THE WIDOW's VOW.

Price ONE SHILLING.

THE WIDOW's VOW. A FARCE, IN TWO ACTS, AS IT IS ACTED AT THE THEATRE ROYAL, HAY-MARKET.

LONDON: [...]INTED FOR G. G. J. AND J. ROBINSON, PATER-NOSTER-ROW. 1786.

PROLOGUE,

PROLOGUES, with caustic touch, have often tried
To probe your spleen, prove knaves and fools allied;
Have twisted words and wit ten thousand ways,
To shew that these are most degenerate days!
A different task be ours.—We'll prove that you
Are wise and happy. Nay! tho' strange, 'tis true!
First on your safety think! now belles appear
By ample bulwarks guarded, front and rear!
Now male and female amble, side by side,
Exempt from harm, by breast-works fortify'd!
Here polygons defend Miss Molly's breast!
There horn-works hush the husband's fears to rest!
By ramparts, daily rais'd, he's freed from cares;
If he'll but grant sufficient for repairs.
Our strength thus prov'd, proceed we to disclose
How new-made wealth thro' new-made channels flows!
How rich we are, in medal-rust and rare things!
In copper coins, gilt pence and—Queen-Anne-farthings!
How shells, stuff'd monkies, and Cremonas old,
In hand of Auctioneer, are current gold!
He "Going! going!" cries. "The hammer's up!
"This fine antique! this Roman—caudle-cup!"
A gem so rare makes connoisseurs turn pale,
Fearful, alike, to purchase or to fail!
Hope trembles, starts, from lip to lip rebounds,
Till down she's knock'd by—Ah!—one thousand pounds!
The envied purchaser, with joy e [...]ate,
Pays for his prize by—felling his estate!
[Page]While Smirk, in florid style, words nicely plac'd,
Protests theee lot does, anner to his taste!
Mimick [...]
Yes! sure you're happy! and should rest content,
Now landscapes are reduced fifteen per cent:
And Claude's and Titian's new-found wonders may
By new-made Peers be bought—if new-made Peers to pay.
Assuming sorrow.
One thing, indeed, may well your peace invade,
Pawnbrokers! threaten you to leave off trade!
W [...]t
Returning to his former chearful tone.
All things considered, now, while safety smiles,
And wealth inundates thus our Queen of isles;
While Vickery head defects so soon repairs,
And half unpeoples Greenland of her bears;
While exhibitions, galas and reviews,
Lisle-street, Vauxhall, the Abbey, Handel, Hughes,
Flutes, fiddles, trombos, double-drums, bassoons,
Mara, the speaking-figure, fish-balloons,
Earth-baths, live-eagles, such as never flew,
L' Hercule du Roy! and General Jackoo!
While these create a round of such delight,
Sure, we may hope, you will not frown to-night!
While farces numerous as these go down,
Our farce may in its turn amuse the town;
And, smiling thus on Folly's vast career,
Sure not on us, alone, you'll be severe!

ADVERTISEMENT.

[...]he AUTHOR of the WIDOW's VOW is indebted for the Plot of her Piece, and for the Plot only, to L' He­ [...]s [...] Erreur, a French Comedy of one Act, by M. PA­TRAT, but to the Excellence of the English Performers alone is she indebted for its very flattering Success.

DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

  • Don Antonio, Mr. PARSONS,
  • Marquis, Mr. BANNISTER, jun.
  • Carlos, Mr. R. PALMER.
  • Servant, Mr. LYON.
  • Jerome, Mr. EDWIN.
  • Countess, Mrs. BATES.
  • Donna Isabella, Mrs. RILEY.
  • Inis Miss BRANCIN.
  • Ursula Mrs. EDWIN.
  • Flora Mrs. WELLS.

Scene a Village in Spain.

THE WIDOW's VOW.

ACT I.

SCENE I. A Hall in a Castle.

Enter JEROME and FLORA.
[...]RA.

I Can't go at present, Mr. Jerome, for I expect my Lady every moment to ring, if I should be out of the way she will be an­ [...] and as I am but new in her service—

[...]EROME.

She angry! Oh you don't know her—When you have been a day or two with you'll find she is never angry—She is best tempered creature—and were it not for aversion to us men, she would not have a [...].

FLORA.
[Page 2]

Do you consider that as a fault, b [...] Jerome?

JEROME.

To be sure I do—For my par [...] think she had much better be too fond of us, [...] the rest of her sex are.

FLORA.

Pray, Mr. Jerome, what caused [...] aversion to the men?

JEROME.

I'll tell you, Flora, if it wo'nt [...] you melancholy.

FLORA.

Oh, no, Mr. Jerome—I like a [...] lancholy story—I like dearly to cry, when it is [...] on my own account.

JEROME.

Well then—When my Lady was [...] ly fifteen she fell deep in love with a fine ha [...] some young fellow, inferior to her both in [...] and fortune; but my good old Lord, her fa [...] who doated upon her, was afraid a disapp [...] ment might break her heart, and so c [...]nsente [...] her having him; but he proved so bad a husb [...] that my poor old Master soon died with grief.

FLORA.

Poor man!

JEROME.

Don't cry yet, there's someth [...] worse to come—My Lady, on this, took such dislike to her husband, that he died of [...] too.

FLORA.

Indeed, Mr. Jerome, this is [...] moving.

cries.
JEROME.

On this—

[...]LORA.
[Page 3]

I hope there is nothing worse to [...]?

[...]EROME.

On this, my Lady made a vow to [...] herself up from the whole sex.

[...]LORA.

Well, that is more affecting than any [...]

[...]ROME.

And she immediately retired to this [...]y castle, where, except the house of Donna [...]lla next door, we have not a neighbour for [...]; and even there we are strangers—for my [...] I have never so much as seen Donna Isabella, [...]changed a word with any of the servants since [...] came to the place—though indeed they have [...]een here above eight days.

[...]ORA.

But how long has my Lady kept this [...] of avoiding all your sex?

[...]ROME.

Eighteen months.

[...]ORA.

Eighteen weeks! what a time!

[...]ROME.

Months.

[...]ORA.

Months! she has certainly lost her [...].

[...]ROME.

Not she.

[...]ORA.

O but I am sure she must have lost [...] of them.

[...]ROME.

I tell you no.—But I must leave you [...] Mrs. Flora, for yonder is Don Antonio, and [...]ieve he is coming this way.

FLORA.
[Page 4]

I thought no man was admitted in the castle but you, Mr. Jerome?

JEROME.

Yes; Don Antonio lives here—then he is my Lady's uncle; and you know th [...] can be no fear of her falling in love with him, [...] he is a relation.

FLORA.

But you are no relation, Mr. j [...] rome.

JEROME.

Why, as you say, she might f [...]l [...] love with me—Stranger things have happened and to tell you the truth, she does not seem [...] sitive she shan't, for she bids me keep out of [...] sight as much as possible, for fear I should put [...] in mind of that handsome villain that brought [...] to this retirement.

FLORA.

Here comes the old Gentleman!

JEROME.

Then I must go, for he'il be with wan [...] to say something to you—he is for ever ru [...] after all the maids—I am sorry to leave you— [...] am, indeed, Flora; indeed I am—Oh it woul [...] a happy thing for me if I could bring m [...]se [...] care as little for the women, as my Lady does [...] the men.

Exit Jero [...]
FLORA.

A fine sweetheart, truly, I have go and if this old fright proves another, I'll be [...] with him.

Enter Antonis—She courtesys
ANTONIO.

Hah!—what!—what is all this [...] what have we here?—what have we here? [...] [Page 5] [...]retty girl—a very pretty girl indeed!—My [...]iece's new maid, I suppose—Aye, aye, I had the [...]ther sent about her business—She must be like [...]er mistress forsooth, and have nothing to say to a [...]an—

going up to Flora

My dear, come this way▪ I think your's is a new face—

FLORA.

Yes, Sir—and I think your's is an old [...]e.

ANTONIO.

Hem—hem.—Pray what is your [...]me?

FLORA.

A very good name—and I intend ne­ [...]r to change it for a bad one.—

ANTONIO.

Look in my face—What do you [...]ush for?

FLORA.

For you.

ANTONIO

Come, come, no pertness—but let [...] bid you welcome to the castle.

offers to salute [...].
FLORA.

No, indeed you shan't.

ANTONIO.

I will bid you welcome to the [...]stle.

after a struggle he salutes her.
FLORA.

Upon my word, Sir, you are very [...]—How would you like I should serve you [...]

ANTONIO.

Do—Do—serve me so—you are very [...]come.

[Page 6] Eater JEROME.
JEROME.

Flora, there's a young woman at the gate, who says she lives with Dona Isabella, and wants to speak to you upon some particular busi­ness—Can your Honor spare her with no incon­venience to yourself?

ANTONIO.

Yes—Yes—she may go—

Exi [...] Flora and Jerome

A young woman at the gate, now do I want to bid her welcome to the cast [...]e— [...] a maid of Donna Isabella, our neighbour—by the bye I must bring about an acquaintance with Donna Isabella and the Countess my niece, if I can, for I am told Isabella is a very beautiful lady—and I should like to bid her welcome to the castle—but, notwithstanding all the pains I have takes, ever since she has arrived, to procure a sight of her, I have not been able—I would, however, fo [...] myself into the house, but it seems she has a young brother, the Marquis, come down on a vi [...]t to her within these three days, and he might take upon him to resent my gallantry—and I can't say I am fond of resentments, rage and hatred—no, no, the soster passions possess me wholly.

Exi [...]

SCENE II. A Chamber at DONNA ISABELLA's.

Enter ISABELLA followed by the MARQUIS.
MARQUIS.

But my dear sister, did not you se­duce me to this melancholy spot, on a promise [...] [Page 7] [...]ou would procure me an introduction to the rich [...]idow, the charming Countess?—Interest first [...]rompted my wishes, but since I have beheld her, [...] is love.

ISABEL.

Beheld her!

MARQUIS.

Yes, beheld her—walking in her [...]rden—sitting negligently in an arbor.

ISABEL.

But how?—How contrive to see [...]?—

MARQUIS.

From the top of our house, through [...]elescope—but, my dear sister, do bring us a [...]le nearer, or I'll purchase a speaking trumpet, [...] make love to her through it, though my [...]ssion be heard by every soul within a quarter of [...]ile.

ISABEL.

I tell you I have great hopes.

MARQUIS.

But why not accept of her ac­ [...]intance, and prevail on her yourself to see [...]?

[...]SABEL.

I tell you again, the letters I expect [...]n her uncle at Madrid will have more weight [...]n volumes I could say—She dare not disobey [...], and must see you.

MARQUIS.

And yet I would not compel her to [...] Unless she consents to my acquaintance free­ [...] without being constrained by force, or de­ [...]ed by stratagem, I had rather have recourse [...]he top of the house and my telescope again.

ISABEL.
[Page 8]

Do not let your scrupulous honor overcome all your future prospects—Notwith­standing these letters will strongly recommend you, yet it will be with her own consent only she will yield to the recommendation.

MARQUIS.

But when do you expect the let­ters?

ISABEL.

Every instant—my servants are no [...] gone to the Post-office.

MARQUIS.

I'll fly and see if they are [...] turned.

ISABEL.

Do; for as soon as the letters are [...] rived, I would not have you lose a moment [...] away, and know your fate at once—yet if she [...] but see you I think with such a person as your [...] there can be little to fear.

MARQUIS.

But they tell me she is so auste [...] since this rigid vow—so awful—she will petr [...] me with a look.

ISABEL.

Pshaw—away, and see if the lette [...] are come.

MARQUIS.

I will, and if they are, and I g [...] admittance, I'm resolved I will obtain [...] husband within a week, in return, my dear sist [...] for your kindness to me.

Exit Marqu [...]
Enter INIS.
ISABEL.

Well, Inis—I am impatient to he [...] ▪ What success?

INIS.
[Page 9]

Delightful, Madam—I have been intro­ [...]ced to the young Countess—I first communi­ [...]ted the intelligence of the pretended plot form­ [...]g against her to her waiting-woman, who was [...]fficiently alarmed at it, to take me to her Lady [...]mediately.

ISABEL.

Well.

INIS.

And so, Madam, as soon as I was in­ [...]duced I fell a crying—I thought that was the [...]st way.

ISABEL.

Very well.

INIS.

And then, before I discovered what I had say, I made her promise not to betray me, [...]ch she did most solemnly, and without the [...]st reluctance—and now, Madam, says I, I [...] servant with your neighbour, Donna Isabella, [...]ighty Lady, who turns every thing serious and [...]ed into ridicule; and she has resolved to make [...]t of you for pretending an aversion to men, [...] for that purpose she has procured recom­ [...]ndations for you to receive the visits of the [...]ng Marquis her brother, but instead of him, [...] purposes to come herself, disguised as a man, [...]vail on you to consent to be married to her, [...] then throw off the mask, and make you and [...] vow the jest of the whole kingdom.

ISABEL.

This is all right—go on.

[...]NIS.

On this she thanked me a thousand times [...] the discovery.

[...]SABEL.

But did she say she would receive [...]?

INIS.
[Page 10]

Oh yes—she has promised to receive you on my account, that my divulging the scheme may not be detected.

ISABEL.

And she is absolutely resolved to re­ceive me under the title of my brother?

INIS.

You may depend upon it—but how are you to proceed now?

ISABEL.

Send my brother to her immedi­ately.

INIS.

Your brother!

ISABEL.

Yes—The Countess, from what you have told her, will suppose him a woman, receive him, and consequently suffer a thousand endear­ing familiarities; till, charmed by the graces of his mind and person, she shall love him without knowing it, and, when she detects the impostor, be unable to part with him.

INIS.

And if she is like me, she'll think it the happiest day of her life—but have you prepared your brother how to act his part?

ISABEL.

He has nothing to act, being the very person he represents, and therefore shall not know of the art by which he is introduced—for, except being a little too attentive to dress and etiquette, a circumstance which, with his youthful appear­ance, favours our design, he is one of the mo [...] amiable young men in the world, and the le [...] idea of imposition would shock his honour, and put an end to my scheme.

INIS.
[Page 11]

Then he is not to know he is to be taken for a woman.

ISABEL.

Certainly not—Hush, here he is, now for my credentials.

taking out letters from her packet.
Enter MARQUIS.
MARQUIS.

Oh, my dear sister, there are no let­ters arrived.

ISABEL.

Yes, here they are—

Gives a packet [...]f letters

my maid has just brought them me.

MARQUIS.

O with what joy I receive them—they are all right?—There will be no mistake I [...]ope?—Nothing to make me appear ridiculous?—I would not appear ridiculous for the world.

ISABEL.

All is right—No, no.

MARQUIS.

They are addressed to her uncle!

ISABEL.

Yes, because it will be far more de­ [...]icate to be introduced through his means— [...]ut there is one enclosed to her.

MARQUIS.

D'ye think she'll see me?

ISABEL.

Yes; I dare say—There is little doubt [...]f it.

INIS.

By my dream last night, I'd lay my life he will.

MARQUIS.

Why, what did you dream?

INIS.
[Page 12]

I dreamt she ordered her servants to drag your Lordship by force out of the house, and duck you in the great fish-pond for a whole hour.

MARQUIS.

Is that a sign?—

INIS.

O yes—Dreams always go by contra­ries.

MARQUIS.
Going, returns.

But I know she is so haughty and reserved, that, should she admit me, I shall appear confused and awkward.—

INIS.

So much the better—she expects you'll be awkward.

MARQUIS.

Expects I shall be awkward!

ISABEL.

Pshaw, pshaw—Hesitate no longe [...] with your fears, but away—you know your first court must be to the uncle, and when you hav [...] been a little time in the house your apprehension will vanish.—Away, away.

MARQUIS.

But if she should not condescen [...] to see me?

INIS.

Oh, my Lord, you may depend upon [...] she will, because of my dream.

Exit Marquis on one side and Isabella and Inis [...] the other.

SCENE III. The Hall in the Castle.

Enter FLORA and JEROME.
[...]LORA.

Ha, ha, ha, ha.

[...]EROME.

Ha, ha, ha, ha—But is all this matter act?

[...]LORA.

As true as I am alive, Jerome—I have [...]e nothing but laugh ever since I heard it—But [...]ou think, Jerome, she'll be drest all over like [...]n?

[...]EROME.

To be sure.

[...]LORA.

What, every thing?

[...]EROME.

Yes——Every thing—Egad, I long to [...] a peep at her!

[...]LORA.

Aye, and so would Antonio too, if he [...].—

[...]EROME.

Aye, that he would—he'd be so fond [...]e young Marquis there would be no keeping away from her—but he does not knew of it, say?

[...]LORA.

No; no soul knows of it yet but my [...] and I, and now I have told it to you; and [...] to tell it to all the servants as soon as she [...]es, that they may not think my Lady has [...]en her vow, by admitting a man—Lord, I [...]der how I should look in men's clothes!

JEROME.
[Page 14]

There's the Priest's old great clo [...] doublet, and jack-boots hanging up behind t [...] door, if you have a mind to try, and I'll step [...] of the way till you have put them on.

A loud rapping at the doo [...]
FLORA.

Here she is—Here she is—Oh dea [...] Oh dear—how ashamed I am for her.

JEROME.

And I wish I may die if so ben't [...]

Covering his ey [...]
FLORA.

And yet somehow I long to see her

Another rappin [...]
FLORA.

Run, Jerome, run.

JEROME.

This moment

turning back

bu [...] am so afraid I shall laugh.

FLORA.

O no—Don't laugh—if you do y [...] will spoil all, and my Lady will never forgi [...] you.

JEROME.

Well—I won't—I won't, if I [...] help it—I'll look so—just so, if I can—as s [...]ri [...] as a judge—will that do?

looking serious.
FLORA.

Yes; that will do.

Rapping agai [...]
JEROME.
Going.

Ha, ha, ha, ha—I can't b [...] laughing a little though—but not before he [...] I'll be as serious as a judge before her.

[...]

Egad I am afraid—I am afraid I shall laugh.

Exit, stifling a laug [...]
FLORA.

Now where shall I run to have a pe [...] at her?—in here.

Exit Flo [...]
[Page 15] [...]er JEROME, bowing before the MARQUIS, [...]ith his face on one side, as if he was afraid to look [...]t him for fear he should laugh.
[...]ARQUIS.

Let Don Antonio know I have let­ [...] for him.

[...]EROME.

Yes, your Honour—Lordship.

Lift- [...]p his eyes, looking at him with side glances, and [...] d [...]fficulty stifling a laugh.

Your Honour, [...] Lordship—Let Don Antonio—know—you [...]ve—letters—for—him.

Suppressing a laugh.
[...]ARQUIS.

Yes; is not that plain?

[...]ROME.

Yes.

still suppressing a laugh.

And [...] be very glad to wait upon your Honour.

Laughs right out and exit.
[...]ARQUIS.

A strange fellow this—How my [...]t beats!

[...]LORA.
from a door.

Oh that she would [...] turn this way, that I might see her face—Oh [...]mpudent slut.

Enter JEROME with a grin on his face.
[...]EROME.

Noble Lord, Don Antonio will be [...] immediately.

Then laughs and stares at him [...] head to foot.

Here he is.

Enter ANTONIO.
The Marquis bows very respectfully whilst Je­ [...] is laughing and making faces behind.
MARQUIS.
[Page 16]

Letters, my Lord, from your b [...] ther at Madrid.

ANTONIO.

Signior.

Taking the letters.
MARQUIS.
aside while Antonio reads.

Heave [...] whence this palpitation? If such are the feelin [...] of my bosom on knowing myself in the same ho [...] with her, what must be my agitation on a ne [...] approach!

ANTONIO.

My letters inform me it is the M [...] quis who does me the honour of this visit— [...] Lord, your Lordship—

JEROME.

Ha, ha, ha.

ANTONIO.

What's the matter with you?

JEROME.

Sir, I was only—

ANTONIO.

Only what? Leave the room.

JEROME.
Aside.

Well I thought the [...] Don would have found out a woman in any d [...] guise.

E [...]
ANTONIO.

My Lord, you may command [...] services and friendship, but I fear you will not [...] them so highly as I could wish, as you must be [...] barred the acquaintance and society of my niec [...] [...] You are no stranger to the vow she has taken [...]

MARQUIS.

I am not—and yet I flatter my [...] the manner in which I am spoken of in these [...] ters—

ANTONIO.

Be certain, Sir, my niece shall [...] ceive them, urged with all my authority for an [...] [...]view. [Page 17] Will your Lordship take a turn in the [...]den while I deliver them and enforce their con­ [...] [...]ts?

MARQUIS.

I will—and should you prove suc­ [...]ful, Don Antonio, I shall ever retain the deep­ [...] sense of the obligation.

Exit Marquis.
Enter the COUNTESS.
[...]NTONIO.

Niece, I was this moment coming [...]ou, to bring you these letters from your uncle Madrid, which you will find recommend, in [...] strongest manner, to your acquaintance, no [...]r than the young Marquis our neighbour— [...]e a youth as ever I saw.

[...]OUNTESS.

Ha, ha, ha—is he arrived?—

[...]NTONIO.

Now in the house—What is the [...]ter?—Did you hear of his intended visit?

[...]OUNTESS.

Yes—Ha, ha, ha—how does he [...]?

[...]NTONIO.

Delightfully—I don't think I ever [...] handsomer man.

[...]OUNTESS.

Man!—Ha, ha, ha, I dare say he [...]s a little awkward?

[...]NTONIO.

Aukward! No; he is as elegant in [...]eportment, and as fine, as finished a young [...]w as ever I saw.

COUNTESS.
[Page 18]
After looking over the letter.

Certainly, I shall comply with my uncle's request—Let his Lordship be admitted.

ANTONIO.

Niece, I always knew you could no [...] keep your vow—I always knew the very first ma [...] that came in your way—crash it would go directly, but let me persuade you to break it by degrees and not let the world say you made no strugg [...] first.

COUNTESS.

Struggle! Now, my dear Uncle with all your deep discernment, particularly i [...] regard to our sex, to see you at last imposed upo [...] delights me.

ANTONIO.

Imposed upon!

COUNTESS.

Yes; for this self-same Marqu [...] is a woman.

ANTONIO.

A woman!

COUNTESS.

Yes; this "fine, elegant cre [...] ture."

ANTONIO.

That is, then, the very reason w [...] I thought her so—"a fine creature,"—now that [...] intuition, instinct, love without knowing it—But, my dear niece, are you sure you are r [...]ght▪ Are you sure you don't deceive me? Don't di [...] appoint me—I can't bear a disappointment in [...] matter like this—I am vastly pleased, and a di [...] appointment might be fatal.

COUNTESS.

I assure you again a woman— [...] to the Marquis—and has undertaken this sche [...] [Page 19] [...]rely to make love to me, and turn me into ridi­ [...]le.

ANTONIO.

Now I think of it again, she was de­ [...]ish awkward—and I believe wore her sword on [...] wrong side.

COUNTESS.

It is she herself depend upon it.

ANTONIO.

To be sure it is—and I'll be hang'd [...]t did not strike me to be a woman the moment [...]id my eyes on her—for she came up to me [...]ping and sliding, and tossing her head, just as [...] fine ladies do.

Mimicks.

Well—But what you intend to do? I know what I intend to [...]

COUNTESS.

I shall carry on the scheme, and [...]end to be deceived, till I turn the joke she [...]gns for me, on herself.

ANTONIO.

Yes; and I intend to have my [...]e too.

COUNTESS.

But you must keep the secret.

ANTONIO.

I wo'nt say a word.

COUNTESS.

Take his Lordship into the sa­ [...] [...], and I'll wait upon him immediately.

ANTONIO.

Aye, my dear—and you need not [...] in a hurry—Egad, I like the joke of all [...]gs.

Exit.
[Page 20] Enter JEROME and FLORA.
FLORA.

Dear my Lady, have you seen her?

COUNTESS.

Not yet.

FLORA.

Well, I declare she looks as like man!

COUNTESS.

I shall certainly laugh in h [...] face.

JEROME.

Oh no, don't laugh—Never g [...] your mind to laughing—I did not even smile, [...] kept my countenance as steady—just thus—D [...] not I, Flora? Oh—'tis such a weakness to laugh Look just so—as I do now—

COUNTESS.

I must away to the trial, howeve [...] come with me to the door, Flora.

JEROME.

And be sure you don't laugh Think on me, and keep your countenance—you can.

Exit Countess and Flora on one side and Jerom [...] the other.
END OF THE FIRST ACT.

ACT II.

SCENE I. The Hall in the Castle.

Enter FLORA.

DEAR me, what a pretty footman she has brought with her!—he made me such a fine was I past—and looked so grand—here he is.

Enter CARLOS and bows—She courtesies.
FLORA.

O Lord, I hope this is not a woman [...]! but I dare say it is—Lord what a pity! but [...] talk to him, and I shall soon be able to find [...]t—and if he does not fall in love with me, I'll [...]nclude it can't be a man.

aside.
CARLOS.

A very pretty girl.

aside.

Your [...]mble servant, my dear angel.

FLORA.

Too conceited for a man.

aside.
CARLOS.

May I venture, on so slight an ac­ [...]aintance to protest to you—

FLORA.
[Page 22]

No—he protests—'tis a man.

aside
CARLOS.

Permit me to assure you—

FLORA.

Sir!

CARLOS.

What thus takes up your attention?

FLORA.

A doubt I have.

CARLOS.

Do you entertain any doubts o [...] me?

FLORA.

Yes—Indeed I do.

CARLOS.

What are they?

FLORA.

I have been trying to put this bunc [...] of ribbons into a right form for my Lady's ha [...] and I hardly know how.

CARLOS.

Let me try.

She gives the ribbons.
FLORA.

Now shall I see by the dexterity whether it is a woman or not.

aside
CARLOS.

There—I'll be hanged if I have no done it to a nicety.

Returns the ribbons.
FLORA.

'Tis a woman, pshaw.

Aside and sighing
CARLOS.

Now I must beg a kiss for my pain [...]

Kisses her.
FLORA.

No—it must be a man.

CARLOS.

My charming—

FLORA.
[Page 23]

For Heaven's sake go about your [...]siness, for here comes a fellow-servant of [...]e.

CARLOS.

I am going into the grove, will you [...]e there presently?

FLORA.

Yes—perhaps I may—only begone [...].

CARLOS.

But you'll come?

FLORA.

Yes—I think I will.

CARLOS.

I shall wait for you.

Exit.
Enter URSULA.
[...]RSULA.

So, Mrs. Flora, I give you joy of [...] new sweetheart—For shame, for shame, I what passed.

[...]LORA.

Lord bless you—it is only a wo­ [...].

[...]RSULA.

A woman!

[...]LORA.

Aye, in mens' clothes, like the mas­ [...] and so there could be no harm you know.

[...]RSULA.

I did not know the servant was a [...]an too!

[...]LORA.

Why, I am not sure of it—but I [...]g it so when I let him kiss me, and I thought [...]hen I promised to meet him in the grove— [...] will e'en go—for I dare say 'tis only a wo­ [...]

URSULA.
[Page 24]

Aye, now I think of it again, I a [...] sure it is not a man—Do you suppose a Lady i [...] disguise, would take a man-servant to atten [...] her?

FLORA.

Very true; and I wish, Ursula, yo [...] would go instead of me to the grove, for I am s [...] busy just at this time—

URSULA.

And yet old Jerome says, and I never knew Jerome mistaken in my life, he says i [...] is a man—however, I am not afraid of him if i [...] is, and I will go instead of you.

FLORA.

No, Ursula—I will go after all— [...] if it should prove a man, and he should behav [...] rude to you, oh! my dear Ursula, I should nev [...] be happy, that I did not take it all upon myself.

Exeunt separate

SCENE II. A Parlour in the Castle.

The COUNTESS, the MARQUIS, and DO [...] ANTONIO discovered sitting.
ANTONIO.

And so, my Lord, you once thoug [...] of the army—Do you think you should sta [...] your ground in a battle.

Laughing to himself.
MARQUIS.

Sir!

Surprized.
ANTONIO.
Aside.

Damn me but she ha [...] good leg.

COUNTESS.
[Page 25]

Your Lordship seems formed for [...] service of a softer Deity; an occupation less [...]lous than that of war.

[...]NTONIO.

Aye, that you do.

MARQUIS

Pardon me, Madam, the Deity you [...]de to, I fear may be yet more fatal, unless you [...] kindly fight on my side.

[...]NTONIO.

Ha, ha, ha, I can't help laughing [...]ink what a pretty soldier you would make— [...] look vastly like a solder to be sure.—Ha, ha.

[...]ARQUIS.

Why not, Sir?

Angrily.
[...]NTONIO.

Nay, no offence—Damn me if I [...]ld not like to command a whole regiment of—and I would go upon some new atchieve­ [...]ts—For instance, say the enemy were Hot­ [...] [...]t [...]ts, I would undertake to poison them all by [...]scent of perfumes from my army—or in case [...] repulse, would engage at any time to raise a [...] and escape pursuit, only by commanding [...]y man to shake his head, and discharge the [...]der.

MARQUIS.

Upon my word, Sir, you are very [...]ant.

Forcing a smile.
[...]NTONIO.

I am very glad your Lordship thinks [...]

[Page 26] Enter SERVANT.
SERVANT.
To Antonio.

Sir, you are wanted by a gentleman in the parlour.

ANTONIO.

Pshaw—I'm busy—Who is it?—

Servant whispers.

Well then I must com [...]

Exit Servant.

My Lord I take my leave for [...] minute, but I shall soon be back.

Aside.

H [...] like a man she looks—Impudent hussey,

Ex [...]
MARQUIS.

Your uncle's behaviour, Mada [...] has something in it rather extraordinary—I hop [...] I have not in any means offended him?

COUNTESS.

I can conceal my knowledge [...] her no longer,

Aside.

Oh no, my dear, [...] at all.

MARQUIS.

My dear!

Aside.
COUNTESS.

I declare I like you so well— [...] much better than I expected—I can no long [...] treat you with cold reserve—Come sit dow [...]

They si [...]
MARQUIS.

How kind is this!

Drawing [...] chair near to her.
COUNTESS.
Looking at him from head to fo [...]

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. I protest I can't help laug [...] ing—Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

MARQUIS.

Ha, ha, ha, ha—I protest [...] more can I—Sure fate directed me to this heav [...] [Page 27] [...]pot, where ceremony has no share in polite­ [...]

COUNTESS.

And did you suppose I should use [...] ceremony with such a sweet, sweet fellow as [...]?

MARQUIS.

Egad, I'll use no ceremony either.

[...]ide.

Thus, on my knees, let me pour my [...]ks.

COUNTESS.

Oh you artful creature!

Stroking [...]heek.
MARQUIS.

Art! I disclaim it—and so do you. [...]ou are all pure nature.

COUNTESS.

Well, I positively do think you [...] of the cleverest of your whole sex.

MARQUIS.

Thank you—Thank you—my [...] creature-

Kissing her hand.
[...]OUNTESS.

So negligent—so easy—not the [...] awkward or embarrassed!

MARQUIS.

Egad, I think you as little embar­ [...]ed to the full.

Aside.

My dear Madam, [...] charming society has inspired me.

Salutes [...]
[...]OUNTESS.

Now, if you were really a man, [...]t would you deserve for that?

MARQUIS.

Madam!

Astonished.
COUNTESS.
[Page 28]

I say, if you were really a m [...] what would you deserve for that freedom?

MARQUIS.

Really a man! Why?—What? Don't I look like a man?

COUNTESS.

Yes—that you do—and a [...] pretty man—Come, come, don't be frightened▪ shake hands—I forgive you—forgive you all [...] impertinence—and, carry the jest as far as [...] will, I am resolved not to be angry.

MARQUIS.

I am very much obliged to you▪ infinitely obliged to you—I assure you this fav [...]—this honour.—I don't know what to say— [...] absolutely puts me out of countenance.

Asi [...]
COUNTESS.

What confused?—Come, [...] your gaiety—Come, come—

MARQUIS.

Come, come, then.

seizing [...]
Enter DON ANTONIO.
ANTONIO.

Hah!—What! Struggling?

COUNTESS.

Oh, Uncle, I have been so [...] used by this Gentleman, that I must beg you [...] resent his behaviour.

MARQUIS.

How!

ANTONIO.

Certainly, my dear, if you have [...] used ill.

COUNTESS.
[Page 29]

Most scandalously—Frighten her a [...]le.

Aside to Antonio.
MARQUIS.

Upon my honour, Sir—

ANTONIO.

Zounds, Sir, my niece is one of the [...]st reserved, prudent young women—and who­ [...] [...]ver offers an insult to her, it is my place, and [...]sistent but with my honour, to resent it.—How [...]ite she looks.

Aside.
MARQUIS.

Sir, I shall not draw my sword be­ [...] [...]e the Countess, and therefore I beg you will [...] up your's.

ANTONIO.

And so I will, my poor Lady—I [...] it has frightened you—Here, Niece, have you [...] hartshorn or drops at hand—the poor thing [...]errified out of her life. Come, come, my poor [...]e creature—Poor thing—Poor rogue.

He [...] up to sooth him, and the Marquis gives him a [...].
MARQUIS.

Don Antonio, this insolence shall [...]ive the correction it deserves.

Draws.
COUNTESS.

She is not in earnest, sure.

Aside.
ANTONIO.

I have received many a blow from [...]ady, but never such a one as this!

MARQUIS.

Do you dare to call me a Lady [...]n, Sir?

ANTONIO.
[Page 30]

A Lady, oh no—you are a tyge [...] a fury—

MARQUIS.

I never met with such usage!—Damnation!

ANTONIO.

What a profligate she is! I d [...] not think such a word could come out of a woman mouth!

MARQUIS.

How, Sir!—Dare to say that aga [...] and I'll nail you to the wall.

ANTONIO.
Retreating.

Why, what [...] this about? I won't fight—I only drew [...] to frighten you.

MARQUIS.

To frighten me!—Did you [...] was to be frightened?

ANTONIO.

Why not? You see I am.

MARQUIS.

Yes, I see, and scorn you for it.

COUNTESS.

Why, Uncle, the tables are fa [...] turned upon you.

ANTONIO.

Yes, Niece, and I'm much oblig [...] to you, for your advice in the business—But [...] may depend upon it, I shall take care h [...]w attempt to frighten one of your sex again.

Going.
MARQIUS.

Come back, Sir, I insist upon yo [...] coming back, and recalling what you have sa [...]d▪ [Page 31] [...]ist upon your begging me pardon for your im­ [...] [...]inent insinuation.—

[...]NTONIO.

What insinuation?—That I think [...] a female?—I am sure there is no offence [...]nt in that—for, when I suppose you a wo­ [...] [...], I suppose you what I like better than any­ [...] [...]g in the world; what I am never happy with­ [...] [...] and what I even make myself poor, de­ [...] [...]ed, and ridiculous, in the daily pursuit of.

MARQUIS.

And pray, Sir, in what, do I ap­ [...] [...] like a woman?

[...]NTONIO.

And pray, Sir, in what, does any [...]our modern coxcombs appear like a man? [...] yet they don't scruple to call themselves [...].

MARQUIS.

Then you will not recall your [...]iments and beg my pardon?

[...]NTONIO.

Beg your pardon?—No—Yes, yes [...]ut on your petticoats, and I'll fall at your feet [...]oon as you please.—

MARQUIS.

I'll bear this no longer—Draw.

Marquis draws.
[...]NTONIO.

Here Jerome, Jerome, come and [...]end me, where it would be a dishonour to de­ [...] [...] myself.

[Page 32] Enter JEROME.
ANTONIO.

See, Jerome, how my life is a [...] sailed.

JEROME.

Aye, your Honour, I always tol [...] you the women would be the death of you [...] last.

MARQUIS.

You too, rascal!—

JEROME.

Well, I declare with her sword i [...] her hand, she is as fine a creature as ever I saw!—Oh you audacious minx.

MARQUIS.

Scoundrel—

JEROME.

Sure, your Honour, she must be t [...] Maid of Orleans.

MARQUIS.

I am no maid, Sir.

JEROME.

I am sorry for your misfortune.

MARQUIS.

Don Antonio, this treatment [...] suppose you inflict as a just recompence for [...] presumption in daring to hope for an alliance [...] your family, spite of the prejudice which I kn [...] the Countess had conceived—I cannot deny t [...] justice of the accusation—I came into he ho [...] with the vain hope—

COUNTESS.

By no means vain—I am ready [...] comply, be your hopes what they will.

MARQUIS.
[Page 33]

Can I believe what you say real?

COUNTESS.

Certainly—Were you going to say [...] hoped to marry me? If you were, call the [...]est, and we'll be married immediately.

ANTONIO.

Aye, if that is what your Lord­ [...]p wants, the Priest shall tack you together in [...] minutes.

MARQUIS.

This sudden consent staggers me— [...] was not prepared for it—one likes a little pre­ [...]ation before marriage as well as before death.

Aside.
COUNTESS.

What! you are cast down— [...]med—want to recant—but I won't let you— [...] shall marry me—I insist upon it.

MARQUIS.

What, directly?

COUNTESS.

Yes, directly—I am in a hurry.

MARQUIS.

I believe this is mere trifling— [...]ar you will marry me

COUNTESS.

I do swear.

MARQUIS.

You are witness to the oath.

ANTONIO AND JEROME.

We are witness.

[...] SERVANT with DONNA ISABELLA veiled.
[...]ERVANT.

A Lady, Madam, who says she is [...] to the Marquis.

COUNTESS.
[Page 34]

Has the Marquis more sisters th [...] one?

MARQUIS.

No.

ANTONIO.

Then this, I suppose, is your br [...] ther?

JEROME.

Aye, in womens' clothes—O de [...] another fine sight!

COUNTESS.

Oh Heavens, if it is a man, ta [...] him out of the room or I shall faint.

MARQUIS.

Sister Isabella, when I shall rela [...] to you the strange reception I have met with [...] this house, you will be amazed—but I think y [...] will sincerely rejoice at the final event of my vi [...] when I tell you it is a solemn promise from t [...] Lady to become my wife.

ISABEL.

I give you joy most unfeigned

Pulls off her vei [...]
COUNTESS.

It is a woman.

ANTONIO.

Aye, that it is—Madam, let me [...] you welcome to the castle.

Goes and salutes [...]
COUNTESS.
To the Marquis.

Why, [...] are you—

After trembling as if much terrified

[...] you a woman?

ISABEL.

Countess, I knew you never wo [...] have consented to have seen the Marquis, had [...] been introduced into the house as a man, therei [...] I formed this stratagem, unknown to him, [...] to bring you together.

MARQUIS.
[Page 35]
To the Countess.

Do not droop, [...] dearest wife.

COUNTESS.

And are you really the Marquis? [...]at a strange blunder have I made!

MARQUIS.

I am the Marquis—and it shall be [...] future care to banish for ever from your me­ [...] [...]y, the recollection of that marriage which has [...]n the source of so much woe to you.

ANTONIO.

Donna Isabella, we are all infinite­ [...] [...]bliged to you for this stratagem, by which you [...]e induced the Countess, innocently to break a [...], which she could not have kept without draw­ [...] [...] upon herself both ridicule and melancholy— [...] dear Niece, depend upon it, there is but one [...] a woman is authorized to take.

COUNTESS.

And what vow is that one Uncle?

ANTONIO.

A vow to LOVE, HONOUR and OBEY.

Exeunt omnes.
THE END.

Just published, by G. G. J. and J. ROBINSON

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