned to London) your shallow virtues have nearly disappeared until—

Fancourt.

—Until what!

Mrs. F.

Until you are, both of you, capable of almost any action that will not endanger your Lives.

Fancourt.

Gently, good Madam! my friend Brisk and I are only two of the Characters about this Town, who enliven it by raising their Means by their Wits! And as to your polite hint that our contrivances may seem to blend into something like swindling—dont conclude rashly! The mark is not very distinctly defined, my Dear, in the present day, where the manners of a man called a dashing fellow about Town end, and what you are pleased to hint is an approach towards being a Sharper begins! Shades of Character are numerous and minute now, and quite beyond your ken.—At your peril hint at this again!

Mrs. F.

Nay, I no longer fear your threatening looks. I am so convinced of what I have said, that my heart is incapable of any sensation but that of horror!

Fancourt.

I’ll make it, mark me Woman! on some day when thus provoked, I will make it feel something else—feel shame!

Mrs. F.

You cannot. All such power over my heart is over. You can afflict it no more.

Fancourt.

Very well, woman! very well.—Still the odious noise of that Child there! Going to the Door.

332 Y6v 332

Mrs. F.

It is not easy, Mr Fancourt, to still the clamours of Want. Though it is the child of the first Mrs Fancourt, it pierces my heart to hear it! Gain bread for it—by substituting active Industry for idle Theory!

Fancourt.

What would you have me do? I was not bred to stand behind a Counter, nor to cry—Chairs to mend! in the streets. You knew that, why did you marry me?

Mrs. F.

Alas! because I loved you! The sweetness of your Manners concealed the state of your Heart; and I, disregarding the dissent of my Family, in silly romance thought, that poverty could never be an Evil, where two hearts fondly shared its difficulties.—Permit me in return to ask why you married me?

Fancourt.

Because you had a modicum of a Fortune —a score of Hundreds, and I had not so many Shillings.

Mrs. F.

That little modicum might have been a bank, if properly managed, and industry had secured your morals—by barring off the Temptations of Indigence!.

Fancourt.

Pshaw! Stuff! I hate such Cant.—What do you want? To a Female Servant who enters.

Serv.

A person left this parcel Sir, and said there was no answer. Exit.

Fancourt.

Such abominable Cant! Untying the Parcel. I am as tired of it as I used to be of my Grandmother’s spelling out, through her spectacled nose, Hannah Glass’s Art of Cookery; and I believe in my Conscience—the D—l!—here is Gold!

Mrs. F.

Gold!

Fancourt.

Off!—you are too good, too pure, to want such trash! Gold by Jupiter—ha! ha! Shaking the Purse.

Mrs. F.

A Letter has dropped.

Takes it up and reads. 333 Y7r 333

Accept this Loan Sir, from one who is sorry to so merit, for a season, in straitened circumstances, and who was charmed with your manner of revealing it.

Fancourt.

Who is it signed by?

Mrs. F.

Robert Floyer.

Fancourt.

Ah! Sir Robert Floyer! A fine old Welchman who, to become a Knight, first became a Sheriff. I have made the old block believe me deeply versed in Welch Antiquities—that Snowden was once a burning Mountain, and that the Ap Morgans and the Ap Shoneses were lineally descended from King Priam. You see I can turn Wits to account, and make money though I cant make shoes!

Mrs. F.

You can see only what coincides with your Theory, or you would immediately have been struck, Mr Fancourt, with this proof—that those can feel for others who want nothing in return, and that there is fellow feeling where there is not Poverty. But for the beneficence of a rich man, your family to day might perhaps even have wanted a Dinner!

Fancourt.

Pshaw!—What Merit is there in the Generosity of a rich man! a fellow who takes Guineas from his store as you would dip a bucket into a Well? Give me the virtue of the poor man, who divides his last Shilling, his last Twopence, with his friend, who takes his pint of Porter from his thirsty lips—to share it with his poorer neighbour!

Mrs. F.

Ah! here then is your poor Sister! I will go and receive her—you can now assist her—

Fancourt.

None of your documents!—Let her study my Philosopher here, and she will not consider herself in Distress—until she has pawned her Superfluities!— Going out. Sharing one’s twopences, and sharing one’s Gold, are different Ideas quite! Exit, tying up the Purse.

334 Y7v 334

Mrs. F.

What a fate is that woman’s, who, deaf to the judgment of her Family, consults but her own inclination (created by the sedulous arts of her Lover) in her selection of her partner for Life!—Who shall describe her horror when she finds—too late—that others were right! that she must associate with depravity for life, and, her little fortune gone, draw sustenance perhaps but from the temporary gains of her husband’s iniquity!

Exit.

Scene II.

An apartment at sir robert floyer’s. Enter Humphrey.

Hmph.

Searching his pockets. Rot et, here be three Caerds or noates, or what the dickens they be called, left now I be come back! Dang et, I have delivered thirty seven, all the way from Manchester Square to Petty France! And then fagged from there to Bishop’s Gate street, after sweet-meats for ’em, and then, after stopping to see Gog and Magog, to the fiddling man’s shop about the penny forty— and then to Blumsburry to Mr Fancourt’s.—Hang me if I doant make dead men of these! tearing the Cards. the dead do tell no tales!—If I be found out, I can say that the Sarvants were not at hoam any more than their Masters!—Ha! ha! ha! that was a moast the first thing I larn’d when I comed to LunnunNot at hoam Sir!—Dad! the Gentry here have the cheapest way of keeping one another company! it do cost nothing more than a dozen or two of Lies a day to keep acquaintance with the great Quality!

Sir Robert.

Without.Humphrey! Humphrey! 335Y8r335Enter Sir Robert Floyer.

Humph.

Putting the torn cards into his pocket. Here I be Sir!

Sir R.

Oh! did you find Mr Fancourt’s house?

Humph.

Yes Sir, in one of the private streets like near Blumsberry.

Sir R.

Well, I am glad I lent him a few Guineas. He seems to be a chap of merit; and, when he opened his distresses to me, he did it in such a delicate, modest way! He is an excellent Companion, and, like me, he has quite the modern taste for Antiquities.

Humph.

Aye Sir, he’d like to zee, I do suppose, the old worm-eaten furniture that you had in at hoam, that year you was High Sheriff, and which was made no use of, except to show to Strangers!—All from the old Castles belonging to your forefeathers, Sir, I teak it?

Sir R.

Aye, it all came from my Predecessor’s Castles.—

Aside.

H-r-r-m—my Grandfather was the first of my Forefathers who ever went to bed or got up his own Master!

Humph.

Two or three rooms of precious rotten furniture Sir, do prove to people that you be of a sound Family to be sure!

Sir R.

Aside. I believe the dog has found me out!

Where have you been, you loitering, westcountry booby these three hours?

Humph.

Three hours! Why Sir, ’tis my belief you would have loitered six, if you had seen what I’ve a seen, and heard what I’ve a heard!

Sir R.

Why, what hast thou seen and heard?

Humph.

Why, Sir, if you will have me tell it— laughing you must know that, in my way from Bishop’s Gate Street, I saw folks go into a new-made old-fashion’d place where Gog and Magog do stand 336 Y8v 336 up, they do say, to guard the Mince-pies whilst the Lord Mayor do dine!

Lord R.

Aye, Gildhall you mean.

Humph.

Yes, gilt hall sure enough! it was bedizened with Gold and what not—like our Gingerbread on Fair-day at hoam in my country! So I followed a Gemman into a fine place, where I zeed Angels comed down through the clouds on purpose for nothing else but to hold up the glass candlesticks whilst the people be speaking like—thus—Standing on one leg, and putting himself in the position.

Sir R.

What a useful employ! London is a very extraordinary place for Taste, Humphrey!

Humph.

They told me ’twas a Debate!—O my Ears! They called one another Mr Dupty; and one of them, with a fine red double chin, got up and said—Speaking gruffly. I am sorry to differ from Mr Dupty; but I contend that these innovations bode no good to the Constitution—h-r-r-r-r—the hour for dining since my time was Two; it has been since three, four, and even six, and I suspect it may shortly be Eight! I—h-r-r-r—I move therefore that a Petition be presented to the Lord Mayor—Hurumph!—On which a little squinting one got up, and said—Shrill quick voice. I support the worthy Dupty who spoke last. These late hours are ruinous to the Corporation! On Lord Mayor’s Day we dined so late, that when I went to Fishmonger’s Hall to Supper, not only the Company’s Turbots were gone, but the second course was demolished, the sweet-meats were pocketed, and nothing remained but cheese-parings and pickles!

Sir R.

Away, away with your Jabber! a great Lady is coming!— Exit Humphrey. Enter Lady Nelville, followed by a Servant. What, is your Ladyship going? has not my Daughter had the honour to see you, Lady Nelville?

337 Z1r 337

Lady N.

Yes I have seen her, but I have given way to a person of much greater consequence—she is in deep consultation with her Milliner. And a Milliner, Sir Robert, to a Girl of Eighteen not long from her School, is as important as an Aid-du-camp to a General. I knew my distance when she came, and immediately took leave. Pray Sir call my people. Exit Servant.

Sir R.

Forgive me, my Lady, if, before you go, I just put one plump question. What is your opinion of Mr. Conway?

Lady N.

Ha! ha! my opinion of Mr Conway?— why that he has all the agrements of Fashion without its vices. Some Vanity he certainly has, but more good sense. His Friends are well chosen, he admires, he loves, Goodness, and there is a young Lady—archly. Adieu, Sir Robert! Your anxiety about Mr Conway I perfectly understand, and I hope you are satisfied! Exit.

Sir R.

Bowing repeatedly. How ennobling, to have a Lady of Quality so confidential with one about one’s Daughter!—Aye, Georgina is to be sure a sweet Girl, but my heart has had a thousand aches about her, I am ready sometimes to exclaim with the old song— I wonder any man alive would ever have a Daughter! Enter Georgina hastily, followed by Jenny. Well what now, Georgina? what now?

Georgina.

Oh, Papa! look at this Hat, did you ever see any thing so bewitching?

Sir R.

Pho! you little Fool!

Georgina.

Look at this scarlet feather! Here, Jenny, put it away with great care!

Vol. II. Z 338 Z1v 338

Jenny.

Aside. Care indeed!—’tis pity my talents have no objects of care but feathers and band boxes! Exit.

Georgina.

Good bye! I am going to Lady Horatia Horton’s. I do love to go there.—And oh! what do you think I long to be now? I long to be a Sculptor!

Sir R.

A what!

Georgina.

Lady Horatia looks so charming whilst at her sculpturing! Her sweet white hands appear like Alabaster gliding over the marble she is at work upon.

Sir R.

What’s that?—not so fast! she at work— upon marble?

Georgina.

Bless me! why yes, I find she is a Sculptor! I wish she would teach me her art! I am going there immediately, to stand as a Model for Andromache—a Lady who died some thousand years ago!—But pray Papa, when am I to be presented! I am not in Town till I am presented!

Sir R.

Not in Town!

Georgina.

Nay indeed ’tis true! Lady Nelville, just now, told me so. I cant go any where in Public, nor be spoken to be a single creature, till I have been presented!—I am not come out till then.

Sir R.

Not come out! Bless me, Saint James’s has its slang then I find, as well as Saint Giles’s!

Georgina.

To be sure! And we must make haste and catch the slang, or they will find us out to be mere bumpkins.—When will I be presented?

Sir R.

Have patience! The truth is I am come to Town about a little business of that sort myself! We may be presented together by and by.

Georgina.

How—ha! ha! ha! presented together! Was ever such a thing heard of? Miss and her Papa presented together! What then have you never come out till now Papa!

Sir R.

Pshaw! mine is quite a different business. 339Z2r339 If I am put into a great Office, I must be presented of course.

Georgina.

Office! Why what are you going to be!

Sir R.

Why, that I cannot tell yet!

Georgina.

If they give you your choice, pray be a Duke!—Oh, how I should doat on your being a Duke!

Sir R.

Why?

Georgina.

Then I should be a Lady!—Lady Georgina, delightful! Lady Georgina’s name would fly about Town as though it had wings.

Sir R.

Nonsense!—A pretty figure you’d make as a Duke’s Daughter!

Georgina.

Figure!—where’s the difficulty? I can do it exactly—you shall see now!—When I was last at Lady Horation Horton’s a Countess came in from the Opera thus—striding across and sitting down abruptly—Bless me Lady Horatia, how could you stay at home to night? I gallopped sixty miles to day, have killed one coach-horse, and spoiled another, merely to hear the Banti—oh, the Banti!— Oh, her upper tones! and oh, her under tones!— Whilst she was flying from B to F, hanging upon G, running in Cantabile from E, and sinking down, by just gradations, to D, the whole House was magnetized. I saw a General faint, a Minister of State take out his smelling bottle, and a Prince of the Blood apply his handkerchief to—his Nose!

Sir R.

Very harmoniously no doubt!—My dear Georgina, the warmth of thy Imagination would disturb my peace, did not thy extreme giddiness prevent its fastening on any one object for more than one minute together. Still, beware of all the dangers of Dissipation! that constant destroyer of the peace of the Wife, the repose of the Husband, and the welfare of whole Families, in this great Town! Take care, my Girl! thou constantly tread’st near fatal Z2 340 Z2v 340 nets. Thy paths ’tis true are covered with flowers— but they may conceal Thorns perhaps!

Georgina.

Thorns! why, Papa, nobody seems to feel them! I dare say I shall dance ovr them as safely as my neighbours!

Exeunt.

Scene III.

Asgill’s lodgings. Enter Conway, preceded by Asgill’s Servant.

Con.

Why, this Apartment is as solitary as an Old Maid’s morning room, or the Antichamber of a discarded Minister!

Serv.

Mr Asgill is out Sir, but I am sure he will be here in an instant, the time for his return is expired. Exit.

Con.

Perhaps I am mistaken in the hour Looking at his Watch—no later! A restless Lover has a rare faculty of drawing out minutes into Hours! With Health and Youth I ought to be all freedom and hilarity, and yet here am I—a Slave! and feel my happiness as dependent on the Smiles of a capricious woman, as my existence on the air I breathe. What a ridiculous History is Man’s! first Childhood, then Folly, quickly enough followed by the last stage— Apathy!—Would I were there at once! If I were a Pythagorean, and believed that I must visit earth again in some other Form, I would rather vegetate as a quiescent Mushroom at once, than spring up either a Hero or a Lover! 341 Z3r 341 Fancourt runs in.

Fancourt.

Oh Mr Conway this is fortunate! I called a minute since at your Lodgings to have the honour of renewing former acquaintance. Your man told me you was come hither. Knowing that you were quite at home here—I have ventured to look in upon you.

Con.

Cooly. Upon my word, I had some difficulty in recollecting you, Mr Fancourt!

Fancourt.

Aye, you have still the Pride of Youth about you. I am a little age-worn since we met last, eh? The rubs of the World wear the Features! Vexation hath graven a Line or two extra in mine within this half hour.

Con.

Some young Beauty Sir, perchance, has been inexorable to your Vows!

Fancourt.

Why I have not been perhaps turning my thoughts much to my Vows of late. But, you are thus far right, that a Woman, as usual, was the soul of the mischief! But, as for Youth and Beauty —Time o’er her cheek hath registered his reign, and her Steps the Graces refuse any longer to assist.

Con.

Ha! ha! Can such a Lady as this cause you pain Sir!

Fancourt.

Yes! for she is my dear and ever honoured Wife!

Con.

Married!—You may be congratulated then, Sir, on the turn you have taken to domestic life.

Fancourt.

Why, I have just this instant taken a turn, from it and its Lectures, to see what I can of life elsewhere.—A propos! I want to be introduced also to Mr Asgill, and dropped in for the double purpose.

Con.

Perhaps Sir, Mr Asgill may not cnhance to have displayed any particular wish to receive you.

Fancourt.

Why, I dont know that he has. But, he 342Z3v342 keeps good company, and is Nephew to some rich old Sir Simon in the City, who between loans and lumber makes oney faster than he tells lies! There are, however, an odd sort of three corner’d mortals one can never close with. They present a point at every turn. You may as easily come in contact with a Porcupine. But, as I flatter myself I know every body except himself, I looked in on purpose to ask you to make us intimate.

Con.

That may not, under circumstances, be very possible.—Pray Fancourt, how is it that you get acquainted with every body, for—let me say it in a Whisper—not whispering—report hath reached me that your reputation of late is not of the very first water!

Fancourt.

Pho! Pray, is the number of men great —who are Diamonds in reputation!—French paste does as well, and then one is not so afraid of damaging it! If I were such a fellow as you, with a Character of the true Water, I should be in eternal Anxiety, should never dare to deviate an inch to Right or Left—for fear of a speck here, or a flaw there. As it is, I brush on through the World. My french paste is showy, and if I lose it—I lose a thing of no very great value!

Con.

Amazing!

Fancourt.

Hang me if I would be troubled with a first-rate Character, any more than with a first-rate Beauty, it would create but envy and malice.

Con.

Oh!—that talents should be thus enlisted in the service of Vice!

Fancourt.

That I swear you learnt from our old one-eyed proctor of Brazen Nose. I remember the very words. I have heard them fifty times, whilst I stood on his blind side!—That a man should thus live on the scraps of others all his life, and never dare coin a Principle for himself!—So, you wont 343 Z4r 343 introduce me to Asgill? Conway shakes his head. Very well, very well, I’ll introduce myself to an Archbishop before I am a week older, and get a Prebend in revenge! Conway bows him out. Enter Asgill, on the opposite side.

Con.

Asgill, I am come to disengage myself from your hunting jaunt, I cannot leave Town.

Asg.

Very well. I shall not enquire your reasons; nor shall I pretend to guess that you will be in the train of a little Welch Diana, though not in the hunt. You have not caught a glimpse of her I dare swear.

Con.

Be not so daring—I have seen her, but I have only seen her. She is as wild as one of the Kids on her Father’s mountains!

Asg.

With whom did you see her?

Con.

Lady Horation Horton, she is so volatile that it would be as easy to catch quick-silver.

Asg.

Lady Horatia!—I cannot say that she struck me so. ’Tis true she does not want Life—but ’tis the sweet Pensiveness of her Character tht charmed me.—A thousand graces hang about pensiveness which mere animal spirits destroy.

Con.

Why then I have not seen her in this humour.

Asg.

And then her Fine Taste!

Con.

Her Taste is as fine as other people’s I dare swear; but I must admit that her intrinsic brilliance will yet bear a little additional polish.

Asg.

Polish! ha! ha! ha! Where will you find such a Mind, such an Understanding?

Con.

I doubt not its native excellence, and hope to have the pleasure of drawing forth all its perfections.

Asg.

You!—How’s this! what mean you Sir? Of whom are you speaking?

344 Z4v 344

Con.

Of whom do you speak?

Asg.

Of Lady Horation Horton!—Did you not name her?

Con.

Ha! ha! ha! Confidence by chance! Dear Asgill, I have blundered on your Secret very undesignedly—I continued to speak of the daughter of Sir Robert Floyer!

Asg.

You named Lady Horatia! and when her idea presents itself to me, every other is absorbed in it. Oh! Conway, to think of her is bliss, the sound of her voice is rapture!

Con.

Hey-dey!

Asg.

You have the Secret by Chance! I am prepared for all your jests on my passion for a woman who is devoted to Sculpture!

Con.

Really I perceive no room for them. It must be charming to see a fine woman bring from a mass of marble—a form as graceful as her own; every feature glowing with animation beneath her eye, and every touch of the mallet awakening the cold mass into Mind and Expression!

Asg.

Catching his hand. I thank you! But your eulogy is not complete; the delicacy of my Horatia rules the art that she loves, she seeks for models only in the Graces of her own sex, the matrons of Greece, and the daughters of Britain.

Con.

Well—but you are a Son of Britain. Does then Lady Horatia disregard—

Asg.

Eagerly. Yes, no, I cannot tell.—She treats me with rigour, yet I think her Heart is not insensible. Though this appears, like the Sun in chill November, unwillingly and by starts.

Con.

Why do you not lead then to an Explanation?

Asg.

I cannot; for she is rich, and I am, as you know, but dependent on the will of an Uncle.

Con.

He has the reputation of being a Crœsus!

345 Z5r 345

Asg.

True. But a fortune, whose basis is Commerce, may be doubled or dissolved in a month.

Con.

Well. Pray for me, my dear Asgill, that I may catch my little Welch Fawn!—I have no prayers to make for you; for I perceive your’s is one of those sober passions that, end as it may, your mind will keep its equilibrium. How delightful it must be to love with so much good sense! Exit laughing.

Asg.

How he mistakes! The gay and the volatile can scarcely sustain a passion like mine. It is when Love has reached a serious and reflective mind, that he rages with all his fury!— Enter Perkins. Perkins, how now? your looks alarm me! What news from the City?

Per.

Alas Sir!

Asg.

My good friend, speak. Something goes wrong!

Per.

Would I were permitted to say your fears are unfounded.—Your Uncle—

Asg.

Speak at once! I can bear any thing rather than Suspense!

Per.

Summon all your Fortitude! Your Uncle, the good Sir Simon, has sent me to say to you that he is—undone!

Asg.

Ah! Pressing his forehead with his hand. Undone!

Per.

The ruin that has shaken the trade of Europe he could not be insured against. He, whose rank on Change was as a two hundred thousand pound man, may possibly at some future day, when his Creditors are satisfied, not be able to command a single thousand.

346 Z5v 346

Asg.

After a pause. Your news o’ercomes me. Leave me Sir, I would ruminate alone. Exit Perkins. Throws himself into a chair. My worthy, my unhappy Uncle! the tide of affliction must roll heavily o’er him! Rises. It is determined! I see Lady Horatia no more.—Never shall her delicacy be insulted by seeing a beggar presume to hope for her. Walks backward and forward. But, what can I do? Bred to no Profession but the Navy, from Junior rank in which, in reliance on my Uncle, I retired; ignorant of every art by which independence may be obtained, I am thrown out a Vagabond into the wilderness of the world.—Each Prospect is clouded —I yield me to Despair!

Goes off in agitation.
347 Z6r (347)

Act the Second.

Scene I.

Saint James’s street. The palace, fruit shop, &c. Fancourt in the Fruit Shop, talking to the Mistress and eating Fruit.

Fancourt.

Looking out from the door. The Sun always brings out Butterflies—a fine show of Women to-day!— Enter Brisk, walking across. Brisk! Brisk!—hey!

Brisk.

Who is so familiar with my Name? Looking round. Ah—Fancourt! I have not seen you this year or more? Fancourt comes from the Shop. Well, my Boy, how goes the world?

Fancourt.

Round I suppose—for its Inhabitants seem all giddy! Where have you been since we parted at Bath?

Brisk.

Bath? Oh I have been in half a hundred places since that time. The last was Italy!

Fancourt.

Italy! how got you thither? Was you Bear-leader, holding the strings of some young Cub dancing The Tour!

348 Z6v 348

Brisk.

How I chanced to be there you may hear hereafter. But whilst there, man, I have acquired the regular slang of the Connoiseur, and talk, with equal ease, of Statues and Intaglios, of Pictures Busts and Medallions! Wherever I go, I find fault now—my Judgment is asked—my Satire is feared, and, in regular form, I am courted and hated. ’Tis to become of great importance, let me tell you, to become a Critic in any thing!

Fancourt.

Why you dont pretend to me, a Friend, that you are become a real Connoiseur—and know any thing of the matter!

Brisk.

Why, I dont know what to say to that! but I know how to judge by Rule! and to pretend to any thing, now my affairs are got a little out of Order, that will get me into a Dining Parlour or a Wine cellar. My fame for Judgment I acquired by a resolution to be inexorable, to repress, and not to cherish, to look for faults instead of beauties, to throw aside the Corn , and select the Chaff. I alike pronounce upon Paintings, Statuary, and Old-Hock; —know exactly the grapes from which the one was pressed, and the age in which the other was chisell’d or the taste in which it is executed.—Pshaw! man, ’tis easily got by Rote! I bought a book at Florence, for a groat, that taught me all the Terms, and the mode of applying them—two readings would make you prattle and judge, as ell as any Connoiseur of twenty years standing.

Fancourt.

Well, but how do you live?—Plainly, how, in general, do you contrive to get any thing to eat now?

Brisk.

Why, let me tell you, my Taste turns sometimes to good Account! Some of my Rules procure me that cheap, which other of my Rules enable me to sell dear. Besides all this, lately I have eked out a livelihood by the strong likeness I bear to Lord Beechgrove.

349 Z7r 349

Fancourt.

The Resemblance is certainly astonishing! His has always been your nick-name—they call you his Polygraph! But how have you raised any thing by this resemblance—had he patronized you, out of respect for the Likeness!

Brisk.

He has provided for me, without intending it; for instance I went to a Rout Room in Portland Place last night, dashed into the Hall—complaining of the croud of carriages that prevented my Chariot from coming up! The Porter thought he knew me, and announced Lord Beechgrove, but, in the multiplicity of Titles that resounded up the stairs, it was lost. The Lady of the house received me, of course without being very inquisitive as to whether she knew me. I gained introduction at a Card Table, and brought off Two Hundred!

Fancourt.

I advise you to get his Lordship taken up as the Impostor! and to enjoy his Estate!

Brisk.

I have taken a fancy to an Estate in another County—a better Scheme my Boy! Slapping him upon the shoulder. A plan that forced me, the other morning, into a strange Disguise! like Hercules, to exchange my Cane for a Distaff, and—but mum!

Fancourt.

Come, come, tell me—No, no, defer! here comes a lovely Welch Girl, whose Father I sometimes do the honour to look in upon. Enter Georgina, from Pall-Mall. Followed by Humphrey

Georgina.

O dear Mr Fancourt! how do you do? Nay, do not stop me. I hate to stand in the street— they stare so!

Fancourt.

For that reason you do not hate to stand in the street. What is Beauty—if it is not looked at?

Brisk.

Aside.—Oh, oh! I see where we are! I 350 Z7v 350 know more of this young Lady and her Father, though she knows me not, than you guess at mon ami!

Humphrey.

While these Gentlemen be a talking to Miss, I’ll just step in here for a hap’eth of Apples! Goes into the Fruit Shop.

Fancourt.

How came you here without your Carriage!

Georgina.

It is so charming a morning, that I directed it should follow from Pall Mall, where I have been shopping. Nay, I beg you let me pass! Why —where is my servant? Looking round. I am going to Lady Horation Horton’s, on the most Particular business in the world! Humphrey bursts out of the shop.

Humphrey.

Oh! such extortioning! such cheatery!—I never heard the like!—I wonder they are not afraid to stand in their shoes!

Georgina.

What is the matter Humphrey?

Humphrey.

Miss! as I hope to be——I did but just pop into my mouth a little bit of a Peach—’twere no bigger than a walnut—it went down at a gulp like a pill—and they have made me pay a Shilling for it!

Georgina.

Why, how could you think of going into such a Shop?

Humphrey.

Such a Shop! why not? A shop’s a shop, if honest people did but keep it, and as free for one as another!

Georgina.

Follow me Sir! I am ashamed of your Noise.—He is quite a Character Mr Fancourt—we have him for his Whim! Exit.

Humphrey.

A Shilling! Upon my say-so, if—aye —I’ll mark you, never fear! Exit, holding up his fist.

Brisk.

She is a lovely Girl! An Heiress you say? —Aside.—I’ll pretend Ignorance for the present!

351 Z8r 351

Fancourt.

She is. We’ll speak of that hereafter. —Her Father is coming towards us from the Park, and we may as well first turn our thoughts upon him for a Loan or so. He is a rich old fool, and we are two Wits. Folly has been the natural food of Wit, since the sun first threw his stimulating glance on man.

Brisk.

I understand you! Ways and Means are to be raised upon him. but, no assistance—unless we halve the Loan! Remember that—fair half or nothing.

Fancourt.

Why to be sure.

Brisk.

Are you upon Honour!

Fancourt.

To the last breath. The old Fool, in ten words, for here he comes, was of use in the late Election, and the Parliament-man advised him to come up to Town—to receive acknowledgments from the Minister! He was afraid to leave his Daughter behind, so wisely brought her up too—— Enter Sir Robert Floyer. Running towards him. My dear Sir, how I rejoice to see you! I called at your hosue to return thanks for the——

Sir R.

Oh!—not a Word, not a Word, Mr Fancourt!—Silence will oblige me!

Fancourt.

It shall soon be repaid Sir.—Permit me, Sir Robert, to make you known to my Lord Beechgrove!

Sir R.

Lord Beechgrove!—Whispering.—Is he not related to the Duke of——

Fancourt.

First Cousin, and his most particular Adviser!

Sir R.

My Lord, I am your Lordship’s very obedient and humble servant!

Brisk.

Sir Robert I am rejoiced to see you!—we have long looked for you in Town! I have heard you 352 Z8v 352 much spoken of at a certain table. We know our Friends, Sir Robert!—Pray, Mr Fancourt, bring Sir Robert to dine with me! I am sorry to leave you, but it is a Cabinet morning—and the concerns of the Country ought to be attended to, you know! Exit.

Fancourt.

Oh! your Lordship never neglects Business!—They are not all like this peerless Peer, Sir Robert!

Sir R.

Aye, there he goes into the Palace I see! Mr. Fancourt, I am prodigiously obliged to you for making me known to his Lordship.—Of large Fortune of course!

Fancourt.

Oh yes!—but, slack in the ready at present, that’s in fashion with the Peerage you know—every walk of life has its Customs! It is amazing what vast sums he has expended for the Public!—He was just asking me if I knew any honest man who could lend him a thousand. His mere name would procure ten times as much from the Jews, but, he has never any Jew dealings—no habits of that sort!

Sir R.

Perfectly right and proper!

Fancourt.

He only wants it for a Month—just till the Quarter’s rents come in.—Sir Robert! this is an Opportunity! you arrive in Town with a Good Omen! He has indescribable Interest! A single sentence, whilst they are drinking their Burgundy, would effect your Business!

Sir R.

Indeed! what—dispose of places of trust over their Bottle!

Fancourt.

I’ll show you now. This is my Glass holding up his Glove, formed like a Glass.—You shall be the Great Man; we’ll suppose his name to be Snapper, and I am Lord Beechgrove.—Come Snapper! here’s to the Girl we love Sips—I say, Snapper, we must do something for that Welch Knight you know, he who was Sheriff there t’other day—

353 AA1r 353

Sir R.

InterruptingHigh Sheriff for the County!

Fancourt.

Pardon me!—High Sheriff for the County! Sips.He is the saddest old rascal.— Sir Robert stares. He is the greatest Sips the greatest Enemy we have in the Principality.

Sir R.

In a Passion. Why Sir, what do you mean? They never had a Friend! I spent more money to favour the cause than I care to own. I was for ever on horseback; there was not a Cottager who could influence the sixteenth cousin of a Voter whom I did not canvass and entertain; and the fact is, it was solely owing to me—

Fancourt.

What! Do you take Lord Beechgrove for such a ninny as to plead your Services!—You are a mere Chicken in politics! Listen.—I say, Snapper, he is a powerful Opponent, we must have him in future on our side! Sips The old scoundrel killed his set of Coach greys, and fifteen Welch ponies, in riding about the country to oppose us. Sips He has been a dreadful nemy, but, he is related to all the Ap Morgans and the Ap Shoneses in three Counties. In short! we must have him! So—here goes—The Girl we love!—Thus the one swallows the Girl, the other the Hint, and the business is done!—Will you lend the Thousand?

Sir R.

I will!—What, I suppose, that is what you call—sliding a man up the back stairs!

Fancourt.

—Only for a Month!

Sir R.

Nay, if it is for six weeks—I shall not stand upon a Fortnight.

Fancourt.

Thus it is to deal with a man of a liberal and enlightened Spirit!

Sir R.

Call upon me after Dinner, I am hurried just now. Our Member lives in the next street, and I am going to him. But Mum about this, for I expect him to do something too! I’ll write a Draft on my Banker for the Thousand in readiness for your call—I think it right to oblige a Lord! Exit.

Vol. II. AA 354 AA1v 354

Fancourt.

To him who is rich in Expedients— what mischief is it to be pennyless?—Let Plodders boast their digging and their labouring—it is our’s to gather the fruit!

Exit.

Scene II.

Lady Horatia’s drawing room. Enter Humphrey, with a white robe on his arm. A Servant meets him.

Humph.

Here! I have a brought this odd Garment for Miss away from the Carriage—What is she going to do with it?

Maid.

Why she is going to be made one of my Lady’s Images—all over White!

Humph.

Could a body zee that fine place they do talk about, where Madam do cut folks out of Marble!

Maid.

Perhaps you may get a Peep presently, by carrying in the Dress. It is called The School.

Humph.

Zooks! I be glad to hear Great Folks do go to a School! for then they do want to larn better some of them mayhap as well as I!

Exeunt.
355 AA2r 355

Scene III.

A spacious apartment. With a few Pictures, several Female Statues Urns Vases &c; Lady Nelville walks down from the top. Viewing them.

Lady N.

This is indeed a School! Here are Models of all that is valuable in the art she loves. Ah!—the lovely Artist herself! Enter Lady Horatia.

Lady Hor.

Dear Nelville I rejoice to see you! They did not tell me you were here.

Lady N.

Oh I have been delighting myself with your charming works. But, what excessive Labour your amusement must require!

Lady Hor.

I do not find it so!

Lady N.

How delightful is the ease of fashionable life compared to it.

Lady Hor.

Oh, you mistake quite—the labour of a fashionable life would kill me! I should sink under it. Chipping Marble is playing with feathers compared to it.

Lady N.

How so?

Lady Hor.

The discipline of a life of Fashion is by no means of the midlest sort! Consider the necessary vigilance and abstinence of the Gamestress.—She works hard, and lives sparingly; for, if she does not keep her Spirits perfectly cool, AA2 356 AA2v 356 instead of cheating her friend, her friend may cheat her! My labours are lighter and more innocent than her’s.

Lady N.

I perceive you will be able to defend yourself!

Lady Hor.

Reflect on the Toils of a determined Beauty!—Whether she wakes or sleeps, whatever she does, wherever she goes, it is all with relation to the one great object that engrosses her meditations. After hours of labour in the hard work of the Toilette, away she must spring!—Her wheels thunder through the streets—she darts from Concert to Ball, from Ball to Rout.—Does the Music of the Concert fascinate her?—No. Does polished Conversation interest her?—No.—Some other Beauty has been the Belle of the Evening—her Heart has been torn with Envy!—She returns home, drags off her ornaments in Disgust, and throws herself in anguish on a couch which no soothing sleep visits!—Are my labours more severe, more painful than her’s?

Lady N.

You are too strong for me in argument; so I drop your Statues to talk of Yourself. Something I see is wrong! What is it?—Tenderly Come be explicit!—You will not speak! In plain language, when did you see Mr. Asgill!

Lady Hor.

Not this week, not for the whole week!—I will conceal nothing from you. I find now that my Tenderness more than equals his, I have no joy left, the Chisel drops from my hand, the Marble is no more moulded into flesh, my taste has no more employment, my Heart is breaking!

Lady N.

How do you account for his Absence?

Lady Hor.

Tired of my distant coldness, he has forsaken me, he has found some object more amiable and more tender—I die with self-reproach! I knew he loved me, I gloried in my conquest—

357 AA3r 357

Yet still I tried each fickle art,

Importunate, and vain,

And whilst his passion touched my Heart,

I triumphed in his pain!

Asgill! thou art revenged!

Lady N.

What Hearts we possess! Always too cold, or too feeling! My dear Horatia, as you give spirit to Marble, transfuse some portion of marble into your Heart, and make it firmer!—Here is your little Welch friend! Enter Georgina

Georgina.

Oh Lady Horatia! I’m so rejoiced— bless me you are weeping—what has happened?

Lady N.

A favorite Goldfinch has happened to die away my dear, that’s all!

Georgina.

And, last night, I lost my Canary Bird. I am sure I cried for half an hour!—Give me your Goldfinch, and we’ll bury them together!—Oh! or you shall copy them in Marble—that will be such a sweet task for you!—But, you remember what I have hurried here for?

Lady Hor.

No.

Georgina.

Why, have you forgotten your appointment with me for this morning—to proceed with giving my form to the Statue of Andromache? I assure you that I have been pouting all day, that my face may represent her grief for the loss of her husband—Oh! there she is!—Pointing to a block of Marble slightly chipped You see, Lady Nelville, she has not changed her first dress yet.

Lady Hor.

My Love, your spirits are too high, and mine are too low, for us to proceed to day— excuse me!

Georgina.

Oh, but I wont though!—Your favorite 358 AA3v 358 work will revive you.—I have brought the Dress you described for the purpose.—Humphrey! why dont you bring it in? Enter Humphrey with the Dress. Walks round in awkward wonder before he goes out. I shall be sadly mortified, if you send me away!

Lady N.

Come, take your Chisel Lady Horatia, it will amuse you.

Georgina.

Yes do!—’Twas very fortunate that I lost little Canary now. It will make me look just sad enough for Hector’s Widow!

Lady Hor.

Pho! you little Chit!—Well, get on the Pedestal. Georgina runs up the steps behind it. There—lean on the broken Column, with proper pensiveness and grace.

Georgina.

O my poor Canary Bird!

Lady Hor.

Ha! ha! ha! Come, let us place your Drapery in Statue-like order. They place it in stiff folds. Now, keep steady, and think of poor Dick! Enter Servant.

Serv.

Mr Conway.

Lady Hor.

Who!

Serv.

Mr Conway.

Georgina.

Starting from her Attitude. Dear!— Mr Conway? Springs down.

Serv.

Some Gentlemen are with him. They request permission to see the School.

Lady Hor.

Dear Lady Nelville, receive them then. I cannot—I cannot indeed! Exit.

Georgina.

Now I think of it, I have a great mind to run up again. I will, I declare, and see what Mr Conway says of me as a Statue!

Lady N.

A Statue! Why surely you do not expect to impose upon him?

359 AA4r 359

Georgina.

Oh yes, I do. I’m sure he wont find me out! Runs up. Now, just place the Drapery right, and I’ll put down my veil a little on this side. Oh! make haste! make haste! I hear them coming!

Lady N.

I must gratify you! What a giddy thing you are! Enter Conway Followed by Brisk and some Gentlemen.

Brisk.

Oh, what this is the place! Dont mind me, Madam, dont mind me!—As the Lady artist is not here, I am free to make observations perhaps as cutting as her chisel—I run about Town to display a little acuteness!—’Tis a pleasant Town to be in, that is certain, one always finds subjects to ridicule. —Well, what wonderful productions am I to see?

Lady N.

Glance around Sir. Look first at the few Pictures there are. What think you of that Family by Raphael?

Brisk.

Raphael!—Ah! the tramontâne! how can you give that divine Artist a name so barbarous.— RafaelloTitiano. Raphael and Titian suit only the mouths of Dutch Burgomasters and London Aldermen.

Lady N.

I stand corrected Sir!—What think you of that Landscape and Figures by a Modern?

Brisk.

One may plainly see this Artist was in a hurry—they call it Freedom.—In general however I rather like his Stile. But—a—I dont know! The principal persons here are not well grouped, nor sufficiently in Relief. The Episode has Merit; but the rules of Perspective have been entirely overlooked—the Figures in the back-ground seem sticking to the Clouds!

Lady N.

Oh mercy, let us turn from the Pictures! All I see will fall your prey!—’Tis lucky for Posterity Sir, that you were not born in the days of Corregio and RaphaelRafaello, I beg pardon! you would 360 AA4v 360 have made the first throw away his Pencils, and the last light his fire with his Cartoons!—Come Sir, perhaps you prefer our Statuary—look at the works of our Hostess.

Brisk.

I, warm from the Schools of Florence! I, who have trod the Roman Way, have seen the Baths of Trajan, and the Dog Kennels of Nero! I look at the works of any English Block-chipper! Ha! ha! ha!—Now for my Glass—I know not how it happens, but Connoiseurs are apt to be short sighted! Walking amidst the Statues, and observing them through his Glass.

Conway.

Heavens! it is—but let me get on the other side of the Veil—it is she!—Ah! how exactly you are now Yourself!—you are evr yourself but Marble. Yes, your petrified Heart is evr cold and insensate. Yet, I could stand and gaze, and gaze, like Pygmalion, had I, like him, the power to inspire my Statue with Love. Will you not bless me with one glance? Ah! as an unbending Statue—you are quite in character.

Brisk.

Here’s an Arm! faith it would make a very good Leg! And this Grecian Dame—has been modelled from a Kentish Hop-picker!

Con.

Critic! approach a little this way! Here is a new Subject—has not this beauteous creature the tpure Grecian character?

Brisk.

Here move this way, move this way all of you; for an exact view—always draw off to a Distance!—What is that?—is that Lady Horatia’s chisel? Looking through his Glass.

Con.

No——it is by a greater Artist!

Brisk.

Call you it Grecian?

Con.

Is it ill proportioned?

Brisk.

Pshaw! nonsense! talk of Proportions to Rule makers and Carpenters; the thought is mechanical.—This is a mere wax Doll!—What Anatomy! the natural form is not capable of one of 361 AA5r 361 these Inflections! A human figure formed on this principle, I pledge myself, could never move! Approaches her.

Georgina.

Shrieks But I can though! Springs down—and I can dance too!— Dances round him. Brisk seats himself, in confusion, on the Pedestal.

Con.

Ha! ha! ha!—Why Sir, the Figure moves— and moves a Grace!—The breathing form of Beauty a Wax Doll! the work of a Block chipper! ha! ha! ha!

Brisk.

Aside.—The vry girl against whom I have a Scheme to put in practice! The Story too will be on wing immediately! Oh! had I but a Glance first on the other side of the Drapery of the Head!

Lady N.

Accept my smelling bottle sir—you seem ready to sink!

Con.

Dont fear it!—’Tis a recumbent Statue on its Pedestal you see, a mere Block—incapable of Motion!

Brisk.

Whu! I am done as a Connoiseur!— Starts up, and runs out.

Lady N.

Mr Brisk! Critic Brisk! Exit, followed by all but Conway and Georgina.

Con.

Ha! ha! ha! done indeed!—They pursue him like small birds after a Hawk.

Georgina.

Why you are the person whom I wanted to make a fool of—pray follow him!

Con.

’Tis impossible!—I find you have turned me into a Statue that can’t move!

Georgina.

I declare Mr Conway I will not hear you, I have told you so twenty times. And, as to your begging and praying and sighing, one finds such things in Novels; but no man, who really loves, thinks of such fooleries.

Con.

How do you know that?

Georgina.

I am sure of it! There was a young man that came down to Glamorganshire from College, 362 AA5v 362 and almost broke his Heart about me, and he never begged and prayed, or sighed—at least no so as that I could hear him, once.

Con.

Then how—how—I say, were you sure he loved you!

Georgina.

How!—Oh, I was sure enough of it.

Con.

Was he always telling you so—throwing himself forever in your way?

Georgina.

He never told me so once— and it was because he always ran away from me that I knew it. —At last however he had a Fever, and, in his ravings, he talked of no one but me.

Con.

How pray did you know it!

Georgina.

Why, his Sister told me so.

Con.

And—and did you pity him!

Georgina.

Why yes I pitied him—as I could not love him! If I had loved him—I should not have pitied him at all!

Con.

Aside. That saves my Life!

—And where is he now?

Georgina.

I dont know. But I have heard he is recovered, and makes a great figure somewhere— they always get over it!

Con.

If you should not love me—I however should absolutely die!

Georgina.

Love! I wouldn’t be in love for all the World!—Miss Gwatkin, our Neighbour, was in love once—and she grew as pale as horse-radish. Foolish creature, if she had kept her colour—perhaps the Gentleman would have liked her!

Con.

Oh! let me teach you to love. I see you are as ignorant of it as—

Georgina.

As that Mr Brisk was of Sculpture!— Ha! ha! teach me to love! What, teach me to be wretched to weep, to be sleepless—to lose my bloom like Miss Gwatkin?—If I ever thought I could love you, I should hate you beyond all bearing—fly from you, and never see you more! Runs off hastily.

363 AA6r 363

Con.

She flies—a happy Omen! Let her but dread me, and I have advanced one step. If she fears to love, the conquest is half atchieved!

Exit.

Scene IV.

A counting house. Enter Sir Simon and Perkins.

Sir Simon.

Has not my Nephew been here yet?

Per.

He was here last night Sir. I took care that he should see no one but me. He went away in such distress, that my heart ached for him.

Sir Simon.

Dear Lad!

Per.

Here he comes—here he comes!

Sir Simon.

How shall I speak to him? I have given myself a Commission that I can hardly execute— Enter Asgill. My dear Boy!

Asg.

Oh Sir, what shall I say to you—words cannot utter—

Sir Simon.

Come come, hope the best!—perhaps Proceeds may not turn out so badly!

Asg.

Yes, I will hope and pray for you. But—in the mean time—presenting a Parchment—Sir—I am ashamed—I blush at such an offering. But, it is my all—

Sir Simon.

What—what is it you mean?

Asg.

You know I have, by Inheritance, a little Land—two hundred only a year—that it were thousands!—In this parchment Sir, it is made over to you. And now. Sir Simon takes it, is much moved, and turns from him.. Oh! my more than Father! Hurries out.

364 AA6v 364

Sir Simon.

Stop stop—my dear Sidney stop!—I can no longer conceal the deception we have practised!

Per.

Let him go Sir! let him go! Such a moment as this renovates every proper feeling in the heart of man. He will be the better for this affliction as long as he lives!

Sir Simon.

Does he not deserve all my love, all my anxiety, all my care!

Per.

He does—he does!

Sir Simon.

This Lady Horatia must be an angel if she merits him.—Now for the Effect the news of his Poverty will have upon her! I must wait on her myself to learn the Needful, and see how she takes the news. But for a distrust, which I cant help, of these west-end-of-the-Town Ladies he would not have been put to this pain, even for the short time he will have to endure it. But, I can’t rid myself of my distrust—my plain City notions have a native enmity to them.

Per.

Then you persist in your intention of going Sir.

Sir Simon.

Yes. But, if I find her worthy of my Sidney—but she cannot be! Birth, Beauty, and Riches, are all fine subjects for Consideration. But, when put into a scale against innate Goodness, an upright mind, rectitude of Character—it is weighing dross against Jewels!

Exeunt.
365 AA7r (365)

Act the Third

Scene I.

Fancourt’s. Enter Mr and Mrs Fancourt.

Mrs. F.

Affected pleasantry, Mr Fancourt, is the poor refuge of an uneasy Heart! The conversation that has passed in the next room with Brisk I have in part heard. I fear you have a deed in contemplation which will hereafter load you with Remorse!

Fancourt.

Remorse!—ha! ha!

Mrs. F.

Pray do not think that every just complaint is to be carried off by a Laugh.

Fancourt.

Not carried off by a Laugh! Let me tell you, my Dear, that as long as a man can contrive to raise a Laugh he may carry off any thing he pleases. With the World, make wickedness pleasant—you are soon forgiven!

Mrs. F.

But sir, remorse of Heart cannot be so allayed!

Fancourt.

Why that I have never been troubled with, except when I have got no fruit from any of the little odd eccentricities which you, in vulgar dialect, call Crimes, and could not get the laugh on my side.

Mrs. F.

What—does the World then laugh even at Crime!

366 AA7v 366

Fancourt.

Oh yes a sly laugh—when they dont suffer by it! A man will be mad tha is choused out of a thousand pounds, but, if his Neighbour is nicked out of it, he laughs, and says—Ah! that is, I am afraid a sad wicked fellow, but clever —the Dog’s clever!

Mrs. F.

Disgusting!

Fancourt.

So, if a Woman falls, the injured Husband rages—but his Friend simpers—

Mrs. F.

Is it so Sir! and pray how then is it when a scheme is laid—for the ruin of a Daughter!

Fancourt.

A Daughter! oh! oh! I catch the keynote!—What you heard enough for that just now did ye—heard what Brisk said about Sir Robert’s Daughter?

Mrs. F.

I did!

Fancourt.

Woman! no scheme is agreed on between us—Brisk will not impart his intended mode of procedure. In all events, my Dear, do you keep Silence! or, if you do not, I’ll slit that nimble tongue of your’s, and make it chatter double like a Starling’s! Exit.

Mrs. F.

I cannot restrain myself! A plot laid for the ruin of a Child—for the bitter anguish of a Father! Pauses. I will! I may in Disguise atchieve what, lest he should hear of me, I dare not encounter the risk of attempting in my own character. Fancourt returns.

Fancourt.

Hark ye Woman! lest you should mistake the lively humour I have shown, I tell you that if you dare to utter, to whisper with the slightest breath, what your impertinent Curiosity has put you in possession of, every Misery that I can inflict awaits you! I have a Dagger She Starts —not to take your life! but to wound your Mind. A Secret that will inflict torture here indeed!

367 AA8r 367

Mrs. F.

I tremble at all you can threat—yet I bid you remember—that the young creature whose welfare and peace you design to ruin, is the daughter of the man who, touched by your Distresses, sent you, but yesterday, noble relief!

Fancourt.

Yesterday is past, and a thousand tomorrows are to come. I must provide for them! my opportunities are few—my Wants are pressing!

Mrs. F.

Mr. Fancourt!—is thus then Poverty the nurse of Virtue?—May it not thus at times be the source of depravity, and its wretchednes, brought on by idleness, debase the Heart at least as much as Affluence and Splendor?

Fancourt.

Woman! I cannot argue—Remember! Exit.

Mrs. F.

After a Pause.—How selfish necessity doth chill the Heart!—on Prudence how many other Virtues depend! Poverty thou hast a thousand Evils besides mere Want—thou art the precursor of almost every ill!—But, this young creature shall not be victim to its necessities. I must devote myself to save her. I feel it a Duty! and will not be deterred!

Exit.

Scene II.

Lady Horatia’s. The statuary room. Enter Sir Simon Asgill, followed by a Servant.

Sir Simon.

Yes, tell your Lady—Sir Simon Asgill from the City.—Walking up and examining the Statues Why, what an odd place is this?—Your Servant, Madam bowing to the Figure of a Woman Why, you look as melancholy as the wife of a lame duck just waddled home from the Alley.—Why here’s another The Shield of Minerva. with what? —serpents on her Head instead of Hair! the fashion 368 AA8v 368 in some barbarous wild-country I suppose.—What Wonder next?—oh! here comes the Lady herself! Enter Georgina Lady Horation Horton, I am your most obedient Servant!

Georgina.

Sir I am—making a low curtesy—your very—

Aside

I, Lady Horatia!—ha! ha! ha! I wonder who he is!

Sir Simon.

My Lady! I wait on you on a melancholy occasion.

Georgina.

Aside.—I’ll keep it up!

Then Sir I wish you had staid away. I hate melancholy—and this is my Birth-Day! I am this day delightful Eighteen—and I will not be made melancholy for any thing!

Sir Simon.

Eighteen—my Nephew is ten years older. A happy Age young Lady, the union of youth and Judgment. Where I a Lady, I would never take a Boy to guide me through life. Eightand-twenty is the Age, and that is the age of my Nephew.

Georgina.

Ha! ha! ha! And pray Sir—ha! ha! ha! and pray—who is your Nephew!

Sir Simon.

Aside.—How flippant she is!

—My Nephew Madam—

Aside.

—I dont much like her!—

My Nephew is that unfortunate young man who has been so long in love with you—Sidney Asgill.

Georgina.

Aside.—So! I shall have Lady Horatia’s Secret now!—how I will plague her about Sidney Asgill!

Sir Simon.

I understand he has possessed your good opinion.

Georgina.

Oh!—I cant say how much I admire him!

Aside.—Ha! ha! I never saw him in my life!

Sir Simon.

It must give you, my Lady, considerable369 BB1r 369 able pain to know that he is undone!—I am the Uncle on whom he depends, but, the misfortunes of Commerce—in short, Madam, if you will be so generous as to marry him, you will marry a Beggar— but consider his Merit!

Georgina.

I marry a Beggar on account of his Merit!—Why Sir—ha! ha! ha!

Sir Simon.

Consider—how he loves you.

Georgina.

What signifies his love? A Beggar—I am sure if my Papa should—

Aside.

—I forget, I am Lady Horatia!

Sir Simon.

—Your father! why he was never mentioned to me.

Georgina.

No Sir!—why if he should—

Pho! I blunder again!

Sir Simon.

Well, that’s not to the point. You say you will not marry my Nephew because he is a beggar—I am glad to hear you say it. You will not marry poor Sidney Asgill, though he is dying for you!

Georgina.

Certainly I will not!—

Aside.

—I am safe in saying that, for to be sure Lady Horatia wont marry a Beggar!

—I desire I may hear no more of your Nephew Sir; a frighhtful ugly disagreeable odd-temper’d Mortal! I can’t abide him!

Sir Simon.

Then, Madam, my Visit has answered its purpose! But, as it would not be civil to correct you, I have a great mind to lay my stick about your Investment of Mummery here! In great Anger.— You say you will not marry my Nephew?

Georgina.

I do say I will not Sir!—I never will! —the Winter shall scorch first, and the Summer freeze.

Sir Simon.

Then, by my Credit on Change you shall not—gazette me if you do!—I’ll look amongst the girls in the City! We have, with more money, as much beauty, and as much Goodness, east of Temple Bar, as can be found in all the Squares west of it. Vol. II. BB 370 BB1v 370 So Madam I leave you—I leave you to your pale objects of affection here—pointing to the Statuary.— Refuse my Nephew! I am glad of it!—I am glad of it! He shall have a City Girl!—I have one in my eye— ten times as handsome as you are—old Simon says so! Exit.

Georgina.

Then, let him have a City Girl—Old Simon! Ha! ha! ha! why what a Fury he went off in! Enter Lady Horatia —Oh! Lady Horatia I have been so diverted—ha! ha! ha!

Lady Hor.

What has so amused you, my Dear?

Georgina.

Yes! yes! I know all about Sidney Asgill!—Oh! how sly you were!

Lady Hor.

You amaze me!—Where is Sir Simon? Looking round.

Georgina.

Oh! here has been the queerest old Cit here—storming and raving because I would not marry his Nephew!

Lady Hor.

What can this mean?

Georgina.

But then—he took me for you! and came to tell you that his Nephew is a Beggar, and that he is dying, and I know not what stuff!

Lady Hor.

Mr. Asgill dying! Greatly alarmed.

Georgina.

Dont look so frightened—for love of you, that’s all. But he’ll get over it—they always do!

Lady Hor.

What does he say?—Sidney a Beggar!

Georgina.

Oh yes, he repeated that—as though it was a Recommendation! You cant think what a passion he went off in, because I vowed nothing on earth should make me marry a Beggar—neither would you, for you are more prudent than I. Going and returning. Oh! I had forgot!—the best of it is, 371 BB2r 371 he swears his Nephew shall marry a City Beauty, with a great large clumsy City fortune!

Lady Hor.

—Marry!

Georgina.

I should like to see the Bride. He declares she is twenty times as handsome as I am—I mean as you are!

Lady Hor.

Oh! you know not what you have done!—Cruel Georgina! I shall appear to Sidney mean, sordid, detestable!—For that he is in Poverty, he will think that I renounce him! you have undone me!—I am lost! Exit.

Georgina.

I certainly must have done something wrong! But, to be sure she will not marry a Beggar; and yet I dont know—perhaps she may! One hears for ever of the Whims of Fine Ladies, sitting and contriving what odd thing they shall do—to surprise the Town with next!

Exit.

Scene III.

A drawing room at Sir Robert’s. A noise without of Scolding. Enter Jenny, followed by Humphrey

Jenny.

Such an impudent insolent Clown as you are, you pretend for to talk, you! one who never learnt his horn book!

Humph.

Better never larn a horn-book, than such novel-books as you have learnt to read, you Trumpery! I tell you I doant like your goings on, and I’ll tell Master! You are always a filling Miss’s head with stuff; and I doant like many things as I do zee.

Jenny.

You see! you dont know what you see.

Humph.

Doant I? yes I do, and what I hear too! I’ve a heard fine tales of you since I crossed over BB2372BB2v372 Bristol Channel to live in Wales. Yes, yes, it is not for Nothing that you are drawn forth in smart caps of washed gauze and dyed ribbons, and ruffletytufflety; and going half naked—as though you were a Lady of Fashion! D’ye remember the Coptain who used to come, on pretence of admiring the old tattered velvet furniture that came out of Somebody’s great-great-grandfeather’s Castle two hundred years ago?— Enter Sir Robert and Fancourt

Sir Robert.

Hey-dey! Humphrey and Jenny run off. Quarrelling about my velvet tattered furniture! I set a high value on it. The Rags of a man’s ancestry ought to make him proud!—I would give fifty acres for the rags of the old Doublet of that Ancestor of mine who came over, you know, with the Ambassador of King Priam.

Fancourt.

I am sorry you interrupted them. I like those children of Nature! I am fond of natural Characters unvitiated by Riches! No disguise—all open Honesty.—What their Hearts prompt their tongues utter!

Sir Rob.

True Sir, true! I am glad you like plainness, and therefore venture bluntly to tell you, Mr Fancourt, that the Draft I promised you for your Friend, my Lord Beechgrove, I have altered my mind about.

Fancourt.

Sir!

Sir Rob.

All that affair about Mr Snapper was pleasant to be sure; but, I have met with treatment that has stagger’d me a good deal.

Fancourt.

Aside.—Ruin!

—Stagger’d Sir!

Sir Rob.

Yes Sir! I do not understand a man’s wanting favours, and yet treating ill those who would do him Service!

Fancourt.

Aside.—My Heart shrivels like scorched 373 BB3r 373 parchment!

—Treat you ill Sir! who has dared to accuse me of treating you ill Sir Robert? I defy the man, I defy the human being!—

Aside.

—I wish I was well out of the house!

Sir. Rob.

Oh, Mr Fancourt, I have not the least fear that you would use me ill. I believe it to be impossible! No Sir, it is my Lord Beechgrove of whom I complain. Why Sir, do you know I met him in the Park just now—and he would not speak to me—nay didn’t return my bow! though an hour before he invited me to visit him, as you know—— Bless me! what’s the matter, Mr Fancourt!

Fancourt.

Smothering a laugh. Oh, Sir Robert, I am seized with a Vertigo! it is sometimes very troublesome—if I had a Glass of Water—

Sir Rob.

Here Thomas! Humphrey! I’ll go myself! Exit.

Fancourt.

Ha! ha! ha! he has seen the real Lord Beechgrove!—Alas! but the Thousand is gone like last month’s moonshine if I cant— Enter Brisk. you double-face fellow, out of the house!—Away!

Brisk.

What has happened?

Fancourt.

What has happened! why Old Taffy has seen—out of the house—stay not to ask Questions! he has seen your Polygraph—that’s all.—Out —out—here he comes! Brisk darts out. Enter Sir Robert, followed by a Servant with a Glass. Oh Sir Robert, you are very good! Drinks Every Spring and Fall—I am better now! You were pleased to say something Sir about my friend Lord Beechgrove. Oh! I remember now—he met you and did not know you!

374 BB3v 374

Sir Robert.

That was very odd though!—Says I —My Lord! the thousand pounds which Mr Fancourt spoke to me about

Fancourt.

Did you? did you! Smothers Laughter Well, Sir Robert, and what said my Lord?

Sir Rob.

Not a Word!—Stared as though I’d been a new caught Monster! and yet, I had not changed my Dress, though he had changed his. The differ ence of Dress made me almost think once that I might be mistaken—but, on looking again I thought I was sure!

Fancourt.

Pray, what was his Dress Sir?

Sir Rob.

Regimentals.

Fancourt.

Regimentals?—

Aside.

A hint for Brisk’s Toilette!

—Oh, he had his Regimentals on—aye—he has one of the Regiments of Guards. They change frequently—they dont stick to their Colours much—except in War!—Rather odd too, not speaking, I confess, but a man whose head is full of the military manœvres of all Europe must be forgiven, if an acquaintance of no long standing slips out of it for a moment.

Sir Rob.

Why I can make allowances Mr Fancourt. I remember myself, when I was High Sheriff for the County, I did happen to pass an acquaintance or so, but then I made an Apology—after I was out of Office! I shall expect an Apology from my Lord at once, in office or not, for not returning my bow, before I advance the thousand pounds.—A thousand pounds is money Mr Fancourt.

Fancourt.

It is, it is money Sir—and it is quite regular to be obsequious and bow for it! I will go Sir and bring his Lordship. He dines to day at the Duchesses in his own Square; but, I’ll engage to bring him away in spite of Wit Beauty and Champaigne.—

Aside.

I’ll be a match for thee yet—old Taffy!

Exit.

Sir Rob.

I wish my Lord would introduce me to 375BB4r375 dine at the Duchess’s. I never did dine at a Duchess’s —it must be very delightful! I’d follow the modern fashion, write down her smart sayings after my return home, go back to Glamorganshire—and astonish my neighbours!

Exit. Georgina enters laughing, followed by Jenny

Jenny.

Well Miss, I declare I dont see any thing in the Alabaster Statutes, that you have been running after, all of one Colour like a Duck’s egg. Give me a fine large picture, with rich yellow windowcurtains and Robes of Red and Blue!

Georgina.

Your Taste is excellent Jenny!

Jenny.

If you want to see Statuary all like life, go to Mrs Silvertip’s.

Georgina.

Who is she?

Jenny.

Why a Lady who makes the finest Statutes in the World, all of nice coloured wax.—There are Generals and Sailors and Princésses—and Dukes and old Women, all beautiful and more natural than life!

Aside.

—If I can raise her Curiosity to go there— Mr Brisk’s Fortune is made!

Georgina.

Dear Jenny! how can I see all this?

Jenny.

How? why by only going to her Exhibition on Fish-Street Hill, that’s all.

Georgina.

Fish-Street Hill! Where is that?

Jenny.

Aside.—Hang me if I know!

—Oh Miss every body knows where that is. ’Tis just by Grosvenor Square.

Georgina.

Would she teach me her art do you think?—I might then surpass Lady Horatia!

Jenny.

Oh, to be sure!—They teach Ladies all sorts of Arts you know now Miss.

Georgina.

The first use I would make of it would be—to imitate the features of Mr Conway! I should then be able to look at him without blushing, and talk to him without his knowing it.

376 BB4v 376

Jenny.

Petulantly.

Mr Conway indeed!

Georgina.

Oh yes—I will—I will learn the Art! —I know his countenance so well I could soon imitate it. And yet tenderly there is sometimes a look of Goodness that no Art can imitate!

Jenny.

Aside.—Mischief’s in the look I say!

— Well Miss I’ll carry you there to morrow. But, Sir Robert must not know it!

Georgina.

Oh, not for the world!—I’ll go!—I’ll go!—I’ll go! Runs off.

Jenny.

Yes, so you shall! But Mr Conway shall gain nothing by it.—You have a large Fortune my Dear, and are handsmoe; Mr Brisk is handsome, and has no Fortune; but will pay out of your’s a full consideration for effecting so proper a match!

Exit.

Scene IV.

Asgill’s lodgings. Enter Asgill and Conway

Asg.

’Tis in vain! Never, Conway, will I sue for Compassion to a proud Beauty, who treated me with Haughtiness—even when she believed me Heir to large Possessions!

Con.

Loveliness and Pride should in some degree be associated. Sanction not the vulgar railing against the Haughtiness of conscious beauty.—She who over values herself will never sink low. And the Lady of whom we speak perhaps loves you.

Asg.

For that very reason I will not again appear before her. I will not raise a conflict in her bosom between her pride and her tenderness, and owe at length perhaps to her Compassion, the acceptance —to which Love would never have brought her.

Con.

You are very nice! If my Heart were not 377BB5r377 pre-occupied, and so fine a woman would condescend to make me master of herself and her fortune, I would not quarrel with her about the Motive, but thank the pretty creature, and cherish for her all the Love I could.

Asg.

But you are a man of Fortune—your motive would not be suspected to be mean! By this time I suppose people begin to talk of my distressed state.

Con.

I have heard it mentioned. A Lady observed that it was pity a man so handsome—(what think you of that!) should sink thus. Her Husband said, he was sorry too—for that he thought you were a good kind of young man.

Asg.

Good kind of young man!—I dont much like that sort of approbation. Conway seems s prised. Do not imagine that I wish for the reputation of a bad heart!—But the terms Good kind of young man are sometimes applied with so little discrimination, that I desire not to be honoured with them. For instance—An idle fellow who hangs loose on society without avocation or merit, or one who perhaps even corrupts the sister of his friend, or runs away with his daughter, is, in excuse, still said to be, after all, though a little irregular—a good kind of young man enough!—I disclaim the title. Enter Servant

Serv.

Sir, here is the person you ordered from Tower-hill. Slopseller, I think he calls himself. Exit.

Con.

Slopseller!—How do you translate that?— —Apothecary I suppose.

Asg.

Ha! ha!—No, I assure you. A Tower-hill Slopseller does not deal in emulsions and syrups, he —but you must excuse me telling you what he deals in.—My dear Conway! I am becoming somewhat 378 BB5v 378 grave and dull—so Adieu!—Often think of me, and speak of me as I may deserve, but the trouble of sighing forth that I am—a good sort of young man —you may spare yourself!

Con.

Asgill, though there is some pleasantry in your manner, there is also a seriousness that shocks me!—What are you going to do?

Asg.

What I ought to do! Do you imagine I intend to stay at home, to parade Bond Street and pace the promenade of Saint James’s Street and Pall Mall? No, no, my fever’d brain cannot be cooled by such expedients!—’tis only the powerful voice of my Country can regulate its distraction. My arrangements are made, my resolution is fixed.—Farewell!

Con.

Is then the fervour, sprung of the agitation of this moment, nobly directed to the service of your Country!

Asg.

I was placed you know in the Navy. On my Father’s death, my Uncle declared me his Heir. I had but advanced to the Rank of Lieutenant when he took me from the Service. Now, when I have no riches to assist in supporting those who fight for my Country, again will I serve iher in my own person!

Con.

Do your private woes find relief but in that powerful principle—this is indeed patriotic love! Not to oppose so noble a resolve is, though difficult, a Duty! Farewell then, my Asgill, until a change of fortune. In the mean time, you know how truly, if you can prevail upon yourself to condescend, you may command mine! Exit.

Asg.

He goes in tears. The dew that manly Friendship forces to the eye, is a voucher for the Heart that speeds it thither!— 379 BB6r 379 Enter Slopseller, with a bundle. Have you brought the Uniform?

Slopseller.

Yes, Sir.—Every thing else is sent on board. Lays down the bundle.

Asg.

This sight revives a warm glow in my bosom! In the Sailor’s habit what Heroes have bled! —what gallant acts have been atchieved! Those who have worn it have given Britain the extension of her Empire—high-water mark over the whole globe!

Man.

Aye Sir, they say in our shop it was your Raleighs, your Drakes, and your Boscawens, who did all that!

Asg.

Whilst, in grateful retrospection, we twine Laurels around the tombs of the Heroes that are departed, our Country must not forget what is due to those of our own day! It is this that will cause other Raleighs Drakes and Boscawens to start forth like Meteors, and glide Britain’s naval empire—blazing in glory! Exit, pressing the Dress to his breast.

Man.

Aye—these are the fellows!

Exit.
380 BB6v 381 BB7r (381)

Act the Fourth

Scene I.

Lady Horatia’s drawing-room. She enters rapidly.

Lady Hor.

Yes—order the horses instantly! and yet—no—I shall not want them!—Go to his Uncle in the City! How strange that will be!—but, can I hesitate on decorums when Existence is at stake? Can I suffer Sidney Asgill to believe that Georgina’s fooleries are my Sentiments? Can I suffer another, whilst I appear despicable, to have the Privilege of raising him from Poverty!——Ah! Mr Conway! Enter Conway

Con.

I darted hither the moment I received your commands.

Lady Hor.

My Commands! Sir, I only sent to ask—it was only with an intention to—Much confused.

Con.

Speak, Lady Horatia!—A Pause.—Do me the honour to repose confidence in me!

Lady Hor.

Perhaps I may—I believe I ought— but—in one moment what will you think of me? Walks a little way in extreme agitation, then returns. Yet, I must speak—for the conflict is too great for me to endure. You are the Friend of Asgill—the 382 BB7v 382 friend of his youth—the chosen of his heart—He bows—permit me then to ask, did you ever hear him name any other Lady as one — with whom he wished to unite his fate?

Con.

Oh, never! You, I full well know, have been the first and only object of his affection.

Lady Hor.

Then find him out—pursue him! — What have I said? my soul shrinks at the sound of the words I have uttered!

Con.

Would my Asgill’s ear could have caught them!—Go on Lady Horatia.

Lady Hor.

Go on! Alas! need I add another sentence!—You see that—humble me not too far —for I am proud! Had Asgill continued the Heir of splendid possessions, perhaps my Pride would never have abated; but, he is poor—he is undone!

Con.

Transcendent Woman!

Lady Hor.

My fortune is his—my Heart!

Con.

for him I thank you—you, so worthy of the love of Asgill!

Lady Hor.

I feel your kindness in endeavouring to relieve my Confusion. The step I have taken I should yesterday have thought less easy than to die! Permit me to leave you—nor dare to think with resumed dignity—that because my affection is strong, my Conduct shall be weak! Exit.

Con.

What is the situation to which dignity of Soul cannot lend a Grace? The very conduct which in a vulgar mind would disgust, where there is such elegance and virtue becomes fascinating.—Now Asgill, I will dare to seek thee! to give such transport to thy heart, as shall make thee feel the hour of thy poverty the most precious of thy life!

Exit.
383 BB8r 383

Scene II.

Sir Robert Floyer’s library. He enters in a bustle, followed by a Servant.

Sir Rob.

Show up his Lordship and Mr Fancourt directly!—fly down. Sits Remember—never keep a Lord in waiting! Exit Servant. —No, I wont receive his Lordship sitting, that will look like want of Respect! Rises.—I will be standing. No—that will not be the thing either, for then I shall have no opportunity of showing my Veneration for him in my own house, by rising at his entrance. No, I must sit, and—yes I’ve hit it—I’ll be reading, deeply employed in reading! Then, when the great man enters, I’ll start up and dash away the Book!—Let me see, it shall be a large important looking bok. I’ll get up and reach one down. Mounts the Library steps and takes one.Chambers’s Dictionary—that will do! Takes another under the other arm The fall of the Roman— Bless me—here’s my Lord! Lord Beechgrove announced, Sir Robert in his flurry tumbles with the Books, Fancourt enters with Brisk dressed in Regimentals. They help him up.

Sir Rob.

Oh—I am quite confounded! My Lord, I beg your Lordships’ pardon a million of times!— Mr Fancourt—my knee!—Rubs it.

Brisk.

Aside.—Well, here I am, in a new character, under the roof with the old Fellow’s daughter —however she knows me not!

Sir Robert, I am much grieved

384 BB8v 384

Sir Rob.

Dont mind me!—reach his Lordship a Chair! a most untoward accident—but pray accept it as an Omen. You found me stretched at your feet—I am the most humble of your servants!

Brisk.

Sir Robert, I have often heard of the Politeness of the Welch Gentlemen, and you really confirm all that can be said of them. The year in which you was Sheriff, Sir Robert, was such a year of splendor and magnificence as Glamorganshire will long remember. We heard a vast deal of it at St. James’s! it amused the Royal Circle for a month!

Sir Rob.

Why, my Lord, I did my best on that occasion. When I was High Sheriff for the County, I neither spared myself nor my pruse. A hanging in the morning, and an Assembly at night, dining with the Judges to day, and to-morrow in consultation with them and Jack Ketch about a new Gallows!— such a variety of business, my Lord, demands a man’s whole attention!

Brisk.

Certainly, certainly!—A little thing happened this morning Sir Robert, which I assure you has given me considerable pain—your address in the Park! But, if a man is tossing in his mind thee compact between Russia and Poland, and thinking of going to St. Petersburgh Ambassador perhaps himself, to revise one or two points that might be amended —to be interrupted just at the moment in which he fancies himself delivering the credentials of his office to the Empress, and receving one of those delicious Smiles which—

Fancourt.

Twitching him. You will go too far!

Brisk.

I say, Sir Robert, just at such a moment to be addressed!

Sir Rob.

Oh, my Lord, no wonder that you overlooked me! I am ashamed to have complained of such a Trifle.

Fancourt.

Pray, my Lord, examine Sir Robert’s shelves. You will find them well stocked.

385 CC1r 385

Sir Rob.

All dead stock, my Lord, heavy dead stock.

Brisk.

Pardon me Sir—pardon me! such stock is never dead. You have, in Calf’s skin, the very Souls of the authors—well selected for the Binding I dare say!

Sir Rob.

Why, my Lord, as to selection, I left that to my Broker, and he buys by the Reviews. He furnished the whole house, from the kitchen to the Garret upon an elegant scale—the Pots and the Poets —the Frying-pans and the Philosophers were alike of his choice.

Fancourt.

Apart. Now, Sir Robert! if you wish to do the thing genteelly, write the draft without his observing it. Better make it payable to both, and then I shall have the honour of being your Debtor also. I’ll take care to present it to him after we have left the house. Great men must not have Services rendered to them coarsely!

Sir Rob.

I understand you; there is a nice way of doing things.—Pray, my Lord, amuse yourself with a Folio or two.

Apart.

—A certain delicate!—it shall be so.

Goes to the table and writes.

Brisk.

Taking up a Book.The Debates of Leadenhall-Street—light pretty reading in a heavy morning!

Fancourt.

Apart Leadenhall-Street!—a thought strikes me!

Brisk.

May it be a useful hit!

Fancourt.

I say, my Lord, as Sir Robert has a liberal mind, and may be entrusted with Patronage amongst the Glamorganshire Voters, suppose you get for him, by way of outset, a seat at the Board of Controul! Sir Robert writes, and listens, by turns.

Brisk.

The thought was too obvious to be missed —the place suits his discernment and spirit.—Alternately whispering and speaking loud The Nabobs! whispers The Begums! whispers Muslins, AlaballasII. CC 386 CC1v 386 ballas, Mul-Muls, Nansooks! whispers Nankeen China whispers. Patna Rice whispers.

Sir Rob.

Runs up O my Lord! my Lord!— Slides the Draft into Fancourt’s hand.—Not a word. —Mum!—His finger to his lip.)

Brisk.

I perceive Fancourt holds up the Draft to catch Brisk’s eye—I had better go directly—no time to be lost. Let us finish the business at once! Looking at Fancourt significantlySir Robert! your Servant!

Fancourt.

Sir Robert! your Servant! Both hurry off.

Sir Robert.

Stares.Sir Robert your Servant! —mighty short!—Well, but their hurry is in order to serve me! a little rudeness may be pardoned, when it proceeds from kindness!

Enter Georgina, hastily, followed by Jenny

Georgina.

O dear Papa! there is a woman in the Street with some odd music. I am going to the Balcony to hear her. Exit. Jenny following.

Sir Rob.

Get along—Madcap!—Going. Begums! Nabobs!—Sir Robert your Servant!—mighty short too!

Exit.

Scene III.

387 CC2r 387 the street before Sir Robert’s house. Enter Mrs. Fancourt, dressed as a Savoyard, And winding a Hurdy Gurdy. Attended by two Children, One with a Tambour, The other with a Cymbal.

Mrs. F.

This is the house. Here will I place myself;—fortunately I may attract the intended Victim!

Sings, and plays.

I be von poor Savoyard,

Get but lit, yet labour hard!

Wet and Cold me oft endure,

Patience be my only cure!

Georgina appears at the Balcony, Jenny behind her.

Ah, Ah, charmante Lady, cast down your bright eye,

Compassionate look, or perhaps I be die!

I see von sweet Smile stealing over your face,

It give you new Beauty, it give you new Grace!

I be von poor Savoyard,

Get but lit, yet labour hard!

Wet and Cold me oft endure,

Patience be my only cure!

CC2 388 CC2v 388

Make von curtesy to de Lady, you lit impudent ting!

Georgina.

Dont chide her! Where did you come from?

Mrs. F.

From von great way off. I live among de Mountains, and I be come to please de prit lady of dis country.—Georgina throws down Silver— Take up l’argent ma petite, and put it in votre poche. Bless your Charitè. Lady I can tell de fortune by looking at de vite hand.

Georgina.

Can you?—Jenny! let us have her up.

Jenny.

Laws, Miss, dont let such creatures come in; they may steal something! There’s a thievish look in her eyes; I understand Eyes, as well as she does hands!

Mrs. F.

Dat prit young vomans, by your side, Lady, be born to von great luck—she vill have de great offaer.

Jenny.

Well, Miss, if you will have her in—I suppose I may as well open the door! They leave the Balcony.

Mrs. F.

Thus far I am successful. Dreadful! that such youth and goodness should become the prey of villains!—ah! the door opens.

Jenny.

Opening the door. Come, come, make haste!

They Enter.
389 CC3r 389

Scene IV.

The drawing room. Georgina enters, followed by Mrs. Fancourt and Jenny

Mrs. F.

Come, let me look at your prit vite hand! Takes Georgina’s hand, and pretends to examine the lines. Ah, I see—I see!—But, I have not de power to tell de fortune before any von.—Dat gentle—sweet temper young vomans must go.

Georgina.

Jenny, d’ye hear? Leave the room.— Go directly!

Jenny.

Going reluctantly.—Aside. I should not have thought of that foreign woman’s impudence!— have me sent out of the room!—I dont like the look of her, I’ll listen I am determined!

Exit.

Mrs. F.

Now Miss, me vill tell you—you be born to be ver happys, if you be ver good!

Georgina.

Why, do you think I am not good?

Mrs. F.

Bau! bau! dere be von—two vicked mens, who have ver bad design agaginst you. Il faut you must not see any Gentleman but in the presence of yoru Papa! Your Papa be your bon friend.

Georgina.

I never heard any thing so ridiculous. Never see a Gentleman but in my Papa’s presence! —You’re a fine Fortune-teller.—Good-day! Going.

Mrs. F.

Agitated, follows and seizes her. Madam, if you would not be lost beyond Redemption, observe what I have said!—Two Villains have laid some train—

Georgina.

Amazing!—you now speak good English!

Mrs. F.

Ah! I had forgot!—But, when the Heart 390 CC3v 390 feels it is hard to dissemble! You have detected me.—Charming young Woman, slight not the Cautions which I wear this disguise to give! Surely they must have force with you, when I tell you—that it is perhaps at the hazard of my Life that I appear before you.

Georgina.

You make me shudder!

Mrs. F.

Treat not lightly then the advice of one— who runs such risk to urge it on you. I know not exactly what is designed. They seem not yet in full confidence with each other; but, some scheme or other will be carried on against you, by one or both. Be it what it may, I have awakened your Circumspection—my Duty is performed.

Jenny.

Running in. Get out of the house you Impostor! you deceiving Jezabel!—If you do not go this minute, I will order the house-maid to sweep you out.

Mrs. F.

Young Lady, think seriously on my words! Exit.

Jenny.

Think upon her words a Vagabond! Did you ever see such assurance Miss? I have a great mind to follow her, and beat her Hurdy-Gurdy about her ears!

Georgina.

Be silent! What I have heard has reached my Heart—I will be circumspect! Walking slowly off.

Jenny.

Here’s a pretty kettle of fish! Who can that plaguy woman be? her Disguise will prevent me from ever discovering! Mr Brisk has let somebody into our Secret, who has betrayed us. She’ll not trust herself with me to the supposed Wax-work now. What labour it will cost me to throw her off her guard!—but I’ll try. Takes a Letter from her pocket and looks it over. Yes, yes, this Letter will bring him.—Hang me if I dont believe I have spelt disguised wrong. Well—no matter—the meaning is undisguised enough.—Wafers the Letter—Here 391 CC4r 391 Humphrey!—Smiling, and speaking very gently.Humphrey! Enter Humphrey

Humph.

Come—none of your flummery!

Humph.

Nay, dont be cross! you know we have made it up.—Here take this Letter, and carry it to Mr Brisk. Come now coaxing you know I am working you the Corners of a new neck-handkerchief, twenty times as pretty as this. Touching that which he wears.

Humph.

Shall I have it by Friday, to go to Bob’s wedding?

Jenny.

You shall! Bell rings.

Humph.

Well, give it me—Snatching the Letter. —the old place I suppose?

Jenny.

Yes, yes, the old place—Bell again. I wish the Bell was pulled down! Go directly. Exit.

Humph.

The wafer’s wet—ha! ha!—Now she thinks I cant read wroiting—help her sappy head! Ha! ha! I can wroite and read too, but that’s a secret between me and my own sel.—Looking at it all round. I would not break a Seal for the world— for that I do know would be a most unhonorable thing; but, as to a Chambermaid’s wet Wafer— There! it opens like a boiled oyster!——’Tis a dainty Scrawl! the lines do run as strait as the Zig- Zag of a corkscrew. Reads. Generous Sir!— well that’s grateful—Come here tomorrow, disguized as before in the —Spelling f-e-m,—fem.— Looking earnestly. f-e-fe,—m by itself m—fem-alee. ——Yes!—no!—oh! female dress, or you wont get into the house. Call yourself, as before, Miss Sally Martin.——So! so! so! then that strapping Wench that I did let in the other morning is, all the while, what I more than half mistrusted mysel at the time —a lubberly lout of a Man!—Scratches his head and 392 CC4v 392 reads again—Though you came in vain before, and I could not get you to see Miss, perhaps I can now. We must hurry up the Match if we can. Be sure you come!Your Dutiful Sarvant Jane To John Brisk Squire.

So—John and Jane are a pretty pair! Now what can they be upon? Why, that’s nothing to I. But, howsomever, I think I wont carry it!—Yes—looking at the corners of his handkerchief yes I think I will—I will carry it.—I will see John in Petticoats once more!

Exit.

Scene V.

St. James’s Park. Brisk walking backward and forward With an air of great Uneasiness. Enter Fancourt

Brisk.

Running up to him.—Oh! you are come! I have been waiting here this hour. I began to fear that you were slippery—that you were upon your tricks.

Fancourt.

What, with each other? Oh fie! never. I drove to the Bankers and back, as fast as the horses of a wretched hack could carry me. And, in my way, met a fellow in his Chariot, who two years since borrowed money of me for Shoes.

Brisk.

I never meet such a fellow, for I never lend —make a point of that! Come give me my money, my ways and means at the Gaming Table—my moiety of the Thousand.

Fancourt.

Unwilling. Directly—directly—Ha! how do you do?—Bowing to those supposed to be at a distance.—Here is the—Puts his hand slowly into 393 CC5r 393 his pocket.—Ah! I saw you last night To others— a full Concert!——Oh! I had forgot! I must be at the Tennis Court immediately! Running off towards the top.

Brisk.

Following. Rot the Tennis-Court! give me the Notes.

Fancourt.

The Notes!—Well, there are the Notes. Brisk looks, with astonishment, at them and at Fancourt, by turns.

Brisk.

Well!—What are these?

Fancourt.

What are they! why the Notes:—your share of the Loan for a Thousand, procured by me this morning.

Brisk.

Here are four Notes—five and twenty pounds each!

Fancourt.

Well, cant you reckon? Four notes, five and twenty pounds each, make one cool Hundred, principal money. And, you are welcome! I confess I had some thoughts of the fair thing being but Fifty, but, recollecting our ancient Friendship, when I bought into the Four per Cents with the rest, I kept back a snug Hundred for you.—Good day, Brisk!

Brisk.

Seizing him. Stay Sir—stay you shall, and account at once! I must away to the Pharo Table.

Fancourt.

I too have my engagement there. But, my good fellow, do not make an uproar in the Park! because, you know, if you do Brisk, I shall be under the necessity of relating some little Anecdotes of you, which may—you understand me!

Brisk.

Fiercely. So, you have bought nine hundred Pounds worth of Stock!

Fancourt.

I have.

Brisk.

And you are determined that I shall touch but one cool hundred?

Fancourt.

Only one—and quite enough for having the pleasure of being treated as a Lord on a contrivance of mine! Besides, Master Brisk—you dont play open in your scheme on the old fellow’s Daughter.

394 CC5v 394

Brisk.

Smothering rage. Very well—very well! —

Aside.

You’ve done it for yourself as to any share of gain there, my Boy!

Fancourt.

What would a man have?—An hundred pounds for only just walking into an old sprawling fellow’s Library and——Ruin! he’s here—I’m off! Exit.

Brisk.

Is he? he is.—I’ll not run!—He’s coming towards me—I’ll not flinch! You shall see, Mr Fancourt, what it is to use a brother Schemer ill. Is not the world easily enough gulled by trickery of any sort, but we must cheat one another?—I’ll sacrifice Myself rather than not be revenged! Takes out his Pocket-Book and Pencil, seeming very intent. Enter Sir Robert

Sir Rob.

Ah! there’s his Lordship. He seems very busy again—perhaps I had better pass on! No —I wont. Surely after such a favour—ah! my Lord your most obedient! Brisk gazes at him, then continues to write. Well now, I declare Looks amazed. My Lord! I say, your most obedient!

Brisk.

Pray Sir, who are you?

Sir Rob.

I am astonished!

Brisk.

Who, I say, are you—looking fiercely at him who thus twice to-day have taken the freedom to address me in public?

Sir Rob.

Who am I? What! does not your Lordship know me now?—Oh! perhaps the Polish Treaty, or the delicious Smiles of the Empress, monopolize your Lordship’s thoughts again.

Brisk.

Affecting passion. Perhaps neither!—I am engrossed by your Impertinence. Who are you Sir!

Sir Rob.

Who am I? why the man who, two hours since, lent you one thousand pounds principal money, to keep you from the Extortion of the Jews.

395 CC6r 395

Brisk.

A thousand pounds. Eh, eh!—Looking very grave. Lent me a thousand pounds!—Seizing his hand I am full of concern for you! I am firmly persuaded you have been imposed on Sir. There is a fellow about this Town who resembles me so much, that we may play the two Dromios—we are as like as two brown russetings growing on the same twig. He resembles my person, he imitates my very Dress— Sir, depend on it, he has also assumed my Name, to borrow your one thousand pounds principal money—I wish you may ever get them again!

Sir Rob.

Why, my Lord, I am thunderstruck!— Then what you said to me this morning—I mean what he said—concerning the Begums and the Nansooks

Brisk.

Was something to cozen you, depend on it! You were cheated clearly!—Sorry for you—cant stay, clearly cheated Sir—you may depend on it! Going.

Sir Rob.

Agitated. My Lord—my Lord—grant me a moment—permit me then to ask one question— do you know Mr Fancourt?

Brisk.

Do I know Mr Fancourt? Sir! there are a sort of people one may be said to know, because one meets them every where; but, as to Mr Fancourt, Sir I would not keep a groom who was absolutely acquainted with such a person.

Sir Rob.

Oh!

Brisk.

If you want to learn his character, you may hear of it, for aught I know, some day or other in the King’s Bench Prison.—Do I know Mr Fancourt indeed! Exit.

Sir Rob.

Is it Ground I stand upon? I am amazed —never were two men so alike upon earth. The Look, the Voice, the Dress.—But, can Fancourt be a Villain? no, it is not possible; to me he cannot be a Villain. Yet—I know not what to conjecture! 396 CC6v 396 Enter Fancourt behind. Smiles, and claps him on the Shoulder. No—Turns and gazes on him. No—his looks are innocent. It is not possible he can be guilty.

Fancourt.

How do you do Knight? How d’you do?

Sir Rob.

Yet, I’ll try him!—Looks sternly. Sir, I have seen a man who tells me you are a Villain!

Fancourt.

’Tis well he does not let me see him. But, who is the man—who is he Sir?

Sir Rob.

Lord Beechgrove—the real Lord Beechgrove Sir.

Fancourt.

Aside—Ruin, without escape! Explain Sir, explain! I really cannot possibly comprehend you!

Sir Rob.

He tells me Sir, that the man you brought to me to day, is an Impostor! and that, in concert with him, you have cheated me out of the thousand pounds!

Fancourt.

How Sir, an impostor! In a rage. But, I’ll be cool—I’ll be cool—where was you told of this Sir—where Sir?

Sir Rob.

On this very spot Sir—this instant.

Fancourt.

Aside.—Ah! I begin to smoke! What, Lord Beechgrove has just left you then?

Sir Rob.

This moment—I found him here.

Fancourt.

Aside.—So, this is Brisk’s revenge!— Ha! ha! ha!—Oh, what—ha! ha! ha! what a droll dog! Why Sir, did you never hear that my noble friend is the greatest Humorist in England!—Ha! ha! ha! I suppose he might tell you there is a man about town who resembles him!

Sir Rob.

He did—he did sure enough! he told me they are as like as two Drums.

Fancourt.

Aye, aye, he amuses himself with the trick continually—he is inexhaustible as a Joker!—

Aside.—Oh the Rascal! 397 CC7r 397

Sir Rob.

A Joker? that’s odd in a Privy Counsellor!

Fancourt.

It is by way of unbending.—These great men must be Triflers at times!—

Aside.

—The Villain!

I could tell you such Tales of him! Ah! here his Lordship comes—

Enter Brisk Runs up to him—Apart

You shall have the other four hundred!

Brisk.

Ha! ha! Sir Robert what I frightened you did I?—Apart to Fancourt.—I shan’t trust you!

Fancourt.

Giving Notes apart—Take! take! here they are!—

Aside.

The Dog has been up to me this time!

—Really, my Lord, it is not right to play thus on Sir Robert’s Credulity! He could not know that you were not in earnest. But, I must particularly insist on one thing my Lord, that you do not again speak of my Character in such terms, though in one of your jests. The jest that laughs away a man’s reputation is deadly poison concealed in honey.

Brisk.

Looking over the Notes Aside. Well, well, nothing ought to be said about your Character, I agree.—What do you think I told him Friend Fancourt? I told him you might perhaps be heard of, some day or other, in the King’s Bench—ha! ha! ha!

Fancourt.

No!—did you?

Sir Rob.

He did indeed!

All.

Ha! ha! ha!

Brisk.

Well, the first open day I have, you must dine with me! We’ll be three jolly fellows, full of good humour and lovers of sport. Only a dozen things on table—no Epicures—eh Fancourt?— Champaigne and a Song shall cheer our minds, and set us above the cares of the World!

Sir Rob.

With all my Heart!

Aside.

—Rattle 398 CC7v 398 Glasses with a Lord! it will be as good as dining with a Duchess!

Fancourt.

Come along, my little fellow! They take Sir Robert between them—here then we go— jest laugh and pleasure inspire us!

Exeunt.
399 CC8r (399)

Act the Fifth

Scene I.

Sir Simon Asgill’s counting house. He is seated, with an air of melancholy. Enter Perkins, and looks earnestly at him.

Per.

Sir, Sir!—I pray you, Sir, speak!

Sir Simon.

I have carried it too far! my boy can no where be found! Why did I enter into such a Speculation? I ought to have known that the Sensibility of his heart, and the nobleness of his soul, could neither endure to view my distress, or to live a useless member of society.

Perkins.

Sir, be comforted, it is not yet Noon; perhaps the Evening may bring us the Needful. Enter a Servant

Serv.

A Lady, Sir, desires to see you.

Sir Simon.

Petulantly. I can see no one.

Serv.

She is particularly earnest, and requests to see you alone.

Sir Simon.

Who is she?

Serv.

I do not know Sir. She gave no Name. Shall I conduct her to the Drawing-room Sir?

Sir Simon.

No—if I must see her, bring her in 400 CC8v 400 here. The Counting house of a British merchant is respectable enough for the reception of a Prince— Exit Servant. I should not be ashamed to receive my King in it.—Well Perkins, you find the Lady will break her mind to me alone—if I wre in spirits to joke now, I could make myself merry at the fancy.

Perkins.

I hope Sir your spirits and your jokes will soon be on the return! Exit.Enter Lady Horatia

Sir Simon.

Your humble servant, Madam. She curtseys in confusion. Pray sit down.

Lady Hor.

I thank you. He stands by her chair—she fans herself.

Sir Simon.

You seem faint Madam.

Lady Hor.

No Sir—no. In a moment I shall be better.

Sir Simon.

Not used perhaps to the Bustle of driving through the City?

Lady Hor.

Not often!—

Aside.

—Oh! how shall I begin! my heart bursts with feelings that my tongue cannot give utterance to!

Sir Simon.

Pray may I ask, upon what concern we have the favour of your remembrance of us Madam?

Lady Hor.

Sir—I came—on a business—I know not how to introduce——You Sir—have a Nephew— Looking on her fan.

Sir Simon.

At least I hope so Madam !

Lady Hor.

You have heard—of Lady Horatia Horton?

Sir Simon.

Heard of her! yes I have heard of her!

Lady Hor.

Possibly—Sir—you are aware—that Mr Asgill has some degree of regard for her—

Sir Simon.

I hope not! my Nephew I trust knows better than to have any serious regard for such a Gill-flirt and her follies!

401 DD1r 401

Lady Hor.

Do you speak thus of Lady Horatia Horton Sir!

Sir Simon.

Yes! the merest specimen of Caprice that ever came under our consideration—her love lasts but till bad news comes!

Lady Hor.

Aside— He means Georgina who saw him yesterday; I know not how to explain!

Sir Simon

My Nephew in love with a Stone- Cutter? I wont believe it! Her Study is a workshop—her Drawing-room a Mason’s saw-yard!—A hewer of Marble! Pshaw! Madam—he might as well take up his residence at once in a Quarry!

Lady Hor.

Rising. Nay—this is insupportable! can this be the Uncle of Sidney Asgill!

Sir Simon.

Why I saw there, with my own eyes, a woman’s face with a wild-fashion wig of Serpents for drop curls;—he shall never be married to fancies so preposterous!

Lady Hor.

I can bear no more! Sir, this more than gothic ignorance is a disgrace ot the Age in which we live! The head of the expressive Medusa is amongst the Wonders of the Art!—Oh! the more than mortal skill—that could make Beauty horrible!

Sir Simon.

Aside. Hey-dey!—the dumb Lady in crazy talk?

Lady Hor.

—At the same place, you saw the touching Niobe—mourning over her children; the light Atalanta—flying from her Lover.—Did nothing strike you! could neither the skill of Phidias, nor the vigour of Michael Angelo awaken adoration in you for the Sublimity of Sculpture—whose long enduring beauties bid Defiance to Age!

Sir Simon.

Aside.—Age!— Aye, a clear hit at me! Well Madam, there is no Admiration lost between us.

Lady Hor.

Your coarseness Sir is insufferable!— How different from your’s is the Mind of your Nephew!—he can sit whole hours admiring these Vol.II. DD 402 DD1v 402 Wonders of the Art, and patiently watching the chisel that presumes at imitation.

Sir Simon.

Employ his time thus! it is the first instance of his Folly I ever heard of.

Lady Hor.

You employ your talents Sir, I suppose, to the more exalted purposes of importing verdigrease and blubber, or in monopolizing what was here.

Sir Simon.

Have you any Commission for me Madam?

Lady Hor.

Commission—Sir—I came—it was my design—no Sir I have none!

Sir Simon.

When you have, Madam, I shall expect you to look in upon us, or hand directions for our government, but I really have not had time to read my Letters, which I must beg to do directly.—Order the Lady’s Carriage!

Lady Hor.

Sir—I feel myself so insulted that— perhaps—your feelings are right—but no matter— I am distracted!Exit—agitated.

Sir Simon.

Why what can this mean after all! —and who is she? I never was so stunned in all my Life!— Enter Conway and Perkins. Ah! Mr Conway—what News—what news? Running towards him.

Con.

Alas! none Sir! I have followed our poor Sidney by every possible clue that I could obtain; but he has passes away like a dart—not a trace of him remains!

Sir Simon.

Fie!—fie! shaking his head—this foolish brain of mine must be scheming!

Con.

I suppose Lady Horatia’s visit here was to make Enquiries Sir?

Sir Simon.

Who!

Con.

Lady Horation Horton. She stept into her Carriage as I came up to the Gate. But seemed to be weeping—so I did not intrude.

403 DD2r 403

Per.

To Sir Simon.—Bless me Sir—there must have been some Mistake!

Sir Simon.

I dont know.—I am all in a Wood! Why, was that lady—Lady Horation Horton?

Con.

Assuredly.

Sir Simon.

’Twas quite a different person from her I saw, yesterday, at her house!

Con.

Smiling. Oh yes—ha! ha! I have heard of your Adventure. The Lady you saw was quite a different person indeed Sir.

Sir Simon.

And I hope I shall never have the mishap to see her again Sir.

Con.

Why, Sir?

Sir Simon.

I can’t endure her

Con.

Angrily.What Sir!—Why she is the most charming of her sex. That Lady, Sir, has more sweetness of disposition, more playful innocence of heart, and more Beauty than you ever saw before, or ever will see again!

Sir Simon.

I hope I may form a different opinion, Mr Conway.

Con.

No Sir—no man shall form a different opinion! —or if he does, he must take care to conceal it in my presence.

Sir Simon.

I shall take no care, Sir. I will use the freedom of an Englishman, to speak all I think of you, and of every man, and of every woman too. How dared she assume a Character she was not?—how dared she say such things of my Nephew to my face?

Per.

Oh! Gentlemen, let me intreat you!—you will both be sorry—you have both been too warm!

Con.

Persuade Sir Simon that he has been so! Exit.

Sir Simon.

Staring Why, what’s in the wind today Perkins! I affront every one who comes near me—without designing it I am sure!

Per.

Your breast has been a little ruffled Sir; you are disturbed about Mr. Asgill.

DD2 404 DD2v 404

Sir Simon.

Disturbed indeed! and my Head will be out of order soon if I dont hear of him. But, this Lady Horatia—’tis very odd! what could bring her here?—Bless me! perhaps she came to tell me some News about him, which I have lost by my testiness—I’ll go to her!

Per.

It would really be most advisable Sir!

Sir Simon.

I will—after Change. But, I shall give her up if I see her marble agian.—What a Taste.

Per.

Dear Sir, any Taste is better than no Taste. A lady who employs her thoughts thus on works of Art, is at least not idle—and therefore not in the way of Evil! Exeunt

Scene II.

Sir Robert’s drawing room. Enter Humphrey and Brisk, The latter cloathed in a woman’s broad-cloth Mantle, And wearing a Hat with a Veil.

Humph.

Aside. Why what a noddy have I been, to take this Strapper for a Girl!

Brisk.

Feigned voice. What is the oaf grinning at? Do as I bid you—tell Mrs Jenny her friend Miss Sally Martin is here. Exit Humphrey, making wry faces. Brisk throws open the Mantle, and pulls off the hat.

Enter Jenny.

Jenny.

Well, I was obliged to tell you to come in the same disguise—there was no other way of getting you into such a watched house as this! But I am afraid, though you are here, all hopes of prevailing upon young Madam are vain!

405 DD3r 405

Brisk.

Oh, I suppose she is like other young Ladies just from Boarding School. If I can but get over a blunder of mine in a Statuary room, and I think the dying Lover (for you may depend upon it I mean to be almost dead!) and, above all, the Romance of the adventure will cause such a twitter in her heart, that will take it into her head that she also must die, if we are not married.

Jenny.

Ah! all this wont do now. I fear her heart is brim full of love al ready for one Conway. However, I am determined you shall succeed. My scheme is this—let us but get her to your lodgings—and to avoid suspicions Marriage must follow.

Brisk.

By what magic can I convey her thither. Besides I mean to try the effect of one interview here first at any rate—and you must procure it immediately.

Jenny.

Pshaw, nonsense! I have prevailed on her to go with me alone to the Waxwork. She knows not where it is, and—Ah! we’re ruined! here she comes!—fold over your Mantle!

Brisk.

Well, and here goes my Hat on then! The Connoiseur will be as little detected in Petticoats by her, as she was by the Connoiseur!

Enter Georgina Brisk checks himself in a bow.

Georgina.

Pray, Jenny, who is this?

Jenny.

A Stranger Ma’am, a Lady that—Did you not say Ma’am that you ran into the Hall to avoid people who were rude/—And then, Miss, that blundering fellow Humphrey brought him up—I mean brought up the Lady!

Brisk

In a soft voice Yes, Ma’am, he brought me up. Really a woman can hardly walk out, people are so impertinent. A Gentleman, Madam, seized 406 DD3v 406 my hand—Confound you Sir said I—I mean I said—bless me Sir—dont prevent my passing!

Georgina.

A very odd Lady, Jenny!

Brisk.

Nay, I can no longer carry on Disguise— where my Heart compels me to be in earnest! Throws open the Mantle, takes off the hat, and kneels. Lovely young creature! notwithstanding present appearances do not believe I can ever really be a deceiver. I scorn to impose on you— I have a soul above it! Your charms I have been enamoured of, from the first moment of your arrival in Town—

Georgina.

What, on the Pedestal too, Mr Brisk! —Why Jenny, what can all this mean?

Brisk.

With your visit to the Statuary room I had contrived to make myself acquainted—my pretended criticism on your charming form was but to give me the fuller opportunity of viewing Symmetry so exquisite!—and now, I have transformed, like Achilles, my Surtout to a Cloak, but to conceal me from the watchful eyes of your Father and his Servants.—Believe me, sweetest creature, that ’tis your BeautyJenny shrieks—that could alone—Destruction! Puts on the hat, and conceals himself in the mantle.

Enter Sir Robert, and Fancourt.

Sir Rob.

A Lady at my Daughter’s feet!—Brisk starts up. Some great Charity surely she is asking! —To Jenny What did you shriek for?

Jenny.

Shriek Sir—oh! Sir the poor Lady was speaking of the dreadful cruelties of her Husband— and was deploring Miss to speak to you to procure Justice for her!—Apart. Ma’am it would be a great Pity to betray him!

Georgina.

Aside.The Savoyard—I must show no favour here!

Sir Rob.

Pray Ma’am, dont wheel about in this 407DD4r407 manner.—There’s nothing shameful in having a bad Husband; if there were—then indeed there might be, here and there, a married woman that would not care to show her face.

Brisk

Shrill voice. I must not indeed Sir—it would cover me with confusion!Still turning from Sir Robert.

Sir Rob.

Pray, Madam, is the fault all your Husband’s?

Brisk.

Entirely Sir!—my behaviour is angelic!

Sir Rob.

I dare say your face is angelic, if one could but see it!Still wheeling to get a peep .

Brisk

Apart to Georgina, in his own voice.Pity my distress, charming creature!

Georgina

Pray, good Madam, turn and show yourself to my Papa! and make him the same interesting relation you began to me!

Jenny.

Apart. Nay, pray Ma’am do not betray him! how can you have the heart! he would rather die than do you an ill turn.

Georgina.

Sweet Lady, speak! a design so pure, and eloquence so irresistible, will have its due effect on my Papa!

Fancourt

Aside.Though Brisk has played shy with me, I suppose I shall snack at last—and there seems some crossing of his game here! —Sweet Lady, round with ye! Sir Robert, you look that way, and I’ll look this.

Sir Rob.

Nay, Madam,’tis in vain. I will see your bright eyes! Brisk attempts to trip up Sir Robert and to run off.

Fancourt.

A Thalestris—by Jupiter! Seizing Brisk Nay, I will have a peep—spite of dexterity Miss! Come—to the right about!—Whu! why this must be a Man!—Sir Robert—a rat Brisk turns to himApart.—What Brisk! I’m a Marplot here! —this comes of not entrusting a friend fairly!

Sir Rob.

Yes, yes this must be a man! I thought 408DD4v408 it was the most robust Damsel I had ever met with!

Fancourt.

Get out of the house Sir! Pushing him. Aye, you do well to hide your face! Drives him out.

Sir Rob.

Who is he?

Fancourt.

Oh, but a fellow who lives by his wits; one whose stock in trade is all in the pia mater. Touching his Forehead.

Sir Rob.

To Georgina. What brought him here in disguise? Where had you seen him?—I insist on knowing the Truth! Aside.—She’s puzzled what to say— the Girl has been taught that ’tis a sin to tell Lies!

Sir Rob.

Why dont you speak, Georgina?—Come, be bold! your prompter I see is at your elbow.

Georgina

Yes I will speak—and unprompted but by Truth!—I assure you Sir, I never saw that person but once before—and that was at Lady Horatia’s. But, a circumstance, which I believe must relate to him, is deeply infixed in my mind—and makes me shudder!

Sir Rob.

What is it Child?

Georgina

Sir, by way of whim, I yesterday had my Fortune told.

Sir Rob.

Pho!

Georgina

Nay, but mine was no common Fortune-teller! She was certainly some well-bred woman in Disguise.

Sir Rob.

And pray, what mighty wonders did she tell you?

Georgina

That two unprincipled villains had laid some plot for my destruction! Fancourt starts. Her disguise was that of a Savoyard with Music.

Fancourt

Aside. Ruin!

Sir Rob.

I remember you ran through the Library to listen to her.

Fancourt

Pray Madam, what sort of person was this Savoyard?

409 DD5r 409

Georgina.

An agreeable little woman, with eyes full of intelligence, and manners full of good sense.

Fancourt

Aside.It was my mischief-maker!

Georgina.

This seeming Lady is probable one of the two men I had notice of; and introduced himself here with a design which I tremble at the thought of.

Sir Rob.

I believe you do, my dear! I never saw you so grave, nor heard you talk so discreetly before. A little fright has done you good. Never cease to tremble at the thought of the hazards of this hour!

Georgina.

You, Jenny, have always cherished my Follies—and pleased for that man even now! I can entrust myself with you no more! Away to the House-keeper, receive your Wages, and leave my Father’s house.

Jenny.

Aside.Why, she can never mean this in earnes—it must be all Fudge before her Father!

Sir Rob.

Your discharge of her is right.—But still —who waits there? Let her be detained below! Exit Jenny. I never met with such an atrocious jade, since I was High Sheriff for the County!—May every misguided daughter, Georgina, take shelter, like you, at once in the arms of a Father! Embracing her.— My dear Girl, I wish thou hadst either a Mother or a Husband!

Fancourt.

—A most edifying scene!

Sir Rob.

Mr Fancourt, you know then who this fellow is.

Fancourt.

Not absolutely know him. I have seen him—and will see him again you may depend upon it!—And I’ll find your little Savoyard too, Madam, your pretty Fortune-teller.—It shall go hard but I’ll meet with her!Exit.

Georgina.

I wish he may discover her! for I shall cherish lively gratitude to her to the last hour of my existence!—I feel, Sir, like one of our little Welch 410 DD5v 410 Kids, trembling still, though saved from the brink of a precipice—and guided back by its fond parent to crop the flowery herbage in safety!

Her father leads her out.

Scene III.

Lady Horatia’s drawing room. She enters, meeting Sir Simon

Sir Simon.

My Lady, your most obedient! I did not know that you were Lady Horation Horton this morning; I am come to apologize, and all that.

Lady Hor.

Coldly.—An unnecessary trouble Sir.

Sir Simon.

Not at all, not at all. If I offend, I am always ready to make amends. A little Gipsy yesterday took your name, and railed at Sidney —I could not bear it!

Lady Hor.

And was it therefore Sir, that you insulted—

Sir Simon.

Let us come to the point, and settle accounts! I am told that you have a regard for my Nephew, and I love and admire you for it.

Lady Hor.

The person who told me so yourself! Would any Lady drive into the City to talk to a cross old fellow about his Nephew, if she had not set her heart upon him? Pho! pho! as we men of business say—there’s a Common Sense in every thing!

Lady Hor.

Your torture me extremely Sir!—I dislike your Nephew now!

Sir Simon.

Aye, aye, it comes to the same result then I see as yesterday. When you looked forward to fine Equipage, splendor, and expense, you could acknowledge his Merits, but, now that you find he is 411 DD6r 411 poor, you dispise him! ’Twas to discover how all this was, that I came here first!

Lady Hor.

Sir! it is unjust! you injure me in every part of your opinion. When he was rich, he never kenew that he had caused a tender thought— his distress alone caused my attachment to throw off disguise.

Sir Simon.

Oh, oh!—What then you do love him?

Lady Hor.

What have I said!

Sir Simon.

What I hope you never will recall! Speak on;—now you talk like a sensible woman!

Lady Hor.

Well then, recive my full confession. The sense of the power of assisting him has endeared him to me. Go Sir, bring him from his retreat, and tell him that Horatia Horton knows now no value in wealth—but in the pleasure of dividing with him!

Sir Simon.

Huzza!—Madam he is not poor! I’ll put down thousand for thousand, and when I die— I’ll leave him a plumb!

Lady Hor.

Sir!

Sir Simon.

It is all a trick, to try whether you kept to your fist samples in love, and whether he possessed real worth of soul. Sentiments truly sterling he often uttered; but those often utter noble Sentiments who do not possess one feeling that, brought to the test, would do credit to humanity.

Lady Hor.

Asgill not poor!—Pausing.—A flimsy contrivance—to force me to reveal a secret which I wished to bury in the bottom of my heart! —Haughtily. Sir, know that your nephew rich, and your nephew poor, are distinct persons. I detest Art—I recall all I have said! Exit.

Sir Simon.

Why, what’s in the wind now! Upon my Credit, I would rather cast up the most intricate compound-interest account, than attempt to calculate how to suit a Woman’s mind.—Refuse a man because he is rich!

412 DD6v 412 Enter Perkins.

Per.

Oh Sir! my tidings are so good, that I have followed you hither!—Mr Asgill is found!

Sir Simon.

I saw it in thy eyes without a Word! Thou art an honest fellow Perkins.—Squeezing his hand.—In what Street or Alley was he found?

Per.

Street Sir! it was in a Castle—floating out of Portsmouth Harbour for the defence of his Country! My Brother Will thought that he had probably returned to his former profession, without notice to you, lest you should prevent him, and there he found him.

Sir Simon.

Is he come back?

Per.

My Brother traced him, told him how accounts really stood—got him into a chaise and four, and brought him back to his Lodgings.

Sir Simon.

Come along—come along! It shall be the best day Will ever saw!

Scene IV.

Fancourts’s. Enter Fancourt, followed by Mrs. Fancourt.

Mrs. F.

I hope you, and your friend Mr Brisk, have been well amused since yesterday, Mr Fancourt.

Fancourt.

As much so—as ruin at the Gaming table would admit of Mrs Fancourt.

Mrs. F

You should let me know when you dont mean to return. It is rather unpleasant to sit up all night watching.

Fancourt.

You can always find amusement yourself, my Dear, you know!

Mrs.F.

How?

Fancourt.

Oh, you can conjure up some sort or other—Fortune-telling for instance!

413 DD7r 413

Mrs. F.

Starting I die with fear!—I am betrayed—Oh, he will have no mercy on me!

Fancourt.

Seizing her hand. Fortune-telling was a pretty thought my dear—but did it occur to you to predict your own?—did your prophetic spirit pronounce your own fate on Discovery!

Mrs. F.

I know too well I must expect all that malice and revenge can inspire; but, if I have saved an innocent from destruction, and glanced off the arrow aim’d at the hear of her benevolent father, I am resigned!

Enter Holdfast, and another man.

Fancourt.

Who are you who enter my Apartments with so little ceremony!

Hold.

What, Mr Fancourt, cant you guess? Mayhap you’ll understand this! Showing a Writ.

2d Man.

A Coach waits below.—Come, the sooner we get into the regular Parliament trot the better.

Fancourt.

Sudden surprise has overpowered me! —On whose account do I see you?

Hold.

You’ll know that in proper time. I never likes to answer Trogatories.

Fancourt.

Where am I going?

Hold.

You’ll see when we arrive!

Fancourt.

Wherever it is, I’ll not stir without this Woman. She shall accompany me wherever I go.

Hold.

You have a very fond Husband, Madam, I see!

Mrs. F.

Not so; but he is my husband—I therefore follow without a murmur.

Fancourt.

Go first! I will not leave you in the room. Exit Mrs Fancourt. Come Gentlemen, let us follow the Lady! Bear Witness—I am a polite Husband to the last! You, too, are tolerably polite in you way!—only civil process Gentlemen I perceive!

Exeunt.
414 DD7v 414

Scene V.

Sir Robert’s drawing room. He enters.

Sir Rob.

Shaking his head. A sad—sad slut!— Why, what a Place this Town is! A Stranger like me should go about in leading strings! Plotters, Deceivers, in every corner of it!—Whether the people one associates with are ever really what they appear to be, or whether it all one universal Masquerade there is no guessing— Enter Brisk. My Lord! I am your Lordship’s most obedient! You have made great haste in unrobing my Lord!

Brisk.

Eh!

Sir Rob

I did not exactly know, at first, how to direct, to summon your Lordship hither, but your Sister in crime—the Lady Jenny below stairs helped me out—Mr. Brisk! helped me to the history of Mr Fancourt too, and of my departed Thousand.

Brisk.

The Traitress

Sir Rob.

Pray when you publish Sir? your adventures must be rather amusing! Put me down a Subscriber.

Brisk

Aside.—Nay, since all is out, I’ll take my chance another way, brazen it out, and alarm him!

—I’ll put you down for something else, Sir, when I publish.

Sir Rob.

What!

Brisk.

Be assured the public shall not lose the story of Taffy the Welch Knight, who came up from 415DD8r415 Glamorganshire, gaping after Begums, Nansooks, and a place at Court!

Sir Rob.

I feel that I deserve this, I submit to it patiently. Here comes more company—some of your friends, my Lord!

Enter Fancourt, Mrs. Fancourt, and the Officers. Sir Robert nods to the Officers, they retire.

Fancourt.

So Brisk—all is up!

Brisk.

Faith, I think, all is down with us. Your Blundering has brought about a discovery of all.

Fancourt.

What blundering! was it my fault? You would not trust me to assist in the scheme—that you might pocket without fair sharing!

Brisk.

You wanted not to share—our Friend the Knight’s thousand fairly.

Fancourt.

Thoughtful. Aye, I know not whence the interference is! but, when men conspire to do wrong—, sooner or later they are untrue to each other!

Brisk.

What! moralizing?—Chear up! We aim’d high, resolved if we did fall to fall from an eminence. Come, come, Sir Knight—to cajole a friend out of a Loan is all fair as the World goes.

Sir Rob.

And my Daughter!

Brisk.

Aye, and to cajole a girl into Marriage— nothing deemed fairer now!—Come, we want a little cheering, we were watched, played fair, and lost all last night, come—you’ll draw a Bottle of Champaigne at parting—and let us be merry once again! You thought it celestial happiness to get tipsy with a Lord, and hear him roar out a Catch. Do you remember, Fancourt, how he oped his mouth, and how his eyes watered with Joy?—ha! ha! ha!

Sir Rob.

I must bear all. I have been so ridiculous, that I deserve more even than your malice can suggest!

416 DD8v 416

Fancourt.

I say, Snapper, we must have the Welch Knight, he who was High Sheriff—ha! ha! ha!—The old scoundrel killed his Coachgreys in riding about against us. Sips.He is a great fool, related to all the Ap Morgans, and Ap Shoneses in the County!—Ha! ha! ha! never was a Gudgeon hook’d with such facility before!

Georgina runs in.

Georgina.

It is, it is herself! My charming Savoyard I rejoice to see you!

Fancourt.

Going up to Mrs Fancourt You Madam, to whose officiousness my friend and I owe our ruin, you have incurred the punishment with which I threatened you! Listen seizing her hand whilst I impart the Secret that will convey merited torture into your heart—You are not my Wife! Flinging away her hand.

Mrs. F.

Not your Wife?

Fancourt.

You was married in stile you know— special Licence out of Church!—it happened however to be by a man who was never Priest until that moment!

Mrs. F.

Can it be possible!—Do I hear right? —Yet the horror which I feel, at the baseness with which I have been deceived, has some degree of Alleviation in the idea—that I am released from Obedience to a man who makes me shudder! It no longer my Duty to associate with Vice! It is no longer my Fate to eat the bread of Wickedness!— I give then melancholy welcome to my disgrace, to my poverty, and my want!

Georgina

Never! Your fate is united to mine. You are my Mother, Sister, Friend!—I must quit you a few moments, for Lady Horatia has set Mr Conway for me—my Father’s roof is your future protection!

417 EE1r 417

Fancourt.

This is indeed a blow!— Is she to be happy?

Sir Rob.

Yes Sir, if my Daughter’s care, and my Sanction can make her so.

Mrs. F.

Unhappy man farewell! The ruin of my peace and fortune I can forgive! Whilst innocence and friendship invite me to seek repose in retirement, may you find it in Repentance!

Georgina leads her out.

Sir Rob

And now Officers They enter you may relieve us from the presence of these Gentlemen, and take due care to deliver them safe into the custody—of the High Sheriff of the County!

Holdfast.

Never fear Sir! No one ever got out of his clutches yet, if once Holdfast touched him on the shoulder!

Sir Rob.

And when the law permits you to escape from custody for the little debt you owe me, and you turn out on the wide world Gentlemen, be so good as to remember, that special care has been taken to send on your characters—to derange future manœuvres!

Brisk.

Oh, an act of Grace (or whatever they call it) to the King’s subjects will relieve us soon enough. We will turn out on the wide World— and let the World beware! You’ll not wholly exclude us from the very mixed society of this great Town, old one, yet! The world is not alive to a sense of right and wrong as it was—a mixed character succeeds best in it.

Fancourt.

That’s right, we’ll be of good heart my Boy!—and prepare, in retirement, for a new campaign. Our wits are our means of preying on Vanity and Folly—the field before us is indeed a wide one!Exeunt with the Officers.

Sir Rob.

But the history I have published will bar future pillage my lads! These Gentlemen have given me some pastime, with some experience, at EE418EE1v418 an expence of a thousand pounds; nothing very costly—as the price of experience in the ways of The Town goes! Exit

Scene VI.

Lady Horatia’s drawing room. Enter Lady Horatia, and Lady Nelville.

Lady Hor.

Adieu to low spirits for ever! My heart is as light as the feather in your hair. Con way has told me everything. My Asgill was in no plot against me, no, he has proved himself, in the hour of trial, as noble, as delicate, as brave, as my fancy had always painted him!

Lady N.

Upon my word happiness is very becoming! it gives expression to every feature. —See, her comes Georgina, playing the little tyrant with the enamoured Conway.

Enter Conway leading Georgina.

Georgina

I protest I will not hear you, Mr Conway. Snatches her hand away. Why will you teaze me thus? Lady Horatia, I beg you chide him; he has been talking nonsense to me all the way in your Carriage.

Lady Hor.

It will give more pleasure if you chide him. Nay, I will be more malicious still, spite of your frowns! I absolutely will tell him Georgina puts her hand before Lady Horatia’s mouth you—you do not hate him.

Con.

That sound is bliss to me.

Georgina

Ah, but I am sure I do not love him.

Con.

How do you know, Angel?

Georgina.

Why, I never keep wakeful about you, and I dont grow pale like Miss Gwatkin, and I eat 419EE2r419 my breakfast very well; and I do not see you for a whole day together I only think—well to-morrow perhaps he’ll come

Con.

Enough! enough!—more than I hoped! On these terms I am content to bind my fate to your’s. This artless candour renders you enchanting!

Georgina.

Well then, but dont speak to my Papa about it—for a whole week. Bless me—here’s old Simon.Runs to the top, followed by Conway. Enter Sir Simon, with Asgill in his Uniform.

Sir Simon.

Here, my Lady, I have brought you your Sailor; and if you do not receive him with kindenss, and welcome him back with your whole soul, you are no woman for me!

Asgill.

Sweet Mistress of my Heart, am I really welcome?

Lady Hor.

Welcome! Asgill, there are characters so high, so noble, that to suppress the real feelings they have excited were to have no taste for excellence—my Heart bounds from the chilly rules that would stay the expression of them. I, who have hitherto treated you with coolness almost bordering on disdain, now declare that I am proud to make you Master of my Fate; and that I feel exalted in having it in my Power to confer happiness on you.

Asgill.

Blest was the hour in which you believed me poor and undone!

Lady Nelville.

Lady Horatia, you are all Smiles! I declare I should not so easily have forgiven a man who could fly from me to the boisterous ocean, and show such insensibility to Love.

Asgill.

Misjudge me not! my soul, in full glow, confesses all its force. Yet the enthusiasm which seized me when I reached the deck of the Victory can never be chilled!—In the glorious tars around 420 420 me, Valour, Intrepidity, Heroism, shone forth in all their fervour and flash’d through my Heart. And I swear, should the danger of the times require my assistance, I will agian sail in her service, wherever she bids her cannon roar, or her proud pendants fly!

Through five long acts, in easy careless whirl,

I’ve been a giddy, tender, harmless girl,

Light as a feather in blithe frolic May,

Borne on the perfumed air of cheerful day.

Nor have I yet thrown by my artless part,

Georgina still I am, in garb and Heart,

Georgina humbly stands again before ye,

Of Gratitude so full—she half adores ye!

My Fancy ruminates, when Conway’s wife,

On what sweet plan to form my married life?

Whether ’tis Happiness to make a flash,

Pre-eminent and bold, like Lady Dash,

Reflection ne’er intruding as a damper,

Ascend my Curricle, on Horse-back scamper,

Keep Pharo Banks, the long odds take at Races,

And know the knowing ones in all their paces,

Lounge at Newmarket in the betting-rooms,

And prate to Lady Harriet—and my grooms?

But, should I thus blaze on, in Folly’s road,

And, profligate, forsake my blest abode,

Where were my Husband’s hope? his Credit where?

Who shall his lonely hours console and share?

Ah!—the dark prospect scares my trembling heart,

And swift from Ruin’s precipice I start.

Hail Wedded Happiness! my soul is thine

My Pride shall be in thy mild paths to shine!

My Conway’s tempered will I’ll make my own

And his felicity my hopes shall crown.

With him through Fashion’s paths I’ll sometimes roam,

But still, my first enjoyment shall be Home!

The Household Gods too precious graces wear,

To be abandoned but for out-door glare.

Yet, never will your Household Deities frown,

If you play truant, just to see—The Town!