THE LORD OF THE MANOR, A COMIC OPERA, AS IT IS PERFORMED AT THE THEATRE ROYAL DRURY-LANE, WITH A PREFACE BY THE AUTHOR.

LONDON: PRINTED FOR T. EVANS IN THE STRAND. M.DCC.LXXXI.

PREFACE.

AMONG the many unpleasing cir­cumstances attending the concealed writer of a dramatic piece (and they are more than are apt at first to occur to him), it is not one of the least considerable to a liberal mind, that other persons become sufferers by his failings. Thus while the real Author, on one hand, has enjoyed the compliment of having the Lord of the Manor ascribed to se­veral men, for whom it is great literary cre­dit to be mistaken; so, on the other, he has had the pain to see criticism extended from poetical to political principles, and made a vehicle for party reflections upon persons who never saw a line of his writing. Not only have the erroneous guesses shifted from man to man, they have fallen also upon men in a body: different scenes have been given to dif­ferent pens; and sometimes these supposed writers have multiplied upon the imagina­tion, 'till they became almost as numerous as the personages of the drama.

[Page vi]Perhaps an apology may be due to every man who has been charged with this found­ling; and the more especially as the parent himself means to continue still unknown—confessing ingenuously at the same time, that his temptations to break from his con­cealment far over-balance his discourage­ments: for after duly weighing every de­fect of fable, conduct, dialogue, &c. with which the severest critic could tax him, what candidate for praise in poetry would not bear the weight ten-fold, for the sole pride of avowing in his own name the songs which by many respectable judges have been attri­buted to Mr. SHERIDAN?

It is unnecessary to trouble the reader with the motives upon which so flattering a gra­tification is resisted.—Some of them perhaps are mere peculiarities of temper—Suffice it to say, that they are such, upon the whole, as induce this Author to request the few friends, who necessarily have been entrusted with his secret, not to think themselves at liberty, from any thing here said, to divulge it. For his own part he is desirous so far to satisfy the public curiosity (if curiosity re­mains upon so trifling a subject) as to declare that every word in the following Opera is the production of a single person; and should a mistake still rest upon any individual, it is [Page vii] fit that the burthen should be made as light as possible, by removing some prejudices which have been bevelled unjustly against the man, whatever may become of others which may have been conceived against the piece.

Be it known, then, that these scenes were written last summer in the country for mere amusement—to relax a mind which had been engaged in more intense application—and the only view in bringing them upon the stage was a continuation of amusement, encou­raged and enhanced by the reflection, that, if they were defective in many parts, they were harmless in all; that although they might not correct the follies, they would not offend the morals of the spectators.

It could not but be matter of surprise and some pain to a writer intent upon these prin­ciples, to find himself accused of having in­troduced the character of Captain Trepan, for the purpose of impeding the recruiting ser­vice of the army. To be thought a bad Poet, is but a common misfortune, and it may be borne with temper and in silence; but the imputation of being an ill-intention­ed citizen requires an answer, though in this case, it is trusted, a short one will suffice.

The writer has ever conceived, that as to shew the enormous vices of the time in their [Page viii] utmost deformity ought to be the great end of dramatic satire; so, in a lesser degree, to ex­pose to ridicule any practice that savoured more of abuse than absolute vice, had its use. They who think the fallacies and frauds of recruiting dealers about this town necessary evils, which ought to be connived at, as contributary to the military strength of the nation, are ignorant of facts, or blind to con­sequences. So little is the writer of that opinion, that he has thought it incumbent upon him to restore in print the passages which from apprehension of sudden miscon­structions, and from no other apprehension, were omitted in the representation. An abler hand might have carried satire on this subject infinitely further, not only with a consciousness of doing no harm, but also a confidence of doing good. Let us suppose, for illustration-sake, that his Majesty were pleased to command the First Part of King Henry IV. and to order all the boxes to be kept for the new Commanders, which the policy of the times (from the scarcity un­doubtedly of veterans) has placed at the head of corps raising or to be raised; and one of the galleries devoted exclusively to the Crimp Cap­tains and their Subalterns—might not public benefit be united with entertainment by a just exhibition of old Jack Falstaff's levies? and [Page ix] should it happen that any person present in such an audience were conscious of ‘"having misused the King's press damnably"’—or from any other cause were ‘"ashamed of his raga­muffins"’—surely he could not but feel grate­ful for so gentle a hint! and we might see effected by wit and mirth, a reformation, which under a harsh Sovereign might have been thought deserving of direct and exem­plary reprehension.

A more serious defence can hardly be re­quisite upon this subject, after publication of the piece. At the Theatre, where the atten­tion naturally (and in this instance most de­servedly) has rested much upon the music, the public sentiments sincerely meant to be inculcated may have escaped notice; but, in the closet, the writer, without a shadow of fear, rests his justification from the charge of ill-will to the military service, upon passages too numerous to be pointed out. He might almost say upon every character of the Drama—but particularly upon that of Tru­more, where the two extremes of that pas­sion which fills, or ought to fill, every youthful breast, is employed to excite mar­tial ardour: in one instance, disappointment and despondency in love are made the motives for enlisting as a private soldier; in the other, success in love, the supreme happiness [Page x] in human existence, is not admitted as an excuse for relinquishing the military service during the exigencies of our country.

To disavow the aspersion I have men­tioned, was the principal purpose of this ad­dress to the candour of the reader; but hav­ing taken up the pen, I will venture to offer to his further indulgence a few thoughts upon Opera, and particularly that species of it attempted in the ensuing pages.

The Opera is a favourite entertainment in all the polite countries of Europe, but in none, that I know of, held subject to the laws of regular Drama. There is neither usage nor statute of criticism (if I may use that expres­sion) to try it by, unless we look for such in some musical code. Metastasio, though a very respectable stage writer, has never been brought to the same bar with Corneille or Racine, or any other professors of correct Tragedy. The vital principle and very soul of Italian Opera is music; and provided it be well maintained in composition and execu­tion, every inconsistency, in fable, conduct, or character, is not only always pardoned, but often applauded.

The French Opera (without entering into the disputed points concerning its music, or denying the many beautiful passages which may be extracted from its poetry) is if possible [Page xi] more absurd than the Italian in its departure from probability. To the powers of sound is added all that decoration, machinery, beauty, and grace, can supply to enchant the eye and the fancy; and so forcible, it must be al­lowed, is their effect, that the judgement re­ceives no shock, when tyrants and lovers, heroes and peasants, Gods and devils, are singing and dancing in amicable chorus all together.

The reader will go with me in applying every thing yet said to the serious or great Opera. Another species, but no more of the legitimate family of Comedy than the for­mer is of Tragedy, has been introduced in all the countries I have alluded to. In Eng­land both have been in use in our native language, but with very different success. I have no hesitation in pronouncing an opi­nion, that the adopting what is called reci­tative into a language, to which it is totally incongruous, is the cause of failure in an English serious Opera much oftener than the want of musical powers in the performers. In countries where the inflection of voice in recitative upon the stage is little more than what the ear is used to in common discourse, the dialogue of the drama is sustained and strengthened by a great compass of tones; but in our northern climates, in proportion [Page xii] as the ordinary expression comes nearer mo­notony, recitative, or musical dialogue, will seem the more preposterous*.

I will not contend (though I have my doubts) that it is impossible for genius to in­vent, and for voice to deliver, a sort of reci­tative that the English language will bear. But it must be widely different from the Ita­lian. If any specimens can yet be produced of it's having been effected, they will be found to consist only of a few lines introductive of the air which is to follow, and as such re­ceived by the ear just as symphony would be. Very few serious pieces, except Artaxerxes, can be recollected upon our Theatre where it has not entirely failed, even when assisted by action: in Oratorios it is, with a few ex­ceptions, and those sustained by accompani­ment, a soporific that even the thunder of Handel's chorusses are hardly loud enough to overcome.

There may be enthusiasts in music who will treat the disrelish I have described to want of ear. Let ear be understood merely as the organ by which the mind is to receive more or less delight from sublime English verse, and I should be happy to see the dis­pute brought to public issue—the test should be the performance of Alexander's Feast as [Page xiii] now set to music throughout; and the per­formance of that inimitable ode, with the songs alone preserved in music, and the rest delivered by Mrs. Yates without accompa­niment, or other melody, than her empha­tic elocution.

I trust that in contending against musical dialogue in English, I shall not be under­stood to think that all music is inapplicable to the higher compositions of our stage. On the contrary I am convinced that under judicious management music is capable of giving them effect beyond what our best au­thors can attain without it—music can add energy to Shakspeare himself. Indignant as an English audience would be to hear King Lear deliver himself in recitative, I believe no person, who had a heart or taste, ever contemplated the mute groupe of Cordelia with the aged parent asleep in her lap, and the physician watching by, without an en­crease of sensibility from the soft music which Mr. Garrick introduced into that scene. The same observation will hold good with respect to the additional horror excited in Macbeth, and delight in the Tempest, from the judicious use of both song and in­struments. I cannot help quoting another instance of the application of music which I have always thought a happy one. At the close of the tragedy of the Gamester, when [Page xiv] the distress is raised to such a pitch that lan­guage fails under it, how forcibly is the im­pression left upon the audience by music, accompanying the slow descent of the cur­tain over the mournful picture! How pre­ferable such a conclusion to the usual one of an actor straddling over dead bodies to deliver a tame moral in tame rhime to the pit, in the same breath, and often in the same tone, in which he is to give out the play. But surely no man can be so void of discernment as not to see clearly the difference between recitative and music thus applied: the one diverts the attention from sense to sound, breaks the propriety and very nerve of our language, and by giving to the expression of the passions cadences of which we never heard an example, nor can form a concep­tion in real life, destroys that delusion and charm of fancy which makes the situations before us our own, and is the essence of dra­matic representation: the other, upon the principle of the chorus of the antients, serves to excite and to combine attention and emo­tion, and to improve and to continue upon the mind the impressions most worthy to be retained.

I am aware that I have entered further into the grave Drama than my subject re­quired; but the digression will be found ex­cusable, in as much as the same doctrine ap­plies [Page xv] to comic productions, and as it will serve to shorten the trouble of the reader in what I have further to offer.

One branch of comic opera which meets with success on our stage is evidently a graft from the Burletta of the Italians; and little as I may admire it in general, I will venture to say, respectively to the writing, it is im­proved in our soil. Midas, the Golden Pippin, and some others, considered as pieces of parody and burlesque, are much better than any Italian Burletta I know. In fact, there is in general in the Italian Drama of this name an insipidity, mixed with a buffoonery too low to be called farci­cal, which would make the representation insupportable in England, were the language understood, or attended to in any other view than as the introduction and display of ex­quisite music.

I cannot easily bring myself to allow the higher branch of our Comic Opera, to be of foreign extraction. From the time the Beg­gar's Opera appeared, we find pieces in prose, with songs interspersed, so approaching to regular Comedy in plot, incident, and pre­servation of character, as to make them a di­stinct species from any thing we find abroad—and is it too much to add that the sense, wit, and humour to be found in some of them are sterling English marks by which we [Page xvi] may claim the species as our own? The mu­sical pieces at Paris, upon the Theatre called Les Italiens, sprung up from the decline of a sort of Drama where half the personages were Italian, as was half the language. When Harlequin and Argentine grew un­fashionable, such other representations as served best for an hour of mere dissipation succeeded, and the light and easy music with which they were accompanied, made them very popular. But the pieces are either pa­rodies, or founded in general upon materials which would be thought in England too flimzy for any thing but an after-piece. They are composed with an amusing playful­ness of imagination, which runs Love thro' all its divisions, and usually contain abun­dance of very pretty vocal music with a scar­city of incident and little variety of charac­ter. It is not intended to degrade or depre­ciate this stile of writing as applicable to a Paris audience: it is only meant to state it more widely separate and distinct from the force and spirit of regular comedy than our own. They who are unacquainted with the Paris theatre, are referred for judgement upon this subject to the Deserter, Zemira and Azor, and other direct translations; and to Daphne and Amintor, and Thomas and Sally, and other after-pieces, very good in their kind, but written after the French man­ner. [Page xvii] The Padlock is above this class in dis­play of characters; and the French have no­thing upon their Musical Comic Stage to compare, as resembling Comedy, with Love in a Village, or the Maid of the Mill, or, to take still greater credit to our Theatre, the Duenna.

The Lord of the Manor, although the leading incident of the story is professedly taken from the Silvain of Marmontel, is an humble attempt at the species of Opera which I have ventured to call English, and to de­scribe as a drama the next in gradation below regular Comedy, and which might perhaps be carried a step above it. It will not there­fore be thought want of attention to the ex­cellencies of Marmontel's piece, which as adapted to French manners I believe no man of taste will dispute, but respect and prefer­ence to our stage, that induced me to alter and enlarge the plan and conduct of the original, to substitute characters, and to add scenes and circumstances entirely new.

I know not a feature of character pre­served from Marmontel, except the sensibi­lity and artless innocence of the young wo­men—qualities, which, to be truly repre­sented, admit of little diversity by change of country.

I should be sorry if taking part, or even the whole of a story from a foreign stage, when [Page xviii] such story can be made applicable to our cus­toms and characters, and is entirely new worked up for that purpose, could be deemed plagiarism, because it would be a confine­ment to the invention rather pedantick than useful.

But while I am taking credit for borrow­ing so little as one incident, there may be those who think I had better have borrowed a great deal more. I can only say that translation, or imitation, would have cost less pains, as it is easier to spin * sentiment, than to delineate character, and to write twenty songs to please the ear, than half as many lines of such Comedy as ought to satisfy the judgement. I do not contend that a direct copy of Marmontel would not have been a much better thing than my talents have been able to make; I only insist it would no have been English drama. Continued uninterrupt­ed scenes of tenderness and sensibility (Comedie larmoyante) may please the very refined, but the bulk of an English audience, including many of the best understanding, go to a comic performance to laugh in some part of it at least. They claim a right to do so upon precedents of our most valued plays—and every author owes it to them, so long as the merriest amongst them shews he is equal­ly [Page xix] capable of relishing and applauding what is elevated and affecting—an observation I have always seen hold good in an English gallery.

It might be assuming too much to quote any passages from the Lord of the Manor, as a test that every part of the house can re­lish refined sentiment; but were the fact ten times more apparent, I should still adhere to my former opinion, and intermix mirth: the censure of a critic of fashion here and there in the boxes, who reckon every thing low which is out of their own sphere, would never persuade me to turn Moll Flagon out of my piece (easy as it would be to conduct the story without her) while she excites so much pleasure in general, as to prove the character can neither be false in nature, nor void of humour.

And now a few words upon what I con­ceive would be the plan of writing, were men of genius and taste to try a specimen of correct musical comedy.

In a representation which is to hold ‘"a mirror up to nature,"’ and which ought to draw its chief applause from reason, vocal music should be confined to express the feel­ings of the passions, but never to express the exercise of them. Song, in any action in which reason tells us it would be unnatural to sing, must be preposterous. To fight a duel, to cudgel a poltroon in cadence, may [Page xx] be borne in a burletta, upon the same prin­ciple that in the serious opera we see heroes fight lions and monsters, and sometimes ut­ter their last struggles for life in song, and die in strict time and tune: but these liber­ties would be totally inadmissible in the kind of drama which I am recommending. My idea might be further explained by a passage in the piece of Marmontel before re­ferred to. It appeared to one of the news­paper critics, that I had been guilty of a great error in not introducing a scene in the Silvain, wherein the Gardes Chasse of the Seigneur attack the sportsman with guns in their hands, threatening to shoot him un­less he surrenders his gun which he persists in preserving. By the bye, this sort of au­thority is more natural in France than I hope it would yet be thought to be in Eng­land: but that was not my principal objec­tion. This scene upon the French stage is all in song; and even at Paris, where licence of throwing action into song is so much more in use than it is here, and where I have often seen it excellently performed, the idea of five or six fellows with fusils present­ed at a gentleman's head, and their fingers upon the triggers, threatening his life in bass notes, he resisting in tenor, and a wife or daughter throwing herself between them in treble, while the spectator is kept in sus­pence, [Page xxi] from what in reality must be a mo­mentary event, till the composer has run his air through all its different branches, and to a great length, always gave me disgust to a great degree.

Music, therefore, if employed to express action, must be confined to dumb shew. It is the very essence of pantomime; and we have lately seen upon the opera stage how well a whole story may be told in dance; but in all these instances music stands in the place of speech, and is itself the only organ to express the sentiments of the actor.

To return to the application of vocal music upon the English theatre: it must not only be restrained from having part in the exer­cise or action of the passions; care must be also taken, that it does not interrupt or de­lay events for the issue of which the mind is become eager. It should always be the accessory and not the principal subject of the drama; but at the same time spring out of it in such a manner that the difference can hardly be discerned, and that it should seem neither the one nor the other could be spared.

And notwithstanding all these restrictions, vocal music judiciously managed would have many occasions to distinguish its own specific charms, at the same time that it embellish­ed, [Page xxii] enriched, and elevated regular dramatic compositions. In tragedy, I am convinced, the mind would peculiarly feel its powers.

Not touch'd but rapt, not waken'd but inspir'd.

In the humbler, but not less instructive line of comedy, its office would be to convey through the sweetest channel, and to esta­blish by the most powerful impressions upon the mind, maxim, admonition, sentiment, virtue.

Should any thing I have said strike a man of genius and taste with the distinction I have endeavoured to establish between comic opera and musical comedy, viz. between ‘"elaborate trifles"’ made secondary to music, and sense and spirit inculcated and sustained by it, new subjects could not be wanting to engage their trials; or if it occurred to men of that description to try an experiment upon an old subject, and a poet could be found courageous enough to engraft upon Shakspeare, as has been done upon Milton in Comus; perhaps no subject could be found in the whole range of fancy better fitted for musical comedy than the play of "As you like it." Indeed it seems by some songs thrown into the original, that it was the idea of the great author himself. To multiply the [Page xxiii] songs, excellent materials might be taken from the piece itself, without injury to the eloquent and brilliant passages which are better adapt­ed to the energy of elocution and action. And where materials failed in the original, what true votary of the Muse would not find animation, and assistance in his inven­tive faculties, from the prospect of being ad­mitted before the public a companion to Shakspeare!

In the mean time the Lord of the Manor has been offered, not as an example, but an excitement to improve that species of drama—

—fungar vice cotis; acutum
Reddere quae ferrum valet, exsors ipse secandi.

It would be affectation in me, as well as in­gratitude to the public, to deny the pleasure I have had in the very favourable reception of this piece. At the same time I trust that I am duly sensible how much of the success is to be attributed to the exertions of the performers, the merits of the Orchestra, and the excellence of Mr. Jackson's composition. Among all the circumstances of satisfaction, there is not one more pleasing to the reflec­tion than that the bringing this humble pro­duction upon the stage, has been the means of making me acquainted with a man whose [Page xxiv] harmony I sincerely believe to be character­istic of his mind,—equal to any exertions, but peculiarly exquisite; when expressive of the social, tender, quiet, and amiable quali­ties of the human heart.

Before I dismiss this theatrical subject, up­on which I have hazarded many opinions that for aught I know may be singly mine, I am free to confess, that in calling upon men of genius to try the effect of my ideas, I have had my eye particularly upon Mr. Sheridan. As an author, he is above my en­comium; as a friend, it is my pride to think we are exactly upon a level. From the consideration of him in both those capacities, I feel myself more interested than the rest of the world, in a performance he has some time given us reason to expect. His Muse, though without participation of my cause, will naturally and of necessity be the advo­cate of it, by verifying and exemplifying true musical comedy; and such a sanction from the author whom all respect, will be rendered doubly precious to myself by its proceeding also from the man I love.

THE AUTHOR.

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DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

  • SIR JOHN CONTRAST,
    Mr. Parsons.
    CONTRAST,
    Mr. Palmer.
    TRUMORE,
    Mr. Vernon.
    RASHLY,
    Mr. Bannister.
    RENTAL,
    Mr. Aickin.
    LE NIPPE,
    Mr. Dodd.
    CAPTAIN TREPAN,
    Mr. Baddeley.
    SERJEANT CRIMP,
    Mr. R. Palmer.
    HUNTSMAN,
    Mr. Du Bellamy.
    CORPORAL SNAP,
    Mr. Williams.
  • ANNETTE,
    Miss Prudom.
    SOPHIA,
    Miss Farren.
    PEGGY,
    Mrs. Wrighten.
    MOLL FLAGON,
    Mr. Suett.
  • SOLDIERS, RECRUITS, COUNTRYMEN.

[Page]THE LORD OF THE MANOR.

ACT I. SCENE I.

At the close of the overture a peal of bells is heard at a distance, the curtain continuing down. When the peal is nearly finished the curtain rises, and discovers a mag­nificent entrance to a park, with a view of a Gothic castle on an eminence at a distance. On the side scene, near the park-gate, the outside of a small neat farm­house with a bank of turf before the door, on which Sophia and Annette are seated and at work—An­nette throws down her work, and runs to meet Peggy, who enters immediately on the other side—Sophia con­tinues her work pensively.
PEGGY.

KEEP it up, jolly ringers—ding dong and away with it again. A merry peal puts my spirits quite in a hey-day—what say you, my little fo­reigner?

ANNETTE.
[Page 2]

You know, Peggy, my spirits are generally in time and tune with your's. I was out of my wits for your coming back to know what was going on—Is all this for the wake?

PEGGY.

Wake! An hundred wakes together would not make such a day as this is like to be. Our new land­lord, that has bought all this great estate of Castle Ma­nor, is arrived; and Rental the steward, who went up to London upon the purchase, is with him, and is to be continued steward. He has been presenting the tenants—and they are still flocking up to the castle to get a sight of Sir John,—Sir John—

ANNETTE.

What is his name?

PEGGY.

I declare I had almost forgot it, tho' I have heard all about him—Sir John Contrast—Knight and Ba­ronet—and as rich as Mexico—an ox is to be roasted whole—the whole country will be assembled—such feasting—dancing—

ANNETTE.

Oh! how I long to see it! I hope papa will let us go—do not you, sister?

SOPHIA.

No, indeed; my hopes are just the reverse; I hate nothing so much as a croud and noise.—Enjoy the [Page 3] gaiety for which your temper is so well fitted, An­nette, but do not grudge me what is equally suited to mine—retirement.

ANNETTE.

I grudge it to you only, Sophy, because it nou­rishes pain.

Sings.
If an amorous heart
Is distinguish'd by smart,
Let mine still insensible be;
Like the zephyr of spring,
Be it ever on wing,
Blythe, innocent, airy, and free.
Love, embitter'd with tears,
Suits but ill with my years,
When sweets bloom enmingled around;
Ere my homage I pay,
Be the godhead more gay,
And his altars with violets crown'd.
PEGGY.

Well said, my mademoiselle; though I hate the French in my heart, as a true Englishwoman, I'll be friends with their sunshine as long as I live, for mak­ing thy blood so lively in thy veins. Were it not for Annette and me, this house would be worse than a nunnery.

SOPHIA.

Heigh ho!

ANNETTE.
[Page 4]

Aye, that's the old tune. It's so all night long—sigh! sigh! pine, pine! I can hardly get a wink of sleep.

PEGGY.

And how is it ever to end? The two fathers are specially circumstanced to make a family alliance. A curate with forty pounds a year has endow'd his son with two sure qualities to entail his poverty, Learning and Modesty; and our gentleman (my master, God bless him!) is possessed of this mansion, a farm of an hundred acres, a gun and a brace of spaniels—I should have thought the example so long before your eyes of living upon love might have made you—

SOPHIA.

Charmed with it Peggy—And so indeed I am—It was the life of a mother I can never forget. I do not pass an hour without reflecting on the happiness she enjoyed and diffused—"May such be my situa­tion! it is my favourite prospect."

PEGGY.

"Aye, 'tis like your favourite moonshine, just of the same substance." Helpless souls! you have not a single faculty to make the pot boil between you—I should like to see you at work in a dairy—your lit­tle nice fingers may serve to rear an unfledged linnet, but would make sad work at cramming poultry for market—

SOPHIA.
[Page 5]

But you, my good Peggy, ought not to upbraid me; for you have helped to spoil me by taking every care and labour off my hands—the humility of our for­tunes ought to have put us more upon a level.

PEGGY.

That's a notion I cannot bear. I speak my mind familiarly to be sure, because I mean no harm; but I never pretend to be more than a servant; and you were born to be a lady—I'm sure on't—I see it as sure as the gypsies in every turn of your countenance.—Read Pamela Andrews, and the Fortunate Country Maid.

SOPHIA.

Have done Peggy, or you'll make me seriously an­gry; this seems your particular day of nonsense.

PEGGY.

No nonsense, but a plain road to fortune. Our young landlord, Sir John Contrast's son, is expected every hour; now get but your silly passion for Trumore out of your head, and my life on't it will do—I dreamt last night I saw you with a bunch of nettles in your breast for a nosegay; and that's a sure sign of a wed­ding—Let us watch for him at the park-gate, and take your aim; your eyes will carry further, and hit surer, than the best gun your father has.

ANNETTE.

Peggy, how odd you are!

PEGGY.
[Page 6]

Yes, my whole life has been an oddity—all made up of chequers and chances—you don't know half of it—but Margery Hearts-ease is always honest and gay; and has a joke and a song for the best and worst of times.

Sings.
I once was a maiden as fresh as a rose,
And as fickle as April weather;
I lay down without care, and I wak'd from repose,
With a heart as light as a feather.
I work'd with the girls, I play'd with the men,
I was always or romping or spinning;
And what if they pilfer'd a kiss now and then,
I hope 'twas not very great sinning.
I married a husband as young as myself,
And for every frolic as willing;
Together we laugh'd while we had any pelf,
And we laugh'd when we had not a shilling.
He's gone to the wars—Heav'n send him a prize!
For his pains he is welcome to spend it;
My example, I know, is more merry than wise,
—But, Lord help me, I never shall mend it!
ANNETTE.

It would be a thousand pities you ever should.

PEGGY.

But here comes your father, and Rental the steward;—they seem in deep discourse.

SOPHIA.
[Page 7]

Let us go in then; it might displease my father to interrupt them.

[Exit Sophia.
PEGGY.

Go thy ways, poor girl! thou art more afraid of being interrupted in discoursing with thy own simple heart.

ANNETTE.

Peggy, when do you think my sighing-time will come?

PEGGY.

Don't be too sure of yourself, miss; there is no age in which a woman is so likely to be infected with folly, as just when she arrives at what they call years of discretion.

[Exeunt.
Enter Rashly and Rental.
RENTAL.

But you are the only tenant upon the manor, that has not congratulated our new lord upon taking pos­session of his purchase.

RASHLY
(aside.)

Strange disposition of events! That he of all man­kind should be a purchaser in this county!—I must not see Sir John Contrast.

RENTAL.
[Page 8]

Why so? he is prepared—in giving him an ac­count of his tenants, your name was not forgot.

RASHLY.

And pray, my friend, how did you describe me?

RENTAL.

As what I always found you—an honest man. One can go no farther than that word in praise of a cha­racter; therefore, to make him the better acquainted with yours, I was forced to tell him the worst I knew of you.

RASHLY.

Good Rental, what might that be?

RENTAL.

I told him, you had the benevolence of a prince, with means little better than a cottager; that conse­quently your family was often indebted to your gun (at which you were the best hand in the country) for the only meat in your kitchen.

RASHLY.

But what said he to the gun?

RENTAL.

He shook his head, and said, if you were a poacher, woe be to you when his son arrived.

RASHLY.

His son!—

RENTAL.
[Page 9]

Yes, his only son in fact. The eldest it seems was turned out of doors twenty years ago, for a mar­riage against his consent. This is by a second wife, and declared his heir. He gives him full rein to run his own course, so he does not marry—and by all accounts a fine rate he goes at.

RASHLY.

And what is become of that elder?

RENTAL.

Nobody knows. But the old servants who remem­ber him are always lamenting the change.

RASHLY.

You know him well.

RENTAL.

What do you mean?

RASHLY.

A discovery that will surprize you—I have lived with you, the many years we have been acquainted—an intimate—a friend—and an impostor.

RENTAL.

An impostor!

RASHLY.

Your new master, the purchaser of this estate is an obstinate father—I am a disinherited son—put those [Page 10] circumstances together, and instead of Rashly, call me—

RENTAL.

Is it possible!

RASHLY.

Call me Contrast.

RENTAL.

Mr. Rashly, Sir John Contrast's son!

RASHLY.

Even so—for the sole offence of a marriage with the most amiable of womankind, I received one of Sir John's rescripts as he calls the signification of his plea­sure, with a note of a thousand pounds, and a prohi­bition of his presence for ever. I knew his temper too well to reply.

RENTAL.

You must know him best—I had conceived him of a disposition more odd than harsh.

RASHLY.

You are right; but this oddity has all the effects of harshness. Sir John Contrast has ever thought deci­sion to be the criterion of wisdom; and is as much averse to retract an error as a right action. In short, in his character, there is a continual variance between a good heart and a perverse head; and he often ap­pears angry with all mankind, when in fact he is only out of humour with himself.

RENTAL.
[Page 11]

I always thought you must have been bred above the station I saw you in, but I never guessed how much—could you immediately submit to such a change of situation?

RASHLY.

No, I thought of different professions to support the rank of a gentleman. I afterwards placed my eldest daughter, then an infant, under the care of a relation, and went abroad—There my Annette was born, and for the sake of oeconomy for some years educated. In short, after various trials, I found I wanted supple­ness for some of my pursuits, and talents perhaps for others; and my last resource was a cottage and love, in the most literal sense of both.

RENTAL.

But why did you change your name?—the pride of Sir John Contrast would never have suffered it to be said, that his son was in the capacity of a poor far­mer.

RASHLY.

Our claims were upon the virtues, not the weak­nesses of the heart; and when they failed, obscurity was not only choice but prudence. Why give our children the name and knowledge of a rank that might alienate their minds from the humble life to which they were destined?

RENTAL.

What a sacrifice! how strange this situation must have appeared to you at first!

RASHLY.
[Page 12]

My Anna was equally fitted for a cottage or a court. Her person, her accomplishments, her temper—the universal charm of her society, made our new life a constant source of delight—

—"The desart smil'd,
And Paradise was open'd in the wild."
Sings.
Encompass'd in an angel's frame,
An angel's virtues lay;
Too soon did heav'n assert the claim,
And call its own away.
My Anna's worth, my Anna's charms,
Must never more return!
What now shall fill these widow'd arms?
Ah, me! my Anna's urn!
RENTAL.

Not so, my good sir, you have two living images of her; and for their sakes you must try to work upon this old obdurate—Heaven has sent you together for that purpose.

RASHLY.

No my friend, he is inflexibility itself—I mean to fly him—it must be your part to dispose of my farm and little property.

RENTAL.

Your intention is too hasty—I pretend to no skill in plotting, but I think I see my way clearly in your case—dear Sir, be advised by me—

LA NIPPE
[Page 13]
(without.)

Hollo countryman, do you belong to the lodge?

RASHLY.

Hey-day, what strange figure have we here?

RENTAL.

As I live, the young heir's gentleman. I got ac­quainted with his character when I was in London to solicit the stewardship, and it is as curious as his mas­ter's.

RASHLY.

What countryman is he?

RENTAL.

True English by birth. He took his foreign name upon his travels to save his master's reputation—no­thing so disgraceful now-a-days, as to be waited upon by your own countrymen—pray be contented to—

Enter La Nippe (affectedly dress'd as a fo­reign valet de chambre, with a little cloak bag made of silk on his shoulder.
LA NIPPE.

Hollo! countrymen, which is the nearest way—What Mr. Rental! faith the sun was so much in my eyes I did not know you.

RENTAL.
[Page 14]

Welcome to Castle Manor, Mr. Homestall—I for­get your French name.

LA NIPPE.

La Nippe at your service; and when you see me thus equipped, I hope you'll forget my English one.

RENTAL.

Pray how came you to be on foot?

LA NIPPE.

A spring of the chaise broke at the bottom of the hill; the boy was quite a bore in tying it up; so I took out my luggage and determined to walk home.

RASHLY.

The prettiest little package I ever saw.

RENTAL.

What may it contain?

LA NIPPE.

The current utensils of a fine gentleman—as neces­sary to his existence as current cash. It is a toilette à chasse, in English the macaroni's knapsack—It con­tains a fresh perfum [...]d fil [...]et for the hair, a pot of cold cream for the face, and a callico under-waistcoat com­pressed between two sachets à l'adorat de Narcisse; with a dressing of Marechalle powder, court plaister, lip-salve, eau de luce—

[Rashly smiling.
RENTAL
[Page 15]
(laughing.)

To be sure that cargo does not exactly suit the family of the Homestalls.

LA NIPPE.

Non, non—my master would not trust a black pin in my hands, if I did not talk broken English—I ex­pect him here every minute.

RENTAL.

What time was he to leave London?

LA NIPPE.

The chaise was order'd at one this morning—I must allow him an hour for yawning, picking his teeth, and damning his journey—that would bring it to—

RASHLY.

Upon my word, a pretty full allowance for such em­ployments.

LA NIPPE.

Nothing—I have known Lord Dangle and his friend Billy Vapid in suspence in St. James's Street, between a fruit-shop and a gambling-house, thrice the time, and the chaise door open all the while.

RASHLY.

Well said, Mr. La Nippe. I see you are a saty­rist.

RENTAL.
[Page 16]

But what time of the morning had you brought him to?

LA NIPPE.

Two o'clock—oh, he dares not stay much longer—for he is made up for the journey. I doubt whe­ther he could take himself to pieces; but, if he could, I am sure he could never put himself together again without my assistance—his curls pinned, his ancles rolled, his—

RASHLY.

His ancles rolled? pray what may you mean by that?

LA NIPPE.

The preservation of a Ranelagh leg—the true mode of keeping it from one season to another—What's a Macaroni without a Ranelagh leg—our's has carried it hollow six seasons together.

RASHLY.

We don't understand you.

LA NIPPE.

Why sir, with six yards of flannel roller to sweat the small, and prop the calf, and only an hour's atten­tion every day (nothing for a gentleman to spare), to sit with his heels in the air, and keep the blood back, I will undertake to—oh I'll leave nature in the lurch at her best works—and produce a leg with the muscle of a Hercules, and the ancle of the Apollo Belvidere.

RASHLY.
[Page 17]

And is this a common practice?

LA NIPPE.

Common! what do you think, but to hide the rol­ler, makes the young fellows so damn'd fond of boots at all hours?—they can't leave them off at the play-house now-a-days—but let me be gone.

RENTAL.

Nay, nay, you have time to spare—He must be many miles off; for it is a hundred and twenty from London.

LA NIPPE.

Lord help you! I see you have no notion how a ge­nius travels.

RENTAL.

He cannot fly, I suppose.

LA NIPPE.

Yes, and in a whirlwind—over orange-barrows and oyster-baskets at every corner—You may trace his whole journey by yelping dogs, broken-back'd pigs, and dismember'd geese.

RENTAL.

Ha! ha! ha!

LA NIPPE.

There's no describing it in common words—I'll give you a sample in music.

[Page 18]Sings.
O'er the pavement when we rattle,
Trim the drivers, sharp the cattle,
How the people gape and wonder!
Whirling with our wheels in chorus,
Ev'ry earthly thing before us,
We come on like peals of thunder!
Cracking, smacking,
Backing, tacking,
Brats here bawling, Sir,
Dogs here sprawling, Sir,
Now they tumble, now they skip,
Zounds take care, Sir!
Safe to a hair, Sir!
Helter, skelter,
Swelter, swelter,
Dust and sun, Sir,
Help the fun, Sir,
Oh! the glories of the whip!
RENTAL.

Glories! I am sure it has made you sweat to de­scribe them; and I hardly know if I have a whole bone in my body at hearing them.

LA NIPPE.

Well, I'm glad it pleases you; but as sure as death my master will get home before me—

(going.)
RENTAL.

Never fear; you've time enough, I tell you—He stops short at the edge of the forest—His game-keepers and pointers meet him there—He shoots home.

LA NIPPE.
[Page 19]

What the Devil signifies that? the sportsmen of fashion shoot as fast as they travel

[whistle without].

Zounds! there's his whistle—If he finds me loitering here, he'll vent more oaths in a minute than have been heard in this forest since its foundation.

RASHLY.

Sir, you may step into Mr. Rashly's house till he is gone by.

LA NIPPE.

I thank you, Sir.

[Exit.
RASHLY.

My brother here? farewell, Rental—

(going.)
RENTAL.

Stay Sir, it is impossible he can have a suspicion of you—Let us see whether he tallies with this impudent fellow's account—sift him boldly—I have a thousand thoughts for you.

RASHLY.

If he answers the description I have heard, I shall never keep my temper.

RENTAL.

Perhaps so much the better—but he is alighting from his horse.

CONTRAST
(without.)

Searchum, take up the dogs, one might as well beat for game in Hyde-Park.

[Page 20][Enters, attended with game-keepers—a gun in one hand, and a silk parasol in the other.

The manors are poached to desolation, the saddles are gridirons, and the air is impregnated with scurf and freckle—In another half hour I shall be a Mu­latto in grain, in spite of my parasol, by all that's sultry—but come to business—

[Gives the gun to one of his attendants.

Searchum, get warrants immediately for seizing guns, nets, and snares, let every dog in the parish be col­lected for hanging to-morrow morning—give them a taste of Norfolk discipline—"Nothing like execu­tions to support government."

RASHLY.

I hope, young gentleman, you will be better advised than to proceed so rashly.

CONTRAST.

And pray, friend, who may you be, that are so for­ward with your hope?

RASHLY.

A tenant upon this estate these sixteen years, where I have been used to see harmony between high and low established upon the best basis—Protection, with­out pride, and respect without servility.

CONTRAST.

Odd language for a farmer!—but in plain English it implies indulgence for arrears, and impunity for poach­ing.—And you, Sir, what may be your occupation?

RENTAL.
[Page 21]

I have been long, sir, steward at Castle Manor; your father's goodness continues me so. I'm sorry, sir, you have had no sport—but your game-keepers are strangers—if this gentleman had been with you, he knows every haunt of the country.

CONTRAST.

Oh I don't doubt it; and is this gentleman quali­fied to carry a gun?

RASHLY.

I always thought so, sir.

CONTRAST.

Where is your qualification?

RASHLY.

In my birth-right as a free man—Nature gave the birds of the air in common to us all; and I think it no crime to pursue them, when my heart tells me I am ready, if called upon, to exercise the same gun against the enemies of my king and country.

CONTRAST.

A period again! if it were not for his dress I should take him for a strolling orator escaped from Soho—but to cut the dispute short—You Mr. Steward, and you Mr. Monitor of the forest, take notice that I require unconditional submission in my supremacy of the game.

RENTAL.
[Page 22]

In what manner, sir?

CONTRAST.

The county gaol shall teach transgressors—thanks to my fellow sportsmen in the senate, we have as good a system of game laws as can be found in the most gentleman-like country upon the continent.

"RASHLY.

"By gentleman-like I am afraid, young sir, you mean arbitrary—It is true we have such laws—mo­dern and unnatural excrescences, which have grown and strengthened by insensible degrees, 'till they lie upon our statute-book like a wen upon a fair pro­portion'd body—a deformity fed by wholesome juices.—I hope, sir, we shall have your assistance to remove the evil."

"CONTRAST.

"Just the contrary. Tho' our system be excellent for the preservation of game, it still wants a little foreign enforcement—In France, the insignia of a Lord Paramont of the chace are gallowses with his arms upon every hill in his estate—they embellish a prospect better than the finest clump Brown ever planted." You look at me with surprize, old re­former of the groves.

RASHLY.

I confess I do, sir! In days when I frequented the world, a high-bred town spark and a sportsman were [Page 23] the greatest opposites in nature—The bean and the squire were always—

CONTRAST.

Oh, I begin to take you—your days—the rusticat­ed remains of a ruined Temple Critic—a smatterer of high life from the scenes of Cibber, which remain up­on his imagination, as they do upon the stage, forty years after the real characters are lost—Thy ideas of a gentleman are as obsolete, old speculator, as the flaxen wig, and "stap my vitals."

RASHLY.

May I presume, sir, to ask what is the character that has succeeded?

CONTRAST.

Look at me—

(turning round.)
RASHLY.

We were comparing, sir—

CONTRAST.

Coxcombs—never baulk the word—the first thing in which we differ from your days is, that we glory in our title, and I am the acknowledged chief.—In all walks of life, it is true ambition to be at the head of a class.

RASHLY.

And may I ask, sir, if the class over which you so eminently preside is very numerous?

CONTRAST.
[Page 24]

No, faith; and we diminish every day; the cockade predominates—the times have set nine tenths of our men of fashion upon being their own soldiers—I shou'd as soon have thought of being my own gun­smith.

RASHLY.

But is it possible you can have been idle at such times?

CONTRAST.

Idle!—I never killed more birds any seven days in my life than in the precise week the French were off Plymouth.

RASHLY.

Singular character!

CONTRAST.

Right for once, old Tramontane—singularity is the secret of refined life. In the present day it con­nects the Nimrod and the man of taste—thus we hunt our pointers at full speed; our foxes at midday; crown the evening with French cookery, and wash down our fatigues with orgeat and icid lemonade.

Enter La Nippe running.

Sir, sir,—apart un instant, Monsieur—such an adventure! I have discovered such a girl 1 such a shape! such—

CONTRAST.
[Page 25]

Bête! did you ever know me think of a woman in the country?

LA NIPPE
(aside.)

No, nor much any where else.

[Takes him aside, and seems eagerly to press him.
Rental
aside to Rashly.

I think, I discover Monsieur la Nippe's business—humour it, I beseech you, sir, and ask Contrast in.

RASHLY.

Sir, will you accept any refreshment my poor house affords?—I hope you take nothing ill I have said.

CONTRAST.

No, sir, I bear no malice, and I will drink your health in a bowl of milk and water—

(aside).

I'd not take the trouble of looking at his daughter, if it was not for the hope of being reveng'd of this old crusty de tristibus.

LA NIPPE
(aside.)

I must get him into this intrigue, for my own sake with the maid, if not for his with the mistress.

[Exeunt.
Enter Trumore.

How surely and involuntarily my feet bring me to this spot! Conscious scenes! Sophy! Dost thou re­member [Page 26] them with my constancy?—Dost thou visit them with my sensibility?

Sings.
Within this shade, beneath this bough,
We pass'd the tender mutual vow;
Recording loves were list'ning round,
And in soft echoes bless'd the sound.
Come, Sympathy, with aspect fair,
And, soaring Hope, that treads on air,
Smile on our truth, our cause befriend,
And footh the passions that you blend!

Is it impossible to get a glance at her at a distance? If I could but do it unperceiv'd—

Enter Peggy.

So, sir, do you think I did not spy you from the window, prowling like a fox about a hen-roost? but set your heart at rest, the pullet you are in search of will soon be upon a perch too high for your reach.

TRUMORE.

What do you mean?

PEGGY.

Do you see that castle there?—there—Sir John Contrast's great seat—mine are no castles in the air.

TRUMORE.

Well, what of that?

PEGGY.
[Page 27]

Well then, if you had my second sight, you wou'd see Sophy in a coach and six white horses driving in at the great gate.

TRUMORE.

What wou'd you lead my thoughts to?

PEGGY.

Patience!—Reason!—Sir John's son is paying his addresses within—Consult Sophy's interest, and your own too in the end, and resign her.

TRUMORE.

Horror and distraction! you cannot be in earnest—would Sophia suffer even a look from a stranger with­out a repulse?

PEGGY.

Time enough to repulse when strangers grow im­pertinent—mean while, why not be courted a little? there's curiosity in it, only to see how many ways the creatures can find to please us.

TRUMORE.

These are your thoughts—but, Sophia.

PEGGY.

Thinks like me, or she's not a woman. Look ye, I hate to be ill-natur'd—but don't fancy I'm your ene­my, because I'm her friend; and depend upon it we all love to be tempted—some few to be sure for the [Page 28] pride of resisting, and that may be Sophy's case—but ten for one think the pleasure of yielding worth the chance of repentance. I won't promise I am not one of the number.

Sings.
All women are born to believe
In the sweets of the apple of Eve:
If it comes in my eye,
'Tis in vain to deny;
I so much long to try,
I must bite tho' I die—
—'Tis done!—and, oh, fye!
Lack, how silly was I!
Oh, the devilish apple of Eve!
[Exit.
TRUMORE
(alone.)

Tormenting woman,—I cannot however but be alarmed, and shall watch your steps closely, young gentleman; yes, my Sophia, I will hover round thee like a watchful spirit—invisible, but anxious to prove thy truth, and if necessary, to defend it.

[Exit.
[Scene changes to the inside of the house, Contrast, La Nippe, Rashly, Sophy, Annette.]
LA NIPPE
(apart to Contrast.)

What do you think of her eyes?

CONTRAST.

Passable for a village,

LA NIPPE.
[Page 29]

Her complection! her skin! her delicacy!

CONTRAST.

Oh perfectly delicate; she looks like the diet of her nursery, extract of leveret and pheasant with egg.

RASHLY.

Girls, you may retire when you please.

[As they are going off, enter Peggy with a guitar.
SOPHIA.

Peggy, what are you doing?

PEGGY
(aside.)

"Gad, but he shall see a little more of her first."—It's only the guitar, madam!—It hung so loose upon the peg, I was afraid the kitten wou'd pull it off—

[Touches the string.

Lord! it speaks of itself, I think—just as if it wanted—

CONTRAST
(aside.)

Music too—a syren compleat—I am to be tempted by all the enchantments of Calypso's Grotto—à la bonheur, try your skill, my dear.

SOPHIA.

Officious girl, carry it back directly.

CONTRAST.

Oh, by no means, miss, pray favour us with a song.

RASHLY.
[Page 30]

Come, girls, don't be ashamed of an innocent and pleasing talent—perhaps the warble of Nature may please Mr. Contrast, from its novelty.

SOPHIA.

Indeed, Sir, I wish to be excused; upon my word, I am not able to sing—

ANNETTE.

Dear sister, sing the song my father made upon a butterfly—I have laugh'd at the insect ever since.

SOPHIA sings.
Hence reveller of tinsel wing,
Insipid, senseless, trifling thing;
Light spendthrift of thy single day,
Pert insignificance, away!
How joyless to thy touch or taste
Seems all the spring's profuse repast;
Thy busy, restless, varied range
Can only pall the sense by change.
CONTRAST.

Bravo, Miss; very well indeed—

PEGGY
(as going off.)

Gad, I don't know what to make of him; but all great men are of the family of the Whimsicals.

CONTRAST.
[Page 31]

La Nippe, on to the castle; announce me to my fa­ther, and get things to cool—I am still hot enough to be page of the presence in the palace of Lucifer.

[Horns without.

What horns are those?

LA NIPPE,
looking out.

Your honour's master of the hounds, and your whole hunting equipage are arrived.

CONTRAST.

Have they the new liveries?

LA NIPPE.

They have—and for elegance they would shame the hunt at Fontainebleau.

CONTRAST.

Let them draw up before the door, I'll see them as I pass.—

[Exit La Nippe.

One word at parting, friend Rashly.—Your daughters are not without attractions—nor you void of a certain sort of oddity that may be diverting; but your gun must be surrender'd, and from a pheasant to a squirrel—chasse defendue—no pardon for poaching—and so good day, old Aesop in the shades.

[Exit.
RENTAL.

I must follow—but I request you to take no steps till you see me again—give me but time to work in your favour!—

RASHLY.
[Page 32]

You are too sanguine—but I consent, upon condi­tion that I do not see my father.

RENTAL.

As yet it is no part of my plan that you should.

[Exeunt severally.
Scene changes to the outside of the house.
Enter Contrast, La Nippe, and Huntsmen.
LA NIPPE.

The huntsmen, Sir, have been practising a new chorus song; will you hear it?

CONTRAST.

A hunting song quite breaks my ears, it is a conti­nued yell of horn and morn, wake the day and hark away—but they may begin; I shall hear enough as I walk off.

I.
When the orient beam first pierces the dawn,
And printless yet glistens the dew on the lawn,
We rise to the call of the horn and the bound,
And Nature herself seems to live in the sound.
Chorus.
Repeat it quick, Echo, the cry is begun,
The game is on foot, boys, we'll hunt down the sun.
II.
The Chace of old Britons was ever the care,
Their sinews it brac'd, 'twas the image of war.
Like theirs shall our vigour by exercise grow,
Till we turn our pursuit to our country's foe.
Chorus.
Repeat it, shrill Echo, the war is begun,
The foe is on foot, boys, we'll fight down the sun.
III.
With spirits thus fir'd, to sleep were a shame,
Night only approaches to alter the game.
Diana's bright crescent fair Venus shall grace,
And from a new goddess invite a new chace.
Chorus.
Be silent, fond Echo, the whisper's begun,
The game is on foot, boys, we want not the sun.
END of the FIRST ACT.

ACT II. SCENE I.

A Shrubbery.
Enter Sophia and Annette, arm in arm.
SOPHIA.

I Confess, Annette, you are a very forward scholar in affairs of the heart: but would you really per­suade me, that the women in France scorn to be in love?

ANNETTE.

Just the contrary. Love, there, is the passion of all ages. One learns to lisp it in the cradle; and they will trifle with it at the brink of the grave; but it is always the cherup of life, not the moping malady, as it is here.

SOPHIA.

And according to the notions of that fantastical people, how is the passion to be shewn?

ANNETTE.

Oh! in a woman, by any thing but confessing it.

SOPHIA.

Surely, Annette, you must now be wrong: insin­cerity and artifice may, for aught I know, be the vices [Page 35] of fine folks in courts and cities; but in the rural scenes, where you as well as myself have been bred, I am persuaded the tongue and the heart go together in all countries alike.

ANNETTE.

So they may too: it would be wrong if the tongue told fibs of the heart; but what occasion for telling all the truth?—I wish you saw a girl in Provence as she trips down the mountain with a basket of grapes upon her head, and all her swains about her, with a glance at one, and a nod at another, and a tap to a third—'till up rises the moon, and up strikes the tabor and pipe—away go the baskets—"Adieu panniers, Ven­dange est faite!"—her heart dances faster than her feet, and she makes ten lads happy instead of one, by each thinking himself the favourite.

SOPHIA.

But the real favourite is not to be in suspence for ever?

ANNETTE.

No, no; she solves the mystery at last, but in a lively key.

("A short French song.")
SOPHIA.

I admire your vivacity, Annette; but I dislike your maxims. For my part, I scorn even the shadow of de­ceit towards the man I love, and would sooner die than give him pain.

ANNETTE.
[Page 36]

So wou'd I too, dear sister—but why not bestow pleasures with a smile?

SOPHIA.

Giddy girl—you know not love.

ANNETTE.

Oh! but you are mistaken—I understand sentiment perfectly, and could act it to admiration. I cou'd gaze at the moon, prattle to the evening breeze, and make a companion of a rose for hours together—"only I don't like to prick my fingers with it"—à propos now; here's a charming bush in full blow, and you shall hear me address it exactly in your cha­racter—

Sings to a rose.
Rest, beauteous flow'r, and bloom anew,
To court my passing love;
Glow in his eyes with brighter hue,
And all thy form improve.
And while thy balmy odours steal
To meet his equal breath;
Let thy soft blush for mine reveal
The imprinted kiss beneath.
SOPHIA.

Get you gone, you trifler—you'll make me angry.

ANNETTE.
[Page 37]

Well, I'll only stroll with you as far as yonder great tree, and leave you to kiss the rest of the roses to the same tune.

[Exeunt.
Enter La Nippe, beckoning Contrast.
LA NIPPE.

Yonder she is—and the young one going away—now's the time—at her, Sir.

CONTRAST.

It's a damn'd vulgar business you're drawing me into, La Nippe—I could never shew my face again if it were known I was guilty of the drudgery of get­ting a woman for myself.

LA NIPPE.

What do you mean, Sir, that you never make love?

CONTRAST.

No, certainly, you blockhead—modern epicures al­ways buy it ready-made.

LA NIPPE.

"Aye, and in town it is fitted to all purchasers, like a shoe in Cranburn-alley—but here—

"CONTRAST.

"Is the scene of novelty and experiment—be it so for once—it is the sporting season—I'll course this [Page 38] little puss myself." But hold, she is turned, and coming this way.

[Exit La Nippe.
Enter Sophia.

I did not recollect that these walks are no longer to be open for the neighbourhood—How simple was that girl not to remind me! If I should be seen, I may be thought impertinent—and alone too—

CONTRAST.

So, Miss Rashly, we meet as patly as if you had known my inclinations.

SOPHIA
(aside and confused).

He too, of all others!—I know it is an intrusion, Sir, to be here—I was retiring.

[to him]
CONTRAST.

It is the most lucky intrusion you ever made in your life.

SOPHIA
(still confused).

Permit me, Sir, to pass?

CONTRAST.

Not till you hear your good fortune, my dear. You have attracted in one moment what hundreds of your sex have twinkled their eyes whole years for in vain—my notice—I will bring you into the world myself—your fortune's made.

SOPHIA
[Page 39]
(confused and angrily).

Sir, this sort of conversation is new to me, and I wish it to continue so.

[Still endeavouring to pass.
CONTRAST
(examining her).

Yes, she'll do when she is well dress'd—one sees by her blush how rouge will become her—I shall soon teach her to smile—La belle gorge when adjusted in French stays—

SOPHIA
(more angrily).

Sir, tho' your language is incomprehensible, your manners are offensive—I insist upon passing.

CONTRAST.

Oh fye child—the first thing you do must be to correct that frown and this coyness—they have no more to do with thy figure than a red cloak or blue stockings—No, no, my girl, learn to look a man in the face, whatever he says to you—it is one of the first principles for high life; and high as the very pinnacle of female ambition shall thine be—thou shalt drive four poneys with a postilion no bigger than a marmoset.

SOPHIA.

Insufferable!

CONTRAST.

You shall make your first appearance in my box at the opera—a place of enchantment you can have no [Page 40] notion of—Have you seen Contrast's Sultana? shall be the cry—"All the women in the town are Aethiops to her, or blindness confound me"—there's the lan­guage to fix a woman's reputation!—there's the secret to make her adored—beauty!—it is not worth that,

[fillips his fingers.

in comparison of fashion.

SOPHIA.

Sir, I have tried while I could to treat you with some degree of respect—you put it out of my power—resentment and contempt are the only—

CONTRAST.

Clarissa Harlow in her altitudes!—what circulating library has supplied you with language and action up­on this occasion? or has your antiquated father in­structed you, as he has me, in the mode of his days?—Things are reversed, my dear—when we fellows of superior class shew ourselves, the women throw them­selves at us; and happy is she we deign to catch in our arms.

[Offers to take hold of her.
SOPHIA.
(Enraged; and at last bursting into a passion of tears).

Unheard-of assurance! What do you see in me to encourage such insolence? Or is it the very baseness of your nature, that insults a woman because she has no protector?

[Breaks from him—at the instant,
Enter Trumore.

Protection is not so distant as you imagined—com­pose yourself, my Sophia—I have heard all—leave [Page 41] to me to settle the difference with this unworthy ruffian.

CONTRAST.

Way-laid, by all that's desperate—a rustic bully—but I must submit, for I conclude he has a forest mob within call.

TRUMORE.

A mob to encounter thee!—a mob of fleas—of gnats—of pismires—a wasp would be a sure assassin—but to be serious, Sir—tho' the brutality of your be­haviour calls for chastisement, the meanness of it places you beneath resentment.

CONTRAST.

How he assumes! because I know as little of a quarter-staff, as he of the weapons of a gentleman.

TRUMORE.

It would indeed be profanation of English oak to put it into such hands—thou outside without a heart—when the mind is nerveless, the figure of a man may be cudgelled with a nettle.

SOPHIA.

For heaven's sake, Trumore, be not violent, you make me tremble—no further quarrel.

TRUMORE.

Another word, Sir, and no more—could I suppose you a real sample of our fashionable youth, I should think my country indeed degraded—but it cannot be—away!—and tell your few fellows, if even few exist, that there is still spirit enough among common [Page 42] people to defend beauty and innocence; and when such as you dare affronts like these, it is not rank nor estate, nor even effeminacy, that shall save them.

CONTRAST.

Very sententious truly—quite Rashly's flourish.—In Italy now I could have this fellow put under ground for a sequin—in this damned country, we can do nothing but despise him. Boxing was once genteel; but till the fashion returns, it would be as low to accept the challenge of a vulgar as to refuse it to an equal.

[Exit.
TRUMORE.

How is my Sophia? happy, happy moment that brought me to your rescue.

SOPHIA.

If the thoughts you most wish I should entertain of my deliverer can repay you, trace them by your own heart, Trumore; they will harmonize with its tender­est emotions.

TRUMORE.

Oh, the rapture of my Sophia's preference! thus let me pour forth my gratitude.

[Kneeling, and kissing her hand.
Enter Rashly.

So, inconsiderate pair, is it thus you keep your en­gagements with me? Neither the duty of one, nor the word of honour of the other, I see, is a sanction—

TRUMORE.
[Page 43]

Restrain your displeasure, Sir, till you hear what has happened—no breach of promise—

RASHLY.

I have no leisure for excuses, nor for reproaches—fortune more than my resentment is against you.—Sophy, my affairs will probably compel me to seek another and a distant home. Prepare yourself to set out with me at an hour's warning.

TRUMORE.

What do I hear? Sir, part us not—I'll be your slave to obtain her presence—let me but follow her—let me but enjoy the hopes of at last deserving her.

SOPHIA.

What have you not already deserved?—If we are to separate, here in a father's presence I engage to you a faith that time and distance shall never change.

TRUMORE.

I accept in the same presence the sacred pledge, and will cherish the remembrance of it with a truth, which, like the brilliant ore, proves its purity by its trials.

Sings.
Superior to this adverse hour
True Love, my Fair, shall rise;
The turn of chance, the stroke of power,
A faithful heart defies.
A parent may this frame controul
By his severe decree;
But thought, the essence of the soul,
Shall ne'er remove from thee.
RASHLY.

Here then break off, and to time and distance leave the further test of your sincerity: at present I can flat­ter you with no other remedy.—Daughter, return to the house.—Trumore, you must not follow.

TRUMORE.

I submit; I have saved her from a ruffian—I resign her to a father—and angels assist to guard her!

RASHLY.

Come, Sophia—the world is wide, and innocence an universal passport.

Trio.
Thus when the wint'ry blasts are near,
The Stork collects her brood
Trains their weak pinions high in air
And points the longsome road.
At length the final flight they try,
Farewel the parent nest,
They seek from fate a milder sky
Attain it, and are blest.
[Exeunt.
[Page 45]Enter Contrast and La Nippe meeting.
CONTRAST
(after a pause).

Get post-horses for the chaise directly.

LA NIPPE.

To carry her off, Sir?—quick work—I thought how it would be when you set yourself to it.

CONTRAST.

I wish you had been among the other curs I or­der'd to be hanged before you had put me upon the trace of her—find me a quick conveyance from this region of barbarism, or the spirit of the place shall be tried upon you—it will be no "profanation of Eng­lish oak to cudgel you."

LA NIPPE.

In the name of wonder, what has happened?

CONTRAST.

Happened! I have been nearly worried by a cursed confounded two-legged mastiff. Where was you, Sir, not to be within call?

LA NIPPE.

Just where I ought to be by the true rule of a valet de chambre's office all the world over—trying the same game with the maid, I supposed you were trying with the mistress—

[Contrast looks angry.

but, all for your honour's interest, to make her your friend—

CONTRAST.
[Page 46]

Rot her friendship—I would not expose my nerves to a second encounter with this new piece of Piety in pattens, to secure all the rustic females from the Land's End to the Orknies.

LA NIPPE.

You shall not need till she is brought to proper terms. Look ye, sir, Peggy the maid is a fly wench, why not make her a convenient one?—Commission me to pay her price, and she shall deliver this toy into your hands—that's love exactly in your own way, you know.

CONTRAST.

I would not give five pounds for her, if it were not for vengeance.

LA NIPPE.

Your vengeance need not stop there. The father you know, by his own confession, is a poacher. I have enquired of Peggy if he has no enemies—he has but one it seems in the parish; but he is worth a hundred—an attorney—broken by Rashly's faculty in deciding differences—this fellow shall saddle him with as many actions for game in half an hour, as shall send him to jail, perhaps for the rest of his days.

CONTRAST.

Your plan is not unpromising, and you may try one of my rouleaus upon it.—If I could at the same time correct the dog of a lover, I believe I should grow cool again, and put off my journey for the accom­plishment.

LA NIPPE.
[Page 47]

It is not impossible—what think you of a press­gang?

CONTRAST.

Transcendent, if one could be found. The game laws and the press act ought always to go hand in hand—and, were they properly enforced, the consti­tution might be more bearable to a man of fashion.

LA NIPPE.

I'll about this business directly.

CONTRAST.

Content: mean while, I'll give an airing to my ina­bility upon the lawn.—Hark ye, La Nippe, before you go, I think the summary of our projects is thus—the father to jail; the lover to sea; my pointers, if you will, in Rashly's chamber; and his daughter in exchange in mine.

LA NIPPE.

Exactly, sir.

[Exeunt severally.
Inside of Rashly's house.
Enter Rashly, and Sophia under his arm, as con­tinuing a conversation.
"RASHLY.

"Besides these peculiarities of my circumstances, and many others which you are yet a stranger to, you [Page 48] must see an unsurmountable reason for discontinu­ing an intercourse with Trumore—the absence of his father—it would be indelicate in you, as well as dishonourable in me, to proceed to a union un­known to him, and to which he may have the greatest objections.

"SOPHIA.

"Dear sir, there wanted no argument to convince me of your tenderness—I am intirely at your dis­posal—if a tear drops when I obey you, it is an in­voluntary tribute to my fortune, think it not repug­nance to your will."

RASHLY.

Be comforted, Sophia, with the reflection that I la­ment, and do not blame your attachment; you know I agree, both upon experience and principle, that the only basis for happiness in every station of life is disin­terested love.

Sings.
I.
When first this humble roof I knew,
With various cares I strove;
My grain was scarce, my sheep were few,
My all of wealth was love.
II.
By mutual toil our board was dress'd;
The stream our drink bestow'd;
But, when her lips the brim had press'd,
The cup with Nectar flow'd.
III.
Content and Peace the dwelling shar'd,
No other guest came nigh,
In them was given, tho' gold was spar'd,
What gold could never buy.
IV.
No value has a splendid lot
But as the means to prove,
That from the castle to the cot
The all of life was love.
Enter Annette hastily.
ANNETTE.

Sir, Mr. Rental is coming into the gate, and with him a strange gentleman I never saw before—an old man, and Rental is pulling off his hat and bowing; I wonder who he is.

RASHLY
(with emotion).

Sir John Contrast! how my heart throbs at his ap­proach!

(Aside)

Girls, I have a reason to be conceal­ed; you must not discover I was within—

[Walks with his daughters to the top of the scene, as giving them direction, and exit—Sophia and Annette remain a little behind the last side-scene.
Scene changes to the inside of Rashly's house.
Enter Sir John Contrast—Rental following.
SIR JOHN.

I tell you, Rental, that last cottage shall come down, there is not a male creature about it—nothing but girls with black eyes, and no industry—but what sort of dwelling have we here?

RENTAL.

The seat of innocence, once the seat of more hap­piness than at present.

SIR JOHN.

The seat of innocence?—aye, to be sure, and these I suppose are the children of innocence that in­habit it—

[Perceiving Sophia and Annette who come timidly forward.
SOPHIA.

What could my father mean by going away him­self, and insisting we shou'd not decline an interview with Sir John Contrast and Rental?—I have seen enough of the family already.

ANNETTE.

Is that he? Lord! sister, don't quake; he does not look so ungracious—

[They approach timidly.
SIR JOHN
[Page 51]
(examining them).

Zounds! are all my farms over-run thus with evil-eyed wenches?

RENTAL.

Suspend your opinion, I beseech you, sir, and speak to the young women; the family is indeed worth your notice.—

(Aside)

Now, Nature and Fortune, work your way.

SIR JOHN.

Young women, how may you earn your lively­hood?

SOPHIA and ANNETTE
(embarrass'd).

Sir!

SIR JOHN
(to Rental).

They are too innocent, I see, to answer a plain ques­tion.

RENTAL.

You alarm them, sir; they are as timid as fawns. My young mistresses, it is Sir John Contrast speaks to you; in your father's absence, he wants to enquire of you into the circumstances of your family.

SIR JOHN.

What is your father, young woman?

SOPHIA.

The best of parents.

SIR JOHN.
[Page 52]

Not very rich, I imagine?

SOPHIA.

He is content.

SIR JOHN.

What business does he follow?

SOPHIA.

He has a small farm of his own; he rents a larger upon this manor—he cultivates both.

SIR JOHN.

You two are not of much service to him, I'm afraid?

SOPHIA.

Too little, sir,—his indulgence sometimes pre­vents even our feeble attempts—Mr. Rental knows it is his fault—but I believe his only one.

SIR JOHN.

What then is your employment?

SOPHIA.

I work at my needle for him; I read to him; I re­ceive his instructions—I once receiv'd them from a mother—I repeat to him her precepts—they often draw his tears; but he assures me they are pleasing.

ANNETTE.

Yes, but I always stop them for all that—the mo­ment his eyes moisten, I sing or chatter them dry.

SIR JOHN.
[Page 53]

This is past bearing, Rental—the seat of inno­cence!—it is the seat of witchcraft.

RENTAL.

Pure Nature, sir.

SIR JOHN.

And what witchcraft's so powerful?—have not you learnt that it is a blessing when the sex takes to arti­fice and affectation? Were women to continue in per­son and in heart, as Nature forms her favourites among them, they would turn the heads of all mankind.

RENTAL.

Permit me, sir, to say you are the first that were ever angry at finding them undegenerated.

SIR JOHN.

Have not I suffer'd by it?—I lost a son by this sort of artless Nature before—my present Hopeful, it is true, is an exception; Nature wou'd stand a poor chance with him against a French heel, and a head as big as a bushel.

RENTAL.

I am glad, sir, you are easy upon that head.

SIR JOHN
(to Annette).

And so, my little gypsey (for I find you talk gib­berish), your prattle is always at your tongue's end?

ANNETTE.
[Page 54]

Not always—I can hold my tongue to people I don't like.—I talk to divert my father—and would do the same now—if it could put you in a humour to be his friend.

SOPHIA.

Fye, Annette, you are very bold.

ANNETTE.

Sister, I am sure the gentleman is not angry. I shou'd not have ventur'd to be so free, if he had not the very look, the sort of half-smiling gravity of papa, when he is pleas'd with me in his heart—and does not care directly to own it.

SIR JOHN.

Wheedling jade!—but, may be, that's another proof of woman in pure Nature.

ANNETTE.

Indeed, sir, I mean no harm; and I am sure you have not thought I did, for your frowns vanish like summer clouds, before one can well say they are formed.

Sings.
So the chill mist, or falling show'r,
O'erspreads the vernal scene;
And in the vapour of the hour
We lose the sweet serene.
But soon the bright meridian ray
Dispels the transient gloom;
Restores the promise of the day,
And shews a world in bloom.
SIR JONH.

This is past enduring.—Rental, take notice—the de­cree is past irrevocably as fate—no reply—this house and all that belongs to it—father, daughters, servants, to the very squirrels and linnets, shall—

RENTAL.

Be laid low, Sir?

SIR JOHN.

Be secur'd! protected! raised!—It shall become the mansion of plenty and joy; and these girls shall pay the landlord in song and sentiment.

RENTAL.

I thank you in the name of their father. A man more worthy your favour does not live—and you only can save him from his enemies.

SIR JOHN.

Who are they?

RENTAL.

He has one in particular, honourable and benevo­lent in his nature, but who vowed enmity to him in a fit of passion, and has obstinately adhered to it ever since.

SIR JOHN.
[Page 56]

Does he so? gad, that's no fool tho'! no weather­cock!—and how did he deserve this enmity? but that's no matter with a man of the decision and wis­dom you describe.

RENTAL.

You'll best decide upon the provocation, when the effects of it are laid before you as an impartial judge.

SIR JOHN.

I hate impartiality, and set out this business upon a quite contrary principle.—Come forward, my little clients, give a kiss of partiality a piece—now I am feed your advocate for ever—so come to the Castle in the evening; bring your father with you; let this ob­stinate dog appear if he dare—my obstinacy is now bound to defeat his, right or wrong—he shall give way, and he may look for an excuse to himself in the eyes of my little charmers.

RENTAL.

He is very positive.

SIR JOHN.

He shall go to the stocks, if he is.—What, not yield when the interest of my darlings is in question? By all that's steady, I'll build a new house of correction, and they shall keep the key.

RENTAL.

But be upon your guard, Sir; he will be asserting his former resolutions.

SIR JOHN.
[Page 57]
Tell not me of his assertions,
Mine are laws of Medes and Persians;
Vain against them all endeavour,
Right or wrong they bind for ever.
SOPHIA.
Remember then a daughter's prayer,
Receive a parent to your care;
ANNETTE.
Frown on his foe's obdurate plea,
But keep benignant smiles for me.
Enter Peggy.
PEGGY.
When I see my betters hearty,
How I long to be a party!
Pardon me if I intrude, Sir;
I'd be pleasant, but not rude, Sir.
SOPHIA.

Peggy, have done.

ANNETTE.

It is Sir John.

PEGGY.

I'm sure he looks compliant.

SOPHIA and ANNETTE.
[Page 58]
From hence he goes,
To crush our foes.
SIR JOHN.

As Jack did once the Giant.

SOPHIA.

Remember your clients with troubles beset.

ANNETTE.

Remember Sophia, remember Annette.

SIR JOHN.
The cause of my clients I'll never forget,
The kiss of Sophia, the kiss of Annette.
END of the SECOND ACT.

ACT III. SCENE I.

Enter Peggy and La Nippe (following and courting).
PEGGY.

IF you offer to be impudent again, you shall have it on both ears instead of one. I tell you I'm a married woman; is not that an answer?

LA NIPPE.

Yes, of encouragement, my dear—it seldom is an objection in the world I have inhabited.

PEGGY.

The world is at a fine pass by your account—"But these are some of your outlandish notions—they wou'd make fine cutting of throats among English husbands.

LA NIPPE
(laughing).

"Cutting throats! Oh, my sweet Peg, how igno­rant you are! I wish your husband was at home with all my heart—I'd shew you how to follow the example of our betters—I wou'd dine with you both every day, and he should thank me for pre­serving the peace of his family.

[puts his arm round her.
PEGGY
[Page 60]
(pushing him).

"Keep your distance, Mr. Assurance"—If this be the new style of matrimony, Heaven keep Sophia clear of it, I say.

LA NIPPE.

Oh my dear, you need be in no pain about that. She is not in the least danger.

PEGGY.

Why, did not you tell me your master was mad in love for her, and wou'd make my fortune if I wou'd help him?

LA NIPPE.

Exactly! but what has that to do with marriage?

PEGGY
(in surprize).

What the deuce has it to do with else?

LA NIPPE.

Pleasure and profit. He'll love her out of vanity if she makes a figure as his mistress; he'd hate her for fashion's sake if she was his wife. Let us but get the couple well established in London—who knows but you and I may be exalted to be their toads.

PEGGY.

Toads!

LA NIPPE.

One takes any name for a fortune, and this is be­come a fashionable one I assure you. In short you [Page 61] will be the companion of her pleasures; dress'd as well as herself; courted by every man who has a de­sign upon her—and make a market of her every day. Oh, you'll have quite the pull of me in employment.

PEGGY.

Indeed!

LA NIPPE.

Yes, I shall change damnably for the worse in quitting the life of a valet for that of a companion. "Follower to what he calls a man of fashion! zounds I'd rather be a bailiff's follower by half—if it was not for what may come after.

PEGGY.

I have no longer any patience with the Rogue's im­pudence!

(aside.)

"So having declar'd yourself a pimp—you wou'd make me a procuress, and Miss Sophy a—

LE NIPPE
(stopping her mouth).

"Hold your tongue, you jade—and don't give gross names to characters so much in fashion." Come, don't be silly and angry now—I have dealt openly with you, knowing you to be a woman of sense and spirit—

[Peggy seems angry.

Don't be in a passion I tell you—here my dear—here's a gentle receipt for anger—here—did you ever see this sort of thing before?

[Takes a rouleau of guineas from his pocket.
PEGGY.

What is it?

LA NIPPE
[Page 62]
(measuring the rouleau on his finger).

A rouleau! fifty guineas wrapt up in this small compass. One may know it by its make, it is from the first club in town—there it is, escaped from shar­pers and creditors, to purchase beauty and kindness.

PEGGY
(aside).

I cou'd tear his eyes out—is there no way to be even with him?

LA NIPPE.

Aye, take a minute my dear to consider—I know but few of your sex wou'd require so much time.

PEGGY
(to herself).

No means of fitting the rogue! Gad I have a thought—if I am not too much in a passion to dissem­ble—I am not much used to artifice—but they say it never fails a woman at a pinch.

(Looking kindly)

Why to be sure, I was considering upon that little device—let's feel, is it heavy?

[Taking the money.
LA NIPPE.

Oh! of great weight.

PEGGY.

Law not at all, I cou'd carry a hundred of them—but pray now tell me fairly what am I to do for it?

LA NIPPE.
[Page 63]

Nothing but an office of good-nature—you are to put your mistress into my master's hands—you wo­men can do more with one another in this sort of business in a day, then a lover (at least such a one as ours) will do in a year.

PEGGY.

Lord, how modest you are all at once—speak out—I am to seduce my mistress for—

LA NIPPE.

Fye, what names you are giving things again!—you are to remove foolish prejudices; to open a friend's eyes to their interest—zounds child it's an office for a statesman.

PEGGY.

Oh, that's all—

LA NIPPE.

Not quite all; you know there's a something that regards ourselves, but that goes of course in nego­ciations of this sort.

PEGGY.

Oh, does it?—and what do you call this pretty in­vention?

LA NIPPE.

An abridgement of polite arithmetic—a purse must be counted, which is troublesome; a note requires [Page 64] reading, which to some persons may be inconvenient—but the rouleau conveys fifty guineas to your pocket without a single chink, and takes up less room than a toothpick case.

PEGGY.

This bewitches me, I think,

LA NIPPE.

Yes, my dear, it's always reckon'd bewitching.

Sings.
The rouleau is form'd with a magical twist,
To conquer caprice or displeasure:
If your object the offer of one should resist,
You have only to double the measure.
It finds to all places its way without eyes,
Without tongue it discourses most sweetly;
To beauty or conscience alike it applies,
And settles the business completely.
PEGGY.
Well, who could have thought such a wonderful pow'r,
In a compass so small could be hidden;
To sweeten at once the grapes that are sour,
And purchase e'en fruit that's forbidden:
A magic so pleasant must surely be right,
Without scruple I pocket the evil,
I'll shew you the proper effect before night,
And leave you to account with the devil.
LA NIPPE.
[Page 65]

Excellent! now you are a girl exactly after my own heart—where shall we meet?

PEGGY.

Why, you must know this is the day of our wake; and Sir John gives a treat to all the tenants, so every body will be busy, and so about an hour before sun set come to the hay rick by the poole of the farm yard.

LA NIPPE.

Oh, you jade, I shall have no patience if you make me wait.

PEGGY.

I'll come whenever I am sure the coast is clear—but in the mean time you shall find a harvest cag, with a sup of cordial to keep up your spirits; in the coun­try we never make a bargain with dry lips.

LA NIPPE
(aside).

What the devil, my dairy-maid drinks drams!—she'll be fit to cry milk in the streets of London—I need not have paid so high if I had known that.

PEGGY.

Be sure now to be punctual.

LA NIPPE.

And you to be complying.

PEGGY.
[Page]

Oh, as for that you know—"If your object your offer of one should resist" &c.

[Exeunt separately, she singing, he nodding.
Scene—Booths for a country wake—a large one in the form of a tent—recruits in different colour'd cockades at work in fitting it up.
CAPTAIN TREPAN.

Come, stir my lads—briskly, briskly—up with the rest of the advertisements—we shall have the wake fill'd before we are ready.

Enter Rental.

Hey day! what have we here? if you have any shew to exhibit friend, you ought to ask leave before you erect your booth.

TREPAN.

Ah, sir, the Lord of the Manor is too good a sub­ject to obstruct my work.—

(To the workmen)

Bring forward the great Butt there, place it in view by the drum and colours.

RENTAL.

By your dress you should belong to the army; pray, sir, what is your real business?

TREPAN.
[Page 67]

I am a manufacturer of honor and glory—vulgarly call'd a recruiting dealer—or more vulgarly still, a skin merchant. I come to a country wake as to a good market—a little patience, and you shall see my prac­tice—come paste up more bills—and the devices—they are not half thick enough—where's the lyon rampant, with a grenadier's cap upon his head?

1st WORKMAN.

Here, sir, here.

TREPAN.

And the marine device?

2d WORKMAN.

Here it is—done to the life—the prize boarded; the decks running with arrack punch, and dammed up with gold dust.

TREPAN.

Right lad, place that next the lyon. I don't see the London Taylor with his foot upon the neck of the French king.

3d WORKMAN.

Here he is in all his glory.

TREPAN.

Paste him up on the other flank of the lyon—so, so, pretty well—what have you left for the corner?

4th WORKMAN.
[Page 68]

The East-Indies, Captain, a nabob in triumph, throwing rough diamonds to the young fifers to play at marbles.

TREPAN
(to Rental).

Very well, very well—sir, how do you like my shop.

RENTAL.

Faith, sir, the construction seems to be as curi­ous as your employment—I think you call'd yourself a skin merchant.

TREPAN.

Mine, sir, is a new trade, but a necessary and a happy one, for it flourishes in proportion to the spirit of the nation—and if our rulers will but employ it properly—Captain Trepan shall furnish them for next year with twenty thousand new Alexanders at five pence a day.

RENTAL.

Well, captain, as you have call'd your's a trade, will you oblige me so much as to explain how it is carried on?

TREPAN.

Oh, with pleasure, sir! suppose new regiments are to be raised—I am applied to—Captain Trepan—that's my name, sir—How are skins now?—how many may you want?—five hundred—Why, your ho­nor, answers I, those that are fit for all use, that [Page 69] bear fire, and wear well in all climates, cannot be af­foarded for less than ten pounds a piece—we have an inferior sort that we sell by the hundred—I'll take half and half says my employer!—your place of de­livery?—Plymouth!—agreed!—and they are on ship­board in a month.

RENTAL.

But captain, sure this business is subject to frauds?

TREPAN.

Yes, there are rogues in all trades—but my word is known. I never run the same recruit thro' more than three regiments in my life—and that only when we have been hard pressed for a review.

RENTAL.

Very conscientious, upon my word.

TREPAN.

Aye, and my conscience has made me—I export more goods than all the trade together. Let us but have a fair trial with our enemies in any part of the world—and then see if captain Trepan's skins don't figure—but here, serjeant Crimp, let the recruits fall in.

RENTAL
(reading the bills).

"Very fine language, Captain—I see you are a great writer as well as an orator.

TREPAN.

"I cou'd not do without the talents of both, Sir—next to gold and brandy, a glib tongue and a ready [Page 70] pen are the best implements in our trade—novelty in every line, you see—new cloaths, new arms, new commanders, new

RENTAL.

"There I doubt a little, whether novelty is so proper—would not old commanders be more en­couraging?

TREPAN.

"No it is not thought so—old commanders, like old wines, may be good to stick to; but the new sparkles, and gets into the head, and presently makes it fit to be run against the wall"—see how my new Colonels stand over the old ones with their names in capitals as tall as their spontoons.

RENTAL.

Arranged with a great deal of fancy indeed.

TREPAN.

Aye, and meaning too—I can tell you—but do only look at my recruits—do but look at them—

[Crimp gives the word March.

there's stuff for all work—southern rangers, and north­ern hunters—low-landers and high-landers, and loyals and royals, and chasseurs and dasheurs—I suppose now you would like such a fellow, as that.

[Pointing to a smart recruit.
RENTAL.

It is a thousand pities he should be shot at.

TREPAN.
[Page 71]

Be in no apprehension, he'll never die by powder.

RENTAL.

What do you mean?

TREPAN.

Lord help you, how you might be imposed upon—he's my decoy-duck—mere shew goods for the shop window—not an inch of wear and teat in the whole piece.—The dog inherited desertion from his family. His brother was called Quick-Silver Jack, he was hanged at last at Berlin, after having served six dif­ferent princes in the same pair of shoes.

Enter Trumore (hastily).

Which is the commander of the party?

TREPAN.

Your pleasure, Sir.

TRUMORE.

A musquet in a regiment upon foreign service.

TREPAN.

And a handful of guineas to boot, my lad of mettle; this is something like a recruit.

Rental
to Trumore.

What's this—Trumore enlisting—can I believe my eyes?

TRUMORE.
[Page 72]

Yes, and your heart too—which is always on the side of a well-meant action.

RENTAL.

What has driven you to such an act of desperation?

TRUMORE.

Rashly quits the country—I am convinced his re­pugnance to my union with his daughter is the cause. He is provident—I am undone—he is besides in im­mediate trouble—perhaps going to jail upon informa­tions for killing game—I must give him a proof of my respect and my friendship—as well as of my re­signation.

RENTAL
(aside).

Generous youth—but I'll let all things go on—if they do not unitedly work upon the old man's heart, it must be adamant. Captain, you'll see Sir John Contrast.

TREPAN.

I shall attest my recruits before him, and this brave fellow at their head.

[Exit Rental.
TRUMORE.

I shall be ready, but there is a condition must first be complied with.

TREPAN.

Name it.

TRUMORE.
[Page 73]

Twenty guineas to make up a sum for an indispen­sible obligation—I scorn to take it as enlisting mo­ney—you shall be repaid.

TREPAN.

You shall have it—any thing more?

TRUMORE.

Absence for half an hour—in that time depend up­on't I'll meet you at the Castle.

[Exit.
Re-enter Serjeant Crimp
(to Trepan).

Here's a fine set of country fellows getting round us, a march and a song might do well.

TREPAN.
(Aside)

You are right!

(Aloud)

Come, my lads, we'll give you a taste of a sol­dier's life. Corporal Snap—give them the song our officers used to be so fond of—it will please their sweethearts as well as themselves—strike up drums.

Corporal SNAP sings.
Gallant comrades of the blade,
Pay your vows to beauty.
Mars's toils are best repaid,
In the arms of beauty.
With the myrtle mix the vine,
Round the laurel let them twine;
Then to glory, love, and wine
Pay alternate duty.
Chorus.
Gallant comrades, &c.
Scene changes.
Enter Peggy, with an empty cag laughing.

The rogue has drank it every drop; poppy water and cherry brandy together work delightfully—he'll sleep some hours in a charming ditch where I have had him convey'd—pleasant dreams to you, monsieur La Nippe. What wou'd I give if I cou'd requite your master as well.

Enter Serjeant Crimp and Soldiers.
CRIMP.

My life on't the dog's off—the moment Trepan told me of his pelaver—I suspected he was an old hand—with his voluntary service—and his honour—and his half hour.

[Seeing Peggy.

Mistress, did you see a young fellow with a scarlet cockade in his hat pass this way?

PEGGY.

Not I, indeed, friend—I was otherways employed.

CRIMP.

Nay, don't be cross—we are looking for a deserter—he is described as a likely young fellow—come, if [Page 75] you can give me intelligence, you shall have half the reward for apprehending him.

PEGGY.

Here's another bribe—one may have them, I see, for betraying either sex. And what would you do with him?

CRIMP.

Oh, no harm, as it is the first fault. We should put him in the black hole at present, just to give him the relish of bread and water; the party marches at midnight; he'll be handcuffed upon the road; but as soon as he gets between decks in a transport—he'll be perfectly at liberty again.

PEGGY.

Gad, whoever he is, if I cou'd see him, I'd give him a hint of your intended kindness.

[looking out.

Hey! who's this coming—the hero of the plot, young Contrast

(ruminates)

it wou'd be special vengeance—a bold stroke its true—but a public justice to woman kind—hang fear—I'll do't—hark ye—Mr. what d'ye call 'em—did you ever see the man you are in search of?

CRIMP.

No, but I think I should know him.

PEGGY
(pointing).

That's your mark, I fancy.

CRIMP.

Gad it must be so—but I don't see his cockade.

PEGGY.
[Page 76]

I saw him pull it off, and throw it in the ditch as he came over yonder stile.

CRIMP.

Ah! an old hand, as I suspected—meet me at the Castle, where we shall convict him—you shall have the reward.

PEGGY.

To be sure, money does every thing; but have some pity upon the young man—you won't treat him worse than what you told me.

CRIMP.

No, no, get you gone, he'll never know who did his business.

PEGGY
(archly).

But don't treat him hardly?—

[Exit.
Enter Contrast yawning—Crimp comes behind and taps him upon the shoulder.

Well overtaken brother soldier.

CONTRAST.

Friend, I conclude you are of this neighbourhood, by the happy familiarity that distinguishes it; but at present it is misapplied, you mistake me for some other.

CRIMP.
[Page 77]

Mistake you—no, no, your legs wou'd discover you among a thousand—I never saw a fellow better set up­on his pins.

CONTRAST
(looking at his legs).

Not so much out there.

CRIMP.

But where have you been loitering so long? is your knapsack packed? have you taken leave of your sweet­heart?—she must not go with you, I can tell you—we are allowed but four women a company for embarka­tion, and the officers have chosen them all already.

CONTRAST.

Sure there is some strange quality in this air—the people are not only impudent—but mad.

CRIMP.

I shall find a way to bring you to your senses, sir; what did you pull the cockade out of your hat for, you dog?

CONTRAST.

What the devil can he mean?

CRIMP.

Why, you rascal, you won't deny that you are en­listed to embark immediately for the West-Indies? have not you touched twenty guineas for the legs you are so proud of? pretty dearly bought.

CONTRAST.
[Page 78]

Now it's plain how well you know me—thy own gunpowder scorch me, if I'd lie in a tent two nights to be Captain General of the united Potentates of Eu­rope.

CRIMP.

The dog's insolence out-does the common—but come, walk on quietly before me.—

[Pushing him.
CONTRAST.

Walk before you!—

[resisting.
CRIMP.

Oh, oh! mutinous too—

[whistles.
Enter four or five SOLDIERS.
1st SOLDIER.

Here we are, serjeant! what are your orders?

CRIMP.

Lay hold of that fellow—he's a deserter—a thief—and the sauciest dog in the army.—Have you no hand­cuffs?

[Page 79]Enter Moll Flagon—A soldier's coat over her petticoat, a gin bottle by her side, and a short pipe in her mouth.
MOLL.

No occasion for 'em, master serjeant—don't be too hard upon the young man—brandy be my poison but I like the looks of him—hear my heart—take a whiff—

(offers her pipe)

—what, not burn priming! come load then.—

[gives him a glass of brandy.
CONTRAST.

It is plain these are a set of murderers—no help! no relief!

MOLL.

Relief, sirrah! you're no centry yet. Serjeant, give me charge of him—Moll Flagon never fail'd when she answer'd for her man.

CRIMP.

With all my heart, honest Moll!—and see what you can make of him.—

MOLL.

Never fear, I'll make a soldier and a husband of him—here, first of all—let's see—what a damn'd hat he has got—here, change with him Jack.—

[Puts a cap upon his head.
CONTRAST.

Why, only hear me—I'm a man of fashion—

MOLL.
[Page 80]

Ha! ha! ha! I'll fashion you presently—

[puts a knapsack upon him.

There, now you look something like—and now let's see what cash you have about you.

CONTRAST.

Very little—but you shall have it every farthing if you'll let me go.

MOLL.

Go, you jolly dog—ay, that you shall, thro' the world; you and I together—I'll stick to you thro' life, my son of sulphur.

Sings.
I.
Come my soul
Post the cole,
I must beg or borrow:
Fill the can,
You're my man;
'Tis all the same to-morrow.
II.
Sing and quaff,
Dance and laugh;
A fig for care or sorrow,
Kiss and drink,
But never think;
'Tis all the same to-morrow.
CONTRAST.
[Page 81]

Oh, I am a man of fashion.

[Exeunt, thrusting him off.
Enter Sophia and Annette, crossing the stage hastily—Trumore after them.
TRUMORE.

Stop, Sophia.

SOPHIA.

Trumore, this is the only moment I cou'd refuse listening to you. My father is, for aught I know, going to jail.

TRUMORE.

Comfort yourself on his part—I promise you his safety. I would not leave the county 'till I was cer­tain of it. I now take leave of him—of you—and all that makes life dear.

SOPHIA.

Oh my fears! what means that ribband in your hat?

TRUMORE.

The ensign of honor, when worn upon true princi­ples. A passion for our country is the only one that ought to have competition with virtuous love—when they unite in the heart, our actions are inspiration.

[Page 82]Sings.
I.
From thine eyes imbibing fire,
I a conqueror mean to prove;
Or with brighter fame expire,
For my country and my love:
II.
But ambition's promise over,
One from thee I still shall crave;
Light the turf my head shall cover,
With thy pity on my grave.
SOPHIA.

Trumore, this is too much for me—heaven knows how little I am formed for the relish of ambition—these heroic notions, how often do they lead to the misery of ourselves!—of those we leave!—I claim no merit in my apprehensions—alas, they are too selfish.

TRUMORE.

I came to bid farewell in one short word; but the utterance fails me—Annette, speak for me; and when I am gone, comfort your sister.

ANNETTE.

Indeed, Trumore, it will be out of my power—my notes will now be as melancholy as her own—to sooth her, I must sympathize with her in the alarms of ab­sence and danger.

[Page 83]Sings.
I.
The sleepless bird from eve to morn
Renews her plaintive strain;
Presses her bosom to the thorn,
And courts th' inspiring pain.
II.
But, ah! how vain the skill of song,
To wake the vocal air;
With passion trembling on the tongue,
And in the heart despair!
Enter Rental.

What is here!—a concert of sorrow? Reserve your tears, my young mistresses, if your smiles will not do the business better, to work upon the old Ba­ronet in the cause of your father—he is going to be called before him—let a parent owe his happiness to you in the first place; and may it be an omen for your lover being as fortunate in the next!

TRUMORE.

Rashly appearing before the justice! I have an in­terest and a business there before you—I fly to execute it—then, Fortune, grant me one more look of her, and take me afterwards to thy direction!

[Exit.
RENTAL.

The moment is strangely critical to you all. Come on, young ladies, I have a story for you will surprize and encourage you.

SOPHIA.
[Page 84]

We are guided by you—but what can we hope from our silly tears, opposed to the malice of my fa­ther's enemies?

RENTAL.

Every thing—you know not half the interest you possess in the judge.

[Exeunt.
Scene last. A large Gothic Hall.
Sir John Contrast, followed by Trepan.
SIR JOHN.

I have attested the men, in compliance with your beating order—but no more of your occupation—I'm not for purchasing human flesh—give me the man (aye, and the woman too) that engages upon frank love and kindness, and so to other business.

Enter Crimp, whispers Trepan.
TREPAN.

One word more, your worship. The serjeant has just apprehended a deserter. I am sure your worship will be glad to have him convicted—he is the worst of swindlers.

SIR JOHN.

How do you make him out a swindler?

TREPAN.
[Page 85]

He borrows for shew the most valuable commodi­ties in the nation, courage and fidelity; and so raises money upon property of which he does not possess an atom.

SIR JOHN.

Does he so?—then bring him in—I'd rather see one thief of the public punish'd, than an hundred pri­vate ones.

CRIMP.

Here, Moll, produce your prisoners.—

[Lugs in Contrast.
SIR JOHN.

What, in the name of sorcery, is this! my son in a soldier's accoutrements!—I should not have been more surprized, if he had been metamorphosed into a fish.

CONTRAST.

I was in a fair way to be food for one—I shou'd have been shark's meet before I got half way to the West Indies.

SIR JOHN.

Stark mad, by all that's fantastical!—Can nobody tell me how he was seized?

CONTRAST.

Seized! why, by that ruffian, neck and heels; and for my accoutrements, you must ask this harpy, who assisted at my toilette.

CRIMP.
[Page 86]

A perfect innocent mistake, as I hope to be pardon'd, your worship—I was sent to seek a deserter—with the best legs in England—was it possible not to be de­ceived? but, thanks to Fortune, here's a sure acquittal—this baggage put him into my hands as the very person.

Enter Peggy.
PEGGY.

Only a little retaliation, your worship—a wolf was in full chace of an innocent lamb, that, to be sure, I had foolishly helped to expose to his paws—a trap of­fered to my hand, and I must own I did set it, and the wolf was caught, as you see. But, indeed, I was com­ing to your worship, to prevent all further harm. I meant honestly, and a little merrily I confess—I can­not be one without the other for my life.

CONTRAST.

Plague on you all! this mystery thickens, instead of clearing.

TREPAN.

It is clear, however, my party is out of the scrape—and as for the fellow really enlisted—

Enter Trumore.

He is here to fulfill all engagements.

TREPAN.
[Page 87]

Well said, my lad of truth; then my twenty gui­neas are alive again.

TRUMORE.

You shall see them employ'd; I wou'd have mortgaged ten lives rather than have wanted them.

[To Sir John.

Mr. Rashly is charged with informations for killing game to the amount of forty pounds. By assistance of this gentleman I have made up the sum. The law is cruel to him; to me it is kind; it enables me to shew him the heart he perhaps has doubted.

[Lays down the money.

He is free—and now, Sir, I am your man, and will follow wherever the service of my country leads.

[To Trepan.
RENTAL
(coming forward.)

Brave generous fellow! I foresaw his intent, and wou'd not have baulked it for a kingdom.

SIR JOHN.

Oh, Rental, I am glad you are come; you find me in a wilderness here.

RENTAL.

A moment, Sir, and I'm sure you'll not mistake your path.

PEGGY
(opening the rouleau.)

The twist is magical, indeed, I think, for I can't un­do it—oh, there it is at last—

[pours the money upon the table.

[Page 88] Put up your's again, Mr. Trumore—poor fellow! you'll want it in your new life.

CONTRAST.

One of my rouleaus! I have been robbed, I see, as well as kidnapped.

SIR JOHN.

Hussy! how came you by all that money?

PEGGY.

Perfectly honestly—I sold my mistress and myself for it—it is not necessary to deliver the goods, for his honour is provided with a mistress;

[Pointing to Moll.

and my lover is about as well off.—Come, Sir, never look so cross after your money—what fine gentleman wou'd grudge to let an honest man out of jail, when he can buy his daughter's modesty into the bargain?

SIR JOHN.

Rental, do you see into this?

RENTAL.

Clearly, Sir, and it must end with reconciling you to your son.

SIR JOHN.

How! reconcile me to bribery and debauchery!—never—if the dog cou'd succeed with a girl by his face, or his tongue, or his legs, or any thing that na­ture has given him, why there's a sort of fair play that might palliate—but there is an unmanliness in [Page 89] vice without passion—death! insipidity is converted into infamy—but where is this Rashly and his girls?

Enter Rashly—between his daughters—they throw themselves at Sir John's feet—a long pause.
SIR JOHN
(in the greatest surprize).

This Rashly! this the father of these girls! and do not his features deceive me?—who is it I see?

RENTAL.

The son I mean to reconcile—who offended upon principles the most opposite to those you just now con­demned—the children of his offence—and thanks only to the inheritance of his virtues, that they are not be­come the punishment of his poverty.

CONTRAST.

My elder brother come to light!

SIR JOHN.

Rise till I am sure I am awake—this is the con­fusion of a delirium.

RENTAL
(to Rashly).

Why do not you speak, Sir?

RASHLY.

What form of words will become me? to say I re­pent, would be an injury to the dead and living. I have erred, but I have been happy—one duty I can plead; resignation to your will—so may I thrive in [Page 90] the decision of this anxious moment as I never taxed your justice.

SIR JOHN
(after a pause).

Rental, do you expect I shall ever retract?

RENTAL.

No, Sir, for I was witness to the solemnity of your vow, that you would protect the father of your little clients against all his enemies—right or wrong, they should yield.

SIR JOHN.

Yes, but I little thought how very stubborn an old fellow I should have to deal with.

RENTAL.

Come forward, clients.

SOPHIA.

I am overcome with dread.

SIR JOHN.

Come, I'll make short work of it as usual—so hear all—my decree is made.

RENTAL.

Now justice and nature!

SOPHIA.

Memory and tenderness!

CONTRAST
[Page 91]
(aside.)

Caprice and passion!

SIR JOHN.

Decision and consistency!—I discarded one son for a marriage—I have brought up a second—not to marry—but to attempt to debauch his own niece—I'll try what sort of vexation the other sex will produce—so listen, girls—take possession of this castle—it is yours—nay, I only keep my word—you remember how I promised to treat the old obstinate your father was afraid of. This is the house of self-correction, and I give you the key.

SOPHIA and ANNETTE
(kneeling).

Gratitude—love and joy—

SIR JOHN.

Up, ye little charmers—your looks have asked me blessing this hour.

RENTAL.

And now for Trumore to compleat the happiness. Sir John permit me your ear apart.

[takes him aside.
CONTRAST.

So! the confusion of chances seems winding up to a miracle, and quite in my favour—the run of these last twelve hours exceeds all calculation, strike me pennyless—where is that dog La Nippe?

Enter La Nippe covered with mud.
LA NIPPE.

Here he is in a pleasant plight—

CONTRAST.

Whence, in the devil's name, comest thou?

LA NIPPE.
[Page 92]

From the bottom of a black ditch—how I got there I know no more than the man in the moon—I waked and found myself half smother'd in dirt, lying like King Log in the fable, with a congress of frogs on my back.

PEGGY.

My dear, I hope you are satisfied with your bargain, I did my best "to settle your business compleatly."

LA NIPPE.

Oh! thou witch of Endor.

[Peg and La Nippe continue to act in dumb shew.
SIR JOHN.

Another plot upon me, Rental—but does the young fellow say nothing himself for his pretensions.

TRUMORE.

I have none, Sir—they aspired too high when di­rected to Sophy Rashly; they must cease for ever when I think of Miss Contrast.

SIR JOHN.

Now, for the blood of me, I can't see that dis­tinction. Can you, Contrast?

[to Rashly.
RASHLY.

So far from it, Sir, that I think the purity of his attachment to the poor farmer's daughter, is the best recommendation to the fortune of the heiress.

SIR JOHN.
[Page 93]

I confirm the decree—it is exactly my old way—I have not been apt to retract an action, but no man more ready to correct it by doing the reverse another time. I am now convinced mutual affection makes the only true equality in marriage; and in my present humour (I don't know how long 'twill last) I wish there was not a wedding in the nation formed upon any other interest—what say you, man of fashion?

[to young Contrast.
RASHLY.

Dear Sir, don't treat my brother's foibles too se­verely. His zeal, to be eminent, only wants a right turn.

SIR JOHN.

Let him find that turn, and he knows I have where-withal to keep him from the inconvenience of a younger brother, though he loses Castle Manor.

CONTRAST.

I resign it, and all its appendages. And with all my faults, my brother shall find I am neither envious nor mercenary.

[To La Nippe.]

Horses for town instantly; there is my true sphere—and if ever I am caught in a rural in­trigue again, may I be tied to an old ram, like my pointers for sheep-biting, and but [...]ed into a consist­ence with the clay of this damned forest.

[Exit, La Nippe following.
SIR JOHN.

And now to return to my recruit—I promised he should be attested to-night—and so he shall—to his [Page 94] bride—if afterwards his country demands his assistance—get him a commission, Sophy, and pray for a short end to the war—a prayer in which every good subject in the nation will join you.

TRUMORE.

Sir, you have given me a possession that makes all other treasures poor. Witness love and truth, how much I despise the temptation of ambition, when weighed against one hour of Sophia's society. But these are times when service to the public is a tribute that justice and virtue indiscriminately impose upon private happiness. And the man who refuses upon their call, a sacrifice to the exigency of his country, ill deserves to be a sharer in her prosperity.

RENTAL.

Sir, the tenants from the wake, in eagerness of honest joy, press to be admitted.

SIR JOHN.

Throw open the doors.

RENTAL.

I hope you will not see a countenance that does not express an interest in the events of Castle Manor.

Scene draws to an enlargement of the hall.
Enter Tenants, &c.
FINALE.
RASHLY.
Partners of my toils and pleasures,
To this happy spot repair;
See how justly Fortune measures,
Favours to the true and fair:
With chorusses gay,
Proclaim holiday
In praise of the Lord of the Manor;
And happy the song,
If it trains old and young
In the lessons of Castle Manor.
SOPHIA.
When a mutual inclination
Once a glowing spark betrays;
Try with tender emulation
Which shall first excite the blaze:
I plighted my troth
To a generous youth,
I found him at Castle Manor.
To one only be kind,
And leave fashion behind,
'Tis the lesson of Castle Manor.
TRUMORE.
Gallants, learn from Trumore's story,
To associate in the breast
Truth and honour, love and glory,
And to fortune leave the rest.
My ambition was fame;
From beauty it came,
From beauty at Castle Manor.
'Tis an honour to arms
To be led by its charms,
Like the soldier of Castle Manor.
PEGGY.
[Page 96]
Brisk and free, but true to duty,
Sure I've play'd an honest part;
Would you purchase love and beauty,
Be the prize a faithful heart:
Should a knave full of gold
Think Peg's to be sold,
Let him meet me at Castle Manor;
A bed in the mire
To cool bis desire,
Is the lesson of Castle Manor.
ANNETTE.
Tho' I trip in my expression,
Critics, lend a patient ear—
If coquetting be transgression—
Sisterhood, be not severe.
To love while we live
And all faults to forgive,
Is the lesson of Castle Manor:
Be friends to our cause
And make your applause,
A new blessing at Castle Manor.
FINIS.

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