TOM JONES.

[Price One Shilling and Six Pence.]

TOM JONES, A COMIC OPERA: As it is Performed at the THEATRE-ROYAL IN COVENT-GARDEN.

By JOSEPH REED.

THE SECOND EDITION.

LONDON, Printed for BECKET and DE HONDT, in the Strand; and RICHARDSON and URQUHART, at the Royal Exchange.

MDCCLXIX.

PREFACE.

IT is needless to say the following Opera is taken from FIELDING'S celebrated novel of Tom Jones; a production so replete with wit, hu­mour, and character, that it can never want ad­mirers while the English language remains. My extreme veneration for the memory of the truly-witty and ingenious novelist, naturally led me to preserve as much of FIELDING throughout my Opera, as the nature of my plan would allow. Nay, when it was thought necessary to shorten the piece, lest it should be too long in representation, I readily parted with my own, to retain as much as possible of the invaluable Original.

I have made many material deviations from the novel, both in point of fable, and character. I have stripp'd its hero of his libertinism, to render him, as I imagined, more amiable and interesting; and have metamorphos'd Parson Supple into a country 'squire, to avoid giving offence to the cloth. The characters of Western and Honour I have divested of their provinciality; lest the at­tention of the performers, to the pronunciation of an uncouth and difficult dialect, should produce an Inattention to the more material business of the drama. I have also endeavoured to purge Wes­tern's character of its coarseness and indelicacy, in conformity to the refined taste of the present age; and of its Jacobitism, from an opinion that such political sect no longer exists, as well as from [Page]a conviction that nothing of party should ever ap­pear within the walls of a theatre.

While I was writing the last act of this Opera (which was in June, 1765), the French Tom Jones fell into my hands. I found its plan so very confined, and so materially different from mine, that I could reap little or no benefit from it. The only particulars, of which I have availed my­self from Mons. POINSINET, are the hint of legi­timating Jones, and the thought, which gave rise to my second air. I have quoted the lines, from which I received advantage in the latter instance:

Que les devoirs que tu m'imposes,
Triste raison, ont de rigueur!
Tu gémis, Sophie, & tu n'oses
T'interroger sur ta douleur.
Quand sous tes doigts naissent les roses,
Les epines sont dans ton coeur.

ADVERTISEMENT.

N. B. This Opera is entered in the Hall-book of the Company of Stationers; and whoever pirates any part of it will be prosecuted.

Dramatis Personae.

  • ALLWORTHY, Mr. GIBSON.
  • WESTERN, Mr. SHUTER.
  • JONES, Mr. MATTOCKS.
  • SUPPLE, Mr. BARNSHAW.
  • NIGHTINGALE, Mr. DU-BELLAMY.
  • OLD NIGHTINGALE, Mr. MORRIS.
  • BLIFIL, Mr. GARDNER.
  • Mrs. WESTERN, Mrs. GREEN.
  • SOPHIA, Mrs. PINTO.
  • NANCY, Mrs. BAKER.
  • HONOUR, Mrs. MATTOCKS.
  • LANDLADY, Mrs. WHITE.

Four Country Gentlemen, Servants, Huntsman, &c.

SCENE, during the First and Second Acts, in SOMER­SETSHIRE; in the Last, at UPTON.

TOM JONES.

ACT I.

SCENE, A Hall in an old Mansion-House.

WESTERN, JONES, SUPPLE, and four Country Gentlemen, just returned from a Fox-Chace; two French Horns, a Huntsman bearing a Fox's Head, and a Servant with a large Tankard, which he hands round during the Song.

AIR.

Jon.
NO sport to the chace can compare,
So manly the pleasures it yields;
How sweet, how refreshing that air
Inhal'd in the woods and the fields!
As we rush in pursuit, new scenes still appear,
New landscapes encounter the eye;
Not Handel's sweet music more pleases the ear,
Than that of the hounds in full cry.
New strength from the chace we derive;
Its exercise purges the blood:
How happy that mortal must live,
Whose sport yields both physic and food!
So new and so varied its charms, they ne'er cloy
Like those of the bottle and face;
The oftner, the harder, the more we enjoy,
The more we're in love with the chace.
Wes.
[Page 2]

Gentlemen, tho' none of you will stay dinner, I must insist on your pushing it about. We've had a hard ride, and a refreshing draught will not be amiss—come, brother sportsman, to our next merry meeting in the field.

drinks.
1st. Gen.

Thank you, my old soul—

[taking the tankard.]

And here's wishing the next fox may give us as much sport, as that ginger-colour'd gentleman.

drinks.
All.

Illo ho! illo ho! hark to him! to him!

2d. Gen.

Excellent stuff i'faith! This will make a man live for ever—I can't part with the tankard without t'other draught—

[drinks.]

If I were a king, I would make the fellow, that brew'd this stingo, my prime minister.

Wes.

Rot thee, Ned, thou'rt a jolly dog, and a true sportsman!

Sup.

Come, here's confusion to all poachers.

3d. Gen.

With three chears, gentlemen; with three chears.

All.

Huzza! huzza! huzza!

4th Gen.

Good b'ye, gentlemen.

Sup.

Gentlemen all, your most obedient.

Exeunt the four Gentlemen.
Wes.

So my sister and Sophy have din'd?

Ser.

Yes, sir; madam did not expect you so soon, and as it was Gazette-day, they din'd at one.

Wes.

Then let us have dinner immediately.

[Exit Ser.]

I'll just take a peep into the stable, to see how Chevalier does after his hard chace—didn't he behaved gallantly to­day, Tom?

Jon.

Amazingly, sir!

Sup.

'Tis one of the best pieces of horse-flesh that ever was cross'd.

Exeunt—Western singing.

SCENE, a genteel Apartment.

SOPHIA working a Chair-bottom, and HONOUR sewing.

AIR.

So.
When tyrant love, that foe to rest,
Despotic rules a virgin's breast,
The needle she employs in vain
To banish thought, to banish pain:
[Page 3]For while beneath her fingers grows
In mimic bloom the silken rose,
The fair, by real anguish torn,
Feels in her heart the growing thorn.
Hon.

I'm sorry, ma'am, to see you look so grave this afternoon. I'm afraid Mr. Jones runs in your head.

So.

Mr. Jones runs in my head! What is Mr. Jones to me?

Hon.

Nothing, ma'am. He's not a proper match for you to be sure: with your fortune you may command one of the greatest lords of the land; therefore you won't cer­tainly stoop to marry a beggar and a foundling.

So.

I don't know what you mean by taking these li­berties with Mr. Jones! The misfortune of his birth is not his crime.

Hon.

Ma'am, if it was a disgrace, Mr. Jones has a great many people, that carry their heads very high, to keep him in countenance—well, he's one of the sweetest gentlemen that ever trod on shoe-leather! Every body likes him: all the neighbourhood, for five miles round, would run through fire and water for him—if I were in your cloaths, and he loved me, as much as I believe he loves you—

So.

Loves me, Honour! I don't understand you.

Hon.

Ma'am, I may be mistaken, it's true; because, as the man says, we can be sure of nothing in this world but death and taxes: however I could tell you something, that looks very like it.

So.

Ay! pray what's that, Honour?

Hon.

He came into the room, as I was sitting at work, and what should be upon the table but the muff you gave me, and my gentleman whips his hands into it. "La, Mr. Jones, you'll spoil it," says I; but he still kept his hands in it, and kiss'd it, and mumbled it, and kiss'd it—for my part I never saw such kisses in my life as he gave it.

So.

When was this?

Hon.

Let me see—it was the day after I dreamt that I was married to Sir Timothy Tipple—last Thursday—ay it was on Thursday.—But that is not all neither—yesterday, as you were playing on the harpsichord, he was in the next room, and look'd melancholly—says I, "What's the matter, Mr. [Page 4]Jones? A penny for your thoughts"—"Hussy," says he, starting up as from a dream, "what can I be thinking of, when that angel your mistress is playing?"—But I'm afraid you're offended, ma'am?

So.

No, no—proceed.

Hon.

Then squeezing my hand—he squeez'd so hard, that I thought he would have forc'd the blood out of my finger-ends—"Oh! Mrs. Honour, says he, how happy will that man be"—and then he sigh'd—Upon my faith his breath is as sweet as a nosegay—but for heaven's sake, ma'am, don't speak of this; for he gave me a guinea never to mention it. However, as I did not swear it, it's only a promise, and what signifies a promise?

AIR.

At court, where true breeding abounds,
They never let promises bind 'em:
In country, in cities, in towns,
'Tis likewise the mode not to mind 'em.
To promises never give trust,
Of truth they are seldom the token;
The old proverb says, a pye-crust
And a promise were made to be broken.
So.

Honour, if you will never mention this affair again, I'll not be angry with you: It may come to my father's ears, and he would be displeas'd at Mr. Jones; tho' I really believe he meant no harm.

Hon.

Harm, ma'am? I'm positive sure he meant no harm—"Yes, Honour, says he, I'm neither such a coxcomb, nor such a villian, as to look upon her in any other light, but as my goddess; and as such I will always worship and adore her while I have breath"—this was all, ma'am; so you plainly see he meant no harm.

So.

Well, well, let me hear no more of this—I'll take a walk in the garden—

[takes up a muff]

Lord! what an odious muff is this! I can't bear it—pray fetch me my old one, Honour.

Hon.

What, that your ladyship gave me?

So.

Ay, that; fetch it this minute.

Hon.

I will, ma'am—the old muff again! Oh ho!

aside, exit.
So.
[Page 5]

Love will not be conceal'd. We try to deceive our­selves, we try to deceive others; but alas! 'tis all in vain. The more we attempt to conceal our affections, the more we expose ourselves; and our very servants are witnesses of our weakness.

AIR.

That passion, which harrows the soul,
By reason we strive to remove;
But reason's too weak to controul
A passion, so pow'rful as love.
Then why this vain war with desire?
Resistance but doubles the smart:
The more I oppose the fierce fire,
It rages the more in my heart.
Enter HONOUR, with a Muff.
Hon.

Here it is, ma'am.

gives it to Sophia.
So.

Thank you, dear Honour—I'll wear it again. In­stead of it, you may take the lutestring night town.

Hon.

Ma'am, I'm very much obliged to you—

[Exit. Soph. sighing and kissing the muff.]

A lutestring night­gown for an old muff!—to be sure she does not love Mr. Jones! No, not she, dear creature!—Well if I had twice her fortune, I shouldn't think myself a crumb too good for him—here he comes! Heavens bless him! He's a sweet man, that's the truth on't!

Enter JONES.
Jon.

Mrs. Honour, your servant. How does your young lady to-day?

Hon.

Very well, Mr. Jones—we've just been talking of you.

Jon.

Of me, Mrs. Honour?

Hon.

Yes, Sir—I've been telling her that—that—

Jon.

What?

Hon.

Why what you said, when she was playing on the harpsichord.

Jon.

Bless me, Mrs. Honour! How could you, when I so earnestly desir'd your secrecy?

Hon.
[Page 6]

Sir, I had really no design to mention it, but Old Scratch push'd me on, a purpose to make me break my word.

Jon.
[Walking about]

I shall never be able to look her in the face again.

Hon.

Nay for that matter, you need not be in such a fluster neither. I don't believe she's angry at you, be­cause she begg'd the muff again, tho' I told her of your kissing it.

Jon.

Again! Why had she given it you?

Hon.

Yes, sir; and she has just now bid me take a silk gown for it. Now you know if she was angry, she would scarce take to wearing it again.

Jon.

Why that's true—yet she must be displeas'd at my presumption, in entertaining even the most distant thoughts of her—I pray thee, dear Honour, unsay it all to Sophia: Tell her it was only an invention of thy own.

Takes hold of her hand.
Enter WESTERN and SUPPLE.
West.

Ah! you liquorish rogue! what are you about? Honour, go and tell Sophy to come hither.

Hon.

Yes, sir.

Exit.

AIR.

Wes.
Come leave off these tricks, or
I'll lend you a flick, sir;
I guess you, young dog, what you drive at.
For shame! Keep aloof, sir;
While under my roof, sir,
Pray none of your wenches in private.
You'll give the world handle
My mansion to scandal;
Remember few damsels are barren:
Then beat up elsewhere, sir,
The game, and forbear, sir,
To poach any more in my warren.
Enter SOPHIA.
Wes.

Kiss me, Sophy; I have not had a buss of thee these two days.—I want a little of the motion of thy [Page 7]fingers.

[Shakes his fingers.]

"Old sir Simon the king."

sings.
So.
[Sitting down to the harpsichord.]

Papa, you have it so often, that I wonder you don't tire of it. I have this morning been practising an air, which I yesterday over­heard Mr. Jones sing to sir Timothy, when you retir'd to take your afternoon's nap—let me give it you: Mr. Jones will perhaps favour you with the words.

Wes.

Come, Tom, let's have it.

Jon.

With all my heart, sir.

AIR.

Swains, tell me no more of the transports divine
You reap with the women, exclusive of wine.
Wine heightens our pleasures, each joy will improve,
Adds smartness to converse, and fuel to love.
Nor tell me, ye topers, that wine ever made
You perfectly happy without woman's aid.
This maxim attend, if true bliss you would have,
Of both be a lover, to neither a slave.
Wes.

Thank you, Tom.—

[As Sophia plays the symphony, the muff drops on the harpsichord.]

I wonder what busi­ness your damn'd muff has there to spoil your playing?—

[throws it away]

I wish one of my beagles would come, and tear it in pieces!

So.
[Runs and snatches the muff]

I would not have it torn in pieces for a thousand pounds.

Jon.

O the enchanting angel!

Wes.

A thousand pounds! It was hardly ever worth a thousand farthings—but I know you say this by way of contradiction; you're like your mother for that.

So.

Would I could be like her in every thing! for she was one of the worthiest women upon earth.

Wes.

Why there wasn't a worse wife in all christendom than she made. She would sit you sulk, sulk, sulking from day's end to day's end, and all only because her fa­ther forc'd her to marry me. She had no more affection for me to the hour of her death, than if I had been an Egyptian mummy, or a Russian bear—

[Sophia bursts into tears and exit.]

Ay, this is always madam's way, when [Page 8]I talk about her mother—but we must crack a bottle toge­ther: I didn't drink much above a pint at dinner, and I generally make it up a bottle, by way of concoction, as they call it.

Sup.

You know, 'squire, I seldom object to a proposal of this kind.

Wes.

No, nor to any other proposal, I'll say that for thee.—But what say you, Tom?

Jon.

No more wine for me I thank you, sir: I must go and change my dress.

Wes.

Dress? What signifies dress, you monkey, when you're among friends?

Sup.

I'll be hang'd, Jones, if you have not some wench or other in your eye, or you'ld hardly take so much pains in adorning your person.

Wes.

So I think, cuz; for what signifies dress, if one does not want to make the women fond of one?

Jon.

Very true, sir; and where is the man that does not wish to make the women fond of him?—and so your servant, gentlemen.

Exit.
Wes.

I must keep a sharp look-out, or this young rogue will be getting hold of some of the hussies in my family as sure as a gun.

AIR. O my kitten.

And should a young bantling appear,
Dame scandal at me will let fly;
Each neighbour will snigger and fleer,
"I guess who'as a hand in the pye."
The jokers a fine game will go,
And hourly have me on the hip,
With "'squire, an old coachman you know
Loves always the smack of the whip."
Cracks his whip.
Enter Mrs. WESTERN and her MAID.
Mrs. Wes.

I think this post will never come!—Betty, take that pamphlet, and lay it on my toilette: I must finish it before I sleep.

[Exit Maid.]

This author eluci­dates the affair of continental connexions in a most master­ly manner, and his reasoning upon the national debt, and [Page 9]internal and external taxation is unanswerable—brother, your servant. I want to have a little talk with you—nay you need not go, Mr. Supple; it is nothing but what may be mention'd in your presence.

Wes.

Well, what is't about, sister?

Mrs. Wes.

Pray have not you observ'd something very extraordinary in your daughter of late?

Wes.

Not I.

Mrs. Wes.

Nor you, Mr. Supple?

Sup.

Not I, madam.

Mrs. Wes.

Gentlemen, I am absolutely astonish'd at your blindness.

Wes.

Why, is there any thing the matter with the girl?

Mrs. Wes.

Yes, I think there is; and of much conse­quence too.

Wes.

If any thing be the matter, acquaint me with it at once, for you know I love her more than my own soul.

Mrs. Wes.

Nay, nay, the disorder is not so very danger­ous—I believe, gentlemen, you are both pretty well con­vinced—you more especially, Mr. Supple—that I know the world.

Sup.

Not one person on the whole globe knows it so well as yourself.

Wes.

That's a damn'd—I know what.

aside.
Mrs. Wes.

Nay now, cousin, that is going rather too far. The globe you know is of very extraordinary circum­ference, and there are undoubtedly persons on it, some few persons, who perhaps may exceed—at least equal me in that particular—well, I promise you I was never more deceiv'd in my life, if my niece be not—

Wes.

What? what?

Mrs. Wes.

Most desperately in love.

Wes.

How? in love? Fall in love without asking me leave? I'll disinherit her; I'll turn her out of doors.

Mrs. Wes.

This is so like you! Always in a passion be­fore you know why.

Wes.

Zounds! Don't I know—

Mrs. Wes.

You know nothing; nothing in the world: there is scarce a less intellectual being in the creation—suppose now she should have fixed upon the very person, whom you yourself would wish? I hope you would not be angry then?

Wes.
[Page 10]

No, no, no; that makes a wide difference! if she only marries the man I would have her, she may love any body she pleases.

Mrs. Wes.

Brother, I must compliment you on the in­crease of your understanding; for this is positively the most sensible expression that ever escaped you—I will dis­claim all knowledge of the world, if the person, my niece, hath chosen, be not the very person you would chuse for her.

Wes.

But who is he?

Mrs. Wes.

Nay, e'en find that out your self. You who are so profound a politician—in your own opinion—can be at no great loss. That judgment, which can penetrate into the cabinets of princes, and discern the secret springs, which move the state-wheels in all the political machines in Europe, can surely very easily find out what passes in the rude, uninform'd mind of a girl.

Wes.

Sister, don't talk your court-gibberish to me: I don't understand the lingo; and moreover, and besides, you know, I hate every thing that belongs to the court. It's well for thee that thou'rt a woman, or I'd have lent thee many a flick, for talking to me so much court-nonsense. I'd have thrash'd thy jacket for thee, I promise thee.

Mrs. Wes.

Ay, ay, in that flicking and thrashing lies all your fancied superiority: Your bodies, not your brains, are stronger than ours. 'Tis with you as with the brute creation in general; the greater your bulk and strength, the smaller your intellects.

Wes.

But prithee tell me what you mean about my daughter?

Mrs. Wes.

Hold a moment, while I digest that sove­reign contempt I have for your sex—there—now, good politic sir, with all your prodigious share of suppos'd saga­city, what think you of—Mr. Blisil?

Wes.

Blifil!

speaking together.
Sup.

Blifil!

speaking together.
Mrs. Wes.

Ay, Blifil—don't you remember, gentlemen, she fainted away in the field about a month ago, on seeing him lie breathless on the ground, in consequence of some hostilities offer'd him by Jones, on account of a sarcastic sneer on his illegitimate birth? When we came up to the scene of action, did not you observe her look pale?

Sup.
[Page 11]

Yes, as pale as a playhouse-ghost, I perfectly re­member.

Wes.

'Fore George, now you mind me on't, I remember it all. I knew Sophy was a good girl, and wouldn't fall in love to make me angry—I was never more rejoic'd in my life, for nothing can lie so handy as the two estates: they are, as one may say, join'd in matrimony already, and it would be a thousand pities to part them.

Sup.

So it would, cousin.

Wes.

And yet I can't tell what to think on't; for All­worthy is such a queer chap, that money has no effect on him.

Sup.

No effect on him? Then he must be made of dif­ferent materials from the rest of mankind.

AIR. Peggy's Mill.

That gold is an idol all people adore,
Their practice evinces most clearly:
E'en patriots themselves often grasp at this ore,
Their country scarce loving so dearly.
Let the prelate 'gainst riches employ tongue and pen,
Be his eloquence ever so charming,
Only think of his lordship's full coffers, and then—
You'll sneer at both preacher and sermon.
Wes.

But what would you have me do, sister?

Mrs. Wes.

Since you condescend to ask my advice, you may propose the match to Allworthy yourself. There is no indecorum in the proposal's coming from a parent. King Alcinous offers, in Pope's Odyssey, his daughter to Ulysses.

Wes.

King Alcinous offers Pope Odyssey his daughter Ulysses!

Mrs. Wes.

Brother, your ignorance provokes me to smile.

Wes.

Allworthy is gone to visit a sick tenant, and will call in his return—suppose I mention the matter.

Mrs. Wes.

Do so, do so; and desire him to bring Blifil to dine with us to-morrow.

Wes.

Odd rabbit it! If Allworthy should refuse the match, I shall be for lending him a flick, as sure as the [Page 10] [...] [Page 11] [...] [Page 12]devil's in London; for I can't bear to have my girl slighted.

Sup.

Don't be afraid of that; the match is too advantage­ous to be refus'd.

Mrs. Wes.

Brother, do you suppose Mr. Allworthy has more contempt for money, because he professes more? You would make a fine plenipo at a general congress! You would negotiate with these Machiavels, the French, with great dexterity!

Wes.

I'm sure I could make as good a negotiator as you, or any political old woman in the nation; tho' we've a great many of them.

Mrs. Wes.

You negotiate? Yes, for a few acres of land, or a stack of hay.

Sup.

Here's a quarrel a-brewing! I had best march.

Exit.
Wes.

Before you women set up for managing state af­fairs, you should learn the needful art of keeping a secret.

Mrs. Wes.

I insist on't that we keep secrets better than you he-creatures.

Wes.

In your intrigues, I grant you; there you've the advantage of us—No, no, sister; tho' the folks at the head of affairs are no great conjurers, yet they are rather wiser than to trust an old woman with their secrets, ha! ha! ha!

Mrs. Wes.

Sir, you're both a brute and a blockhead, and if you had the least spice of intellects or good-man­ners, you would scorn to use a gentlewoman of my ac­knowledg'd abilities in this preposterous manner.—Not­withstanding your horse-laugh, it is my happiness to be universally regarded as a phenomenon in the political hemisphere, and as a nonpareil in the knowledge of the world—Wiser than trust a woman with their secrets!—Sir, I beg leave to tell you, there are persons of the first distinction—yes, of the very first distinction in the poli­tical world, who have not thought it beneath their dignity to trust me, ay, me, sir, with the most important secrets.—And let me tell you further, sir, I have had the honour of being closetted with a prime-minister, and consulted on an expedition, before it has been communicated to either king or council.

Wes.
[Page 13]

Closetted with a prime-minister! I'm afraid, sister, there has been something more than politics in the case.

Mrs. Wes.

How dare you have the effrontery to make so scurrilous and indelicate an innuendo, to a woman of my irreproachable character? A woman, who, instead of studying personal embellishments, hath taken so much pains in adorning her head?

Wes.

Yes, yes, you do take pains enough to adorn your head! you build it up to a monstrous height indeed! Ecod, I can't help laughing, whenever I look at it.

AIR.

The women attempted some few years ago
Their lovers to charm with a small head;
But now in their noddles as bumpy they show,
As if the whole carcase was all head.
This fashion the sex of admirers will rob;
Their conquests they certainly push ill,
In striving to charm with a bolster'd-out nob,
As large as a Winchester-bushel.
Exit.
Mrs. Wes.

Was there ever so affronting a savage!—Wiser than trust a woman with their secrets!—He has no more breeding—Were it not for his daughter, I would depart, like an offended ambassador, without taking leave.

Enter SOPHIA, reading.

Come hither, Sophy—what book is that? Let me see it, child—Heloisa to Abelard!—I thought it was something on love—you blush, child!—ah! Sophy, Sophy, I know what passes in that little heart of yours, more than you ima­gine—do you think I don't know the reason of your over­acting all that friendship for Mr. Blifil the other day?

So.

Heavens! Am I discovered?

(aside.)
Mrs. Wes.

Nay, you need not blush; it is a passion, which both I and your father approve—come, constitute and appoint me of your privy-council, and I will guaranty to you the peaceable possession of your Adonis—don't sigh, my dear, but out with it all—no reserve, I conjure you—the [Page 14]affair is already on the carpet, and your father is going to have a private audience with Mr. Allworthy, in order to propose the match, and will invite the heir-presumptive of your affections to dine with us to-morrow.

So.

To-morrow, my dear aunt?—

[fetching her breath]

You frighten me out of my senses!

Mrs. Wes.

Oh! my dear, you'll soon come to yourself, for he's a most charming young fellow.

So.

I must own I don't know another man, that seems to have so many good qualities.

Mrs. Wes.

Yes, yes, he has a great many indeed! I don't wonder at your loving him.

So.

So brave.

Mrs. Wes.

And yet so gentle.

So.

So witty.

Mrs. Wes.

Yet so inoffensive.

So.

So humane, so sprightly—

speaking both together.
Mrs. Wes.

So civil, so—

speaking both together.

My dear, there is no getting in a word with you.

So.

What signifies the circumstance of his birth, when compared with such qualifications!

Mrs. Wes.

His birth? Pray what circumstance is there in the least derogatory to the birth of Mr. Blifil?

So.

Mr. Blifil!

Mrs. Wes.

Mr. Blifil? Ay, of whom else have we had this conference?

So.

Good heaven! Of Mr. Jones I thought.

Mrs. Wes.

Jones? And is it possible you can think of allying yourself to illegitimacy? The blood of the Westerns could never submit to such contamination—you are the first; yes, Miss Western, you are the very first of your name, since the landing of Julius Caesar, that ever enter­tain'd so groveling a thought. The female Westerns have been proverbially call'd the Dianas of the age, since the Conquest—and you to defile a stream of blood, which hath flow'd with such purity for so many hundred—cen­turies!

So.

My dear aunt, don't put yourself in so violent a rage.

Mrs. Wes.

Fall in love with one of spurious origin! I thought, miss, the pride of your family would have re­strain'd [Page 15]such monstrous inclinations.—Love indeed is well enough in trades-people's daughters, chambermaids, and such low-bred reptiles; but in a woman of family it is the most ridiculous thing upon earth. To the praise of the present nobility be it spoken, there is hardly any such thing as love to be met with in our right honourable matches.

So.

But, madam—

Mrs. Wes.

And you to think of disgracing yourself and family by so vulgar, so preposterous a passion!—I'll to your father this instant, and inform him of the grossness, the depravity, of your affection.

So.
[kneeling]

Alas! my dear madam—

Mrs. Wes.

It is in vain to importune me; the match is resolv'd upon, and nothing can, nor shall prevent it.

AIR.

So.
Dearest aunt, attend my prayer!
Let your indignation cease:
These stern looks my bosom tear:
Have some pity on a niece!
From this hard, this cruel stroke,
Your lov'd darling kindly save!
The sad sentence, O revoke!
Or you doom me to the grave.
Mrs. Wes.

'Tis all to no purpose—your solicitation is totally inadmissible.

So.
[rising]

But, madam, you will surely give me time to get the better of my disinclination to Mr. Blifil?

Mrs. Wes.

It would be fine politics indeed to protract a siege, when the enemy's army is at hand, and in danger of relieving the town. As your heart is in so critical a situation, I will do all I can to hasten the match, and put your honour out of the care of your family—I shan't ac­quaint your father with your hopeful passion; but if you ever speak to this spurious swain any more, he shall know the whole. I would therefore advise you to evacuate your heart of its attachment to so inadequate a pretender as Jones, and turn your thoughts wholly on the intended al­liance between you and Mr. Allworthy's heir-apparent.

Exit.
[Page 16] Enter HONOUR.
Hon.

Bless me, ma'am! what makes you look so sad?

So.

Alas! Honour, my father and aunt have resolv'd on a match between me and Mr. Blifil.

Hon.

Lord forbid! Even poor as I am, I would scarce have him myself, for I can't abide him—however, one comfort is, that they can't force you whether you will or no to marry him.—Dear ma'am, do not sigh so.

So.

Yes, I must be sacrific'd to family-views—torment­ing thought!

AIR.

Thirst of wealth too oft bewitches
The deluded parent's heart;
But can worldly pomp or riches
Real happiness impart?
Love's the sweetest, dearest pleasure
To the human heart convey'd:
Those, who give up love for treasure,
Quit the substance for the shade.
Exit.
Hon.

I would not tell her that Mr. Jones was in the garden, for fear of offending her—poor soul! he's walk­ing by the canal step by step with his arms across, and so thoughtful!

[walks as describ'd]

I'm in a peck of fears and troubles, lest he should be throwing himself in—and yet I think I need not be afraid on't; for hanging and drown­ing for love is almost out of fashion.—This match with Blifil will be a terrible affair to my poor mistress; for if love has not already got hold of her little heart, I am hugely mistaken—for my part I can't blame her for liking so charming a man as Mr. Jones.

AIR.

Had I quite clear in land a year
Full twenty thousand pound,
And did surpass the fairest lass
That ever trod the ground;
Tho' dukes and lords, with stars and swords,
Should court while courting's good,
For him alone I'd slight each don:
I wish I may die but I would!
[Page 17]He is in truth a well-made youth,
And of the sweetest mein:
Whoe'er his wife, she'll lead a life
As happy as a queen.
No courtly dame need think it shame
To wed, if he should woo.
No swain I know could charm me so,
I wish I may die if I do!
Runs off singing.

SCENE, A Garden.

JONES.
Jon.

There can be no hopes of her father's consent; and Mr. Allworthy would never pardon an attempt to marry her without it—nay I could scarce pardon myself. Conscience teaches me, that to repay the friendships of hospitality by this worst kind of robbery, is to be the meanest, the basest of all robbers.—Yet is there not a great difference between clandestinely marrying a friend's daughter from a motive of love, and doing it from a sordid motive of interest?—Cer­tainly—but then her father would disclaim her; and shall I, whose sole support flows from Mr. Allworthy's unmerited bounty, involve her in my distress? Her, who has been brought up with such tenderness, elegance, and delicacy?—That, that hath determined me—No, no, no; let me not make her unhappy, however miserable I may be myself—I must think no more of her.

AIR.

What pity that nature has cast
Between us this distance in life,
When nearness in temper and taste
Hath form'd us for husband and wife!
Sould Hymen my passion befriend,
How sweet were each conjugal kiss!
Such raptures our loves would attend,
That angels might envy my bliss.
Enter SOPHIA.

Miss Western, your most obedient—this is an unexpected pleasure indeed!

So.
[Page 18]

The fineness of the weather has tempted me out—here's a heavenly afternoon, and the reflexion of the sun upon the water makes the canal appear remarkably beauti­ful—I fancy, Mr. Jones, you have some little shuddering when you see that water?

Jon.

Shuddering, my dear madam! why?

So.

You cannot have forgot, tho' 'tis so long ago, your plunge into the canal, when the bough broke, as you were climbing the tree to recover your little namesake.

Jon.

I assure you, madam, the concern, which you felt for the loss of your bird, will always appear to me the highest circumstance of that boyish adventure.

So.

Upon my word, Mr. Jones, your gallantry had very nearly cost you your life!

Jon.

Madam, if I have any reason to reflect with sorrow, it is that the water was not a little deeper.

So.

Sure you cannot be in earnest! This affected con­tempt of life is only an excess of your complaisance. You would endeavour to lessen the obligation of having ventur'd it twice on my account—you know it was last year in danger, when you broke your arm by leaping off your horse, to prevent mine from throwing me—you have escap'd twice, but beware the third time.

Looks at him very languishingly.
Jon.

Oh! Miss Western, can you desire me to live? Can you wish me so ill?

So.

Indeed, Mr. Jones I—I—I don't wish you ill: I don't indeed.

Jon.

Madam, you wish me ill, if you wish me to live, for life begins to be insupportable—your caution comes too late; the mischief is already done.

So.

Nay now I don't understand you.

Jon.

My dear Miss Western, I would not be under­stood—I know not what I say—meeting you here so un­expectedly, I have been unguarded. I have utter'd that, which I had resolv'd everlastingly to bury in this bosom—pardon me, most angelic creature, if I have said any thing to offend you.

So.

Mr. Jones, I will not affect to misunderstand you; but if you have any regard for me, let me make the best of my way into the house—I wish I may be able to support myself thither.

Jon.
[Page 19]

I must first entreat your forgiveness of that, which love hath forc'd from me intirely against my will.

So.

You have my forgiveness, Mr. Jones. Fortune, not Sophia, is your enemy.

AIR.

Jon.
And must I, cruel powers! resign
This idol of my heart?
So.
Alas! 'tis fate's decree, not mine;
We must forever part.
Farewel.
Jon.
Not yet—
holding her.
So.
I must away;
This freedom gives offence.
Jon.
O frown not!
So.
'Tis a crime to stay,
When duty calls me hence.
Both.
Oh! how it tears my bleeding heart,
To think we must forever part!
Jon.
Yet, loveliest virgin, e'er you go,
Permit me to declare
To what excess I love.
So.
No, no:
Such tender tale forbear.
Adieu!
Jon.
Adieu!
Both.
How I repine
At fate's severe decree!
If India's utmost wealth were mine,
I'd give it all for thee.
Exeunt severally.
The END of the FIRST ACT.

ACT II.

SCENE, A Garden.

Enter JONES, and NIGHTINGALE.
Jon.

DEAR Nightingale, you should have consider'd her want of fortune sooner. On promise of marriage, you have won her to elope from a tender mo­ther. You have made use of every effort to seduce her, and because you cannot succeed, you want to shuffle her off. The girl is absolutely ruined; for should she even return home immediately, it would be impossible to con­vince the world of her innocence.

Night.

That's true! But 'tis the very devil to marry a woman without any fortune!

AIR.

'Till luxury came into play,
And swell'd the expences of life,
Even dowerless beauty could sway
Each youth in the choice of a wife.
But now such a chargeable train
Of wants has the conjugal state,
That women should only be ta'en
Like money not current—by weight.
Jon.

Well, ìf you don't marry her, Mrs. Miller will assuredly die of a broken heart; and I wish poor Nancy may not make her exit by more hasty means; so you will not only have the reputation of ruining the daughter, but the glory of killing the mother.

Night.

Upon my word, Tom, thou wouldst have made a most admirable parson!

Jon.
[Page 21]

Nay, my dear Jack, I know you have not a bad heart, so prithee don't trifle on so serious a business.

Night.

Well, if thou'lt accompany me to Upton, I'll marry her to-morrow.

Jon.

With the greatest pleasure.

Night.

I'll to the poor girl, and comfort her: she has scarce had a dry eye since morning—but pray in what situ­ation are your affairs?

Jon.

My affairs are desperate indeed! I had foster'd some distant hopes of the lovely Sophia; but I must re­nounce her: the peace of a worthy family requires it—she never can be mine, and my only relief must be to forget her—to shake off the slavery of an enfeebling passion, I will embrace the noblest of all passions, the love of my country, and enter a volunteer in its service.

AIR.

Sound, sound aloud Britannia's name!
Her great and glorious deeds proclaim
To every foreign land:
Fame, sing her conquests on the main;
All her brave sons will join the strain,
And swell the choral band.
Exeunt.

SCENE, A Chamber.

Enter WESTERN and a SERVANT.
Wes.

So, because she's expounding the Gazette, as Jones calls it, to my cuz Supple, I must be obliged to wait the lord knows how long? Tell her—Oh! here she comes!—Get thee gone.

Exit Servant.
Mrs. Wes.
[Within]

Mr. Supple, I'll be with you again, as soon as possible.

Enter Mrs. WESTERN, with a Gazette in her Hand.

Things look so well in the North, that I was never in a better humour—Brother, I am now at your service for a few minutes—your pleasure?

Wes.

I have open'd the matter to Allworthy, who is now in the dining-room, acquainting his nephew with it.

Mrs. Wes.
[Page 22]

Excessively well! You have acted like a wise and prudent father.—Brother, the Gazette brings good news. Things look very well in the North, and here's a pretty good article from Vienna.

[reads.]

The grand duke of Tuscany was elected king of the Romans on the thir­teenth, and—

Wes.

But, dear sister, let's mind our own affairs, and leave those of the grand duke to some other time.

Mrs. Wes.

Then prithee make haste, for we have yet above a column and a half to go thro'—what dost say, brother? I'm as impatient to be gone, as a vigilant gene­ral is to steal a march of the enemy—come, dispatch, dispatch.

Wes.

As Blifil is in the house, suppose he and Sophy should have a meeting immediately?

Mrs. Wes.

That requires some consideration—

[looking on the Gazette]

why—a—yes—no—certainly—by no means.

Wes.
[Mimicking her]

Yes—no—certainly—by no means!—The devil's in the woman to be sure! It's con­founded hard that you won't give a body a direct answer—nay, what signifies my talking?—You can't hear a syllable, while you've have that damn'd Gazette in your hand, un­less I speak as loud as a thunder-clap.

Speaking very loud.
Mrs. Wes.
[With surprize.]

Brother!

Wes.

I ask if they may'nt as well have a meeting imme­diately?

Mrs. Wes.

Who have a meeting?

Wes.

Zounds! Sophy and Blifil.

Mrs. Wes.

Bless me! How you swear!

Wes.

Swear! You'ld make a parson swear.

Mrs. Wes.

Well, let them have a meeting to open their amorous conferences.

Reads.
Wes.

But should'nt I acquaint Sophy with it before hand?—Nay, now you're at it again!—I must have re­course to other means I find.

Snatches the Gazette.
Mrs. Wes.

Brother, you are absolutely a perfect Croat—but things look so well in the North, that I cannot be angry with you.

Wes.

I say should'nt I—

Mrs. Wes.
[Page 23]
[stopping her ears]

I'll not hear a word; not one word I assure you. I will by no means vouch­safe you a parley, till you make restitution of that literary acquisition, which you have so piratically snatched from me.

Wes.

There it is for you—shouldn't Sophy be acquainted before hand?

Mrs. Wes.

Acquainted with what?

Wes.

With what? Why that she and Blifil are to have a meeting.

Loud.
Mrs. Wes.

I protest, brother, you are enough to frigh­ten one—but pray what were you asking me?

Wes.

If Sophy should not be acquainted with the in­tended meeting between her and Blifil?

Mrs. Wes.

Oh! by all means, brother! Pray go and inform her of it. You are the fittest person in the universe to be employ'd in such an embassy—but poor Mr. Supple will be as anxious for my return, as a harrass'd army, after a long campaign, is to go into winter-quarters—

[reads]

Letters from the Ottoman Porte bring advice that the in­fidels are forming an army of observation—

Exit.
Wes.

The duce Ottoman Porte thee! I'm as tir'd as a dog of her damn'd nonsensical politics—but here comes Sophy!

Enter SOPHIA.

Well, Sophy, I've resolv'd to marry thee to Blifil—what a plague dost thou sigh for?—Come, come, none of these maidenish airs—your mother, I remember, whimper'd and whin'd at our marriage, but it was all over in eight and forty hours—cheer up, cheer up, child—I'll go and bring thy lover.

Exit.
So.

How terrible is my situation! I can never marry this man—shall I then turn rebel against a father's authority, and violate one of the strongest obligations that nature has imposed on us? I shudder at the thought!

AIR.

Duty is nature's strongest law;
A tie, that all should have in view;
A debt of gratitude, love, awe,
To every tender parent due.
[Page 24]By heaven 'tis stamp'd upon our frames;
In polish'd minds it shines the most:
The wretch that duty's bond disclaims,
Must be to every virtue lost.
Sits down in a musing posture.

And yet methinks duty cannot demand the sacrifice of my own happiness! Surely neither heaven nor nature require me, in obedience to a parent, to marry a man, with whom I must be for ever miserable.

Rises.
Enter WESTERN and BLIFIL.
Wes.

There she is! To her, to her, coo her—that's it, you jolly dog—follow her, boy—run in, run in—that's it, Honeys—dead, dead, dead—don't stand shill I, shall I, but push matters home.

Exit.
Bli.

Miss Western, your most obedient humble ser­vant—Mr. Western, madam, has been telling me of the honour intended me, and it is hardly in the power of words to express my joy on such a happy occasion.

So.

Fathers, Mr. Blifil, are frequently too hasty in the disposal of their children; and often involve them in real misery, by endeavouring to promote their imaginary hap­piness.

Bli.

I hope Mr. Western is not in that class of parents: I am so much a friend to his daughter, that I should be extremely sorry he should do any thing to occasion her dis­quiet.

So.

Then, Mr. Blifil, the only way to shew your friend­ship, will be to decline your pretensions; for such is my present situation, that I cannot give you the least encourage­ment.

Bli.

But, madam, may I be allow'd to ask your reasons?

So.

It is needless: I think I have already explain'd my self sufficiently.

Exit.
Bli.

Leave me so abruptly? Then it is pretty evident she does not like me—no matter: As she will be the key to the two estates, she is still an object worthy my pursuit—by marrying her, I shall not only succeed to the fortunes of both families, but compass a most desirable point, the expulsion of Jones—the marriage must be hurried on as [Page 25]fast as possible: I begin to have some ugly fears about Dowling! It is very lucky that he is now in London—I must conceal Sophia's coldness, and tell her father she has given me a most favourable reception, as that will be the only means to hasten the match—here he comes!

Enter WESTERN.
Wes.

My daughter, gone!—Well, how did she receive you?

Bli.

Beyond my hopes! Oh! she's the most charming creature!

Wes.

Tol lol de rol.

Sings and capers about.
Bli.

So affable, so obliging!

Wes.

Tol lol de rol.

Bli.

So easy! So winning in her deportment!

Wes.

Tol lol de rol.

Bli.

So engaging in her manner! and so very favourable to my hopes!

Wes.
hugging and kissing him

My dear boy, I shall be happier than either of you—run to your uncle, and bless him with the news—

Exit Blifil.

HONOUR crosses the Stage.

Honour, tell Sophy I want her.

Hon.

Yes sir.

Exit.

AIR. Sir Simon the king.

Wes.
How happy a father am I!
How blest the condition I'm in!
My heart is so light, that for joy
I could almost jump out of my skin.
Search England around and around,
Search all nations under the sky,
And in 'em there will not be found
A father so happy as I,
Capers about.
Enter SOPHIA.
He embraces her.

My dear Sophy, I'm the happiest dog in the world! Chuse what cloaths thou wilt, what jewels thou wilt; eat what thou wilt, drink what thou wilt, do what thou wilt; for [Page 26]I have no other use for money, but to make thee happy— my dear, dear Sophy! thou'rt my only joy upon earth.

So.

And can my dear papa be so good, as to place all his joy in my happiness?

Wes.

Yes, burn me if I don't!

Kisses her.
So.

Then pray do not make me the most miserable crea­ture upon earth.

Kneels.
Wes.

How? What?

Staring wildly.
So.

Alas! sir, I cannot possibly marry Mr. Blifil.

Wes.

Not marry Blifil?

So.

No indeed, sir, I cannot—and will the best of fa­thers break my heart?

Wes.

Pho! pho! pho! all stuff and nonsense!—break your heart indeed! As if marriage could break any wo­man's heart?—No, no; women's hearts are not so easily broken: I know that by experience; I could never break your mother's.

So.

A marriage with Mr. Blifil is even worse than death.

Wes.

You shall have him; you shall by my soul! This is my fix'd resolution, and so consider on't.

She catches hold of the shirt of his coat.

AIR.

So.
O do not look so wild!
Have pity on a child!
Such indignation my poor heart will break.
Wes.
Wretch! I will not hear you;
Hence! I cannot bear you:
In such cause how dare you Speak?
So.
Words of such angry strain
Rend my sad heart in twain:
Can a fond father's resolve be to kill?
Wes.
I shall swear and bluster,
I'm in such a fluster.
Cease this whining racket,
Or, I tell you roundly,
I shall thrash your jacket Soundly
For thwarting my will.
So.
[Page 27]
Will nothing move you?
Think now I love you,
And with soft pity attend my sad moan.
Wes.
'Tis in vain to snivel.
So.
Hear me—
Wes.
Fly a thousand mile hence.
So.
O hear me!
Wes.
Disobedient devil!
Silence!
Go, go: get thee gone.
He breaks from her; she falls on the ground.
Enter JONES.
Jon.

Dear sir, what's the matter?

Wes.

I have not breath to tell thee, Tom—that unduti­ful hussy hath put me in such a passion, that I could fight with my own shadow—prithee take her in thy arms, and set her in a chair.—I have been telling her my resolution of marrying her to Blifil, and—

Jon.
[starting]

Blifil!

Wes.

Ay Blifil: what a pox didst thou start at?

Jon.

N—nothing, sir; nothing at all—Mr. Blifil, sir—to be sure, sir, is—a very un—equal—I mean unexception­able match—confusion!

Aside.
Wes.

Tom, you answer very queerly! What's the mat­ter? Ar'n't you well?

Jon.

Never worse in my life, sir. I've so violent a pain in my head, that I would thank any body for blowing out my brains this instant.

Wes.

Blowing out one's brains is a ready way to be sure to get quit of the head-ach—but, as I was telling thee, Tom, tho' I have resolv'd to marry her to Blifil, the dis­obedient young hussy won't agree to the match.—You un­dutiful jade, I've a good mind to—but I won't put my self in a passion; for passion is like—is like—is like dram-drinking; it sets a man all in a blaze, all in a blaze, all in a blaze—

[walks about fanning himself with his hat.]

No, I'm resolv'd I won't be in the least passion imaginable—talk to her, Jones; I know she has an opinion of thee—talk her into her duty—d'ye hear, Tom?

Jon.

If it is your pleasure, sir, I'll do it with all my heart.

Wes.
[Page 28]

Wilt thou?—Give me thy hand—I'll leave thee with her, and I heartily wish thou mayst prevail on her to do, as thou wouldst have her.

Jon.

And so do I most sincerely

Wes.

Give me thy hand again—thou'rt the best friend I have in the world—my dear Tom, leave nothing undone to gain thy point.

Jon.

Nothing in my power, I assure you, sir.

Wes.

Thank thee kindly: thou'rt a prince of a man—but may I be hang'd, drawn, and quarter'd, if I don't turn her out of doors, unless she have him! May I be gib­betted if I don't!

Exit.
So.

Mr. Jones, for heaven's sake how came you here? Leave me instantly I entreat you.

Jon.

Do not impose on me so harsh a command—Turn not thus inhumanly from me—O speak to me, Sophia! comfort my bleeding heart.

So.

Alas! Mr. Jones, what comfort have I to bestow? You know my father's intentions.

Jon.

But, at the same time, I know your compliance with them cannot be compelled.

AIR.

Your beauteous looks inspire my mind
With passion of the purest kind:
No selfish views my bosom sway,
But all is love without allay.
Of such a darling gem possess'd,
My lot would be supremely blest;
Possession would increase my joy,
For charms like yours can never cloy.
With every charm, with every grace
Hath nature deck'd that form, and face;
At your creation heaven design'd
To show a goddess to mankind.
Wes.
[within]

Where's this rascal, this Jones? I'll have his heart's blood!

So.

O heavens! My father!

Faints in Jones's arms.
Enter WESTERN.
Wes.

Ha! my daughter fainting! Here, sister! Ho­nour! [Page 29]Jenny! Help! Water! Water! Richard! Thomas! William! Water! Water! Water!

Runs first to one door, then to another, then to Sophia.
Enter Mrs. WESTERN, SUPPLE, HONOUR, and several Servants.
Mrs. Wes.

Stand off! leave her to me: I have some Assa foetida in my smelling-bottle—this will bring her to herself—

[rubs her temples.]

Brother, you will never leave off these boisterous ways: you're enough to frighten half the sex into fits—you won't strive to get the better of that natural rage and brutality, notwithstanding all the pains I take to lecture, and polish you into a civiliz'd being—Oh! she revives!—Honour, help me to lead her off.

Exeunt Mrs. Western, Sophia, Honour, and Servants.
Wes.

Now I'll be reveng'd on the rascal—

[Supple holds him]

cuz, let me go, for I will have satisfaction—off with thy cloaths, if thou'rt a man—off with thy cloaths I say, and I'll lick thee, as thou was't never lick'd in thy days— A damn'd beggarly bastard! To come here a-poaching after my daughter!—Let me come at the dog; let me come at him I say: I can bear it no longer!

AIR Sir Roger de Coverly.

I'll humble my gentleman's pride, sir:
Hands off—let me go I intreat you,
I long to be currying his hide, sir—
To mummy, you dog, I could beat you!
My fingers now itch to be at you,
But cuz holds me faster and faster,
Or soon I would teach you, odd rat you!
To meddle with meat for your master.
Jon.

Sir, this usage is hardly to be born; but no abuse, however virulent, can provoke me to retaliate on the father of Sophia.

Exit.
Wes.

You rascal, I'll fight you for fifty guineas, if you dare: nay I'll do't for pure love.

Enter ALLWORTHY.
Sup.

Here comes Mr. Allworthy!

All.
[Page 30]

Dear sir, what is the matter with you?

Wes.

You've brought up your by-blow, if he be yours, to a fine purpose. My daughter has fallen in love with him over head and ears, that's all—It's well for him that cuz would not let me get at him, or I'd have trimm'd him, I'd have spoil'd his catterwawling.

All.

But pray, sir.—

Wes.

Yes, if she will have him, the cloaths on her back shall be all her portion: I'd sooner give my estate to the devil than to her.

All.

I am extremely sorry that I consented to his staying with you, during the sporting season.

Wes.

Pfha! Pox o'your sorrow! It will do me abun­dance of good truly, when I have lost my only child, that was all the joy, hope, and comfort of my age—

(weeps)

but she shall beg, and starve, and rot in the streets for me. Not a farthing, no not a brass farthing, shall she have of mine—the rascal was always a dab at finding a hare, but I little thought what puss he was looking after—if I should lose my poor girl, it will break my heart; for I love her more than all the dogs, and horses in the world.

Weeps.
All.

This affair hath really amaz'd me!

Sup.

And me too, I assure you.

All.

Pray, neighbour, when did you find it out?

Wes.

Sister told me just now.

All.

But did you never discover any symptoms of love between them?

Wes.

What the plague d'ye think I'm a conjurer?—No, no, no; you may be sure they took care to keep the matter from me—I have indeed, now and then, seen him cast a sheep's eye at her, but that you know young fel­lows will do, without being in love: but, as I hope to be sav'd, I never saw him kiss her but once; and that was at my bidding, to punish her for blushing, when I told her, by way of banter, Jones was so handsome a fellow, that I was afraid she would be falling in love with him.

All.

A wise punishment indeed!

Aside.
Wes.

But I must away and look after the wench, for fear she give me the flip.

All.

Well, what would you have me do?

Wes.

Do? Warn the rascal to keep away from this [Page 31]house; for if I catch him here, curse me if I am not the death of him!

Exit.
Sup.

I had best follow, to prevent mischief.

Exit.
All.

This youngster's ingratitude touches me nearly—I cannot easily pardon his design on Miss Western—Blifil!

Enter BLIFIL.
Bli.

Dear sir, you seem disturb'd.

All.

Disturb'd? Yes, I am disturb'd, and distress'd to the last degree upon your account—I am sorry to inform you that Miss Western is in love with Jones.

Bli.

In love with Jones?—Confusion!—However, I'm but rightly serv'd—it is no wonder the man should rival me, who has attempted to make me a beggar.

All.

To make you a beggar? Explain yourself—What has he done?

Bli.

No matter, sir—let it rest.

All.

Your reserve will displease me. I desire to know the affair.

Bli.

I beg to be excus'd—to tell it at this time would have the appearance of malice.

All.

Nephew, I insist upon knowing it.

Bli.

An uncle's command must be obey'd—during your late sickness—but pray excuse me.

All.

I will admit of no excuse—proceed.

Bli.

When you were given over by the physicians, he made a bold attempt to inherit your whole estate.

All.

To inherit my whole estate? By what means?

Bli.

By such as will hardly seem credible—he tampered with farmer Flail and his wife, to witness a will under your signature; offering them five thousand pounds, and promising to marry their daughter.

All.

Is it possible?

Bli.

Dear sir, if you've the least doubt, let the farmer be instantly sent for.

All.

Nephew, I know you're incapable of telling me a lie, therefore I want no farther proof.—A villain! I'll make him an example.

Exit.
Bli.

The farmer is prepar'd: 'twas lucky that I plann'd the business with him this afternoon—The promise of a thousand pounds, and the renewal of his lease, have se­cur'd [Page 32]him—if I can but accomplish the removal of Jones from my uncle, I shall be very easy about Sophia; she may dispose of her hand to whom she pleases.

Exit.

SCENE, A Chamber; a Table, on which are a Globe, several Maps, Pamphlets, and News-papers.

Enter Mrs. WESTERN, and SUPPLE.
Mrs. Wes.

Here is the map, cousin; now I'll show you Franckfort—Ay, here is Franckfort! It must be a very large city, for the geographer has laid it down, in this small map, full as big as a horse-bean—well, I should have lik'd to see the new emperor make his public entry into Franck­fort. The procession must be prodigiously superb and mag­nificent!

Sup.

No doubt on't—the election of the grand duke must be a very favourable circumstance to the queen of Hungary.

Mrs. Wes.

Oh! the most auspicious event in the world! He will certainly put all the belligerent powers, now in hostility with his royal consort, under the ban of the em­pire, if not actually declare war with them—yes, yes, as you observe, the queen's affairs will receive great benefit from the strength of the emperor.

Sup.

I hope you will now indulge me with an audience on our own affairs?

Mrs. Wes.

Then make it your audience of leave, for it is really too late to think of engaging in an offensive and defensive alliance for life.

Sup.

Madam, it is never too late to be happy.

Mrs. Wes.

But, cousin, will your hereditary dominions be able to furnish adequate supplies for a combin'd army? The junction of our forces, tho' we should have no infan­try, must inevitably cause a great effusion of money; and your revenues are not of the largest.

Sup.

If they fall short, I presume my dear ally will have no objection to furnish her quota, as her finances are in so flourishing a state.

Mrs. Wes.

You might perhaps be intitled to a subsidy from me as an ally. I don't mean as a British ally; for the allies of this island, instead of contributing to the expences [Page 33]of a war, are often well paid for doing nothing—except defending their own territories—but do you really think we could live happily together?

Sup.

Certainly: with the most cordial affection; not with the fashionable indifference, I might call it aversion, of modern couples.

AIR.

Each noble of yore was so fond of his wife,
That marriage was held the chief blessing in life:
Each lady so loving, so chearful, and gay,
That all her delight was to please and obey.
But modern fine ladies and lords are above
So vulgar a passion, as conjugal love:
Such quarrels and partings have happen'd of late,
As if their chief passion were conjugal hate.

Madam, I have such a plan for spending the winter!

Mrs. Wes.

A plan! Pray let me hear it.

Sup.

Last week you were wishing for a new translation of your favourite Puffendorf. I will undertake it, and my amiable auxiliary shall enrich the work with her learned notes and annotations.

Mrs. Wes.

This gives me as much joy, as the news of a complete victory over the French!—But—but—I say sup­pose you should let me have the credit of the translation?—Only oblige me in that, and I may surrender at discretion—come, you must, cousin: you positively must.

Sup.

I will if you'll give me one kiss by way of earnest.

Mrs. Wes.

I think it quite sufficient, if I suffer you to take one— there's my cheek; I never give more than the cheek; lips should only be given to a husband.

Sup.

In which sense you ought now to regard me.

Mrs. Wes.

No, no, cousin; not till you've ratified the definitive treaty, and sworn to it at the altar.

Sup.

Psha! I don't like such cold kisses.

Catches her in his arms and kisses her.
Mrs. Wes.

Good heaven! yonder is my niece! I'm in the utmost consternation—pray, Mr. Supple, retreat with all possible precipitation—

[Exit Supple.]

I hope she has not reconnoitred us! If she has been lying in ambush to watch our motions, I am in a fine dilemma.

[Page 34] Enter SOPHIA.

Well, niece, are you yet reconcil'd to the intended match?

So.

Madam, it is impossible to be reconcil'd to the match, while I dislike the man.

Mrs. Wes.

Dislike the man? If I were not fifty times a greater philosopher than Plato, and five hundred times more placid than Socrates himself, you would positively put me in a rage—did ever any body hear so ridiculous an objection?—The liking of husbands is now-a-days as much out of fashion, as real patriotism.

So.

But, madam, where one's inclinations—

Mrs. Wes.

Inclinations! Inclinations quotha! I am ab­solutely astonish'd at your assurance! One of your years talk of inclinations!—a girl! a child! a baby! an infant! a suckling!—Inclinations! Inclinations!

Walks about in great state.
So.

Dear madam, I alone am concern'd, and my hap­piness is at stake, wherefore—

Mrs. Wes.

You alone concern'd? So far from it, madam, that you are not concern'd at all—do you conceive, mis­tress, when a daughter of France is married into Spain, the princess alone is consider'd in the match? No: the family alliance is the sole object of consideration; the princess is only thrown into the scale as a mere make-weight—'Tis the very same with great houses, such as ours.

Walks about in great state.
So.

Madam, I should be sorry to do any thing to dis­oblige my family; but as for Mr. Blifil, no force on earth shall compel me to marry him.

AIR.

The match, howe'er commodious,
Must meet my utmost scorn:
His passion would be odious,
Were he to empire born.
Such hate my soul possesses,
Each hardship I'd sustain,
E'er listen to th' addresses
Of such detested swain.
[Page 35] Enter WESTERN.
Wes.

Thou shalt have him, as sure as ever thou wast born.

Mrs. Wes.

Why, sir, will you dare to interfere, when I have undertaken to manage her?

Wes.

I'll manage her myself for the future.

Mrs. Wes.

You manage her? Ha! ha! ha! She will be most gloriously manag'd indeed!—Such a boor as you talk of managing a young lady?

Wes.

Boor? I'm no more a boor than yourself, madam.

Mrs. Wes.

Sir, I shall endure your insolence and bruta­lity no longer—this is the last night I will sleep in your house, I assure you

Wes.

A good riddance!—Blood! it's enough to make my daughter undervalue my sense, when she hears you every hour calling me a fool.

Mrs. Wes.

It is impossible that any one should under­value such a blockhead.

Wes.

Blockhead, madam? I've more sense than you and your whole generation put together, tho' you're always preaching up your skill in politics, and great knowledge of the world—would any body but you have put me upon a wrong scent, about my daughter's being in love with Blifil? There was politics! there was knowledge of the world!—Ah! you old fool you!

Mrs. Wes.

Tell James to get my coach—

[Calls at the door.]

An ill-bred provoking blockhead! I'll not stay ano­ther minute in his house.

So.

Pray, my dear aunt—

Mrs. Wes.

Not another minute, I assure you, child.

AIR.

My coach!—I'll begone; and from this very hour
Ends all my alliance with such a rude boor.
My sex, my political knowledge despise?
By heaven! I could tear out the Hottentot's eyes—
An illiterate clown! give his tongue such a loose!
For the future I never set foot in your house—
Adieu, my dear child— this is usage so trying,
In spite of my pride it will set me—a crying.
Exit weeping.
Wes.
[Page 36]

Loo! loo! loo! loo! loo!—Ay, let her go and be hang'd—I'm certainly the most unfortunate dog in the world! It is always my fate to be whipt in by the humours of some damn'd jade or other. —But curse my jacket, if I will be run down in this manner by any of them!

So.

Dear sir, entreat my aunt to stay.

Wes.

Stay? What to indict me for a plot, and have me hang'd, that the government may get my estate?

So.

My aunt, sir, is so far from injuring you, that she hath left you her whole fortune.

Wes.

Ay, but she's such an odd-temper'd devil, I shall never be sure of what she has, till she's at her last gasp.

So.

Then pray, sir, entreat her to stay: a little submis­sion will satisfy her.

Wes.

So, I must ask pardon for your fault? You've lost the hare, and I must draw every way to find her?—Well, for this once I'll take your advice, for fear of the worst.—A damn'd old hag!—But I must humour her.

Exit.
Enter HONOUR.
Hon.

O lud, ma'am! poor Mr. Jones! poor Mr. Jones!

So.

What of him?

Hon.

Is turn'd adrift by Mr. Allworthy, for making love to you. Poor creature! how he begg'd and pray'd to take his last farewel of you; but Mr. Allworthy would not al­low it—the door stood a little a-jar, and I heard all that pass'd.

So.

You astonish me, Honour!

Hon.

When I found they were parting, I ran down the back-stairs, and met Mr. Jones in the hall. He look'd me full in the face, but was not able to speak a word; press'd my hand, kiss'd it, sigh'd, beat his breast, burst into tears, and then march'd off for the ale-house, where Black George, the game-keeper, is going to carry his cloaths to—I'm sure my poor heart was ready to bre—bre—break, to see him in such a pi—pi—piteous taking.

Weeps.
So.

And have I been the cause of his ruin?

Hon.

Nay, ma'am, there's something besides you in the case. Mr. Allworthy charg'd him with a design of forg­ing a will; which he solemnly denied, and even offer'd to [Page 37]face his accusers: But Mr. Allworthy would not give up his author.

So.

Forge a will? Impossible!

Hon.

Ay, ma'am, full as impossible, as for me to fly over the moon.

So.

Here; take my purse—these rings—this watch—

Hon.

Ma'am, my master may miss the watch and rings, and you may want the money.

So.

Then thou shalt supply me—away! find Black George, and carry this to Mr. Jones—go, go, go.

[Exit Honour.]

Yes, I must lose him for ever! What a pity it is, that the casual difference of our situation should make us both unhappy!

AIR.

Such beauty, manliness, and air
His form and face adorn,
Not half so lovely, half so fair
Appears the blushing morn:
His grace, his dignity, his ease
My fond affections stole;
He was by fate design'd to please,
And captivate the soul.
Exit.

SCENE, A Dinning-Room.

Enter ALLWORTHY, WESTERN, Mrs. WESTERN, and BLIFIL.
Mrs. Wes.

As Mr. Allworthy is guarantee for your fu­ture behaviour, I will grant you a peace; but take care how you renew hostilities with me.

Wes.

Dear sister, I'll never offend you again, while breath's in my body.

Mrs. Wes.

Away then, and bring your daughter to her swain.

[Exit Western.]

Mr. Allworthy, our plan of operations must be concerted for a surprize, not a storm.

All.

Madam, I am utterly against all violent measures.

Bli.

But I hope, sir, you will indulge me with an­other interview?

All.

I have no objection to that: use every fair method to gain her, but no compulsion.

[Page 38] Enter WESTERN and SOPHIA.
Wes.

Here she is, Blifil—come, let's leave 'em together—She's more complying than I expected.

Mrs. Wes.

Ay, ay, she will capitulate at last. The strongest citadel must yield to a vigorous siege.

Exeunt Allworthy, Western, and Mrs. Western.
Bli.

Miss Western, I am once more so happy, as to be with you alone; and now let me hope for a more favour­able hearing.

So.

Mr. Blifil, shall I be ingenuous with you?

Bli.

Undoubtedly, madam.

So.

Then let me once more declare to you, it is impos­sible that I can be yours.

Bli.

Why impossible, Miss Sophy? Time perhaps—

So.

Don't flatter yourself; I shall never consent, and it will be in vain to give yourself any further trouble about me.

Bli.

And is this your serious resolution?

So.

It is: I therefore hope you will immediately desist.

Bli.

If this be the case, I must apply to Mr. Western, and your aunt.

So.

Apply to whom you please, I never can suffer it.

Bli.

Excuse me, madam, if I don't take this answer from you—I shall acquaint Mr. Western with what has pass'd, and leave you to declare your sentiments and re­solutions to him.

Exit.
So.

Insufferable assurance!—Tho' I tremble at the thoughts of disobeying a father, yet all his authority can­not compel me to marry this detested insolent.

Enter HONOUR.
Hon.

O dear Ma'am! I'm frighten'd out of my wits!—My master has been ordering the steward to take horse for a licence. He swore with a great oath, that you should be married to Mr. Blifil to-morrow.

So.

To-morrow!

(leans on Honour.]

Support me—pray, dear Honour, give me thy advice—What wouldst thou do in my case?

Hon.

Do? Why any thing to be sure before I would marry a man I could not abide.

So.
[Page 39]

But what wouldst thou do in my situation?

Hon.

Go off directly to London, ma'am.

So.

Fly from my father? No, no, no; I can never think of this desperate remedy—good heaven! What will become of me?—I shall run distracted—let us to my chamber; perhaps we may hit on some expedient.

Hon.

Only be rul'd by me, ma'am, and all will be well, I warant you.

AIR.

To be tied to a fellow one hates were a curse,
A curse I could never survive;
Nay sooner than take him for better, for worse,
By Jove! I'd be buried alive.
Should pappy insist on my wedding a man,
Whose sight would occasion the hip;
E'er into such marriage he should me trapan,
By Jingo! I'd give him the slip.
Exeunt.

SCENE, An Alehouse.

Enter NIGHTINGALE and NANCY.
Night.

And you thought I intended to leave you?

Nancy.

I confess I was not without my fears; but you have effectually remov'd them, by the assurance you have given me of our marriage to-morrow—I am now really happy!

AIR.

Blest with thee, my soul's dear treasure,
Sweetly will each hour be pass'd;
Every day will bring new pleasure,
And be happier than the last.
With so lov'd a partner talking,
Time will quickly glide away:
With so dear a husband walking,
Nature all her bloom display.
Such a darling swain possessing,
All my sorrows will be o'er;
Thou art fortune's utmost blessing,
Fortune cannot give me more.

And shall we set off for Upton to-night?

Night.
[Page 40]

As soon as ever poor Jones hath finish'd his letter to Mr. Allworthy.

Nancy.

I pity the unfortunate gentleman, and shall al­ways love him for those noble principles, which you tell me he displayed in your late interview.

Night.

Yes, my dear Nancy, his generous advice hath greatly contributed to our happiness. I must own that the fear of a father's resentment operated on me very strongly.

Nancy.

How sorry my mamma will be for this breach between Mr. Jones, and his benefactor!

Enter JONES.
Jon.

I've dispatched my letter, and now am ready to at­tend you.

Nan.

And pray, sir, how do you find yourself?

Jon.

Abundantly easier—I have taken my everlasting leave of the most adorable Sophia.

Night.

Leave of Sophia! You have not seen her? Have you?

Jon.

No: I've eternally renounced her in my letter. I have given up love to glory and patriotism. My country is now my mistress, whom I will serve with the most in­violable fidelity.

AIR.

Jon.
My youthful bosom glory fires,
I feel its all-enlivening breath;
This arm Britannia's cause requires;
Then welcome fame, or welcome death.
All three.
Crown, propitious fortune, crown
The brave with conquest, and renown!
Night.
Arise, dread genius of this isle!
This isle, which foreign wonder draws;
With fame's first honours crown their toil,
Who bleed, or conquer in her cause.
All three.
Crown, propitious fortune, crown
The brave with conquest, and renown!
All three.
[Page 41]
Bright beauty's tribute shall be paid
To the surviving sons of fame;
And each fond matron, each fond maid,
With love reward her hero's flame.
Crown, propitious fortune, crown
The brave with conquest, love, renown!
Exeunt.
The END of the SECOND ACT.

ACT III.

SCENE, An Inn at Upton.

Enter SOPHIA and HONOUR.
So.

WITH a woman sayst thou? Can it be?

Hon.

As sure as my name's Honour, ma'am. I got a full view of him, as the maid carried in the tea-kettle.

So.

Then there is no truth in man—order the horses: instead of flying to my cousin at London, I will return home.

Hon.

But, ma'am—

So.

False, false man!—I'm asham'd of this weakness—away!

Hon.

Well, were it my case, I would mortify my gen­tleman; I would bounce into the room, and surprize them.

So.

Thou hast inspired me with a thought—yes, he shall know I have been here—

[writes with a pencil on a piece of paper]

there's my name; pin it to the muff, and bribe the maid to convey it into the room. Bid her lay it where he cannot miss seeing it.

Hon.

I shall, ma'am.

Exit.
So.

Base, inconstant, and ingrateful man! How had inclination tempted me to deviate from duty!—but from this moment, I will abandon the thoughts of him, and his perfidious sex for ever.

AIR.

To changeful man's delusive arts
Let maids beware how they give way;
Nor yield too hastily their hearts,
Lest each with me repenting say,
"Deserted by my saithless swain,
"Poor I, alas! must love in vain."
[Page 43] Enter HONOUR.
Hon.

Betty has carried it in—she says there's a crack in the wainscot, through which one may see them—Oh! here it is!—I'll have a peep—they sit very lovingly toge­ther—Ah! the duce take you, for a false-hearted creature!—She sits with her back this way: I wish she would turn about, that one might see her face!—Take a peep, ma'am; do.

So.

No, no, no; I won't trouble myself about him.

Hon.

With what pleasure he looks on her!—Now he rests his elbow on the table, and seems grave—now he's all life and gaiety—Ah! you're a pretty gentleman!

So.

A base man! I blush at the recollection of my past folly.

Hon.

Ha! he starts! his eyes are fixed on the muff—He takes it up, and seems quite astonished—Ay, ay, his conscience begins to fly in his face!—he leaves the room!

So.

He is coming here then—lock the door—Good heaven! what shall I do?

Hon.

Do? E'en see him, ma'am.

So.

See him! No, no, no: I'll never see him more.

Hon.
[Peeping through the key-hold]

I vow he's talking to Betty—He comes this way—that's he!

A knocking at the door.
So.

How shall I avoid him?

Hon.

Get into this closet.

Sophia goes into the closet.
Jon.
[Within and knocking at the door]

Miss Western!—Madam!—Sophia!

Hon.

Who's there?

[very loud.]
Jon.

'Tis I, dear Honour—pray open the door,

She unlocks the door.
Enter JONES, with a muff.
Hon.

Bless me, sir! who thought of seeing you here?

Jon.

Dear Honour, where's your lady?

Hon.

At home, I suppose: I've left her service.

Very coldly.
Jon.

No, no; the maid tells me she is in the house.

Hon.

Well, if she is in the house, she won't see you, sir.

Jon.
[Page 44]

Not see me? how have I offended her?—I must speak to her—I must indeed, Honour.

Hon.
[Whispering]

She's in that closet—

[very loud]

I tell you, sir, you may as well be gone, for she'll have no­thing to say to you.

Jon.

She's in this closet; I hear her stir—'tis she!—she comes!

Sophia comes from the closet.

AIR.

Tell me, lovely charmer, why
You thus a fond adorer fly?
You cannot surely harbour strife
'Gainst him, that loves you more than life!
No longer, then no longer shun
The swain, by love and thee undone.
Why thus a fond adorer fly?
Lovely charmer, tell me why?
So.

I beg, sir, you will leave me instantly.

Jon.

But why, my dear angel, so cruel a request?

So.

No matter: I know too much, ever to think of you more.

Jon.

If to love and adore you more than ever man did woman; if to prefer your happiness to my own; if to dread your displeasure more than death itself be criminal, I plead guilty: but—

So.

Be at no trouble to justify yourself, sir—What! not pass one day after you had left me, without devoting your­self to another!

Jon.

To another?—To whom?—May heaven—

So.

Hold, Sir! do not add perjury to inconstancy.

Hon.

I saw you with her, Mr. Jones, I'll take my Bible-oath on't.

Jon.

With whom?

Hon.

With a madam, if I must speak plain English.

Jon

Me? when? where?

Hon.

Yes, you; just this minute; in next room, sir.

Jon.

That young lady—

Hon.

Lady! A very fine lady! Of the right sort I warrant her.

Jon.

Miss Western, if there be any faith in man —

So.
[Page 45]

No excuses; they are quite needless.—I am almost distracted.

Aside, and walking about.
Jon.
[Following her]

Sophia!—my most adorable So­phia!—Nay, this is so perverse—Miss Western!—my dear angel!—Honour!—Mrs. Honour!—Then there's but one way to convince them.

Exit.
Hon.

What does he mean? He seems to face us down; but seeing's believing all the world over.

Enter JONES and NANCY.
Nancy.

How does my dear school-fellow?

So.

Miss Miller!

[they salute]

What brings you here?

Nancy.

A run-away scheme—I suppose somewhat like your own, my dear. Mr. Nightingale has prevailed on me to take a matrimonial trip.—We were in your neigh­bourhood yesterday, and came hither last night, accompa­nied by Mr. Jones—The rector, it seems, is on a visit at a friend's, about five miles hence; and Mr. Night­ingale went to him, near three hours ago, to procure a licence; leaving me in the care of this gentleman till his return.

Jon.

I hope the matter is now explain'd, madam?

Nancy.

And so I find it has been jealous of me? Has it?

So.

My dear Nancy, how could you be so rash?

Nancy.

Ah! my dear, what is it that a woman won't do for the man she loves?

AIR.

To lure me from mammy the swain did employ,
On every occasion, the strongest persuasion:
At length I consented, and told the dear boy,
That thro' the world with him I'd wander with joy.
Tho' prudes and old maids, by despair ever teiz'd,
My conduct should handle with malice and scandal,
So vast an affection my bosom has seiz'd,
That thro' the world with him I'd wander well-pleas'd.

As I live there's Mr. Nightingale, and a gentleman!—Excuse me, Miss Sophy; I must attend my lord and master.

Exit singing,

And thro' the world with him.

Hon.
[Page 46]

So! Now miss is gone, the best thing I can do is to leave them together: leastwise I should like to be serv'd so myself.

Exit.
Jon.

O Sophia! did you but know the torments I have suffer'd, since we parted, you would not thus have added to my affliction, by supposing me capable of inconstancy.

So.

I confess I was too hasty; but appearances partly justified my suspicions—And yet, alas! why should I in­terest myself in your conduct?

Jon.

Why not, my angel? Give me but the least hope, and I will wait till time, and some favourable event shall reconcile your father.

So.

Alas! Mr. Jones, you know I am not mistress of myself.—Yet I will confess, that did not duty forbid, even ruin with you would be preferable to the most affluent fortune with another.

Jon.
[Starting.]

Ruin! Oh! Sophia, can I be the vil­lain to ruin thee? No; by heavens! no: I will give you up; yes, I will give you up for ever; tho' it must render me completely miserable.

Enter HONOUR.

AIR.

Hon.
Where can we run? Where can we fly,
To hide us from your father's eye?
This place in troth won't hold us both —
Was ever such a luckless elf?
What shall we do?—Here's room for you—
In, in—I'll scamper for't myself.
So.

Stay, Honour—My father! heaven and earth! is he come?

Hon.

He, Mr. Allworthy, Supple, and that odious pragmatical Blifil are just lighted.

So.

Ruin'd past redemption!

Jon.

Away to miss Miller, and leave me to stand the brunt.

Exeunt Sophia and Honour.
Wes.
[within]

Shew me her chamber—I'll unkennel her—I'll have her, if she be above ground.

[Page 47] Enter ALLWORTHY, WESTERN, SUPPLE, and BLIFIL.

Illo ho! illo ho! we've got the dog-fox; I'll warrant madam is not far off—

[seizes Jones]

Where's Sophy, you rascal?—

[Jones shakes him off.]

Sirrah, you've stole my daughter, and I'll have you hang'd.—I have not been in the commission of the peace so long, not to know it is a hanging matter to steal an heiress.—You shall swing for't, you dog; you shall be tuck'd up; you shall dangle. I expect to be prickt for high-sheriff, and I'll see you exe­cuted.

Jon.

Sir, I can assure you I was not in the least privy to miss Western's flight.

Sup.

Don't say so, Mr. Jones: this proves you guilty.

Taking up the muff.
Bli.

It is miss Sophy's; I've seen her wear it.

Wes.

My daughter's? So it is I'll be sworn!—Bear witness, gentlemen; the goods are found in his custody; in suo custodium—this will do his business—tol lol de rol—he shall be hang'd for it, an it cost me ten thousand pound.

All.

It is in vain, Mr. Jones, to persist in this falshood. If you did not decoy the young lady away, how comes she to be here with you?

Bli.

Ay, pray how comes she to be here with you?

Wes.

Right! how comes she to be here with you?

Jon.

By mere accident I assure you, gentlemen. Miss Miller, who is in the next room, will convince you of it.

Wes.

Pho! pho! pho! All a pack of damn'd lies!

All.

However, neighbour, if he did not decoy her away, he will, in my eye, appear a good deal less criminal.

Wes.

But where's Sophy, you villain?

Jon.

In the next room with Miss Miller. [Exeunt Allworthy, Western, Supple, and Blisil. My dear Sophy! I fear the violence of her father's temper will be too much for her.

Enter NIGHTINGALE.
Night.

My dear Tom, I've got the licence.—Pray do you know my cousin Dowling, the attorney?

Jon.

Very well: what of him?

Night.
[Page 48]

I overtook him about a mile from hence; and happening to speak of Mr. Allworthy's displeasure, he said he must communicate to him an affair, which would re­instate you in his favour.

Enter NANCY.
Jon.

Where is Miss Western, madam?

Nancy.

In the next room with her papa and the gen­tlemen—Poor creature! she will have a sad time on't.

Jon.

Excuse me: I must know the issue of this business.

Exit.
Night.

Nancy, let me have a dish of coffee, and then we'll to church.—I am now truly happy! So sincere is my love, that I would not exchange thee for a diadem.

AIR.

When I'm in nuptial union join'd
With my enchanting fair,
What raptures will possess my mind!
What transports shall I share!
From such a sweet engaging wife
New joys must hourly spring,
I would not change so blest a life
To be the greatest king.
Exeunt.

SCENE, A large Room. A tankard on the table.

WESTERN, SOPHIA, and HONOUR.
Wes.

Your obstinacy is not to be endur'd—What does the girl snivel and cry for?

So.

Alas! my dear father, I can't help it.

Hon.

Ah! it's an old cross-grain'd patch!

Aside.
Wes.

What can I do more to make you happy? You know I love you so well, that I would see all the world hang'd, before I would even have your little finger hurt.

Hon.

The world is very much oblig'd to you truly!

Aside.
Wes.

And yet all this won't do.—But I must secure you, till I have breakfasted.—In—in to that room.—In with [Page 49]you both—

[Exeunt Sophia and Honour.]

There!—

[locks the door]

I have her as secure now, as a fox in a bag.—Whew!

[whistles]

Here, house!—Whew!—

Enter LANDLADY.

Landlady, I want something for breakfast.

Land.

Coffee or tea, your honour's worship?

Wes.

Pox on such rot-gut stuff! Some ham, cold but­tock of beef, venison pasty, or any thing on the substan­tial order.

Land.

We've nothing cold; the soldier fellows have eat up all.

Wes.

Ah! the devil take them! A swarm of red-coat locusts! They'll eat up the whole nation by and by.

Land.

Would your honour's worship chuse some new-laid eggs and bacon?

Wes.

Nothing better: 'tis a breakfast for an emperor! Get them ready as fast as possible—And hark you—send me a pipe; I've tobacco of my own.

Land.

Yes, an't please your honour's worship.

Exit.
Wes.
[drinking]

This is excellent beer i'faith! I'm one of your true Englishmen; I hate all slipslops.

AIR. Roast Beef.

When good queen Elizabeth, history's boast,
From Spaniards and Frenchmen defended our coast,
The noblemen feasted on bak'd, boil'd, and roast.
O the roast beef of Old England!
And O the English roast beef!
Enter landlady, with pipes, &c. and exit.
The ladies delighted in good hearty chear,
All kickshaws, and slipslops they left to Mounse [...]r;
Their breakfast in common was beef and strong beer.
O the strong beer of Old England!
And O the English strong beer!
Enter Mrs. WESTERN and SUPPLE.
Mrs. Wes.
[flinging herself into a chair]

Sure no one ever had so intolerable a journey!—I'm fatigued to death I—I shan't be able to rise out of my chair these three hours—I'm jolted to pieces—Well, where's my niece?

Wes.
[Page 50]

Lock'd up.

Mrs. Wes.
[rising hastily]

Lock'd up! I thought you would be taking such head-strong measures!—Why will you pretend to meddle with matters, so infinitely beyond your knowledge?

Wes.
[dashing his pipe on the floor]

Zounds ànd blood! did ever any body hear the like! To be fallen upon in this manner, when I expected you would commend me for what I've done!

Mrs. Wes.

Commend you? Your operations are diame­trically opposite to my free principles, and totally incon­sistent with Magna Charta—Let my niece be set at liberty this instant, and given up to my management—Will you agree to this stipulation?—I expect a categorical answer—Either cede her intirely to me, or take her wholly to your own surprising discretion; and then I here, before Mr. Supple, evacuate the garrison, and renounce all family-compact with you for ever.

Sup.

Mr. Western, let me be a mediator.

Wes.
[throwing a key on the table]

There's the key: she may take it up if she will.

Mrs. Wes.

No, sir; I insist on the formality of its be­ing deliver'd.

Wes.

There then—I wish old scratch had her!

Aside.
Mrs. Wes.

If your daughter had always liv'd with me, you would have had no occasion for locks, bolts, nor bars.

Wes.

Zounds and the devil! What would you have me do?—You're enough to make me raving mad.

Mrs. Wes.

There now! Look you there! Just accord­ing to his old custom! Flying out upon every occasion, right or wrong—Absolutely, brother, there is no speak­ing to you! If I were not a woman of the meekest dispo­sition upon earth, I could not possibly live under the same roof with you—I will appeal to Mr. Supple, whom every body allows to be a man of great sense, if I have said even one individual thing, to put any human being, except such an irascible animal as yourself, into the least passion imaginable.

Sup.

Let me beg you, dear madam, not to irritate him any further.

Mrs. Wes.

Irritate him! You are ten times a greater blockhead than himself. It is my misfortune to be [Page 51]hemm'd round by such fools and dunces!—Mercy on all affairs under the guidance and direction of you men!—you are such a parcel of purblind creatures!—The head of one woman is worth fifty thousand of yours.

Unlocks the door, and exit.
Wes.

A fractious, cross-grain'd, contradictious, self-opiniated, Presbyterian, Oliverian hag! when she takes to a thing, one can no more turn her from it, than a young beagle can turn an old hare:—I was a damn'd fool ever for thinking of her estate; but as I've been a slave so long, it would be a pity to lose it at last, for want of holding out.

Sup.

Cousin, I highly commend your prudence.

Enter Mrs. WESTERN, SOPHIA, and HONOUR.
Mrs. Wes.

The world is come to a fine pass indeed, if we must be lock'd up when every whimsical husband, or father takes in into his self-sufficient noddle to confine us!

Hon.

Very true, ma'am! locking, and bolting, and bar­ring won't do for an Englishwoman.

AIR.

The swarthy Italian the privilege claims
To lock up, in family-durance, the dames
Of every condition, of every degree:
But here we defy such tyrannical knaves;
The females of England will never be slaves:
Fate, custom, and charter, to favour the fair,
'Gainst locking, and bolting, and barring declare,
And wisely ordain that our sex shall be free.
Exit.
Mrs. Wes.

Well, you remember the stipulation?

Wes.

Yes, yes; I'll neither meddle nor make. The girl can never be in better hands. My cuz here will do me the justice to own, that I've been praising you up to the skies, and saying you was the best-temper'dest woman in the world, and fit to have the care of a princess-royal—have not I, cuz?

Winks at Supple.
Sup.

Yes indeed, and a great deal more, sir. I never heard you speak more handsomely of Mrs. Western in my life.

Mrs. Wes.

Brother, I'm satisfied—you are naturally too [Page 52]rash and precipitate; but when you give yourself time to reflect, I don't know a man more reasonable.

Sup.

Nor I neither.

Wes.

I am indeed a little passionate, but, like all true Englishmen, I scorn to bear malice—But come, cuz, let's go to breakfast; I've ordered some eggs and bacon—B'ye, my dear sister—

[kisses her]

we'll never have another quarrel, as long as we live—I wish she were once dead with all my heart!

[aside]

Exeunt Western and Supple.
Mrs. Wes.

Eggs and bacon for breakfast! What a Hot­tentot!—who would say he is any thing a-kin to me!

[looks in a pocket glass.]

Bless me! what a fright am I! This journey has made me look ten years older.

So.

In my opinion you never look'd better, madam.

Mrs. Wes.

O fie, child! no, no, Sophy: faces will grow worse for wear—but for all that, I've had my con­quests, and a coronet among them; but he was remark­ably ugly, and very poor—Sophy, I was never so hand­some as you, and yet I had a great deal of you formerly.

Enter HONOUR.
Hon.

Ma'am, Mr. Blifil desires to speak with you.

Mrs. Wes.

Well, child, what would you have me do?

So.

Pray, my dear aunt, don't suffer him to come in.

Mrs. Wes.

Well, well, he shan't—I'll go to him—yes, yes, I have had my conquests.

Exit.
Hon.

Ma'am, you seem to have got the old lady into a very good humour; but a little flattery always does it, for she loves it as well as a girl of nineteen.

Enter ALLWORTHY.
All.

Miss Western, if you're at leisure, I could wish to have a little conversation with you.

Hon.

That's as much as to say, "March, Honour."

Exit.
All.

I'm extremely sorry, madam, for the uneasiness I have occasioned; but it was not my fault:

So.

I hope, sir, you are not offended at my behaviour to your nephew?

All.

No apology, dear madam. Such a discovery hath [Page 53]been made, that I must always blush at the reflexion of his being my nephew—yet I could still wish to have so accom­plished a young lady in my family; wherefore I beg leave to make you a tender of—

So.
[Looking on the ground]

I hope Mr. Allworthy's good sense will prevent him from making any offers of that kind?

All.

Madam, I am justly reprehensible for not explain­ing myself sooner: the tender I mean is not on my own, but my nephew's account.

So.

Your nephew's? I thought you had said—

All.

I don't mean that wretch Blifil, but one whom I am pretty sure you will like—the very man, whom I am confident you would wish.

So.

Heaven and earth! Mr. Jones!

All.

It is, it is—

[embraces her, and weeps.]

I have used him very hardly, in so hastily and cruelly dismissing him. I feel more on the occasion thàn I am able to express.

Enter BLIFIL.
Bli.

I ask pardon, sir: I thought you were alone.

Going.
All.

Stay—hark you, sir—see that you find me the let­ter, which your mother sent me on her death-bed.

Bli.

Letter, sir?

All.

Ay, letter— your mother sent me one by Mr. Dowling. Did not he deliver it to you?

Bli.

No, sir.

All.

Villain, how can you have the effrontery to deny it?

Bli.

Sir, I can deny it very safely—This must be some collusion between Jones and Dowling. It is of a piece with my rival's behaviour, relative to the forged will.

All.

That too I look upon as an infamous falshood—You have offered Dowling a large sum, to conceal the cir­cumstance of your brother's birth: he will swear it.

Bli.

Sir, if Mr. Dowling has a mind to swear away my life, I can't help it.

All.

Provoking villain! See here, to your utter confu­sion, a duplicate of the letter, sign'd by your mother, and attested by the clergyman, that attended her in her last illness.

Bli.
[Page 54]

Then I'm undone! Dowling never mentioned the duplicate—

[aside]

Alas! my dear uncle, I confess my crime, and—

Kneeling.
All.

I want no reply—see my face no more—go, and the reproaches of a guilty mind, the bitterest of all punish­ments, attend you—Yet stay—I am sorry that I should thus upbraid you—To insult a person in affliction is a spe­cies of revenge, which base and illiberal minds can only entertain—I shall order my steward to pay you a thousand pounds, which is the last favour you must ever expect from an injured uncle—retire—

[exit Blifil.]

I ask pardon for this behaviour; but his villainous suppression of the letter so affected me, that I could not command my temper.

So.

Rage is so ungovernable a passion, and you had so just an occasion for it, that an apology was unnecessary—but pray, dear sir, forgive him.

All.

Forgive him! impossible!

AIR.

So.
Sweet mercy is the loveliest flower,
That Heaven e'er planted in the mind;
The queen of virtues, whose soft power
Can even to godhead raise mankind.
Let patriots, kings, and heroes boast
A name, that will in history live;
Yet he resembles Heaven the most,
Whose godlike bosom can forgive.
Enter WESTERN.
Wes.

Neighbour, this rascal Jones has not left the inn yet. I wish you'ld grant me a warrant, and I'll have him committed for a vagrant.

All.

I think the young man has suffered enough already.

Wes.

Suffered enough! why he deserves hanging.

All.

I'm of a contrary opinion; and know he has been greatly injured: I am therefore resolved to make him amends, by making him my heir.

Wes.

Your heir! What! make Tom your heir?

All.

It is my firm resolution.

Wes.

Curse me! if I'm not glad on't, for he's a jolly dog. I always thought he wanted nothing but a fortune, to be the [Page 55]cleverest fellow in all England—but pray how comes this about?

All.

He is a very near relation of mine.

Wes.

Oh, ho! I smoke you! So then you've had a colt's tooth in your head when you were young, as well as other folks, old sly-boots?—But it's only what I thought; for I always suppos'd him to be your son, by your bringing him up like a gentleman.

All.

He is not my son, but the son of my sister, who, two years before her marriage with Capt. Blifil, was pri­vately married to Mr. Sumner.

Wes.

Sumner! What! the handsome clergyman, that you brought up? Parson Gillyflower, as I us'd to call him?

All.

The same.

Wes.

Gad, I have often thought that Tom had a great look of him—Well, if you're in the mind, we'll clap up a match between Jones and Sophy?

All.

Nothing can be more agreeable to me.

Wes.
[Chucking Sophia under the chin]

And to thee too, my little gipsy, I'll answer for't—you see she's all scarlet at the very mention of it.

All.

She's a most beautiful creature indeed!

Wes.

So much the better for Tom, for egad he shall have the towsling of her.

Enter HONOUR.
Hon.

Dear ma'am, for goodness' sake come away: poor miss Miller is in a fit.

Exeunt Sophia and Honour.
Wes.
[Shouting after them]

Give her a hearty tweak by the nose: the best thing in the world—I saw a recruiting serjeant recover the squeaking landlady at Gloster by it.

All.

What can be the matter? Oh! here's an explana­tion of the affair.

Enter Old NIGHTINGALE, dragging in his son; SUPPLE interposing.
Old Night.

Come along, you dog: I won't let you stay another minute—you're a fine gentleman indeed, to run away with a hussy that has not a penny!—You rascal, I've a good mind to horsewhip you, as long as I can stand over you.

Night.
[Page 56]

I beg, sir, you will be pacified.

Wes.

Lord! I wonder how any man can put himself in such a passion!

Old Night.

If I had not come just in the nick—for I have not been here since I went to live in Berkshire—If I had'nt seen cuz Dowling, by the merest chance in the world, it had been all over as clean as a whistle—The provoking 'scape-grace has the impudence to tell me he'll marry her, though I should disinherit him—Yes, sirrah, I will disinherit you; cuz Dowling shall make my will immediately; and as soon as I have executed it, I'll hang myself for fear I should change my mind—I'll be re­veng'd on you.

Night.

Miss Miller, sir, is more to me than all the wealth in the world.

All.

Come, don't be so angry, Mr. Nightingale. I'll engage to make miss Miller a fortune of ten thousand pounds, if you will consent to the match.

Night.

Excuse me, sir; I can't accept a fortune from you.

Old Night.

Why not, Jack? If he has a mind to give it, what business hast thou to oppose it?

Night.

Sir, my conscience won't suffer me to take it.

All.

I will satisfy your scruples, young gentleman. A chancery-suit, which I have carried on for Mrs. Miller against the son of her guardian, was the other day deter­mined in her favour; and she is now worth upwards of fif­teen thousand pounds.

Old Night.

And pray what childer has she?

Night.

None but my dear Nancy.

Old Night.

Jack, give me thy fist—thou art not altoge­ther so great a puppy as I thought thee—get ready for church, and I'll stand father.

Night.

I'll go and bless my Nancy with the news.

Enter Mrs. WESTERN.
Mrs. Wes.

The poor creature is better.—Mr. Night­ingale, how could you be so boisterous?—I am come to negotiate a general pacification. You surely cannot deny it to your old flame? Thirty years ago you would have acceded to any demand from me.

Old Night.
[Page 57]

Madam, all is made up, and I'll go and see my daughter.

Exit.
Sup.

Will Mr. Allworthy be so kind as to lend me his mediation?

All.

In what can I serve you, Mr. Supple?

Sup.

In bringing Mr. Western to consent to my mar­riage with this lady.

Wes.

How! What a plague is this! Màrry at fifty-three! Why, sister, did not you promise me, when my wife died, if I would live single, that you would never marry?

Mrs. Wes.

You a politician and depend on the promises of a woman in love-affairs? You might as well depend on the promises of the French.

Sup.

Your family, Mr. Western, will be no loser by the match. Sophy is my nearest relation, and shall inherit all I have.

Wes.

As this is the case, if sister's inclinable—

Mrs. Wes.

Brother, I must own I esteem Mr. Supple, as he is a man of sense, and a great admirer of female understandings. He has already made some amorous ad­vances; and should he besiege me in form, after I have held out a few months, I may possibly be inclined to listen to terms of capitulation.

Sup.

A few months? dear madam, that will be too long a blockade. If you're resolv'd to defend the garrison to the last extremity, I find I must begin the attack by storm.

Wes.

Ay, ay, cuz; begin with storming, and I warrant you'll carry her.—Come, sister, you may as well con­sent, and we'll have both marriages together.

Mrs. Wes.

Well, brother, if this besieger will agree to certain articles—

Sup.

Dear madam, I will grant you a carte blanche.

Enter OLD NIGHTINGALE, NIGHTINGALE, SOPHIA, and NANCY.
Old Night.

I thought my daughter before a mere painted doll; but, now I've seen her again, she looks like an angel.

Wes.

That's because she'll be a fifteen thousand pounder. Lord! how fond of money are some people!

[Aside.]

But what has become of my friend Jones all this while?

[...]
[...]
Mrs. Wes.
[Page 58]

He is gone to wait upon his brother with compliments of condolance.—This is an unexpected revo­lution indeed!

Enter JONES.
Wes.
[embracing Jones]

My old friend Tom, I am glad to see thee with all my heart.—I must have a buss of thee, dear dog.—All past must be forgotten.—Christians must forget and forgive one another.

Jon.

I hope, sir, I shall never forget the many obliga­tions I am under to Mr. Western.—My brother, Sir, is ex­tremely sorry for his offence, and humbly begs leave to speak with you.

All.

Tell him I don't know him.

So.

Pray, sir, let me intercede in his behalf.

All.

You are both too good: for your sakes I will keep him above want.

Mrs. Wes.

Ay, ay, let him retire with a pension.

Jon.

And now, dear sir, if I could hope you would countenance my addresses to this young lady—

Wes.

It's all done: the match is agreed on.

Jon.

Then I'm the happiest man in the world.

Night.

You'll except me, Mr. Jones?

Sup.

And me too? this lady and I will convince you, that matrimonial happiness is not solely confin'd to your­selves.

Wes.

Well said, cuz.

All.

My happiness, I am persuaded, will hardly be in­ferior to any of yours. He, who rewards merit, and pro­motes the bliss of others, must always feel the greatest happiness himself.

AIR.

Jon.
Each desire is now complete;
Here all female graces meet;
Each fond wish at last is crown'd;
Bliss and happiness abound.
So.
Queens, enjoy your pomp and state;
Be, as pride can make you, great;
At your lot I'll ne'er repine;
State be yours, but love be mine.
Night.
Love's a spark of heavenly flame,
Lent to warm the human frame:
Nancy.
Love sincere can never cloy;
Love's the source of every joy.

Old King Cole.

Old Night.
Dear Miss, I ask your pardon there,
With you I can't agree;
For drinking claims the greatest share
In man's felicity.
Then drink about, see it out, jolly jolly topers;
Drink about, see it out, jolly jolly topers:
Love's milksop joys can ne'er compare
With Bacchanalian glee.
Wes.
If I must chant a stave at all,
I'll sing in Nighty's tune:
I hate Italian shake and squall,
Tho' they're in such renown:
I love a song, short or long, jolly jolly songsters;
I love a song, short or long, jolly jolly songsters;
Which goes to a fal, lal, lal, lal, lal,
Or a down, down, hey derry down.
Chorus.
Long may love and marriage reign!
Sound, to marriage sound the strain!
The supremest bliss in life
Is the kind, the virtuous wife.
Love's a spark of heavenly flame,
Lent to warm the human frame:
Love sincere can never cloy;
Love's the source of every joy.
Long may love and marriage reign!
Sound, to marriage sound the strain!
The supremest bliss in life
Is the kind, the virtuous wife.
Exeunt.
THE END.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.