1 A1r

As the great buſineſs of the polite world is the eager purſuit of amuſement, and as the Public diverſions of the ſeaſon have been interrupted by the hoſtile parade in the capital; the exhibition of a new farce may not be unentertaining.

The
Group,

As lately acted, and to be re-acted to the wonder of all ſuperior
intelligences, nigh head-quarters at Amboyne.

The author has thought proper to borrow the following ſpirited lines from a late celebrated poet, and offer to the public by way of Prologue, which cannot fail of pleaſing at this criſis.

What! arm’d for virtue, and not point the pen,

Brand the bold front of ſhameleſs guilty men,

Daſh the proud Gameſter from his gilded car,

Bare the mean heart which lurks beneath a ſtar,

Shall I not ſtrip the gilding off a knave,

Unplac’d, unpenſion’d, no man’s heir or ſlave?

I will or periſh in the gen’rous cauſe;

Hear this and tremble, ye who ’ſcape the laws;

Yes, while I live, no rich or noble knave,

Shall walk the world in credit to his grave;

To virtue only, and her friends, a friend,

The world beſide may murmur, or commend.

Boston: Printed and Sold by Edes and Gill, in Queen-Street. 17751775.

2 A1v

Dramatis Personæ

Lord Chief Justice Ha lzzlerod,

Judge Meagae,

Brigadier Hateall,

Hum Humbug, Eſq;

Sir Sparrow Spendall,

Hector Mushroom,――Col.

Beau Trumps,

Dick, the Publican,

Simple Sapling, Eſq;

Monſieur de Francois,

Crusty Crowbar, Eſq;

Dupe,—Secretary of State,

Scriblerius Fribble,

Commodore Batteau,

Collateralis,— a new made Judge.

Attended by a ſwarm of court ſycophants, hungry harpies, and unprincipled danglers, collected from the neighbouring villages, hovering over the ſtage in the ſhape of locuſts, led by Maſſachuſettenſis in the form of a baſiliſk; the rear brought up by proteus, bearing a torch in one hand, and a powder-flaſk in the other: The whole ſupported by a mighty army and navy, from blunderland, for the laudible purpoſe of enſlaving its beſt friends.

3 A2r

The Group.

Act I. Scene I.

Scene, a little dark parlour, guards ſtanding at the door.

Hazlerod, Crusty Crowbar, Simple-Sapling, Hateall, and Hector Mushroom.

Simple.

Iknow not what to think of theſe ſad times, The people arm’d—and all reſolv’d to die E’re they’ll ſubmit.――

Crusty Crowbar.

I too am almoſt ſick of the parade Of honours purchas’d at the price of peace.

Simple.

Fond as I am of greatneſs and her charms Elate with proſpects of my riſing name, Puſh’d into place,—a place I ne’er expected, My bounding heart leapt in my feeble breaſt And extaſies entranc’d my ſlender brain.―― But yet, e’re this I hop’d more ſolid gains, As my low purſe demands a quick ſupply.―― Poor Sylvia weeps,—and urges my return To rural peace and humble happineſs, As my ambition beggars all her babes.

Crusty.

When firſt I liſted in the deſp’rate cauſe, And blindly ſwore obedience to his will, So wiſe, ſo juſt, ſo good I thought Rapatio, That if ſalvation reſted on his word I’d pin my faith and riſk my hopes thereon.

Hazlerod 4 A2v 4

Hazlerod.

And why not now?—What ſtaggers thy belief?

Crusty.

Himſelf――his perfidy appears―― It is too plain he has betray’d his country. And we’re the wretched tools by him mark’d out To ſeal its ruins—tear up the ancient forms, And every veſtige treacherouſly deſtroy, Nor leave a trait of freedom in the land. Nor did I think hard fate wou’d call me up From drudging o’er my acres,―― Treading the glade, and ſweating at the plough, To dangle at the tables of the great; At bowls and cards, to ſpend my frozen years; To fell my friends, my country, and my conſcience; Prophane the ſacred ſabbaths of my God; Scorn’d by the very men who want my aid To ſpread diſtreſs o’er this devoted people.

Hazlerod.

Pho—what miſgivings—why theſe idle qualms This ſhrinking backwards at the bugbear conſcience? In early life I heard the phantom nam’d, And the grave ſages prate of moral ſenſe Preſiding in the boſom of the juſt; Or panting thongs about the guilty heart. Bound by theſe ſhackles, long my lab’ring mind Obſcurely trod the lower walks of life, In hopes by honeſty my bread to gain; But neither commerce, or my conjuring rods, Nor yet mechanics, or new fangled drills, Or all the Iron-mongers curious arts, Gave me a competence of ſhining ore, Or gratify’d my itching palm for more; Till I diſmiſs’d the bold intruding gueſt, And baniſh’d conſcience from my wounded breaſt.

Crusty.

Happy expedient!—Could I gain the art, Then balmy ſleep might ſooth my waking lids, And reſt once more refreſh my weary ſoul.—

Hazlerod.

Reſolv’d more rapidly to gain my point, I mounted high in juſtice’s ſacred ſeat, With 5 A3r 5 With flowing robes, and head equip’d without, A heart unfeeling and a ſtubborn ſoul, As qualify’d as e’er a Jefferies was; Save in the knotty rudiments of law, The ſmalleſt requiſite for modern times, When wiſdom, law, and juſtice, are ſupply’d By ſwords, dragoons, and miniſterial nods, Sanctions moſt ſacred in the pander’s creed, I ſold my country for a ſplendid bribe. Now let her ſink――and all the dire alarms Of war, confuſion, peſtilence and blood, And tenfold mis’ry be her future doom— Let civil diſcord lift her ſword on high, Nay ſheathe its hilt e’en in my brother’s blood; It ne’er ſhall move the purpoſe of my ſoul; Tho’ once I trembled at a thought ſo bold; By Philalethes’s arguments, convinc’d We may live Demons, as we die like brutes, I give my tears, and conſcience to the winds.

Hateall.

Curſe on their coward fears, and daſtard ſouls, Their ſoft compunctions and relenting qualms, Compaſſion ne’er ſhall ſeize my ſtedfaſt breaſt Though blood and carnage ſpread thro’ all the land; Till ſtreaming purple tinge the verdant turf, Till ev’ry ſtreet ſhall float with human gore, I Nero like, the capital in flames, Could laugh to ſee her glotted ſons expire, Tho’ much too rough my ſoul to touch the lyre.

Simple.

I fear the brave, the injur’d multitude; Repeated wrongs, arouſe them to reſent, And every patriot like old Brutus ſtands, The ſhining ſteal half drawn――its glitt’ring point Scarce hid beneath the ſcabbard’s friendly cell Reſolv’d to die, or ſee their country free.

Hateall.

Then let them die— The dogs we will keep down— While N――’s my friend, and G— approves the deed. Tho’ hell and all its hell hounds ſhould unite, I’ll not recede to ſave from ſwift perdition My wife, my country, family or friends. G—’s mandamus I more highly prize Than all the mandates of th’ etherial king.

Hector 6 A3v 6

Hector Mushroom.

Will our abettors in the diſtant towns Support us long againſt the common cauſe, When they ſhall ſee from Hampſhire’s northern bounds Thro’ the wide weſtern plains to ſouthern ſhores The whole united continent in arms?—

Hateall.

They ſhall—as ſure as oaths or bonds can bind; I’ve boldly ſent my new-born brat abroad, Th’ aſſociation of my morbid brain, To which each minion muſt affix his name. As all our hope depends on brutal force On quick deſtruction, miſery and death; Soon may we ſee dark ruin ſtalk around, With murder, rapine, and inflicted pains, Eſtates confiſcate, ſlav’ry and deſpair, Wrecks, halters, axes, gibbeting and chains, All the dread ills that wait on civil war;— How I could glut my vengeful eyes to ſee The weeping maid thrown helpleſs on the world, Her ſire cut off.—Her orphan brothers ſtand While the big tear rools down the manly cheek. Robb’d of maternal care by grief’s keen ſhaft, The ſorrowing mother mourns her ſtarving babes. Her murder’d lord torn guiltleſs from her ſide, And flees for ſhelter to the pitying grave To ſkreen at once from ſlavery and pain.

Hazlerod.

But more compleat I view this ſcene of woe, By the incurſions of a ſavage foe, Of which I warn’d them, if they dare refuſe The badge of ſlaves, and bold reſiſtance uſe. Now let them ſuffer—I’ll no pity feel.

Hateall.

Nor I—But had I power, as I have the Will I’d ſend them murm’ring to the ſhades of hell.

Act 7 A4r 7

Act. II.

The ſcene changes to a large dining room. The table furniſhed with bowls, bottles, glaſſes, and cards—The group appear ſitting round in a reſtleſs attitude. In one corner of the room is diſcovered a ſmall cabinet of books, for the uſe of the ſtudious and contemplative; containing Hobbes’s Leviathan, Sipthrop’s Sermons, Hutchinſon’s Hiſtory, Fable of the Bees, Philalethes on Philanthrop, with an appendix by Maſſachuſettenſis, Hoyle on Whiſt, Lives of the Stewarts, Statutes of Henry the eighth, and William the Conqueror, Wedderburn’s ſpeeches, and Acts of Parliament, for 17741774.

Scene. I.

Hateall, Hazlerod, Monſieur, Beau Trumps, Simple, Humbug, Sir Sparrow. &c. &c.

Scriblerius.

――Thy toaſt Monſieur, Pray, why that ſolemn phiz?―― Art thou too balancing ’twixt right and wrong? Haſt thou a thought ſo mean as to give up Thy preſent good, for promiſe in reverſion ’Tis true hereafter has ſome feeble terrors, But e’er our grizley heads are wrapt in clay We may compound, and make our peace with Heav’n.

Monsieur.

Could I give up the dread of retribution, The awful reck’ning of ſome future day, Like ſurly Hateall I might curſe mankind, And dare the threat’ned vengeance of the ſkies. Or like yon apoſtate.――Pointing to Hazlerod, retired to a corner to read Maſſachuſettenſis. Feel but ſlight remorſe To ſell my country for a graſp of Gold, But the impreſſions of my early youth, Infix’d by precepts of my pious fire, Are ſtings and ſcorpions in my goaded breaſt; Oft have I hung upon my parents knee And heard him tell of his eſcape from France; He left the land of ſlaves, and wooden ſhoes; From place to place he ſought a ſafe retreat, Till fair Boſtonia ſtretch’d her friendly arm And gave the refugee both bread and peace, (Shall I ungrateful eraſe the ſacred bonds, And help to clank the tyrant’s iron chains O’er theſe bleſt ſhores――once the ſure aſſylum From all the ills of arbitrary ſway) 8 A4v 8 With his expiring breath he bade his ſons If e’er oppreſſion reach’d the weſtern world Reſiſt its force, and break the ſervile yoke.

Scriblerius.

Well quit thy poſt;――Go make thy flatt’ring court To Freedom’s Son’s and tell thy baby fears; Shew the ſoft traces in thy puny heart, Made by the trembling tongue and quiv’ring lip Of an old granſire’s ſuperſtitious whims.

Monsieur.

No,――I never can―― So great the itch I feel for titl’d place Some honorary poſt, ſome ſmall diſtinction, To ſave my name from dark oblivions jaws, I’ll Hazard all, but ne’er give up my place, For that I’ll ſee Rome’s antientantient rites reſtor’d, And flame and faggot blaze in ev’ry ſtreet.

Beau-Trumps.

――That’s right Monſieur, There’s nought on earth that has ſuch tempting charms As rank and ſhow, and pomp, and glitt’ring dreſs, Save the dear counters at belov’d quadrill, Viner unſoil’d and Littleton may ſleep, And Coke lie mould’ring on the duſty ſhelf, If I by ſhuffling draw ſome lucky card That wins the livers, or lucrative place.

Hum-Humbug.

When ſly Rapatio ſhow’d his friends the ſcrall, I wonder’d much to ſee thy patriot name Among the liſt of rebels to the ſtate, I thought thee one of Ruſticus’s ſworn friends.

Beau-Trumps.

When firſt I enter’d on the public ſtage My country groan’d beneath baſe Brundo’s hand, Virtue look’d fair and beckon’d to her lure, Thro’ truth’s bright mirror I beheld her charms And wiſh’d to tread the patriotic path. And wear the Laurels that adorn his fame; I walk’d a while and taſted ſolid peace With Caſſius, Ruſticus and good Hortenſius, And many more, whoſe names will be rever’d When you and I, and all the venal herd Weigh’d 9 B1r 9 Weigh’d in Nemoſis juſt impartial ſcale, Are mark’d with infamy till time blot out And in oblivion ſink our hated names. But ’twas a poor unprofitable path Nought to be gain’d, ſave ſolid peace of mind, No penſions, place or title there I found; I ſaw Rapatio’s arts had ſtruck ſo deep And giv’n his country ſuch a fatal wound None but its foes promotion could expect; I trim’d, and pimp’d, and veer’d, and wav’ring ſtood But half reſolv’d to ſhow myſelf a knave, Till the Arch Traitor prowling round for aid Saw my ſuſpenſe and bid me doubt no more;— He gently bow’d, and ſmiling took my hand, And whiſpering ſoftly in my liſtening ear, Shew’d me my name among his choſen band, And laugh’d at virtue dignify’d by fools, Clear’d all my doubts, and bid me perſevere In ſpite of the reſtraints, or hourly checks Of wounded friendſhip, and a goaded mind, Or all the ſacred ties of truth and honour.

Collateralis.

Come ’mongſt ourſelves we’ll e’en ſpeak out the truth. Can you ſuppoſe there yet is ſuch a dupe As ſtill believes that wretch an honeſt man?

The latter ſtrokes of his ſerpentine brain Outvie the arts of Machiavel himſelf; His Borgian model here is realiz’d, And the ſtale tricks of politicians play’d Beneath a vizard fair――

――Drawn from the Heav’nly form Of bleſt religion weeping o’er the land For virtue fall’n, and for freedom loſt.

Beau-Trumps.

I think with you―― ――unparallelled his effront’ry, When by chican’ry and ſpecious art, Mid’ſt the diſtreſs in which he’d brought the city, He found a few, (by artifice and cunning, By much induſtry of his wily friend The falſe Philanthrop――ſly undermining tool, Who with the Syren’s voice―― Deals daily round the poiſon of his tongue,) To ſpeak him fair—and overlook his guilt. They by reiterated promiſe made To ſtand their friend at Britain’s mighty court, And vindicate his native injur’d land, B Lent 10 B1v 10 Lent him their names to ſanctify his deeds. But mark the traitor――his high crime gloſs’d o’er Conceals the tender feelings of the man, The ſocial ties that bind the human heart; He ſtrikes a bargain with his country’s foes, And joins to wrap America in flames. Yet with feign’d pity, and Satanic grin, As if more deep to fix the keen inſult, Or make his life a farce ſtill more compleat, He ſends a groan acroſs the broad Atlantic, And with a phiz of Crocodilian ſtamp, Can weep, and wreathe, ſtill hoping to deceive, He cries the gath’ring clouds hang thick about her, But laughs within――then ſobs―― ――――Alas! my country!

Hum-Humbug.

Why ſo ſevere, or why exclaim at all, Againſt the man who made thee what thou art?

Beau-Trumps.

I know his guilt,—I ever knew the man, Thy father knew him e’re we trod the ſtage; I only ſpeak to ſuch as know him well; Abroad I tell the World he is a ſaint. But as for intereſt, I betray’d my own With the ſame views, I rank’d among his friends; But my ambition ſighs for ſomething more. What merits has ſir Sparrow of his own. And yet a feather graces the Fool’s cap: Which did he wear for what himſelf atchiev’d, ’Twould ſtamp ſome honour on his lateſt heir―― But I’ll ſuſpend my murm’ring rays awhile; Come t’other glaſs――and try our luck at loo, And if before the dawn your gold I win, Or e’er bright Phœbus does his courſe begin, The eaſtern breeze from Britain’s hoſtile ſhore Should waſt her lofty floating towers o’er, Whoſe waving pendants ſweep the wat’ry main, Dip their proud beaks and dance towards the plain, The deſtin’d plains of ſlaughter and diſtreſs. Laden with troops from Hanover and Heſs, I would invigorate my ſinking ſoul, For then the continent we might controul; Not all the millions that ſhe vainly boaſts Can cope with Veteran Barbarian hoſts;―― But 11 B2r 11 But the brave ſons of Albion’s warlike race, Their arms, and honours, never can diſgrace, Or draw their ſwords in ſuch a hated cauſe In blood to ſeal a N――’s oppreſſive laws. They’ll ſpurn the ſervice;—Briton’s muſt recoil, And ſhow themſelves the natives of an iſle Who fought for freedom, in the worſt of times Produc’d her Hampden’s, Fairfaxe’s and Pym’s.

But if by carnage we ſhould win the game, Perhaps by my abilities and fame, I might attain a ſplendid glitt’ring car, And mount aloft, and ſail in liquid air, Like Phæton, I’d then out-ſtrip the wind, And leave my low competitors behind.

Act II. Scene II.

Collateralis―― Dick the Publican.

Publican.

This dull inaction will no longer do; Month after Month the idle troops have lain, Nor ſtruck one ſtroke that leads us to our wiſh.

The trifling beckerings at the city gates, Or bold outrages of their midnight routs, Bring us no nearer to the point in view. Though much the daily ſuff’rings of the people, Commerce deſtroy’d, and government unhing’d, No talk of tame ſubmiſſion yet I hear.

Collateralis.

No――not the leaſt ―― ―― they’re more reſolv’d than ever. They’re firm, united, bold, undaunted, brave, And every villa boaſts their marſhall’d ranks. The warlike Clarion ſounds through ev’ry ſtreet; Both vig’rous youth, and the grey headed ſire Bear the Fuſee, in regimental garbs, Repairing to defend invaded right, And if puſh’d hard, by manly force repel; And tho’ Britannia ſends her legions o’er, To plant her daggers in her children’s breaſt, It will rebound――New whetted, the keen point, Will find a ſheath in ev’ry tyrant’s heart.

Publican 12 B2v 12

Publican.

――What then is to be done? My finances too low to ſtand it long. You well remember ―― When ſtation’d there to gripe the honeſt trader, How much I plunder’d from your native town. Under the ſanctions of the laws of trade, I the hard earnings of induſtry Filch’d from their hands, and built my neſt on high. And on the ſpoils I rioted a while, But ſoon the unrighteous pelf ſlip’d through my hand. Nor longer idly could I waſte my time, A num’rous flock was riſing round my Board, Who urg’d to ſomething that might give them bread.

My only game was hither to repair, And court the proud oppreſſors of my Country, By the parade of pompous luxury, To win their favour, and obtain a place; That (with my limbeck) might have kept me on, But for the curſed, perſevering ſpirit Of Freedom’s ſons—who triumph or’e diſtreſs, Nor will comply with requiſitions, made By haughty mandates from corrupted courts, To pay the workmen for the chains, they’d Forg’d.

Collateralis.

No—tho’ proud Britain waſts her wooden walls O’re the broad waves—and plants them round theſe Coasſts, Shuts up their Ports, and robs them of their bread, They’re not diſmay’d――nor ſervilely comply To pay the hunters of the Nabob ſhores Their high demand for India’s pois’nous weed, Long ſince a ſacrifice to Thetis made, A rich regale――Now all the wat’ry dames May ſnuff Souchong, and ſip in flowing bowls, The higher flavour’d choice Hyſonian ſtream, And leave their Nectar to old Homer’s Gods.

Publican.

The Group this morn were ſummon’d to the camp; The council early meets at Sylla’s tent, But for what purpoſe yet I cannot learn.

Collateralis.

Then let us haſte, ’tis novel to be call’d, By Sylla’s order, ſummon’d to attend, So 13 B3r 13 So cloſe he keeps his counſels in his breaſt, Nor truſts us with the manœuvers of ſtate, I fear he half deſpiſes us himſelf. And if he does, we cannot wonder much, We’re made the jeſt of ev’ry idle boy: Moſt of us hunted from our rural ſeats, Drove from our homes, a prey to guilty fears, When――When dare we return!

And now ſhut up in this devoted City, Amidſt the peſtilence on either hand, Purſued by every dreadful Execration That the bold Tongue of innocence oppreſs’d, Pours forth in anguiſh for a ruin’d ſtate.

Scene III

The fragments of the broken Council appear with trembling ſervile Geſtures, ſhewing ſeveral applications to the General from the Under-Tools in the diſtant Counties, begging each a guard of myrmidons to protect them from the armed multitudes (which the guilty horrors of their wounded conſciences hourly preſented to their frighted imaginations) approaching to take ſpeedy vengeance on the Court Paraſites, who had fled for refuge to the Camp, by immediate deſtruction to their Pimps, Panders and Sycophants left behind. ――Sylla walking in great Perplexity.

Sylla.

Pray, how will it comport with my pretence For building walls, and ſhutting up the Town, Erecting fortreſſes, and ſtrong redoubts, To keep my troops from any bold inroads? A brave inſulted people might attempt, If I ſend out my little ſcatter’d parties, And the long ſuff’ring, gen’rous patriot’s Care Prevents a Skirmiſh.

Though they’re the ſport of wanton cruel power, And Hydra headed ill ſtart up around, Till the laſt hope of a redreſs cut off Their humane feeling, Urge them to forbear, And wait ſome milder means to bring relief.

Hateall.

’Tis now the time to try their daring tempers. Send out a few――and if they are cut off, What are a thouſand ſouls, ſent ſwiftly down To 14 B3v 14 To Pluto’s gloomy ſhades,――to tell in anguiſh Half their compeers ſhall ſit pandimonic, E’re we will ſuffer Liberty to reign, Or ſee her ſons triumphant win the day.

I feign would puſh them to the laſt extreme, To draw their ſwords againſt their legal King, Then ſhort’s the proceſs to compleat deſtruction.

Secretary Dupe.

Be not ſo ſanguine――the day is not our own, And much I fear it never will be won. Their diſcipline is equal to our own, Their valour has been try’d,—and in a field They’re not leſs brave than are a Fred’ricks troops, Thoſe members formidable pour along, While virtue’s banners ſhroud each warrior’s head Stern Juſtice binds the helmet on his brow, And liberty ſits perch’d on ev’ry ſhield. But who’s apply’d, and aſk’d the General’s aid, Or wiſh’d his peaceful Villa ſuch a curſe, As poſting Troops beſide the peaſant’s cot?

Judge Meagre.

None but the very dregs of all mankind, The Stains of nature,――The blots of human race, Yet that’s no matter, ſtill they are our friends, ’Twill help our projects if we give them aid.

Simple Sappling.

Though my paternal Acres are eat up, My patrimony ſpent, I’ve yet an houſe My lenient creditors let me improve, Send up the Troops, ’twill ſerve them well for Barracks. I ſome how think ’twould bear a noble ſound, To have my manſion guarded by the King.

Sylla.

Haſt thou no ſons or blooming daughters there, To call up all the feelings of a Father, Leaſt their young minds contaminate by vice, Caught from ſuch inmates, dangerous and vile, Devoid of virtue, rectitude, or honour Save what accords with military fame?

Haſt thou no wife who aſks thy tender care, To guard her from Belona’s hardy ſons? Who when not toiling in the hoſtile field, Are faithful vot’ries to the Cyprian Queen. Or 15 B4r 15 Or is her ſoul of ſuch materials made, Indelicate, and thoughtleſs of her fame: So void of either ſentiment or ſenſe, As makes her a companion fit for thee!

Simple Sappling.

Silvia’s good natur’d, and no doubt will yield, And take the brawny vet’rans to her board, When ſhe’s aſſur’d ’twill help her huſband’s fame.

If ſhe complains or murmurs at the plan, Let her ſolicit charity abroad; Let her go out and ſeeek ſome pitying friend To give her ſhelter from the wint’ry blaſt, Diſperſe her children round the neighb’ring cots, And then――

Publican.

――Then weep thy folly, and her own hard fate! I pity Silvia, I knew the beauteous maid E’er ſhe deſcended to become thy wife: She ſilent mourns the weakneſs of her lord, For ſhe’s too virtuous to approve thy deeds.

Hateall.

Pho――what’s a woman’s tears, Or all the whinings of that trifling ſex? I never felt one tender thought towards them.

When young, indeed, I wedded nut brown Kate, (Blyth boſom Dowager, the jockey’s prey) But all I wiſh’d was to ſecure her dower. I broke her ſpirits when I’d won her purſe; For which I’ll give a recipe moſt ſure To ev’ry hen peck’d huſband round the board; If crabbed words or ſurly looks won’t tame The haughty ſthrew, nor bend the ſtubborn mind, Then the green Hick’ry, or the willow twig, Will prove a curſe for each rebellious dame Who dare oppoſe her lord’s ſuperior will.

Sylla.

Enough of this, ten thouſand harrowing cares Tear up my peace, and ſwell my anxious breaſt.

I ſee ſome mighty victim muſt appeaſe An injured nation, tott’ring on the verge Of wide deſtruction, made the wanton ſport Of hungry Harpies, gaping for their prey; Which if by miſadventures they ſhould miſs, The 16 B4v 16 The diſappointed vultures angry Fang, Will ſiez the leſſer gudgeons of the ſtate, And ſacrifice to mad Alecto’s rage; Leſt the tide turning, with a rapid courſe The booming torrent ruſhes o’er their heads, And ſweeps the cawing cormorants from earth.

Hateall.

Then ſtrike ſome ſudden blow, and if hereafter Dangers ſhould riſe――then let up for thyſelf, And make thy name as famous in Columbia, As ever Cæſar’s was in ancient Gaul. Who would ſuch diſtant Provinces ſubdue, And then reſign them to a foreign lord! With ſuch an armament at thy command Why all this cautious prudence?

Sylla.

I only wiſh ſo, ſerve my Sov’reign well, And bring new glory to my maſter’s crown, Which can’t be done by ſpreading ruin round This loyal country―― ――Wro’t up to madneſs by oppreſſion’s hand. How much deceiv’d my royal maſter is By thoſe he truſts!—but more of this anon.

Were it conſiſtent with my former plan, I’d gladly ſend my ſickly troops abroad Out from the ſtench of this infected town, To breath ſome air more free from putrefaction; To brace their nerves againſt approaching ſpring. If my ill ſtars ſhould deſtine a campaign, And call me forth to fight in ſuch a cauſe.

To quench the gen’rous ſpark, the innate love Of glorious freedom, planted in the breaſt Of ev’ry man who boaſts a Briton’s name, Until ſome baſe born luſt of foreign growth Contaminate his ſoul, till falſe ambition, Or the ſordid hope of ſwelling coffers, Poiſon the mind, and brutalize the man.

Collateralis.

I almoſt wiſh I never had engag’d To rob my country of her native rights, Nor ſtrove to mount on juſtice ſolemn bench, By mean ſubmiſſion cringing for a place.

How great the pain, and yet how ſmall the purchaſe! Had 17 C1r 17 Had I been dumb, or my right hand cut off, E’er I ſo ſervilely had held it up, Or giv’n my voice abjectly to reſcind The wiſeſt ſtep that mortal man could take To curb the tallons of tyrannic power, Out ſtretch’d rapacious ready to devour The fair poſſeſſions, by our Maker giv’n Confirm’d by compacts—ratify’d by Heav’n.

Sylla.

Look o’er the annals of our virtuous fires, And ſearch the ſtory of Britannia’s deeds, From Cæſar’s ravages to Hambden’s fall; From the good Hambden down to glorious Wolfe, Whoſe ſoul took wing on Abraham’s fatal plain, Where the young Hero fought Britannia’s foes, And vanquiſh’d Bourbons dark ferocious hoſts, Till the ſlaves trembled at a George’s name.

’Twas love of freedom drew a Marlborough’s ſword; This glorious paſſion mov’d a Sydney’s pen; And crown’d with Bayes a Harrington and Locke; ’Tis freedom wreathes the Garlands o’er their tombs.

For her how oft have bleeding Heroes fall’n! With the warm fluid, guſhing from their wounds, Convey’d the purchaſe to their diſtant heirs!

And ſhall I raſhly draw my guilty ſword, And dip its hungry hilt in the rich blood Of the beſt ſubjects that a Brunſwick boaſts, And for no cauſe, but that they nobly ſcorn To wear the fetters of his venal ſlaves!

But ſwift time rolls, and on his rapid wheel Bears the winged hours, and the circling years.

The cloud cap’d morn, the dark ſhort wintry day, And the keen blaſts of roughned Borea’s breath, Will ſoon evaniſh, and approaching ſpring Opes with the fate of empires on her wing.

Exit Sylla. Hazlerod riſes in great agitation.

This ballancing of paſſions ne’er will do, And by the ſcale which virtue holds to reaſon, Weighing the buſineſs e’er he executes, Doubting, deliberating, half reſolv’d To be the ſaviour of a virtuous ſtate, Inſtead C 18 C1v 18 Inſtead of guarding refugees and knaves, The buzzing reptiles that crawl round his court, And lick his hand for ſome delicious crumb, Or painted plume to grace the guilty brow, Stain’d with ten thouſand falſities, trumped up To injure every good and virtuous name Who won’t ſtrike hands and be his country’s foe: I’ll haſten after, and ſtir up his ſoul, To dire revenge and bloody reſolutions, Or the whole fabrick falls, on which we hang, And down the pit of infamy we plunge, Without the ſpoils we long have hop’d to reap.

He croſſes the ſtage haſtily and goes out after Sylla. Meagre and Secretary Dupe at the further part of the ſtage.

Meagre.

As Sylla paſs’d I mark’d his anxious brow; I fear his ſoul is with compaſſion mov’d For ſuff’ring virtue, wounded and betray’d;

For freedom hunted down in this fair field, The only ſoil, in theſe degenerate days, In which the heavenly goddeſs can exiſt.

Secretary.

Humanity recoils—his heart relucts To execute the black the accurſt deſign. Such I muſt call it, though thy guilty friends, Thy ſubtle brother, laid the artful plan,

And like the toad ſquat at the ear of Eve Infuſing poiſons by his ſnaky tongue, Puſh’d Brundo on to tread the thorny path, And plunge his country in ten thouſand woes;

Then ſlyly juſtling him behind the ſcenes, Step’d in his place for which he long had ſigh’d.

Meagre.

Yes all allow he play’d a maſter game, And dealt his cards with ſuch peculiar ſkill, That every dangler about the court, As you and I and all might well ſuppoſe, Thought the chains fix’d which Brundo only clank’d.

But yet unleſs ſome ſpeedy method’s found To 19 C2r 19 To break the union, and diſſolve the bonds That bind this mighty continent ſo firm, Their Congreſſes, their Covenants, and leagues, With their Committees, working in each town With unremitting vigilance and care, To baffle ev’ry evil machination Of all ſtate rooks, who peck about the land, If not broke up, will ruin all at laſt.

Amidſt the many ſcriblers of the age, Can none be found to ſet their ſchemes afloat, To ſow diſſention—and diſtruſt abroad, Sap that cement that bears down all before it, And makes America a match for all The hoſtile powers that proud Europa boaſts?

Secretary.

Not all the ſwarms of proſtituted pens, Nor hireling ſmatterers ſcribbling for gain, From the firſt penſion’d on the nothern liſt To bigot Prieſts—who write from ſouthern ſhores, With all their phantoms, bugbears, threats or ſmiles, Will e’er perſuade them to renounce their claim To freedom, purchaſ’d with their fathers blood.

How various are the arts already try’d, What pains unwearied to write men to ſleep, Or rock them in the cradle of deſpair, To doze ſupinely, ’till they ſhould believe They’d neither eyes, nor tongues, or ſtrength to move But at the nod of ſome deſpotic lord!

What ſhifts, evaſions, what deluſive tales, What poor prevarication for raſh oaths, What nightly watchings, and what daily cares To dreſs up falſhood in ſome fair diſguiſe, Or wrap the bantling of their midnight dreams In the ſoft veſt of friendſhip, to betray, Then ſend it forth in every fairy form, To ſtalk at noon tide, giddy with fond hope That ſome new gambols might deceive again Men broad awake, who ſee through all the cheat.

Meagre.

There ſtill is hope—why need we yet deſpair? The doughty champion of our ſinking cauſe, The deep arcana of whoſe winding brain Is 20 C2v 20 Is fraught with dark expedients to betray, By the long labours of his vet’ran quill, By ſcattering ſcraps from ev’ry muſty code Of canon, civil, or draconian laws, Quoting old ſtatutes or defining new, Treaſons, miſpriſſions, riots, routs, cabals, And inſurrections of theſe ſtubborn times, He’ll ſure prevail and terrify at laſt, By bringing precedents from thoſe bleſt days When royal Stewarts, Britain’s ſceptre ſway’d, And taught her ſons the right divine of Kings.

When pains and forfeitures an hundred fold Were dealt to traitors, puny when compared To the bold rebels of this continent, From Merrimack to Meſſiſipi’s—Banks Who dare reſiſt a miniſterial frown.

In ſpite of all the truths Nov. anglus tells, And his cool reas’ning argumentive ſtile, Or maſter ſtrokes of his unrival’d pen, They will divide, and wav’ring will ſubmit And take the word of Maſſachuſettenſis That men were born all ready bitted, curb’d, And on their backs the ſaddles prominent, For every upſtart ſycophant to mount.

Secretary.

Not Maſſachuſettenſis oily tongue, Or retail’d nonſenſe of a Philarene

Not Senex rant, nor yet dull Greilus’ pen, Or the whole Group of ſelfiſh venal men, It gather’d from cold Zembla’s frozen ſhore, To the warm zone where rapid rivers roar. Can either coax them, or the leaſt controul The val’rous purpoſe of their roman ſouls.

Meagre.

Let not they ſoft temidity of heart Urge thee to terms, till the laſt ſtake is thrown.

Tis not my temper ever to forgive, When once reſentment’s kindled in my breaſt.

I hated Brutus for his noble ſtand Againſt the oppreſſors of his injur’d country.

I hate the leaders of theſe ruſtleſs factions, For all their gen’rous efforts to be free.

I 21 C3r 7 2 21

I curſe the ſenate which defeats our bribes, Who Hazlerod impeach’d for the ſame crime.

I hate the people, who, no longer gull’d, See through the ſchemes of our aſpiring clan. And from the rancour of my venom’d mind, I look aſkance on all the human race, And if they’r not to be appall’d by fear, I wiſh the earth might drink that vital ſtream That warms the heart, and feeds the manly glow, The love inherent, planted in the breaſt, To equal liberty, confer’d on man, By him who form’d the peaſant and the King!

Could we eraſe theſe notions from their minds, Then (paramount to theſe ideal whims, Utopian dreams, of patriotic virtue, Which long has danc’d in their diſtemper’d brains)

We’d ſmoothly glide on midſt a race of ſlaves, Nor heave one ſigh tho’ all the h uman race Were plung’d in darkneſs, ſlavery and vice. If we could keep our foot-hold in the ſtirrup, And, like the noble Claudia of old, Ride o’er the people, if they don’t give way; Or wiſh their fates were all involv’d in one; For iv’I’ve a Brother, as the roman dame, Who would ſtrike off the rebel neck at once.

Secretary

No all is o’er unleſs the ſword decides, Which cuts down Kings, and kingdoms oft divides. By that appeal I think we can’t prevail, Their valour’s great, and juſtice holds the ſcale. They fight for freedom, while we ſtab the breaſt Of every man, who is her friend profeſt. They fight in virtue’s ever ſacred cauſe, While we tread on divine and human laws. Glory and victory, and laſting fame, Will crown their arms and bleſs each Hero’s name!

Meagre.

Away with all thy fooliſh, trifling cares; And to the winds give all thy empty fears; Let us repair and urge brave Sylla on, I long to ſee the ſweet revenge begun. As fortune is a fickle, ſportive dame, She may for us the victory proclaim, And 22 C3v 22 And with ſucceſs our buſy ploddings crown, Though injured juſtice ſtern and ſolemn frown.

Then they ſhall ſmart for ev’ry bold offence, Eſtates confiſcated will pay th’expence; Or their loſt fortunes we a while will plume And ſtrive to think there is no after doom.

Ex. Om—s As they paſs off the ſtage the curtain draws up, and diſcovers to the audience a Lady nearly connected with one of the principal actors in the group, reclined in an adjoining alcove, who in mournful accents accoſts them—thus――

What painful ſcenes are hov’ring o’er the morn, When ſpring again invigorates the lawn!

Inſtead of the gay landſcape’s beautious dies, Muſt the ſtain’d field ſalute our weeping eyes, Muſt the green turf, and all the mournful glades, Drench’d in the ſtream, abſorb their dewy heads, Whilſt the tall oak, and quiv’ring willow bends To make a covert for their country’s friends, Deny’d a grave!—amid the hurrying ſcene Of routed armies ſcouring o’er the plain.

Till Britiſh troops ſhall to Columbia yield, And freedom’s ſons are Maſters of the field; Then o’er the purpl’d plain the victors tread Among the ſlain to ſeek each patriot dead,

(While Freedom weeps that merit could not ſave But conq’ring Hero’s muſt enrich the Grave) An adamantine monument they rear With this inſcription—Virtue’s ſons lie here!

Finis.

Errata.

  • p. 15 l. 26. for boſom r. buxſom.
  • l. 32. for ſtrew r. ſhrew