THE RIVAL CANDIDATES: A COMIC OPERA In Two ACTS; AS IT IS NOW PERFORMING AT THE THEATRE ROYAL IN DRURY-LANE.

By the Rev. HENRY BATE.

LONDON: Printed: Sold by T. BECKET, corner of the Adelphi-buildings, in the Strand; and by W. GRIFFIN, No. 6, Catharine-street, M,DCC,LXXV.

ADVERTISEMENT.

THE RIVAL CANDIDATES is an attempt of the dramatic kind, undertaken by the writer from no motive of literary vanity, but in order to introduce to the world, a young musical composer, whose taste he conceived might do honour to his profession.

The reformer of the English drama no sooner was informed of him, than he kindly consented to an early trial of his abilities, and discovered a ge­nerous anxiety for his success.

The author arrogates to himself but a moderate share of that universal applause with which his piece has been received, particularly when he re­collects how much of it is derived from the kind attention of Mr. GARRICK, in the double capaci­ty, of friend, and manager;—and what immense claims those respectable persons have, who fill his little canvass with such credit to themselves, and their profession. To single out any one of these celebrated performers, when all so kindly com­bined to produce, what is deemed a striking repre­sentation in the comic style, would be a task un­pleasing as ungenerous. And therefore, as they have been equally zealous in their endeavours, as happy in the execution of their several characters, he wishes them, jointly to accept, the returns of a grateful heart.

DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

BYRON,
Mr. Vernon.
Sir HARRY MUFF,
Mr. Dodd.
GENERAL WORRY,
Mr. Parsons.
SPY,
Mr. Weston.
FIRST GARDENER,
Mr. Bannister.
UNDER GARDENERS,
  • Mr. Kear,
  • Mr. Fawcett.
NARCISSA,
Mrs. Baddely.
JENNY,
Mrs. Wrighten.
SCENE, A COUNTRY VILLA, &c.

To Mrs. GARRICK.

MADAM!

PERHAPS you were not aware, when you were kind enough to shew an early counte­nance to the following petite OPERA, that so in­dulgent an overture, entitled it in some measure to your future patronage; indeed, notwithstand­ing this circumstance, you might probably have escaped the present mortifying situation, had not the author conceived, that his piece owes no in­considerable share of its dramatic effect to your taste and judgment:—hence arose an appeal to his feelings, too powerful to be treated with silent indifference.—

I mean not, however, to alarm your delicacy, by a recital of those accomplishments, which have long rendered you an ornament of the most fashionable circles;—nor by recounting those private virtues, which stamp you one of the first patterns of domestic felicity; facts however agree­able or instructive they might prove to society, I decline enumerating, in compliment to female diffidence.

[Page] Having therefore made the acknowledgement I conceive due upon this occasion, it is high time for me frankly to confess, that vanity had some influence over me, when I presumed to think of Mrs. GARRICK for the patroness of this my FIRST ESSAY.

I remain Madam, with great respect, Your most obedient, and devoted Servant, HEN. BATE.

[Page] THE RIVAL CANDIDATES.

ACT. I SCENE I.

A Hall in General WORRY'S house, adorned with mili­tary trophies; through the folding doors of which, is seen a part of the garden.
NARCISSA and JENNY.
Jenny.

—INDEED ma'm I don't like to go near him:—besides, what the deuce should he want with me?

Nar.

Oh some fresh complaints, I'll warrant you:—but I desire you'd go.

Jenny.

Lud ma'm! he's such an old suspicious mor­tal, that I can do no good with him:—and its a shame to throw away good reasoning, and fine sentiment, upon so unfeeling a—

Nar.

Prithee, don't be tristing now, girl, but go to him, and let us know the worst.

Jenny.

Well, to oblige you, ma'm, I'll venture any thing.

[Exit Jenny.
[Page 2] Narcissa alone.

Why was I doom'd to envy the free-born villager?—or what do I derive from fortune or education, but reflections, which render my confinement insupport­able.—The family quarrel which separates me from the man I love, and my father's unreasonable suspi­cions lie heavy on my spirits:—deny'd even to breathe that pure air, which nature designed as a common bles­sing to all her creatures!—Surely the time will come when I shall regain my liberty, and my Byron have an opportunity of resuming the tender subject of his pas­sion, so cruelly cut off in its infancy.

AIR I. Mrs. Baddely.
Soft FANCY thou truant to me,
My summons oh quickly obey!
Neglected by BYRON and thee,
How heavily passes the day!
Thy charms I've mistaken for Love's,
So artfully dost thou beguile,
Thy magic enlivens the groves,
When he has forgotten to smile!
Enter JENNY hastily.
Jenny.

Oh dear, ma'm!—charming news, ma'm!

Nar.

Thou art a mad girl:—but what is the cause of this transport?

Jenny.

Lud m'am! as I hope to live and breath, your papa is going down to the borough to vote for his friend, Mr. Indigo, the Nabob, and his nephew, Sir Harry Muff, the sweet spark that lines his clothes with fur in the dog-days—and your lover that is to be—

Nar.
[Page 3]

My love that is to be!—but prithee go on—

Jen.

And so, ma'm, he has given us leave to divert ourselves in the plantations, till he returns:—he sent Spy in search of you, to tell you of it before he saw me.

Nar.

Indeed!

Jen.

Yes, indeed, and indeed, Ma'm!—I wish I could let somebody know of it, that—he might pay us a visit.

Nar.

That's impossible, Jenny:—but soft!—here comes my father's cabinet counsellor.

Enter SPY.
Nar.

—Well, Sir, what's your business?

Spy.

Business, madam!—no great matter of busi­ness truly; only his worship ordered me to tell you, that he was going to the election at Tipplewell; and so if you thought fit, you and Mrs. Jenny might re­create yourselves in the pleasure grounds (as it's a fine day) till he returns.

Jen.

There's kindness for you, madam!

Spy.

But he charg'd me to tell you, he'd have no lolling out of the summer-house window that looks to the high-road;—nor no singing, for fear you should scare the wild-ducks that are hatching in the island;—nor no—

Jen.

—Opening our eyes, I suppose, for fear we should see any thing in the shape of a man!—now your bolt's shot!—Your master's very kind truly, af­ter depriving us of every enjoyment for three months past, he now sets a dish before us, and generously tells us we must not taste of it.

Spy.
[Page 4]

Why you know, Mrs. Jenny, I would refuse you nothing; not even if you were to take a liking to me myself.

Jen.

That would be a fine dish indeed!

Nar.

Come, come, no more of this; you may tell your master, I think myself obliged to him, even for this limited indulgence:—what does the fellow stand so like a statue for?

Spy.

I only waits to let you in, that's all.

Nar.

You may save yourself that trouble, by giving the keys to my maid.

Jen.

Come give them to me, Sir.—

Spy.

—But axing your pardon, Miss Narcissa, that's not the case neither; I was ordered to lock the garden doors after you, and carry the keys back to your papa.

Nar.

Lock us in, for what?

Jen.

Ay, for what, Sir?

Spy.

For—for—oh!—only for fear the turkies should get in, and eat up all the strawberries, that's all.

Nar.

I understand my father's cruel suspicions; but thou hast more delicacy than thy master; go open the gates.

[Exit Spy.
Jen.

Now, ma'm!—if Mr. Byron be the gentle­man I take him for, he'll find it out some how or other that the old gentleman has left his watch, and be here in the twinkling of an eye.—

Nar.

Ah Jenny! 'tis three long weeks—

Jen.

So it is Ma'm, since he blew you the last kiss from the orchard-wall, by moonlight:—I'm sure it [Page 5] almost melted my heart, it was sent up with such a deep sigh:—poor young gentleman!—I wish I was not of so tender a constitution myself in these cases.

Nar.

Heigh day!—why I shall look upon thee as my rival presently:—Well, I must confess girl, that Byron finds in thee a powerful advocate, and I, a faithful con­fidante: I hope we shall be enabled to reward thy fidelity.

Jen.

I should be sufficiently repaid, Ma'm, in seeing you happy:—dear me! if he would but come now and offer himself a candidate here, we might have a snug little election of our own:—he should have my vote, and if I know any thing of eyes, I don't think, but you'd immediately return him.

Nar.

Faith, I cannot swear that I wou'd not, Jenny.

Jen.

Lord, Ma'm!—I can easily clamber over the pales if they do lock us in:—let me go then, and see if I can find him any where.

Nar.

Heavens, girl, not for the world!—after such an imprudent advance on my part, I need not wonder if a cool indifference should succeed on his: for I have been told, Jenny, that men always set a value upon a conquest, in proportion to the ease, or difficulty with which it is obtain'd:—and yet I long to see him!—but come, I am impatient to enjoy once more the beauties of nature: I am going into the drawing-room for my book; you'll find me at one of my favourite seats, where I really long to rest myself.

[Exit Nar.
JENNY, alone.

Poor young lady!—I wonder she holds it out so long: no sleep o'nights, and her little heart hurry scurry, hurry scurry! all day:—the deuce take the men say I, for a pack of unfeeling numskulls; they are all alike— [Page 6] wonderfully loving, when locks and bars are between; but if you give 'em a favourable opportunity, not one in ten of them has the brains to make use of it.

AIR II. Mrs. Wrighten.
Fie! fie! silly man,
Your soft nonsense forego,
No heart you'll trepan
With your sighing—heigho!
For that's not the way a fond damsel to woo;
A truce to your whining,
Your sobbing, and pining;
But press her!
Caress her!
The business is done, and she'll soon buckle too.
[Exit Jenny.

SCENE II.

Enter GENERAL WORRY, discovering JENNY as she goes off.
Gen.

There's a baggage for you now!—Zounds! if I had stole a march upon her a minute sooner, I should have catch'd 'em out!—Damme, if the life I now lead is not more perilous, than when I was upon the coast of France, and expected a mine to be sprung upon me every step I advanced.—A sine bouncing girl, scribbling dying songs, and love letters, from morning till night, and snivelling day after day for Liberty, in order to run away with some scape-grace, who'll cut my throat to get in for my fortune;—and an abigail, crafty enough to debauch the morals of a Lapland vir­gin!—It's too much for an invalid of sixty-five!—But, upon second thought, there can come no great harm on letting them out for a little while:—besides it will give Narcissa a bloom against I bring Sir Harry home with me:—

[Enter SPY, whistling, and leading a large mastiff.
Spy.

Here, Dragon! Dragon!

Gen.

Well Spy!—what have you let 'em out?

Spy.

Yes, your honor's worship, I let 'em loose:—it would have done your heart good to see 'em: they jump'd and frisk'd about, for all the world, like rabbits in a warren.

Gen.

But did you double-lock all the gates?

Spy.

Yes, your honor: and I've unmuzzled Dragon, and am going to let him loose in the back yard.

Gen.
[Page 8]

Well, that's right; but suppose they should clamber over the pales and elope? I've heard of such things in my time!

Spy.

So have I; but they must scramble deucedly if they do:—indeed, for the matter of that, Mrs. Jenny has a fine stride with her.

Gen.

Are you sure now, Spy, that you've seen no suspicious kind of body lurking about the grounds this week past?

Spy.

Not a soul, indeed, your honor; nor can I track any thing but the foot of farmer Brown's Tom cat, that comes caterwauling after Miss Narcissa's Tabby; and, if I catch him, I fancy I shall stop his rambles.

Gen.

Well then, all's well!—but I'm wasteing time here—I'll set out—nothing should have tempted me from home, but the fear of affronting my old friend Indigo:—Sir Harry will have a fine estate, in a ring-fence, close to mine,—he's worth a little powder.—Come Spy, you and Dragon to your posts:—you must have an hawk's eye upon 'em;—and be sure you don't tipple upon guard:—behave like a soldier to day, and I'll give you leave to get drunk to morrow by day break.

Spy.

Thank your honor, I'll take you at your word:

[going returns]

your worship

[pointing to Dragon]

we are a pair of staunch friends, or deadly enemies.

[Exit with Dragon.]
Gen.

—Now I recollect, there is certainly a conspi­racy against me, for I traced a man's foot upon the-tulip-bed, a full inch longer than Spy's or any of the gardeners.—If I find her out, I don't know what I shall do in my passion!—perhaps take a second rib, and get a son and heir to disinherit her!

AIR III. Mr. Parsons.
What new curses spring up,
To replenish man's cup,
Tho' heaven in pity has borrowed his wife!
His daughter will grieve him,
With plots to deceive him:
But mine!—oh, I'll match her
The first time I catch her,
Attempt, a young jade, to embitter my life!
[Exit.

SCENE III.

NARCISSA discovered on a garden seat reading:—JENNY entering hastily to her with a bird.
Jen.

Law, ma'm!—I have caught the sweetest little linnet in the green-house, that ever you saw in all your born days:—how it's little heart goes pit-a-pat!—only look at it, ma'm:—

Nar.

Depriv'd of liberty myself, I cannot behold the pretty captive without emotion:—prithee, let it go:—

Jen.

But perhaps we may never catch it again, ma'm:—and I want to hang it up as a companion to my little bull-finch.

Nar.

The generous find more true delight in resto­ring their prisoners to freedom, than in all the advan­tages they derive from their captivity:—Pretty spor­tive creatures!—tho' we envy them their liberty, ne­ver let it be said, that we invade the smallest of their little privileges.

[While the symphony is playing, Jenny releases the bird.]
AIR IV. RONDO. Mrs. Baddely.
Love unfetter'd is a blessing
Nature's commoners enjoy;
Source of raptures past expressing,
Which no tyrant laws destroy.
[Page 11] Come ye songsters! wing around me,
Tell me all ye know of love:
Watchful of your young you've found me;—
—Hark! they carol thro' the grove,
[Love unfettered, &c. D. CAPO.
Jen.

Ay, ma'm!—and I'd be as free as the lark myself, if I had the fortune that you'll have, and not be mew'd up any longer.

Nar.

But there's such a thing as reputation, Jen­ny;—and my father never fails to tell me, 'tis to be preserved but by prudence and philosophy.

Jen.

Philosophy! what the deuce does he mean by that?

Nar.

That I should subdue all my feelings I sup­pose, in compliment to his.

Jen.

Is that his philosophy?—oh never think of it, ma'm, 'till you can think of nothing else.—I dare swear your papa never thought any thing about it, 'till he found himself a philosopher against his will.

AIR V. Mrs. Wrighten.
Since his worship forsooth,
Having lost his sweet tooth,
Forbids you Love's feast
Which no more he can taste,
Be advis'd, and he'll find you a tartar!
Talk of lovers to vex him:
Intrigue to perplex him:—
What give nature the lye?
By my stars would not I!
'Though I dy'd the next moment her martyr.
Nar.
[Page 12]

There's something of reason in that girl;—or rather, there's something in it I believe that flat­ters my own inclinations:—be that as it may;—me­thinks if Byron were present, I should not hesitate to fly with him any where.

Jen.

Lud ma'm! if you could but behold yourself this moment, you'd see the charming difference be­tween a despairing damsel, and one who loves with spirit:—for my part, I always think it time enough for a woman to despair, when you may count her age by her wrinkles.

Nar.

Thy pleasantry, girl, generally carries conso­lation along with it:—Well! tho' I cannot but some­times lament his absence, yet I receive comfort from thy council, which tells me, I shall one day or other see a reverse of fortune:—Oh! how transporting the idea, Jenny!

AIR VI. Mrs. Baddely.
Thus the midnight tempest raging
Strikes the sailor with dismay,
Furious winds, and waves engaging,
Banish every hope of day!
But at dawn, their wrath subsiding,
Ocean wears a tranquil face;
Joy, through every current gliding
Calms his bosom into peace.
Jen.

Hush! hush!—As I hope to be married, yon­der's that arch-mongrel Spy upon the watch behind the mulberry-tree there;—and now he's coming this [Page 13] way:—what if I could prevail upon him to go down to the election, and make me deputy turnkey.

Nar.

That's impossible; he gets too much by watching us, to give up his post for nothing.

Jen.

Do you call love nothing?—Consider what you feel yourself, madam, and then think of poor Spy's sufferings.—Ha! ha! ha!—he's dying for me; and so if he won't betray every body else to obey me, he shall dangle upon that willow before I give him a single grain of hope;—however, take your book, and go rest yourself in your favourite bower near the fountain, while I try the power of my charms.—He must give up his master or me: so don't fear our suc­cess.

Nar.

Prosper thee my faithful girl!

[Exit Nar.
Enter SPY.
Spy.

Your servant, Madam Jenny:—its a blessed fine day, and you're all alone, I see.—I am with you indeed,—but then I'm nobody, Mrs. Jenny, unless you'd smile upon me.

Jen.

Smile upon you, Mr. Spy?—you are nobody indeed;—can an English-woman, and a friend to li­berty and the rights of the constitution, smile upon a creature—

Spy.

Creature!—am I a creature, Mrs. Jenny?—why you make me as bad as Dragon.

Jen.

You are worse, Mr. Spy: he's a dumb crea­ture, and knows no better;—but you can talk, and talk finely, Mr. Spy.

Spy.

Thank you for that, Mrs. Jenny:—to be sure I can talk a little when I am half cock'd.

Jen.
[Page 14]

Fie for shame! then, Mr. Spy!—Fie for shame!—Can a freeborn woman like myself, who would give up my life, nay more—perhaps my ho­nour for my country—

Spy.

That is noble indeed!

Jenny.

—Shall I smile upon a creature, who, whilst his country's rights are in danger at the election of Tipplewell, can meanly, and ingloriously stay at home to watch the motions of two innocent young ladies, when he shou'd be huzzaing, drinking, and breaking windows, for liberty and property?—

Spy.

Indeed, and so I should:—how her fine speeches melt a body!

Jen.

O fie for shame, Mr. Spy!—never ask for my smiles. My smiles, my hand, and my heart shall be given to a man only, and an Englishman.

Spy.

I am both a man and an Englishman:—but what signifies all that, when I've no money in my pocket:—if I had but one piece of silver to prime me with a little, no man should stand firmer by you and his country, than little Spy would.

Jen.

You shant want for that then, tho' its the only companion to my silver thimble:—here Mr. Spy.

[gives him money.
Spy.

Now one little roguish smile, that I'd give a thousand of these for,—and the keys are your own.

Jen.

Dearest Mr. Spy

[courtesying and smiling]

I thank you!

Spy.

Had they been the keys of the strong beer cel­lar, you should have had 'em!—thus I surrender up the garrison for the present,

[giving her the keys]

and now to protect the laws, liberties, and property of Old England:

[going, returns.]

—Perhaps, Mrs. Jenny, [Page 15] I may return bold enough to intreat another favor,—may I hope?

Jen.

A patriot may hope—never to sigh in vain!

Spy.

That's noble again!—I'll only step and mount my gaters, and return in an instant;—you shall let me out at the back gate, and I'll whisk down to the borough as quick as a nine-pounder

That—for my master!—by your smiles I'm blest,
Ale! love! and liberty, now fire my breast.
[Exit Spy.
JENNY laughing.

Ha! ha! ha! there's a pretty fool now!—If the fate of a kingdom had depended upon it, the gudgeon would have bit just the same.—Let short-sighted poli­ticians say what they will about the power of money, a little well-dissembled love will go farther, take my word for it.

[Exit Jenny.

SCENE IV.

A perspective view to the General's park; on an oak tree near the paling of which is the usual inscription of—Men traps, and spring guns, &c.
Enter BYRON.

By this time the old buck is lost in the general uproar of an election.—What a lucky dog was I to catch a glimpse of him as he pass'd along the road!—let him choose whom he pleases,—I am happy that I refus'd the solicitations of my friends, as my success would but have increased his resentment.—Give me, kind Fortune, but thy voice in Love's soft election, and I care not who are the representatives of a tumultuous borough!—but here's the blest retreat of my Narcissa.

AIR VII. Mr. Vernon.
How oft through this responsive grove
Has softest echo told my tale!
When e'er she caught my notes of love,
She gently bore them down the vale!
The scene renew'd, my wakeful breast
Now joyful beats to love's alarms;
Ye powr's who pity the distrest,
Transport me to Narcissa's arms!

[Page 17]—Heighday!—

[discovering the inscription]

—what new bugbear have we here?—‘"Men-traps and spring-guns set in these grounds DAY and NIGHT."’—Well done general!—Indeed you plann'd things a little better last war, or we should not have heard so much of your exploits:—ha! ha! ha!—such a de­vice might secure your ducks and geese, but not the game I'm in pursuit of, I assure you:—so with my cousin Ranger—Up I go!—up I go!—

[getting upon the pales.]

—there—now if the Cyprian deity, has not taken care to draw all the charges of his spring-guns, and blunt the teeth of his steel-traps, I'm mistaken in my goddess!—So love and fortune go with me.

[jumps over.

ACT II.

SCENE V.

JENNY alone.

I Knew I could coax him to make a fool of him­self, and give me the keys:—Hark! did not I hear something? No; I believe it was only the noise of the cascade: but it put my heart into my mouth!—Egad, if Miss Narcissa was to be catch'd sleeping—and the poor thing takes a very sound nap—there would be a fine spot of work; but I believe there's no great danger, for the gardeners can't be come back from the election yet:—Well, I'll e'en take a run across the green, and see if I can spy him for her.—Pretty creatures I should like to bring them together!—and for all she's so sly, and looks so demure, my word for it she'll have no objection.—If all women were like me, they'd cut the matter very short, for my tongue and my heart always go together.

AIR VIII. Mrs. Wrighten.
Fine ladies may tell us
They hate pretty fellows,
Despise little Cupid—his quiver, and dart,
But when love's only by,
Not a prude will deny,
That man tho' a tyrant's the lord of her heart.
So bewitching a creature!
So noble each feature!
My bosom commands me to take his dear part;
Then how can I conceal
What my eyes will reveal?—
That he must, and he will be—the lord of my heart.

SCENE VI.

BYRON discovered in an attitude of surprise, beholding NARCISSA asleep in a Jessamin bower.
Byr.

—Surely my eyes deceive me!—or is it some sleeping Naiad of the neighbouring floods?—No; 'tis her! 'tis my Narcissa's beavenly form, harmonious form'd by nature's matchless hand!

AIR IX. Mr. Vernon.
My bosom's on fire!
It throbs with desire,
Say whither ye gods shall I fly?
Love presses my stay;
But should I obey,
To my passions a victim I die.
[going, returns.

—But stay:—thus will I obey the dictates of honor as well as love. Thanks to love and the de­scriptive author of the Seasons.

[Takes a card from his pocket, and writes]

—there:—in atonement for the innocent trespass on thy soft repose, I will be­come thy watchful guardian, and protect thee from the eye of any rude observer:—but soft! my eager trans­port has disturb'd her:—she wakes—and see she shrinks even at nature's voice;—alarm'd, and blush­ing at the doubtful breeze! I must conceal myself.

[He retires behind a tree.
[Page 21] NARCISSA awaking.
Nar.

—Methought I heard some human voice! These sleepless eyes, wearied with perpetual watchings, betrayed me ito slumber:—Sure no eye profane peep'd thro' yon close recess, and in my unguarded mo­ments—Ah! what's here?

[seeing the card]

—then I'm undone.

[Comes forward and reads.]
—"Sleep on my fair,
"Yet unbeheld, save by the sacred eye
"Of faithful love: I go to guard thy haunt,
"To keep from thy recess each vagrant foot,
"And each licentious eye!"
[After a pause of wonder]

—It is—it is my Byron's well-known hand!—then why these mixt emotions hard to be describ'd? why heaves my labouring breast, except to bid eternal welcome to its long-lov'd lord?—No, my Byron, no! thy virtuous merit shall go no longer unrewarded:—but where is he?—fled!—assist me then love's favourite muse, that thus expressing my own feelings, I may alleviate the severity of his.—

[She writes and sings
AIR X. Mrs. Baddely.
Dear youth my fond heart you have won,
Tis a truth, that it cannot deny;
Love's fetters have made us but one,
Then tell me,—ah! why didst thou fly?
[Page 22]My hand shall thy honour repay,
As witness this amorous sigh!
So believe me when hither you stray,
You need not,—
[Byron discovering himself sings—I never will fly!
Nar.
[dropping the card]

Heavens defend me!

Byr.

Forgive me, lovely maid, for thus breaking in upon those angelic strains:—if I have mistaken their sweet harmonious burthen, I am sufficiently punished for my presumption.

Nar.
[beholding him affectionately]

My faithful Byron!—why should my tongue deny, what my looks, sighs, and every action of my life proclaim?—In the infancy of affection, hypocrisy may be merit; but when love is assured of love, concealment would be folly, and prudery a crime.

AIR XI. Mrs. Baddely and Mr. Vernon.
NAR.
—Here I plight a maiden's vow!—
BYR.
—By thy beauteous self I swear!—
NAR.
Thou shalt be my guardian now!
BYR.
Thou shalt be my only care!
DUET.
Here we plight, &c.—
[Page 23] Enter JENNY hastily.
Jen.

Oh, stop your piping!—who the deuce would have thought of seeing you here—

[to Byron

—Your papa, m'am, is this moment return'd, and Sir Harry Muff along with him; they'll be in at the gate in the twinkling of an eye!

Nar.

Oh we are undone then, what shall we do?

Byr.

How for your sake shall I avoid them?

Jen.

Oh dear m'am, I have it!—run both of you with me into the temple, and I'll bolt you in safe enough:—I've been forced to play at bo-peep with him there a hundred and a hundred times before now myself—in! in! in!—

[Exeunt to the temple.

SCENE VII.

Gen. WORRY, and Sir HARRY MUFF.
Sir Harry.

No Sir;—these things never give a moments uneasiness to a man of the world, Sur mon hone ur.

Gen.

No?—What the devil, be kick'd out of your birthright by an impudent young scoundrel, the second son of an obstinate fool of a baronet, and not take fire at it? You'd make a damn'd fine soldier!—

Sir Harry.

We take fire at nothing, Gen. Worry: You fine gentlemen of the last century, wore yourselves out with your gunpowder passions before you were men:—for example, your fire has burnt you to the bone, General; so that you are in reality, nothing but a collection of tinder and touchwood.

Gen.

Damme, you've not a single spark of fire in your whole composition.

Sir Harry.

Passion of any kind agitates the human frame most horribly; and therefore we of the high ton have no passions at all; indeed our lives may be pro­perly stiled, a kind of agreeable vegetation.

Gen.

Agreeable vegetation!—what a devil of a husband will this fellow make?

[aside.
Sir Harry.

But I'm all agog for a sight of your deli­cious daughter—they tell me she's a fine cretur; is she any thing like Maria?—

[Taking off his hat]
Gen.

What the devil has he got there?—A picture in his hat instead of a button!

Sir Harry.

—Apropos, has Narcissa good teeth?

Gen.
[Page 25]

What the devil will he ask me next?

[aside]

I'll answer for't, she'll do your table no discredit, if that's all;—but zounds—

Sir Harry.

Table! why my dear General, we do not understand each other:—Do you seriously imagine, that teeth in this enlighten'd age, like your green handled knives and forks, are mechanically constructed for eat­ing?

Gen.

Why, what the devil would you have 'em con­structed for?

Sir Harry.

Quel sauvage!

(aside)

why General, if you must know, the teeth belonging to persons of fa­shion, are tortur'd into beauteous semi-circles, and po­lish'd thrice a day for the admiration of the beholders.

Gen.

And that's the reason, I suppose, why our fine Gentlemen are always upon the broad grin;—a set of slop dawdle puppies!

Sir Harry.

Why, do you really think, General, that I should cut so capital a figure in a fashionable grin, if I had delv'd all my days in tough, old English roast beef?

Gen.

I tell you, I neither know nor care:—but one thing I fancy you'll find, that my daughter will not easily be prevailed upon to give up her notions of sub­stantials, in compliment to your delicate appetite.

Sir Harry.

Oh leave that to me, General.—I shall soon make a convert of her; or why have I scaled the lofty Alps, and swept the aromatic vales of blest Italia:—if Narcissa is fortunate enough to have a gusto for poetry and music, I shall make a rapid conquest.

Gen.

Damn your music and poetry! for both of you together, would turn Worry-Hall into a mad-house.

[aside.)
Sir Harry.
[Page 26]

You must know, General, that the Muses all Nine, smil'd upon my birth, and Apollo stood god­father to me by proxy.

Gen.

Damme, but I believe he's touch'd!

[aside.
Sir Harry.

I have written a song, that has made a little noise in the polite world;—and tach'd the crot­chets to it myself.

Gen.

His crotchets!—Oh he's past recovery.

[aside.
Sir Harry.

—Nay, the Scavoire vivre, of which I've the honour to be a member, forc'd their annual prize upon me for the composition.—You must know, we were rallied a little upon a certain occasion by the fe­male wits of the Coterie:—so you may guess who was fix'd upon for our literary champion.

(affectedly)

You shall have it, though it will lose much of its effect, from the pressure of an English atmosphere, upon the deli­cate organs of my pipe.

General

(walking about hastily,)

mad as a March hare!

AIR XII. Mr. Dodd.
Ladies in vain,
Why entertain,
Hopes to bewitch us with loves artful wiles?
Cease to do so
Since you all know,
We have his patent for dimples and smiles.
Gentler beaux that pow'r possessing
Yield no more to your alarms,
Each his scented self caressing,
Quite enamour'd with his charms!
[Page 27]Pretty playthings all adieu!
Now dissolve in am'rous sighs,
We a softer clime pursue,
Froze too long beneath your eyes.
Da Capo.
Gen.

—Pshaw! damn your singing, it may be very fine, but I'm not in a humour to relish it:—I'm touch'd to the quick at being flung by the Byrons;—and yet you seem to mind it no more, than the loss of a match of billiards.

Sir Harry.

My dear General, be compos'd as I am;—and don't fret yourself in this absurd manner:—

Gen.

I won't be compos'd;—damme, but I will fret myself!—Indeed if I was of your cucumber like dispo­sition, you might expect to find me as fine a piece of still life, agreeable vegitation as yourself; but—no, no, no, Sir!—

Sir Harry.

Now indeed, General, I mean to resent their treatment; and to shew you I'm in earnest, I'll lodge a petition against them by this light.

Gen.

Ay; why there you are right, for your grounds are good enough:—

Sir Harry.

'Pon honour, General, you shall be com­manding officer for the day.

Gen.

If that's the case, I have a plan:—but I'm so tir'd:—walk with me into the temple, and I'll tell it to you:—I am sure we shall discover some under­hand dealings of this young rascal's at the bottom, and don't doubt of bringing it home to him.

(finding the doors fast)

—What the devil's the meaning of this?—why the door's fasten'd within.—

[listens at the key-hole]

—Zounds! here are some villains concealed with a [Page 28] design to rob the house; listen, Sir Harry,

(Sir Harry puts his ear to the door)

here Robbin! Matthew! Jerry!—why, where the devil are these scoundrels got to?

Sir Harry.

Why really, General, I do hear a kind of confederate buz:—

[Enter Robbin.
Rob.

What's your honour's will?

Gen.

Here, break open the door directly:—some thieves have hid themselves withi n side!—

Rob.

Have they, your worship?—then we'll soon have them out.—Come along my boys!

(Enter Mat. and Jerry.)

—Thieves in our garden! we'll let 'em know that nobody shall encroach upon our privileges, without a good ducking, however:—

[They burst open the door with their spades, and discover Byron:—the gardeners laugh.]
Gen.

—Hell and the devil! what have we got here?—your servant, Mr. Byron:—I give you joy of your election, Sir!—

(sneeringly)

—how compos'd the ras­cal stands!—what, I suppose, you are a stick of agree­able vegitation too?

Sir Harry.

This is rather too much, damme! upon his return for one borough, to be canvassing for ano­ther:—Don't you smoak a pettycoat, General?

[The General looking inquisitively.]
Byr.

Gentlemen, my present situation prevents me from returning your raillery:—

Gen.

Fire! and smoke! my daughter's maid Jenny!—why hussy, how dare you be lock'd up with such a rake as this.

Jen.

Law Sir! the gentleman only ask'd to see the temple, and so I thought there was no harm in shewing it him.

Sir Harry.
[Page 29]

Comingly kind, by all that's plump, and lovely!

Gen.

How the devil did he get in when the gates were all lock'd?—but it's a lye, hussy, he came caterwauling after you; but get about your business, you jade! you shan't stay in my house another mi­nute!—

Byr.

Nay then, Sir, I hope it will not offend you, since it can no longer be concealed, if I produce the most delicate testimony of our innocence.—

[Stepping back discovers Narcissa.]
Sir Harry.

Doublets by this light!

Gen.

Narcissa! Traytor! deliver up my daughter, whom you have seduced, that I may punish her as she deserves!

Byr.

Retire Narcissa, into the citadel, I beseech you, and I'll defend you to the last:—

Narc.

I beg you'll give me up, your danger over­powers me.

[To Byron.]
Jen.

Dear Ma'm, you are only to reward the con­queror; you have nothing to do with the battle:—be­sides, Mr. Muff will take care there shan't be much blood spilt.—

Gen.

Matchless impudence!—what! laugh'd at into the bargain?—Seize him, Robin, and drag him to the canal:—Rascals, why don't you obey my orders?

Rob.

What! duck young Master Byron:—not I, I love him too well?—

Other gardeners.

And so do I:—

Gen.

Villains, you are my slaves; and I'll make you do what I command you:—lay hold on him, I say!

[Page 30]
AIR XIII. TRIO. Mr. Bannister, Mr. Fawcet, and Mr. Kear.
He's the pride of the borough, god bless him say I!
I've poll'd for his honour, and will till I die;
In vain then you rave,
I'll not be your slave,
Tho' I'm a poor fellow of humble degeee:
Which of you then will bear it?
Will you?
—MAT. No I swear it!
Or you? JERRY. No I swear it!
There is but one way then to set us all free:
We'll none of us bear it:
Will you?—both—No, I swear it:
Nor BOB, I declare it:
This, this is the way then, for now we are free.
[Throw down their spades, &c.]
Byr.

You must excuse me Gen'ral, though I am un­der the necessity even in this place, of defending your daughter, from any violence on her inclinations.

Gen.

Scoundrels! I'll be revenged! Oh! here comes Spy!—fetch my double-barrel'd horse-pistols this in­stant; why the rascal's drunk!

[Enter Spy.]
Spy.

Byron for ever! shoot who, him?—Lord love his heart—Byron for ever!—I tell you that won't do:—there's no flints:—I would not hurt a hair of his head.—Byron for ever!—

(turning to Sir Harry)

—So I think we wa'n't troubled to chair your fine gingerbread car­case:—damme, you know'd a trick worth too of that!

Sir Harry.
[Page 31]

Filthy brute!

Gen.

The devil has bewitched 'em, all to conspire against me! Get out of my sight, villain, or I shall be the death of you:—

Spy.

Oh! if that's all—I can punch it:—Byron for ever!—tho' he don't want a second:—he's spunk:—he can manage 'em both—No Muffs and Indigo Nabobs—Byron for ever!—

[Exit reeling.]
Gen.

Powder and fury! I believe there's neither a brave, nor an honest man left in the kingdom.—Look you, Sir Harry, win her and wear her:—What! I suppose, I must fight this fellow myself

(goes up to the door)

but here he comes,—if he refuses to surrender her, put him to death!

Sir Harry.

Well, if it must be so, it must; tho' 'pon my soul, I've no butchering ideas about me

(half draws)

—come, good Sir, don't put me to the fatigue of chas­tising you.

Byr.

Sir Harry, you have more humanity:—

Sir Harry.

No, split me if I have!—She's mine by deed of gift; if you dispute that title, she must be mine by force of arms;—

(Draws, and puts himself in an attitude.)
Byr.

Say you so?—come on then:—

(drawing a pistol, Sir Harry springs back.)
Gen.

Why, what the devil, are you afraid of the smell of powder?

[To Sir Harry.
Sir Harry.

No, not in the least, General,

(confusedly)

—I am—I am—only disconcerted a little for,—for fear of the ladies;—you saw they retired disorder'd: besides, Sir, I'm not upon an equal footing with the assassin.

Byr.

No more you were, when you valiantly drew [Page 32] upon a naked man.:—however, Sir, not to alarm you with the superiority of my weapon, thus I resign it into your hands

[Sir Harry receives the pistol, cocks it, and ad­vances.
Sir Harry.

Oh then the citadel's our own General!

Byr.

When you have won it, Sir!

(presents a second pistol.
Sir Harry.
[Retiring assrighted.]

Split me, but the ruffian has got another!

Gen.
[looking earnestly at Byron]

Damme, that's noble too! It's almost a sin to kill so fine a fellow:—but the calls of honor must be obey'd:—come, you shall settle it like soldiers however:—I little thought I should ever see another shot fired,

(measures ten paces with his cane,
Sir. Harry.

My dear General, what are you about?

Gen.

About?—Why measuring the ground:—you would not fight like a couple of foot-pads, with the muzzle of the pistol in each others mouth, would you? What the devil ails you now?

Sir. Harry.

Dear General, your ear a moment

(whis­pering,

my conscience forbids me.

Gen.

Conscience! who the devil ever heard of a man's having conscience, who had no heart?—how­ever, Sir Harry, I see how the land lies:—You need give yourself no further concern about me or my fami­ly:—I am determin'd to have a brave man for my son-in-law, tho' I cross the ocean for him.

Byr.

You need not put yourself to that inconveniency, Sir, when you behold in me, one, who is ready to lay down his life in defence of your daughter's virtue, and your honor.

Gen.

Why, tho' my enemy—thou art a fine fellow I own:—and if I could forget the family grudge—

Byr.
[Page 33]

Believe me, Sir, I have lamented in secret the groundless animosity, that has so long subsisted be­tween you and my father, so fatal to the early over­tures I made the lovely Narcissa.

Gen.

Zounds! but when I recollect,—to be jockey'd by you out of the borough, and by such underhand means!—

Byr.

Why, Sir, you surprize me!—they have cho­sen that Gentleman, have they not?

[pointing to Sir Harry.]
Gen.

No, Sir, they have not.—what, you don't know, I suppose, that they have return'd you?

Byr.

Upon my honour, no, Sir:—I have been employ'd ugon a much more agreeable service:—and to convince you of it, as they have chosen me, contrary to my wish­es, I am ready to resign my seat in favour of any one, you shall appoint.

Gen.

No, you young dog:—you shan't do that neither:—I am a little cooler than I was:—that piece of still life there, has brought me to my senses:

[pointing to Sir Harry]

I begin now to think, that the unanimous choice of a free body of people, is too sacred, to be superceded by the will of any individual; besides your courage has charm'd me:—come, you young dog, you may release your priso­ners, they shall be upon their parole, 'till I pass sentence.

[Byron opens the door of the temple, and brings them a little forward.]

You look mighty cunning, Sir Harry, after loosing Tipplewell, and the richest heiress in the county, through your delicate feelings.—damn such feelings, say I! you'll cut a pretty figure in the modern history of Maccaronyism!

Sir Har.

Why, good General, you don't know me yet:—I confess I have lost a pair of pretty toys!—but with respect [...] a real fine gen­tleman, [Page 34] is infinitely beyond it's reach, I assure you:—so I shall laugh at the dinner-hunting tribe.

Gen.

Why, where the devil did this fellow spring from!—

(Byron, Jenny, and Narcissa, coming forward)

—I believe the young rogue deals in magic with both of us—

(to Narcissa)

—come hither, girl, don't tremble so:—I begin to think, that I've held out too long with Sir Walter—and therefore I don't know how I can shew a heartier desire of reconciliation, than by rewarding his son of merit, with my only daughter and fifty thousand pounds:—What says Narcissa?—but I need not ask her!—

Nar.

If I may discover my partiality for Mr. Byron, without offending you, Sir, I should tell you, that I have every reason in the world to admire and esteem him.

Gen.

Come hither, then, both of you; as an earnest of my approbation, there—I've joined your hands be­fore the parson; and may neither you, nor I live to repent it.

Byr.

This, Sir, is so generous, my life will be too short to repay the obligation.

Sir Har.

Demme, but I cut a pretty figure here truly!—chous'd out of my own borough, and a fine girl, by the son of a fox-hunting baronet;—and laughed at by the old Jew of a father, for endeavouring to accom­modate him!—Well!—What's to be done?—Why, upon my arrival at Almack's, I must carry it off, for the present, by dint of bronze; tell 'em the girl was damn'd ugly; and, that the other borough had lost it's charter.

Gen.

Come, come, Sir Harry; every man's not born to be a giant-killer;—(ironically) if it be not beneath the dignity of a fine gentleman, to rejoice at the success [Page 35] of a worthier man than himself, adjourn with us to Worry-hall.

Sir Har.

Any thing for a frolic, General, for I'm in tip-top spirits.

Gen.

All that now remains, is for me to endeavour to prevail upon Sir Walter to meet us, and consent to make the little rogues happy:—for my own part, I am now fully convinced, that the tender affections were never implanted in the human breast, to be call'd forth, or suppressed, by the caprice of an unfeeling parent.

VAUDEVILLE.
NARCISSA.
Rosy archer come away!
Give your train a holiday,
Lay your bow and quiver by,
Cease to wound,—and hither hie!
CHORUS.
Rosy archer, &c.
BYRON.
Hither bring the smiling graces,
And the loves with cherub faces,
Bid the valleys laugh and say,
"Love has made a holiday!"
CHORUS.
Hither bring, &c.
SIR HARRY.
Lips of coral! eyes so pretty!
Out of luck foregad was I:
Tho' I'm chous'd, I'll join the ditty;—
Down thou little rising sigh.
May Love's tender prittle-prattle
Keep the day for ever bright,
And no jealous tittle-tattle,
Mar the raptures of the night!
CHORUS.
May Love's tender, &c.
JENNY.
Gentlefolks if you'll permit me
I've a word or two to say,
Tho' perhaps it mayn't befit me,
On my lady's wedding-day:
Gravest Don with eye of ferrit
Tho' he practise all his art,
Cannot break a woman's spirit,
Till he's strength to break her heart.
CHORUS.
Gravest Don, &c.
COLONEL WORRY.
Brother grey-beards short's my story,
Read your features in this glass,
Here's a convert now before ye
Metamorphos'd from an ass:—
[Page 37]When a swain of merit woos her,
Make your girl a happy wife;
Nature bids you not refufe her,
In the CRISIS of her life.
CHORUS.
When a swain of merit woos her,
Make your girl a happy wife;
Nature bids you not refuse her,
In the CRISIS of her life!
THE END.

EPILOGUE.

AND SPOKEN BY MR. WESTON, Entering with a large Dog.
OH! Lud! What authors have we now adays!
A farmer this!—Ecod or what you please:
He swears (tho' we've but just got thro' one sweat-o)
He'll make us speak an epilogue duetto.—
What say you Dragon?—Why's your tail so low?—
Be not chop-fall'n—they can't damn you, you know:—
What dumb my comrade?—terrible disaster;
So I must puff for you, and for your master.
Ye Gods be kind!—No cat-call interference!
Believe, Tom Weston, 'tis his first appearance.—
You would not think it; but the rogue's so steady,
He's in the privy-council here, already;
The Prompter gives him merit universal,
Because—
[whistling]
his whistle calls him to rehearsal;
Besides, he imitates no tragic brother,—
Who makes him pull down one bill—post another;
Tho' he's not sleek;—and has an hungry eye,
(A poet's dog is never fed too high)
Yet he is sound, Sirs, and in good condition;
He has no whimsies—no indisposition:
When e'er in letters large the bills he graces,
You're sure of seeing him—if you have places;
He'll top the bills, if to this text he sticks;
A dog of parts—and have no puppy tricks?—
[Page] Odzooks, I've lost his business in his praise;
Oh!—here he's sent to guard his master's bays.
A Dragon, once they say, kept watch and ward,
Some curious golden fruit from thieves to guard.
So to protect the poet's fruit from riot,
Secure some guineas, and a better diet,
He's sent this Dragon critics!—So be quiet:
Sharp then's the word, my slender waisted cousins,
He'll swallow macaronies by the dozens!
Growling, and snarling,—don't let this dog catch ye,
At all your tearing-work he'll over match ye;
If by ill humours, you our bard wou'd puzzle,
I've nothing else to do—but slip the muzzle!
Tho' your so high
(to the galleries)
You too he soon wou'd tame;
DRAGON has wings, if I but shew him game.
But shou'd his master's sing-song melt your soul,
He'll be as soft as—Signor Rosignol:
Will with harmonious howlings swell each note,
And bark sweet music—"only from his throat."
FINIS.

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