THE HOTEL; OR, THE DOUBLE VALET.

A FARCE, IN TWO ACTS.

AS IT IS PERFORMED AT THE THEATRE-ROYAL IN DRURY-LANE.

BY THOMAS VAUGHAN, ESQ.

[...] HEROD.
Segniùs irritant animos demissa per aurem,
Quamquae sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus, et quae
Ipse sibi tradit spectator.
HOR. AR. POET.

LONDON: Printed for T. BECKET, Corner of the Adelphi, Strand.

MDCCLXXVI.

[Price One Shilling.]

TO HIS GRACE The DUKE of NORTHUMBERLAND.

MY LORD,

YOUR Grace's ready condescension in per­mitting the following trifle to be dedicated to You, shews how exceedingly an honour may be heightened, by the manner of conferring it. Permit me therefore, to assure Your Grace, in the words of the elegant Pliny, Dum tu occa­siones obligandi ità me libenter amplecteris, ego nemini libentiùs debeo. Which I beg leave to submit, as the best reason I can assign, for having solicited the honour of thus publicly subscrib­ing myself,

MY LORD,
Your Grace's most devoted, obedient, and obliged humble servant, THOMAS VAUGHAN.

PREFACE.

THE Author presents his compliments to the Ladies and Gentlemen engaged in the Hotel; particularly Mr. King, Mr. Parsons, and Miss P. Hopkins—With pleasure acquiesces in the general opinion, that the principal success, and uncommon applause the subsequent petite piece has been received with, is very justly attributed to the great attention and excellence of the performance; for which they have his best thanks, and warmest good wishes.

And with regard to any merit he might lay claim to in the production, the situation of an author, as described in the underwritten passage *, and the different opinions and critiques thrown out in the public prints, prevent his falling into that vanity and self-conceit, which bears such strong ascendancy over the minds of most men, and of authors in particular. And if his scenes but amuse in the closet, in proportion to their favourable reception on the stage, his utmost wish is gratified.

PROLOGUE.

Spoken by Mr. KING.
To hear with candour, ere we judge a cause,
Is the known Magna Charta of all laws!
So says our bard!—then who would break a rule,
Fram'd and established in the earliest school?
Or, who so jealous of another's fame,
To damp a spark, just rising to a flame?
And yet,—from our reports within,—'tis said,
There are—some wits amongst ye—so ill bred,
They come,—unknowing,—wherefore,—or for why,—
To break, on critic-wheel,—a butterfly!
But sure my eyes,—and they're not bad, good folks!
Can easy read—these whispers—are mere jokes!
To try the hero of this night's campaign,—
Who frets,—and struts,—then struts,—and frets again!
Bows,—smiles,—and nods,—from heroes, kings, and queens,
To him who prompts,—sweeps,—clips,—or shifts the scenes!
But I—who know him best,—do know for certain,
That—entre nous,—'tis all behind the curtain,
Where he—poor culprit,—trembles ev'ry limb,
And shadows seem—realities to him!
Doubts rise on doubts!—and fears on fears await!
Holding, with airy nothings,—a debate!
And so suspicious,—lest you take amiss—
That ev'ry cough,—he'll construe to a hiss!
Or should you cry but bravo!—or encore!
He'll trembling answer,—"there!—d'ye hear? no more!"
Oh! could you know what authors, actors feel!
When at your bar they make their first appeal!
You'd think your warmest patronage their due,
And own the picture—where the tints are true!
To him then, conscious, that all comic wit,
"As 'tis the best,—so 'tis most hard to hit!"
[Page]Ye Gods *!—and demi-gods !—ye wits §! be kind;
Nor, in the critic, lose—the gen'rous mind!
Of old rememb'ring—authors would excel,
When men were prais'd—who but endeavour'd well.
going, stops.
Yet hold—one hint I'll drop before I go—
'Tis downright Farce—not Comedy we shew—
As such receive—nor mark with critic sneer—
As if a bench of Stagyrites were here—
But laugh—where Nature prompts—where Mirth demands—
And give (in spite of trivial faults) your hands.

DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

MEN.
  • Sir JACOB THRIFT, a miser, Mr. Parsons.
  • Sir JOHN SEYMOUR, in love with Flavia, Mr. Davies.
  • NEVILLE, in love with Clarissa, Mr. Brereton.
  • WENTWORTH, friend to Sir John Seymour and Clarissa, Mr. Packer.
  • ROBIN, servant to Sir Jacob, Mr. Burton.
  • TRIMWELL, an arch servant, Mr. King.
  • An Irish Chairman, Mr. Griffith.
WOMEN.
  • FLAVIA, daughter to Sir Jacob, con­tracted to Mr. Montague, but in love with Sir J. Seymour, Miss Jarrat.
  • CLARISSA, sister to Mr. Montague, in love with Neville, Miss P. Hopkins.
  • TABBY, waiting-woman to Flavia, Mrs. Wrighten.

Scene, COVENT-GARDEN, with a view of Low's Hotel.

Time of Action, FIVE HOURS.

N. B. Some few passages are omitted in the Repre­sentation, as being judged too long.

THE HOTEL; OR, THE DOUBLE VALET.

ACT I. SCENE I.

An apartment in Sir Jacob's house.
Flavia discovered working at the Tambour; Tabby waiting.
Flavia.

AND are you sure, Tabby, the postman had no letters for me to-day? I am cer­tain it was his rap; which has more music in it to the ears of an expecting lover, than the most favourite air of a Fisher or Bach.

Tabby.

Indeed, madam, were I young and handsome as you are, I would not be balk'd about it; for tho' Mr. Montague neglects writing, Sir John Seymour would not, had he the same opportunity.

Flavia.

Sir John Seymour! What know you, pray, of Sir John Seymour?

rising, displeas'd at her pertness.
Tabby.

Nay, nothing, madam; only—

Flavia.

Only what? I charge you speak!

Tabby.

That he must love you, madam, and that dearly, to be so vast generous as he is to me upon all occasions.

Flavia.
[Page 2]

I hope you don't accept of any favors from him.

Tabby.

Lord, madam, he does the favor so genteely, and so privately, there's no refusing the gentleman.

Flavia.

I charge you, as you value your place, to decline any thing his generosity offers; as you are not to learn of my father's having early contracted me to another abroad.

Tabby.

And yet, madam, I should think a bird in the cage is worth two in the air. And as to my old master Sir Jacob, so as he parts not with his money, he cares not, I believe, had you married the Hoity-toity man from beyond sea, or were to elope with our Robin.

Flavia.

I must tell you, you give your tongue a liberty very unbecoming, depending, I suppose, for your security on the confidence I have placed in you: But as my prior engagement prevents, I fear, any ho­nourable conclusion with Sir John, I beg no more impertinence on that head.

Tabby
[pertly].

Madam, I can be secret as well as another, when services are thus rewarded.

Flavia.

Leave me.

re-seating herself at the tambour.
Tabby.

They first make us familiar, then wonder at our freedom.

Aside. Exit.
Enter Sir Jacob, (not seeing Flavia.)
Sir Jacob
[returned from walking, fatigued].

Mercy on me! what a pity it is one cannot take a hackney­coach as formerly I used a seat in a Playhouse, at half price! It would be the certain making of me! Where­as this walking every day to and from 'Change creates such an appetite, that I foresee I shall eat myself out of house and home before Christmas; unless, indeed, I should be fortunate enough to be laid up with a strong fit of the gout, or visited by that old family complaint the rheumatism: Rare disorders both for economy! no eating, no drinking, no! But why delay commu­nicating the contents of friend Wentworth's letter to my daughter Flavia?

[going, sees Flavia.]

Ah, Flavia! child, good morrow!

Flavia
[rising].

Sir, good day to you!

Sir Jacob.

Ah! child, my good days are all over.

Flavia.
[Page 3]

All over, Sir; you alarm me! I do not un­derstand you.

Sir Jacob.

Not any thing succeeds that I undertake; deceived at home, disappointed abroad, every day brings on new expences, and no money to pay with.

Flavia.

Excuse me, if I conceive you torment your­self, Sir, without a cause; as in the city I know you to be esteemed a good man.

Sir Jacob.

Who? me, child? good? I good? Heaven forgive them who say so ill of me!

Flavia.

Is it then saying any ill of you, Sir, to say you are rich?

Sir Jacob.

Can they say worse? for, supposing me rich, how can I be safe? shall I not be assassinated? will not my house be surrounded night and day with thieves? Double locks, treble keys, and a hamper of padlocks, will not avail me any thing!

Flavia.

If your affairs are as desperate as you would have them thought, permit me to enquire what it is you have in that strong box in your study, so curiously chain'd to the wall, which you keep lock'd with treble keys, and visit so regularly twice a-day?

Sir Jacob
[eagerly].

Strong box, child? what strong box? I have no strong box:—That you see is an old iron chest, bought as a fixture with the house; and I keep it locked because there is nothing in it fit to be seen.

Flavia.

How then, Sir, are you to defray the ex­pences of my marriage, when—

Sir Jacob
[interrupting her].

Why that, child, is the very disappointment I was mentioning. Your intend­ed husband Mr. Montague is coming over, it's true; but 'tis in his coffin, I hear.

Flavia.

How, Sir! in his coffin, say you?

Sir Jacob.

Yes. Our neighbour Wentworth has been with me this morning, with an account from abroad of his death in some absurd duel.—I don't like these same duels—shall ne'er like them again—as by this means you are at present disappointed of getting a husband—and I

[aside]

in getting rid of a daughter. —Mercy on me! how care, as a body may say, mounts behind a man.

Flavia.
[Page 4]

The manner of his death, Sir, I own affects me, and must have felt it severely, had not our know­ledge of each other been in its infancy when he left England. Are you acquainted, Sir, with any other particulars relative to this unhappy affair?

Sir Jacob.

Not any; one misfortune I thought suf­ficient to know at a time. Besides, my thoughts were immediately turned on the hopes of recovering some­thing from his executors on the contract; for though he has lost his life, child, it is no reason I should lose my money.

Flavia.

How, Sir! recover on the contract? And is it possible such an idea could enter into your mind at an hour like that you received the fatal news in?

Sir Jacob.

Night and day, child, business must be minded: "Take care of business, and it will take care of you," is an excellent saying; and as the opinion I mean to take will cost me nothing, why, if I find myself without a remedy, I'll e'en oblige you, and think no more about it. So, child, I'll just step in, send Robin to market, and then to cousin Capias, make a case of it as of a pauper, and return immediately.

[going, returns]

Do you hear? not a word of my being a good man, or any strong box, I charge you.

Exit.
Flavia.

How undesignedly do we often-times take pains to discover the very thing we would most wish to conceal. Nor am I, I fear, if I examine my own heart, less guilty in this particular than my father; for with all my caution and reprimands to this maid of mine, I fear she is more in the secret of my heart about Sir John Seymour than I could wish her. Surely, 'tis a strange weakness our sex are ever guilty of, in thus making confidants of those whose very interest it is often-times to betray us. But hark!— by the noise, my father, I fear, is returned;

[looking out]

as I live, and with him Tabby trembling like quicksilver!

Sir Jacob
[noise without, as he enters].

So, madam Minx! you thought to escape me with this letter, did you?

[Page 5]
Enter Sir Jacob, holding Tabby trembling.

Relying, I warrant, on my not having as much Mer­cury in my heels now as formerly! but you are mis­taken, you jade! I have enough left yet to do your business. And now pray tell me from whence comes it, and for whom is it design'd? For I can see no direction or post-mark it has

[looking at it, as he con­tinues holding her].
Flavia.

Thanks to the happy invention of lemon­juice!

Aside.
Tabby.

Dear Sir, I am all over in such a fluster, not knowing what you meant to be at upon the stairs, that I scarce know whether I stand upon my head or my heels; nor shall I be able to recover myself, or tell you a single syllable, this half-hour, unless you take off your handcuffs.

Sir Jacob.

Whence had it you, I say?

Tabby
[significantly].

From a man, Sir.

Sir Jacob.

As I suspected. And for my daughter, I suppose?

Tabby.

Yes, Sir; for your daughter—my mistress.

Flavia
[aside to Tabby].

Why, sure, you do not mean to discover me?

Tabby
[aside].

Trust me for that, madam.

Sir Jacob
[to Flavia].

And you know it's contents, perhaps?

Flavia.

Not I, truly, Sir. How is it possible I should know what a letter contains, before it comes to my hands? and you do not seem very willing to part with it.

Sir Jacob.

Not till Mrs. Pert there satisfies my curio­sity, by telling me from what man she had it.

Tabby.

That then, Sir, I can soon do, by assuring you I received it from Mr. Edging, the man-millener in Tavistock-street, and contains, I suppose, some new pattern for a ruffle, taken from the Lady's Magazine.

Flavia
[aside].

Female policy never fails a chamber-maid at a pinch, I see.

Sir Jacob.

Oh! a pattern. Is that all?

Tabby.

All? yes, Sir; all. And a very pretty pattern, no doubt, you have made of yourself in this business.

Sir Jacob.

Peace, insolence! Here then, child

[giving the letter to Flavia]

take the pattern, if it is one.

Flavia
[Page 6]
[opens it, and in opening drops the cover].

Yes, Sir, it is a pattern, I assure you; and one, when I have finish'd, I hope you will approve.

Sir Jacob
[as Flavia is examining the supposed pattern].

Not having any direction on it, this cover may serve to keep a whole year's accounts. Ah! what would become of me, if I did not stoop

[as he takes it up]

to these things myself.

Tabby
[aside].

What a miserable, suspicious, covetous old—Had he been my father, I believe I should have poisoned him a twelvemonth ago!

Sir Jacob
[to Flavia, expressing looks of great pleasure at the letter].

Why, daughter, you seem to be wonder­fully taken methinks with that same pattern.—My mind misgives me strangely.

Aside.
Tabby
[aside].

How truly now does he speak, with­out knowing it!

Flavia.

It contains to deceit, believe me, Sir

[putting the letter in her pocket];

and, with your leave, will in­stantly go and draw it out.

Sir Jacob.

Well, well; do so, child.

Flavia.

Come then, Tabby, follow me: I shall have occasion for your assistance.

Exit.
Tabby
[aside, as she is taking the frame in her hand, and following].

He little suspects, I believe, that fire is the engine my mistress draws with upon these occa­sions.

Exit.
Sir Jacob.

Go, for an impudent baggage!—And now, for neighbour Capias, whose opinion I must know before I discover—

Enter Robin, hastily, with a basket of eggs.

Softly, rascal, or you will break all the eggs! Why, where are you running, in such a plaguy hurry?

Robin.

To get dinner ready quickly, and not waste the fire.

Sir Jacob.

Blockhead! fool! ass! have I not told you a thousand times, never to light the fire till the things for dinner are all brought into the house. How­ever, I have put it out;—therefore stay, and—

Robin.

Zooks, what a—

[stopping his mouth, as if going on].
Sir Jacob.

Why, you rascal! if I had not a little [Page 7]oeconomy in these matters, you could not eat, as you do, twice a-day.

Robin
[aside].

And when at father's, I am sure, I eat more at once.

Sir Jacob.

But come; let's know what sort of a bargain you have made.

Robin.

Here they are; the best in the market; eggs at a halfpenny a-piece.

Sir Jacob.

And a dear bargain too.

[Looking at them.]

Too small, by the sixteenth of an inch, I see already. Oh, Heavens! if I send such an extravagant dog as you to market, I shall soon be ruin'd. Well, spend-thrift, and how many have you brought me?

Robin.

A groat's worth.

Sir Jacob.

A groat's worth! Did ever any body hear the like? And what the devil, sirrah, can we do, do you think, with eight eggs?

Robin.

Why, Sir, a'n't we four in family?

Sir Jacob.

I know it, puppy! but can any person eat more than one egg, blockhead? Besides, a good servant, who minds his master's interest, would go to the cook's, cheapen every joint—taste all—buy none—and make a good meal into the bargain: Therefore, do you hear, puppy? take 'em in, and measure me four by my own egg-scale—you'll find it in the study—the rest you may carry back; I will not have them. And be sure make haste, as I'm but stepping to next door, and shall not be long before I return.

Exit.
Robin
[taking up the basket].

Not having any bowels himself, he never thinks of those who have. Measure an egg!

[looking at them.]

was there ever such a Save­all? O

[as he is going.]

Pinch-Gut-Farm how have I wrong'd you, in the many wry words I have given thee!

Exit.
Enter Flavia with a letter, Tabby following.
Flavia.

Well, Tabby, this attention and constancy of Sir John's, knowing me contracted to another at the time he first profess'd a partiality for me, I own is more than I expected; for the men in general, let them say what they will, are a mere changeable silk.

Tabby.

Yes, madam; but Sir John, like your old garnet and white tabby

[curtsying.]

is laing, you see. [Page 8]—A hint this I think she has worn it long enough; I hope she'll take it.

Aside.
Flavia
[giving the letter].

And now, Tabby, to your care and management I commit this letter; which, if possible, deliver to Sir John himself. I have there confirm'd to him the unfortunate affair of Mr. Mon­tague, and of my present situation.

Tabby
[taking the letter].

Rather an unlucky affair for Mr. Montague, to be sure, madam; but it's an ill wind, they say, blows nobody good; and your remedy, I believe, waits only to be taken to hand.

Flavia.

Waste no time, good Tabby, in talking; but instantly go, lest my father return and enquire for you. Besides, I'm all impatience to know the result of my letter, before I speak to him on the subject.

Tabby.

Good or bad, I'll not delay it, madam; and as the distance is not far, I shall not be long in my return

[going, half-meets Sir Jacob, and slips on one side to avoid him].
Enter Sir Jacob, hastily and agitated.
Sir Jacob.

So, so, so! misfortune on misfortune! and no remedy on the contract! How all mankind conspire to torment me—But may not cousin Capias have been guilty of a little mistake in practice here? The greatest lawyers have been. What if I send a Quaere or two to the Attorney-General of the Ledger? He is in full practice, and gives his opinion gratis. But then, like many other opinions, it may be worth nothing when I've got it; as he's often more knotty than his tye. Sure I was born a martyr to disappointments!

Flavia
[advancing sorward].

What trifle has discon­certed you now, Sir?

Sir Jacob.

Trifle? All alike, I see, seeking my ruin. And where, pray, is that Jezebel your maid?

Flavia.

Gone out, Sir.

Sir Jacob.

Gone out? To lay out more money, perhaps?

Flavia.

Rather, I hope, to bring some in, Sir. If you knew all—

Sir Jacob
[eagerly].

Ay, Flavia? How, my child? That's a good girl! tell me, and be some comfort to me in the midst of my misfortunes!

Flavia.
[Page 9]

Why, Sir—the letter—

Sir Jacob.

Well, child—what of the letter? tell me.

Flavia.

Was, as you suspected, no pattern; but a letter from—

Sir Jacob.

From whom? Speak, for I long to be weighing the money!

Flavia.

But you must first, Sir—weigh the man, if my happiness has any interest with you.

Sir Jacob.

That, child, depends entirely upon what the principal is; therefore, explain; for as yet I un­derstand you not.

Flavia.

You must know then, Sir, that letter was from Sir John Seymour.

Sir Jacob.

Well, child! from Sir John Seymour: Go on!

Flavia.

Your impatience, Sir, prevents my pro­ceeding.

Sir Jacob.

Proceed then.

Flavia.

Who has long been an admirer of mine.

Sir Jacob.

Why, I protest, I begin to admire you myself, child.

Flavia.

Let me entreat you, Sir, to—

Sir Jacob.

Well, well! I have done, child: Go on!

Flavia.

But knowing the early contract you made with Mr. Montague, he despaired of success, and declined carrying his partiality for me beyond a gene­rous and polite friendship; but being since inform'd of the unhappy fate of Mr. Montague, has ventured to write on that subject, with a tender of his hand and heart, in case I confirm'd the truth of this information.

Sir Jacob.

Well, and you have confirm'd it, have you not?

Still eagerly.
Flavia.

I have, Sir; and Tabby is now gone with the answer.

Sir Jacob.

And wrote you nothing more?

Flavia.

Yes, Sir; that I would take an early opportunity of communicating the affair to you, and if possible prevail on you to permit his visits more openly.

Sir Jacob.

That was dutiful: and you know, child, I was ever easily prevail'd on to your advantage—or my own. Sir John expects no money, I suppose?

Flavia.

My situation, Sir, has hitherto made it [Page 10]impossible for me ever to know his sentiments on that head.

Enter Tabby, hastily.
Tabby
[eagerly, with a letter, not seeing Sir Jacob].

Well, madam, I have seen Sir John; and here is—

Sir Jacob
[snatching it out of her hand].

Another pattern, is it, Mrs. Contriver? However, Flavia, take and read it, that I may know what way I may be pre­vailed on in this business.

Tabby.

So, so; my mistress has discovered all; and now see who will, I suppose.

Aside.
Flavia
[opening the letter, and reads].

My admired and much-loved Flavia, to a heart panting with suspense and fear, your letter brought the most pleasing cordial; and I shall be the happiest of men when you have gained Sir Jacob's consent to throw myself and fortune at your feet: Therefore fail not to use your most powerful rhetoric, in the favour of,

Dear Flavia,
Your ever affectionate, JOHN SEYMOUR.
Sir Jacob.

Short, sensible, and to the purpose! I like it well; and, from it's contents, believe I shall not give your rhetoric, child, much trouble, as I find myself more than half inclined to give my consent already.

Tabby
[pertly].

As things, then, Sir, should not be done by halves, give your full consent at once; and let me go tell Sir John you'll be glad to see him.

Sir Jacob.

Do you think, hussey, your mistress has not a tongue of her own, that she needs your alarum to be always going?

Flavia.

Her good wishes for my happiness, Sir, may make her perhaps freer than is becoming; you must excuse her, therefore, for my sake: and as I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of Sir John, let me pre­vail on you to see him; for I confess he won my heart when I had not a hand to give him.

Sir Jacob.

And now you have, he must not look for a single guinea to cross it with, if he expects my consent.

Flavia.
[Page 11]

Well, Sir; but will it not be time enough to refuse when he makes the request?

Sir Jacob.

No, child; a request in money-matters is better prevented than refused: Therefore you had better send and let him know I am at home, and shall be glad to see him; and the sooner the better; for delays, I find, are dangerous.

going towards the table.
Tabby.

You see, madam—just as I said—no matter who the man is—for I'll venture to say, he knows no more of Sir John than I do the length of his bags, or he the getting up small linen.

Flavia.

Well, well, Tabby

[interrupting her.]

delay not, but fly with your message instantly, and in a lover's key tell him the pleasing news.

Exeunt Flavia and Tabby, different ways.
Sir Jacob alone, pulls out a leathern bag, scales, and weights, sits down at the table, pulling it forward.
Sir Jacob.

And now I'm alone, I may safely examine neighbour Heeltap's rent; for "Count money, they say, after your father;" aye, and weigh it too, as the world goes, if you would avoid being cheated: And yet, after all our care and caution, a light guinea, I see

[taking one in his hand],

will be creeping in. This knave of a Crispin had but five pounds to pay me for a whole year's rent, and three out of the five I see are short

[weighing.]

Oh, the hang dog! the sweater! I will instantly send him notice to quit at Christmas. Here, Robin! Robin!

[gets up and goes towards the door to call, looking every now and then at the table where the money is.]

Why, Robin, I say!

[as he returns to the table, hears a knocking.]

Mercy on me! what vile noise is that I hear? Upon these occasions, a man's money

[putting it up.]

is never safer than in his own pocket; and now come who will.

Enter Robin, introducing Wentworth and Sir John.
Robin.

Master Wentworth, Sir; and Sir; and Sir John Sey­mour.

Sir Jacob.

I am glad to see you, neighbour; and your friend there.

Wentworth.
[Page 12]

A friend of mine, Sir Jacob? why, he is more likely to be a friend of yours, I understand.

Sir Jacob.

Ah! that's as it may turn out.

Sir John.

Miss Flavia, your daughter, Sir, has long been the object of my affection.

Sir Jacob.

Has she?—Here Robin,

[eagerly.]

go call her down!—The fight of her, perhaps, may throw him off his guard.

Aside.
Robin.

Yes, Sir.

Exit.
Sir John.

And, but for a prior engagement I under­stood she was under, should have declared my inten­tions much sooner.

Sir Jacob.

She has no money, Sir John; a right philosopher; she carries all she has about her. But then she's a girl of such prudence—

Sir John.

And that's a rare quality in this age.

Sir Jacob.

Why, she is prudence itself; writes an admirable hand, and casts accounts like a broker.

Sir John.

Uncommon talents these.

Sir Jacob.

And then she works with her needle like a nun.

Sir John.

A fortune in itself.

Sir Jacob.

And, in my mind, as good, if not ac­tually better, than money. Why, prudence is worth at least a hundred a-year, and a hundred a-year in the three and a half per cent. is worth 3000l. there's one item. Writing will save a steward's wages; that's 50l. a-year; and, in the three and a half per cent. is worth at least 1500l; there's another item. Needlework is dear now; her needlework is worth at least 60l. a-year; 60l. a-year, long annuities, is 1500l. more. So you see, Sir John, there's a fortune of 6000l. paid down at once; no bonds, no mortgages, all ready money; prompt payment, Mr. Wentworth.

Wentworth.

And my friend Sir John, I dare say, will not have the least objection to settle the whole of the lady's fortune on her.

Sir Jacob.

Will he?

Sir John.

And a considerable addition from my own, Sir Jacob; sufficient, I hope, to make two affectionate hearts happy; or rather one; for

[seeing Flavia]

here comes all my soul holds dear.

[Page 13] Flavia enters, and retires with Sir John to the back of the stage.
Sir Jacob.
[to Wentworth, half whispering].

But is Sir John, neighbour, tenant in fee, or tenant for life only? for that, you know—

Wentworth.

Yes, Sir Jacob; I know you are the most fortunate man in the world, in having such a son-in-law; in himself amiable, in his family noble, in his fortune independent.

Sir Jacob.

Say you so? why then, if he settles her fortune upon her for life, and his own upon first and other sons in tail-male, I think I may venture to give my consent without further enquiry. And so, Sir John, and daughter Flavia

[as they come forward],

as the making of others happy is two and a half per cent. better than making one's self so; why, you have my consent to marry when you please. In the mean time, that I may not retract, being old, and have gotten but a shallow memory, with your leave, Sir John, we will enter into a bit of a contract, which our friend Went­worth here will witness on your part, and I on that of my daughter.

Sir John.

I cannot have the least objection, Sir; and, with your leave, Sir Jacob, will ring for pen, ink, and paper.

Sir Jacob.

I believe I can save you the trouble

[pull­ing out the cover he pick'd up, and a leather ink-bottle];

and at the table there we shall finish this business in the dispatch of a transfer.—See how

[aside, as they go to the table, looking at the cover]

time and accident bring things to use!

[seats himself at the table, and writes].

Of what place shall I write you?

[to Sir John].
Sir John.

Of Seymour-Place, in Dorsetshire.

Sir Jacob.
[writing].

Of Seymour-Place in Dorset­shire. There,

[rises and gives the paper to Sir John]

I believe little else is necessary now but to sign.

Sir John.
[reads, and returns it].

Not any thing, Sir.

Wentworth.

But should not the lady, Sir Jacob, have read to her what she is to sign.

Sir Jacob.

No, she's a dutiful girl, and will sign any thing I bid her.—There

[giving her the paper].
Flavia.
[Page 14]

As for instance, Sir.

[takes it to the table, and signs it].
Sir Jacob.

But as you, Sir John, are principal in this business, you'll please to sign next.

Sir John.

Most chearfully

[goes and signs it].
Sir Jacob.

And now, that jezebel Tabby once dis­charged, all my she cares are over.

Tabby enters as Sir John is signing it.
Tabby
[hastily].

Robin, Sir, being out of the way, I answered the door myself, and here is a strange ser­vant below, earnest to speak with you.

Sir Jacob
[eagerly taking the contract from the table, comes forward].

How! with me, say you?

Tabby.

Yes, Sir, with you, and you only; and that instantly, he says.

Exit.
Enter Trimwell, abruptly.
Trimwell.

My very words, believe me, Sir Jacob.

Sir Jacob
[hastily going up to him].

Well, fellow, would you speak with any one here?

Trimwell.

Or I must return you no answer, Sir.

[sig­nificantly].
Sir Jacob.

And what want you? who are you? whence come you?

earnestly.
Trimwell.

Softly, good old gentleman, if you please: three interrogations in a breath are too much for any honest man to answer.

Sir Jacob.

Will you tell me, fellow, who you are, I say? or will you get out of my house?

Trimwell.

The first before the last, if you please then: and, at a word, I am the servant of my master.

Sir Jacob.

But who is your master, jackanapes?

Trimwell.

A stranger, good Sir; therefore, as a stranger, with your leave, I will return and say you give him welcome.

as if going, stops.
Sir Jacob.

Has this stranger no name, varlet?

Trimwell.

Doubtless; and I think a very honest one: 'Tis

[significantly]

somewhat of the longest, I confess— his name is George Frederic Montague.

[Flavia, Wentworth, and Sir John, expressing great surprize at hearing the name].
Sir Jacob.
[Page 15]

Who! how! what!

Trimwell.

Yes, Sir—George Frederic Montague— (who, as I said before, has the good fortune to have me for his servant)—is just arrived post from Dover, desires to see you, sent me with this message, and now expects my return with impatience, to be admitted

[to be delivered in a quick affected tone].

And if you want to know who I am, my name—or rather names—for you must know—like master like man—I have my three—John Epaulet Trimwell, gentleman and valet-de-chambre, as you see, to this very honorable stranger.

Sir Jacob.

'Tis all a lie, rascal! Mr. Montague, your master as you impudently call him, is dead.

Trimwell
[significantly].

Dead is he?

Sir Jacob.

Yes; dead.

Trimwell.

Poor gentleman! he must certainly walk then; for he was alive and in tolerable good spirits not a quarter of an hour ago; and they must have done him great injustice, to have killed him without my knowing any thing of the matter.

Sir Jacob.

Just or unjust, I tell you he is dead, ab­solutely dead.

Wentworth
[to Trimwell].

I believe there is no doubt of it.

Trimwell.

Excuse me, Sir, if my doubts are not so easily satisfied; and with your leave, will step and soon convince ye, ye are all in the wrong here.

Exit.
Wentworth.

What can all this mean? Sir Jacob! this fellow is either a knave or a fool.

Sir Jacob.

Both, neighbour Wentworth, both; and deserves to be set in the stocks. A rascal! I wish I were a justice of the peace, for his sake!

Wentworth.

And yet what he says of Mr. Montague seems very particular, notwithstanding my letter.

Flavia.

But see, he returns; and with him the person whom he calls his master.

Trimwell enters, introducing Clarissa Montague, persona­ting her brother, as if just arrived from Paris.
Trimwell.

Permit me, gentlemen, to introduce my dead master to you; and pray peruse him well. Do, [Page 16]Sir, speak, and convince this honorable company, and particularly that good old gentleman there

[pointing to Sir Jacob]

that you are really flesh and blood, and not the dead thing they took you for.

Clarissa.

Why, really, Sir Jacob, I must confess it has more the appearance of the one than the other, from the strange reception my sudden arrival has met with from you; which ought to be what the French call enjoué, and not hold a barbare English consultation to know whether you are at home or not.

Sir Jacob
[putting the contract into his pocket].

Beggars and strangers, young gentleman, I am never at home to.

Clarissa.

But as I am neither one or the other, Sir, I—

Sir Jacob.

No? why, who are you? I know you not! Your gentleman puppy there, indeed, calls you George Frederic Montague; but he fell in a duel, by the hand of one Neville, as my neighbour here can testify

[point­ing to Wentworth].
Wentworth.

Such, certainly, was the information I received from my correspondent, by the last mail from Paris.

Clarissa.

A mere affair of gallantry, believe me; and a slight scratch soon settled the business, as these letters and papers will confirm.

[going up to, gives letters and papers to Sir Jacob.]

You know the hand and seal. Trimwell, give this note to that gentleman

[pointing to Went­worth];

then instantly go to Lowe's Hotel, enquire after my letters; I have ordered them to be directed there, as well as those for my sister Clarissa. Be care­ful of them till my return, which will not be long first.

Exit.
Clarissa going up to Flavia, retire back.
Sir Jacob
[aside].

As I suspected; and the whole of neighbour Wentworth's foreign intelligence a cursed lie, perhaps! and my daughter engaged in two contracts at once! I shall go distracted! had she died in her cradle, I had been happy! But what say the letters?

Opens and reads.
Sir John.

Do, dear Wentworth, explain; for I am on the rack.

Wentworth.
[Page 17]

The papers he has given Sir Jacob, and my note, will I presume unravel this whole mystery.

Reads aside.
Sir,

Inform'd you were here, and fearing I might not have one favourable moment of seeing you alone, this entreats you not to leave me till that opportunity offers, having something of consequence to communicate to you, and you only.

Yours, MONTAGUE.

What may this mean? I think I may safety comply with the request.

Sir Jacob
[to Sir John].

Why, these papers, Sir John, prove the bearer to be no other than the very Montague my daughter was contracted to; but the frippery airs, dress, and manners of a French court, have so altered and womaniz'd him, as a body may say, I knew him not. Your contract, therefore, shall be return'd you; and you, child, may go in and say your prayers; and thank Heaven, in the confusion, you are likely to have any hust and at all. —Either way, I part with no money; that's my com­fort in the worst of ills.

aside.
Sir John
[angrily to Sir Jacob].

Insolent, unfeeling old wretch! But know, young man

[going up to Cla­rissa.]

it shall not end here; for he must win her first who wears her now, and that from the point of my sword! You may perhaps see me again, Sir.

Exit agitated.
Flavia
[to Wentworth anxiously].

Let me prevail on you, Sir, to follow your friend, and divert him if possible from a resolution I so feelingly dread being put in execution on this strange discovery, whilst I retire.

Wentworth
[as she is going].

Strange indeed, madam! but, by waiting the event of matters, I may be the better able perhaps to prevent any ill consequences.

Exit Flavia.
Clarissa
[advancing forward].

Well, Sir Jacob, have the letters and papers confirm'd me the living or the dead Montague, contracted to your daughter?

Sir Jacob
[returning the papers].

Living or dead, I [Page 18]wish you were safely in bed together, that I might at once know the end of all my care and expence.

Clarissa.

I have an hundred pound bill

[turning to Sir Jacob.]

Sir,

[taking it out of a pocket-book.]

I must get you to discount for me, as the expence of travelling has taken away all my ready money; and in London, I am told, we are oftener in want of small change than sums.

Sir Jacob.

The bill I suppose is good.

Looking at it.
Clarissa.

As a French banker's credit, with an Eng­lish acceptance, can make it.

Sir Jacob.

Well, well; I'll step to a neighbour's, and see what I can do. You pay the discount? for I see it has three days to run.

Clarissa.

By all means, Sir; and your coach-hire into the bargain.

Sir Jacob
[half going, returns].

I shall find you here at my return?

Clarissa.

Or at the Hotel in Covent-Garden; I am there for the present: And in case of my absence, it may be lest with my servant; I believe him honest, and may be trusted.

Sir Jacob
[aside, as he is going].

As my own strong box is my neighbour upon these occasions, to walk to it, and charge coach-hire, would be a stroke known hitherto only to lawyers. Populus me sibilat at mihi plaudo.

Exit.
Clarissa.

Since the opportunity, Sir, now offers, in me behold

[pulling off her hat.]

Clarissa, sister to the living Montague; and learning you were here, presumed on the long intimacy which subsisted between you and my late father, to write the note my servant gave you.

Wentworth.

Ah! is it possible? Time, and the little knowledge I had of you whilst in England, and your present disguise, I confess made me not recollect you.

Clarissa.

I must rely for the present on your secrecy and friendship.

Wentworth.

Rely on both. Pray proceed.

Clarissa.

The death of my brother, and his falling by the hands of Mr. Neville, were mere reports; the first taking rise from a duel he was engaged in at Rome, on an affair of honourable love; and the latter from Mr. Neville's sudden departure from Paris on the cool [Page 19]reception his addresses to me met with from my brother, who no sooner recovered and married the lady, than my love for Neville returned, and deter­mined me to personate my brother, and follow him here to England.

Wentworth.

And have you been successful in your pursuit?

Clarissa.

Being but just arrived, I have not: his leaving Paris without ever daring to bid me adieu, I know not where he is.

Wentworth.

And pray what may be the steps you mean to take?

Clarissa.

To remain in this disguise; by the help of which, and the letters I have brought, Sir Jacob will not suspect the deceit, and I shall be the better able to make those enquiries after Mr. Neville, which in my own character, as a woman, might perhaps be thought indelicate. Besides, from a Chancery trust reposed in Sir Jacob, was he to know of my design, he would certainly use every art to prevent my ever marrying at all.

Wentworth.

I see your situation, and from the deli­cacy of it will give you every assistance possible. You lodge at the Hotel, you say?

Clarissa.

And the short time I mean to stay, this dis­guise will protect me. Favor me with your company there, and I'll explain more to you.

Exeunt.
END OF THE FIRST ACT.

ACT II. SCENE I.

Scene Covent-Garden, with a view of Lowe's Hotel.
Trimwell coming out, and walks about.
Trimwell.

NEVER, sure, was Hounslow post-horse more weary in going a double stage, than I in waiting for this same master of mine. After a journey, to take some refreshment suits most travel­lers; yet he takes nothing here, but his portmanteau and humble servant, then instantly sets out to pay a visit to a covetous old dog of a miser, who knowing persons of my rank and order are at board-wages, would sooner see a stranger break his neck in his house than his fast. I can bear this airy diet no longer; I will e'en go and appease the angry tumults within, by finding some diversion for my teeth

[going, stops].

But who have we here?

Enter Neville, in a travelling-dress, followed by a Chair­man with his portmanteau.
Chairman.

Arrah! my dear master, your portman­teau is so mortal heavy, and little Timsey has padded so far with it, he must be after giving his shoulders a holiday awhile

[setting it down].
Neville.

Let it be short then; as I am going only to that Hotel

[pointing].
Chairman.

Long or short, if I am to be after carry­ing it any further, I must get a brother of the strap, I believe, to lend me a cast of his office, by carrying it for me.

Neville
[seeing Trimwell].

A-propos! you seem at leisure, honest friend; do lend this chairman a hand with this portmanteau into that Hotel,

[pointing to it.]

whilst I discharge him.

Trimwell.

With pleasure, Sir; but as he is tired, [Page 21]had I not better lend him two when I am about it?

[takes up the portmanteau, and carries it in].
Neville.

A clever fellow this. Here, Sir

[pulls out his purse, and gives money].
Chairman
[looking at it].

Little Tim's not paid, your honour.

bowing.
Neville.

Here then, friend.

gives more money.
Chairman
[looking at it].

Oh, long life to your honour! you could not give me less for carrying your wig-box! and I am sure your portmanteau made little Timsey reel again.

Neville
[angrily].

There then! now are you paid?

kicks him.
Chairman.

Arrah, faith am I! and in full, and so your sarvent!

[looks at the money].

O, my jewel, that little Timsey was but a jontleman, to return the civi­lity!

Exit.
Neville.

The impositions of these fellows are into­lerable

[Trimwell returns].

So, friend, you have done as I desired you?

Trimwell
[bowing].

I have, Sir.

Neville.

And pray what sort of a house is this?

Trimwell.

An excellent Hotel, Sir, I assure you: Good beds, handsome furniture, a man-cook, and civil waiters; lodging sit for an Ambassador at least.

Neville.

You are a servant, I presume.

Trimwell.

It being my misfortune (as it is that of many others) to have the appetite of a gentleman, without the estate, I am; and in my services, Sir— clock-like—to be set a-going either backward or for­ward, at a master's pleasure.

Neville.

Have you been long a servant?

Trimwell.

Coming, Sir, of a running generation, I have been of the trade ever since I could go.

Neville.

Indeed!

Trimwell.

Even so, Sir. My father was ticket­porter to one of the inns of court; my mother went out a-washing; and, when with-child of me, a few shirts being missing from one of her customers, out of pure modesty, she fairly run the country; so that you see, Sir, I was born to my trade, and have it by birth and education.

Neville.

Are you in want of a master then?

Trimwell.
[Page 22]

At present I am, Sir.—And no lie either.

aside.
Neville.

And I in want of a servant, during my stay here, which is uncertain: Would you choose to engage?

Trimwell.

Most readily.—For who knows, our's being but a travelling engagement, my first master may mean to give me the slip

[aside].

—What are your terms, Sir?

Neville.

Three guineas a-month.

Trimwell.

I am your man, Sir; my name Trim­well; and the best recommendation—

Neville
[interrupting him].

Is your countenance; on which I shall depend without further enquiries. Here's money. Enquire at the lodge, if there are any letters for Mr. Neville, whilst I step in and give some neces­sary orders.

Exit.
Trimwell solus.

Let me see; three guineas a-month, and a bachelor's sineture place? No bad circumstance this of the port­manteau, I think; times are pressing, and behoves men of my industry to look about them. And as for my young Parisian, should he mean to resign me, why, Trimwell's provided for. And now for the letters. Neville, I think, is the name.

Going, meets Clarissa and Wentworth.
Clarissa.

Trimwell!

Trimwell.

Oh, the devil! here's my other master, before I was aware of him.

aside.
Clarissa
[surprized at seeing him].

Where are you going? I ordered you to wait at the Hotel.

Trimwell
[confused].

True, Sir; but being impatient for your return, I kept upon the look-out, and chance directed me this way.

Wentworth.
[aside].

This fellow of hers is a shrewd one, I warrant, by the ease and air of his dialect.

Clarissa.

Go then, and enquire if there are any letters for me or for my sister, as I ordered you.

Trimwell.

Where, pray, Sir, am I to bring them?

Clarissa.

To my apartments in the Hotel: You will find us there.

Exeunt Wentworth and Clarissa.
Trimwell
[as they are going].

The devil I shall! A [Page 23]rare town this! half-an-hour ago, I scarce knew whe­ther I had any master at all or not, and now I have two, and both in a house. What shall I do with them? for they say there is no serving two: And yet why not? Double wages, double meals, are great spurs to invention. Courage, Trimwell, and go exe­cute both thy masters' orders at once!

going.
Enter Sir John Seymour.
Sir John
[aside as he enters].

A lucky circumstance this; for, if I mistake not, this is Montague's ser­vant I saw at Sir Jacob's. Pray, friend, where can I find your master?

Trimwell returning.
Trimwell.
[not recollecting him]

In that Hotel, Sir. Which master now does he mean, I wonder.

aside.
Sir John.

Go tell him then, a gentleman wishes to speak with him; whom, if he is a man of honour, he will not refuse seeing.

Trimwell.

By his manner, all is not right, I fear: I will excuse myself therefore carrying the message

[aside.]

It being an Hotel, Sir, if you please to step in, the servants of the house will obey any of your commands, as I am in haste to execute some orders I have just received,—from—

Sir John.
[angrily]

No trifling, Sir! but go this moment with my message.

Trimwell.

You must know, Sir, my master is—

Sir John.

Shew me the way this instant, sirrah, or—

Trimwell.
[aside]

Go I must, I see; so I'll e'en take him to the first master I find. This way, Sir, if you please.

Exeunt into the Hotel.
Scene, an apartment in the Hotel. Table and chairs. Sir John Seymour alone, agitated.

No; never shall a rival carry off my lovely Flavia! I must not, will not, lose her! and tho' this Mon­tague may have escaped death in Paris, he—

Enter Trimwell, introducing Neville.
Trimwell
[to Neville].

There, that's the gentleman, Sir; and now, with your leave, I'll step to enquire about the letters. Indeed, I believe I had better step [Page 24]any where than wait the event of this business.

aside.
Exit.
They walk about some time, exchanging civility of hat, &c. without speaking.
Neville.

Your commands with me, Sir?

Sir John.
[surprised]

With you, Sir! I do not re­collect I ever had the honour of seeing you before.

Neville.

I was informed by the servant, Sir, you earnestly desired to see me, and spoke in terms which carried some resentment with them.

Sir John.

He misunderstood me then most exceed­ingly, Sir; and I ask pardon for the mistake: but the person I spoke of is his master; who is a—

eagerly.
Neville.
[interrupting]

I am his master, Sir, and am what?

Sir John.

You his master, Sir?

Neville.

Yes, I most certainly am, Sir.

Sir John.

Why then, Sir, there is the strongest re­semblance I ever saw, between your servant and the servant of a gentleman just arrived from Paris.

Neville.

It is not long since I left that place my­self, Sir.

Sir John.

The name of the gentleman I want is Montague.

Neville.

I knew him well, Sir.

expressing concern.
Sir John.

As the affair then between us does not require secrecy, that gentleman, by virtue of a con­tract, now seeks to rob me of the only woman I adore, and am myself contracted to!

Neville.

He will never then accomplish his design, or interrupt your felicity, Sir; as I have been informed, within this hour, he died soon after I left that place.

Sir John.

Pardon me, Sir, but the report is totally groundless; as I this morning saw him alive and well; and Sir Jacob Thrift, the lady's father, has taken every possible method to be assured of his iden­tity, and by letters and other credentials it is now be­yond a doubt. And as you say you have some know­ledge of him, if you should chance to meet him be­fore I see him, let me intreat you to tell him, that if he merits the hand he aspires to, Sir John Sey­mour expects to hear from him as a man of honour ought, who glories in being his rival, and hope my [Page 25]situation will justify the liberty of the request I am now making. Sir, your servant.

Exit.
Neville.

Sir, your servant. A strange adventure this! I am actually lost in astonishment! Montague recovered, and now in England? In either case, I will instantly return to Paris on the wings of love, to behold my charming Clarissa once more, and prevail on her if possible to be mine; for Sir John Seymour's situation is not more distressing than my own.

musing.
Enter Trimwell.
Trimwell.

Here, Sir; here is your—

[feeling in his pocket].
Neville.
[interrupting]

Trimwell, will you go with me to Paris?

Trimwell.

When, Sir?

Neville.

Instantly.

Trimwell.

What! to-night, Sir?

Neville.

No; we will sleep first, and set out by day-break.

Trimwell.

I'm for a nap then first, Sir, if you please; as I entirely agree with friend Sancho, that he was a wise man who first invented sleep. Here are your letters, Sir

[pulling out letters]

—But I have made a strange mistake I fear, by putting both masters' letters into one pocket! what shall I do? I have it

[aside]

—A brother liveryman, Sir, desired me to en­quire at the same time for his master's letters; but being all foreigners, and I not understanding the lan­guage, be pleased, Sir, to examine and take what are for you

[gives them]

, and—

Neville.

Ah! what do I see? a letter directed to Clarissa Montague? and to be left at Lowe's Hotel till called for?—What can this mean? I am in a maze! Can she too be in England, and I not know it?—Where is the servant for whose master you had this letter? what is his name? and with whom does he live? speak instantly!

eagerly.
Trimwell.
[confused and hesitates]

His name, Sir— is—is—is—Richard—and he lives with—with—I ne­ver heard with whom, Sir.

bowing.
Neville.

Why, how could you ask for his master's letters, if you did not know his name?

Trimwell.
[Page 26]

True, Sir.—What invention now?

aside.

Oh, he wrote it down on a piece of paper, Sir, with a direction where to find him.

Neville.

Give me that paper.

Trimwell.

I have it not, Sir; I have lost it out of my pocket—I—

feeling for it confusedly.
Neville.

How then is this letter to be delivered, if you do not know where to find him?

Trimwell.

On second thoughts, Sir,—I recollect— he was to meet me in the Piazza; and if you please to give me the letter, I will go find him.

Neville.

No, Trimwell, this letter concerns me nearly, and I am determined to open it.

[as if going to open it, half-breaks the seal and stops.]

—And yet the indelicacy of such a step cannot be justified; I will not, there­fore, open it. But charge you, as you regard my hap­piness, and your own interest, go find Richard in­stantly, and learn from him where he is to carry the letter

[giving the letter];

and be not long in your re­turn, as I expect a person with money, which, in case of my absence, you must receive.

Trimwell.

Your commands shall be obeyed, Sir.— But what excuse have I, Sir, for it's having the seal broke?

Looking at it.
Neville.

I will reseal it

[seals it];

and if you but find Richard, all will be well again, and you amply re­warded.

Exit.
Trimwell.

Richard—

[stifling a laugh].

He little thinks, I believe, this same Richard is no other than my other master; to whom I will instantly go and de­liver this letter.

Exit.
Scene changes to another apartment in the Hotel.
Clarissa at a table, writing.
Enter Trimwell.
Clarissa.

Trimwell! what has delay'd you thus? have you enquired about my letters, as I ordered you?

Trimwell.

I have, Sir, and received only this one.

Clarissa
[Looking at it].

How's this? a letter from Paris, and seal'd with Neville's arms!

[rising.]

What can this mean? It is not his hand. If he is returned there, I am utterly undone.

[Examining it.]

It has [Page 27]been opened!—To whom, Sir, have you betrayed the secrets of this letter?

Trimwell.

Open'd, Sir? It cannot be! why, it has never been out of my hands since I received it.

Agitated.
Clarissa.

And are you hardy enough to deny it, villain? why, look!

Shewing it him.
Trimwell
[falling on his knees].

On my knees, kind Sir, I entreat your forgiveness! but there coming a letter also for me from an old withered relation of mine in the country, who wrote a hand I never could read, I applied to a civil good-natured gentleman to read it for me, and in my hurry gave him your letter for mine, which he resealed the moment we disco­vered the mistake.

Clarissa
[half aside].

From the arms, this civil gen­tleman could certainly be no other than Neville himself. And where, pray, did you meet this kind friend of yours?

Trimwell.

At—at—at—

Agitated.
Clarissa.
[half aside.]

By the confusion of his answers, I suspect his veracity: However, I'll go communicate the circumstances to Mr. Wentworth, and in my way call on Sir Jacob, lest he discover my situation before I receive my money.

Putting on her hat. Exit.
Trimwell.

What a fortunate planet must I have been born under, to have matters go on thus swim­mingly! Egad, Trimwell, if your masters will find you in belief, you will find them in lies, I warrant. What an immense sum now should I be worth to a prime-minister, as a porter; for I can out-lie a cour­tier, a lover, a chamber-maid, a milliner's apprentice, a lawyer, or even the news-papers at a general election.

Enter Sir Jacob, with the money in a bag; endeavours to conceal it.
Sir Jacob.

Well, Mr. Gentleman, is your honour's master within? I have urgent business with him.

Trimwell.
[aside.]

Which now of my honourable masters can old Cent. per Cent. want? To be inqui­sitive is the very badge of our office: I'll sift him.— What, pray, Sir, may be your business with him?

Sir Jacob.

That's no answer to my question, Mr. [Page 28]Inquisitive! My business is with him, not with you; therefore, is he within, or no, I say?

Trimwell.

Unless I know your business, Sir, he is not within.

Sir Jacob.
[aside.]

Oh, the insolence of office!— But, when I have told you my business, will he be within then, think you?

Trimwell.

Perhaps he may—if I like your business.

Aside.
Sir Jacob.

Why then, Mr. Prime-Minister, be pleased to tell your master, I have brought the money, and desire to know if he be within or no.

Trimwell.
[aside.]

I'll e'en venture then to say no, in order to give one or other of my masters a proof of my honesty, should old Square-toes dare trust me with it; therefore—No, Sir; my master's not within, I assure you.

Sir Jacob.

Where can I find him?

Trimwell.

I know not: it's a question we seldom ask each other when we go out.

affectedly.
Sir Jacob.

And his return—

Trimwell.

Like my own, uncertain.

Sir Jacob.

Are you honest?

Trimwell.

Tolerably so. Who dare doubt it?

Sir Jacob.

Here, then; take this bag of an hundred pounds; and be sure you give it him when he returns; and tell him, I have book'd the discount and charges.

Trimwell.

Yes, Sir.

eagerly.
Sir Jacob
[going, returns].

And yet, notwithstand­ing my commission, it were prudent, methinks, not to leave it without a receipt: the hang-dog, with his tolerable honesty, may say he never received it

[aside].

—So, do you hear? you can write, I suppose, Mr. Gentleman's—gentleman?

Trimwell.

Write, Sir?

hesitating.
Sir Jacob.

Yes, Sir, write? as I don't chuse to leave the money without a receipt.

Trimwell.

Oh, you are perfectly right, Sir; and, if you please, I'll take the money in with me, and bring a receipt ready wrote.

Sir Jacob.

But I do not chuse any such thing, Sir, or to part with you or the money out of my sight, [Page 29]without a receipt; therefore, come to the table, and write one instantly.

Trimwell sets down to write, and appears embarrassed.
Trimwell.

It would be better worded, Sir, I should think, if you would please to set down and write it, and let me sign it.

rising from the table.
Sir Jacob.

What, blockhead, you cannot write a receipt, I suppose!

Trimwell
[whilst Sir Jacob sets down and writes].

To be sure, Sir, joining, with a few pounds, shillings, and pence, was as far as I went in my education; more, in one of my cloth, would have been pedantry.

Sir Jacob
[rising from the table].

Here, then

[giving him the paper]

let us see what sort of a scrawl you make.

[Trimwell sets down, signs, and returns it].

There, that will do; and now, dispose of it as your tolerable honesty, or knavery, best advises; I care not.

Exit.
Trimwell.

A fair wind to you, old trader! And I shall not find it a difficult matter, I believe, to per­suade either of my young captains to receive your lading, and pay the duty.

Exit.
Scene changes to Neville's apartment in the Hotel.
Enter Neville, followed by Trimwell.
Neville.

Well, Trimwell; have you been and found Richard, as I ordered you?

Trimwell.

No, Sir; but I have found a much better thing—this bag of money. You expected to receive some?

Neville.

Yes; an hundred pounds.

Trimwell.

The money is certainly yours then, Sir; exactly the sum.

Neville.

And, while I examine it, I once more de­sire you not to rest till you have found Richard.

Goes to the table, as if to examine it.
Trimwell.

I will feek him high and low, Sir, instantly.

Neville.

Do so.

Trimwell
[going].

I am glad, however, the right owner has got the money.

Aside. Exit.
Neville
[putting up the money, comes forward].

How distressed and agitated has this circumstance of the letter made me! Its being directed "to be left till [Page 30]called for," makes every present search after her uncer­tain, and carries with it the appearance of a secresy most alarming. What if I go to Sir Jacob's, on the information received from Sir John? By pretending business with her brother, I may hear, perhaps, some­thing of my Clarissa, without my design being even suspected. It shall be so.

[Exit.
Scene, Sir Jacob's house. Enter Sir Jacob, followed by Flavia and Robin.
Sir Jacob.

Blockhead! how often have I told you I am never at home to men without names? come to rob me, perhaps! I will not see him.

Robin.

He looks like no such sort of a parson, Sir.

Sir Jacob.

Looks, fool? who trusts to looks now-a-days, when thieves, sharpers, and swindlers, are as well drest as lords and courtiers on a birth-day? no, no; I will not see him.

Flavia.

Let me prevail on you, Sir; it may be somebody you'd wish to see.

Sir Jacob.

Well then, if I must—do you hear?— go shew him up.—But be sure, daughter, you do not leave the room; for tho' you cannot defend me your­self, you can scream and raise the house.

[Exit Robin.
Flavia.

Perhaps somebody from Mr. Montague, or Sir John.

Sir Jacob.

Whoever it is, he's here, to answer for himself, I see.

Enter Clarissa.
Clarissa.

You see, Sir Jacob, I use the freedom of a son-in-law already; but money, you know—

Sir Jacob.

Is soon parted with. You have been at some gaming-table at the west end of the town, I warrant; and now come to take up more to carry to the same market.

Clarissa.

You, I see, Sir Jacob, are taking upon you the authority of a father-in-law; and, by your prudent care, have prevented my being guilty of the excesses you lay to my charge, as you have not yet paid me my money.

Sir 'Jacob.

How! not paid you? that's pleasant.

Clarissa.
[Page 31]

Rather serious, Sir, as my errand here is to receive it.

Sir Jacob.

Reckon fair, if you never pay, young gentleman! Come, come, you have received it.

Clarissa.

I beg, Sir, to be rightly understood! and, when I say I have not received it, a gentleman tells you so; and am now come to receive it.

Sir Jacob.

That's being serious, indeed! but, Sir, to be as serious as you, the money has been paid.

Clarissa.

That's a mistake, or something worse, Sir Jacob; and permit me to say, it has not been paid.

Sir Jacob.

I have debited your account.

Clarissa.

Then, Sir, if you have debited my account, as you call it, act like an honest man, and let it be for value received!

Enter Trimwell.
Trimwell.

I have been in quest of my master—

Sir Jacob
[runs up to Trimwell].

There's the man I paid it to.

Trimwell.

Why, what's the matter now, old gentle­man?

Sir Jacob.

Sirrah, you have received the money; I paid it you. Where's my hundred pounds, villain?

Trimwell.

Hundred pounds! gone into a hundred hands, by this time.

Sir Jacob.

There—there—I said so.—I paid it you by your master's orders.

Trimwell

You paid it me, by my master's order; and, by my master's order, I paid it to my master.

Sir Jacob.

There! I said I had a witness: The thing is clear, you see; you have received it, young gentle­man.

Clarissa.

I received it! what does all this mean?— Rascal

[to Trimwell]

have you paid me an hundred pounds?

Trimwell.

No, Sir.

Clarissa.

Now, Sir Jacob!

Sir Jacob.

Have not you paid it to your master?

Trimwell.

Yes, Sir.

Sir Jacob.

Now, Mr. Montague!

Clarissa.

Have you paid it to me?

Trimwell.
[Page 32]

I have not paid it to you, Sir.

Sir Jacob.

Pay it back to me then.

Trimwell.

I have paid it to my master.

Clarissa.
[half draws a sword]

Will you persist, villain, in saying you have paid me?

Trimwell.

No, Sir—not you—I never meant it—I never paid you a shilling.

Sir Jacob.

Robber! Villain! Plunderer! where's my hundred pounds? you have it; you have given a receipt

[collars Trimwell].

You shall go before a ma­gistrate! there's one just by; he owes me money, and will hang you for nothing.

Trimwell.

If you will but let me speak—do, spare my life, Sir—I performed my trust like an honest man, Sir—and my master—

Clarissa.

Your master again, Sir!

Enter Tabby, with Neville.
Trimwell.

No, not to you, Sir; here's the gentleman, Sir, that I paid it to.

[pointing to Neville as he enters.
Sir Jacob.
[to Neville]

So, so! you are welcome, Sir! you have my money then, have you?

Neville.

I your money, Sir? not one shilling of yours; I have received my own.

Sir Jacob.

Villain! Murderer!

[collars Trimwell]

the gentleman contradicts you. You shan't wait for the gallows; I'll execute you myself.

Trimwell.

You—hurry a man out of his senses.

Sir Jacob.

You dog, you have hurried me out of my money! and I'll hurry you out of your life!

Trimwell.

I tell you, Sir—that is the gentleman I paid the money to, by your order.

Sir Jacob.

Did he pay you an hundred pounds?

Neville.

The fellow tells you truth.

Trimwell.

There; you see, Sir; I always tell truth.

[significantly.
Sir Jacob.

Then it was my money he paid you.

Clarissa.

No, it was my money, Sir; money in­tended for me! and let me tell you, Sir

[to Neville]

—How!—how is this?—that face?—can I believe my eyes?

Neville.

What miracle is this?—that voice?—can I believe my ears?

Clarissa.
[Page 33]

I am ready to faint.—Mr. Neville!

Neville.

My Clarissa! it is—it must be so—and we shall yet be happy.

[Embracing.
Flavia.
[aside.]

Good Heavens! a woman! Never sure appeared deceit more amiable.

Sir Jacob.

"Mr. Neville—my Clarissa—and still be happy?" Why, what the devil are they at now? what is all this?

Neville.

Oh, let me thus enfold you within these arms.

Clarissa.

I am happy to find such a shelter; and let the step I have taken convince you of my affection. More I cannot at present communicate.

Trimwell.

So, so! my master is my mistress then at last.

[Aside.
Tabby.

My young lady would have been finely off in a husband: I shall never trust to the evidence of my eyes or ears again, I believe.

[Aside.
Enter Wentworth and Sir John.
Sir Jacob
[eagerly].

Here's a discovery, neighbour Wentworth! This same George Frederick Montague is a woman at last; and her hopeful brother, my in­tended son-in-law, alive and merry, I fear.

Wentworth.

I knew it all, Sir Jacob; and came to en­joy the denouement.

Sir Jacob.

And what, pray, Sir John, came you to enjoy?

Sir John.

The news my friend Wentworth in­formed me of—your intended son-in-law being married at Rome; and hope every obstacle to your daughter's happiness and my own is now removed. What say you, my Flavia?

[going up to her.
Flavia.

If my father consents, Sir, the inclination of my heart is sufficiently known to you.

Sir Jacob.

How! what! Alive and married, say you? worse and worse!

Clarissa.

Even so, believe me, Sir Jacob.

Sir Jacob.

Alive or dead then, it shall go hard but I'll recover on the contract.—But, you baggage, you! what a spirit you must have to adventure thus!—A woman want to marry my daughter.—That's plea­sant!—But my money! you wanted my money too! [Page 34]Villain!

[turning to Trimwell]

impostor! rascal! I hear no certain account of that all this time.

Trimwell.

As for names, good Sir, call me as many as you please—they are slight wounds, and will break no bones—Scoundrel and rascal are the familiar terms of society, and friendship is a great-coat we put off and on as best suits our conveniency. But will not you, kind Sir,

[to Neville]

be pleased to be my advo­cate upon this occasion, and set this matter right.

Neville.

I certainly, Sir Jacob, received an hundred pound from him.

Sir Jacob.

Design'd for Mr. Clarissa there?

Neville.

No, design'd for me, and delivered to my servant.

Sir Jacob.

Your servant! why, who the devil servant is he?

Neville.

Mine.

[together.
Clarissa.

Mine.

[together.
Neville.

Yours!

Clarissa.

Yours!

Neville.

I hired him at the Hotel.

Clarissa.

As did I, and received the best of cha­racters with him from the master.

Trimwell.

Now do I wish I was safe in the Bastile, or in bed with a high sever.

[aside.
Sir Jacob.

How like a hang-dog do you look! have you nothing to say for yourself, impostor?

Trimwell.

To be sure, I have been a little unlucky in my services of to-day, both in this money-business, and in the affair of the letters; but as every thing seems likely to find it's right owner, and no ill conse­quences have happen'd, I hope I shall be pardon'd by you, Sir

[to Neville];

by you, Sir—that is to say, by you, madam

[to Clarissa];

and by you, good Sir

[to Sir Jacob.]
Clarissa.

Most readily; your mistakes have made me the happiest of women.

Neville.

And me the happiest of men.

Sir Jacob.

And, as I see I'm to lose nothing by it, why, I forgive you. But you're a sad dog!

Trimwell.

Why, Sir, you must acknowledge, I am as gentlemen go now; a kind of a person, with a shabby fort of genteel about me. I told you truth about the [Page 35]money, and you see I have been serving but one master all this time.

Sir John.

There seems some honesty about the fellow after all.—Sir Jacob, may I now aspire to take your daughter's hand?

Sir Jacob.

Ay, ay: Here

[joining their hands],

I give it you with all my soul; and if I recover hand­somely on the contract, I may perhaps find in my heart to give ye—your wedding-supper into the bargain.

Wentworth.

That, Sir Jacob, I have taken the li­berty of providing.

Sir Jacob
[eagerly].

Have you so? why, that is kind and friendly of you. And if ever I marry—which Heaven forbid, till there's an act for exporting all the false heads and false bottoms in the kingdom!—I'll return the compliment. Let us lose no time, there­fore, but in to business; for every man has business

[looking at Sir John, and pointing to Flavia]

such as it is. And now, may you both be as happy as modern matrimony can make you!

Sir John.

The possessing a woman of virtue, Sir Jacob

[taking Flavia by the hand],

is with me it's best security.

Neville.

And with me

[taking Clarissa by the hand],

the greatest blessing man is capable of receiving.

Trimwell
[advancing forward].

And now I boast, I'm to my master true;
I have but one, and see that one in you *.
Long have I serv'd, and, when my part is o'er,
Give me a character, I ask no more!
FINIS.

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