THE BIRTH-DAY; OR THE PRINCE OF ARRAGON.

A DRAMATICK PIECE, WITH SONGS.

IN TWO ACTS.

AS PERFORMED AT THE THEATRE-ROYAL, HAY-MARKET.

WRITTEN BY J.O'KEEFFE.

LONDON: Printed for T.CADELL, in the Strand.

M. DCC. LXXXIII.

TO THE PRINCE OF WALES.

SIR,

WHEN I consider the insignificancy of this trifle, I am surprised at my own teme­rity: my reason would have recoiled, and left nothing but my presumption to attend it to your Royal feet, had not your graci­ous condescension, in permitting it to ap­proach You, encouraged me in the laudable attempt to celebrate (though by humble means) an aera, auspicious, great, and glori­ous. The Guardian Genius of Britain having placed a Brunswick on the Throne, [Page ii] saw, and self-approving, smiled upon her work; and Victory, when determined to bestow her richest wreaths of laurel upon British valour, to perpetuate her bounty, wisely chose that point of time which she foresaw must be the darling theme of fu­ture ages, the period that gave birth to the PRINCE of WALES. Then it was that she crowned Monckton and Rodney with success; and, by the capture of Marti­nico, secured the conquest of Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and a supreme power over the trade and navigation of the seas, and that immeasurable chain of islands which extend from the Eastern point of Hispaniola, almost to the Continent of South America, With this view did she command Albemarle, the Pupil of her fa­vourite Cumberland, and Pocock, who had before triumphed in the East, now to ex­tend our conquests over the Western world. The Havannah, from its situation, a place of the first importance to our enemies, the grand rendezvous of the galleons, thought [Page iii] impregnable from nature, yet fortified by every possible contrivance of military art, most unpromising to a foe, from the dan­ger of its access, and defended by a Roman spirit, in the person of Velasco, at this great crisis, from the intrepidity, perseverance, and unanimity of our land and sea forces, yielded to the British flag.

Amongst the brilliant transactions of a year which makes a golden page in the En­glish annals, we see Granby Victorious on the banks of the Weser; and our gracious Monarch, on the auspicious morning, when his beloved and amiable Consort gives an Heir to Britain, beholds the treasures of Spain pass before his Palace walls. So many illustrious, circumstances attending your Royal Highness's dawn of life, pro­mised a zenith of glory; and the shining qualities of your youth justify our hopes, and give an ample satisfaction to our ex­pectations. As You were the early blessing, so will You prove the latter comfort of your [Page iv] Royal Parents, the Patron of Science, the Promoter of Virtue, the delight and joy of a happy, loyal people, whose affection, re­spect, and admiration, may You ever possess, as you do those of your Royal Highness's

Most humble, Most obsequious, And truly devoted Servant, JOHN O'KEEFFE.

PROLOGUE.

WHEN fate on some tremendous [...] seems bent,
And nature labours with the dread event,
Portents and prodigies convulse the earth,
That heaves and struggles with the fatal birth.
To happier hours are lavish blessings given,
And pour'd in floods, to mark the hand of Heaven.
In a long series of bright glories drest,
Britons must hail this day supremely blest.
First on this day, in Liberty's great cause,
A BRUNSWICK came to guard our rights and laws
On this great day, our glorious annals tell,
By British arms the pride of Cuba fell;
For then, the Moro's gallant Chief o'erthrown,
Th' Havannah saw his fate, and felt her own:
The self-fame day, the same auspicious morn,
Our elder hope, our Prince, our GEORGE, was born.
Upon his natal hour what triumphs wait!
What captive treasures croud the Palace-gate!
What doubled joys the Royal parent claim,
Of homefelt happiness, and publick fame!
Long, very long, Great George, protect the land!
Thy race, like arrows in a giant's hand!
For still, though blights may nip some infant rose.
And kill the budding beauty, ere it blows,
Indulgent Heaven prolongs th' illustrious line,
Branching like th' olive, clustring like the vine.
Long, very long, thy course of glory run,
A bright example to thy Royal Son!
Forming that Son to grace, like Thee, the throne,
And make his Father's virtues all His Own!

DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

  • Prince of Arragon, Mr. PALMER,
  • Don Leopold, Mr. WILSON,
  • Don Frederick, Mr. WILLIAMSON.
  • Seraphina, Mrs. BANNISTER.
  • Florina, Miss GEORGE.

Courtiers, Masquers, &c.

SCENE, Don Leopold's Castle, within three Leagues of Saragossa

The BIRTH-DAY.

ACT I.

An Apartment in Don Leopold's Castle.
Enter Prince and Frederick.
Prince.

SO! at last we are arriv'd in Don Leo­pold's castle.

Fred.

Thank Heaven! for since we turn'd our horses heads from the palace of Saragosa, my Prince has not till this moment honour'd his faithful Frederick with a single word.

Prince.

I did imagine, my dear Frederick, that you wish'd to see me in love.

Fred.

Without doubt—the darling of your Royal patents, the idol of the people; the blooming hope of every friend to his country, and the impending terror of her soes, adorn'd with every grace of nature, shining in each ac­complishment with all the glowing spirit of a hero, ready to burst into action, I saw my Prince, my master, in the midst of a brilliant court, surrounded with pleasures, but a stranger to happiness.

Prince.
[Page 2]

'Tis true, Frederick: I was amus'd, but never pleas'd.

Fred.

I saw it. I dar'd, impell'd by duty, to pry into my Prince's thoughts, and from the state of your heart, this languor, this apathy, this restless, joyless inquietude, I plainly saw that in the midst of splendor, Love was wanting to make you happy.

Prince.

Ay, Frederick; but if this love, which you imagine so essential to my happiness, should plunge me into unutterable woe, and render me for ever miserable!

Fred.

Love make a Prince miserable! Im­possible.

Prince.

Why not a Prince as well as another man?

Fred.

Heir to the Crown of Arragon, who has only to ask and obtain, to wish and be hap­py!

Prince.

Ay, Fred'rick; but I wou'd have the fair one love me, not as the Heir of Arra­gon: I would owe nothing to the dignity of my station.

Fred.

Well, Sir, Fortune has arrang'd each circumstance of your adventure here to the full extent of your wishes. Chance throws into your hands a Lady's picture; the features are, just what your fancy imagines to be the most beauti­ful [Page 3] in the world; and for seven or eight days, by your orders, I search'd the Court, the city, the country, for the charming original: my en­deavours proved fruitless, and you begin to de­spair of ever finding this lovely incognita; when one day, in hunting, led by the ardour of the chace, having stray'd from your suite, you find yourself near the park walls of this castle— hear the cry of distress, see women pursued by a huge and fierce boar. Fired with a gene­rous alarm at their danger, you fly to their as­sistance; to kill this monster, was but the work of a minute; but what a minute of delight, of transport! A young Lady from weariness and fright having fallen at the foot of a tree, pre­sents to your eyes the very identical lovely ori­ginal of the picture. Thus, in saving her life, your first interview was the most auspicious mo­ment of your's.

Prince.

I own, my dear Frederick, hitherto I have reason to be content; as yet, 'tis certain, my quality is a secret to Don Leopold and his.daughter; and as I was first introduced to them. by your name, they still imagine me to be Don Frederick. The amiable Seraphina listens to my vows with the most flattering complacency, approves my passion, answer's each gentle sigh, each tender look, with the sweet sympathy of [Page 4] dear affection; and, by her permission, I made a formal demand to her father of her hand in marriage.

Fred.

Which he readily granted, not know­ing you to be the Prince of Arragon.

Prince.

The old Gentleman did not hesitate a moment; and this very day, the anniversary of my Birth Day, Don Leopold has fixed for the celebration of our marriage.

Fred.

Then nothing but the joy of the night can exceed the happiness of the day.

Prince.

Ah! Frederick, this day may be most unhappy! Seraphina loves me, but before I wed her I am resolved to put her affection to the proof; if it cannot bear the trial, oh, Frede­rick! what a severe stroke to a heart so ten­der, so sensible, so passionate as mine!

Fred.

Well, my Lord, I hope all for the best—Ha! ha! ha! I'm diverted even at the idea of Don Leopold's surprize and embar­rassment when he finds that you're the Prince; I assure you he'll entertain you with such things as never yet reached a royal ear.

Prince.

Ay, that I suppose: for the charac­ter of my old Don, tho'rough, is noble, free and independent. Hush, here he comes; remember I am Don Frederick, and you are my atten­dant.

Exit Fred.
Don Leop.
[Page 5]
(without)

Be quiets—hold your tongues—say no more, it's all in vain—ridicu­lous to propose it! No, no, no courts for me,

(enters.)

Ah! they did not tell me you were here.

Prince.

But just arriv'd, Sir; you seem an­gry.

Leop.

So I am, very angry.

Prince.

What's the matter, Don Leopold?

Leop.

My daughter wants to carry me to Court.

Prince.

Why not, Sir? A nobleman of your birth and distinction should not thus bury him­self hi the country.

Leop.

In the country! I live upon my own estate.

Prince.

Yes, but from the character I have given of you, the Prince I'm sure would wish to be known to you.

Leop.

I tell you what, boy; I've as much respect for my Prince as you; I obey, I esteem, I love him; and were there a cause, the last drop of my blood should write my loyalty; I'd die to serve him. But I don't like new acquaintance: I am too old.

Prince.

And yet I will assure you, Don Leo­pold, the Prince wishes for nothing more than to have you nearly attached to him.

Leop.
[Page 6]

Me! On what account?

Prince.

To have in your rare and valuable character a man of candour and probity, incapa­ble of falsehood, on whose honor, whose friend­ship he might rely, and place an intire confi­dence in his fidelity—you laugh!

Leop.

Yes: Ha! ha! very good! the Prince wishes to have me near him, me, whom he never saw; because, forsooth, you have told him that I am a person of probity and candour!

Prince.

Just so. I'll answer for your welcome, go when you please.

Leop.

Will you? first answer for my going for go I will not; no, no, he sees bad company enough already.

Prince.

But—

Leop.

None of your buts! you are going to be my Son-in-law; take it once for all, I was never made for a courtier; I am a fantastical, ridiculous old fellow, that thinks noble birth wants no decoration of title; that a star upon a breast cannot give honor to a heart that's base, nor a ribbon dignity to a neck that per­haps deserves a halter. Tho' I live at a great expence, I keep within my income; I have not use for more than half the servants I main­tain, but then the other half I consider have use [Page 7] for me; and tho' I am a Lord, I am as free from debt as the poorest commoner.

Prince.

You would indeed be an extraordi­nary character at court.

Leop.

Ay, ay, Don Frederick, but I prefer being lodged in this old castle of mine here, to the honor of being inconveniently situated near a Prince; in one word, I'd rather walk about my park, gardens, and my own improvements, than to slide and amble through an antichamber, like a cypher of great importance, in a groupe of idle busy-bodies, female profligates, reverend atheists, mock patriots, and right honourable sharpers, the whole forming a villainous picture, a curious court calendar.

Prince.

Then 'tis impossible to persuade you to accompany us.

Leop.

Then don't attempt; ask a lover to resign his mistress, a lady to praise her rival, a lawyer to tell truth, and a Doctor to return his fee; but never ask me to go to court; you shall not change my mode of thinking, nor shall I try to alter your's.

[Page 8]

AIR.

The Court is a fountain of honour and fame,
And sweet are the waters that flow;
Yet say if our throats, or this water's to blames,
As we drink, the more thirsty we grow?
yet the Court to be sure is a fine place,
A gay, a polite, a divine place;
I am the man can tell you bow.
If there you'd wish to rise,
With your every step a bow!
On your tongue a thousand lies;
Submissive be your stile!
A great man's frown's a rod,
A pension in his smile,
A ribbon in his nod:
Strict care and close oeconomy,
First make a mighty brag on;
But set to guard the golden tree,
Then gobble like a dragon!
Enter. Frederick (speaks apart to the Prince)
Fred.

Your attendants wait their orders.

Prince.

Very well.

Enter. Florina.
Leop.

Florina, where's my daughter?

Flori.

I left her in the garden, Sir; I fancy she's reading in the jessamine alcove.

Leop.
[Page 9]

Hey, Don Frederick, don't you wish to see her? ay, ay, well, well, go—you hear she is in the jessamine alcove.

Flori.

Oh pray go, Sir, 'tis the sweetest place to make love in! sing her an amorous ditty, and the pretty little birds shall play up the symphonies.

Leop.

Hark ye! I'll play up a symphony with you, hussey, if you strike up your amorous ditties in my daughter's hearing—But go to her, Frederick, while I go and prepare for your wedding and some little fancies of my own to honour the Birth Day of my Prince. This night Seraphina shall be your wife; and to-mor­row morning, if you will go, there lies your way to court, and here lies mine to my groves and gardens.

Exeunt Leopold and Prince severally.
Flori.

Then at last the delicious moment is at hand, when we shall bid adieu to this crazy castle, these, insensible trees, these dismal groves, and melancholy gardens.

Fred.

You are weary of this place, hey!

Flori.

Weary of it?—that I am.

Fred.

Variety pleases you.

Flori.

Infinitely; I detest sameness, order and odious method; I delight in noise, hurry, [Page 10] shew, and rattling confusion.—Oh heavens, I've conceiv'd the most charming ideas of a Court!

Fred.

And you are a charming girl: you are form'd for a court—that graceful mien, this fine shape

[puts his hand gently round her waist]

that expressive sensibility of countenance, those speaking eyes, those ruby lips

[going to kiss her.]
Flori.

My lips are well enough: so let them alone, if you please,

[pushes him back]
Fred.

With all your gaiety, sprightliness and vivacity, such shining qualifications for good company, you cannot fail of success.

Flori.

Yes, I flatter myself there is a little something, a certain—inexpressive—that—ay, ay, my Je ne scai quoi will do the business.

AIR II.

Year wise men all declare
Of the thing so strange and rare,
The beautiful sublime in great nature's law,
A women bears the belle;
And why they cannot tell;
'Tis the mystical charms of the Je ne sçai quoi.
II.
The lovely town-bred dame,
Dear cause of many a flame,
Each smart swears he ne'er such a beauty saw.
[Page 11]Say what the lovers prize,
Coral lips or brilliant eyes?
No; the mystical charms of the Je ne sçai quoi.
III.
Behold the village maid,
By nature's hand array'd,
With her stockings green, and her hat of straw!
Is love in dimple sleek,
Or the roses of her cheek?
No; the mystical charms of the Je ne sçai quoi.

You and I are going to live in the same house: come, let us be open and candid! do you resolve to govern your master?

Fred.

Most certainly I will.

Flori.

Well, mind, take care that you do; for I am positively determined to govern my mistress: 'en't I right?

Fred.

Certainly; ay, and she'll be Well governed!

Flori.

Why yes, it isn't that I want to make a great fortune, that is, all at once; I'm not covetous or ambitious, but you know one must be a little vain, when one is plac'd with a lady [Page 12] who is wife to the Prince's favourite; my education may have been limited, but for all that, I hope to play my cards with such address, that I shall soon have a little court of my own.

Fred.

What a baggage!

(aside)

I dare say you will, and from this moment I put myself under your patronage and protection.

Flori.

Well, I shall take care of you; in­deed, at first you may be of some use to me.

Fred.

As how pray?

Flori.

Why, you must help me in collecting little intrigues, adventures, and anecdotes.

Fred.

Then I find you have no aversion to scandal.

Flori.

Why you know scandal is a waiting woman's most necessary qualification.

Fred.

You are an ingenious pretty little soul, that's the truth on't—oh! here comes my master.

Flori.

And my mistress; hey! they seem to have had a wrangle.

Fred.

Something's the matter indeed!

Flori.

Well come along, it's none of our business; let's leave them to themselves, for [Page 13] when two lovers fall out, they can always decide the quarrel without seconds.

Fred.

I was order'd by my master to attend him here.

Flori.

What, two to one against my mis­tress? Oh, then I'll stand by to see fair play.

Both retire to the back of the stage.
Enter Prince, affecting disorder and embarrassment, followed by Seraphina.
Sera.

Cruel Frederick! why did your valour save my life; your merit win my heart; when now you make your Seraphina wretched, by seeming so unhappy on the very day of our union?

Prince.

Oh heavens!

Sera.

You seem alarm'd: I ask the reason, you answer me with sighs, and look to heaven: Explain the cause of these emotions, or I'll in­stantly acquaint my father.

Prince.

Stay, Madam.

Sera.

Speak then: why am I treated thus?

Prince.

Just heaven, your indignation I de­serve, and with patience I submit: Oh Ser­aphina!

(With great emotion.)
Sera.

Speak, my Frederick.

(Weeps.)
Prince.
[Page 14]

Dry your tears, they fall for a wretch unworthy of your pity.

Sera.

Unworthy! You are worthy of my tenderest regard, my affection, my love.

AIR.

Sweetest passion of the mind,
Generous, noble, unconfin'd,
Sov'reign love that sways the soul,
Love is fate above controul.
Purest source of honour, truth,
Kind director of our youth;
This her precept—virtue prize;
Emulate the bless'd above,
To be worthy what you love!
Prince.

No more! this kindness but aggra­vates my guilt.

Sera.

Guilt!

Prince.

My perfidy.

Sera.

How?

Prince.

To you, Seraphina, I am a traitor; and when I disclose my treachery, your tender­ness of affection will turn to contempt and ab­horrence.

Sera.
[Page 15]

Betray'd by my Frederick?

Prince.

Listen to the story of my falshood, and then abandon me to the keen remorse which must for ever punish and torment me. Yesterday, having obtain'd the consent of my Prince for our marriage, Frederick, says he, from the fidelity by which I know you are attached to me, I make no doubt of your con­cern at my late inquietude of mind, and of your anxiety to know, and if in your power to remove the cause; cou'd you imagine it possi­ble that the portrait of a young lady, whom I never saw nor know, has made such a deep im­pression on my heart, that till I find her, till she's mine, your Prince must be unhappy! Here, behold, examine; see if nature ever form'd any thing so lovely, altogether such a combination of beauties! Here, take it, Frede­rick, I trust this precious picture to your care. Reply not: fly, my dear friend; search every where, and, if possible, find this adorable wo­man, this charming unknown! Judge, Sera­phina, judge of my astonishment, my grief, when I beheld—these, these are the features that have caught the Prince's heart; there is the picture that he trusted to my care.

(Gives the picture.)
Flori.
[Page 16]
(Looks over Seraphina's shoulder at the picture)

Lord, Madam, this is your own pic­ture!

[While Seraphina and Florina are looking at the picture, the Prince watches Sera­phina's countenance, and speaks apart to Frederick.]
Prince.

Frederick, I doubt her constancy: but desire my attendants to be in readiness.

Exit Frederick.
Sera.

'Tis indeed mine; the very picture that my father had drawn about a month after my return from the convent, and that he lost a few days after.

Prince.

And which fortune has thrown into the hands of the Prince; but instead of repay­ing his confidence with fidelity, instead of throw­ing myself at his feet and confessing that I was his rival, I endeavour'd to conceal my embar­rassment, and turn his passion aside; with a forc'd laugh I affected to rally his love for a person unknown; and, to cool his transport, urg'd that the picture might have flatter'd, that the original might not be living, that those fine features perhaps never existed but in the paint­er's fancy. In short, my perfidious jealousy left nothing unsaid that might prevent his cu­riosity [Page 17] from any further attempt to discover you.

Flori.
(Aside.)

You had little to do I think.

Prince.

Mad with the fear of having my treasure snatch'd from me, I flew to your fa­ther and urg'd him to hasten our marriage; I summon'd all my dissimulation to master my anxiety before him; but when I approach'd your presence, that unsuspecting innocence, that air of frankness and sincerity, even tri­umph'd over your charms; the tender and in­genuous joy you express'd at seeing me, when heaven itself had design'd you for a throne, confounded my intentions; I had no longer power to disguise the cruel conflict that agitated my soul. You, lovely Seraphina, perceived my emotions; your kind solicitude has produced this explanation; there now remains no more for me but to quit your presence, and for ever banish from your sight my shame, my guilt, and my confusion.

Flori.

Ay do, go along, and send the Prince to us.

Aside.
[Page 18] Enter Frederick.
Fred.

Sir, there's a courier arrived from court: he says he was ordered to make extraordinary haste, as he comes to you with news of very great consequence.

Prince.
(Affects much embarrassment)

News! heaven! the Prince has not discover'd—

Sera.

Go, Frederick, see what his business is.

Prince.
(Aside)

Aye, I see her love is extin­guish'd. Oh Seraphina, I have nothing to hope, and fear the worst.

Exeunt Prince and Fred.
Flori.

Well, men are all foxes, so cunning and so false. Now wou'dn't any body in the world have sworn that this Don Frederick's love was real?

Sera.

And after such a proof can I doubt the reality of his love?

Flori.

A pretty way of fhewing it, to de­prive you of a crown! O fie! He ought to be asham'd of himself. Dear Madam, at the first sight of the picture, a real lover would have cried out in a transport of joy, " My Prince, I know it; that's the picture of Donna Seraphina de Quintana; ay, and not half so handsome as that beautiful young lady. Oh Sir, if you were but to see her! Such an air, such a charming [Page 19] face! you'd declare, Sir, that not a woman in the world would so well become a throne." There, Madam; that would be the language of a true lover.

Sera.

Cease, Florina; my mind is tortured with cruel reflections.

AIR.

My dawn of life, how bright, how gay!
Blythe zephyrs play'd around:
Sweet Flora, Goddess of the May,
Came smiling on to cheer the day,
With roseate chaplets crown'd.
Tho' morn and noon new joys bestow,
While peace and love attend;
The smiling landscape changes now,
And fate alone can tell me how
The doubtful night must end.
Flori.

What an escape! what would have become of you if he had concealed his treach­ery till you were married? Dear Madam, I tremble to think of it.

Sera.

Prythee, peace; no more of this.

Flori.

You are right, Madam; I'm wrong; 'tis with the glory that awaits you I ought to entertain you. You'll soon be a Princess; after [Page 20] that be a Queen. Charming, delightful, transporting! the very thought gives extacy!

Sera.

Ah, Florina, you and I differ much in our opinion of the road to happiness.

DUETT III.

SERAPHINA.
Sweet content can banish strife,
Smooth the rugged paths of life,
Bless with joys the Sylvan scene,
Tranquil, happy, and serene!
FLORINA.
Youthful, sprightly, blooming Hope,
Cries—Florina, cease to mope!
Quit the lifeless grove and field,
Courts alone can pleasures yield!
SERAPHINA.
Peaceful joys!
FLORINA.
Rattling noise!
SERAPHINA.
Morning bright!
FLORINA.
Up all night!
SERAPHINA.
[Page 21]
Waterfalls!
FLORINA:
Routs and balls!
SERAPHINA:
Shepherds lutes!
FLORINA:
Fiddles and flutes!
SERAPHINA.
Give me love, end nothing's wanting!
FLORINA.
Give me love, and some gallanting!
BOTH.
Sera.
Those are the joys of the Sylvan scene.
Flor.
Those are the joys of the courtly scene.
END OF ACT FIRST.

ACT II.

The Outside of Don Leopold's Castle.
Enter Prince and Frederick.
Prince.

NOW, Frederick, now for the tri­al! and if I prove my Seraphina's mind, as pure as her person is charming, this day gives her my hand; and to-morrow, when presented to the King, my father, her beauty and her vir­tue must justify my choice, and give an added splendor to the court of Saragossa.

Fred.

Behold, my Lord, she comes, and her little Governess too—Ah, her councils do no great service to her mistress's cause.

Enter Seraphina and Florina.
Prince.

Madam, I am lost, undone; you've, now ample revenge: a particular friend at Sara­gossa [Page 23] has given me notice that the Prince him­self will be here in an hour.

Seraph.

The Prince!

Prince.

Yes, my good, my royal master, having heard of my approaching marriage, ever solicitous for my welfare and happiness, and lit­tle suspecting how much I've abus'd his confi­dence, has signified his royal pleasure that he'll honour the ceremony with his presence.

Seraph.

What a stroke of fortune!

Florina,

Ay, Madam, who can say that for­tune's blind, when she has now hit the nail on the head so nicely?

Seraph.

To-day, do you say, Frederick?

Prince.,

This day, this hour; every moment. I expect him; drawn hither by his friendship for me, he forsakes the court, even at the time when a happy people rejoices at the auspicious day that gave birth to their Prince, the darling of their hopes; and, as he imagines, to give me a more joyful surprise, I'm inform'd that he comes mask'd, with a few select friends, who Attend him from the palace.

Flori.

Mask'd! what a pity!—Oh, the dear, dear Prince, how I do long to see him!

Aside.
Seraph.

In the distress this accident has thrown me, what can I say to alleviate your [Page 24] grief? You know, Frederick, my will depends upon a father.

Prince.

I understand you, Madam.

Seraph.

To him my duty obliges me to sub­mit.

Prince.

Certainly, Madam, and no doubt but he has already order'd you to think of me no more.

Seraph.

My father loves me tenderly; we have no reason to imagine but that he'll order every thing for the best; I'll go seek him, and immediately acquaint you with his determina­tion.

Exit.
Prince.

Confusion!

Walks up the stage in disorder.
Fred.
(to Florina)

Well, what's you opini­on of this affair?

Flori.

Presently we'll acquaint you with Our determination.

Walks off very stately.
Prince.

There, Frederick! what think you now?

Fred.

As yet I cannot—

Prince.

Oh, I see plainly what I'm to ex­pect! Yes, yes, she's resolv'd to reject me; and you see with what art she endeavoured to pre­pare me for my dismission!—her father's deter­mination!—a mere excuse for her caprice, and sordid inconstancy.

Fred.
[Page 25]

Nay, my Prince, my dearest master, wait but a little, before your opinion totally condemns her.

Prince.

No more, Frederick! in vain you attempt her justification; but I shall have the pleasure of enjoying her confusion, when she comes to know me. Is my mask and domino ready?

(Frederick bows)

Ay, ay, to punish her infidelity, even if she did love me spite of the violence I do myself by such a'resolution; by Heavens she loses me for ever.

Exit.
Fred.

Yes; I begin myself to think her con­stancy's a little shaken—oh, now we shall know more.

Enter Fiorina.
Flor.

This is an unlucky accident for you master, young man!

Fred.

Unlucky! not a happier Gentleman in all Spain, if he can but secure the Prince's favour, and keep your mistress's heart.

Flor.

How do you mean to keep her heart?

Flori.

Why, if she prefers him to the Prince.

Flori.

And how can you think any wo­man capable of such a folly

Fred.
[Page 26]

Folly! hasn't she confest to Don Fre­derick that she lov'd him?

(Florina snaps her fingers)

Nay, didn't you yourself tell me how much the lov'd him?

Flori.

Love! ha, ha, ha! I like you for that! What a boy is your master to catch at such a bubble; and what a fool are you to talk of it! A young girl has fine notions of marriage, because it releases her from the convent; there­fore, the first good match that offers, receives her approbation: but if a better than that good match shou'd after present itself, sure that first approbation shou'd not be construed into love. No such thing, I tell you; and yet, you men exclaim, the perfidious woman! the false fair one! the cruel creature! Now that's so unrea­sonable, absurd, and ridiculous! ha, ha, ha!

Fred.

So, women first love only to be mar­ried, and afterwards hate for the very same reason! Ah! you are pretty toys indeed! and yet it is in the power of that alabaster face of your's to turn the head of the wisest statesman in Eu­rope.

Flori.

Oh heavens! from that lamentable tone, one would imagine that your head was in some danger from my alabaster face; oh! do say so, and you'l divert me; do, make me laugh, you creature!

[Page 27]

AIR.

Quick for a smile implore me:
Your Goddess sue!
How odd to view,
Such charms, and not adore me!
Tho' girls may boast more merit,
You'll ne'er hit on
A pretty one
Of more vivacity and spirit.
I'II rattle, I'll prattle,
I'll prattle, I'll rattle,
Ye creatures!
The toy for your money,
My word sweet as honey,
So roguish and funny
My features!
Gay bloom of opening roses,
And thousand fragrant posies,
Sly winking and blinking,
AS leering, and jeering,
So arch all!
For trust me, when love's drum
Beats come, come, come!
Hearts thumping,
Brisk, jumping,
Age pacing,
Youth racing,
[Page 28]Some hopping,
None stopping,
Ye march all!

Ha! ha! ha! oh lud! here comes Don Leopold.

Enter Don Leopold.
Flori.
[running to him]

Oh Sir! Sir! Sir!

Leop.

Well, Sir! Sir! Sir! what the deuce is the matter with the girl?

Flor.

Have you seen my mistress, Sir? did she tell you, Sir?

Leop.

Very odd!

Flori.

There, Sir! you find if you will not go to court, the court will come to you.

Leop.

Yes, I have heard of the retinue I am to expect under my roof.

Flori.

Yes, Sir, the Prince! the charming Prince!

Leop.
(to Frederick)

Oh, where's your master?

Fred.

Heaven knows, Sir; in his distracted state of mind a man cannot stay long in any one place.

Leop.

Yes, his mind can't be very easy, I suppose.

Fred.

Why, Sir, do you think my master so very blameable?

Leop.,
[Page 29]

Blameable! you'll see my friend, when the King's anger bursts upon him, that's all—you'll see—mark my words: now you will see the extent of court gratitude▪ Go find him, friend.

Fred.

I will, Sir: I don't know what to think of the old Gentleman.

Exit Frederick.
Flori.

But seriously now, Sir, don't be angry with me—now would you not be very much dis­pleased if Don Frederick had married my mis­tress?—yes, yes, I see your heart beat, your cheeks glow, your eyes twinkle at the thoughts of having your daughter a queen; oh, dear Sir! all your grandsons will be little Princes.

Leop.

Princes! their Grandfather's maxim is this; the greatest monarch that ever lived, will find sufficient glory in supporting properly the character of a Gentleman.

Flor.

Oh dear Sir! I have no patience! you that are as high in your notions as the best of them, ay, and as proud too as any Grandee in all Spain! Now Sir, confess: was not your sole motive for retiring from the court, because you would not stoop and cringe to those that thought themselves above you? but now, Sir, your pride will be gratified; instead of your making court to any body, now every body make court to you.

Leop.
[Page 30]

Girl, you are full of prate—go you to court: you are fit for no other place, just the thing, full of chat, with a vivacity that means nothing; you have articulations, tones, words, but not a scruple of common sense; made for a little self-important court gadder, to dangle, frisk, and hop about like an imper­tinent wag-tail as you are.

AIR.

When first an Arragonian maid
Is brought to Saragossa,
Of all she sees and hears afraid,
Her air is coarse and gross—a;
Stiff, formal, starch, reserv'd and coy,
She seems a very prude—a;
And while the courtier tempts to joy,
Cries, "fie! you shan't be rude—a!"
II.
But soon as cast in fashion's mould,
She's made a dame of honor;
Politely frank, genteelly bold,
No shyness rests upon her:
[Page 31]She paints, coquettes, and flirts her fan;
For now (the case revers'd, Sir,)
She's grown a match for ev'ry man,
And cries, "pray do your worst, Sir!"
Enter Prince (in Mask and Domino)with Frederick.
Prince.
(unmasks)

Now, Frederick, I hope and dread the fatal moment; it is with reluc­tance I put my Seraphina to this proof, which if I now decline, I feel that I shall still ima­gine there is something left undone, that might have ensured my lading felicity.

Fred.

Sir, as you have begun, finish your part with your wonted resolution.

Prince.

Now I assume my own person here; a mask I trust will alter my voice sufficiently, as they suspect no deception—she comes! we must not be seen together.

Enter Seraphina.
Prince.
(puts on his mask)

Where is Frede­rick?—but I presume this is his charming bride.

(Approaching to salute Seraphina, stops suddenly, effecting great surprise)

What do I see! is it [Page 32] possible! Are you, Madam, the Lady that Don Frederick is about to marry?

(Seraphina curtseys)

the dear original of the picture I trusted to his care? Persidious traitor! 'Twas but yesterday he undertook to find out the charming object, whose portrait captivated every sense, and made an impression on my heart never to be erased.

Sera

Sir! Can I believe—

Prince.

Oh, Madam, do not doubt a pas­sion the most tender and sincere.

Sera.

Sir, I shou'd have thought that the pursuit of a great Prince, the heir of Arragon, would have taken a nobler course, than to seek an humble recluse like me, and receive honour by conferring it, with his addresses, on some Princess, whose birth might dignify the throne that waits him; and whose alliance might ex­tend his fame, and add strength to the interest of his kingdom.

Prince.

'Tis for you that throne's reserv'd, which must receive lustre from your beauty. Doubtless 'twas providence that threw your picture in my way, that now sent me hither in the very moment you were going to be lost to me for ever! Heaven ordain'd you mine, and let your consent confirm its dispensation.

Sera.
[Page 33]

Sir, it wou'd be an idle affectation in me, to plead insensibility to the merits of a Prince, exalted by his virtues, even above the splendor of his birth.

Prince.

Amiable Lady! A thousand, thou­sand thanks for this generous frankness! But stop not there; oh, make me happy—declare that Frederick has not touch'd your heart, that you consented to marry him without love as without repugnance, free from inclination, but as he was the choice of your father.

Sera.

The choice of my heart.

Prince.

Madam!

Sera.

There my Frederick is enthron'd, ne­ver to be dispossessed.

Prince.

Oh rapture!

(Aside.)

What, a sub­ject preferr'd to me?

Sera.

To worlds! I love him—let that excuse a disobedience to my Prince, so foreign, to my wish.

AIR.

Ah, fond lover, sooth thy anguish,
Cease to grieve, ah cease to languish!
Since with your's I'll never part,
Keep and treasure up my heart;
[Page 34]Royal youth, ah cease to woo me!
Why with hopeless love pursue me?
Success thy wishes crowning,
Each tender vow disowning,
Tyrant fashion love dethroning,
True to Frederick I'll prove,
And reward his faithful love.

Suffer me, Sir, to retire, and acquaint my fa­ther, that you honour his castle with your pre­sence.

Prince.

One moment, Madam.

Sera.

In pity, Sir, do not force me to vio­late the respect that your rank demands; what can I say more? The instant I heard of your arrival, at my father's feet I implor'd his protec­tion; declar'd if he receded from his promise of my hand to Don Frederick, I'd shut myself from the world for ever.

Prince.

What, rather than renounce your lover, when a Prince—

Sera.

Frederick's dearer to my soul than every earthly blessing; his presence imparts more joy to me than the possession of crowns and sceptres could bestow.

Prince.
(Discovers himself.)

And all too little to repay a love, so pure, so generous.

Sera.
[Page 35]

What do I see!

Prince.

Behold your Prince! who under the borrow'd name of Frederick, beguil'd you of your heart.

Enter severally, Don Leopold, Florina, Frede­rick, and Courtiers.

There comes the real. Don Frederick.

Leop.

What's this!

Prince.

On my knees I solicit your hand, with all the extatic raptures of a lover. Don Leopold, I claim your promise.

Leop.

My Lord, I came hither to represent to you my prior engagement to Don Frederick, but little imagin'd 'twas to my Prince I had promis'd my daughter.

Prince.

I hope my being a Prince is no ob­jection?

Flori.

No, Sir; not the least objection.

(Curtseys.)
Leop.

Ha, ha, ha! the wench has spoke my thoughts, my Lord.

Flori.

Well, Madam, an't I right? for you know I said all along that you ought to have a Prince for your husband?

Sera.
[Page 36]

Yes, Florina; but if by your coun­sel I had rejected Don Frederick, I had proba­bly lost my Prince for ever.

Leop.

My Lord, I must entreat your pardon for some things I have said, which, on recollection. I think I might as well have left alone.

Prince.

No pardon without a penance, my good father-in-law; and that is, to accompany us to the Court.

Flori.

To Court! Oh, I'll answer for my master, my Lord, and we'll all go to Court.

Curtseys.
Leop.

Will you? Ah, my dear Lord, the Court now wou'd be a mortal restraint upon one of my age and humour. Peace, health, and an elbow chair, is all that an old man ought to wish for. I must only beg your Lordship's indul­gence to partake of the little amusements that I had prepar'd to celebrate your Birth-day, and the wedding of my daughter.

Prince.

I am honour'd by the affection of such a father; and every Monarch must esteem the loyalty of such a subject.

Leop.

Frank and free as I am, I am a true and loyal subject, Sir. I honour you, and love my Seraphina; and such is your virtue, such your filial affection, that I am sure you will join [Page 37] in the wish, with which I commence our festi­val.

Prince.,

Express your wish, and be assur'd of our concurrence.

Leop.

May the present great and good pos­sessor of the throne, and his amiable consort, reign for many, many years, the delight of his family, and a blessing to his People!

FINALE.

Don Leopold, Seraphina, and Florina.
GRAND CHORUS.
Hail, happy people, now rejoice!
Sweet viols tune, exalt your voice!
And swell the choral lay:
Fame cries, behold, a Prince is born!
Then hail the fair auspicious morn!
And bless his natal day!
CHORUS of WOMEN.
Our blooming hope, our infant rose,
In all its promis'd glory blows,
Our joy, our pride confess'd!
GRAND CHORUS.
[Page 38]
Fame cries, &c. &c. &c.
Hail! gracicus, Royal, happy pair,
Hail, happy kingdom, Royal heir,
Be ever, ever bless'd!
GRAND CHORUS.
Hail, happy people, &c. &c. &c.
THE END.

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