THE DUELLIST.

[PRICE ONE SHILLING AND SIX-PENCE.]

THE DUELLIST, A COMEDY.

AS IT IS ACTED AT THE THEATRE ROYAL IN COVENT GARDEN.

WRITTEN BY W. KENRICK, LL. D.

LONDON : PRINTED FOR T. EVANS, NEAR YORK BUILDINGS, IN THE STRAND.

PREFACE
Extract from the PUBLIC ADVERTISER of Monday, November 22, 1773.

ON Saturday last, a new comedy, called the Duellist, was performed, for the first time, at Covent-Garden Theatre. Previous to the curtain being drawn up, the following written hand-bill was dispersed about the house.

‘Mr. Macklin has been pursued by a malicious party to such a pitch of rancour, that at last they have succeeded so far in their cursed designs, as to get him discharged this Theatre, and thereby have deprived him of the means of a livelihood : There­fore if the Public have any spirit, they will not suffer the new play to begin till Mr. Colman pro­mises that Mr. Macklin shall be engaged again.’

This hand-bill found its way into the Green-Room, and had a very visible effect on the per­formers, as was plainly evident from their confusion. The piece was received with great marks of appro­bation, and given out again for Monday, which was attended with some hissing, but that was greatly overpowered by the general applause of the audience. The overture to Thomas and Sally being attended to with silence, the greatest part of the Author's Friends, quitted the Theatre ; which being taken advantage [Page] of by a party in the gallery, a riot ensued ; and the entertainment was not suffered to go on till another play was given out for Monday.

To the above concise relation of the circumstances attending the representation of the following Comedy (as it is given by one of the most respectable of our diurnal historians) the Author of the Duellist makes no exception or addition. He would be wanting, however, in that respect, which he has ever professed and shewn for the public opinion, did he not endea­vour to obviate some objections that have been made to his Piece, and to account, as well as he is able, for the unprecedented severity of its treatment.

As to the author's pretensions to merit in this spe­cies of writing, it is not for him to boast, were there cause for boasting. Because, sensible of the necessi­ty of a dramatic writer's making the theatre the con­stant scene of his observation, he can without morti­fication admit that an author, whose study is the stage, bids fairer for success on it than another, who, engaged at a distance in more scientific researches, makes its amusements only his occasional relaxation from severer and more laborious pursuits. Not that he is without reason to be flattered with the applause his performance met with in representation ; though, were it otherwise, he should not have the vanity to copy after a Corneille, who, in the preface to his Pertharite, which was universally condemned, avows boldly, that in spite of censure his play was a good one and well written. He would have confidence [Page] enough, however, in imitation of as great a writer of our own country, to declare, with Dryden, that the town "had received with applause, as bad and as uncorrect plays from other men." As a writer by profession, therefore, whose family depends on his industry, he conceives it not only prudential in him to convert his amusements to profit, but that he has a right to expect the theatres should be as open to receive his productions as those of others. It is true, he has not found it so, and is singularly un­lucky in having his pieces performed with impartial applause, and then partially banished the stage. He is not ashamed to declare he writes plays not from in­clination but from expediency : the object in his view being not dramatic reputation but theatrical emolu­ment ; to which, while he writes no worse than others (which can hardly be) though it should not be allowed he writes better, he presumes he is equally entitled.

To account for his disappointment in the present instance will not be difficult. Some just exceptions may be made to the piece itself : the scene between the lawyers in the fourth act appeared too long ; in deference however to the opinion of Mr. Colman, who thought its effect would depend greatly on the action, it was risked, and is here printed at length.

As to the passage objected to, on account of its supposed indelicacy, it is entirely omitted. The author must do Mr. Colman, also the justice to say, that he constantly excepted against it, and had his [Page] more cautious judgement been attended to, it would have been omitted in the representation.

Another exception has been made to the whole of the representation, on account of the confusion, I might say distress, of some of the performers. But if the circumstances that caused it be attended to, such performers were so far from being the objects of reprehension for playing ill, that it is a wonder they acquitted themselves so well.

To Mr. Macklin the author has nothing, nor ever will have any thing, farther to say, than that he im­putes the ill success of this unfortunate comedy whol­ly to that performer's resentment against the mana­gers, for having discharged him the theatre ; as it was doubtless their duty to do at the requisition of the the majority of an audience. That ill-success, in­deed has been imputed to causes, which to admit, would be to cast an injurious reflection on persons, who, the author is well persuaded, by no means de­serve it.

It has been said that the gentlemen of the law took offence at the liberties taken with their profession and practice, in the characters and dialogue of Wit­more and Nonplus. They must have too much knowledge and good sense, however, to be seriously offended at what was designed as a mere laugh on the stage, or a satire on what the best of them regret as much as their clients, without having it in their power to remedy it.

[Page]A club of booksellers and a crew of authors are said to have formed a formidable phalanx of opposition. The writer doubts not the good in­tentions of both ; he has endeavoured to serve the cause of literature too much, to have the good will of those, who are labouring, by every possible means, to ruin it. What injury either party might do him in the theatre, the author knows not ; but the scribblers have shewn so little discretion in the zeal to abuse him from the press, that he gives them hearty thanks for the service they have unde­signedly done him.

With respect to Individuals it has been mistaken­ly, or perhaps maliciously, propagated that the piece was calculated to ridicule persons or charac­ters, for whom the author has either the greatest respect, or to whom he is an entire stranger. They who read Mr. Fielding's Amelia will see from what source the author has drawn some of the principal characters and incidents. As the rest of the piece is original, the candid must also admit that he has made no greater use of that writer than dramatic authors have ever been allowed to do with novel­ists, from the practice of Shakespear to that of Mr. Colman.

It has been suggested, that Mr. Garrick had pri­vately planted a party in the house to oppose the performance. This the author cannot believe ; as, having long since declared himself that gentle­man's open and avowed enemy, he cannot, after [Page] what has publickly passed between them, think so meanly even of Mr. Garrick as to suppose he would act otherwise than as an enemy equally open and avowed.

It has even been said that the friends of a certain dramatist, whose name the author forbears to mention, as it is disgusting to the remembrance of his friends, were powerful in the opposition. On this head he will only give a little anecdote, as it was related to him by an auditor, who sat in the Boxes.

"During the tumult in the theatre about the re­petition of the Duellist, a Lady who asked a thing that had the appearance of a gentleman, what was the reason of it, was answered that "the Man (meaning the author) was obnoxious and therefore his piece must be condemned." "Yes, madam," added a gentleman who sat by, "There are a mul­titude of animals in this town, to whom the spirit of a MAN is as obnoxious as the person of a WOMAN."—May the author of the Duellist be ever obnoxious to such Critics.

Lastly, it has been urged, that the Author had not friends enough in the house to support the piece. If by this is meant that the piece had not merit enough to make itself friends, it is false, as appears from the above-cited relation. While its friends remained in the house, it was applauded by a great majority ; but, when a considerable number of these went away, and their places were supplied by riotous partizans, [Page] who could not before get into the house and had not seen it, it is no wonder that both the piece and the author should fatally feel the want of friends.

If this want, on the other hand, be imputed to the Author's neglect of introducing people into the theatre, to influence the judgment of the impartial part of the audience in his favour, he takes a pride in having ever paid in this respect a proper defe­rence to the Public ; whom he should think he in­sulted, had he acted otherwise, and made personal interest to support his pretensions to literary merit.

Too proud to beg, too modest to demand,
By merit only would he fall or stand ;
Nor enmity, nor friendship interfering,
He only asks a fair and candid hearing.
Prol. to the Widow'd Wife.

This indeed is cruelly denied him, by the inter­ruption of his play ; but he hopes will not be so on a future occasion ; the Author having another piece accepted at the same theatre ; the parts of which being already written out, and the whole ready for rehearsal, he doubts not the Manager will give him an early opportunity of repairing the loss, attending his present disappointment : Indeed he still places so much confidence on the justice and generosity of the Public, as to slatter himself he shall not ultimately suffer by trusting, without party or cabal, to the candour and impartiality of his Auditors.

PROLOGUE.

And spoken by Mr. SMITH.

DEAF to the bar, the pulpit, and the throne.
And aw'd, if aw'd, by ridicule alone,
The Daring Duellist, in captious pride,
Hath long his friend, his king, his God defied.
Thrice happy we, if laughter from the stage
Should cure this frantic folly in the age :
Happy the father, sister, mother, wife,
Who prize a son's, a brother's, husband's life,
Should we dethrone the tyrant, whose caprice
So oft endangers and destroys their peace ;
Whose fell despotic sway doth ev'n enslave
The great, the good, the generous and the brave ;
Nay, arrant cowards, forc'd into a fray,
Now fight, because they fear—to run away,
Our modish heroes, it is true, may bluster,
Take heart of grace, and all their spirits muster,
This peaceful reformation to oppose,
And take, in talk, our author by the nose.—
But, when the comic muse true humour fires,
And zeal the poignant fatirist inspires
Against absurdity to set his wit,
And folly's mark, altho' in mirth, to hit,
[Page]There lies more peril in his pointed words,
Than lies, alack, in twenty of their swords!
Encouraged hence, the poet of to night,
Against these angry boys hath dar'd to write ;
For, by the way, it is on you he reckons,
Nature's own cause espousing, as his seconds.
On this presumption doth he take the field,
Hoping to make the stoutest blusterer yield ;
If silent they, who neither love nor fear him,
Consent to sit, and patiently will hear him,
If they do this, he doubts not to disperse
Their present prejudice for carte and tierce;
Their pointless swords to parry with his pen,
And pistol-proof, put down these mighty men!

DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

  • General Gantlet, Mr. Woodward.
  • Captain Boothby, Mr. Smith.
  • Sir Solomon Bauble, Mr. Shuter.
  • Counsellor Witmore, Mr. Lewis.
  • Lord Lovemore, Mr. Wroughton.
  • Governor Mammon, Mr. Kniveton.
  • Serjeant Nonplus, Mr. Quick.
  • Lady Lovemore, Miss Barsanti.
  • Mrs. Boothby, Miss Miller.
  • Lady Bauble, Mrs. Green.
  • Emilia, niece and ward to Sir Solomon Bauble Miss Wilde.
  • Mrs. Goodwill, Mrs. Kniveton.
  • Echo, Miss Valois.
  • Combrush, Miss Pearce.

Jew Brokers, Banyans, Footmen, Constables, &c.

SCENE, LONDON.

THE DUELLIST.

ACT I.

SCENE I. Witmore's Chambers in the Temple.

Mr. WITMORE and Capt. BOOTHBY.
WIT.

Really, George, your situation is so critical that I am not lawyer enough to advise you. Sir Solomon, your father-in-law, still so inflexible, say you?

BOOTH.

As positiveness and parsimony can make him. It is not above two years since I married ; and, notwithstanding every proper submission on my part, the earnest and repeated solicitations of his daughter, and the warmest intercessions of our friends, he still seems inexorable as ever.

WIT.

That's strange! Time generally softens resentments of this kind. But the love of money, and an habitual passion for artificial trifles, extinguish the sparks of natural affection. As I have acquired, however some credit with him, I will try, when he comes to town, how far my influence extends. And yet, Boothby, this may be carrying my friendship for you too far.

BOOTH,

Why so?

WIT.

You know he has a niece, who came over some time since from India to finish her education.

BOOTH.

I am told he has adopted her for his daughter ; and in her favour, it is supposed, will disinherit my wife.

WIT.

In which case, if I should become her husband—

BOOTH.
[Page 2]

You!

WIT.

I! Why not, if the lady will have me?

BOOTH.

And have you any serious thoughts of Emilia?

WIT.

Why, really I do think seriously of her sometimes. The month, I spent, during the last vacation at Sir Solomon's country seat, gave me an opportunity of seeing a number of good qualities in her. She is young, it is true ; but that's a fault one may easily put up with in a woman.

BOOTH.

Nay, I know little of her.—Sir Solomon and his lady have strictly prohibited her having any intercourse with Mrs. Boothby.

WIT.

To reconcile you, therefore, to them now, will be at least a disinterested proof of my regard for you, George.

BOOTH.

It will so, and yet no greater than I expect from it. Your generosity of disposition, Witmore—

WIT.

Nay, no compliments between friends.—On what terms are you with your own relation? With Lord Lovemore, and his brother-in-law, General Gantlet?

BOOTH.

On the best, if I may depend on their professions. His Lordship is now exerting his interest to procure me a regi­ment ; and, as he tells me, with confidence of success.

WIT.

I am glad of it—Your promotion may have a good effect on Sir Solomon.

BOOTH.

In the mean time, however, the pay of a Captain of foot, Witmore, is so disproportioned to the way of living in this gay town—

WIT.

That you cannot indulge in the pleasures of it.

BOOTH.

Nay, hardly subsist very creditably, and pay the court that is necessary to preferment.

WIT.

What think you of my laying open your circumstan­ces to the General? He is my client, and I know you are down for something handsome in his will.

BOOTH.
[Page 3]

Yes, but I am afraid he'll not be prevailed on to part with any thing while he lives.

WIT.

Well, you must comfort yourself then by reflecting that cannot be long. He is so fond of duelling, that some an­tagonist or other will soon kill him, or he will come to be hanged for killing his antagonist. He narrowly escaped the last time he killed his man, as he calls it, and yet he's as captious and quarrelsome as ever.

BOOTH.

He is, indeed, unaccountably exceptious. But, here he comes.

Enter General GANTLET.
GAN.

Well, Barrister, how is it? —What, George Boothby! By the lord, my boy, I am heartily glad to see thee.

BOOTH.

I thank you, General. I hope I have the plea­sure of seeing you well to-day?

GAN.

Never better, my dear boy. —I have just had the superlative satisfaction of chastising a scoundrel.

WIT.

What tilting again, General?

GAN.

A cool thrust only—But 'twas in him—I paid the rascal home. Here—here—Boothby—here I had him— through—fairly through, by the dignity of man!

WIT.

Not his body, I hope.

GAN.

His midriss! that's all!

BOOTH.

You alarm me, General—who—where?

GAN.

Nay don't concern thyself, my dear boy—The rogue was in luck—a simple persoration, the surgeon called it ; he tells me there is no danger.

BOOTH.

I am glad to hear that.

WIT.

And pray, General, what was the cause of quarrel? How did your antagonist offend you?

GAN.
[Page 4]

Me! Barrister! He did not offend me. —Give me thy hand, Boothby, I have done thee an injury ; which nothing but the height of friendship in me can excuse, and the most exalted sublimity of it in thee forgive.

BOOTH.

What is all this? How can you have so highly injured me, General? Be how it will, I promise you I forgive you with all my heart.

GAN.

I knew thou wast a good-natured lad and would overlook it, or, by the Lord, thou shouldst have taken him our thyself.

BOOTH.

How, General! Have you been taking up a quar­rel of mine :—It was obliging in you ; —but I could wish—

GAN.

Oh! Sir! it's enough, I understand you, —you are perfectly in the right, I should have been more puncti­lious. —It was impertinent in me, to be sure. —A friend may be sometimes too officious. —However, Sir, if you are dissatis­fied, I am at your service. —Call me out—You can fight—I draw my sword for no man who dares not draw his own.

BOOTH.

Nay, but understand me, General. If you have taken up any cause of mine, I am so far from resenting it as an injury, that I think myself obliged to you. You know I am as tenacious of the punctilio as yourself ; and would never be so rude as to take up the cause of a stranger : but among friends it is quite another thing.

GAN.

Right, boy. When I commanded in Ireland, my doublet was pinked like the flounces of a fine lady's silk petticoat ; and all in the cause of my friends. The man who would not be run through the body for his friend, ought to be kicked out of the world for a scoundrel.

BOOTH.

An heroic sentiment, General. —But who was your antagonist? I hope, for your sake, he's really out of danger.

GAN.

Nay, the rascal himself, I believe, is hardly worth the care of the surgeon. I should have wiped my conta­minated [Page 5] sword and left him to his fate, but that it would have been too great an honour for him to die by the hands of a gen­tlemen.

WIT.

And yet, General, I am afraid your magnanimity will one day or other betray you into the doing some rascal or other that honour.

GAN.

Well Sir, and what then? Would you insinuate that a gentleman has not a right to do himself justice by put­ting to death a scoundrel?

WIT.

By the laws, General?

GAN.

By the laws of honour, Sir.

WIT.

Yes, Sir, and by the laws of the land too, if he have a mind to be hanged for it, A man may break all the laws in the statute book, if he be disposed to pay the penalties.

GAN.

How, Sir? shall not I annihilate a rascal? Do the laws of England afford protection to scoundrels?

WIT.

To a great number, noble General : and so do the laws of honour too ; by which the scoundrel has as often the advantage of the man of honour as the man of honour of the scoundrel. Let us suppose, General, that your antagonist's skill or agility had been greater than yours; would that have conferred probity on him or reflected infamy on you?

GAN.

Infamy on me, Sir!

WIT.

Excuse me, General, I speak only by way of hy­pothesis.

GAN.

Hypothesis! Sir! Rot your hypothesis, Sir.

[takes Boothby aside.]

Boothby, have you seen the peer to-day.

BOOTH,

Lord Lovemore? No, Sir.

GAN.

Then you don't know how his affair has ended.

BOOTH.

What affair, General?

GAN.

With the fellow, that affronted him last night.

BOOTH.

I heard nothing of it.

GAN.
[Page 6]

Come, come along with me, then. I must know how it ended [turning about to Witmore.] Hypothesis! Ha! Mr. Barrister!

WIT.

No offence, I hope, General! I think I could put a case in point—

GAN.

A case in point! With the point of honour, Sir? Offence, Sir! Yes Sir, there is offence, Sir. —Come, come along, Boothby. These lawyers of the Inns of Court know nothing of the laws of honour! —Hypothesis, Ha! Mr. Barrister! Come along, Boothby, Hypothesis! Quotha!

[Exeunt GAN. and BOOTH.
WITMORE solus.

Ha! ha! ha! What a captious mortal! Could he find nobody else to quarrel with, he would certainly take exceptions at himself and tilt with his own shadow!

Enter a SERVANT.
SERV.

A card from Sir Solomon Bauble, Sir.

WIT.

I did not know he was in London. [reads the card.] ‘Sir Solomon Bauble's compliments to Mr. Witmore—would be glad to consult him on a family affair, that concerns him nearly.’ —If this should be Boothby's business now! I wish it may. —Is the messenger gone?

SERV.

No, Sir, he is without.

WIT.

Let me see him.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II. An Apartment at Lord Lovemore's.

Enter Lord and Lady LOVEMORE.
Lady LOVE.

Insupportable! is it not enough, my Lord, that I have given scope to your licentiousness, by winking at your gallantries, that you would make me openly countenance [Page 7] them? Do you think me really so blind as not to see your de­signs on Mrs. Boothby?

Lord LOVE.

Look you, Madam, while I contribute to your pleasures I expect you will not controul mine.

Lady LOVE.

My pleasures, as you call them, my Lord, are unexceptionable. I have no amusements but what are common to women of quality.

Lord LOVE.

Nor I any but what are common to men of quality. In a word, Lady Lovemore, we have been too long married to impose any longer on the world, and we ought to know the world too well to impose any longer on ourselves.

Lady LOVE.

In what? my Lord!

Lord LOVE.

In keeping up the appearance of domestic harmony, which no longer subsists.

Lady LOVE.

Appearances govern the world, my Lord ; and it is they impose on themselves, who will not enjoy the shadow because they have lost the substance.

Lord LOVE.

Then you think we once possessed it.

Lady LOVE.

I thought we married for love, my Lord.

Lord LOVE.

I thought so too : but I believe we were both mistaken.

Lady LOVE.

Why so?

Lord LOVE.

Because there has been so little lost between us, and yet there seems to be none left.

Lady LOVE.

The want of love, my Lord, should not ba­nish decency.

Lord LOVE.

But it should banish jealousy, Madam.

Lady LOVE.

Then your Lordship thinks me jealous, and yet you imagine there is as little love left on my side as yours.

Lord LOVE.

The less the better, as there is no satisfying the surmizes of a suspicious woman.

Lady LOVE.
[Page 8]

Indeed, my Lord, you are mistaken. You do it effectually by converting suspicion into certainty. I have learned to support the being an object of private neglect, but I am not quite so meek as to sit down exposed to public con­tempt.

Lord LOVE.

You may avoid it, madam, by retiring from public notice. Our house in Gloucestershire is ready to re­ceive you ; and, if you except to the company, I keep, in town, you may keep what company you please in the country. The post-coach shall be ready tomorrow morning, unless Mrs. Boothby makes one of our party to-night.

Lady LOVE.

My Lord, my Lord, I will see my brother Gantlet before I determine to stay or go.

Lord LOVE.

Your brother Gantlet, madam! Do you mean to intimidate me with your family bully? Let that blus­terer interfere, and I will immure you in the country for life.

Lady LOVE.

The country! And at this time of year! What cruelty? Is it possible your Lordship can be in earnest?

Lord LOVE.

Your Ladyship may put me to the trial, if you dislike the alternative. I leave you a moment to delibe­rate on the choice.

[Exit.
Lady LOVEMORE alone.

Barbarous tyrant! He knows, I doat upon living in town, and detest the gloomy solitude of his Gloucestershire dungeon. I will sometime or other be revenged on him for this treatment. My brother's temper indeed is so violent, that, unless things are carried to extremity, his remedy may be worse than the di­sease. But I will dissemble with this insolent intriguer of mine ; and, if I have art enough, defeat the execution of his designs by counteracting him. —I shall be able to do this the more ef­fectually by staying in town. —Mrs. Boothby is at present, I believe, a woman of honour, and loves her husband ; whom Lord Lovemore is flattering with favours and feeding with pro­mises, in order to effect the seduction of his wife! What trai­tors [Page 9] are men! And mine the most insulting of traitors! With what an air of assurance did he in fact confess it. ‘Look you, Madam, while I contribute to your pleasures, I expect you will not controul mine.’ But, if Boothby and his wife are not two errant idiots, I will controul your pleasures, my fine scheming Lord, even while you think I am contributing to them. —Here, Echo! Bring me pens, ink, and paper.

Enter ECHO.
ECH.

Pens, ink and paper, my Lady?

Lady LOVE.

It is plain you heard, Mrs. Pert.

ECH.

Heard Mrs. Pert! my Lady!

Lady LOVE.

Wilt thou never leave off that odious trick of repeating one's words?

ECH.

Repeating your words, my Lady?

Lady LOVE.

Canst thou say nothing, wench, but what I say?

ECH.

Nothing but what you say, my Lady?

Lady LOVE.

Out of my sight, thou incorrigible wretch.

ECH.

Wretch, my Lady!

Lady LOVE.

Begone, I say-

ECH.

Gone, my Lady.

[Exit ECHO.
Re-enter Lord LOVEMORE.
Lord LOVE.

Well, Madam, have you reflected on my proposal? Do you chuse to reside in town or in the country? in London or Gloucestershire?

Lady LOVE.

You know, my Lord, I hate Gloucester­shire.

Lord LOVE.

Well, madam, to indulge your inclination for company ; what say you to Somersetshire? To Bath?

Lady LOVE.
[Page 10]

Out of the season, my Lord! I would as willingly go out of the world.

Lord LOVE.

Well, madam, you know the conditions of our residence under the same roof, in town.

Lady LOVE.

Why, look you, my Lord, as I know you may plead precedent among a number of our acquaintance, if I thought you would pay any tolerable regard to appearances, I might compound with you. It may be prudent for a neg­lected wife to seem easy under the indifference of her husband ; but she must be meek and mean-spirited indeed, if she can sub­mit to be insulted by his mistress. Not that I think you will succeed with Mrs. Boothby. She is, I believe, so fond of her husband, that, I am persuaded, I may safely trust her with you.

Lord LOVE.

Do so then, and be satisfied if I keep up appearances, as you term it.

[Exit.
Lady LOVE,

I will, my Lord, and hope to fit you too at the keeping up of appearances.

[Exit.

SCENE III. An Apartment at Sir Solomon Bauble's.

Enter Sir SOLOMON and Lady BAUBLE.
Lady BAU.

Pooh, Sir Solomon, what a rout is here about an old rusty counter and a roll of cinder-coloured parchment? I suppose Mrs. Brush has flirted them away in dusting the din­ing-room. —Mrs. Brush! —

Sir SOL.

No, no. My lady! I tell you I have been rob­bed, plundered! I have lost two curiosities that would have caused the museum at Bauble-hall to be admired by all the antiquaries and connoisseurs in Europe. An Otho, in the high­est preservation, and a Greek manuscript dug out of the ruins of Herculaneum! [Page 11]

Enter Mrs. BRUSH.

Who has been here, hussey, in my absence this morn­ing?

BRUSH.

Nobody, Sir.

Sir SOL.

Nobody, Sir! But, I say, somebody has been here—somebody must have been here. Where's my antique? my Otho?

BRUSH.

Indeed, Sir, here has been nobody but Dr. Bird­lime and another of the letterati from the Antic-queerian So­ciety.

Sir SOL.

And you shew'd these nobodies into the dining-room, did you?

BRUSH.

As I knew your worship knew one of the gentle­men, Sir, and I thoft the other gentlemen was another gentle­man ; and especially as they were both Antic-queerians, I thoft them next kin to nobody. Indeed I thoft no harm, Sir.

Sir SOL.

You thoft! you thoughtless baggage! who taught you to think? Get you gone about your business!

BRUSH.
(aside)

Here's a fuss indeed about their Othurs and anticks. [Exit BRUSH.

Sir SOL.

Dr. Birdlime eh! Yes, yes, I knew if ever he came in the way, my medals would stick to his fingers. But if I do not prosecute the pilsering quack with the utmost seve­rity of the law. —Egad, I'll go to Sir John Fielding and take out a warrant to search his house immediately.

Lady BAU.

Fiddle faddle, Sir Solomon, the copper-smith, who made that Otho, can make another ; and, as for the loss of your manuscript, I'll present your museum with my senti­mental journey to Margate ; which Dr. Pompous says is worth all the manuscripts of Herculaneum put together. —But come, Sir Solomon, we have matters to mind of more importance. — I have communicated to your niece Emmeline, the arrival of [Page 12] her intended husband, Governor Mammon, from India, and bade her prepare to receive him accordingly.

Sir SOL.

Well, and she was overjoyed at the news! Eh!

Lady BAU.

Quite the reverse.

Sir SOL.

How!

Lady BAU.

The family seems doomed, Sir Solomon, to have all its projects frustrated by the perverseness of unduti­ful children. Your daughter threw herself away on that Captain Boothby, a young fellow not worth a groat, and here is your niece averse truly to marry governor Mammon, a man as rich as a nabob.

Sir SOL.

And yet you would have forgiven your daughter, as you will your niece, I suppose.

Lady BAU.

I forgive them, Sir Solomon! I would have you to know that I have a spirit as implacable and unforgiving as yourself.

Sir SOL.

Poh! Poh! You, foolish women, are easily pre­vailed on to do any thing. But why my daughter, and my niece? Madam! Why not your daughter and your niece? No such perverseness runs in the blood of the Baubles. They would marry any toy for money.

Lady BAU.

I thank you, husband, but, vain as you are, I did not marry you for love. The family of the Trinkets, whence I am descended, never sacrificed their interest to their passions, or indulged indeed any passion but that of interest.

Sir SOL.

It is much, wise, that children should not take after their parents.

Lady BAU.

You a philosopher, husband, and not know that the commixture of two limpid fluids will sometimes gene­rate opacity. Would you have me account for the irregulari­ties of a lusus naturae, or unravel the tortuosities of a froward imagination.

Sir SOL.
[Page 13]

No, No. That is a task a little beyond the ca­pacity of a woman.

Lady BAU.

The capacity of a woman, Sir! And do you still maintain the preposterous absurdity of superior intellect in man? Does not history afford innumerable instances of equal endowments in women? What were Semiramis, Artemisia, Thomyris, Zenobia, and the no less eminent Arataphila, among the ancients?

Sir SOL.

Zounds! What a string have I touched upon? Now will she run over the catalogue of all the cunning gypsies and female fortune-tellers that have plagued the world, from the witch of Endor down to mother Shipton.

Lady BAU.

What were Catherine de Medicis, Lucretia, Cornaro, Anna Maria Schurman, and Madam Dacier, among the moderns?

Sir SOL.

All female furies, or petticoated pedants, I dare answer for them.

Lady BAU.

Nay, among our contemporaries, is not my Lady Betty Comment a second Aristotle? Mrs. Politic another Tacitus? And does not Madam Sweet-wort, the brewer's wife at Redriff, write odes with the pen of a Pindar? —Does not—

Enter a SERVANT.

How dare you, Sir, come in without knocking at the door?

[turning in a pet, walks towards the back part of the stage.]
Sir SOL.

A reprieve! —A reprieve! —Come, come in, Thomas, my lady is only a little in her female altitudes this morning. What's the matter?

SERV.

A letter from Governor Mammon, Sir, —His chairmen have set down two chests in the hall ; a present, they say, to your worship and my Lady.

Sir SOL.
[Page 14]

A present! Eh! Are the Chests heavy, Tho­mas?

SERV.

Very heavy, an't please your worship.

Sir SOL.

The more heavy, the more likely to be wel­come, Thomas. A chest of guineas might be too light! Give the fellows something to drink, and I'll come to you presently.

[Exit SERVANT.
Lady BAU.
[returning to the front of the stage.]

The capa­city of women truly!

Sir SOL.

Prithee, my Lady, don't let such a trifle disturb you. Governor Mammon is arrived in town, and has sent you a present this morning to put you in a good humour. And I doubt not, when I come to talk to my niece, she will receive him as she ought to do. The Governor, I see, knows how to recommend himself.

Lady BAU.

To be sure the superiority of your masculine understanding, Sir Solomon, must prevail on my niece to do any thing. As to the Governor, indeed, it must be owned his oriental manner of making approaches by presents, is a capti­vating mode of address. But let us see what he has sent us : the letter, I suppose, will inform you.

Sir SOL.

Ay, let us see, let us see.

[Putting on his specta­cles.] [He reads.]

‘Governor Mammon presents his compliments to Sir Solomon Bauble and Lady : will take the earliest op­portunity of paying them his personal respects, and of claim­ing his right in their amiable niece. In the mean time, begs Lady Bauble's acceptance of—’ Very polite and well-worded indeed.

[pulls off his spectacles.]
Lady BAU.

Acceptance of what, Sir Solomon?

Sir SOL.

Ay, let us see, let us see.

[Putting on his specta­cles.]

[Page 15] [Reads again.]

‘Begs Lady Bauble's acceptance of a chest of ornamental china.’

Lady BAU.

Magnificent, no doubt, and worth my accep­tance!

Sir SOL.

Pish! a parcel of pot-bellied pagods and niddle­noddle mandarins; toys for foolish women, and play-things for children.

Lady BAU.

Foolish women, again, Sir Solomon! I would have you to know—

Sir SOL.

I do. I do. You have told me of it a thou­sand times already.

Lady BAU.

What have I told you, Sir.

Sir SOL.

That foolish women are prodigiously wise, ma­dam. But pray let us see what the Governor has sent me.

[Reads again.]

‘And Sir Solomon's of two curiosities, he hopes not unworthy a place in the museum of so celebrated a vir­tuoso : the one a manuscript sermon of an Eastern Bramin on the duty of women—to bury themselves with their de­ceased husbands.’

Lady BAU.

Horrid! Why the importation of oriental manuscripts should be prohibited with popish mass-books.

Sir SOL.

Yes, wife, if they were likely to make as many converts. But the Bramins will make no proselytes here. Our wanton widows would rather run the risk of killing a second husband than bury themselves with the first.

Lady BAU.

What foolish women, Sir Solomon, not to be guided by your wise men of the East!

Sir SOL.

Ha! What's this?

[reads]

The other! —Sure my spectacles deceive me!

[pulling off his spectacles and wiping them ; then holding up the letter to the light.]

No. It is—It is— [Page 16] The mummy of an Egyptian Princess! Inestimable! Invalua­ble! A present for a King! Have my niece! He deserves the niece of an Emperor! The mummy of an Egyptian Princess! I shall be the envy of all the virtuosi, the connoscenti, the di­lettanti in Europe.

Lady BAU.

The old fool! In raptures with an odious mummy! How wonderful the superiority of masculine wis­dom!

[Exit.
Sir SOL.

Nay, don't be jealous, my lady, but I can't con­tain my transports. I must fly to the presence of her highness, my Egyptian Princess.

[Exit.
End of ACT the First.

ACT II.

SCENE I. Capt. Boothby's Lodgings at Mrs. Goodwill's.

Mrs. BOOTHBY and Mrs. GOODWILL.
Mrs. BOOTH.

You surprize me, Mrs. Goodwill! General Gantlet fight a duel about me! For what?

Mrs. GOOD.

Oh, madam! General Gantlet, they say, will fight a duel about any body and for any thing.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Yes! but surely not about any body for nothing! What could be said of me to provoke him?

Mrs. GOOD.

Some young spark, it seems, at the tilt­yard, observed that Lord Lovemore was fond of promoting officers that had pretty wives.

Mrs. BOOTH.

And how did that regard me?

Mrs. GOOD.

Nay, madam, you need not beg a compli­ment ; but the sarcasm was plainly levelled at the lady of Captain Boothby.

Mrs. BOOTH.

How impudent is calumny! Detestable standerers! Lord Lovemore, Mrs. Goodwill, is one of the most generous of men.

Mrs. GOOD.

They say, indeed, madam, that he is very generous where he takes.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Where he takes! What do you mean, Mrs. Goodwill? Do you imagine then his Lordship has any designs on me?

Mrs. GOOD.

Have you no reason to imagine it, then, madam?

Mrs. BOOTH.

None in the world! His behaviour to me has been always the most distant and respectful.

Mrs. GOOD.
[Page 18]

It may not be the less designing for that, madam.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Indeed I have hardly ever seen him but in company with his Lady.

Mrs. GOOD.

And that you think the safest, madam?

Mrs. BOOTH.

Doubtless!

Mrs. GOOD.

There are very condescending wives, among women of rank in this licentious age, madam.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Fie, fie, Mrs. Goodwill, there can be women of no rank so condescending as you would insinuate. — You are too censorious; by much too censorious, Mrs. Good­will. I beg you will throw out no such injurious intimations against any one in my hearing again.

Mrs. GOOD.

I am sorry my freedom of speech should offend, madam. [Aside as she goes out] Poor young lady! She knows little of the ways of these wicked times!

Mrs. BOOTH.

Bless me! What strange notions enter into the heads of some people!

Enter Lady LOVEMORE.
Lady LOVE.

My dear Mrs. Boothby, how do you to day? I was determined to be my own messenger this morning, that no accident might deprive me of your company. You must be of our party to night. A little, private, select party, quite among ourselves. I came on purpose to take no denial.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Your Ladyship is so obliging ; but indeed I' had a pre-engagement.

Lady LOVE.

I will hear of no pre-engagements. You must come and play a pool at quadrille with the ladies; while my Lord and the Captain are engaged with the gentlemen at whist.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Mr. Boothby, madam, hath solemnly re­nounced the game.

Lady LOVE.
[Page 19]

Rash vows, Mrs. Boothby, you know, are made to be broke. My Lord will overcome his scruples on that score, I warrant you, so that you can have no excuse.

Mrs. BOOTH.

In that case, my Lady, I will certainly do myself the pleasure to wait on you.

Lady LOVE.

Nay, you positively must come ; we cannot do without you. You will pardon me, my dear, but I must excuse myself at twenty other places—Nay—you shan't stir— My chair is in the hall. —Adieu, my dear Mrs. Boothby.

[Exit ceremoniously. Mrs. BOOTHBY alone.

How perfectly well-bred and obliging! How can Mrs. Goodwill think ill of such a woman? Really, these good people who let lodgings are too apt to speak ill of their betters. —And yet, somehow, I don't like the tale she told me about General Gantlet. She has seen much of the world, and appears to be a discerning kind of woman. I know not whether I should altogether slight her hints. They were given too with such an air of significance. There may be more in this business than she has told me ; for why should so silly a speech give such offence to the General?

Re-enter Mrs. GOODWILL.
Mrs. GOOD.

Bless me, madam! I hope you did not say a word, of what I hinted, to Lady Lovemore : the shortness of her visit alarmed me.

Mrs. BOOTH.

That would have been indiscreet, indeed, Mrs. Goodwill ; as I am convinced, however you may be mi­staken in her Ladyship, you meant no ill to me. But pray was that idle saying all that passed, to provoke the General so highly?

Mrs. GOOD.

Nothing more that I heard ; except that the gentleman added, his Lordship chose to procure preferment for his friends abroad, that he might occasionally pay a charitable visit to their wives at home!

Mrs. BOOTH.
[Page 20]

Then it is plain the reflection could not respect me. Captain Boothby is to have a regiment in Eng­land ; and he hath solemnly promised I shall go with him, if he be ordered abroad.

Mrs. GOOD.

Yes, madam, but the promises of a husband sometimes bind as little as those of a lover.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Nay, Mrs. Goodwill, I must hear nothing against my husband.

Mrs. GOOD.

I beg pardon, madam—I have done.

[Exit.
Mrs. BOOTH.

I will exact, however, another promise from Mr. Boothby, that go where he will I shall accompany him.

[Exit.

SCENE II. An Antichamber in the House of Governor Mammon.

Enter Sir SOLOMON BAUBLE and MAC TOTUM in the Dress of a Banyan.
Sir SOL.

Mac Totum, ha! And you are no Indian, you say?

MAC T.

No, Sir ; but going to India very young, I learn'd their language, and pass for a native.

Sir SOL.

That is, you are a kind of a mock-turtle among them ; ha, Mr. Mac Totum! And so, you are your master's banyan, eh! His interpreter, his secretary, his book­keeper, his cash-keeper, his secret-keeper, his scrub, his every thing, eh!

MAC T.

I see, Sir, to the discharge of all those important trusts, either in person or by the appointment of his honour's other people ; for whose fidelity I am responsible ; such as his dallals and darogas, vakeels and gomastahs, mutseddees, chub­dars and soontaburdars, down to his honour's, pykes, peons, and cooleys.

Sir SOL.
[Page 21]
[Aside]

A consequential kind of domestic truly! His dallals and darogas, mutseddees, chubdars, pykes, peons and cooleys. Who, the devil, are all these?

MAC T.

They are his honour's agents, brokers, clerks, stewards, wand-bearers, torch-bearers, pedlars, porters and running footmen.

Sir SOL.

What a tribe of locusts! Why 'tis a retinue for a S [...]bah.

MAC T.

And yet his honour, on the country establish­ment, is at present only the Fowzdàr of a Chúcklah.

Sir SOL.

The Fowzdàr of a Chúcklah! A kind of Mid­dlesex justice, if I remember right.

MAC T.

On his return to India, indeed, he will probably be made an Omrah.

Sir SOL.

An Omrah! What a Lord! Eh! —As to that, he might be made a Lord of here. But why this exhibition of eastern pomposity in London?

MAC T.

Sir, his honour makes this display of his Indian splendor, in order to induce the young lady, he is going to marry, to return more willingly with him to Bengal.

Sir SOL.

Nay, but so much ceremony with friends is troublesome. I could find easier access at St. James's—Is the Monarch of the Brititsh Empire more affable than the Fowzdar of a Chucklah?

MAC T.

His honour, Sir, notwithstanding forms, is friendly and familiar. The Durbar, his levee, is by this time assembled, and you shall be ushered into the Huzzoor, the pre­sence, immediately.

Sir SOL.

The Durbar! Huzzoor! Presence! Egad, this Fowzdar of a Chucklah takes on him the state of a great Mogul!

[Exeunt.

SCENE III.

The Scene opens and discovers Governor Mammon magnificently dressed, and lolling on a superb Sofa—On each Side are ranged Black, Mulattoe and White Servants, in Eastern Habits and tawdry Liveries; some holding Branches of Wax-lights, others Silver Wands, short Silver Staffs, &c. The Levee is composed of Jews, Armenians, Persians and Europeans, variously habited.
G. MAM.

Munshy Dives.

DIVES.

Your honour!

G. MAM.

Have you looked at that parcel of diamonds? what will you give?

DIVES.

Thirty thousand pounds, your honour! They are large, but some of them are flawed and cloudy.

G. MAM.

They cost me, three lacks of rupees : for two thousand more they are yours.

DIVES.

Your honour shall have the monies.

G. MAM.

The emeralds, pearls and rubies. What say you to them?

DIVES.

Ten thousand, your honour. I would not give more to my own brother.

G. MAM.

Transfer, receive and vest the cash in the funds.

TRANSFER.

India stock, your honour?

G. MAM.

What, man, are you mad? —South Sea— And when a snug bargain of terra firma offers, turn it into dirt—Land is a more valuable commodity than paper. — Lazarus!

LAZ.

Your honour!

G. MAM.

Those chests of tea and raw silk—Are they safely run and disposed of?

LAZ.

At your honour's own price.

G. MAM.
[Page 23]

And the piece-goods, the cossaes, cushtaes, cal­lipaties, carridaries, doosooties, jamdannies, mulmuls and moosooroos!

LAZ.

All, your honour. —

G. MAM.

Place the money in the Bank. Their paper is as good as cash. —Pandar!

PANDAR.

Your honour!

G. MAM.

In making provision for my Zenana, let me have no more brunettas. I would not give an anna for your dark-eyed moppetts. But, pay the mother of the fair wench I brought from Plymouth, a thousand rupees, and settle upon the daughter a jaghire, at the rate of three hundred per month, during pleasure. I shall not need your service again perhaps this month. —I am going to be married.

Enter Sir SOLOMON BAUBLE introduced by MAC TOTUM.
MAC T.

Sir Solomon Bauble, your honour! [Governor Mammon rises from the sofa and comes forward to embrace Sir Solomon, mean while the levee and ser­vants go off.]

G. MAM.

Sir Solomon Bauble, I am proud to embrace you.

Sir SOL.

And I to return the compliment, Governor— Your Egyptian Princess—

G. MAM.

Is a diamond of the first ; water, you would say ; I knew her highness would charm you.

Sir SOL.

She has indeed, Governor ; and has captivated the hearts too of half a score connoisseurs of my acquaintance already. I wish some of the rakish young dogs, among our virtuosi, don't ravish her from me. They plundered my ca­binet of an inestimable Otho no longer ago than this very morning.

G. MAM.
[Page 24]

I will supply its place, by the next ships, with an illegible coin of the Emperor Ting, Ving, Ching ; who reigned in China, ten thousand years, before the creation.

Sir SOL.

You are very good, Governor. And if you could but procure me the genealogy of the Princess—a mummy without a genealogy is like a Welch woman without a pedigree.

G. MAM.

Faith, Sir Solomon, I can say little to that. I had her from a Bashaw of three tails, at Mocho, in the Straits of Babel-mandel. If you want to know more of her, we must send to Mocho for information.

Sir SOL.

Egad, I shall be infinitely obliged to you, Governor. From a Bashaw of three tails, at Mocho, in the Straits of Babel-mandel! Why, she may be one of the daughters of King Pharoah, that was drowned in the Red Sea ; who knows?

G. MAM.

I can say nothing to the contrary, Sir Solomon— But to business—How does my contracted spouse, your niece Emilia ; I intend to-morrow morning to pay my respects to her.

Sir SOL.

You will do her honour.

G. MAM.

Mean time, Sir Solomon, you will order the lawyers to adjust the necessary preliminaries to our wedding. I have spoken to Mr. Serjeant Nonplus, who will meet your Counsel about the marriage settlements. You will excuse me at present ; I must attend the General Court. —What ho! without—my palanqueen there! [calls to his servants without ; whence is repeatedly heard "His honour's chair."] [Speaking to Sir Salomon.] Nay, no ceremony, good Sir Solomon—We'll go together.

[Exeunt.

SCENE IV. Lord Lovemore's.

Enttr Lord LOVEMORE and General GANTLET meeting.
Lord LOVE.

Good-morrow, General.

G. GAN.

Good day, my Lord, I am heartily glad to see you—What, it is all over, I suppose—How did the fellow behave?

Lord LOVE.

Over! what should be over, General?

G. GAN.

Why, did not you call him out?

Lord LOVE.

Him! whom?

G. GAN.

The rascal that affronted you last night at the whist table.

Lord LOVE.

I took no affront, General ; nor recollect any that was given me.

G. GAN.

No affront! Did not your partner tread on your toe the moment you were cut in!

Lord LOVE.

As we changed seats—An accident! He begged my pardon.

G. GAN.

An accident! Ha! did he not revoke in play?

Lord LOVE.

Misplay'd a spade, I think—An oversight!

G. GAN.

An oversight! Did he not look askew at you all the evening?

Lord LOVE.

The gentleman, General, had the misfor­tune to have a cast in his eye.

G. GAN.

A cast! The misfortune! Eh! I would have cast him into the pit of perdition, had he so squinted at me— A cast! lookye, my Lord, if you think such things to be put up with, it is no business of mine. My dignity will not suffer by it ; tho' my affinity to your Lordship, makes me so­licitous for the preservation of your honour.

Lord LOVE.
[Page 26]

I am obliged to you, General ; but I am not so captious as to regard such trifles in a serious light.

G. GAN.

Mighty well, my Lord! mighty well! Cap­tious! Ha! Yes my Lord, I am captious and exceptious too, and you may think me capricious too, if your Lordship pleases; no matter, but while I have the honour to be your Lordship's brother-in-law, and have the character of a soldier to main­tain, I will be tenacious too ; tenacious of the dignity of human nature, my Lord. And I say again, if any rascal breathing had squinted at me as that fellow did last night at your Lordship, I would have tumbled him down the precipice of perdition! —And so Lord Lovemore, I bid your Lordship good day

[turning round on his heel and strutting off the stage.]
G. GAN.
[returning]

I would my Lord, by all that is great in man

[again turning round on his hecl and strutting off ; His Lordship looking after him with a sarcastical smile.]
G. GAN.
[again returning]

You may smile, my Lord ; but I would have crumbled his soul to powder—to atoms, my Lord—to atoms—to atoms

[shaking his cane and stalking magi­sterially off the stage.]
Lord LOVE.

Ha! ha! ha! If this madman's disposition were not so mischievous, it would be really entertaining. It is to be hoped, however, his phrenzy is of that kind it will soon work its own cure.

Enter SERVANT.
SERV.

Captain Boothby, my Lord.

Enter BOOTHBY.
Lord LOVE.

Did you meet the General, Boothby?

BOOTH.

I came with him, my Lord, but, supposing he had business with your Lordship, I waited below till he retired.

Lord LOVE.

What can have possessed him, to day?

BOOTH.
[Page 27]

What always possesses him, my Lord. A spirit of contradiction.

Lord LOVE.

He would bring me into a quarrel here I know nothing of.

BOOTH.

He has been taking up a business too, he says, of mine. But I neither know what it is, nor can I get it out of him.

Lord LOVE.

Then let him keep it to himself. The only good quality he has, is that of sometimes keeping secret his own mischief—How does Mrs. Boothby to day? You spend the evening with us.

BOOTH.

Lady Lovemore will have company.

Lord LOVE.

A private party only ; we shall not play high.

BOOTH.

Your Lordship is so obliging then as to pay attention to my finances.

Lord LOVE.

Faith I beg your pardon, Boothby, for the expression ; such attention is unnecessary. I have as good as settled your preferment to-day. There will be soon a ge­neral promotion, and you are to have the regiment at Gib­raltar.

BOOTH.

You gave me hopes, my Lord, of being provided for in England.

Lord LOVE.

I did so ; but so many difficulties stood in the way, that, to prevent delays, I acquiesced, You will be recalled home in a year or two at most, so that it is much the same thing as if you were not to go.

BOOTH.

I know not that, my Lord. In the predicament I stand with my father-in-law, my absence, in the mean time, may prove prejudicial to my interest.

Lord LOVE.

I can't see that—Mrs. Boothby will remain in England ; and perhaps effect a reconciliation the sooner without you. I shall be ready to do her any services in my [Page 28] power ; and, if she even chuses a domestic protection, Lady Lovemore will, I am sure, be happy in so agreeable a com­panion.

BOOTH.

Your Lordship's friendship is so generously im­posing, that I shall submit my conduct entirely to you, if I can prevail on Mrs. Boothby to acquit me of the promise I have made, to take her with me should I be ordered abroad.

Lord LOVE.

Oh! she is too reasonable a woman to insist on it. A wife, Boothby, is a very troublesome mess-mate, on ship-board and in a garrison. But you will have time enough to reconcile her to so short an absence before you embark.

BOOTH.

I shall, my Lord, but I cannot acquaint her too soon with the success of your Lordship's negotiation. I therefore humbly take my leave. Your Lordship's obedient.

[Exit.
Lord LOVE.

Your servant, Captain. —The wife of this Boothby must at any rate be mine. She is a charming woman. But they say she is virtuous and loves her husband. What a villain then am I to go about to seduce her? Yet why that question! I may not succeed ; and mere intentional crimes are venial. I'll risk the trial. By providing for the husband, I secure an interest in the gratitude of the wife. Her affection for him shall plead for the love of her gallant. But, till it works effect, I must be distant and reserved—It were as im­politic to alarm the modesty of a woman, till some impression be made on her heart, as for a General to give the signal to storm till he had effected a breach—

[Exit.
End of ACT the Second.

ACT III.

SCENE I. An Apartment at Sir Solomon Bauble's.

Enter WITMORE and EMILIA.
WIT.

Almost a week in London, Emilia, and not let me hear from you! Not a line, or a message, to advise me of your arrival!

EM.

If you knew, Sir, the reason of my coming to town, you would excuse me. I have given you, perhaps, too much encouragement already.

WIT.

Too much encouragement, Emilia!

EM.

A young woman in my situation, Sir, should have been more reserved. You know the business, I suppose, on which Sir Solomon has sent for you?

WIT.

Not particularly. Some law business, I find. I wish, my dear Emilia, you would give me leave to talk to him on a more interesting subject.

EM.

What subject, Sir?

WIT.

Can you be at a loss to guess, after the many kind assurances, you have flattered me with, of a partiality for me?

EM.

I hardly know what I have flattered you with, Mr. Witmore. But, whatever was my partiality for you, you should have known that, a girl at my age had it not in her power to give herself away without the consent of her relations.

WIT.

Give me but your consent to make openly my ad­dresses, and I will do it immediately. Sir Solomon, I know, regards nothing so much as money. But, though at present my fortune is not very considerable, yet my connections and [Page 30] expectations are such, that I make no doubt of obtaining his consent.

EM.

For heaven's sake, hush, I hear him hobbling down stairs. I have said enough to pave the way. —You will soon know more than I have confidence to tell you. —

[Exit.
Enter Sir SOLOMON BAUBLE.
Sir SOL.

So, Mr. Witmore, you have been chatting with my niece Emmeline. She's a fine girl grown ; is not she? shot up like an arrow! And I dare say you think her fit for a husband.

WIT.

If she thinks so herself, Sir Solomon. Miss Em­meline is indeed grown a fine woman, and I doubt not would make an excellent wife.

Sir SOL.

You think so, eh! Witmore! Why to come to the point, then, it was on that subject I sent to talk with you.

WIT.

You do me an honour, Sir Solomon, so young a lawyer is seldom thought entitled to.

[aside]

What will this lead to? Surely she has not broke the ice herself?

Sir SOL.

Why truly I have so good an opinion of you, Mr. Witmore, that I fixed my eye upon you as the most pro­per person I could think of. —I have been greatly obliged both to your talents and integrity.

WIT.
[aside]

'Tis certainly so—she said she had paved the way for me—

[to Sir Solomon]

Your partiality, Sir Solo­mon, over-rates my desert.

Sir SOL.

Not at all—not at all. —I have heard the high­est commendations of you from the gentlemen of your own profession ; which is a good sign ; a very good sign, let me tell you, Mr. Witmore. You are, to be sure, not yet at the head of it, but you are a young man, and in time will rise perhaps to be Lord Chancellor—who knows?

WIT.
[Page 31]

I am highly indebted to your good opinion of me, Sir Solomon.

Sir SOL.

Not a whit—not a whit—I declare again I should not be ashamed, were I the first baronet in the kingdom (which I am not by a great many.) I—

WIT.

You transport me, Sir.

Sir SOL.

Nay, I protest, had I fifty nieces—

WIT.

Oh! Sir Solomon—

Sir SOL.

You should draw up the marriage articles for every one of them, Mr. Witmore.

WIT

Sir!

[turning away with marks of surprize and dis­appointment.]
Sir SOL.

Sir! hey dey! why what's the matter, Barrister? Is not the job worth your acceptance? I thought you would have seen to the making your friend Emilia's jointure secure, though you had done it without a fee.

WIT.
[confusedly.]

Jointure! fee! Sir Solomon! To be sure I have a friendship for the young lady—but—hath she made choice of a husband?

Sir SOL.

She! poor young thing! How should she know how to make choice of a husband? Oh! no. That trouble was taken off her hands some time ago. Her friends in India took care of that—Governor Mammon, who came over by the last ships, contracted two years ago to marry her, on his arrival in England, under the penalty of a lack of rupees; near twelve thousand pounds sterling. So that, you see, we have long had the husband safe enough. We have now only to se­cure her dowry and pin-money.

WIT.

And the young lady abides by this same contract, I suppose.

Sir SOL.

I'll warrant her. Do you know, Sir, Governor Mammon is a nabob?

WIT.
[Page 32]
[aside]

Then every woman is a jilt.

[To Sir Sol.]

Pardon me, Sir Solomon, I am taken suddenly with a kind of vertigo ; the effect of setting up over a difficult case last night.

Sir SOL.

Ah! the law! the law is a vertiginous kind of study. But come, sit you down, sit you down. Lady Bauble is not stirring yet, but Emmy shall give you a cordial. —I shall be back by the time you are recovered and have composed yourself—

[aside]

mean time I'll go take one peep at her highness this morning. Here, who waits there? Where is Emmy? Emmy shall bring you a cordial, Mr. Witmore.

[Exit.
WIT.

Why, what a fool have I been to be made thus the dupe of a child! a chit! a girl! —

Enter EMILIA.
EM.
[running with looks of great concern]

Bless me, Mr. Witmore, what's the matter?

WIT.

Matter! Miss! I am too much ashamed to tell you ; and yet I know not whether I ought to blush most for myself or you.

EM.

Cruel Mr. Witmore! Then you know my situation and have no pity for me. Would to Heaven I had never seen you!

WIT.

How can you justify yourself, madam?

EM.

I don't pretend to it, Sir. I confess I have been to blame ; but I hardly knew the force, or reflected on the consequences of the contract I had signed, till you had taken advantage of my youth and inexperience, to rob me of a heart which I ought to have preserved to give, where, they say, I must give my hand. If you love me as you have pre­tended, therefore, you will devise some method of delivering me from the bondage, to which the will of arbitrary and mercenary parents (for so I must call them) have destined me.

WIT.
[Page 33]

And does my Emmeline, then, wish to be freed from her contract with Governor Mammon?

EM.

I detest, abhor the proposed union. If therefore you can contrive any means to protract or prevent it, you may depend on the concurrence of your Emmeline.

WIT.

My Emmeline! Charming girl! thou shalt then still be mine.

[He runs to embrace her.
Enter Sir SOLOMON.
Sir SOL.

Heyday! This is friendly indeed! What! —

WIT.
[softly to Emm.]

Sir Solomon!

[aloud]

Miss Em­meline, I wish you joy of so happy an event, and will cer­tainly take care the covenants shall be as binding as law can make them.

[They part ceremoniously.
Sir SOL.
[aside]

O ho! is that all? Egad my mind began to misgive me.

[to Emm.]

Ay, Emmy, Mr. Witmore takes part in our happiness, and will therefore take care of our interest.

EM.

I then shall leave my concerns entirely with him, Sir ; but must beg he will take sufficient time, to make every thing secure ; and proceed in nothing with precipitation.

[Exit.
WIT.

You shall be obliged, madam ; even to the minutest punctilio of procrastination.

Sir SOL.

Oh! no, Sir! No procrastination! I have given my word of honour to the Governor, that the lawyers shall dispatch their business without delay.

WIT.

That's impossible, Sir. A lawyer's dispatch always admits of delay.

Enter Lady BAUBLE.
Lady BAU.

What is that, Sir, you talk of delay? I beg nothing may be deferred, on any account whatever.

WIT.
[Page 34]

There shall be no more delay than is necessary, madam. But a little procrastination is always usual on occa­sions of this kind ; it looks like a regard for decorum on the part of the lady.

Lady BAU.

We must dispense a little with decorum, Sir. The Governor must be complimented with a short day. After such handsome presents! A most superb set of ornamental china!

Sir SOL.

True wife ; and the mummy of an Egyptian Princess! —No, no procrastination.

Lady BAU.

I think not : where's my niece? Wo'nt ma­trimony go down with her without procrastination? Leave her to me, Sir Solomon—woman's wit in these cases may do more than man's wisdom—And do you, Mr. Witmore, consult with Serjeant Nonplus, the Governor's counsel, and come both hither for more particular instructions immediately : do the bu­siness as securely as possible ; and no procrastination I beg of you.

[Exit.
WIT.

I will obey you, madam. I shall just step into Westminster-Hall, to speak to Serjeant Nonplus; and we will call upon you presently. Sir Solomon, your servant.

[Exit.
Sir SOL.
[in a kind of reverie]

Your fervant, Sir—your servant—Ha! gone! Odso, what a pity I let the barrister go, without introducing him to the Princess.

[Exit.

SCENE II. Capt. Boothby's Lodgings at Mrs. Goodwill's.

Enter Mrs. BOOTHBY and Mrs. GOODWILL.
Mrs. GOOD.

I could, indeed, tell you such stories of Lord Lovemore, madam.

Mrs. BOOTH.

I am sufficiently shocked at what I have heard already. —Indeed I beg your pardon, Mrs. Goodwill. I yesterday thought you too censorious : but, after his Lord­ship's unguarded behaviour at his own house last night, I can [Page 35] believe the worst of him ; and indeed have not the best opinion of his Lady. Would you believe it, Mrs. Goodwill, he had the confidence to make down-right love to me, —to rail at Mr. Boothby, and even offer me his protection, in the very presence of his wife. I find too that Mr. Boothby is to be pro­moted to the command of a regiment abroad.

Mrs. GOOD.

And have you told the Captain your suspi­cions, madam?

Mrs. BOOTH.

I would not have him know them for the world. The consequences would be fatal. But what shall I do? We are under an engagement to go to the masquerade to night.

Mrs. GOOD.

To the masquerade, madam! Indeed it re­quires consideration. Strange doings have been carried on at masquerades.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Strange doings, Mrs. Goodwill! You ter­rify me! —It is an entertainment I have the greatest curiosity to be present at. But if there be any danger attending it, I protest, I will stay at home.

Mrs. GOOD.

That resolution, madam, may perhaps too much alarm Captain Boothby.

Mrs. BOOTH.

That's true, and yet—But here they both come—I am so chagrined and perplexed, I know not what to do—Come, come and sit with me awhile. —You must advise me—

[Exeunt.
Enter Lord LOVEMORE and BOOTHBY.
BOOTH.

A fit of the spleen, my Lord! Mere vapours! It went off immediately on her coming into the air.

Lord LOVE.

I am glad to hear that—

[aside]

A good omen! she has not yet told her husband I sind—

[to Boothby]

Why you were both the favourites of fortune. I thought no lady had the spleen while she was winning at cards.

BOOTH.
[Page 36]

Mrs. Boothby has delicate nerves, my Lord ; and is little used to late hours and the card table. Your Lordship may have your revenge, however, at any time on me.

Lord LOVE.

I intend to have it on both, I assure you.

BOOTH.

With all my heart, my Lord, when and where you please.

Lord LOVE.

To morrow night then—to night you know we go to the masquerade.

BOOTH.

Be it so—

Lord LOVE.
[affecting a langh]

Ha! ha! ha! Faith Boothby, thou art the happiest fellow in the world—You have an angel of a woman for your wife. And so she did not tell you the reason of her breaking away so suddenly last night. I must let you into the secret, lest through mistake she think hardly of me.

BOOTH.

Why so, my Lord?

Lord LOVE.

You must know, that to get rid of the ef­fusions of her gratitude, which she took an opportunity to pour out on me, for the trouble I have taken to solicit your prefer­ment, I, in raillery made love to her, by telling her how easily she might get rid of the obligation.

BOOTH.

And she took you to be in earnest. Ha! ha! ha!

Lord LOVE.

Even so ; but it was in the presence of Lady Lovemore, so that 'twas impossible I could mean any thing, you know.

Lady LOVE.

No, my Lord, I am very sure you did not— You will excuse Mrs. Boothby.

Lord LOVE.

Nay, you must make my excuse to her. She left us so abruptly, that she gave me no time to come to an ex­planation.

BOOTH.

Will you apologize for yourself, my Lord? Mrs. Boothby is within.

Lord LOVE.
[Page 37]

No, no, it will come better from you. I must away to the Secretary at war. To tell you the truth, I heard yesterday of a vacancy at home, that may be worth your acceptance ; and therefore desired an interview with him to day. If I succeed in your behalf, you shall know what it is. If it be already disposed of (for there are innumerable solici­tants) we will think of it as a gem long lost, and watch the next opportunity of meeting with its fellow.

BOOTH.

I am infinitely indebted to your Lordship, for this obliging attention to my interest.

Lord LOVE.

I only wish I may be able to serve you as I intend—But I must go—Mean time, do you hear, Boothby, make my peace with your wife before I see her again.

[Exit.
BOOTH.

I will, my Lord—How noble and generous is it in his Lordship to give himself all this trouble of applica­tion for me! —And yet—when I reflect on Mrs. Boothby's be­haviour last night, and this whimsical tale of a love story. —I don't half like it. His Lordship is a man of intrigue, and the liberties which men of rank think themselves authorized to take, in this age of gallantry, with their inferiors, are alarming. I must speak to Mrs. Boothby. But she'll not be open enough to tell me, if there should be any thing in it, left it should breed a quarrel. —Phoo! hang it, it cannot be nei­ther —in the presence of his own wife! And she one of the best and most amiable women in the universe! I am asham­ed of the suspicion. —It is to the last degree injurious to so generous, so disinterested a friend. What a mean contracted heart is this of mine! I blush to think I am possessed of such a narrow soul!

Enter SERVANT introducing General GANTLET.
SERV.

General Gantlet, Sir.

[Servant retires.
BOOTH.

Good morrow, General.

GAN.

Good morrow, Boothby—You come off winner last night.

BOOTH.
[Page 38]

Unaccountably so. A novice among adepts and yet so fortunate.

GAN.

Adepts! Sharpers!

BOOTH.

What mean you, General!

GAN.

The stranger in blue and gold gave you the game every time.

BOOTH.

That was very obliging in a stranger, General. But I know no reason for it.

GAN.

Then I would make him give one. —Colonel Basto assures me he has seen him at Bath, and knows him to be a common gambler. Lord Lovemore should be called to ac­count for introducing such a scoundrel into company at his own house. —You know, in regard to my sister, it would look ill in me, or else—But I'll carry him a civil message for you.

BOOTH.

To Lord Lovemore! My best friend! impossi­ble to think of it, General. He must have been im­posed on, in the character of the gentleman. Or, if not, gamblers now get into the company of the first people in the kingdom.

GAN.

Not in private parties, at their own houses, Sir. — However, you may do as you please—You may put up with it—But if any other person had introduced a fellow that bad taken the liberty to put his money into my pocket—

BOOTH.

Nay but consider, General, Lord Lovemore is my friend, my patron, and no very distant relation ; a man of high rank, and your brother-in-law—

GAN.

Were he the first Duke in the land, brother-in-law to any body but myself, Sir, here, here

[holding open his fingers.]

would I pillory his nose—He should breathe through these fin­gers, Sir, and breathe his last.

BOOTH.
[aside]

I must give into the humour of this Goth ; or he may work himself to attack my Lord himself.

[to Gen. Gantlet]

Well then, General, to oblige you—

GAN.
[Page 39]

Oblige me! Sir▪ Oblige yourself! support your own dignity, Mr. Boothby.

BOOTH.

I Will, General, and call his Lordship to ac­count on the subject of last night, depend on it.

GAN.

Do my boy, that's a brave lad. Ever while you live, Boothby, support your own dignity.

[Exit strutting magisterially off the stage.
Enter Mrs. BOOTHBY at the oppsite door in a fright.
Mrs. BOOTH.

Bless me, Mr. Boothby, what is it you have promised that savage General? What is it he has been advising you? Challenge Lord Lovemore! indeed, my dear, there, was nothing in the foolish affair of last night that should excite such resentment. It was a capricious mistake of my own. He could not mean any thing—Lady Lovemore herself was by and heard every word that was said.

BOOTH.

I know it, my dear. But why are you so much alarmed? The General is not in his dignity-stilts this morning upon your account.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Not on my account.

BOOTH.

He took umbrage, it seems, at losing his mo­ney last night, and would set every body quarrelling that was concerned in winning it.

Mrs. BOOTH.
[aside]

How have my curiosity and impa­tience betrayed me!

BOOTH.

Nay, child, never mind it. You have only betrayed a little secret that I knew before. But why will you keep such foolish secrets from me? A woman should have no confidant in these matters but her husband. Lord Lovemore is much mord open and ingenuous. He has confided in me al­ready, and has been just now telling the whole story.

Mrs. BOOTH.
[aside]

Specious deceiver! but I dare not expose him.

BOOTH.
[Page 40]

Indeed, my dear, if your error did not proceed from an amiable cause, in which I am so deeply interested, I should think you greatly to blame. His Lordship is so noble, so generous a friend, that I would not disoblige him for the world. Even common gratitude should induce us to put the most favourable construction on his behaviour. Would you believe that he is now gone to the Secretary at War, of his own accord, to solicit a post for me, which he hears is become vacant at home? He seems to take a concern in my interest as if it were his own.

Mrs. BOOTH.
[aside]

Artful villain! I can no longer bear it.

[Exit bursting into tears.
BOOTH.

Tears of gratitude! susceptible creature! how will she reproach herself now, for having harboured an unjust suspicion of our best benefactor!

Enter Lady LOVEMORE.

Lady Lovemore! —What nobody waiting there?

Lady LOVE.

Nay, no ceremony, Sir. I came in with­out it, because I would not disturb Mrs. Boothby. I hope her last night's indisposition is attended with no ill consequences.

BOOTH.

Your ladyship's solicitude is obliging. None at all, it appears to have been a mere capricio, as insignificant as the innocent cause of it.

Lady LOVE.

As the cause of it, Mr. Boothby!

BOOTH.

Yes, madam, my Lord has been here this morning, and has related to me the whole circumstance.

Lady LOVE.
[affecting to laugh.]

He! he! he! and was there ever any thing so ridiculous? You may think yourself a happy man, Mr. Boothby, in so good a wife ; but, I protest, if every married woman were as exceptious as Mrs. Boothby, there would be no keeping up conversation between people of fashion of different sexes, an hour together.

BOOTH.
[Page 41]

Your ladyship is perfectly in the right. Mrs. Boothby's behaviour was certainly too exceptious.

Lady LOVE.

Oh! preposterous! we must rally her out of this rustic prudery, or she will be fit to keep company with nobody but yourself, Mr. Boothby. I must go and give her a lecture ; indeed I must teach her to think and act a little more like folks of this world.

[Exit.
BOOTH.

How easy, spirited, and engaging! Well, af­ter all, though virtue be a jewel, it is like a diamond, which, of the first water, must yet be polished before it displays its lustre. How admirable is the behaviour of this Lady Love­more! Mrs. Boothby has not less natural goodness of heart, or of native beauty ; but to how much more advantage would they appear if she had her ladyship's artificial habit of display­ing them. She will profit, I dare say, by so striking an ex­ample. Indeed my wife is as fortunate in having acquired the friendship of Lady Lovemore, as I am in that of his Lord­ship!

[Exit.

SCENE III. Sir Solomon Bauble's.

Enter Serjeant NONPLUS and Mr. WITMORE. —The Serjeant dressed in his gown and coif.
Ser. NON.

An independent fortune when of age, and great expectations! say you, master Witmore? a lucky hit for a young fellow that has been no longer at the bar!

WIT.

With your assistance, Mr, Serjeant, I hope it will prove so.

Ser. NON.

Why, lookye, brother Witmore, Gover­nor Mammon may be a good client ; so that, should it af­terwards come out that I assisted you in this business—

WIT.
[Page 42]

I will then sacrifice the first good client, I have, to you, Mr. Serjeant.

Ser. NON.

I expect no less than that stroke of friendship— one good turn, you know—

WIT.

Deserves another, Mr. Serjeant.

Ser. NON.

Nay, if by marrying, the young Lady you make your fortune and retire from the bar, you may give me all your interest too.

WIT.

I'll do it, Mr. Serjeant.

Ser. NON.

Yes, but I will have no hand in any thing but delay. There is no disrepute in the law's delay. I would not do any thing disreputable for the world. It will hurt me in my practice, master Witmore.

WIT.

Disrepute and dishonesty, Mr. Serjeant, as you shrewdly hint, are two things. Our practice does not depend on our integrity, but on our reputation for it.

Ser. NON.

A just distinction! True, character, character is all. You may do what you will if you be but artful or lucky enough to preserve your character.

WIT.

And if that be neglected, or unluckily lost, be as honest as one will, it will signify nothing.

Ser. NON.

Egad, Mr. Witmore, for a young man, you seem to know a good deal of the world. It is almost a pity the bar should lose so promising a casuist. You would make a figure at nisi prius and pleas of the crown.

WIT.

You flatter me, Mr. Serjeant. But young adventu­rers at the bar, like soldiers of fortune in arms, should lose no fair opportunity of advancing themselves out of the line of their profession.

Ser. NON.

Egad that's true—a fortune's a fortune : no matter how we come by it, as our old friend Horace says, Rem facias. Rem—quocunque modo Rem.

WIT.
[Page 43]

Ay, Mr. Serjeant, that Rem is the thing—but I see the young lady coming this way. —If you will just walk into that room, I'll be with you presently.

[Exit Serjeant.
Enter EMILIA.
EM.

Well, Mr. Witmore, I have considered of your scheme. But I am afraid I shall not be able to set governor Mammon so much against me as to make him refuse to fulfill the contract.

WIT.

Well, at the worst, he cannot compell you to ful­fil it. It is an adjudged case, that the marriage-contract of a minor is not binding. But never fear! play but your part with discretion, my dear Emily, and you cannot fail to deter him from the match. Repel his first attacks with vivacity and you shall find me, and Serjeant Nonplus, who is within, ready to compleat his repulse.

EM.

—I would fain have the refusal come from him— And yet—

WIT.

Nay, my dear Emmeline, start no more objections —I thought I had fully satisfied your scruples, when you satis­fied mine. Love knows no bonds, no shackles but what it imposes on itself. It disdains the formal restrictions imposed on it by others, and submits to no obligations but those of the heart.

EM.
[smiling]

But is this law, Mr. Witmore.

WIT.

The law of love, my dear Emmeline, which is the law of liberty.

EM.

And is there nothing inequitable in the case, eh!

WIT.

Why to say truth, there is some little difference between law and equity in most cases. But the court of love, my dear Emmeline, is a court of common law, and is go­verned [Page 44] by ancient customs and usages time immemorial ; of which none is of longer standing than that of a woman's changing her mind. We shall certainly carry our point, there­fore, at law ; which will put me in possession of your charms, and then let equity disposess me of them if it can.

EM.

How lucky it is that I have fallen into the hands of so great a lawyer!

[Exeunt.
End of the Third ACT.

ACT IV.

SCENE I. Sir Solomon Bauble's.

Enter Governor MAMMON and Lady BAUBLE.
Lady BAU.

With a due reciprocation of civilities, Sir, I must needs say that your actions bespeak it. There is, indeed, a generosity in your behaviour, that hath charmed us all, ex­cept my niece Emmeline. I cannot think what's come to the girl ; but she's grown quite hypocondriac, as I tell her.

G. MAM.

Thoughtful, perhaps, on her approaching change of condition, Madam!

Lady BAU.

Or perhaps, Governor, she expected a pre­sent, as well as Sir Solomon and myself. We women are all a little mercenary, you know. And besides she might think it a mark of disrespect that she had none. One cannot tell— these young things, who know but a little of the world, have strange conceptions.

G. MAM.

I should be sorry, Madam, that Miss Emme­line's inexperience should cause her to censure me for want of respect ; but I reserved such testimony of my regard for her, till I should have the honour of presenting it myself. This casket of diamonds—

Lady BAU.

And have you brought her a casket of dia­monds then? Oh she'll brighten up at the diamonds, I'll war­rant her. I'll send her to you immediately. —But here she is.

[Page 46] Enter EMILIA.

Come, niece Emmeline, here is Governor Mammon, that is to be your husband, you know,

[taking hold of her band and lead­ing her toward the Governor, who advances to salute her.]

As you must have a great deal to say to one another, I leave you together, Governor,

[aside]

I long to have their confabula­tion over, that I may contemplate the beauty of the diamonds.

[Exit.
G. MAM.
[bowing as he retires from faluting her.]

Miss Emmeline, your slave—

[aside]

a fine girl grown, faith,

[to her.]

You will permit me to present you with this token of my respect, before I enter on the subject of my love,

[taking a casket out of his pocket and presenting it to her.]
EM.
[putting aside the casket with her hand.]

By no means, Sir. Before I receive any present from you, Governor, it is proper I should know what return I can make you.

G. MAM.

There needs no return, Madam.

EM.

True, Governor, if I become your wife, in which case your present is a mere piece of gallantry : and you may almost as well take it out of one hand and put it into the other. You stile yourself my slave : but rather call me your's; for I am certain you think so.

G. MAM.

Miss Emmeline!

EM.

Nay, Sir, be not surprized. I am not now, Go­vernor, the poor, simple girl, that was prevailed on to enter into a contract with you in India ; of which I have but late­ly understood the impropriety.

G. MAN.

Indeed, Madam, there seems to be a great al­teration, both in your person and sentiments. But as I ad­mire the one, I presume the other will make no alteration in the nature of our connexion.

EM.

A groundless hope, Governor. To be plain with you, I find that women educated in England, not only be­stow [Page 47] their persons in marriage ; but that they have minds also, which are interested in the event of that union ; souls, Governor ; of which you Asiatic tyrants will hardly allow us women to boast the possession.

G. MAM.

Why really, Miss Emmeline, you seem to be possessed of a soul indeed, if one may judge by this speci­men of your spirit. But as the philosophers hold the soul to be of no sex, we Asiatics, as you call us, wisely think the best part of a woman is her person.

EM.

And you would be mean enough to accept the hand of a woman, who had disposed of her heart to another

G. MAM.

Why look ye, madam, if a woman takes upon her to dispose of what is not her property, but has been made over to another, I don't see why the first owner may not, without the imputation of meanness, reclaim it. But is that really the case Miss Emmeline.

EM.

Indeed, governor it is.

G. MAM.

Then you have dealt disingenuously by me madam,

[putting the casket into his pocket.
EM.

How so, Sir? If all you require of a woman be the possession of her person, what matters it on whom she bestows her affections!

G. MAM.

I looked on both in you as equally my pro­perty.

EM.

Why there, Sir! —it is just as I said—You look upon me as your property, your purchased slave ; and would doubtless treat me as such, were we married. You would be for taking me back to India, to make up the number of your Zenana, your seraglio of female favorites. But that is not in your power, Sir, were I even married to you, without my own consent. And be assured I shall never willingly leave a country in which the privileges of our sex are so well respected and secured. An English wife Governor—

G. MAM.
[Page 48]

Is as great a tyrant—

EM.

As an Eastern husband.

G. MAM.

Indeed!

EM.

She may at least set her husband's tyranny at defiance and repay his neglect of her in kind. So beware, Governor, what you do ; and as you approve the hint precipitate our nuptials.

[Exit.
G. MAM.

Hey day! what a termagant young devil it is grown! Yes, yes, she returned to England, to finish her education with a vengeance! No, no madam, I'll not marry, to go back to India and leave you in England neither. If I do marry you I will certainly get divorced before I go or compell you to go with me. —The privileges of an English wife truly! Repay their neglect in kind! What a poor devil is an English husband!

Enter WITMORE and Serjeant NONPLUS from within.
Ser. NON.

Governor, your servant.

G. MAM.

Well met, Mr. Serjeant—Egad you are luckily encountered here, I must have a little of your ad­vice, or my young Tartar from Bengal will prove too much for me.

Ser. NON.

What's the matter, Sir?

G. MAM.

This morning, you know, I consulted you about the shortest method of fulfilling a certain matrimonial contract. And now, I believe, I must consult you on the shortest way of dissolving it.

Ser. NON.

So suddenly Sir?

WIT.

What on the first interview, Governor?

G. MAM.
[Page 49]

Why, the yonng lady speaks her mind so plainly, that I've no need of a second.

Ser. NON.

She is not to your fancy then Governor?

G. MAM.

Or rather I am not to hers. She has taken a fancy to somebody else it seems.

WIT.

And did she own it to you?

G. MAM.

Yes faith she was explicit enough in all con­science. I cannot complain of her reserve. You must find out some way, therefore, gentlemen to dissolve this same contract.

WIT.

Impossible, Governor, without fulfilling the condi­tion of the obligation.

G. MAM.

What must I be married to such a shrew against my will?

WIT.

O, no, Sir, on the payment of a lack of Rupees you may be excused. These are the terms of the contract, as I take it.

G. MAM.

Yes, but, as I take it, that forfeiture is too considerable. I'll marry her tho' it be to have the pleasure of divorcing her the next day.

WIT.

True Governor if that pleasure might be so soon had.

G. MAM.

May it not? I understood divorces were now become as frequent in England, as in the East.

Ser. NON.

They are pretty frequent indeed, Governor, and when the parties are agreed, are easily brought about. But if either be refractory, they are somewhat dilatory and expensive.

G. MAM.

And pray, Gentlemen, in what time and expence upon an average now, may a man by the laws of England, get rid of a refractory wife.

WIT.
[Page 50]

By the law of reason and therefore by the laws of England, Sir, it should be very soon.

Ser. NON.

But, by the practice of them it cannot be at all.

G. MAM.

How Sir?

Ser. NON.

Even so Sir, a new law must be expressly made for that purpose.

WIT.

By that means it may be brought about.

G. MAM.

Well, no matter for the means, the time and expence.

Ser. NON.

Let me fee—The time and expence! — Crim. con. we must take for granted.

G. MAM.

Ay, ay, in all appearance we shall want no no proof of that.

Ser. NON.

An action may be prosecuted in the Tem­poral Court a reasonable time and a moderate expence ; brother Witmore.

WIT.

Yes, yes; we common lawyers have some con­science.

Ser. NON.

Verdict obtained at Westminster, we go into the commons. A libel is instituted—recrimination ensues—

G. MAM.

Recrimination! What's that? Mr. Serjeant.

Ser. NON.

The recrimination of the canonists, Sir, is the antecatagory of the civilians.

G. MAM.

It is! Oh, ho! that makes every thing very plain.

WIT.

You must know, Governor, our canonists main­tain that a woman may as lawfully go astray from her hus­band as a man from his wife.

G. MAM.

The devil!

WIT.

Yes Sir, and our married women of course, play the devil on the authority.

Ser. NON.
[Page 51]

Pope Boniface the 8th, Sir, as the priests had no wives of their own, indulgently promulgated this doctrine, for them to preach to the wives of others.

G. MAM.

But what have we to do with Pope Boniface or his indulgencies?

Ser. NON.

More than you may imagine, Governor. The reformatio legum not taking place the papal cannons continue still in force, and Si quando mulier maritum—but perhaps I had better speak plain English—

G. MAM.

By all means, Mr. Serjeant, if you can. — As you are upon a matter of importance, I should be glad to understand you.

Ser. NON.

Then, Sir, to put the case familiarly, thus. If Jack A. being lawfully married to Jill B. perad­venture Jill should prove a jade (as, now a days, it is ten to one but she does) yet, nevertheless and notwithstanding, if the said Jill make it appear that the said Jack is as bad as herself ; it is in such case to be adjudged, that the parties Jack and Jill are well matched, and it were a sin to separate so worthy a couple.

G. MAM.

Confound the pope and all his adherents!

Ser. NON.

With all my heart Governor ; except out brethren in the commons; with whom to proceed. —

WIT.

Ay, ay proceed, proceed Mr. Serjeant.

Ser. NON.

Recrimination ended. —Alimony settled. — Term probatory over go to trial. —Cast! no matter which side, the husband pays costs on both.

G. MAM.

The devil! he does!

WIT.

Ay, Governor, there's the devil again.

Ser. NON.

An appeal is next lodged in the Arches. — the ground gone over again. —Thence an appeal to the Delegates a definitive sentence is obtained. This being in [Page 52] your favour, on settling a handsome separate maintenance on your wife you turn her off a mensa et thoro.

G. MAM.

And so get fairly rid of her, ha!

WIT.

Not so fast, Governor ; only from bed and board.

Ser. NON.

Besides, Sir, unless you fly the country, your Lady, if she be industrious, may bring you a numerous family of well-begotten children ; to all of which you would be the only lawful father.

G. MAM,

Zounds! Gentlemen can this be law?

WIT.

Sound law, I assure you, Governor.

Ser. NON.

Ay, ay, found law! found law! —But, to go on with Our process—

G. MAM.

Oh! confound its prolixity.

Ser. NON.

With sentence for separation a mensa et thoro, Governor, we go next into parliament for a divorce a vinculo matrimonii, the last stage.

WIT.

Where you may carry your point.

G. MAM.

Hell and the devil! what a process!

Ser. NON.

Let me see! Brother Witmore, ay, on a mo­derate computation, in about ten years and at the expence of twenty, ay twenty, or one and twenty, thousand pounds, the Governor may fairly get rid of his wife—that is, as I said be­fore crim. con. taken for granted.

WIT.

So you see, Governor, you may marry her as soon as you please.

G. MAM.

And so I will, though cuckoldom be my portion, if I cannot get rid of her, without suing for a divorce. You may proceed therefore, gentlemen, with the settlements : Yes, I'll marry her and ship her for India imme­diately, or perhaps ship her first, lest she should give me the slip and run off with her lover.

[Exit.
The Lawyers look at each other with confusion.
WIT.
[Page 53]

Ha!

Ser. NON.

How's this brother Witmore? What cause have we been pleading here?

WIT.

Ship her for India, said he! Egad, we must demur immediately, Mr. Serjeant. It will be too late to bring a writ of error after execution. Let us go to chambers and consult.

Ser.

NON. Oh! a demurrer! a demurrer! by all means, Master Witmore, a demurrer.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II. Boothby's Lodgings.

Enter Lady LOVEMORE and Mrs. GOODWILL.
Lady LOVE.

Mrs. Boothby gone abroad, say you!

Mrs. GOOD.

To Pritchards, to give orders for her habit, madam.

Lady LOVE.

Oh! I shall then meet with her ten to one in my round. If not, tell her I shall call to take her with me in the evening. I must run away immediately.

[Going out is met by General Gantlet.]
GAN.
[stopping her]

Don't put yourself in a fluster, sister. I am sorry for your Ladyship's situation! but these things will happen.

Lady LOVE.

Happen, General! —What will happen!

GAN.

Nay, madam, I thought by your flurry you had heard more than I—But if you have heard nothing, and will promise me not to be frightened, I will tell you.

Lady LOVE.

Promise not to be frightened—You have frightened me to death already. But indeed you are always terrifying me with some disaster or other. What's the matter now?

GAN.
[Page 54]

Nay, it may come to nothing, therefore it is time enough to be alarmed—Mrs. Goodwill!

Mrs. GOOD.

Sir.

GAN.

What time did Mr. Boothby go out?

Mrs. GOOD.

I cannot exactly say the hour, Sir. But it was soon after you left him this morning. Lord Lovemore called in again, and they went out together.

GAN.

As I thought. That is two or three hours ago. Mr. Boothby, you find sister, is not returned ; and I am just come from your house, where they know nothing of his Lord­ship ; so that it is plain one or both of them must have dropped.

Lady LOVE.

Dropped! Lord Lovemore or Mr. Boothby! Heaven and earth! Was there any quarrel between them?

GAN.

Quarrel, madam! Was it not unavoidable after the affair of last night.

Mrs. GOOD.

So this rash General has been fomenting mischief and stirring up strife again!

Lady LOVE.

And what, brother, had you to do with the affair of last night?

GAN.

I will not suffer the honour of my friends, madam, to be hurt by their pusillanimity. And while I have that of being your husband's brother-in-law, he shall neither give nor take an affront, if I can help it, without resenting or being called to account for it.

Lady LOVE.

Your notions of honour, brother, are ridi­culous. Is it less dishonourable for a man to cut his friend's throat, than to be civil to his wife?

GAN.

I am an old batchelor, you know, and know no­thing about wives. But if Boothby has not cut your husband's throat for the insult offered him at your house laft night, he is a—

Lady LOVE.

And so you have been setting them to sighting, I find. Oh, I shall faint! I shall die! My poor Lord is cer­tainly [Page 55] killed! He is murdered.

[She throws herself into the chair and affects to faint away.]
Mrs. GOOD.
[running to her assistance, and taking smelling bottle from her pocket.]

Help! help! here. —Pray, General, lay hold of the Lady's hand and keep it open.

GAN.

Me! not I madam! I know nothing of palmistry.

Mrs. GOOD.

Bless me, General : how could you go to frighten my Lady in this manner!

GAN.

Poh! frightened! If his Lordship be killed, he dies like a man of honour, and she may the sooner get another husband.

Lady LOVE.
[recovering]

Talk not to me brother of another husband! I shall never live to support the loss of this!

Enter BOOTHBY.
GAN.

Ha! Boothby!

[turns on his heel and walks to the back of the stage.]
Lady LOVE.

Oh, Mr. Boothby! where—where is my poor Lord? barbarous man! have you indeed then left him dead, or shall I see him again alive?

[throwing herself again into the chair.]
BOOTH.
[aside]

So! so! so! Honour and dignity has been making fine work of it here, I find!

[to Lady Lovemore]

Your poor Lord, madam! I left him rich, alive and well not five minutes ago, turning over the habits at Pritchard's.

Lady LOVE.

Heaven be praised!

Mrs. GOOD.

So say I, my Lady. Let me beg of your Ladyship to compose yourself. You see nothing has happened that should thus distress you.

GAN.
[having taken Boothy aside]

So, nothing came of it! Ha! —what! disarm'd! —A scratch only, Eh! —Egad I wish I had said nothing about it.

BOOTH.
[Page 56]

I believe, indeed, it had been better, General.

Lady LOVE.
[rising from her chair]

Inhuman brother! Why! why will you be thus perpetually frightening me? You had better draw your sword and pierce my bosom at once than be thus ever terrifying me with false alarms.

GAN.

Fire and furies! madam! draw upon a woman! I that have dared death and destruction at the head of a line of battle! What effeminacy have you ever seen in me, madam, to think I should contaminate my sword with the blood of a wo­man? It is well, madam, it is not your husband that insults me thus. If he had, I would have wrung off his neck, as I would that of a turkey-cock. Draw my sword on a woman! —But 'tis a woman's insult, and so I put up with the indignity.

[Exit.
Lady LOVE.

Bless me, Mr. Boothby, this brother of mine is quite frantic. Is there no method of curing this ridi­culous folly.

BOOTH.

I am afraid not, madam ; but I'll make a trial. I fancy I could frighten him as much as he has frightened your Ladyship.

Lady LOVE.

Would you could, Captain Boothby ; it would give me great satisfaction and might have some good ef­fect on him ; for really his caprices are dreadful.

Enter SERVANT with a Letter for BOOTHBY.
SERV.

A letter, Sir—the bearer said it required no answer, but must be given into your hands immediately.

BOOTH.

Your Ladyship will excuse me.

Lady LOVE.

No apology Mr. Boothby—business must be minded—I must hurry away to assist Mrs. Boothby in the choice of her dress.

BOOTH.
[Page 57]

Your Ladyship's humble servant.

[Exit Lady LOVEMORE.

Now let me see. [reads]

To Capt. Boothby —

If Captain Boothby would prevent his wife's ruin and preserve his own honour, he will hinder her going to the masquerade with Lord Lovemore, or when there will most carefully watch the behaviour of his Lordship.

The hand-writing is a woman's, and resembles that of Lady Lovemore ; but it cannot be hers—she is to accompany my wife, and therefore would hardly dissuade me from letting her go. Besides, she seems not to have the least tincture of jealousy in her disposition—Yet now I reflect ; come this notice from whom it will, it may not be proper to neglect it. Mrs. Boothby's conduct is mysterious. Her resentment last night at Lord Love­more's was unaffected and natural. And, though the passed off the matter slightly to day, the manner in which she did it was neither easy nor natural—There may be something more in this business than I am aware of. I will take Mrs. Boothby to task roundly for her reserve. I'll make her believe I know more than I do, that she may tell me more than I know. — Here she comes.

Enter Mrs. BOOTHBY.

Come hither madam. I have something to say to you—but first let me shut the door.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Something to say to me! and such prepa­ration, it must be of importance sure, Mr. Boothby.

BOOTH.

It is madam. Tell me, Mrs. Boothby [taking her hastily by the hand] and tell me truly, as you value my fu­ture quiet and your own happiness, have you dealt fairly by me?

Mrs. BOOTH.
[Page 58]

Bless me, Mr. Boothby, what do you mean? You terrify me to death by this earnestness. Dealt fairly by you?

BOOTH.

Ay, fairly, Mrs. Boothby.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Witness Heaven! that I have done it ever.

BOOTH.

Nay, call not Heaven to witness a falsehood— You have deceived me Mrs. Boothby—You have treacherously concealed from me a secret, which I ought to have known, and which, had I not by other means discovered it, might have proved our ruin.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Of what falsehood? What deceit? What treachery have I been guilty?

BOOTH.

You told me to day, that you thought Lord Lovemore meant nothing by the behaviour you resented last night.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Unkind Mr. Boothby! did not you your­self say every thing to persuade me so? Did you not say that gratitude for the obligations his Lordship sought to confer on us, required the most favourable construction to be put on his actions!

BOOTH.

Obligations, madam! had he laid obligations on me till he had raised pile to reach the skies, the favour he sought to confer by your means, would have tumbled them all down, and buried them in oblivion. —It is in vain to conceal It any longer. This letter, this letter, madam, has given me damnable intimations of the favours intended us.

Mrs. BOOTH.

By all my hopes of happiness, both here and hereafter, I declare I have concealed nothing from you, but out of motives of the most sincere fidelity and affec­tionate tenderness. I knew you to be so jealous of your honour, that I dreaded the fatal consequences of telling you all.

BOOTH.

And are not you, madam, equally jealous of my honour, that out of such mistaken tenderness for my personal [Page 59] safety, you would betray the most invaluable treasure of my soul? I Would you from so weak a motive subject me to be pointed at as the credulous dupe, the easy fool, the wittol of a titled rascal whom I caress as a friend.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Indeed, indeed you wrong me, Mr. Boothby. Heaven forbid I should be put to the trial ; but I think I could. sacrifice every thing I hold most dear to the preservation of your honour.

BOOTH.

As far as it is dependent on your fidelity, you may think it safe. The worst even a bad woman can do is to make herself ridiculous, it is on herself only that she can entail infamy. But men of honour, madam, have a degree of it to maintain, superior to that which is in a woman's keeping.

Mrs. BOOTH.

I understand you not.

BOOTH.

I will myself, madam, be the guardian both of my own honour and of yours. I have before told you a woman's best confidant is her husband.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Will you then promise to command your temper, and not be urged by that of others to violence.

BOOTH.

I will.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Then will I positively confide in you ; and should his Lordship make any farther advances, acquaint you with it. And now, my dear, let me know the contents of that letter.

BOOTH.

Read it

[gives Mrs. Boothby the letter, and looks at her attentively while she reads it].

Well, madam, what think you of it?

Mrs. BOOTH.

I think it is the contrivance of a very artful and a very jealous woman.

BOOTH.

My Lady Lovemore!

Mrs. BOOTH.

It is her hand—though purposely dis­guised —I am sure of it. I was before this almost tempted to [Page 60] think her base enough to countenance the gallantries of her husband.

BOOTH.

Impossible! with her you are safe, whatever be the designs of his Lordship.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Then you would have me still go to the masquerade.

BOOTH.

By all means; we cannot with any kind of de­cency break the appointment without breaking at once with Lord Lovemore ; which neither good manners nor prudence will yet justify.

Mrs. BOOTH. I will then go in to dress. Pritchard has promised to send me the habit, you so much admired to day.

[Exit.

Manet BOOTHBY.

How loose are the principles of men of intrigue! And how often do we attribute, to motives of humanity and generosity, a conduct influenced by the desire of gratifying personal vanity or mere animal appetite. —Lord Lovemore is to sunk in my esteem, that I can place no confidence in his honour. I shall so far take the letter-writer's advice, therefore, as to watch his motions to night very narrowly.

Enter Mrs. GOODWILL.

Oh! Mrs. Goodwill! if General Gantlet should return I have a little plot upon him, which you must assist me in. Lady Lovemore wishes to be revenged on him for the fright he has just put her in. Now the General was duelling yesterday and wounded his antagonist : the wounds I understand are not dan­gerous, but it will be easy for us to persuade him that they are mortal.

Mrs. GOOD.

An excellent device, if it should but terrify him to run away! His honour and dignity would be finely mortified before he discovered the trick that was put on him.

BOOTH.
[Page 61]

Egad, here he comes—do you be within hear­ing, Mrs. Goodwill, and second my attempt as you see neces­sary.

Mrs. GOOD.

You may depend on me, Sir.

[Exit.
Re-enter General GANTLET.
GAN.

I forgot, Boothby, to ask you if you intend playing the fool at the Hay-market, to night. —I think of going.

BOOTH.

Egad, General, I believe you had better think of a prudent expedition to the continent. You acted the part of a man, it seems, so seriously with your antagonist yesterday, that you should be careful how you play the fool to night. I understand he lies at the point of death.

GAN.

Zounds! The surgeon told me he was in no danger.

BOOTH.

Yes, but it seems they have called in another of more dangerous practice, and he declares otherwise. So that if the man dies, General, the lawyers, who know nothing about the point of honour, you know—

GAN.

Confound the surgeons and the lawyers too—Die! let him die and be sepulchred on a dunghill.

BOOTH.

Nay, but confider, General, I would have you make off by all means, and get out of the kingdom as fast as you can.

GAN.

Make off! What like a house-breaker or a high­wayman! Make off!

BOOTH.

Nay, General, don't be angry. —But if you stay, and matters stand as I hear them related, you will run the utmost danger.

GAN.

But is it not derogatory to a man's dignity to fly from danger?

BOOTH.

If it threatened only from the point of a bayonet or the mouth of a culverin, I grant you, General. But when it appears in the form of a halter and the gallows.

GAN.
[Page 62]

Egad, you say true, Boothby, there is no dignity in the gallows. I will decamp.

Enter Mrs. GOODWILL in haste.
Mrs. GOOD.

Bless me, gentlemen, I am almost fright­ened out of my wits. —Here has been two of Sir John Field­ing's people enquiring after General Gantlet : But as I heard of the ugly affair that happened yesterday, I said his honour was not here—The servant says they are still lurking about the street. Therefore pray take care how you go out, Gene­ral. —What a thing it would be if your honour's dignity should come to be hanged.

G. GAN.

Hell and the devil! what shall I do—Not that I value my life, Capt. Boothby, of a button. I have shewn that at the head of a line of battle : but to be throttled with a halter! the indignity of it, Boothby! I shall die with shame under the indignity of it.

BOOTH.

Let me see—What can be done in this emer­gency? You might escape under disguise ; and that the more readily as it is masquerade night. —But a domino is not suffi­cient, and I have no other at hand.

Mrs. GOOD.

What think you of women's apparel, Sir? I can furnish his honour with a sack and petticoat.

GAN.

A petticoat!

Mrs. GOOD.

Yes, Sir, I'll run and fetch it immediately.

[Exit.
GAN.

A petticoat! I will be taken, hanged, drawn and quartered, e're I put on a petticoat. A soldier, a commander, wear a petticoat!

BOOTH.

Pshaw! General, there is nothing in a petti­coat, which the bravest man upon earth need he offended at. Achilles, you know, who out-hectored Hector, was glad to conceal himself under one of his mother's maids short petti­coats, [Page 63] Nay, Hercules himself changed his club for a distaff, and threw off his lion's skin, to put on fair Omphale's petti­coat.

GAN.

By the Lord, you say true : egad, I had forgot it. A man, as you say, may be as valiant as Hercules, and yet be glad sometimes to creep under a petticoat. Where, where is it?

Enter Mrs. GOODWILL with a tête, sack, and petticoat.
Mrs. GOOD.

Here, here, Sir, with a lady's tête too, to complete the disguise.

BOOTH.

Ay, this is the very thing, Mrs. Goodwill.

[Booth. and Mrs. Good. assist to dress Gant.
GAN.
[while, he is dressing]

Lookye, Boothby, it is not because I fear to die. —I have shewn that, as I said before, in the field of battle. —Nor that I think I have done wrong in ridding the world of a rascal—I could die with a safe conscience! —But the manner of it, Boothby! —The manner of it! I would avoid the indignity of being carted with street-robbers and footpads, Might I be indulged in the satisfaction of being blown from the mouth of a cannon, or plead privilege to have the honour of being decapitated like a gentleman, may I be crucified if I would budge a foot. — But to be dragged like a calf, with a rope about its neck to the slaughter ; to hear wide-mouthed hawkers cry my last dying­speech and confession! —Come, come, Mrs. Goodwill, make haste with your petticoat. —Hercules himself wore a petticoat.

Mrs. GOOD.

There, Sir, 'twill do very well—Now for your tête.

BOOTH.

An admirable disguise—and well fitted.

Mrs. GOOD.

And very becoming too, I protest—Oh! and here, your honour, is your Ladyship's fan.

[taking a fan out of her pocket.]
GAN.
[Page 64]

Ay, ay, come give me my truncheon.

[taking the fan.]
Mrs. GOOD,
[aside]

Well, if this does not cure him of duelling, he should have a statute of lunacy taken out against him and be shut up in the hospital of incurables.

[Exit.
GAN.
(after looking at himself for some time.)

So! a pretty figure for a General! Eh, Boothby! I would not have you think, my dear boy, that it is out of fear I submit to wear this effeminate disguise ; it is only to avoid suffering an indig­nity unbecoming a man. Ever while you live, Boothby, pre­serve the dignity of man!

[Exeunt GAN. fanning himself and holding up his train.
End of ACT the Fourth.

ACT V.

SCENE I. Capt. Boothby's Lodgings.

Enter BOOTHBY and WITMORE.
BOOTH,

How! talk of shipping the young lady back to India! He dare not attempt it, sure!

WIT.

It is hard to say what an India Governor, accus­tomed to the insolence of Asiatic tyranny, may not attempt. His wealth may promise him impunity ; and a step of that kind is easier prevented than amended. I have prevailed on Emi­lia, therefore, to give her aunt the slip and take refuge with Mrs. Boothby, to night. Tomorrow we shall seek another asylum.

BOOTH.

I rejoice at the occasion afforded me of oblig­ing my friend, as I dare say Mrs. Boothby will, at that of as­sisting my cousin. —Mrs. Goodwill.

Enter Mrs. GOODWILL.

Please to let Mrs. Boothby know I would speak to her.

Mrs. GOOD.

She bade me tell you, Sir, she was gone to the masquerade. She said you knew her dress, which might be easily distinguished among the masks.

BOOTH.

This is unlucky. But no matter, you'll bring the lady here, Witmore, Mrs. Goodwill may be trusted, and will attend you till Mrs. Boothby returns.

WIT.
[Page 66]

I shall be obliged to her—You may expect us pre­sently, Mrs. Goodwill.

(Exit.
BOOTH.

So, Lady Lovemore has taken Mrs. Boothby to the masquerade, you say, Mrs. Goodwill.

Mrs. GOOD.

Oh no, Sir. Lady Lovemore sent to excuse herself : his Lordship also called afterwards, to acquaint Mrs. Boothby that an accident had happened, which prevented her ladyship from stirring out to night.

BOOTH.

And did my wife go with his Lordship?

Mrs. GOOD.

No, Sir, but, as he was very pressing for her to do it, she promised to follow him,

BOOTH.

How! it was highly indiscreet of her. Mrs. Goodwill to go alone. Be so obliging as to fetch my domi­no and mask down stairs. madam—I must follow her imme­diately.

(Exit Mrs. Goodwill.

BOOTHBY alone.

I dont half like Lady Lovemore's staying at home and his Lordship's officiousness, in seconding her messages and pressing my wife to accompany him. —And yet there can be no de­sign in it, sure! —My wife refused to go with him. —Yes, but it seem she promised to follow him ; and he knows, to her knowledge too, the habit she was to appear in. —That —That —Zounds! what a tedious while this woman stays! I might almost have been with them by this time.

(Exit

SCENE II. Sir Solomon Bauble's.

Enter Lady BAUBLE and Mrs. BRUSH.
Lady BAU.

Gone out at this time of night! Emilia! my niece! Gone out! do you say?

[Page 67]

BRUSH. Yes, my lady. She said, because his worship had lost his best Othur yesterday, she would see that the street­door was locked to night herself. The Antic-queerians, she said, might run away with her, for ought she knew. I thoft she was coming up stairs immediately ; I thoft no harm.

Lady BAU.

And you let her go by herself, you illiterate, careless creature! did you? Some ruffians may have rushed in and carried her off by violence.

BRUSH.

Very likely, my Lady, for I thoft I saw an ill-looking fellow, like a servant out of place, in an old livery, hankering and hankering about the door all the evening.

Lady BAU.

And why did not you tell me of it, then, you slut? My niece might be ravished, murdered, married, for ought you cared! Here, where is Sir Solomon? —Run all of you, some one way and some another. Alarm the watch, call up the constable —go dirctly for Governor Mammon — Where, where is Sir Solomon! —

[Exeunt Brush, and Servants.
Enter Sir SOLOMON BAUBLE.
Sir SOL.

Here, here, who calls! I was only just tak­ing leave of my princess before I went to bed, my lady.

Lady BAU.

Out updn your Princess—I wish you was bedded to her with all my heart. —You are a pretty guardian truly to take more care of a mummy than of your ward.

Sir SOL.

My ward! why what's the matter, wise?

Lady BAU.

Matter enough Sir, somebody has carried off your niece.

Sir SOL.

How! carried off Emilia! Run away with her by force?

Lady BAU.
[Page 68]

Nay, I know not that : she may have follow­ed the example of your daughter for ought I know. The collateral branches of the family may possibly take after one another, tho' they diverge in the descending line. —I won­der your masculine sagacity, Sir Solomon, did not foresee this disaster.

Sir SOL.

I don't wonder that your feminine foresight did not prevent it! Woman's wit! quotha! —But who went with her! —Which way went she? —

Lady BAU.

Nay, if we knew that, we might know which way to go after her.

Enter Mrs. BRUSH and a WATCHMAN.
Sir SOL.

Well. Watchman, did you see any thing of a young Lady, who looked as if the was running away with herself?

WAT.

Your worship's kinswoman, Sir, Madam Emily, I think they call her, passed by my stand just now.

Lady BAU.

Any body with her?

WAT.

A young gentleman, as my partner says, belong­ing to the Temple : He knows them, for my part I does not know neither him nor she.

Sir SOL.

A templar! eh! a sad dog, I'll warrant him, my lady.

Lady BAU.

Oh, a pretty rake! no doubt.

WAT.

For my part, I took her for a crack ; as the gentleman called a coach off the stand and bid him drive toward Covent Garden.

Lady BAU.

Run, fly, Mr. Watchman, pursue the coach. Go, fellow, run.

[Exit. Enter
[Page 69] Enter THOMAS.
Sir SOL.

Well, Sir, where have you been?

THO.

After my young mistress, Sir, —And I came back to tell you that the coach drove so consounded fast that I could not overtake it.

Sir SOL.

Why did you not run faster then, blockhead?

THO.

I did Sir. And yet, for all that, had it not stopped when it did, I should have never have come up with it.

Lady BAU.

Then it did stop, and you did come up with it. Eh!

THO.

Yes, my lady, at the door of a habit shop in Ta­vistock Street. I suppose the gentleman and miss are going to the masquerade. So I thought that, while they were putting on their dresses, I would just step back, to let your Ladyship and his Worship know where to find them.

Sir SOL.

Well done Thomas. Yes, yes I'll be with them presently. Give me my roccelo and bid somebody run and call a coach.

Lady BAU.

And me a chair. I'll slip on my things and go with you. Come Brush get me any bonnet and cloak.

[Exit.
THOMAS re-enters with Sir SOLOMON's Roccelo, Hat ana Cane.

Sir SOL. And do you hear, Thomas—run you to Governor Mammon and bring him after us immediately. —I'll deliver my niece into his hands this very night, I protest. You have done well Thomas—Bring Governor Mammon with you immediately. And, do you hear, Thomas for fear we should want assistance, tell his Banyan to muster up his attendants; from his Dallals and Darògas, down to his hon­our's Pykes, Peons and Cooleys. Do you hear Thomas!

THO.

I will Sir.

Exeunt.

SCENE III. Boothby's Lodgings.

Enter WITMORE, and EMILIA followed by Mr. GOODWILL.
WIT.

Don't be flurried, my dear Emilia, we are ar­rived safe.

EM.

I am so frightened, lest they should have followed and watched us in.

WIT.

Don't be apprehensive, my dear girl. —As we left the coach at the door of the habit-shop, and you came away masked in a chair, we have certainly eluded the vigilance of our pursuers, if there were any.

Mrs. GOOD.

This way Madam if you please. This way, Sir, be under no apprehensions of surprize : The ser­vants will let no stranger in without giving me notice.

Exeunt.

Enter BOOTHBY.

Curse on my foolish curiosity! How miserable it has made me! I did not think I could have been so suddenly jealous. My wife Cannot sure encourage Lord Lnvemore! And yet, as I watched them about the rooms, I surprized her in such familiar conversation with him. She did not speak loud enough for me to hear what she said, indeed ; but she seemed to whisper so frequently ; and her signs were so significantly encouraging, her attitudes so provokingly in­viting, that I was several times in the mind to pluck the mask from her face and expose her, him and myself, to the Company.—I did not imagine she could so readily have entered into the spirit of the place. — —Who knows, in her gaité de coeur, how far things may be carried! [Page 71] They may have left the rooms for greater freedom of conver­sation elsewhere. —Confound the crowd in which I lost fight of them.

[Going ; Stops short.

Ha! here they are! —Bring him home to her own lodgings! Is this simplicity or art! —I fear I have been made their dupe. —But I'll see a little more.

[Retires behind the Scene.
Enter Lord LOVEMORE in a domino, with a mask in his hand, leading a Lady in a fancy dress, masked.
Lord LOVE.

Nay, my dear Mrs. Boothby, why carry on the farce now?

BOOTH.
[aside]

My dear Mrs. Boothby! Yes, yes, I am now convinced. —It is clear they have made a dupe of me.

Lord LOVE.

Not one word! Have you so kindly invited me home not to speak to me? Will not your tongue confirm my happiness? By this hand I will force the seal of silence [...]om those charming lips with kisses.

[offers to kiss the Lady.
BOOTH.

By this band, my Lord, but you shall not.

[Laying hold of Lard Lovemore's arm.
LADY.

Oh!

[screams and runs off.]
[After sometime looking at each other.]
Lord LOVE.

Capt. Boothby!

BOOTH.

Lord Loveinore! —Your Lordship has some grace left I see by your confusion. And so my dear Mrs. Boothby has kindly invited you home, and after all won't speak to yeu. —I will lay my commands on her, my Lord, she shall speak to you. —Come forth, Mrs. Boothby ; come forth and speak to Lord Lovemore ; his Lordship is impatient to hear the confirmation of his happiness from those charm­ing lips.

[Going up to door finds it locked.

Ha! locked! —Open the door this instant, madam, or, by [Page 72] heavens I'll split it into a thousand pieces, Provoke not the rage of an injured husband, left he should be no longer able to restrain it.

Lord LOVE.

On my honour, Mr. Boothby, no injury hath been done you.

BOOTH.

Perhaps less than was intended, my Lord : but I am convinced it was not your fault that an irreparable injury is not done me. I am not so credulous, therefore, as to take your Lordship's word. Your honour, my Lord, is a bad security for your veracity. We must hear what Mrs. Boothby says to it. Come forth, I say, Madam — Mrs. Boothby!

Enter Mrs. BOOTHBY with, Mrs. GOODWILL, from another part of the scene.
Mrs. BOOTH.

Who calls me so loudly? —Mr. Boothby!

[Lord Lovemore and Capt. Boothby look with surprize at each other.
BOOTH.

So soon undressed, madam! This is masque­rading indeed! Did not you go into this room just now, in the habit, I saw you dressed in to night at the Haymarket?

Mrs. BOOTH.

You forgot, my dear, that there is no other door to that room. Nor did you see me to night dressed in any habit at the Haymarket.

BOOTH.

How! madam! Would you persuade me I did not know you? Did not you, Mrs. Goodwill, say my wife was gone to the masquerade?

Mrs. GOOD.

I said, Sir, your Lady bade me tell you so.

BOOTH.

No prevaricating, no shuffling madam! I say, my wife was to night at the masquerde.

Mrs. GOOD.

And I can answer for Ms. Boothby, Sir, that she has not been out of doors to night. —She has been [Page 73] conversing for some time with the gentleman and lady, you ecpected ; who are now above stairs.

BOOTH.

Mr. Witmore and Emilia!

Ms. BOOTH.

It is even so, my dear. Being disap­pointed of my habit, I sent to acquaint Lady Lovemore of it. who returned me word that an unforeseen accident likewise prevented her Ladyship's going. Indeed my Lord came af­terwards to apologize for her, and pressed me so hard to ac­company him, that, in order to get rid of his importunity, I was in a manner obliged to promise I would follow him : so that Mrs. Goodwill told you no untruth.

BOOTH.

But why impose on me by equivocation?

Mrs. BOOTH.

That I mightoot deprive yoo of an amuse­ment, my dear, merely because I could not partake of it my­self, I thought you would return when you did not find me among the masks.

BOOTH.

I thought I had found you, madam.

Mrs. BOOTH.

In the person, I suppose, to whom my habit was sent by mistake. You have no reason, I hope, to be much displeased at your disappointment.

BOOTH.

As you were prudent enough to disappoint his Lordship, I am satisfied.

Lord LOVE.

That is more than I am. —As Lady Love-more is at home, and Mrs. Boothby has not been abroad all the evening, you will give me leave to see who is in this room.

BOOTH.

Force open the door, then, my Lord, you con­ducted hither the Lady who went into it.

Lord LOVE.

That I will, without ceremony.

[Rushes agaist the door, forces it open and goes in.
Mrs. GOOD.
(aside)

What violence is this?

Mrs. BOOTH.

What is all this, Mr. Boothby?

BOOTH.

We shall see presently, my dear. As yet I hardly know myself. Some demirp, I supoose, has been [Page 74] quetting with Lord Lovemore : but his reason for bringing her hither is somewhat particular.

Re-enter Lord LOVEMORE leading in the Lady, still masked.
Lord LOVE.

Come, madam, will you be pleased to un­mask, that I may know to whom I am obliged for so many civilities?

[The Lady unmasks.

ALL but Lord Lovemore. Lady Lovemore! Ha! ha! ha!

Lord LOVE.

'Sdeath! —have I been all this while mak­ing love to my own wife? —What a contemptible figure do I make here!

Lady LOVE.

Come, come, my Lord, don't babashed. If you can be but half so gallant at home as I find you can be abroad, you may yet have no reason to repent it.

Lord LOVE.

You, madam, may have reason though to repent of this fine foolery.

Lady LOVE.

I shall never repent, my Lord, of preventing you doing what you yourself would have-much more reason to repent of. —Mrs. Boothby, I hope, will excuse my person­ating her on this occasion, as well as the artifices I made use of, to procure her habit and detain her at home.

Mrs. BOOTH.

Your Ladyship need not apologize to me for any thing that is past.

BOOTH.

And what says Lord Lovemore to what has past?

Lord LOVE.

Nothing, Sir. I am neither disposed to ask pardon nor bear reproof.

[Exit.
Lady LOVE.

Well said, Lord Lovemore! Carry it off like yourself. But I must have some talk with you on this bu­siness; and that immediately too.

[Exit.
Enter Sir SOLOMON and LADY BAUBLE.
Sir SOL.

Ay, ay, this is the house, this is the house, my Lady. —Let the constables wait without.

BOOTH.
[Page 75]

What's this? Sir Solomon! my father in law!

Sir SOL.

I disclaim you, Sir. —Where is my niece Emmiline? What! would not the robbing me of a daughter content you, but you must likewise seduce my ward?

Lady BAU.

And you, my pretty sormal, sugitive daughter, was it not enough that you had ruined yourself, but you must assist in the ruin of your run-away cousin too? —Where is she?

Sir SOL.

Ay, where is she! Let her appear this moment, or we'll call in the constables and break open the doors. She was seen to come in here.

Lady BAU.

Ay, ay, call in the constables, Sir Solomon ; and let them break open the doors.

A noise is heard without. Enter a CONSTABLE.
CONST.
[coming in]

Stand aside, stand aside there ; the young lady is found ; let her come in.

Sir SOL.

How! I thought they said she was already in the house.

CONST.

No! no! Sir! We stopped her, an' please your worship, as she was coming out of a chair to get into a post­chaise, to set off for France. Had not she seemed shy of being seen, we should not have suspected her. She's very obstropu­lous for a young lady! she won't let us see her face—so that we are sure it must be she. —Let the lady come in, there.

Enter GENERAL GANTLET still in woman's cloaths.
CONST.

Come miss—you'll let these gentlesolks see your face, I suppose.

GAN.

[aside] Zounds! What a congregation are got to­gether here!

BOOTH.

[aside] The General! What a whimsical inci­dent! I must save his dignity farther mortification, or we shall have him quite outrageous.

Sir SOL.
[Page 76]

Emily! that—that—Emily!

Lady BAU.

What a metamorphosis! I protest, she is so transformed, Sir Solomon, that I should not have known her. Come, madam, pray unmask, and let us see the natural features of that bold face of thine

[going up to the General, to pull off his mask].
BOOTH.

Hold, madam! my apartments are the young lady's protection. I receive company on all these public nights and nobody mult be unmasked here against their will.

[Turning to the General]

This way, madam, if you please : Mrs. Goodwill, be so good as to shew the lady up to the drawing room

[Boothby leads General Gantlet across the siage, and beckons to Mrs. Goodwill who goes off with him].
Lady BAU.

Don't tell me

[running up and suatching off Gantlet's mask, as Mrs. Goodwill leads him off].

Oh!

Sir SOL.

What's the matter, my Lady? What, srightened at your niec!

Lady BAU.

No, no, that hard-featured thing is more likely to be her gallant.

Sir SOL.

Her gallant! What in petticoats! Fine doings these!

Lady BAU.

Yes, yes, your niece is got into fine com­pany here—but if I don't rout them—Here, where's the constable.

BOOTH.

Hold, madam. Your Ladyship must excuse me, if I prevent you from exposing yourself here.

Sir SOL.

How Sir! will you detain a ward from her guardian?

Lady BAU.

Oh! here comes the Governor. We shall hear what he says to it.

Enter Governor MAMMON followed by THOMAS.
G. MAM.

Wait without there.

[Page 77]

Sir SOL. 'Tis well you are come, Governor—Egad, you had like to have been a wife out of pocket, I can tell you. — Mr. Constable look well to the doors—Thomas, see that no­body ships out.

[Exeunt THOMAS and CONSTABLE.
G. MAM.

Is the young lady overtaken then, Sir Solomon?

Sir. SOL.

Yes, yes, we have housed her. She's safe enough above stairs, if we can but prevail on this gentleman to part with her. Though he cares not for the authority of fathers or guardians, he may respect perhaps the prerogatives and privileges of a husband!

BOOTH.

A husband, Sir Solomon I Is your niece then the gentleman's wife?

G. MAM.

She must be, Sir, if I'm disposed to marry her.

BOOTH.

Perhaps not, Sir, if she is not so already : but here she comes.

Enter Mr. WITMORE and EMILIA.
Lady BAU.

Another metamorphosis! So, madam, you thought your shallow cunning could outwit your uncle's and my profound sagacity, did you?

G. MAM.

[to Wit.] How, Mr. Witmore! Is it you that are my rival?

WIT.

The young lady, Governor, hath preferred me to be her guardian ; and no violence must be offered her incli­nations.

G. MAM.

Nor shall there, Barrister, on my account, I promise you.

Sir SOL.

How, Sir!

G. MAM.

I have this afternoon, Sir Solomon, been in­formed by a relation, whom I advised of my arrival, that this young Barrister is my nephew.

WIT.

Sir!

Sir SOL.
[Page 78]

How! the Governor your uncle! and you so undutiful at not to know any thing about him!

G. MAM.

His ignorance of me is excuseable, Sir Solo­mon : It is long since I corresponded with the family. —He may possibly have heard of me, but there have been so many Mammons of late years imported from India, that, had the name implied affinity, he might have expected a cargo of cousins by every fleet. But know me now, young gentleman, for your uncle

[embracing him.]
Lady BAU.

Well, but what is to become of our niece!

G. MAM.

Why, give her to my kinsman, Madam. I really think the young lady hath provided better for herself than her friends had provided for her.

Sir SOL.

And do you resign her to him, Governor?

G. MAM,

Why, look ye, Sir Solomon, I did not chuse to forfeit my lack of Rupees; but as the money will not now go out of the family, I can refign the lady without reluctance. So that, if you consent to their marriage, the young folks shall not be disappointed.

Sir SOL.

Well, what say you to the proposal, my lady?

Lady BAU.

Say! Sir Solomon! What is there to be said? Governor Mammon having a right to claim Emilia for himself, he has a fortiori, as the Logicians say, a right to dispose of her to his Nephew.

Sir SOL.

Well then, Barrister, with the Governor's leave, I don't say take her ; but, as you have got, you may keep her.

WIT.

I thank you, Sir Solomon. —But to you, Sir,

[Speaking to Governor Mammon.]

I know not how to make my acknowledgements.

G. MAM.

When we are better acquainted, Nephew, you may learn.

Sir SOL.
[Page 79]

Ay, ay—and, as you have got so good an Uncle and a wife into the bargain, Barrister, you ought to be satisfied.

WIT.

Not quite, Sir. You will give me leave to hope you will extend your goodness also to my friend Boothby and your daughter.

Mrs. BOOTH.

May I hope for so great a blessing as your pardon, madam?

[To Lady Bauble.]
Lady BAU.

Sir Solomon!

Sir SOL.

Nay, if it rests with me—there—there, take both our blessings between you. It is all I can spru at present, tho'; take that with you.

BOOTH.

I hope otherwise, Sir.

WIT.

Never fear, Boothby ; when favour once comes, fortune will soon follow.

Enter General GANTLET in his own cloathes.
G. GAN.

By heavens, this is not to be put up with. Bedizen'd like a strumpet, dogg'd by thief-takers, dragged along like a street-walker! —Capt. Boothby, I must have satisfaction for all this ; I understand it was a plot of yours and my lady sister's, to expose me. As to her, she is a woman, and I'll have nothing more to do with petticoats.

BOOTH.

Faith, General, I ask your pardon with all my heart. But I acted in concert with Lady Lovemore merely to set this savage custom of duelling, you are so ab­surdly fond of, in a ridiculous light.

G. GAN.

Yes, faith, I feel myself ridiculous enough in all conscience. But my dignity, Boothby!

BOOTH.

How, General! Doth dignity consist in the brutal custom of cutting throats, like cannibals, in cold [Page 80] blood ? Did the heroes of antiquity want dignity? Yet did Caesar ever send a challenge to Cato, or Cato to Caesar?

G. GAN.

Caesar and Cato, Boothby, were clever fellows, in their day, no doubt. Yes, your Caesars and Catos must have been fine fellows in there time. But sword and pistol were not then in vogue, and the fight­ing one's friends was not come in fashion. You may call me absurd, if you will ; but how is a man of honour at present to support his consequence without having recourse to the Duel ?

BOOTH.

By having recourse to his good-nature, my dear General : Believe me, there is often more fortitude in forgiv­ing an injury than in revenging it ; and always more dignity in despising insults than in resenting them.

THE END

EPILOGUE.

And spoken by Miss BARSANTI.

WELL, men of valour! how do ye like our play?
Nothing against it, sure, the Ladies say! —
To own they're pleas'd the critics ever loth,
May cry "A Duellist with scarce an oath!
"'Tis like his hat, that was without a feather. —
"Duels and dammes, always go together."
Old sinners, loving the licentious joke,
May think there wants too here and there a stroke ;
Round oaths and double meanings, strew'd between,
With them the virtues of the comic scene.
And yet the Town in general is so nice,
It holds these virtues as a kind of vice.
From the teeth outwards chaste, their hands before 'em,
Like reps, ev'n demireps are all decorum.
Though gross their thoughts, so delicate their hearing,
They think the very stage should fine for swearing.
Our author, therefore, scrupled to employ
Your vulgar damme Sir, and damme boy;
Nay, when by chance a naughty joke came pat in,
He wrapt it up, you know, in lawyer's Latin *.
So much refin'd the scene since former days,
When Congreve, Vanbrugh, Wycherly wrote plays,
[Page]"The stage so loosely did Astrea tread,
"She fairly put all characters to bed ;
Tho' now no bard would venture to deposit
A Macaroni in a lady's closet ;
Lest the srail fair one he be thought to ruin,
While moon and stars alone—see what they're doing.
In the old plays, gallants take no denial,
But put the struggling actress to the trial.
B1ess me! I shudder ev'n now to think
How near ev'n I may stand on dangers brink.
In modern plays, more safe the female station ;
Secure as sad our solemn situation!
No rakish, forward spark dares now be rude :
The Comic Muse herself grown quite a prude!
No wonder then, if, in so pure an age,
No Congreves write for as demure a stage.

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