LONDON: Printed for A. MILLAR, over-against Catharine-street, in the Strand. MDCCLII. (Price 1s. 6d.)

To the Right Honourable The COUNTESS of Lincoln.


I Truly wish this Play were more worthy of your Ladyship's Name. Yet I do not presume to offer it to you for its poetical Merit. I dedi­cate to you, Madam, the Virtues of your Sex. Whatever seems to me most amiable and estimable in Wo­man, I have endeavoured to shew in the Characters of Eugenia and Or­phisa. In Orphisa, that Fortitude of Spirit, that Dignity of Sentiments, that exalted Understanding, which, in my Ideas, form the Woman of Quality; and in Eugenia, that Purity of Heart, that Gentleness of Disposi­tion, that filial Piety, which give to Youth its best, its truest Loveliness.

[Page vi] Whether I have succeeded, your Ladyship, in your own Feelings and Experience, can best determine. If I have, let me be bold to expect your Patronage. It is for the Interest of that Virtue, which you love; for it is not sufficient, Madam, to practise her Precepts in your own private Life; you must come forth and do her Honour by a public Appearance in her Favour. In her Name, I ex­pect your Protection; in her Name, let me dare to promise, my future Life, and its best Gratitude shall de­serve it.—I am,

Your LADYSHIP's Most obedient humble Servant, PHILIP FRANCIS.


TO damn, or not—that is the Question now,
Whether 'tis best to deck the Poet's Brow;
With Hands and Hearts unanimous befriend him,
Or take up Arms, and by opposing end him—?
But hold, before you give the fatal Word,
I beg that I, as Council may be heard,
And what few Council ever yet have done,
I'll take no Bribe, and yet plead Pro and Con.
First for the Town and Us—I see some Danger,
Should you too kindly treat this reverend Stranger;
If such good Folks, these Wits of graver Sort,
Should here usurp a Right to spoil your Sport;
And curb our Stage so wanton, bold and free!
To the strict Limits of their Purity;
Should dare in Theatres reform Abuses,
And turn our Actresses to pious Uses!
Farewell the joyous Spirit-stirring Scene!
Farewell the—the—you guess the Thing I mean!
If this wise Scheme, so sober and so new!
Should pass with us, would it go down with you?
Should we so often see your well-known Faces?
Or would the Ladies send so fast for Places?—
Now for the Author—His poetic Brat
Throughout the Town occasions various Chat;
What say the Snarlers?—'Tis a French Translation.
That we deny, but plead an Imitation,
Such as we hope will please a free-born Nation.
His Muse, tho' much too grave to dress or dance,
For some Materials took a Trip to France;
She owns the Debt, nor thinks she shall appear,
Like our spruce Youths, the worse for going there:
Tho' she has dealt before in sportive Song,
This is her first Stage-Flight, and t'would be wrong,
Nay poaching too, to kill your Bards too young.
Poets, like Foxes, make best Sport, when old,
The Chase is good, when both are hard and bold;
Do you, like other Sportsmen then, take heed,
If you destroy the Whelps, you spoil the Breed;
Let him write on, acquire some little Fame,
Then hunt him, Critics, he'll be noble Game.


IT may not be improper to tell an English Reader some Circumstances of this Play. The Character of AEMILIA, consequently her Scenes with MERCOUR, is wholly new. The Fable, excepting some Alterations, which seemed necessary, with regard to the Difference of the French and English Stage, is taken from a Comedy published last Year by Madame Grafigny.

Let me be permitted to take this Opportunity of return­ing my best Thanks to the several Performers, for the Chearfulness, with which they went through the Fatigue of Rehearsing and Acting. The Public is the best Judge of their Merit, and its Favour the best Proof of it.

Mr. Garrick is intitled to my sincerest Gratitude, for his Performance as an Actor, and for his Punctuality, as a Manager; but his Assistance in a thousand Altera­tions, his strong good Sense, with that Spirit of Theatrical Criticism, which is his peculiar natural Genius, give him a Right to a great Share of that Applause, with which this Play was received. The rest is Friendship and Esteem.


Marquis of DELVILLE
Mr. Havard.
Mr. Berry.
Mr. Garrick.
Mr. Dexter.
Miss Bellamy.
Mrs. Ward.
Mrs. Pritchard.
SCENE a Gallery in DORIMOND's House in Paris.



MERCOUR crosses the Stage; sees AEMILIA; endeavours to avoid her. She looks at Him some Time; then speaks.
AH! what a Look was there! How his Eye started
As from a Thing of Horrour! I am lost;
Abandon'd to an unavailing Penitence,
To the Upbraidings of my own weak Heart,
[Looking after him.
To Virtue's keen Reproaches. MERCOUR, MERCOUR—
For all the promis'd Joys of Love and Constancy,
Oh! teach me not to feel what now I am,
Or to forget what late I was, how bless'd
With Innocence—Alas! now lost for ever.
MERCOUR speaking as he exters.
[Page 2]
It was the Musick of AEMILIA's Voice,
Tho' much untun'd from its delightful Sounds
When harmonis'd by Love. Tell me, my Heart,
Why did AEMILIA call me?
Did I call you?
Repeatedly; with Accent most alarming.
It was the Voice of Sorrow and Despair,
Not mine.
Despair! But how can it approach you,
By Friendship guarded in the Arms of Love?
Yet whence those Startings of the Soul, that rend
The labouring Breast? Why melts your Eye upon me?
Whence is that Paleness on my Fair-one's Cheek,
Where rosy Love, with Pleasure's Blushes glowing,
Was wont to dwell, amidst the Smiles of Beauty?
And sure—forbid it Love—you're alter'd too.
Are you the same? as constant to our Friendship—
As you are beautiful. Why doubts AEMILIA
Her wondr'ous Power of charming?
Yet even now
Your Eye meets mine with Pain. Some secret Purpose
Turns it aside, and that once dear Protesting,
(Which Love was wont to warm with his own Language,)
Falls feebly from your Tongue. Yet treat me nobly.
For such a Waste of Tenderness and Truth,
Is it too much—for all that I have suffer'd,
[Page 3] For all I'm still to suffer—to expect
A little kind Sincerity?
Can she suspect the Heart, that she has form'd;
Where fits her Image, in the Power of Beauty,
To rule its Passions, and inspire its Wishes?
Tell me my Fate; nor fear, that I'll upbraid you.
Nor shall my Rage, nor shall my Tears upbraid you,
Nor even my Love. I'll find a thousand Reasons
To justify your Change. I'll tell my Heart,
'Midst its resenting Beatings, that your Passions
Are not your own; that Love's inconstant Pleasures
Are sacred to your lordly Sex; that Men,
However just to Honour with each other,
Should scorn their fond Engagements with a Woman.
I would be just to both. For some Days past,
I own my Thoughts have been perplex'd, confus'd;
A thousand varying Projects for your Happiness—
My Happiness!
Oh! my Soul's highest Pride,
Does it become the Dignity of Love,
To steal into your Arms; to hide our Joys
In Darkness and Concealment? I'll no longer
Bear these uncertain, casual Hours of Bliss,
But let the World behold and envy me
The rich Possession of AEMILIA's Beauties—
I'll make you mine for ever.
Your's for ever!
[Page 4] Oh! let my Heart pour forth its Joy in Thanks.
Forgive th' unkind Suspicions; the Reproaches—
They were Suspicions, that arose from Love.
But will you hear?
My Soul is listening to you.
My Father, to support his Country's Honour,
And his own noble Birth, in foreign Embassies
Consum'd a fair Estate, and left his Sons,
(My Brother and myself) dependant vilely
Upon my Uncle's Bounty.
Oh! how nobly
Has he discharg'd the sacred Trust of Friendship,
And Duty of a Parent!
True; his Duty;
Then how are we oblig'd? Curse on the Name
Of Obligation. How my Soul disdains
This Insolence of Goodness, that enslaves
The free-born Mind! Is not his every Act,
An Insult on our Wants? Has he not gain'd,
From our Distress, the Name he most delights in,
The Name of Good? Methinks a rich Return
For trivial Benefits, without the Slavery
Of endless Gratitude.
Surely you mean
T'insult my Understanding. As for me,
He took me in Distress of Infancy,
The Orphan of his Friend. With every Tenderness,
Even of a Parent's Care, he form'd my Youth,
Alas! in vain, to Sentiments of Virtue.
[Page 5] Here were no Ties of Blood, no Sense of Duty;
'Twas innate Goodness, and my grateful Soul
Through all its Feelings thanks him. But forgive me;
I interrupted you.
The fair EUGENIA,
His much lov'd Daughter—
AEMILIA, aside
Ah! what means my Heart
By its tumultuous Beating!
Vain and haughty,
Bred in the virtuous Principles of Pride
By her affected Governess—
Ay, she, who even in Poverty assumes
An Insolence, that treats me with Disdain,
And has refus'd a Bribe, which might have purchas'd
A wealthier Honesty.
A Bribe! For what?
I would have gain'd her to befriend my Purpose
On her fair Pupil; 'midst the solemn Lessons,
(With which, forsooth, she forms her Heart to Wisdom)
To steal a kindly Mention of my Love
Into her Breast, and mix me with its Passions.
Wildness and Horrour! Passions! Love! EUGENIA!
Yet, yet, be kind, and ease my tortur'd Heart.
This Morn, I mean to ask her of her Father,
And if he, easy Man, should grant her to me,
[Page 6] With that unmeasurable Wealth, his Age
Hath long amass'd, when a few Days are spent
In the cold Duties of the nuptial Bed,
We'll fly, AEMILIA, to some distant Realm;
Enjoy each other; be a present Wonder,
And leave to future Times a bright Example
Of Constancy in Love.
A breathless Horrour
Heaves, panting, at my Heart. Outcasts of Virtue,
What Nation will receive us? Whither fly?
Where-e'er the Sun drives round the various Day,
'Tis the same Sun, that here beheld our Guilt.
In vain, the Midnight Cloud shall fall upon us,
Nor shall the Grave's eternal Darkness hide it;
'Twill rise to future Worlds. Oh! could we fly
Far from all human Converse; from ourselves,
From Conscience and from Memory—
I have no Time to waste in idle Arguments
On visionary Subjects. Let me rather,
Demand your Aid; th' Assistance of your Friendship
With this fond Girl. It is your Interest, Fair-one;
And Interest, our best Wisdom, should instruct you
To try your Sex's Arts to win her for me.
You know their softest Moments.
Yes; 'tis just.
Most exquisitely just, this purpos'd Insult.
And mark it, ye unhappy Ones, like me,
Thus shall it ever prove, who first betrays,
Will first insult our Weakness. Hear me, Sir,
Fall'n as I am from Honour, lost to Fame,
And hateful to myself, yet dare not think,
[Page 7] I basely can betray another's Innocence.
Be wise, and dread the Wildness of my Temper,
Lest it start out in Madness to destroy
Myself and Thee, with Horrours worthy both.
There goes the Sex's Virtue, and their Spirit.
But that I know her Pride, her Sense of Shame
(These too are female Virtues) I might fear
The Wildness of her Threats. But soft, my Uncle!
Now for a soothing Tale of Love and Rapture
For my fair Cousin. Yet—I think—I love her;
Not like my Brother, for (I know not what)
Some sentimental Merit. Mine are Ardours,
Kindling by Nature at the Sight of Beauty.
But now my other Face; dear, dear Dissembling.
Joy to the Morning, Sir, whose Light restores
Your Power of doing Good, your sole Delight.
Thanks, gentle Nephew; for methinks I feel
Your pious Wish. My Soul sits light within me,
As conscious of some happier Hours approaching.
'Tis Heaven, in Bounty to the Good and Virtuous,
That gives this Fore-taste of approaching Happiness,
And dashes the presumptuous Villain's Hopes
With visionary Boadings.
DORIMOND, turning a little from MERCOUR.
Truly said.
How nobly just are all his Sentiments!
No wonder, Sir; I learn'd them all from you.
Your Converse, and Example—
[Page 8]
Stop we here;
The rest were Flatt'ry. Let us change the Subject.
When you and my fair Ward, AEMILIA, meet,
I have observ'd (nor think me grown too curious)
Your Eyes maintain a gentle Correspondence
Of many a tender Meaning.
MERCOUR, aside.
Then I'm ruin'd.
Her Father was my Friend, brave, wise, and honest;
You were his Favourite; he much esteem'd you,
And made me first observe that open Nature,
For which I since have lov'd you.
I know he gladly would have seen his Daughter
The happy, wedded Partner of your Merit.
MERCOUR, aside.
This Stroke has Thunder in it.
Therefore think,
If a full Third of all that I possess
Can make you happy—
Sir, enjoy it long—
I shall enjoy it; if I make you happy.
Nor me alone. I long have known your Bounty,
(My very Being your's) let it extend
In doing Acts of Charity, Compassion,
And universal Love. Open the Gates
Of Liberty to Wretches, lost in Dungeons;
Relieve th' Opprest, assert the Orphan's Rights,
And teach the Widow's Heart to sing for Joy.
[Page 9] With Bounty guide the partial Hand of Fortune,
And make the Virtuous happy.
Nor shall these,
(The Duties of our Being) be neglected.
But let me ask your Heart, how it approves
Of my Proposal.
Sir, my Will is yours;
And my Obedience—
No; speak freely to me.
Sir, if I must obey you—Let me own
AEMILIA has her Charms; my Eye confesses them;
But not the Charm of Looks, the frail Delight
Of Beauty can subdue a Heart like mine.
Superior Sense, the Beauties of the Soul,
That Dignity of Sex, which can chastise
The Wishes it inspires, tho' pure as Innocence;
—Such are EUGENIA's Charms.
You stand amaz'd. What can this Transport mean?
Oh! give me back the dear, the fatal Name,
That my Distraction utter'd. Wild it started
From the quick Pantings of my Heart.
In one of your cool Temper! Knows EUGENIA
Your Passion for her?
[Page 10]
Sir, you hold me honest,
Nor would I lose my own, my Self-Esteem,
Or bear the Woundings of a secret Baseness,
Even for EUGENIA's Beauties. Then imagine,
Whether I could presume, without your Leave,
To talk to her of Love.
Still truly just.
I own, I meant to give her to your Brother.
His Gayety of Youth, I thought, might charm
The fancy of a Girl; but as ye both
Divide my Heart, and share my best Esteem,
It is to me indifferent, who gains her.
I will propose you to her, and shall plead
Your elder Claim of Birth-right, as of Love.
May Love's own Eloquence inspire your Tongue.
Paint the pure Passion of my Love, refin'd
From sordid Interests, as from sensual Meanings,
And with a Parent's soft Authority,
Oh! win her to Obedience.
No; I dare not.
I must disclaim all other Influence,
Than that of tender and persuasive Reason.
Let me disclaim it too. Ungenerous thought!
In which my honest Heart had no Concernment.
I do believe it.
MYRCOUR aside.
Yes, in Truth, you may.
Th' unlucky Thought escap'd me.
DORIMOND returning.
[Page 11]
My second Care—I think, your Brother's Heart
Is not insensible, and she has Beauty—
My Age rejoices in the Hope. This Moment—
Yes—I'll propose her to him, for their Union,
And yours with my EUGENIA, are alone
My earnest Prayer to Heaven.
What easy Creatures
Are these same honest Men! so credulous,
They're hardly worth deceiving. But this Governess—
My Uncle must discharge her, though her Pride
Will scorn to own, I could suspect her Honesty.
Aemilia wed my Brother!—Honour! Conscience!
I feel ye not; then why should I believe
An Idiot's Tale about ye. But—impossible—
'Tis beyond Hope—He never can consent—He comes.
And with him—Arm in Arm—a common Soldier!
Who can it be? At Sight of me, they start.
'Tis Guilt; 'tis Fear; at least it is Suspicion,
Well-manag'd, to produce most precious Mischief.
Good morrow, Brother; is our Uncle risen?
He is, since early Morning, and desires
Impatiently to see you.
I could wish,
He might not know you told me.
As you please.
[Page 12]
I had engag'd to do an Act of Kindness,
This Morning, for a brave Unfortunate,
Whom highly I esteem.
Perhaps the Person,
Whom now you parted with?
The same. His Story
(Which yet I'm not at Liberty to tell you)
Is full of Wonders, mix'd with such Misfortunes—
Has he been long at Paris?
He arriv'd,
But lately from our Settlements in India.
Last Night I brought him with me from the Army,
Where, though conceal'd beneath that mean Disguise,
Yet his great Spirit, through the Ranks of War,
Diffus'd a Soldier's Warmth—The Warmth of Glory.
May I not know him? I, perhaps, can serve him.
Why may not I be trusted with this Secret?
It is the Secret of my Friend, not mine.
I'm satisfied. It is most noble in you
To succour the Distress'd. Yet your own Happiness
Might well employ a youthful Lover's Cares
So near his nuptial Day.
My nuptial Day!
You seem surpriz'd. Has not my Uncle told you,
[Page 13] He means to give you his beloved Daughter,
The fair—
No, the fair AEMILIA;
In every real Tenderness of Heart,
As much his Daughter, as the young EUGENIA.
O my deluded Soul! How swift was Hope
To catch th' imaginary Joy! Oh! Brother!
Now for a Strain of Rature.
Speak, good Brothers.
In vain would I conceal my Soul's Confusion;
I am untaught to hide the rising Passion.
Tell me for whom, the happiest of his Kind,
Is the dear Maid, her Sex's Pride and Envy,
For whom design'd?
Is she, indeed, this Wonder?
Sure she was form'd in some indulgent Hour,
Which bless'd the Works of Nature with Perfection,
That Truth and Honour might with Beauty dwell,
And Virtue with the chaste Delights of Love.
Such are the Dreams of Lovers. As for me,
Who think, perchance, with less mysterious Reverence,
As with less Rapture, of a Woman's Worth,
I take her—
[Page 14]
For some wiser Reasons;
Some truer Merit. To deal frankly with you,
The Father's Fortune is the Daughter's Beauty.
Be wiser still. Enjoy my Uncle's Fortune.
Let me possess—Oh! give her to my Arms,
Rich in herself, in her own native Wealth
Of Youth and Beauty, give the charming Maid,
And make your Brother happy.
CLERVAL, hold.
These Transports, if I thought EUGENIA knew them,
Much more encourag'd them—We yet are Brothers,
But learn to think less warmly of the Woman,
Whom you, perhaps to-morrow, may call Sister.
To-morrow, and my Sister! What! no more!
Only a Day, and such a Day of Horrour,
Between my Fate and me!
Come now, my Lord,
And after fifteen Years of Banishment,
(While every Clime had its peculiar Sorrows)
Behold a new Distress.
Sure I have seen
Affliction's various Forms. Is there a Grief,
That saddens human Life, I have not known?
[DELVILLE starting.
Ha! that Start has Meaning in it.
Then you have heard, you know,—Let me conjure you
Give me each Circumstance.—
[Page 15]
By holy Friendship,
My Wonder was to hear that Name pronounc'd
In Accents of Despair.
Oh! it was once—
'Twas Music tun'd by Love. 'Tis lost for ever.
My Brother's Wife, my Sister; these are Names
My Tongue must learn. EUGENIA's is no more.
Pass but a few short Hours—I dare not think on't.
My Sister's Lover! Misery and Horrour!
Fly to your Uncle; pour your Heart before him;
The Heart has a peculiar Eloquence
To plead the Cause of Love.
Has not my Brother
The Aids of Art to paint th' unconscious Passion?
EUGENIA's Virtues, tho' he feel them not,
Her Beauties, though he gaz'd insensible,
Are ample Themes for counterfeited Rapture.
But why—my Lord, your Day of Happiness,
Tho' long o'ercast, again is opening on you,
Why should I cloud it o'er?
And can you think,
That I'll enjoy the Blessings you restore me,
My Sovereign's Pardon, Honours, Friends, and Fame,
Till you are happy? Nor despair, my CLERVAL,
For, if without Presumption to high Heaven,
The Virtuous must be happy.
Whence, my Lord,
Are your Misfortunes then?
[Page 16]
From Guilt and Justice.
Did I not break the Laws of Earth and Heaven?
When for a Point of Honour, false, false Honour,
I kill'd the Partner of my Soul; my Friend—
I lov'd him, I esteem'd him—and I kill'd him.
The King, the Judge of Honour, as of Justice,
Declares you innocent.
But in that Court,
Where Conscience, Heavn's Vice-gerent, sits supreme,
Who shall acquit me there?
You think too deeply.
The King is gracious; but in vain his Mercy,
Till I can find that dear, that bosom'd Bliss,
For whom alone I live. Driven from her Arms
To hopeless Banishment; from the pure Joys,
That bless the nuptial Bed.—
And yet, my Lord,
Until your Pardon pass the usual Forms,
(For you have powerful Enemies) this Habit,
For a few Hours, (no more) must still conceal you.
I will repress these Longings of the Heart,
And wait, my CLERVAL,—think with what Impatience,
For News of your EUGENIA.
O Sounds, how charming to the Hopes of Love.
Come Love, and Virtue come; unite your Powers,
Inspire my Heart, with Honour how to gain her,
Or teach it—Oh!—without a Crime to lose her.


MY Morning's Joy, may all its dearest Blessings,
As fall its Dews on Earth, descend upon you.
Sure my EUGENIA, rising with the Morn,
Steals her Complexion from her. Why those Blushes!
A Father's Praise is but th' Excess of Fondness,
The Over-flowing of a Heart, that loves you.
And can I wish it more? This tender Proof,
That your EUGENIA's not displeasing to you,
Is far beyond all Praise.
My Life's first Blessing;
But yet its tender Care, and soft Anxiety—
For while my Heart, with pleasurable Fondness,
Pours its Affections o'er you, still it trembles
With strongly imag'd Fears.
Alas! my Father!
If Heaven's Indulgence should no longer spare me
To this delightful Task, to form your Youth—
But I'll not pain thy gentle Disposition.
I came to talk to you of Happiness,
Thou Fondness of my Soul.
EUGENIA aside.
Where will this end?
[Page 18]
Tell me, EUGENIA, can a Virgin's Heart
Conceive the chaste Delights, the pure Endearments,
That dwell with wedded Love; where holy Friendship
Inspires the mutual Wish; where equal Interests
Produce an equal Bliss; where each is happy
In th' other's Happiness?
Sir, may I own,
If the Acquaintance of a Man of Worth
Be truly valuable, how much more dear
Must his Alliance be, his kindred Virtues?
To have my Understanding form'd, improv'd,
Enlarg'd by his superior Sense; to share
In the Esteem, that's paid him by his Friends,
Or by the public Voice, that speaks his Worth—
If there were such a Man—
There is, there is.
Whom his own Sex esteems for manly Virtue,
And yours might love for every softer Art,
Which makes that Virtue amiable.
But as the highest Proof how dear I hold him,
(For Nature bids me love him, as my Kinsman)
I dare to trust him with EUGENIA's Happiness.
EUGENIA aside.
It is—be still my Heart—It must be CLERVAL.
What has my Soul, but Gratitude and Love,
What has my Duty, Sir, but its Obedience,
To pay you back this wondrous Tenderness?
Then take him from my Hand, my Heart, my Judgment,
My happy Nephew MERCOUR. Ha! that trembling,
That pale Confusion on your frighted Cheek,
What can it mean? Whence are those Tears, EUGENIA?
[Page 19]
They are not mine; they start involuntary
From Passions, not my own. But, Sir, my Will,
My Duty, Love, and Gratitude are mine,
And they shall all obey you.
No, my Child;
I am a Father; would be thought a Friend,
Whom Nature has entrusted with your Happiness;
Whose more experienc'd Age might influence,
But not controul, your Choice. Yet this hereafter.
For now my Heart's too full—of Tenderness.
Yet stay, Oh! stay; I'll stop these gushing Tears,
Since they displease you. Do not leave me thus.
This the first Time (think how my Heart must feel it)
I ever knew your Anger, your Displeasure.
DORIMOND embracing her.
Is this to be displeas'd? Is this like Anger?
Indulgent Nature hovers o'er her Works,
As they yet rise to Life, with less fond Pleasure
Than fills thy Father's Breast; nor will I ask
Why you are thus alarm'd—Some other Time—
ORPHISA, take my Daughter to your Care.
Your Father strangely mov'd, and you in Tears!
Could you offend him, or can he be angry?
Tho' always most indulgent, yet this Morning—
Sure never was a Father's Fondness shewn
In such exceeding Tenderness.
[Page 20]
Then what
Afflicts you thus?
His Tenderness, ORPHISA,
Afflicting, as his Anger. Yet even now
He thinks me disobedient, base, ungrateful.
[Looking after DORIMOND.
Oh! Sir—these Tears—this Sorrow of my Soul—
Is this like Disobedience? This, Ingratitude?
[Turning to ORPHISA.
You, Madam, who have form'd my Heart, must know it:
Am I ungrateful? Can Ingratitude,
(The basest Vice that taints the human Heart)
Dwell with the Lessons you have planted there?
Yet may I understand you?
Pray forgive me.
While he pronounc'd his Morning-Blessings o'er me,
His Looks were full of Care and soft Anxiety.
He talk'd to me of Happiness; of Marriage;
And earnest wish'd to see my Fate united
With one, whom be describ'd with every Art,
With every Charm, that gains Esteem and Love.
ORPHISA aside.
Sure I once knew the dear Original
Of this delightful Picture—Pray go on.
With conscious Eye, where Joy and Rapture shone,
I view'd the pleasing Portrait; I compar'd it
With that, which Love had pictur'd on my Heart,
And found the Likeness real. Think, ORPHISA,
What Horrors fill'd my Eye, my Heart, my Brain,
When, with a much unusual Warmth, he cry'd,
[Page 21] "Then take him from my Hand, my Heart, my Judg­ment,
My happy Nephew—MERCOUR!"
ORPHISA aside.
Perceiv'd he your Confusion?
It was not in the Power of Artifice,
Sure not in my Simplicity to hide,
Or to disguise it. While my Tongue stopp'd, faultering,
Unknowing how to answer; every Feature
Too strongly told th' Aversion of my Soul.
Whence this Aversion? In the World's Opinion,
(Which seldom judges wrong, when it commends)
MERCOUR has Merit; an extensive Knowledge,
In Letters and in Men, with every Elegance,
That's form'd and polish'd by the Arts of Courts.
May I not fear, that MERCOUR's greatest Fault
Is CLERVAL's being amiable?
No, Madam.
It is not that my Judgment disesteems him.
There's somewhat in him, that my Nature starts at,
An Instinct of Aversion.
But his Brother—
I will allow his Worth—Yet all Engagements—
That never shall transgress the Bounds of Duty,
Not even in Thought—Will you condemn them, Madam?
I do; I must; without your Father's Knowledge.
The Maid, who loves her Innocence, should blush
If e'er her wandering Eye excite the Hope
[Page 22] Of secret Love; 'tis ev'n a Crime to please,
Which Virtue startles at. Oh! would EUGENIA
Exert the Spirit of Virtue; let the Sense
Of filial Piety inspire her Breast,
And at the Marriage-Altar offer up
The Passions of the Heart; that noblest Sacrifice,
Worthy of her, of Virtue, and of Heaven—
And will high Heaven be mock'd with such a Sacrifice?
And shall I give my Hand, that sacred Pledge
Of Love and Truth, to him my Soul abhors?
Shall I deceive even him? Shall I profane
The Altar and its Rites with Vows of Falshood?
There shall I learn Dissimulation? there
First speak a Language, foreign to my Heart?
Ye blessed Saints and Angels, shall ye hear
My unhallow'd Lips pronounce the solemn Promise
Of everlasting Love to one I hate?
All holy Things forbid. I durst not think it.
Yet when th' Affections hear the Voice of Reason,
They rise, like purest Incense, from the Heart,
Then, who shall rob the Father of his Right,
His Child's Obedience? Not his Voice alone,
'Tis Nature's primal Law, that bids, obey;
And Heaven has promis'd to this first of Duties
Its first of Blessings.
But to live, ORPHISA,
A mean Dissembler of the Heart's Affections,
While Duty coldly acts the part of Love—
Guide of my Youth, Directress of my Life,
Teach me, for sure you know, th' unerring Path,
That leads to Happiness.
[Page 23]
There is but one;
Not hard to find, th' unerring Path of Virtue.
Virtue, that in itself commands its Happiness,
Of every outward Object independant.
I see you're mov'd. At some more temperate Hour
We may resume the Subject. Only this,
Let not Aversion, Prejudice or Passion,
And, above all, let us not suffer CLERVAL
To mix a Lover's Reasoning with our Councils.
You must not see him.
How can I avoid him?
Look where he comes.
Retire. Depend upon me.
I'll take a tender Care of all your Interests.
EUGENIA looking back as she goes out.
How her Eyes spoke a streaming Tenderness,
Beyond all Power of Language.
Tell me my Fate, whate'er you purpose for me.
Cruel—O speak to me—unkind EUGENIA.
Sir, she has order'd me—
There needs not, Madam,
A Tale of cruel Pity to inform me—
I see it plain—that I am most undone.
Your Influence, Madam, your too rigid Virtue—
[Page 24]
You cannot, Sir, imagine me your Enemy.
I know you cannot be an Enemy;
But can you be the Lover's Friend, who think
That Love is Weakness? She, whose Virtue sits
Above the Passions, how can she forgive
Their least Misrule in others? Can she pity
Those softer Yieldings, which she ne'er experienc'd?
I would not, Sir, be thought insensible
Even to the softest Yieldings of the Heart,
For I have known them all.
Then tell EUGENIA,
Let me conjure you tell her, that my Heart
Ne'er felt the Power of Beauty for another,
Nor Hopes, nor Fears, nor Wishes; that my Eye,
Ne'er gaz'd with Joy on any other Form.
Witness, ye Powers, who view our inmost Thoughts,
And see the Mind yet rising into Action,
Did I e'er think of Happiness without her,
Or feel a Grief, but as it gave her Pain.
Is there not too much Warmth, too much of Passion
In this Protesting? When that Youth and Beauty
(Whose very Nature is Decay and Frailty)
Which now inspire these Transports, shall decay,
Will they not alter too? Will they not change?
Yes, Madam, when Discretion, Sense, and Honour,
(These are EUGENIA's Beauties) change their Nature;
Then shall my Passion change. If it be Passion,
[Page 25] 'Tis form'd of purer Fire, than that which warms
Our Sense to Beauty.
Sir, I must confess,
These Sentiments most noble. I acknowledge,
When Virtue rules the Passions, they are virtuous.
But how can I oblige you? Is it fitting—
Shall I, the Guardian of EUGENIA's Youth,
I, who should aid her to controul her Heart,
Fill her soft Soul with Love's tumultuous Cares?
With Love, that in itself is all the Passions?
I am perhaps, but an improper Judge
Of this calm, temperate Reasoning. But my Uncle—
No Motive there of Duty can restrain you.
I know how highly he esteems your Merit.
Let me conjure you then—
I must not hear you.
My Duty, Sir, forbids me, lest my Heart—
It must not yield even to its own Esteem,
[Aside, seeing MERCOUR.
Nor shall it, MERCOUR, to my just Resentment
Even for that bold, unworthy Bribe, you offer'd me.
[Aside to DORIMOND.
Good Heaven, forbid, that I should do her wrong
By my Suspicions.
I much fear you do not.
I have myself observ'd—But I'll be satisfied.
There is a foolish Softness in my Nature,
That cannot see, what I so late esteem'd,
[Page 26] In the Distress of Guilt, Your Pardon, Sir;
I must retire. Now Mischief do thy Pleasure.
How happy, Madam, did I think my Daughter
Beneath your Care? With what Delight behold her?
Confiding to your Truth the dearest Treasure
A Father's Love possesses.
Have I wrong'd
That Confidence?
How did my Heart rejoice
To own the Obligation, and repay it?
Why must I charge you with Ingratitude?
Ingratitude! Then I am fall'n indeed.
I am so little us'd to such Reproaches—
Forgive me, Sir,—I know not how to answer them.
Madam, this haughty Air but ill befits
The Woman, who can mix in dark Intrigues
To hurt the Peace of Families.
Am I
This Character? Am I so represented?
I need not say, how highly I esteem'd you;
I honour'd, as I thought, superiour Merit;
But when I know, you practise on my Daughter
To turn her Heart aside from its Obedience,
And scorn or hate, whom I esteem and love—
Sir, if you know this of me, 'tis in vain
To justify my Conduct.
[Page 27]
'Tis indeed.
A Maid of such a gentle Disposition—
Who taught her Passions? Who these strange Aver­sions?
But, Madam, for the little Time EUGENIA
Shall have occasion for your Services,
Let me desire, you may confine your Cares
Within their proper Bounds.
'Tis fitting, Sir,
That I obey you.
Ha! such matchless Insolence!
'Tis ever thus; when Guilt is near Discovery,
It boldly takes the conscious Pride of Innocence.
Then my best Hopes are lost. Much wrong'd ORPHISA!
O Virtue, ill rewarded!
Tell me, Nephew,
Why is my House become the dark Retreat
Of Persons in Disguise? Can CLERVAL fall
To such low Intimates, such mean Society,
As this appears to be?
Your Pardon, Sir;
They, who, of late, have gain'd your Confidence,
Have much abus'd it. You yourself oft told us,
The brave Unfortunate are our best Acquaintance.
They shew us, Virtue may be much distress'd,
And give us their Example how to suffer.
[Page 28]
'Tis true. But wherefore in Disguise? For Virtue,
When justly conscious of her native Worth,
Disdains to walk in Darkness and Disguise.
Or is he what he seems? A common Soldier?
As highly eminent in Birth, as Merit.
Sir, a few Hours shall give him to your Friendship,
The Man, to whom I owe my Life, my Honour,
And France her Share of Glory.
I believe you.
Suspicion shocks my Nature. I rely
On your Discretion to avoid Engagements,
Where Friendship has a greater Share, than Prudence.
Nor will I ask the Secret of your Friend;
When I can serve him, tell me. But this Action,
This gallant Deed, so glorious to his Country,
May sure be told. 'Tis Honour to repeat it.
'Tis Gratitude; 'tis Friendship; and my Heart,
Whenever you permit me, will with Joy—
Then, come to my Apartment; I would talk with you
Of somewhat that concerns your Happiness.
[Exeunt DOR. CLER.
Joy! Friendship! Gratitude! This gallant Deed!
Now some romantic Tale shall quite subdue
My Uncle's Spirit. CLERVAL too regains
His Confidence. No matter. All my Views
Are fixing to their Point; for now, EUGENIA,
My haughty, virtuous Maid,
[shewing a Paper]
Here lies thy Fate,
[Page 29] And I the Ruler of it. Rapturous Thought!
To see her kneeling in the Dust for Pity,
And in her Pride's Despair, imploring me
To save her from her Shame; from Poverty!
While he is reading, AEMILIA enters.
Is it my own disturb'd Imagination,
Or do I see strange Terrour and Confusion
In every Face I meet? No; there's a Face,
That knows no Change; inflexible in Mischief.
What! can he smile! 'Tis more than common Villainy,
When MERCOUR deigns to smile. And now he frowns,
As if some Thought of Goodness smote his Heart.
AEMILIA! most unlucky—but perhaps—
I fear, Sir, I disturb some hopeful Project
Of most important Goodness.
'Twas nothing but some light and trivial Thinking.
But may I hope we meet on other Terms,
Than when we parted last? The Tempest over,
Reason enjoys the Calm, and temperate hears
The Voice of Friendship.
Ay, my temperate Monitor,
Thus far have I regain'd my native Temper,
Not to reproach the Author of my Ruin,
Or call the violated Host of Heaven
To witness to his Perjuries. No, MERCOUR;
The Fault I own, was mine; for oh! one Night,
One false, betraying Night, yet hear it not,
Ye holy Matrons, and ye stainless Virgins,
[Page 30] Feebly I listen'd to the Voice of Virtue,
And gave away my Soul to Love—and Ruin.
Thus let me thank you for the dear Remembrance
That gives the blissful Hour—
And dare you think,
That I could mean, with riotous Intent,
To call Imagination loosely forth
To view the guilty Scene. Too well I see
How vilely you esteem me. I deserve it.
Yet think not, Sir, I'll stand a cold Spectator
To view the Ruins of this happy Dwelling;
For by EUGENIA's Tears, too well I know
Thy Terrours are abroad.
I will not answer
Th' unkind Suspicion; all will soon be well,
And you, my best AEMILIA, shall be made
The Pledge of Peace.
Ah! Me, the Pledge of Peace!
Dear to my Heart, as in the rapturous Hour,
That gave you to my Arms—but Poverty—
Distress and Penury—how should I support them,
Were you to share them with me? Thus compell'd,
Sure Proof of Love, I force my Heart to yield
Thy Beauties to another; never more
To gaze delighted on Thee; to exchange
The melting Sounds of Tenderness and Love
For the cold Name of Sister.
What new Horrours!
[Page 31]
To save your Fame, procure you Wealth and Honour,
By my Advice my Uncle is this Moment,
Proposing you to CLERVAL—
As his Wife!
What! shall I stain the holy Marriage-Bed!
Give to a noble, unsuspecting Youth
The foul Pollution of his Brother's Passions!
These are among the many Things, AEMILIA,
Which, if not known, are not.
Do not I know them?
But not to tell.
Heaven will in Thunders tell them [...]
If Heaven told Secrets of this Kind in Thunder,
Sure it must roll unceasing.
Hear me, MERCOUR,
Tho' Heaven and Hell should keep the guilty Secret,
There is, who will discover it.
Who can?
By my distracted Soul; by these new Horrours,
Fast-gathering round me; by my future Woes,
I will.
You will? Expose yourself to Infamy?
Tho' Men and Angels saw it.
[Page 32]
Most amazing!
Is this AEMILIA? This the tender Maid
Of such unpassion'd Gentleness of Manners?
No, Sir, I am the Creature you have made me.
Behold your Work, and as you taught me Passions,
Now teach me how to rule them in their Wildness.
But from this Moment I renounce the World:
Fly from all Converse with destructive Man,
His Oaths, his Vows, his Cruelty, his Baseness;
And chiefly Thee; false and inhuman MERCOUR.
Why, what a wilful, wayward Thing is Woman?
Even in their best Pursuits so loose of Soul,
That every Breath of Passion shakes their Frame,
And every Fancy turns them. But her Threats—
They too are weak and womanish. EUGENIA—
If she has aught of Woman in her Form,
Their universal Vanity, their Pride,
Their wandering Appetites, their Sense of Shame,
And Dread of Infamy—She must be mine.


SHEW'D her Refusal in Contempt, or Hatred?
Or was it, Sir, the Consciousness of Beauty,
That would be woo'd, and not, unsought, be won.*
Sure it was more. At Mention of your Name,
(For she till then, I thought, with Pleasure heard me)
Trembling she stood, as if some sudden Horror
Had smote her Heart.
Only a Virgin Fear,
Starting at Marriage.
I should rather think,
Her Heart's engag'd already.
Sure you wrong her.
Could she, with such a Sense of filial Duty,
Engage her Heart without your Approbation;
Or, with her open and ingenuous Nature,
Could she have Art to hide it?
That I know not.
I think I might depend upon her Choice.
Would it were CLERVAL.
What! My Brother, Sir?
Perhaps—impossible—yet if I thought—
Tho' terrible to think it—that EUGENIA
[Page 34] Indulg'd a secret Passion for my Brother,
By all the Hopes, which my fond Soul had form'd,
I would resign, would give her, to his Arms.
How noble such disinterested Passion!
May I confess, even Beauty's rich Possession,
EUGENIA's Beauty, but my second Wish—
Nearer to be allied to you and Goodness,
In a Son's Right to wait upon your Age,
With every grateful Tenderness and Care,
First taught me how to love; first rais'd to Hope
The conscious, humble Spirit of my Wishes.
You have a dearer Interest in my Love
Than yet you know of, Nephew; for my Wife,
(Whose Memory will never from my Heart,
While it retains a Sense of what is amiable
And virtuous in her Sex) esteem'd you greatly;
And her Esteem, so just was her Discernment,
Is a full Proof of Merit.
Sir, forgive me;
These Tears, a grateful Tribute to her Memory,
Will force their Way. My ever honour'd Aunt—
But that I know she dies to you again,
Whene'er her Name is mention'd, I could tell you—
Nothing, Sir,—or if—not much—O Fool,
Simple of Soul, and heedless that I am;
I wear my Heart upon my Lips.
Yet speak.
[Page 35]
Sir, I must disobey you; for each Word
Will open all the bosom'd Wounds of Grief—
Let my Request, if not, let my Commands—
With what Reluctance, tho' conjur'd thus strongly,
Do I recall to my afflicted Memory,
Much more to your's, the Hour that took from Earth
All that was good and excellent in Woman.
When you were parted from her; while the Breath
Of Life yet hardly trembled o'er her Lips,
Take this last Proof, she cry'd, of my Esteem.
To you, and to your Virtue, I bequeath
EUGENIA's Youth, to watch her Beauty's Frailty,
And guard her from the World, and its Delusions.
There spoke her Heart, her first, last Care was Virtue.
Why was I not inform'd of this before?
Fearful (perhaps from too much Delicacy)
Lest it might seem a low-intention'd Fraud,
A base and bold Attempt on your Credulity—
Oh! No. I feel its Truth; 'tis in my Heart;
A Power that cannot lie: EUGENIA too
Shall hear, and will obey her Mother's Will.
How my Soul thanks you! Yet my Heart's too delicate
To take her, Sir, from any other Influence
Than that of mutual Love. Have I your Leave
To talk to her alone?
Most willingly.
[Page 36] I'll send her to you. Yet remember, Nephew,
In all Engagements, where the Heart's concern'd,
The Heart alone must chuse.
So! This was lucky.
He now is mine for ever. Should his Wife
Start from her Shroud, she shall not be believ'd.
But still (such silly Dotage) his EUGENIA—
Why let her chuse; or Happiness or Misery,
Be mine the Choice of Vengeance, or of Love;
To ruin, or enjoy.
My Father, Sir,
Hath sent me hither, as I think, to hear
Some most important Secret.
Not he alone,
But every better Angel hovering o'er you,
Your Guardian Genius, watchful for your Welfare—
Come ye caelestial Host, descend to Earth,
And save your beauteous Charge—They bid you hear.
Well, Sir, I come prepar'd to know their Pleasure,
By you, it seems, their chosen Minister.
Yet have they given you no kind Fore-boadings,
No secret Instincts of this Hour of Fate?
Still heaves your Bosom with its wonted Calmness,
Nor Fear, nor Terror, mix their Pantings there?
What Terror, Sir? What Fear? 'Tis Guilt alone,
Like brain sick Frenzy, in its feverish Mood,
Fills the light Air with visionary Terrors,
And shapeless Forms of Fear. I know them not.
[Page 37]
How I admire this Dignity of Spirit,
Which my prophetic Love had long foreseen!
Why do you start? I saw your Dawn of Beauty,
Sure Pledge of Day; I saw your opening Charms,
Promise their present Bloom; and was it possible,
Without Desire to see them?
Is this the Terror
For which I should invoke my better Genius,
And call my Guardian Angel to my Aid?
No, Sir: however terrible the Danger,
'Tis but to fly for ever, and be safe.
MERCOUR, catching her by the Arm.
You shall not go. This Hour is Fate's and mine.
Unhand me, MERCOUR—Sir, this ruffian Violence—
'Tis not my Father's Favour—He will hear—
Sure he'll protect his Daughter from such Outrage.
His Daughter! Thou presumptuous—But 'tis Time
To quell this Insolence—
(Shewing her a Paper)
You know this Hand—
My Mother's! And directed to my Father!
The Night before she died, you may remember,
She gave some Papers to me. This was one;
And it contains a Secret of such Moment—
You seem to think, 'twill mortify my Pride.
If I must learn Humility, I know not
Who better can instruct me; surely none,
Who, with more Pleasure, will accept the Office.
[Page 38]
Is this with Pleasure to behold your Ruin?
Thus, kneeling, to conjure you to prevent it?
Give me a Husband's sacred Right to guard—
Am I to read that Paper?
Pause a Moment;
For still my Love, my Weakness, would preserve you.
Or give it me, or let me think you dare not.
Ha! Dare not!
(giving it to her)
Oh! Yet hold your Hand, rash Maid;
For know you stand upon a Precipice,
And your next Step is bottomless Perdition.
Tho' every Letter glar'd with Blood—
Then read it, and be wretched.
EUGENIA reads.

Knowing, Sir, how ardently you wish'd for Children, and willing to engage your Affection more strongly, I de­ceived you—with a supposititious Child. Your Em­bassy to Spain gave me an Opportunity of making EU­GENIA pass for my Daughter. Death compels me to reveal my Secret. Oh! Pardon—

(She stands gazing fixedly.)
Awake, EUGENIA, to the Voice of Joy,
Of Happiness and Love.
Where are they, MERCOUR?
Here in my Arms: here let our Fates unite;
[Page 39] Be it our mutual Interest to conceal
The Secret of your Birth.
In vain: Conceal it!
Though I deceiv'd the World, can I deceive
Myself or you? Can we unknow it, Sir?
Yes; from this Hour I'll blot it from my Memory.
My Eye shall gaze, transported, on thy Beauty,
And my fond Heart, grown proud of your Alliance,
Shall imitate the Virtues it admires.
Such Virtues, as first made Nobility,
And best support its Honours.
Suffer me
Once more to see that Paper.
(Returning it)
Sir, I'm satisfied.
Now timely think, EUGENIA, who shall guard,
Through this tempestuous World, thy Orphan Innocence.
Oh! Should Misfortune's Hand fall rudely on you,
And, like a feeble Flower, o'er-charged with Rain,
If you should bend to Earth the weeping Head,
What powerful Hand shall then support your Sorrows?
Th' all-powerful Hand
Of Virtue, Honour, Piety.
Yet tell me;
On what do you resolve.
Not to inherit
A Fortune not my own; not to deceive
The Heart of DORIMOND with false Careffes,
[Page 40] Or, impious, fix a Passion in his Breast,
Which Nature has denied him.
It were impious
To undeceive him. Think what Pangs, EUGENIA,
To tear a bosom'd Fondness from the Soul,
However planted there.
Their's be the Guilt,
Who force me to the dire Necessity:
Longer to pause would make me share that Guilt.
MERCOUR, farewell, for ever.
Have I then
Bow'd down my Soul to Meanness? Have I sunk
My Spirit to a Girl? Yet mark me, proud one,
I see through your Design to ruin me;
But should you dare insinuate to my Uncle—
Sir, I dare follow Truth, where-e'er it leads,
And own no other Guide.
'Tis false; I see
Your better Guide, your Passion for my Brother;
Yet know, 'tis in my Power, imperious Beauty,
To make his Pride, nay, even his Love, despise thee.
Keep your own Secret: 'tis my last Advice,
Or dread my Vengeance; mine; no trivial Vengeance.
Is it in Fear or Fancy to imagine;
Is it in MERCOUR's Vengeance, or his Power,
Or even his Heart, to make me yet more wretched?
[Page 41]
No. 'Tis she, who was EUGENIA,
The lost EUGENIA.
My Brother
Then he has told you—
What? That he has gain'd
My Uncle's Promise? But I'll fly this Moment;
I'll throw me at his Feet; he shall be sensible
Of my Despair; the Anguish of my Soul—
Shall he not see, and pity it?
My Fate depends on DORIMOND no longer.
Not on my Uncle? Not upon your Father?
My Father, CLERVAL! Who, where is my Father?
Ye Powers, who love and guard the Innocent,
What can EUGENIA mean?
What can she mean
But Sorrow and Despair? What else has Meaning?
Am I not most undone?
Whence, where the Danger?
My Love, my Life shall guard you. What Misfortune?
'Tis in myself; 'tis in my Destiny.
[Page 42] Canst thou do Things, impossible to Fate?
Can you recall the Moment of my Birth?
Or, ere I saw the Light, can you prevent
The Shame that gave me Being? If thou canst not,
Let us give Way to Ruin. Let us part—
Oh! Must I say—for ever?
Part! For ever!
Nor give my Heart a Reason for this Dealing?
Let me complain of Fortune, of my Uncle.
Of any thing, but my EUGENIA's Faith.
Let me not think, she can forget the Vows,
Which once—Or did a Lover's Hope deceive me?
She heard without Reluctance.
Yes, with Joy;
The Words of Love and Truth (for CLERVAL spoke them)
Thro' my charm'd Ear, fell melting on my Heart.
They were my Bliss, my Hope, my every Care,
And I was worthy then of Vows like thine.
But now behold me well. Do you not see,
Upon my glowing Cheek, the blushing Marks
Of Lowliness and Shame?
Of Shame? Distraction!
Blushes and Shame! Are they not Marks of Vice,
Which, sure, EUGENIA's Purity ne'er knew.
Oh! Where shall Virtue six her sacred Throne,
If on that Cheek can loose Dishonour sit
To catch the wandering Eye? No—Thou art pure,
As Light first streaming from the Heights of Heaven.
But if you will not tell this fatal Secret,
Yet MERCOUR shall.
[Page 43]
And I become the Cause
Of foul Debate, and Quarrels between Brothers!
The virtuous Man and honest—He's my Brother,
And he alone; for Nature never meant
By her Affections to engage our Hearts
To Villainy and Baseness.
Yet will MERCOUR,
Will his fierce Spirit brook the being question'd?
Will he not say, I gave her to her Fate,
And only not conceal'd her Story longer?
Rage may ensue, and Passions rise, regardless
Of Reason, as of Nature. Save me, CLERVAL,
From Images of Horror to distract me.
Yes, every Passion (Anger and Resentment)
Shall wait upon my Love. Take your own Time
T' unfold this fatal Tale. Yet, Oh! For Pity,
Hold not my Heart too long upon the Rack
Of Wonder and of Terror.
'Tis in Pity,
That I refuse to tell the hard Decree,
Which parts our Loves for ever. Here, O Fortune,
Let me resign the Hopes and Promises,
(For they are yours) of titled Birth and Greatness;
Here, take them back, with every fond Idea,
That Youth had form'd of Pleasure and Ambition;
But let me still preserve the chaste Remembrance
That I was once thought worthy his Esteem,
And honour'd with his Love. CLERVAL, farewel.
'Tis but another Pang—Farewell, for ever.
[As she is going out, DELVILLE. enters at the opposite Door.]
[Page 44]
Come, share my Joys, thou Friend of the Unfortunate,
For still some happier Days—What have I done?
Broke in upon the sacred Hour of Sorrow
With my ill-omen'd Joys?
EUGENIA returning.
If you're that Friend,
As I believe, whose Story I have heard,
Your own Misfortunes, Sir, will best instruct you
To pity those of others. Let your Friendship
Support his Sorrows in this Hour of Trial.
CLERVAL, farewell. Would it not pain your Heart,
Mine would confess the Pangs it feels in Parting.
She's gone; my Wishes' Hope; my Light of Life,
And Darkness is upon me.
What could mean
Her Threats, at parting, of some worse Misfortune,
Of some severer Tryal of your Virtue?
I cannot tell. She bids me not inquire.
'Tis in her Fate she says; 'tis in herself,
And she no more depends upon her Father.
'Tis Wonder and Distraction.
Some light Terror,
By Fancy form'd; her Sex's Fears are on her.
Oh! She has nothing of her Sex's Fears,
Their Truth alone, their Innocence, and Beauty.
And yet she's lost for ever—But, my Lord,
You talk'd of Happiness. I have a Soul,
That, through the Griefs of Love, can feel for Friendship.
[Page 45]
My Pardon is confirm'd, with every Grace,
That honours royal Mercy, and my Heart
Opens to new-born Hope each panting Vein,
And streams again with Joy.
Ill-fated CLERVAL,
Whose Sorrows rise from that same Fountain Stream,
Whence flow the Joys of others!
Oh! Forgive me,
These Transports, wildly starting from the Soul.
They seem, I own, and yet they only seem,
Forgetful of our Friendship, of your Happiness,
The Interests of your Heart. Indulge me still
One little Hour—no—Love shall fill it largely
With every Bliss that Years have ravish'd from me.
I will do more, my Lord; enjoy it with you.
But have you seen her yet?
I go this Moment.
The Friend, who only knew our Correspondence,
He shall direct me to the lovely Mourner,
Where she still fighs her Sorrows o'er my Absence,
Where Love sits weeping on the Wings of Time,
Weighs down his Flight, and lengthens out the Day.
Grant me but one Embrace to chear her Sadness,
To press the fair Affliction to my Heart,
And the next Hour, with all it can command,
Ambition, Fortune, Power, is your's and Friendship's.


Enter ORPHISA. EUGENIA meeting.
LET me congratulate my dear EUGENIA.
This Spirit, nobly shewn in Virtue's Cause,
She will herself reward.
Too dearly purchas'd!
The generous DORIMOND—For I no more,
(O Name for ever dear, although pronounc'd
By Sorrow and Despair, must call him Father)
Nature disclaims me; throws me out for ever
From her Affections; from the tender Names
Of Parent and of Child.
You mention'd DORIMOND—
I did. But Sorrow sway'd me from my Purpose.
Yet weeping while I told my hapless Story,
Sudden his Cheek turn'd pale; his trembling Knees—
They smote each other, and his firm Chair shook
Beneath its Weight. Frighted, I call'd for Help,
But left him in such Agonies, ORPHISA—
For who could bear it—such a Scene of Sadness?
Oh! Should he bend his reverend Age to Earth
With Sorrows, not his own; with my Afflictions—
[Page 47]
Our Actions are our own; their Consequence
Belongs to Heaven. The secret Consciousness
Of Duty well perform'd; the public Voice
Of Praise, that honours Virtue, and rewards it,
All these are yours, they shall be yours for ever.
No; I disclaim these high-born Sentiments;
Th' unbending Pride, and Insolence of Virtue,
That will not own the Miseries it feels.
I will indulge to Nature, and her Sorrows.
I never shall have Cause to weep again,
And I'll enjoy it now.
Yet these soft Sorrows,
That sadly sooth the Heart in its Affliction,
Unnerve its Strength, and sink it to Despair.
Why should I not despair? Have I not lost,
At once, the various Charities of Nature?
Her dearest, first Relations—Child and Father?
Do I not stand amidst the Works of Heaven,
A lonely Being, where all Creatures else,
Allied by Instinct, Duty, or Affection,
Find mutual Aid and Comfort?
Yet who knows,
But you're descended from a Line as noble,
As DORIMOND's high Race?
Am I not rather
The Child of Poverty, whose wretched Parents
For some low Interest sold her? or perhaps,
Oh! Save me from the Thought, the hapless Offspring.
Of loose forbidden Loves? Or could my Heart
[Page 48] Indulge the Hope, presumptuous, as uncertain,
On what might Fancy found it?
On the Spirit,
That has inform'd your Heart to Nobleness;
Upon the Elevation of your Sentiments;
Your Love of Truth, the Soul's best, native Greatness.
All these are your's, and by your Cares imprest
Upon my Infant Heart. Should you abandon me,
Both they and I were nothing.
Nor will I,
Nor DORIMOND abandon you. His Heart
Will own you still the Child of his Esteem,
With almost Nature's Fondness. Here enjoy
The Fortune, that you merit, 'midst the Splendors—
That once were mine—What! Live where MERCOUR lives!
To see his Face, to bear the secret Woundings
Of his Contempt, and CLERVAL's kinder Scorn!
To stand the public Gaze; the insulting Pity
Of common Friendships, or the vain Compassion
Of the good-natur'd Few! No, let me fly
To some obscure Retreat, where Virtue dwells,
And, without Blushing, dares to be unfortunate.
Where is my Child, my Daughter, my EUGENIA?
Why did you thus forsake your Father's Sorrows?
For, if I'm not a Father, whence these Tears,
That pour my bursting Heart in Fondness o'er thee?
Too surely I have lost the best of Fathers.
[Page 49]
'Tis Falshood and Imposture. Goddess Nature,
Whose subtle Power pervades the heavy Mass
Of Earth and Water, and with Instinct pure
Inspires the light Inhabitants of Air
With genial Care to hover o'er their young,
Say, are not these thy Passions, these thy Tears?
Do they not flow fast from thy sacred Fountain
Of universal Love?
Alas! My Father,
(Since you indulge me in the tender Name)
I read the fatal Truth; the well-known Hand—
What other Proof? Hands may be counterfeited.
I'll not believe it. 'Tis some black Contrivance
To blast my Wife's fair Fame, to ruin thee,
And break thy Father's Heart.
Oh! spare me, Sir.
This Goodness over-powers me. Your Compassion
To a poor Maid, once honour'd as your Daughter,
Is all I ask. Should my unhappy Fate
Disturb your Peace of Mind, or hurt your Health,
Misfortune then were Guilt, were Parricide.
Too sure it will. If you tear up the Heart-strings
Will not the Life-blood follow? But, my Nephew—
Why comes he not? I sent for him on th' Instant.
Perhaps he doubts, perhaps he fears his Proofs;
Perhaps repents—
How little does he know him!
He's coming, Sir.
[Page 50]
Permit me to retire.
I fear you cannot see him without Pain;
Yet you must stay.
MERCOUR, you come to vindicate your Honour,
Where it is much suspected. My Esteem
Would yet persuade me some Mistake has wrong'd you.
Of what am I accus'd?
Of horrid Forgery.
Of some pretended Letter of my Wife's,
Full of strange Mystery, and foul Contrivance.
And who so hardy, Sir, as to inform you
Of this pretended Letter?
Sir, 'twas I.
What need of other Proof? Is not Ingratitude
The Vice of base-born Minds? She was not ignorant
How this Discovery would affect your Peace,
And yet th' ungrateful Maid—
MERCOUR; no more.
I am her Guardian still, if not her Father,
Nor shall she be insulted.
Sir, your Pardon:
My Zeal to punish—Read this Paper, Sir;
Undoubted Proof EUGENIA's not your Daughter.
[Page 51]DORIMOND reads to himself.
My unsuspecting Heart! What Treachery!
'Midst such Caresses too! Perfidious Woman!
Why plant the dear Delusion in my Soul,
Or why now tear it thence?
Ye Powers, was I to blame?
Ye gave her Beauty, to deceive the Heart,
Ye gave her Words, to steal away the Soul,
And some strong Charm for every Sense's Weakness.
You, Sir, it seems, her favour'd Coun­sellor,
Why, since her Death, has this bold, guilty Fraud,
For ten long Months, why has it been conceal'd?
Sir, should I aim the Dagger at your Life?
'Twas in my Fear, alarm'd by my Affection,
My Gratitude and Duty, I resolv'd
To wed this fair unknown; to mix our Blood
With Vileness and Obscurity.
I thank you.
For me you dar'd to violate the Faith,
Due to the sacred Dead, and her Repentance.
'Twas for my Sake you shew'd this fatal Paper,
And urg'd its Terrors, Poverty and Shame,
To force her to a loath'd, detested Marriage.
MERCOUR, your Heart—But can it, Sir, imagine,
(Bold as you are, and sanguine in Contrivance)
That I'll resign my Child,
(turning to EUGENIA)
my Age's Comfort,
My only future Hope—expose her Youth,
Her Bloom of Softness, to Despair and Sorrow,
On this weak Evidence, this trivial Paper?
[Page 52]
You would have other Proof?
I will. Such Proofs,
As cannot lie; cannot be counterfeited.
Behold one living Witness. Come ORPHISA,
And testify a Truth—Which yet you know not.
She, can she be false to Honour?
Can she conspire to ruin her EUGENIA?
I had almost forgot this Morning's Insult,
That would have brib'd my Honesty to Vileness.
I did not, Sir, resent, because I scorn'd;
But Patience, outrag'd thus, might lose its Nature,
And alter its Complexion.
Spare, good Madam,
This passion'd Phrase, this Dignity of Language.
This Paper, Sir—
Directed to EUGENIA!
Sir, you may read it.
(Aside to EUGENIA)
Now, my haughty Maid,
Vengeance, at least, is mine.
DORIMOND, giving it to ORPHISA.
Take it, ORPHISA;
My feeble Eyes are shaded o'er with Grief.
You knew her Hand. Is there a Hope to doubt?
[Page 53]
Beyond all Doubt, her Character.
[Going to read it.
Yet hold.
Why should we search, with a too curious Eye,
For Secrets better hid? This fatal Paper—
Why not destroy it, with its Guilt, its Terrors?
No, Sir. My perfect Soul, my spotless Fame
Demand the Light, and dare provoke their Trial.
Shall it be said
(Looking at MERCOUR)
with what ma­lignant Joy?
That, in a secret Consciousness of Ruin,
I shun'd Discovery? To avoid Misfortune
Shall I make sure of Infamy for ever?
[Kneeling to DORIMOND.
Oh! Sir, if in my Days of Happiness,
If with Delight you heard my Infant Love
Repeat the Name of Father, I implore you,
That Paper may be read, though it expose
My secret Soul, with all its inmost Frailties,
Wide open to the World.
Exalted Maid!
Oh! truly worthy of a better Fate.
(ORPHISA reads.)

It is not without Pity, that I reveal this Secret to you. But I am approaching the Moments of Truth. Your Mother's Distresses made it not difficult to bribe those about her; to convey you from her at your Birth, and to tell her you were dead. All the Recompence, then, in my Power, was to make her your Governess, and, now, to restore you to her.

My Child!
[Page 54]
My Mother!
Yes, I am a Mother.
Great Nature's Evidence, her holy Instincts
Are in my Heart. I feel; I own their Truth.
MERCOUR, my Friend, my noblest Benefactor,
Receive a Mother's Thanks.—My Child, EUGENIA—
Oh! How the tender Names of Child and Parent,
Till now unheard by Nature's Voice pronounc'd,
Melt on my Ear! But what new Passions these,
That with unwonted Tenderness inspire
My swelling Breast? O Daughter of Misfortune,
They burst in Tears upon thee.
Shall I again
Deplore my Fate? I am the Child of Virtue.
Amazing Tale! Could it be possible
To rob you of your Child, that no Inquiries,
(For such I must suppose) could e'er discover her?
Torn from me midst the Pangs, that gave her Birth,
While I lay half expiring. When restor'd,
By cruel Care, unwillingly to Life,
Inquiring for her, with a Mother's Tenderness,
They told me she was dead. Could I suspect?
Could I prevent it? Could the cruel one,
In such an Hour who robb'd me, could she feel
A Mother's Griefs, in Passion for her Child?
If you want farther Proof—if other Evidence—
Inhuman Insult! Oh! too fatal Proof!
Hardly my trembling Limbs—a cold, dead Faintness
[Page 55] Thrills through my Veins—It freezes to my Heart.
Who waits there?
Enter Servants.
Gently bear me to my Couch.
Nature's best Joys—my Child—is lost for ever—
I am no more a Father—poor EUGENIA—
[He is led off.
EUGENIA, running to him.
Oh! Sir—
Away. Not your officious Cares—
Permit me, Sir, (sure 'tis no great Request)
To wait upon his Griefs; to mix my Weeping;
To soften his Affliction, or to share,
Unhappy as I am, the Woes I've caus'd.
And who could bear to see the soft EUGENIA
Bending to every menial, servile Office,
That tends a sick Man's Couch? And yet it shews
A just and humble Sense of your Condition.
Whence I presume, your better Thoughts repent
Of this perverse Discovery.
No, Sir.
What I have lost, Alliance, Titles, Fortune,
Were not by Merit mine, meer casual Blessings,
Nor by my Crimes are lost. One dreaded Evil,
Thanks to my Fate, you know I have escap'd.
Even insolent in Ruin! Such the Precepts,
That form'd your Infant Heart. Now let th' Ex­ample
Of your illustrious Mother teach her Daughter,
[Page 56] The Charm of Words, the sentimental Language,
Whose Spirit can support Contempt and Poverty.
For me reproach'd? For me are you insulted?
Shall my first Hour of Life, for such it is,
Open with Shame and Outrage to my Mother?
O young to Life, unknowing of the Wrongs,
The cruel Mockeries, Reproach, and Insult,
That Poverty must fuffer. Yet I know not,
Whether my Heart exulting in thy Virtues—
Is it some secret Instinct, that high Heaven,
Which thus restores you by this Act of Wonder,
Reserves you for its own good Purposes?
Or is it Nature's Voice, that inward whispers me,
My Child shall still be happy?
I am lost,
Beyond all Hope, in all Things, but your Love.
No, let us fly from this injurious World,
From its Ill-nature, Insolence, Compassion—
And from its Love, EUGENIA?
Yes, good Madam,
Even from its Love. A Convent's Gloom shall hide us
From every Passion that distracts the Heart,
And triumphs o'er its Virtues. There sometimes
To talk of our Misfortunes; of my Father—
Spare me, EUGENIA; at that much-lov'd Name
A thousand sad Remembrances arise
That I was once most happy. Such a Father!
[Page 57] By Honour form'd to Greatness, and by Nature
Bless'd with each softer Sentiment of Soul,
That humanises Virtue. Such the Husband,
My widow'd Tears lament.
Is he then dead?
In some sad Hour hereafter,
You shall be told with what unshaken Spirit
He sacrific'd his Fortune to his Honour.
That Honour is your Portion. 'Tis a Treasure,
Purchas'd by honest Arts, in Time of Peace,
And, midst the Spoils of War, the noblest Wreath,
That crowns a Soldier's Brow. It is a Trust,
Bequeath'd you by a noble Line of Ancestors,
Who shall again demand it, pure, unsullied,
And bright in its own Lustre. Even your Father
Is present—in his Virtues—to demand it.
And he shall find it, Madam, in my Heart,
In every Vein, in every Thought shall find it.
I doubt it not. But see the Proof.
It is, indeed, a Trial of my Heart,
But not its Weakness, Madam.
Pray retire.
You must not meet.
Fate, Honour, Love declares,
We ne'er must meet again.
Saw you my Brother, Madam?
[Page 58]
Not lately, Sir.
I search for him in vain.
Yet, I will know each Circumstance—
But, Madam, you can tell my Heart's Impatience,
How does the poor EUGENIA bear her Fate?
As one, who feels it, Sir, most sensibly,
Yet is not quite dejected.
She proposes
Retiring to a Convent?
Has she, Sir,
Another Choice?
And you attend her there?
You cannot doubt it, Sir.
I do not, Madam.
I know your Goodness, and you always lov'd her.
How will it comfort the unhappy Mourner,
To have your Friendship near her! Thus employ'd
You can't attend the necessary Cares
For your Retirement. Let it be my Office—
Your Office, Sir!
You do not doubt my Zeal.
This Warmth to succour the Unfortunate
Would do much Honour, Sir, to your Humanity,
But, Sir, you love EUGENIA—
[Page 59]
Yes, with a Passion of such holy Sort—
But I perceive her Delicacy, Madam,
Has taken the Alarm. Then hear me promise,
By every Power that guides our Hearts' Affections,
I will not see her, till with your Consent,
I offer her my Hand, my Heart, my Fortune.
Marry EUGENIA, Sir?
Yes, marry her.
The chosen of my Heart, my Sense, my Judgment.
I know the feeble Reasons that oppose me.
Her Birth, her Parents yet unknown, her Poverty;
Is she not rich in Virtue? Or look round
Among the titled Great-Ones of the World,
Do they not spring from some proud Monarch's Flat­terer,
Some favourite Mistress, or ambitious Minister,
The Ruin of his Country, while their Blood
Rolls down thro' many a Fool, thro' many a Villain,
To it now proud Possessors?
Dare you, Sir,
In bold Defiance of the World, profess
Such Sentiments as these? How will you blush
If poor EUGENIA's Birth—
My Soul is fix'd.
And, in the Presence of all-seeing Heaven,
Here, Madam, in EUGENIA's Name, receive
My plighted Vows, my Honour's holy Promise.
[Page 60]
I do. Nay more; in my own Right receive them.
EUGENIA is my Daughter.
Daughter, Madam!
How lost, or how restor'd? What Ways of Wonder!
But wherefore do I ask? Be mine t'enjoy
The Wonder that restores her; to repeat
My Vows of Love, my Promises of Truth.
I must not hear such Vows. Your Promise too,
In unadvis'd and warmer Transport given,
I render back again.
You cannot, Madam;
'Tis registred in Heaven. The Saints have heard it.
Oh! Madam, yet accept my Services,
Let me be honour'd with your Confidence,
And give me Time to merit your Esteem.
Be this a Proof, how highly I esteem,
How truly honour you, that I can trust you
To find out a Retirement proper for us,
And to provide some prudent, faithful Friend,
(Since Decency forbids your going with us)
In whom we may confide.
My Diligence shall prove,
How gladly I accept th' obliging Trust.
I shall expect you, Sir.
On th' Instant, Madam;
Swift as the Rapture of a Lover's Hope.
[Page 61]
Now for a Moment's Thinking, to recover
My agitated Spirits. Wherefore think?
Vain is all human Thought, all human Aid.
Come then, Religion, holy, heaven-born Maid,
Thou surest Refuge in our Day of Trouble,
To thy great Guidance, to thy strong Protection,
I give my Child—Oh! hear a Mother's Prayer—
Guide thou her Heart in thy own sacred Ways,
And keep thine ever-open Eye upon her,
That she be greatly worthy to inherit
Her Father's Name and Honours. Gracious Heaven,
Behold her yet untainted Innocence,
And Oh! restore whom Thou and sacred Nature
Have made her Guide, her Guardian, and Protector,
In Youth's unguarded Paths. Oh! Save her, Heaven.


WHAT is the Meaning, CLERVAL, you must know,
My Uncle will not see me? What's my Crime?
Who my Accusers? This his boasted Firmness
Where he profess'd to love? These light Suspicions?
Unheard to be condemn'd? Is this his Justice?
Whate'er it be, I would not have you meet
His first Displeasure; even in Pity to him;
For he has Griefs, without one added Sigh,
To sink his Age for ever.
How! not vindicate
My Innocence? Not tell him he has wrong'd me?
Let me not think that CLERVAL means me falsely.
I mean you falsely!
By this Advice it seems so.
A Brother, jealous of a Brother's Honour,
Sure would not thus advise him; would himself
Believe him innocent.
MERCOUR, farewel:
In this distemper'd Warmth it were not safe
To hear, or answer you.
[Page 63]
Yet tell me, CLERVAL,
How I've offended? Is it then a Crime
To keep a painful Secret from his Heart,
And bend my swelling Spirit, for his Sake,
To wed this foundling Girl?
O Patience, Heaven!
To taint our Blood, which has thro' Ages flow'd
Unmixt and pure; to stain it with Dishonour.
Can Virtue stain it?
Yes, the vulgar Virtue,
Which low-born Spirits practise. This ORPHISA—
This Governess—and well she fill'd her Station,
For she was equal to it—Say, what Virtues
Can take their Rise from her? Is the Source foul,
And can the Stream be pure? But you're a Lover,
And Love can change th' unerring Course of Nature.
And yet, till this unhappy Morn, your Heart,
Your Tongue, at least, confess'd EUGENIA's Merit.
Like me, you saw her with a Lover's Eye.
But the perverse and haughty Maid, it seems,
From some unnatural Spirit, with Contempt
Look'd down on MERCOUR's Greatness.
With Contempt
Look'd down upon me?
No; with th' inborn Pride,
And Dignity of Virtue.
[Page 64]
CLERVAL, hold.
Lest, in my Rage—I see who 'tis supports
Her Insolence—Contempt! I may forget
That Nature made us Brothers.
Rash, light Man.
Ruin like yours is privileg'd to rail,
And when it raves, tho' impotent of Harm,
Prudence will shun its Walks, or hear regardless,
Nor answer to its Frenzy.
Yet, my Soul,
Suppress thy Rage: make sure of your Revenge,
Then burst in Horrors on them. Ha! My Uncle!
So, Sir; it seems you will be justified,
And with the Front of Innocence demand it.
But I am ill at Ease to hear th' Harangues
Of practis'd Art.
I'll not disturb your Quiet.
And Heaven, I doubt not, in its own good Time,
Will clear my injur'd Name.—May all its Blessings
Pour'd with abundant Hand, dwell ever round you.
[Pretending to go.
Who would not think him innocent! Stay, MERCOUR.
You will be heard? Will vindicate your Honour?
I know not, Sir, of what I am accus'd;
How l've offended. If it was a Crime,
That, in Obedience to the sacred Will
Of her who is no more; or that, in Justice
To her repentant Sorrows, I discover'd
[Page 65] This guilty Secret, yet remember, Sir,
How long did I conceal it? Why conceal it,
But for your Peace of Mind? Or may I own,
In pity—No—I'll own the softer Motive—
In love to poor EUGENIA.
She was the first, the only of her Sex,
Who ever fill'd my Heart with Hopes, with Wishes.
From thence, unpractis'd in the Lovers' Arts,
(Whose Bosoms beat with Passions, which they feel not)
I told, with Nature's pure Simplicity,
My artless Tale. She heard me with Disdain.
While I, to Reason lost, in my Impatience,
In Impotence of Rage, and mad Revenge,
Gave Way to my Resentment, and with Threats—
—I know not what—but I am punish'd for it—
Detested, hated, scorn'd—yet still I love.
My poor undone AEMILIA! How could Innocence,
Like thine, escape the Snares of this bad Man!
MERCOUR aside.
Yes, AEMILIA; Hadst thou heard
(But thou hast lost all Feelings of Humanity)
The generous Maid, amidst her Soul's Despair,
Amidst the Shame and Blushes of her Frailty,
Tell the black Story of her own undoing
To save EUGENIA from thy Baseness. Heavens!
Is't possible! How would he talk of Virtue—
Angels might listen to him with Delight.
O Hypocrite, thy Boldness strikes at Heaven,
And makes its fervid Saints appear Impostors.
[Page 66]
Curse on my Folly, that could risque my Fortune
Upon the wayward Spirit of a Girl.
Be it one Pang to such a Heart, as thine,
To know that she is happy; reconcil'd
To her sweet Peace of Mind, by holy Vows,
That consecrate her future Life to Heaven,
A Sister of the Saints. Oh! could your Heart
Repent the Crimes, the Horrours, it was forming,
That Heaven may pardon you. 'Till then let Shame,
Let Rage, Despair, your disappointed Schemes,
And Poverty, which, worse than Death, you dread,
Be long your Punishment.
Welcome my Fate,
With all its Horrours, welcome; even with Poverty.
Repentance—no—my haughty Soul disclaims it.
Your Goodness—Weakness—might, perhaps, forgive me.
I will not be forgiven—will not bend
To the upbraiding Insolence of Pardon.
Let me have any Torment, but your Pity.
And since we part for ever, I'll no longer
Dissemble or disguise me. I'm, by Nature,
What you call Villain. I'll enjoy the Title;
Enjoy that ardent Spirit, which can rise
Above the Terrours, form'd for lower Beings,
The senseless Fears, that awe the Fools of Virtue.
Where are thy Terrours, Conscience? Where thy Justice?
That this bad Man dare boldly own his Crimes,
Insult thy sacred Power, and glory in it.
But 'tis the Frenzy of Despair, and Heaven
Shall yet o'ertake him in his Hours of Thinking.
[Page 67]Enter CLERVAL.
How fares the lovely Mourner?
In Tears; but with such Dignity of Sorrow—
Sir, she implores you, by each tender Thought,
Which melts the Goodness of our Hearts to Pity,
That she may throw her at your Feet, and take
A last, sad, parting Blessing from her Father.
I am a weak, old Man, by Years enfeebled,
By these Misfortunes more. If, at this Distance,
The Thought of parting with her wound my Life,
Oh! how shall I divide my Soul from hers,
When mixt in nearer Sorrows! How I dread
This cruel, tender Parting! But I must
Yes, I will see her—'tis her Fate and mine.
[Aside, seeing EUGENIA.
How, thro' her Tears, with pale and trembling Radiance;
The Eye of Beauty shines, and lights her Sorrows!
As rises o'er the Storm some silver Star,
The Seaman's Hope, and Promise of his Safety.
Receive my last Farewell; my Friend, my Father,
And with it every tenderest Sentiment
Of filial Love, of Gratitude, and Duty.
I never shall forget I was your Daughter,
Nor shall you blush, that you were once my Father.
Child of my Love; my sole Delight and Joy,
Think not my Heart unfeeling of thy Loss;
For still you hold a bosom'd Interest here.
[Page 68] You live among the softest Feelings here—
Nature has none, more exquisitely tender.
Now Pity, Love, and Grief, unite your Powers;
Let them not part—make it impossible.
ORPHISA, I have wrong'd you. Pray, forgive me.
Suspicion is the Frailty of old Age.
The Weakness of my Heart—
No, Sir, its Goodness,
Its unsuspecting Confidence deceiv'd you.
How noble, Sir, how generous!
To make you some Amends for such an Insult,
Take, to your Care, my lov'd, my dear EUGENIA,
My Daughter and your own.
Your Daughter, Sir!
The Daughter of my Choice; of my Esteem;
If not by Nature, yet by Law, my Daughter.
EUGENIA, I adopt you. Enter, Child,
Into your Rights; nay, more; here take Possession
Of a fond Father's Love.
The tender Treasure!
My grateful Heart pours forth its best Affections,
Thro' every Vein, to meet and to receive—
Oh! may I, Sir, deserve it. Thus restor'd
To all the sacred Charities of Nature,
Of Father, Mother, Child, where shall my Wonder,
Where shall my Joy begin—Oh! where my Gratitude!
CLERVAL, turning to DORIMOND, with great Agitation.
[Page 69]
While your full Hand is dealing Blessings round you,
Oh! bless me too, my Uncle. Give my Soul
Its only Wish of Happiness hereafter.
Whence are these Transports!
Was it possible,
Conversing with her Loveliness, and gazing
On Beauty's perfect Form to gaze uncharm'd?
Form'd as ye are to make each other happy,
How shall I joy to see your Loves united!
Here, Madam, join with mine a Mother's Blessing,
And make my Nephew happy.
O my Uncle!
And, if I judge aright, a kind Consenting
Kindles its Blushes on EUGENIA's Cheek.
What Language can refuse this offer'd Bounty,
Yet speak me not ungrateful. There were Days,
The happiest of my Life, when to have seen
My Daughter wedded to your Nephew's Merit,
Had been my highest Pride. But now my Fate
Permits me to receive, of all your Goodness,
Only that promis'd, kind Retreat.
At such a Time, and in such Circumstances!
Fal'n from my Wishes' Height, a Lover's Hope,
When I had rais'd Imagination high—
[Page 70]
Sir, you may break my Heart, not bend its Purpose.
I will not offer you a useless Pity,
And more I cannot give.
[turning to DORIMOND.
Sir, if I've robb'd
My Child of Riches, Titles, Friends, Alliance,
(Oh! judge me in the Goodness of your Heart)
Must there not be some Cause, some wond'rous Motive?
Indeed 'tis Wonder all.
I own your Goodness
Deserves much more than mere Acknowledgment;
Demands my utmost Confidence, as far
As Duty will permit me. Can I, Sir,
Dispose of her in Marriage? Is she mine?—
Not yours!
Not mine alone. Or can I violate
A Father's Right to give away his Child?
My Father living!
Yes, he lives, EUGENIA,
And the sweet Hope comes smiling to my Heart,
That Heaven, whose Mercy thus restores my Child,
Will give him to my Vows, my Tears, my Hopes—
To my Despair, will give him.
Where, where is he?
Oh! teach my Love, my Piety to find him.
Where-e'er he is, ye Heavenly Host protect him.
Ye Angels, ye, who with Delight behold him
[Page 71] In your own Likeness form'd, in perfect Goodness;
And ye, our ministring Spirits here on Earth,
Honour and Virtue, strongly hover round him,
For where he is ye dwell. Oh! pardon me
[to DOR.
This Rapture of involuntary Praise.
DELVILLE behind the Scenes.
Come, CLERVAL, come; direct me, guide me to her,
The sweet Support, and Hope, of my Misfortunes.
ORPHISA starting.
Ye Powers, what Voice was there!
That noble Friend,
Of whose Misfortunes, Sir—
All gracious Providence
That giv'st to Things unreal such strong Seemings,
Still, still continue the belov'd Illusion—
It is too strong a Joy to bear, and live.
'Tis she; 'tis she; her Heart confesses me.
Thanks to our Woes, this first Embrace is theirs,
[Catching her in his Arms.
And I'll enjoy their Bounty. See, my CLERVAL,
Like a kind Master, absent long from home,
The Soul with Smiles returns to its fair Dwelling;
Flows through the purple Chambers of the Heart,
Where Life resides, to see that all is well,
And wakes her kindling Beauties to their Lustre.
Lord of my Life; then Heaven declares its Power
In doing Acts of Mercy. How the Joys,
That should, for Years, have fill'd the Arms of Love,
Collected, pour their Transports on my Heart.
Unutterable Bliss! Come, my EUGENIA,
Here pay the Duty, that a Father claims.
EUGENIA kneeling.
[Page 72]
Accept it, Sir, in Tears of Love and Rapture.
EUGENIA mine! my Daughter! This the Offspring,
Thus wondrous fair, of our unhappy Loves,
Thus excellent, thus amiable in Virtue?
What can a Father's Fondnefs Wish you more,
Than to continue what you are? O CLERVAL,
Thou excellent young Man, to whom I owe
My Friends, my Country, and my Sovereign's Favour,
And these more heart-felt Blessings, Love and Nature,
What Gratitude can thank you?
[Turning to ORPHISA and EUGENIA.
If to be
A willing Instrument of Providence
Deserve your Thanks—
Let me, my Lord, assist
His speechless Wishes.
Sir, I understand them.
Come, my EUGENIA, you shall pay him for me,
Such Thanks as he deserves; for I have prov'd it
That Woman,
[pointing to ORPHISA]
tender, amiable, and constant,
Is Virtue's best Reward.
Blest to my Wish,
Beyond my warmest Hope—EUGENIA's mine.
And mine, without a Blush, to own my Happiness.
But, Sir, to you, the guardian Friend of Innocence
(For here she dwells, and DORIMOND protects her)
What Thanks are due?
[Page 73]
This Gush of Joy, these Tears
This Rapture, that o'erflows my Heart, let them,
For they alone can tell you, how I feel
This Hour of Happiness—
[embracing EUGENIA.]
Once more, my child,
Indulge an old Man's Love, whose Weakness thus
Pours his Heart's Blessings on thee.
Thus I meet
With equal, grateful Joy, the tender Transport.
Here let us pause; with humble Adoration
Behold the Maze, thro' which th' eternal Mercy
Hath guided us to Happiness. ORPHISA,
When for my Crime—Oh! could no other Punishment
Attone its Guilt!—The Law, with rigorous Hand,
Turn'd out thy Softness to Despair and Anguish—
Nobly she scorn'd to bend her Dignity,
And your great Name, to the World's proud Compassion.
Then chose this humble Station; this Retreat—
And you, my generous Youth, whose Love of Virtue
Woo'd my EUGENIA's Beauties, even in Ruin—
A Father's Thanks are thine.
Not mine, my Lord.
Give them to her, who taught me how to love;
All Praise was made for her; all Joy and Transport.
Praise is the sacred Attribute of Heaven.
'Tis ours alone, with humble, grateful Hearts
T' employ the gracious Instincts it bestows
To our own Honour, Happiness and Virtue;
For Happiness and Virtue are the same.
The END.


OF all the various Wonders Wit can do,
(Whether to please the Many, or the Few)
None charms an Audience—like a Stroke, that's new.
Now this choice Secret found, I dare engage,
Has brought our solemn Champion to the Stage,
As if, to reach this Merit, were no more,
Than just to write—as none e'er wrote before.
Why here's a Play now—of what Kind to call it
I know no more than—of what will befal it—
Whether the Critics Praise—or bolder Bucks shall maul it;
In France 'twas Comedy; but here 'tis Tragic!
And all by dint of pure poetic Magic—
Mistake me not, I don't by this aver;
That ev'ry Poet is a Conjurer;
Ours is all Sentiment, blank Verse, and Virtue,
Distress—But yet no Bloodshed to divert ye.
Such Plays in France perhaps may cut a Figure;
But to our Critics here they're mere Soup-meagre;
Tho' there they never stain their Stage with Blood;
Yet English Stomachs love substantial Food.
Give us! the Lightning's Blaze, the Thunder's Roll!
The pointed Dagger, and the pois'ning Bowl!
Let Drums and Trumpets Clangor swell the Scene,
Till the gor'd Battle bleed in ev'ry Vein.
We love the Muses animating Spark,
Till Gods meet Gods and justle in the Dark!
This now did something in the Days of Yore,
When Lungs heroic made the Galleries roar.
As for our Bard, the fatal Die is thrown,
And now the Question is—What says the Town,
Has he thrown in, or is the Dupe undone?
Yet on your Justice boldly he relied,
No Party form'd, no partial Friendship tried.
Tho' Love of Praise his inmost Soul inflame,
All feign'd, or forc'd Applause he dares disclaim,
Your Candour—no—Your Judgment be his Fame.

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