Mr. WHITE as ORLANDO. I see that fr [...]d is happy with thy handling.




......O Gold! thou dear divorce
'Twixt natural son and fire! Thou bright defiler
Of Hymen's purest bed!.........
Timon of Athens.





AS dedications most frequently glow with senti­ments of esteem, respect, and admiration for those [...]o whom they are addressed—and as they generally [...]eem with their praise, I do not know to whom I [...]an with more propriety inscribe this production, [...]han to The Fair Sex, that fairest part of creation, whose beauty often fills the most depress'd heart with cheerful sensations, and whose sympathy some­times blunts the edge of the most poignant distress.

"O woman, lovely woman! nature made thee
To temper man; we had been brutes without you."

Concuring with the author of the preceding quo­tation, I am induced to put this my first, and (con­sequently) darling offspring under your auspices; confident that if cherished by you, it cannot fail of be­coming popular, since the general opinion in works of this kind will ever be guided by your taste, which unquestionably is the best criterion.

Every poet is indebted to you, Ladies, for the in­spiration of his genius (if he has any;) I hope therefore you will not, after perusing the subsequent pages, be disgusted with your own workmanship.

Believe me, With respect, Your obedient servant, WM. C. WHITE.


TO night, kind patrons of Columbian taste,
Our drama shines, by native genius grac'd;
A town bred Muse, unschool'd in scenic art,
Contented in her little sphere, the heart;
And scorning all the spurious tricks of show,
The ga [...]rish pageant of dramatic woe;
Domestic grief's ideal scenes essays;
Yet truth may weep, tho' Fiction's hand portrays.
IF Fancy frolic for the moral weal,
And cheat the senses, that the heart may feel;
If in the mimic life, by genius penn'd,
Vice lose a charm, and Virtue gain a friend;
Each manly bosom will the tale approve,
Tho' guileless beauty mourn disastrous love.
Such are the v [...]ands, which our bard doth cater;
—He boasts no steward, but—"dear goddess Nature:"
But not that Nature, that cold vestal saint,
That puritanic dame, which poets paint;
Our Author quite a different being forms her,
Inspires with Virtues, yet with Passions warms her;
Chaste as the hooded nymph, at vespers pale,
Yet not a NUN, for NATURE wears no veil!
Right reverend Critics, met in sage divan,
The merits of our author's play to scan;
Great [...]irs, unbend your Don [...]hip's brows a while,
[Page v]'Tis libellous to say, you cannot smile;
Come, here's the Comic Muse;—pray try to imp her;
Your well-s [...]arch'd features are the best—to simper!
Then yield a generous ear;—our drama's cause
In treats indulgence—not demands applause.
And if thro' five grave acts, with many a tear,
Not once you're taken, tripping at a sneer;
May fortune, on whose manna poets live,
To each kind critic's arms, in justice, give
A wealthier mistress, than the Muse, for life,
For she is much too poor,—to be a WIFE!!
With cordial candor, then, your hearts expand;
The plant of genius needs a nurturing hand.
Its infant germ, if censure's frost be keen,
May droop beneath the winter of your spleen;
But, blest by your kind culture, it will bloom,
Each bud a blossom, and each leaf perfume.
Thus rooted in that classic field, the Pit,
[Love's region borders on the realm of wit,]
Its stalk, more fertile, as the climate warms,
Shall branch beneath this firmament of charms;
And prove that Beauty, like the Sun, whose ray
Exhales the cloud, and flings the plastic day,
With equal harvest crowns the poet's toils,
Showers with its tears, and ripens with its smiles!


Mr. Kenney.
Mr. White.
Mr. Downie.
ALBERT, Friend to Orlando,
Mr. Cleveland.
SEMERVILLE, Steward to Danfred,
Mr. Coles.
Miss C. Solomon.
Mr. Clark.
CECILIA, Wife of Orlando,
Mrs. Marshall.
LUCRETIA, Friend to Cecilia,
Miss Green.




A Street. Enter DANFRED and ALBERT.
INTESTINE misery each day brings forth,
Disturbing ev'ry avenue to quiet.
Oh do not Albert agitate my thoughts,
On the detested subject of my son;
Whose vile transgression, and abhorr'd neglect
Of the advice his infant years received,
Entitle him to fate's severest rigour.
Can you then heedlessly behold his grief?
Without compassion count the numerous tears,
Which daily sully the fair, manly cheek
Of spirited Orlando!
Think of his youth;—how warm his heart was fraught
With vehemence of passion, and his mind,
(Turn'd to the beauteous object) so engross'd,
That reason cou'd not have its usual sway.
How hard thou lab'rest to redeem thy friend,
In my esteem, and make me turn towards him;
But 'tis in vain. My heart is fix'd too firm
In lasting hate!—
For shou'd the fairest angel, e'er bless'd man,
Humble herself a prostrate suppliant;
Break forth in all the eloquence, that e'er
[Page 8]Warbled from tender sounds of melting pity,
I'd hear invulnerable, the sorrowing tale,
Unmov'd by soft persuasion, and remain
Deaf to distress, and callous to his woes.
You cou'd not rise superior to the quick,
The tender sense which nature here demands▪
Philosophy herself, wou'd own her weakness,
And childishly irresolute let fall a tear.—
O cou'd a Parent then behold his son,
Envelop'd in the depth of agony,
With seeming unconcern!—Oh never! never!
Once was my soul bent [...]ow'rds him with un­bounded
Rapture, and admiration!—Then indeed
These old eyes wept with joy at his approach;
Nor did I fail to thank that bounteous power,
Who bless'd me with a son, like my Orlando.
How can you then so ill repay the gift,
That wisdom infinite, hath sent to thee!
Do not disclaim thy son; oh rather lead him
To a kind home, surrounded by the harvest
Of affluence inexhaustible, and partake
His pleasures as your own.
Mistaken man! Those days will ne'er return,
In which my heart was wrapt with such affection.
He was the only object, that my wishes
Sought to enrich; Albert, each sigh, each grief,
Burst but for him, and all the world besides,
Shrunk when compar'd with his superior worth;
[Page 9]But I would now rejoice to see his fall;
Nay more, wou'd stretch this hand to sink in ruin,
The little good he scantily enjoys.
Unfeeling Danfred! cold beyond the pow'r
Of staring poverty to make impression!
Deserted, and forlorn, no friend to help thee;
Did such a situation ma [...] thy rest,
How eager wou'd your duteous son then fly,
To risk his life, and forfeit all to save thee;
Alas, his generous heart expands itself,
Susceptible of every noble virtue.
Dost thou upbraid my heart with being void,
Even of the common sympathy, that lives,
Amidst the lowest reptiles of mankind?
False is the imputation, falser still,
The tongue that dares to utter it.
Nay, cease thine anger Danfred—If you dare
Deny the accusation, shew some proof,
Whose test will contradict my bold assertion;
But while the access to your mercy's shut,
And thou canst hear of misery unmov'd;—
Behold the naked form of wretchedness
Without a single sigh;—See thy son droop;—
Even he, with whose existence thou art charg'd
In nature's register, thou can'st not think
Thy fame too hardly us'd, when thou'rt pronounc'd,
A most unnatural Father!—
Wherein Albert, have I deserv'd this usage?
These hoary locks ne'er met with the dishonor,
Which thy insulting breath, has put upon them.
[Page 10]
'Tis that which checks my rage, else wou'd I rush
And pluck them from the head they now protect;
Thy age alone it is that stops my f [...]ry!—
Wherefore this violence?—
Forgive my warmth; have patience; you are sure
The father of Orlando; I've done wrong.
Excessive friendship, and th'afflicting state,
In which I found the object whom I love,
Destroy'd my sense, and baffled all my reason.
Oh had you witness'd half the poignancy,
Which haunts his dwelling, and corrodes his peace,
It must have sway'd thy stubborn heart, and wak'd
Within thy breast one interval of sorrow.
Ev'n brutes themselves, wou'd shew on this occasion,
Some latent charity.—
Toss'd by the adverse tempest; whirl'd along
The desart path of life by cruel winds,
He's left to brave the storm without assistance.
What sober hypocrite! what churlish madman
Art thou, who wears this sanctity of face;
This specious cloak to hide thy villainy?
Be gone. If what thou say'st be true,
My heart exults in it; for Oh! Orlando,
Has much dishonor'd me—he to his bed
Has taken a hated wretch—of birth obscure,
In lowness bred—unworthy his high rank.
Go glut thyself on avarice, count thy gold,
And as the glittering coin presents itself,
Shew with a niggard grin thy sordid soul;
Place it in heaps profuse, but sure prevent
[Page 11]Its necessary good. Oh! cruel Danfred!
Conscience within thy breast shall rouse its fires;
And while despair exulting flaps his wings,
Thou shall grow fearful of thyself, and die.
What wonderous cause so stupifies your mind?
Unusual pensiveness sits on thy brow!
If you're afflicted, tell me.
'Tis you my friend, who shares th' immense proportion,
Of all that now employs my serious thoughts.
E'er you arriv'd your father left this place,
With passionate imprecations, nor will he
Save thy uncertain fate from total ruin;
Yes, he whose duty 'tis to pour the balm
Of kind relief, and heal thy broken spirit,
Turns his relentless, persecuting temper,
To irritate thy wound, and kill thy being.
And is it then from this thy sadness springs?
Oh, more than gen'rous Albert! thou hast sure
Exalted friendship to a higher rank,
Fulfill'd its dearest name, and made me feel
A perfect debt, more than I e'er can pay.
Sure you but sport, else why this compliment▪
The sycophant, delights to sound false praise
Into his prince's ear,
And artful men, perceive their deep-laid schemes
Promoted by the use of flattery;
But 'tis too trifling, low, and unsubstantial,
[Page 12]For friends like us, to give it currency.
That's bravely spoke; excuse the tide howe'er,
The overflowing current, that then swell'd
My soul, and prompted it to gratitude.
Who could withstand such kindness, without bursts
Of grateful rapture, and immoderate fondness.
Come, come; enough of this, pray spare the subject;
Let's to the afflicted, amiable, Cecilia,
Nor idly waste the moments thus in words;—
Perhaps ev'n now, she sighs for her Orlando,
Regrets his cruel absence, and complains
In bitterness of heart o'er all her troubles;
Permit her not to mourn thus solitary,
Hidden from every comfort that supports her.
Never will peace show'r down its fruits upon me;
The roaring billowy wave, which now surrounds
My dreary habitation, ne'er desert it;
But wast perpetually its fretful swell,
'Till with repeated turbulence it drowns
Desire of life;—oh then, consoling thought!
The grave shall take me to her silent womb.
Forbear these gloomy thoughts, expel them from thee;
'Tis not a time for their indulgence now.
I feel my weakness. Oh my throbbing heart!
When wilt thou burst!
Dry up those tears; they cannot help your for­tune;
Be more compos'd. But see; Cecilia comes;
[Page 13]Affliction dwells upon her lovely brow;
Exert thy utmost then, nor spare thy art,
Suppressing from her knowledge all the truth,
That the sad history of your fate contains.
We soon will meet again; till then, farewell.
May fairest virtue o'er thy thoughts presi [...]e,
Govern each action, and direct your heart.
Exit Alb.
Farewell. Yes, memory shall retain those words,
As the last gift of a departing friend,
Who blends his welfare with my own condition.
But ah! my wounds renew; their sluices open,
And bleed afresh, while my quick pulse suspires.
Oh fair Cecilia! celestial directress!
Who sooths my ev'ry damp, corrosive hour,
With happy looks, and cheering sympathy.
Why has my love thrown off those joyful smiles,
That once so fairly flourish'd on his cheek,
And bloom'd forth graciously;
Unusual darkness cloud their wonted lustre,
And change their genial tribute into frowns.
Oh, say not so; was but this breast transparent,
So that the eye cou'd pierce each deep recess,
Read its contents, and view its bright complexion,
It wou'd behold the sight of ardent passion,
Transporting all its flame towards Cecilia,
More pure than speech conveys, or glances tell.
[Page 14]
Wherefore then do you droop, and hang your head
Passive neglectful; careless of your eyes
Which way they wander! Oh there is a cause;
Withhold it not from my participation;
Let me know all, and make Cecilia easy.
Oh, where is my exulting victory,
My last resolves! all fled like emptiness!
And I must banish from this milky heart,
The great intent, which but now made appearance.
It has too much of stoick heroism,
To live in harmony, with easy nature,
Subject to all the conflicts that my mind,
Endures from softening love.
I cannot guess your meaning.
My dear friend, my open-hearted Albert,
Perceiving frequent sighs escape my bosom,
Gently rebuk'd their utterance,
And by his pious reasoning, form'd within me,
A resolution, that I wou'd not yield,
To mis'ry's tear, or loose the man in grief;
Why did I not observe its noble dictates!
My weakness was too great; my longing eyes
Caught but a slight perusal of thy face,
When a remembrance of all our harms
Rush'd on my mind, and shook the prop of firmness,
Which the persuasions of my friend had rais'd▪
Abandon all those horrid images,
So threatening to the safety of us both,
Oh, my Orlando!
[Page 15]Then bury all those troublesome ideas
In dark oblivion, never more to rise
To mar our joys, or make our sorrows heavier.
Be cheerful then; look gay, come let us sing;
Tune forth your heart, and smile 'midst fortune's malice;
Break out in strains of that all powerful love,
Whose votaries we are, and with thy notes,
Chase each dull, scattering, remnant of anxiety,
Far from our breasts, and give bright hope admittance.
How charming, and affectionate is the sound
Of those sweet words, which now thy tongue has utter'd;
Like music to some poor, desponding captive,
Us'd to the constant clanking of his chains.
Oh, sweet Cecilia! paragon of worth!
Lock'd in thine arms no pang can ever reach me;
Thus to recline upon thy winning neck,
And contemplate the beauty, that adorns thee,
Raises my thoughts to heav'n, and makes me blest.
We surely are distinguish'd my Orlando
From common beings that's estrang'd to love.
Come fair ey'd hope! sooth thou my every care,
And with thy lenient, and assuasive pow'r▪
Drive from my heart each guest that is unwelcome,
And thy soft tidings breathe with gentlest whispers.
Then let's begone, thou heavenly comforter;
Who, with thy angel breath, and tuneful voice,
Sav'd from the vortex of eternal ruin,
A wretch o'erwhelm'd with all the ills of life.
[Page 16]

Scene II, An apartment in DANFR [...]D's Houses

Enter DANFR [...]D.
My wishes now can make their gloomy range.
Brood with envenom'd madness, and deform
Those haunts of love, whose spoils I meditate.
That darling friendship which subsists between
Th'associate souls of Albert, and Orlando,
Shall by my high-wrought scheme, be quickly blasted!
Oh, thou proud Albert! thy licentious tongue
Rebell'd against that honour, which I claim;
Tremble thou may'st, for be assur'd e're long
The pleasing fabrick, that supports thy peace,
Will by my arts its fatal blow receive,
And launch thee helpless, down despair's dark vault!
I was inform'd some bus [...]ness of importance,
Engag'd your deep attention, and th' affair
Requir'd my speedy presence. Do you wish
To urge my council?
I have occasion for thee, yet Lysander,
Recoil not at the nature of the deed!
Softness thou must not cherish; cruelty
Should with her horrid group domain thy heart,
To aid success, and forward on the project.
Tho' nature has deny'd me all those great,
Those noble properties so high [...]ranscendent;
Tho' at this moment I am destitute,
Void of the subtleties so [...]ndispensable
To form a perfect villain,
[Page 17]Still shall the volume of extensive fraud,
Have a minute, and diligent perusal,
Since 'tis your choice I shou'd become its master.
Then with a studious mind strait plod its depth;
Sound each ingredient which the plan contains;
Know its full import, and consider well
The bold defiance that it makes to nature;
Nor with precipitate heat, unthinkingly
Fly on flagitious deeds.
Impart your purpose.
Come, listen to the story which incites
This high resentment, and calls forth your toi [...].
Orlando, not contented with the curse
Which his clandestine nuptials put upon me,
Sent to my sight the furious, low-born Albert,
Who with insulting speech, and ruffian lo [...]ks,
Reproach'd, with hard severity, the conduct
Which I dealt tow'rds thy brother,
In not relieving his necessities;
This flam'd my passion, rous'd the lethargy
Of warm, vindictive rage, which lives to blast
The every branch of that o' [...]r fond connection.
'Tis on this business your exertion's wanted,
And if its last requirements are discharg'd
With faithfulness, thou shalt possess great wealth;
For half my fortune then shall be thy own.
Delay not to apprize me of my part.
Put to the test the powers this brain affords;
Then even hawk-ey'd jealously shall not peep
[Page 18]Thro' the design, to check its execution.
We will retire;
Then will I give thee suitable instructions;
Such as shall aid thee thro' this enterprise▪
Come black revenge, and with thy venom'd steel,
Retort with horror all the wrongs I feel.
Spread poison in the paths of those I hate,
And with high pamper'd curses blast their fate!
Come smiling mischief, put thy treachery on,
Nor sleep, until your victims are undone.



An apartment at ALBERT's lodgings.
Enter ALBERT and S [...]MERVILLE.
Thy story shocks me! what mean'st thou, Semerville?
Alas! 'tis true. This very morning
Inform'd me of th' affair; at first I doubted,
But further procedure, confirm'd the whole
Suspicion had set down.
Cou'd then the villain hope to gain a conquest
O'er the strict faithfulness of my Orlando?
Whose rigid friendship, will forever stand
A greater test, and a severer trial,
Than all Lysander's arts can e'er produce.
The little superficies of a story,
[Page 19]A villain's heart invented, ne'er can gain
Sufficient strength to shake his constancy.
Be not too confident of human greatness;
Man is but weak, when we suppose him firm;
Unhappy, tho' disguised by the face
Of cheerfulness, and often, pride
Lurks in the ambush of humility.
Guard then your friend with a tenacious eye,
Before temptation doth declare its triumph,
And frailty overbears the glow of reason.
Thou pious, good old man!
How shall I e'er repay, how speak, how think
The obligation, thy excessive virtue
Hath laid me under to thee!
No more of thy acknowledgments; they hurt me;
But time is precious.
I beseech you,
Add some words more respecting this sad story!
My master has determined to revenge
Your conduct tow'rds him, when you urg'd the cause
Of poor, distress'd Orlando;
Lysander has agreed to be confederate;
Yes, that unatural brother has consented
To aid the infernal purposes of Danfred;
He is the master tool, to rob fair chastity
Of its still fairer fame; tinge the pure gloss
Of friendship's genuine ore; and jest with sufferings,
Almost unequall'd in this world of woe;
And half your father's riches is the bribe.
How came you by this knowledge?
[Page 20]
Danfred propos'd the hateful scheme to me,
But seeing I dislik'd it, sent direct
For fell Lysander; alarm'd, I overheard
All their debates, and have this moment gain'd
Their last resolve, which i [...] as I relate;
Go then immediately, and face Orlando;
With bold sincerity divulge the secret,
And shew how near
His foot doth totter on destruction's margin.
Come, follow me my Semerville.
We'll seek some place recluse, where yonder cluster
Of towering trees, compose a silent grove;
And there we'll talk upon all monster fathers;
Weep for sons, who scorn'd by cruel parents
Stray in this cold, inhospitable world;
Of one, who owns a beauteous, heavenly female,
That fills up all the measure of his joys;
Yes, our vast theme shall be Orlando's wrongs.

Scene III, An apartment in ORLANDO's House.

Reviving joy now vi [...]i [...]s every scene,
Of this once cold, depressing solitude;
The shock is over, the tempest has subsided
And a bright calm succeeds the dire appearance,
Shines with a double lustre, and invites
Creation's self, to look unwonted cheerful!
Yes, my Orlando,
This day seems pregnant with a goodly store.
Which soon will burst, and throw its blessings round thee;
[Page 21]Bestrew thy bed with luscious, grateful flowers,
Whose sweetness will convert thy every care
Into mild quietude, and dress thy slumbers
With a variety of wild enchantment.
It seems all flatt'ring; too much like a dream;
[...]airy paradise! that greatly trifles
With my too credulous wishes, which wou'd fain
Think the fair mockery partook of substance.
Doubt it not.
[...]ime in its flight, will prove the joyful herald,
[...]hat will confirm what I have now imparted.
But there's one struggle yet to be o'ercome,
One favourite obstacle, which while it lives,
[...]pedes thy bliss, and makes it doubtful still.
Speak of th' impediment, and I'll consider
The present moment, for its quick removal.
Alas, I greatly fear your heart is wove
Too fondly in its fancied excellence,
And dear solicitude for all its welfare.
Distress me not with this unkind suspense;
But put the truth before me.
Since 'tis your wish to have a full acquaintance
With all the facts which interest your peace,
Whatever pain, the sad relation costs me,
[...] cannot but comply with your request;
[...]ut shou'd the story chance to rouse your feelings,
[...]ay curb them, from the violence of tumult,
[...]or suffer indiscretion to o'erset thee.
Tho' it were news
[...]s the worst coin that wretchedness cou'd mint,
[Page 22]I wou'd restrain the impulse of weak nature,
And act the god, amidst calamity.
Know then, that Albert, he whom thou selected
From the full populace of the vast world,
Has broke his trust, has sported with your name,
And play'd the hypocrite!
How? what? explain; is Albert false!
Even so! and 'tis for this, thy honour'd father
Will ne'er endure you; for Cecilia's sake
Then quickly rob him of thy further friendship.
Now, while suspicion droops, he seeks thy life,
And his feign'd goodness, is an underplot,
Venturously to dupe thy honour.
Thy tongue is too licentious! by yon' sun;
Thou might'st be proud, to equal him in virtue,
Or wait his lacquey, in an enterprise
Where the success depends on honesty.
In charity, he looks like heaven's ambassador,
Sent to exhibit all its bright perfections,
And shew sublimity, of gracious mind,
In his pure conduct!
Intemperate man! keep up thy headstrong vio­lence!
And by abuse, deny me all the rights
A stranger claims, when at a stranger's door.
I came to infuse peace within your dwelling,
To heal the smart, vexation had inflictd,
And give a pause to all thy restlessness;
But I have done; you do despise my wish,
To serve thy poverty,—and so farewell.
[Page 23]
Oh stay! I pr'ythee, do not leave me thus;
Hear of my condition, rip up my breast,
Read all its complex sorrow, and let mercy,—
Oh yes, let mercy plead her soft, soft tale,
[...]n my behalf.
Hush then the uproar of thy utterance,
Else I will quit the place, nor e'er again
Come in thy view, or e'er bemoan thy sadness.
Pardon the convulse of a heated youth,
Whose boyish sports
In early days of innocence, with Albert,
Endear'd him to me, with peculiar fondness!
When you betray'd his guilt, his perfidy,
thought not of myself; the warm effusions
Of all my friendship, rush'd upon my mind,
And made me rash, beyond the power of judgment.
Tis well;
Since thou hast made atonement for thy fault,
I'll think no more on't; but you must excuse
My further caution.
I see my foible; still am I immur'd,
In the terrific confines of pale fear;
And left untutor'd to my own conjectures,
And wav'ring belief, to sound the mystery;
Unravel the dark texture of your story,
Unguided and alone.
I wou'd not have you rove upon the thought.
Thou can'st not mitigate, thou canst not heal
[...]his heartlessness, nor shew a brighten'd prospect,
[...]lenient stop, to all my present pangs;
[Page 24]They will increase, they will enlarge their course,
'Till certainty, enlightens the dim covering▪
Which hovers round, and morbids every joy.
Has Albert, jested with the property,
Of sacred faith, which my weak humour gave him;
Has he then gain'd, with curs'd impiety,
All the dear, hidden movements of my soul,
Secret to the whole world except himself!
Yes, even Cecilia was estrang'd to them.
Speak, is it so?
Descend no further, in enquiry's drift.
'Twas my ill disposition, that invented
This dubious scandal, relative to Albert!
So thou woud'st construe, I suppose.
None of this irony! for it will kill me!
Oh, for campanions, whose mirth and tears,
Break out in unison; whose exact symmetries,
Bear such similitude, that neither can
Disfigure himself, but the effect will show
In the irregularities of t'other half.
But Albert's soul, has lately kis'd the frost!
Is it no so? thine eye says aye to it,
Wi [...]s with a full assurance! O! I'm curs'd!
Perhaps 'tis jealousy, that teaches thee
To make these definitions.
Oh no, thy looks, thy word [...],
Convey a demonstration, sure full equal
To occ'lar proof, and whispers I've an enemy,
Who adder like, when seeking for his prey,
Charms with an occult subtlety!
[Page 25]I'll find him out; and when he thinks the mask
Shields him with privacy, from every eye;
Yes, when he least expects it, rush upon him,
And charge to his account this rank offence;
His life shall pay the debt, nought else can expiate
Its vast atrocity!
Now thou art mine forever; let's embrace.
Don't loiter in the path of brave revenge.
Now, we are friends again.
Remind Cecilia of her late engagement
To meet our father in the upper garden,
When in the west, day bids the world adieu;
There he will grant his blessing, and negociate
A final reconciliation, to each one
Of all thy family, and be thy friend.
Fool that I was, to treat this godlike bro­ther
With such unkind reserve; yet he forgave me,
And I, at length, am resolute to vengeance!
Albert, thon wer't my friend; but now, no foe
Could meet my face, with such assur'd destruction!
Thy soul or mine, must take its final journey;
Become a fugitive beyond the stars,
Before one day renews, and be immortal!
All cordial intercourse, from hence must cease.
Farewell, to mutual confidence, and peace.
Decietful wretch! thy fate prepare to meet,
E'er mercy dies, and justice holds her seat;
[Page 26]The latter then, her awful sword shall wield,
And threaten horrors, which you cannot shield!



An apartment in DANF [...]ED's House.
The birth's auspicious!—Ruin fast ad­vances
To fill her grand, august, and awful place
She rears her snaky head, and on the fall
Of lost Orlando; feasts her glaring eyes!
I give you joy good sir!
Why this congratulation?
It seems as thou wert ignorant of thy state;
Hast thou so soon forgot the recent spark
Of gracious fortune, that hath smil'd upon thee?
What fortune?
Ask of thy heart that question, and 'twill answer,
In terms more forcible than I can give you.
Pray explain!
It needs no further explanation, than that thou
Art in possession of thy father's favour,
Commanding all his property and heart.
And what of that?
[Page 27]
'Twas your request, that I should let thee know
Why I did wish thee joy.
I thank thee for so doing.
But, one thing I wou'd have you strait consider.
Orlando, is most wretched!
Am I to blame for that?
He doth not blame you, but he blesses you
For all your kindness tow'rds him!
'Tis well!
I fear 'tis not so well!
You jest old man!
And so doest thou sometimes, tho' not with me;
Yes, you will play the devil in deceit,
And out-do Belzebub in arts and wiles!
Take care, thou hoary villain, of thy tongue;
Curb its licentiousness, or I will—!
What wilt thou do? I have no darling wise
For thee to act the murd'rer on;—no friend,
'Gainst whom to raise suspicion!—ha, take care!
Take care Lysander lest thou should'st be caught
In the same springe thou'st fix'd t'entrap thy brother.
Hell [...]eze thee for the damn'd insinuation;
(pushes him)
away I say!
Why 'twas well done to strike an aged servant,
Who nurs'd thee in thy youth, and brought thee up
From infancy; but mark me, mark me well,
Mend thy behaviour, or I fear thy life
Will terminate in wretchedness, disgrace, and [...]orror.
[Page 28]
Am I distrusted then?
Become an object, for the lowest rank
To spend their breath in insolence upon!
By heav'n I'll not be mock'd, I'll not be threaten'd,
I'll be obey'd, and make each servant fear me▪
Yes, they shall tremble, when my presence meets them,
And shrink before me when I look displeas'd.
Thus will I be, and when I've done the deed,
The daring deed this night shall see perform'd,
Then will I rest secure, amid'st a throng
Of humble idolize [...]s, who shall wait
On every humour that my mind may fabrick
With mildest patience; and endure caprice,
However gross, that marks my conduct tow'rds them▪
Yes, they shall bend submissively, and pay
Obsequious homage to my proudest will.

Scene II, A Garden,

Madam, be not so fearful.
Dreams are not ominous as some suppose,
But happen from variety of causes.
A retrospect of past occurrences
Will oft awake remembrance in our dreams▪
Sure thou wert taught upon some grandam's knee
Of gobblins in the night, and church-yard spirits.
Discard these dull suggestions of thy fancy,
Whose airy magic ever doth pourtray
More evils than exist.
Cease thy untimely merriment.
[Page 29]Oft has some guardian spirit of the night,
(Who has the care of virtue as she sleeps,)
Whisper'd alarm, and warn'd her of her danger.
As sunk in restless slumber, (dreadful sight!)
A lurking crocodile appear'd;—his eyes
On me were fixt, and his wide opening jaws
Seem'd waiting to devour me;
And as I trembled at the hideous phantom,
Nearly exhausted with its direful looks,
I strait awoke, and found a marble chill
Upon my flesh, whose moisture almost froze me!
Is this the caprice of an idle mind
Journeying in mazy vision! sure it is not.
Fiction hath played her childish game with you,
Taking advantage of your dormant reason
To croud thy brain with dark mysterious riddles,
Throwing discernment in perplexity,
And all thy judgement's light in deepest shade.
Had these but done their work, delusive fancy
Would with her sporting train, have all been baffled,
And cross'd in their wild frolic.
Lucretia, pray desist thy raillery,
Nor with that apish satire thus abuse
My moaning hou [...]s, whose sadness ne'er will change.
Oh good heaven!
Whatever evil thou might'st have ordained
To inflict upon this poor, this helpless head,
Teach me to bear it with a resignation
Becoming virtue's rules; but spare Orlando;
Add not another thorn unto the many
[Page 30]Which now do pierce him.
But turn your observation, dear Cecilia▪
Behold your husband, see he doth approach
With [...] steps towards you; I'll retire
Lest that my presence here shou'd cause restraint.
Yes 'tis he, absorb'd in meditation.—
Why has Cecilia wander'd from my arms;
Why stray'd from the fond harbour that exists
But to secure her from outrageous harm;
They feel a dull vacuity without thee.
Come then, and let embraces bury sorrow;
Let us in mutual kisses drive away
Each thought but that of love, almighty love!
Oh, from this moment let our cares be gone,
And bliss, attended by her dimpled train,
Smile in our hearts, and sparkle in our eyes.
It will not be; in spite of all my efforts
To stem the tide of grief that swells within,
'Tis irresistable, and will disturb me.
Oh, say not so; I cannot, cannot bear it.
Instruct my knowledge then of all your grief;
Yes, let the current of your heaviest cares
Be kept no longer secret from Orlando,
And he will soothe them with a husband's fondness.
This silence, my Cecilia, will distract me.
What have I done? wherefore have I offended
Sufficiently to lose that confidence
Which once you did bestow so willingly?
[Page 31]Do you then think I can behold you, torn
With life's oppressive injuries, and yet
Support existence! Oh, never, never!
I gre [...]tly fear that fate this day is busied
In our undoing.
Be on your guard, look steady to Lysander;
I fear his heart's a hiding place, that holds
The worst of poisons!
Beware my love! thou can'st not be too careful!
Thou art deceived. Go then, O go my love,
And let the milky balm of innocent slumber
Bathe all thy turbulence in calm oblivion.
This night doth bring a close to all the frowns
Of changeling fortune. When our relenting parent
Shall give his blessing to thee, then my love
We'll live in pure felicity, unoppress'd
By penury's cold hand.
One kiss, my good Orlando, and farewell!
But hear me on my knees, for heaven's sake, hear me▪
Should you now meet your old friend Albert, Oh,
Don't treat him rough; indeed I think he's been
Thy real friend, worth millions of Lysander,
Tho' he's your brother; Albert's countenance
Expresses every thing that's great and noble.
But there is something low, so basely niggard,
Depictur'd in the mien of that Lysander,
That I do tremble
Lest you're impos'd upon! ah, pray consider
'Tis thy Cecilia speaks, remember that,
And let thy love, thy cool discretion aid.
[Page 32]
Oh, why did heav'n create such work­manship
For this polluted region, where distress
Centres in every bosom! why prostitute
The fairest of its vast, angelic tribe
To vulgar use, ev'n for the sport of misery.
Is that lov'd [...]ace for wrinkles to deform?
Were those eyes made to loose their radience;
Was that sweet shape
Cast for old age to wreck, and like destruction
Blast all its perfect symmetry and form?
I cannot reconcile so hard a thought.
Ha! Orlando! this is a happy meeting!
Thou'st been a truant for these many days.
What place cou'd hold you such a loiterer,
Absent from general view?
Did you regret it?
Nay, now you're merry! do you doubt it friend?
When in communication with Orlando,
Has not my conduct ever spoke a pleasure,
That brothers seldom feel towards their twin?
Throw off this coolness then, it ill becomes you.
Thou art my friend then!
You treat me like a child. Am I a bawble
For whim to tri [...]le with? This is past bearing!
With insolent contempt dost thou deny me
Ev'n the civility that's due to strangers.
[Page 33]
Again the same cold period! one wou'd think
That words were scarce, or that the tongue were lazy,
Or that thy Albert, thy sincerest friend
Did not deserve a decency of treatment.
Has then the man, whose character thou'st extoll'd,
Whom thou did'st pleasure with an approbation
More precious even than life;
Is he, whom once you swore was dearer to you
Than liberty to slaves, thus metamorphos'd;
Become a beggar to thee for thy kindness,
And spurn'd with contumely!
Perdition seize this weakness.
His words unman me.
Alas! he weeps!
Have not your injuries compell'd my tears?
Good heav'n! what do I hear! my injuries▪
Oh, shew some reason for this harsh surmise;
What have I done thus to excite suspicion,
Where have I err'd, that you should thus abrubtly
Pronounce this accusation? Oh, Orlando,
Thou once wert gentle; sooner woud'st consent
To wound thyself, than hurt thy Albert's feelings.
That conduct which you mention, was dispos'd
Tow'rds those who best deserv'd it.
And have not I deserv'd thy warmest wishes;
Do I not claim thy most unbounded prayers;
Can you forget the days I've spent to serve thee?
The nights, when sickness prey'd upon thy mind,
And sleep refus'd to do its soothing office,
[Page 34]That I have linger'd at thy curtain's side,
Depriv'd myself of nature's requisite,
All, all, for thee? and yet thy memory
Would willingly reject what truth confirms.
'Twas selfish in you,
So thou would'st think, and so will circumstance
Concur to prove, how much I'm better'd by it.
But I have done, since pride and obstinacy,
Decline to listen to the call of justice.
State but thy grievance, lay my fault before me,
If I've done wrong, I'll pay the forfeiture,
Endure shame's worst enormity,
And acquiesce in what thou may'st inflict;
But think not, I will stoop to arrogance,
Or at the door of insult, be so servile
As to crave pardon.
Contemptuous monster! what dost thou insinuate!
Thy virulence will instigate me strait to draw
To guard my honour, and protect my fame;
I care not for thy rage, imperious boy!
And, but I have a value for thy person,
Would with this arm dethrone thy haughtiness,
That thou should'st hate thyself, and at my feet
Confess you have been made the easy dupe
Of a [...]ly villain! yes, I know it all;
You are dee [...]y'd into a false belief;
The story reach'd me, e'er thou wert impress'd
With its finesse; but I restrain'd the truth,
To mark the bounds of thy credulity.
Aye, guilt inform'd you of the circumstance,
[Page 35]And conscience did assist in its disclosure;
How else cou'd knowledge reach thee?
Hear me, and be convinc'd.
Danfred's old honest steward told the story,
Whose purport chill'd me to the very soul!
Go on.
I see that fraud is happy with thy handling.
Indeed 'tis true; thy father, and thy brother,
Have both conspir'd
To carry on a cheat, and ruin thee!
Thou doest possess the wiles of conjuration!
Unparellel'd in pushing forward mischief.
Has Danfred not relented; has he not
Burst the confinement of his treasur'd gold,
To give it contribution in my house?
Yes, but you want to stir up enmity,
To hurt my good with him, that I may sink
Deeper in sorrow's pit.
Suppress this frantic jealousy, 'twas Lysander,
'Twas he who did inspire you with its flame.
'Twas he divulg'd the truth, and faithfully
Made known thy wicked arts, deprav'd desires,
Illicit projects, and thy deep-laid schemes,
To rob me of the richest, dearest treasure
My soul possesses, or can e'er enjoy.
O villain! villiain!
Look down, Oh heav'n! convince him of his state!
But once more, as a real friend, I warn you;
Let not the footsteps of Cecilia be
[Page 36]This night without thy doors; for mischief now
Thrives in its shell, and soon will burst to life!
Audacious busy-body, I now disclaim thee;
Defend thyself, for here contention ceases;
Thy sword or mine declares the victory.
Put up thy sword Orlando;
I scorn to quarrel with insanity.
'Tis this decision only can appease me;
And you or I must soon discover worlds
Yet unexplor'd by mortals.
(They fight. Albert disarms Orlando.)
Behold thy conquerer! behold thy friend!
He has thy sword, and can command thy life.
Here, take thy hankering instrument, that thirsts
For Albert's blood.
(thr [...]ws him his sword)
Now search this bosom, draw forth all its moisture,
And issuing, judge if it flows not as pure,
As once you thought it!
Thou hast subdu'd me, and 'tis worse than if
My life had now exhausted its full fountain,
Oh, had you dried up all the springs of being
It had been mercy.
But now my hell's completed! and I go
To share its agony.
Poor, hapless youth! wrought up to this extreme
By jealousy o'erheated, unrestrain'd,
Which thro' much cherishing, blazes with increase
Of conflagration, and consumes his soul.
This night's ordain'd to perpetrate a crime
[Page 37]Of the worst die, e'er plac'd to the account
Of fiend-assisted monsters! Shall it be?
I'll not recline upon the easy couch
Of unconcern, and dead indifference,
While a soft, gentle, lovely, heav'nly female
Hangs o'er the brink of ruin.
Be firm my heart! ye steely nerves be firm;
Let not Lysander with his strenuous arm,
Defeat your generous purpose;
But in the dangerous crisis grasp his pow'r,
And save Cecilia in the threatening hour.



A back Garden. Stage darkened.
IT seems a prodigy my dear companion,
That you shou'd be disturb'd at this late hour!
With a mere dream.
Oh, my Lucretia, I know thy goodness
Strives to divert my thoughts from all their gloom.
But woe is me! thou can'st not.
If thou wouldst wish to sooth, and make me feel
A slight relief, relate some dismal tale,
[Page 38]Whose narrative speaks keener grief than mine.
My amiable Cecilia, pray consider
Thy husband groans in sharpest misery.
Yes, thy Orlando suffers; for tho' Albert
Has been persidious to his tender friendship,
Still to disclaim him was a painful task.
Then be thou cheerful, lest to see thee thus,
Shou'd overcome his firmness and undo him.
Ah, then Orlando was to blame, Lucretia,
Albert has ever shewn the warmest marks
Of steady loyalty; was always free
To give his sentiments, as he conceiv'd them:
Not in the specious garb of flattery,
But drest in open truth, they ever flow'd
With manliness unshaken.
But did not proof conspire to make him false?
He had no other proof than what Lysander
With his deceitful tongue did strive to give.
I cannot bear the idea; for ah, Lucretia,
It is Lysander who creates my pain;
Did'st thou but mark his eyes, they shew you fraud [...]
His manners speak hypocrisy,
While doubly tongued he toils with contradiction,
Exposing all his nice-wove subtleties.
Do not indulge the dismal apprehension;
Antipathy is blind, is unaccountable,
And sometimes changes to a fixed esteem.
That's true, but mine is not a weak disgust,
Not the effusions of a small dislike;
Such [...]allie [...] can be conquer'd, and we soon
[Page 39]Forget their force: some supernatural pow'r
Advises me of danger, and points out
The villain to my view: alas, I dread
The events which this dull hour shall bring to light,
And wish it gone; Orlando's pleasure only,
Cou'd make me venture here.
Hark! I hear some footstep,
Perhaps 'tis Danfred's; I must away.
'Twas his desire that you should be alone.
Farewell. I hope thy present serious feelings
Will on some future evening by a fire side,
Serve as a subject for our mutual sport.
Alas, Lucretia, little doest thou kn [...]w
The bitterness, that rankles in this breast.
I shudder at the thought of future time.
Lest its sad fruits shou'd fall upon my head,
And put a fatal period to enjoyment.
O, righteous heaven!
I am destin'd for the child of sorrow▪
Let not my infant share my baleful lot.
But take h [...]m to thy care. What have I pray'd for?
My sweet, my dearest babe! and can I part,
Can I resign [...]im from these careful arms?
Oh never, first shall this poor being end.
But Danfred comes. Now resolution guard me▪
Retires up the stag [...].
Enter LYSANDER disguised as DANFRED.
Courage assist me. There behold the pre [...]
Now all my prosperous stars but aid me here
[Page 40]To gain the victory in this hour's adventure,
And I'll be proof against th' attacks of conscience.
How bright, celestial bright, is that dear face.
Oh, she has charms would force an atheist
T' own a superior power; and make a miser
Look with contempt upon his fordid hoard.
No, no, a miser cannot be converted;
He is the worst of beings. I am one—
Yes, 'tis for gold that I have turn'd a villian,
And giv'n consent to act 'gainst virtue's laws.
This reasoning will not do. I must advance.
He ap­proaches her.
Art thou not Danfred, my Orlando's father!
Who comes to give his blessing to Cecilia?
Yes, and to grant his favour to Orlando,
And from this moment be their real friend?
Old men are fickle; always ready
To change their favourites, nor can they ever
Station their bounty to an individual;
But youth, being heap'd with fire, delight to dwell
Upon the usual object, and their love
Keeps an increasing pace with time.
Would you not then prefer a younger patron?
No. Age is venerable,
And all its favours rank in higher state.
Believe me, honor'd sir, that thy kind love
Will stamp impressions on our grateful hearts
Which words can ne'er describe.
Let actions then discharge the mighty balance.
I have a son, own brother to thy husband;
[Page 41]If you would wish to lose your indigence,
And have a potent, never failing friend,
Listen to him.
Be more explicit sir.
He has a fondness for you, and desires
A private interview;
Deny him not the wishes of his heart,
And poverty shall never more intrude
Into your dwelling, but unceasing splendor
Spread thy bare table.
What wretch art thou, who think'st to buy my virtue
At any price? begone! thou impious monster!
Seeking destruction, under the pretence
Of giving life.
(throwing off his disguise)
Behold thy slave. It is Lysander woo's thee.
Oh God!
Wherefore this consternation, dear Cecilia?
I will not harm thee, love bids me rather
Sooth and caress you with the utmost fondness.
Come, come, forgive the sole alternative,
Affection cou'd devise to bring me to you.
My dreams have not deceived me!
Oh, for an appellation yet unknown
Whose meaning would denominate thy guilt;
Tho' infernal novelty shou'd fly to hell!
And by its blackness frighten every demon!
Unhold me! let me pass!
[Page 42]
By heaven thou shalt not go.
Offer to stir, and this shall drink thy blood!
(Sh [...]ws a dagger. Albert rushes in, and disarms Lysander. Ce­cilia retires hastily.)
Unmanly fiend! thou basest of all cowards!
To lift thy murderous arm against a woman.
You have surpris'd me! and have witness'd too
An a [...]tion, which exposes me to insult.
Thus circumstanc'd, I own you have th' adva [...]tage,
And with your speech can manage all my feelings.
But if you'll face me with an unsheath'd sword,
And dare me to its point; then thou shalt see
Lysander's not that coward, but can brave
The stoutest braggart that dares call him such.
I have too great a reverence for my sword
To stain it, by a contest with a wretch,
Worthless as thou art.
Why, what a piece of honour art thou made of!
Of words thou hast abundance; what are they?
The dastard's subterfuge, his last retreat,
Who, while the martial steel clings to its scabbard,
Doth summon up a safeguard, and protector
In his full tongue, which only talks of fighting.
And whines out boldness, while his heart doth weep.
Thy meanness prompts thee thus to be abusive
Tow'rds him, whose nobleness disdains thy fame
Too much to nerve his arm in combat with thee;
Of this thou art conscious, then amuse the air,
With pompous repetition of thy greatness;
Sound thy own praise, until the atmosphere
[Page 43]Takes the contagion, and re-echoes it
Through the whole world.
I'll not permit thee thus to cavil with me;
Nor will I tamely hear you brand my name,
With these disgraceful epithets;
Out with thy sword, prepare, or by my soul
I will dispatch thee in an instant; Then,
Then, put thy all in readiness, don't delay,
Say thy last prayers, lest death shou'd come too sudden.
'Tis thou vain blasphemer! who hast most need
To cure the breach, which thou hast made with heaven.
Should'st thou ascend into its bless'd abode,
Where innocence, in all its purity
Sits with a placid smile, and stern justice
Dwells awful stationary, how cou'd your guilt
Endure the presence of such sovereignty!
What say'st thou of my guilt, thou canting mo­ralist!
I care not for my guilt—for when this arm
Hath thrown thee in the deep, and lasting grave,
I will complete the ruin of Cecilia.
'Tis time the world was rid of such a monster,
For thy existence puts each life in peril.
Now am I ready for thee.
Nor, do I fear to die.
(They fight, Lysander falls)
Oh, may eternal night o'ertake thy soul,
And make thy peace extinct! yes, tis my pray'r.
May hell's conflagrant tempest light upon thee,
And all thy thoughts, in dreadful chaos hurl'd,
[Page 44]For ever keep thee, howling in despair!
And Oh, ye infernal powers! now hear a wretch,
Grown wild with torment, hear my invocation!
Oh, let confusion, wretchedness severe,
The most consummate of perdition's plagues
Be his best peace —The gulph expands!
Whilst furies rise to plunge me in its womb.
Fear now has laid her claim, and oh, destruction
Looks wishful to receive me. Oh! Oh!
di [...].
Thy life is finish'd then, misguided youth!
Had'st thou not yielded to the love of gold
Nor hugg'd it to thy soul, with such enthusiasm,
But made desire, a vassal to thy reason,
Thou might'st have liv'd, an useful, happy subject
In the vast throng of mankind, and have been
An ornament, a pattern of fair excellence!
May heav'n forgive thee all thy o'er-ripe vices,
May'st thou have made a happy, bless'd exchange,
When thy proud soul, took its eternal flight.
Is that Lysander weltering in blood?
Oh, spare me from the [...]ight!
'Twas in thy cause.
He threaten'd thee, else I shou'd ne'er have done it.
How can mine eyes behold that much wrong'd face!
Wrong'd by my husband too! your kindness melts me!
Oh, Albert!
[Page 45]This goodness is severe, and quite subdues
My pow'r of utterance—It kills Orlando,
When in the man whom he has thus offended,
He contemplates the saviour of Cecilia!
Let not th' idea disturb thee, you are all
That ever was compris'd to form an angel;
Pure as unsullied lillies, which embalm
Each one that comes within their influence.
Will you then go, and visit my Orlando?
Tho' he has wrong'd me, I am not so callous,
To every genrous, manly principle,
As not to wish that friendship restituted,
Lost through the artifices of Lysander,
But take him in my arms again, and cherish him;
Yet he contemn'd my friendship, in an hour
When most 'twas wanting; thus was his unkindness!
And now to punish him, I will postpone
My pardon a short time, and seem affronted.
Did I attempt to speak of gratitude,
My tongue would be restrain'd for want of words,
So scanty hath this great occasion made them.
But see, my husband comes.
Excuse me best of women, but I would not,
I wou'd not, but avoid him.
Where is my Albert? point him out to me▪
Oh, quick conduct me to him.
Well may we now indulge our utmost sorrow,
[Page 46]And give a vent to tears of double grief.
Oh, say not so, 'tis I will bear the burden,
'Tis I that am the wretch, and have transgress'd
Against each sacred law, which binds dear friendship.
Ha!—what is here? my brother! its Lysander?
It is dead, cold, oh, fury!
'Twas for our sakes alone, that he is slain.
Oh, I shall groan hereafter! for my sake,
Mischiefs innumerable have been in practise!
Abate thy passion, love, I fear 'twill mad thee.
Oh, rather curse me! do not call me love.
Look not so angry on me, I will love thee,
Yes, while my senses hold, while this heart beats
It glows for my Orlando.
'Tis not what I deserve; oh, then transfer it.
Give it to Albert, he has sav'd thy life!
Hate me, detest me, frown indignant on me,
For I have been an enemy to a man
Who lov'd me with a warmth, high wrought as love
Ev'n when I acted vilest, when I gave
The strongest proof of weakness, and despis'd
His dear advice. Then in that cruel hour,
That minute so ungrateful, did he blaze
In all the lustre of true dignity;
Then did he carry friendship to a test
Unknown before, forever unexampled.
I love thy sense of gratitude, but oh!
Restrain this frantick rage.
Restrain it! no, oh, rather let it burst,
Let it blaze fire, 'till I, poor wretch, consume
[Page 47]In its curst flame! and be forever damn'd!
And I will perish with you.
Thou perish!
Must thou, fair flow'r be cropt, and lose thy beauty!
No, thou, shalt bloom like May, and be forever
A fragant, all perfuming sweet, in constant flourish.
Venus shall lose her fame, and thou pure gem,
Thou solid lustre shall be term'd celestial,
And be the sum of all that's truly charming.
Go see thy friend, 'twill dissipate thy sorrow.
No, 'twill but serve to choak me with my shame,
Think I can offer looks, bestow a glance
To his brave cheek, that's flush'd with so much glory!
Think'st thou, these guilty eyes dare meet his brave ones,
Darting bright rays of truth, and noble firmness,
Alas! 'twou'd sink me, sink me to the earth.
Indulge not so much fear; be resolute;
He will forgive thee, love: it is thy duty
To ask it of him.
What wou'd you have me do?
I'd have thee visit Albert.
E'er a new hour is registered by time,
Go, and entreat thy pardon.
Yes, I will go a humble suppliant to him,
And on my knees implore his kindness towr'ds me,
Fall at his feet, and bathe them with my tears,
'Till the great torrent, melts him to forgiveness.
Aye, pour forth all your soul, in bitter moanings,
Urge my distress, embrace him eagerly,
Nor leave him, 'till he yields to tender pity.
[Page 48]
Think'st thou, Cecilia, that again, my Albert
Will cast a lenient eye upon my grief?
Think, he will call me by the tender name
Of friend, and stop th'involuntary tear,
And charm me with his cheerful, manly voice?
No, I fear
'Twill sound th' unwelcome strain.
Renounce the thought, Albert is ever gracious,
Open to pity, soft to be impress'd
With tales of woful purport. Then be sure,
Be sanguine of thy pardon; for should he
Witness thy serious penitence, thy sorrows,
The fight would wound him, would disarm his anger,
And turn his breast in bursts of transports on thee,
Oh, he would cherish you endearingly,
Ease thy repentant heart, and be all mercy!
I know he would, for I've petitioned him;
I interceded for thy cause, Orlando,
And he has promis'd to o'erlook thy conduct.
Hast thou Cecilia then procur'd my pardon?
Was ever love extended to the proof,
Did ever goodness blaze with half the lustre,
Which thou'st exemplified, thou beauty's princess
Still doth oppression chase us, still art thou
Follow'd by cruel fortune. When I think
Of those sweet limbs, how hardily they bear
The drudgery each day imposes on them;
The many drops that swell those starry eyes.
The thousand lamentations of thy bosom,
Alas! it is too much, I cannot bear it.
[Page 49] Enter MESSENGER.
Old, honest Semerville, thy father's steward,
Has just inform'd me, that an officer
Hearing of Alberts' crime, has now secured him.
Lysanders' murder's known o'er all the city,
And each inhabitant looks with surprise.
This closes all. My destiny is stor'd.
Farewell my love. I cannot tarry longer,
Since Albert groans in curs'd captivity.
O, cruel fate! must then brave Albert fall?
Must the avenger of my honor perish▪
Friendship sincere, is this thy sad reward!
Justice will sure suspend her scales awhile,
'Till heavenly mercy! with its cherub smile,
Pronounces pardon on Orlando's friend,
And all our evils wi [...]h enjoyment blend.



A Prison. Table and Lamp.
ALBERT discovered sitting in a disconsolate manner.
How vain is human life!
Ev'n from our birth's first moment [...] to the hou [...]
[Page 50]Death makes us nothing, chief is misery!
Day after day, allots us out a portion.
Which, howe'er bitter, we're compell'd to take.
Sometimes a little good presents itse [...]f,
But that is transitory, and grief rejoins us.
My progress has been hasty. Of this life,
I've seen but little; and that scanty pittance,
That trisling specimen, has been replete
With roughest gifts of fortune. Thus, my journey
Closes with disappointment, pain and woe.
Friendship, I've seen thy vision, 'tis a dream▪
Partaking of a momentary flush, and then dissolves
Fathers, are often cruel,
Brothers false, and children are ungrateful;
Hu [...]bands, regardless of their partners wrongs,
And wive [...], in [...]n [...]ate to their husbands kindness.
For this, have I been born, for this, existed,
And after having prov'd these bitter truths,
My fate is now wound up with ignominy.
Oh, insupportable! open thou earth,
comes forward
Open in mercy, and receive a wretch
Who shortly must endure the worst of pangs,
A shameful death, amidst a gaping crowd▪
falls down
Ha! what a sight is here! lift up thy eyes
Thou wretched man, nor give thy soul to woe.
I've come to sooth your sorrows in their prime,
And be a friend to thee in this sad hour.
Who calls me friend? Alas, I have no friend!
[Page 51]Oh, I'm forgetful; yes, the world abounds
With men, and they are nought but enemies
But friend and enemy imply the fame;
If thou [...]t my friend then, equally thou art
A dangerous enemy, therefore, quick begone!
Hast thou no recollection of me, Albert?
How should I make distinction betwixt thee
And all mankind, I know no difference.
They equally are sordid, and deserve
Alike to be contemn'd. I hate myself
For what I am▪ one of thy selfish herd
Hence from my prison, I have nought but chains,
A hideous dungeon, and a little straw,
With a few mouldy scraps of co [...]rsest bread
To entertain thee with. My table once
Was spread with goodly meats, and luxury
Was well supply'd with merry-talking friends;
Yes, they could be kind friends, at my expence;
But, since misfortune has confin'd me here▪
They care not for my grief, they come not near me;
Such is the kindne [...]s of those worldly wretches,
Who bask them [...]n the sun-shine of the rich.
And leave him when adversity comes near.
O, gracious heav'n [...] his senses are derang'd▪
Alas, dear sir, think not so ill [...]me.
I am an old, infirm and harmless man;
One, who doth feel the weight of thy distress,
And wishes to assuage thy every woe.
Thou surely know'st me I am Semerville.
Art thou indeed! is thy [...]ame Semerville?
[Page 52]Thou faithful man, forgive my conduct towards you
I thought thou wert that cruel, hoary wretch,
That monster, who would call himself a parent,
And that thy name was Danfred!
No, I have come to plead the cause of him
Who once was dear to thee, and fain would now,
Be call'd thy friend. Wilt thou admit him then?
He waits without the prison, with impatience
To gain an interview, and at your feet
Crave thy forgiveness, for his late behaviour.
I cannot see him now, my heart is fretful.
Alas! consider all his dreadful pangs,
His sleepless nights, and days that yield no comfort!
Oh! oh! oh!—
Hark! I hear his footsteps.
By heaven! I will not see him, but retire
To yon apartment. Tell him I'm not well,
And visits now are tedious and unwelcome.
Tell him, ne'er more to cherish thoughts of Albert,
But find some happier friend to share his joys.
Nay, I beseech you hear me.
What numerous horrors low'r around this place.
Is this thy mansion, Albert; is it here
That thy great soul must waste its purity?
Must all thy glory wither in the bud.
And thy fair same be blasted? but be still,
Hush, hush, my trembling heart! where is my friend!
[Page 53]What loathsome corner of this habitation
Art thou secur'd, thou best, thou dearest man
That ever grac'd a sword, or cherish'd honour.
O Albert!
I know not how to sound thy goodness justly;
It would comprise an endless song, for angels
To tune their voices to, and make all heaven
Utter an anthem of exalted praise,
Commending thy great virtue, in loud peals
Of music's sweetest harmony.
O, my old friend, apprise me of my fate.
Hast thou renew'd the love he once did bare me.
Will he be merciful?—What means thy tears▪
Alas! Alas!
Art thou dumb?
Be not impatient sir. A little time
Spent in reflection, may awake his soul
To tenderness. I pray you then begone,
And I will use my influence in your cause.
O what a wretch am I! but lead me to him.
Indeed I must not sir! he has forbid it.
What has he forbid?
He charg'd me to impede all access to him,
Should even thyself seem anxious for a visit.
Did he say so?
'Tis true.
No matter man; then disobey for once,
[Page 54]And stop the raging fever of this brain,
Which else will work to madness! and destroy me.
Forgive me sir, but—
What would'st thou say, thou cruel, honest wretch!
This thou would'st say, that mercy shuts her ears,
And will be deaf to all my invocations.
Be patient sir.
Preach patience to the air, I'll not endure it.
Conduct me to my friend, or by the pangs
Which rend this heart, I'll heap such vengeance on thee!
Oh, Semerville!
Think not too hardly of my frantick rage.
I e'en revere thy faithfulness, but ah!
In me you do behold a wretch, whose soul
Ev'n gnaws on hell! yet oh, this cruelty,
This last unkindness from a friend, like Albert,
Confirms me in despair, and makes me curs [...]d!
Ye gracious pow'rs! watch o'er his sor­rowing soul;
Sustain it, midst suggestions that may rise
To overcome his fortitude and hope.
Ah, Albert! if thy heart be not inhuman,
The story of this hapless man, will break it.

Scene II. An apartment in ORLANDO's House.

Orlando's lenghty absence quite alarms me.
What wonderous circumstance, can thus detain him.
[Page 55] Enter ORLANDO.
What plaintful voice is that which call, Orlando?
Rather, shou'd such a wretched thing be shunn'd,
Not cherish'd by divinity like thee.
Oh, I'm a barren comforter, nought to bring
To that dear breast, but news of saddest kind.
Sure we have grown such close acquaintances,
With sorrow's flinty dealings, that we now
Ought to disdain her mischiefs, nor feel griev'd
When she▪ thro' spite, endeavours to disturb us.
Don't let us always be like peevish children,
And ever lisp our wailings at each meeting.
But in the bliss our mutual love bestows,
Forget the turbulence of our afflictions.
I fear thy melting tongue will take effect,
Break my firm purposes, and quite unman me.
Fate, has at last, contrived our destiny.
How! what do'st thou say? do you not now
Wander from judgement's helm, and speak at random?
Do you communicate the real dictates
Of truth, directed by a steady mind?
Oh, that it were a flight of giddy fancy,
A momentary interval from reason's exercise,
But ah! it bears the sanction of a truth,
Which thou wilt shortly witness.
What truth? speak out, nor talk to me obscurely.
'Tis all in vain, nor poverty, nor disease,
Nor the worst pangs that torture can inflict,
Can move me, while I hold so vast a blessing
[Page 56]As my Orlando. Oh, then do but smile,
And I will dare the frowns of sorrow's brow,
Nor murmur at her most severe inflictions.
'Tis otherwise ordain'd. We soon must part.
These eyes are taking now their farewell gaze,
These arms, will bind thee soon, for the last time,
And these cold lips their final contact make.
If this is done to try my constancy,
To sound my firmness, 'tis a cruel sport!
Was it for this, you led me to the altar?
Ah, there you swore, forever to protect me.
Guard well your heart, for I've a tale to tell,
Will else o'er whelm its strength and make it fail thee.
Hear me my love. O [...]e not frighten'd thus,
E'er yet the truth's unfolded, but be calm.
Relieve me from suspence. Ha! speak Orlando.
How can you torture such an anxious mind
As that which I possess. Alas! for mercy!
I will be merciful, and tell thee all.
When the black haze of night
Has spread its d [...]mp, unwholesome vapour round
This world's enclosure; when the owl,
Disturbs the wood with echoe of her voice,
Sounding her loud, unwelcome notes abroad,
Orlando, in some solitary haunt,
Shall lie a victim to the scythe of death.
Thou must not, shalt not go; look at this wea­pon.
(shews a dagger)
If you desert me, it shall end my being.
[Page 57]Think, what would be my case, a helpless female,
Without a husband, father, or a brother,
Pining in want, and no where to petition.
Would it not break your heart, to see me thus?
I pr'ythee, go no farther with the picture;
'Tis more convulsive than the fatal poison.
Speak! what of poison?
My grief, my fathers scorn,
My brothers villainy, and his horrid death;
Albert's sad fate, his cruelty to me,
All rush'd upon my mind in one sad moment,
Whelming the little reason I had left;
Forgot thy love, my honour, and my god!
Desperate of heart, I bought, and swallowed poison!
Help, help, Lucretia, he!p, O save my wife!
Watch her returning senses, guard them heav'n!
While from this fatal roof, Orlando flies!
And bids the world and peace, a long farewell.

Scene, last. A Street.

Did ever such a wretch oppress the world,
Plague all mankind, and live in the disgrace
Equal to my condition? never, never!
O, then thou stable and unshaken earth,
Swallow me quickly; let the world be rid
Of such a nuisance, such a worthless monster!
[Page 58]Thou golden orb of day, withdraw thine eye,
Lest by my influence all thy light should fail,
And fade in darkness, never to cheer more.
Here must I finish life; my soul is faint.
And must I die, bereft of Albert's pardon?
Eternal horror mingles with the thought!
Sure 'twas the voice of sorrow that I heard.
Ah! Orlando! stretch'd on the naked ground!
Why, what art thou? a mere two-legged mon­ster.
A man, who has the power to whine out pity.
Sympathy swells in the mouth, but rarely makes
The heart its habitation. Oh, Semerville,
Albert, is cruel, deaf to my repentance.
O, it has made me desperate, made me drink
A loathsome draught will sink me to the grave.
O gracious heaven. O, spare my trembling heart.
How fares my poor friend? tell me Semerville.
O, pray let comfort ease thee in that thought.
Justice remember'd mercy, as she chastened.
His noble character, and the virtuous cause
In which he fell, aw [...]k'd in government
A kind consent, to ease his punishment,
By granting him the death a soldier claims.
Be joyous then. Orlando, he forgives thee.
O, matchless goodness▪ now I smile on death▪
But Danfred cannot grieve; his heart wont let him.
Thou do'st mistake, Orlando. He doth suffer.
[Page 59]Torn, with the sharpest impulse of remorse,
And raging, in the wildest agony
Of tumult and despair! He loaths his food,
Nor can he clo [...]e his eyes in soft composure.
His pillow, has a thousand thorns which pierce him,
And horrid dreams of conscience rack his soul.
Heaven, sure doth punish justly in this case.
But O, my death approaches Where's Cecilia!
Go Semerville, and ease her anguish'd heart.
(B [...]ll Tolls)
Be silent; hear the knell, the summoner,
The brazen herald of all mournful t [...]s;
The sad informer, register of death,
In solemn sound declares Orlando, wretched,
And harrows up the host of all my stings!
It is the instant, for the vast parade
To march with solemn progress, which conducts
Albert, to his last stage, and doth conclude
The idle story of his hasty life.
Hist, hist, the strain begins.
(soft music heard at a distance)
O, Semerville. this shock doth nearly end me.
Give me thy hand. This world begins to fade,
And now appears like undistinguish'd chaos.
O, death▪ in mercy take me from this world.
Unhappy man! I see thy dissolution
Creeps on a pace. Soon thou wilt be in heaven,
Mingling thy portion with the bless'd and glorious.
Be calm, Orlando, while I go in quest
Of those, who shall bestow assistance on thee.
[Page 60] Enter CECILIA.
(frantic, leading her child, and holding a dagger.)
Howl on, ye winds, and in extravagance
Of marvellous hurricane, tear me and my babe!
O, give me lightening, a conflagrant heap
Of never ceasing flames, and I will scorch
Immensity with its kindling!; It shall rage
'Till sun and stars sink in the general ruin,
'Till the fell northern blast resigns its chill,
And glows a furnace of consuming heat!
Ha! fright me not! what art thou? speak, hah! hah!
(discovering Orlando)
My god, it is Orlando! Oh! Oh! Oh!
(sinks down by the side of Orlando)
Familiar is that voice, O my Cecilia!
(kisses her and the child)
I'm lost to every joy this world can yield.
Yes, thou dear partner of my youthful love!
Thou the first object of my tender thoughts,
And sum of all my earthly happiness,
Farewell. O, death, now is thy sharpest pang.
Ha! art thou gone, indeed! I'll follow thee.
(draw [...] a dagger)
Quick now, thou lingering steel, perform thy office,
Wallow in blood, and banquet on despair!
[Offers to stab her child. Semerville rushes in and disarms her, at the same time takes away the child. Several m [...]n enter follow­ing Semerville.]
[Page 61]
Distracted woman! give me up that victim,
[...]'er yet it bleeds a harmless sacrifice
To thy uncurb'd, thy frantic, insane rage!
[At [...] time the men seize her.]
Withhold your hands. O pray, pray have mercy.
Consider I'm a woman, wife, unhappy mother!
Alas, I have no child, you've torn him from me.
My husband [...] dead! the world's a boundless dese [...].
Yielding no nourishment; 'tis stock'd with bane.
Yonder, view Albert, triumphing above;
Se [...], he's suspended by a sky-wove thread,
Held in the grasp of angels! toss these fiends,
Toss them, in wrath away, then s [...]at thyse [...]f
Upon revenge's awful throne, and there
Shake thy all-piercing steel in direful rage!
Oh, Albert, hear my prayer, destroy these cowards
Tha [...] thus, unfeelingly, compel me hence.
[they [...]]
Suspicion, often is the good man's foible;
Its fruits are sometimes fatal. Let us, then,
S [...]ive in adversity's sad school, to learn
To shun too hasty jealousy, nor credit
A fresh report, lest malice be its author.
Remember parents, heaven, as blessings sent
Children, for your kind nurture and protection.
Discharge the mighty duty then, nor frown
If virtuous love engage their tender hearts;
'Tis that which binds society, and gives
A perfect finish to humanity.
[Page 62]


THE curtain dropt, the Poet's fears scarce o'er,
In pops the Epilogue, "to make all sure?"
And here our Author vows that I, may do more
To rouse the latent sparks of your good humour,
Than the grave Moral, whose didactic creeping,
After five yawning Acts would leave you sleeping.
Ladies and Gentlemen, what I have to say,
Whether about, or not about, the Play;
Matters no jot: A modern Epilogue,
Should skim the Ton, should shew you "all in vogue;"
"Short waists" "straw heads" "stuff'd cravats" and "close crops"
As "late arrivals" decorate our shops!
All these, exhausted quite, the scribbling trade,
Draw after one another now! shadow after shade:
A hacknied Game I start, tho' still in fashion;
Turn out an old bagg'd Fox 'tis▪ speculation.
He'll yield us sport, no doubt; the field is wide;
And 'tis a chase that most of you have try'd!
Witness, ye dabblers [...]eep, in Georgia Lands!
I do not ask you how that matter stands;
Within our scope, the bubbles that we spare;
Castles in clouds, and acres in the air!
To gratify impatient expectation,
My spec, is Theatres; there's Speculation.
Down with monopoly "to build"s the cry!
Let NEW on NEW, supplant the OLD scarce dry;
The market's free: I speculate, supply.
Taste, talents, genius, wit,—mere stock to trade in;
To please a few, if cheap, may still be laid in;
They may be purchas'd shortly at Vendu [...];
As modern playwrights, only deal in SHEW!
But for Auxiliaries—I have such schemes
Who'd not exchange dry Goods, for golden dreams?
Old plays vampt into new; and p [...]c'd 'ith 'turning;
And short ones, ek'd out with a town o'burning;
Nothings—mere nothings, to my plan of action;
I've a procession! Ah, there's th' attraction.
[Page 63]Thy HILLS, O, Massachusetts! shall rejoice;
Thy vallies echo back th' exulting voice;
Each rocky height, put on its sprightliest mood,
From grave old Dorchester to grim C [...]pe Cod.
In flow procession, all bedeck'd in white,
(Winter, his wardrobe lends each snow-clad height;)
Around th' astonish'd stage huge hills shall pace,
In pomp Theatric, and with tragic grace,
Be-weeping loud the exit of the YEAR;
Stabb'd by OLD TIME, and lying on his bier!
Chief mourner, in the newly moving scene,
Majestical in tears, shall move Cape Anne;
And as is in dismal dol [...] they sweep along,
She'll stop and sing—a "Patriotic Song!"
Bunker, with newly furnish'd honors, strewd,
(Telling old sly De [...]a [...]ion, of the [...]d,)
Shall seize on Breed's Hill, as his slopes advance,
And join old Beacon, in a country dance.
"Void of connection, but with grand effect,
"One summit more, in well-earn'd honors deck'd,
"Shall grace the scene—Mount Vernon, whose soft shades
"Receive their Hero, where no care invades;
"From public toils, with public honor crown'd,
"Rever'd as brave, and happy, as renown'd;
"Partaking safety, by his valor won,
"Our Father, Friend and Patriot WASHINGTON!"*
Then follow shipwrecks, earthquakes, sieges, battles,
And the whole list of pantomimic rattles;
Till the poor Drama, lost in the confusion,
Retires indignant from the gross delusion!
Then the loud shout to rais'd—"Defeat" "Defeat!'
"Dish'd and done up!" the victory's complete.
But, to be serious, 'midst this general rage,
How lost is the true interest of the Stage!
To cherish that, the warm, the generous su [...]
Of public favor, can but shine on ONE:
Superior to low arts, and shunning strife,
Form'd to enliven, not to burthern life;
[Page 64]The Drama, still, in affluence and ease,
Should bend her brilliant powers t'instruck, to please;
Then public spirit, thro' that medium view'd,
Might own the Theatre, a public good.
If our Orlando, void of foreign arts,
Has found the passage to your throbbing hearts;
If manly sense, and modest feeling, share
Our youthful Po [...]t's chaste, attentive care,
Severer judgment, will consent, to spare.


AS an apology for the many inaccuraces that may be found in this juvenile production, the reader will please to consider it as the offspring of a pen, inexperienc'd in the field of literature; that it was composed in the short space of six weeks, during intervals from mercantile em­ployment, and at those hours, generally dedicated to the drowsy god. It is hop'd these circumstances will in some measure plead for its imperfections and avert in a degree that severity of critism justifiable when exercis'd towards more experienc'd writers.

ERRATA.—In a part of the impression of this work, the pages 3 [...] to 48, have several inaccuracies in them—such as, "progidy" for pro­d [...]gy—"I am destined, &c." for If I am, &c.—"It [...] Lysander," for Is't Lysander—together with several others, of lesser consequence.

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