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A COMEDY, IN FIVE ACTS.-BY MRS. COWLEY.

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ACT I.

town; and, in course, were made up of rusticity, inSCENE I.-Lincoln's Inn.

nocence, and beauty.

Sav. Well ?
Enter SAVILLE, followed by a Servant.

Court. After waiting thirty minutes, during which

there was a violent bustle, in bounced five sallow Sæ. Lincoln's Inn! Well, but where to find damsels,-four of them maypoles ; the fifth, nature, him, now I am in Lincoln's Inn ? Where did be by way of variety, had bent the Æsop style. But say this master was?

they all opened at once, like hounds on a fresh Sere. He only said in Lincoln's Inn, sir. scent:-"Oh, cousin Courtall! How do you do, Sar. That's pretty! And your wisdom never in cousin Courtall? Lord! cousin, I am glad you are quired at whose chambers ?

come! We want you to go with us to the Park, Sere. Sir, you spoke to the servant yourself. and the plays, and the opera, and Almack's, and all

Sar. If I was too impatient to ask questions, you the fine places !” The devil, thought I, my dears, sught to have taken directions, blockhead! may attend you, for I am sure I won't. However, Enter COURTALL, singing.

I heroically stayed an honr with them, and dis:

covered the virgins were all come to town with the Ha, Coartall ! Bid bim keep the horses in motion, hope of leaving it wives : their heads full of knightaad then inquire at all the chambers round. [Exit baronights, fops, and adventures. Serranl.) What the devil brings you to this part Sav. Well, how did you get off? of the town? Have any of the long robes handsome Court. Oh! pleaded a million engagements. wives, sisters, or chambermaids?

However, conscience twitched me; so I breakCourt. Perhaps they have; but I came on a dif- fasted with them this morning, and afterwards ferent errand; and had thy good fortune brought 'squired them to the gardens here, as the most thee here half-an-hour sooner, I'd have given thee private place in town ; and then took a sorrowful sach a treat. Ha, ba, ha!

leave, complaining of my hard, hard fortune, that Sæ. I'm sorry I missed it: what was it? obliged me to get off immediately for Dorsetshire.

Court. I was informed a few days since, that my Ha, ha, ha! consins Fallow were come to town, and desired Sav. I congratulate your escape! Courtall at Earnestly to see me at their lodgings in Warwick - Almack's, with five awkward country cousins ! Ha, Court, Holborn. Away drove I, painting them all ha, ha! Why, your existence, as a man of galhe way as so many Hebes. They came from the lantry, could never have survived it. farthest part of Northumberland, had never been in Court. Death and fire! bad they come to town,

one.

out.

like the rustics of the last age, to see St. Paul's, warmth of this embrace speak the pleasure of my the lions, and the wax-work-at their service ; but heart. the cousins of our days come up ladies; and, with Sav. Well, this is some oomfort, after the sourvy the knowledge they glean from magazines and reception I met with in your ball. I prepared my pocket-books, fine ladies ; laugh at the bashfulness mind, as I came up stairs, for a bon jour, a grimace, of their grandmothers, and boldly demand their en- and an adieu. trées in the first circles.

Doric. Why so ? Sav. Come give me some news. I have been at Sav. Judging of the master from the rest of the war with woodcooks and partridges these two family. What the devil is the meaning of that months, and am a stranger to all that has passed out flock of foreigners below, with their parchment of their region.

faces and snuffy whiskers? What! can't an Court. Oh! enough for three gazettes. The Englishman stand behind your carriage, buckle ladies are going to petition for a bill, that, daring your shoe, or brush your coat? the war, every man may be allowed two wives. Doric. Stale, my dear Saville, stale! Englishmen

Sav. 'Tis impossible they should succeed, for make the best soldiers, citizens, artizans, and pbithe majority of both houses know what it is to have losophers in the world; but the very worst foot

men. I keep French fellows and Germans as the Court. But priytbee, Saville, how came you to Romans kept slaves--because their own countrytown?

men had minds too enlarged and haughty to Sav. I came to meet my friend Doricourt; who, descend with a grace to the duties of such a stayou know, is lately arrived from Rome.

tion. Court. Arrived! Yes, faith, and has out us all Sav. A good excuse for a bad practice.

His carriage, his liveries, his dress, himself, Doric. On my honour, experience will convince are the rage of the day. His first appearance set you of its truth. A Frenchman neither hears, sees, the whole ton in a ferment; and his valet is besieged or breathes, but as his master directs ; and his by levees of tailors, habit-makers, and other mi- whole system of conduct is comprised in one short nisters of fashion, to gratify the impatience of their word-obedience! An Englishman reasons, forms customers for becoming à-la-mode de Doricourt. opinions, cogitates, and disputes ; one is the mere Nay, the beautiful Lady Frolic, t'other night, with creature of your will: the other, a being conscious two sister countesses, insisted upon his waistcoat of equal importance in the universal scale with for muff's ; and their spowy arms now bear it in yourself, and is therefore your judge, whilst be triumph about town, to the heart-rending affliction wears your livery, and decides on your actions with of all our beaux garçons.

the freedom of a censor. Sav. Indeed! Well, those little gallantries will Sav. And this in defence of a custom I have heard soon be over ; he's on the point of marriage. you execrate, together with all the adventitious

Court. Marriage! Doricourt on the point of manners imported by our travelled gentry. Now inarriage ! 'Tis the happiest tidings you could have to start a subject which must please you. When given, next to his being hanged. Who is the bride do you expect Miss Hardy? elect?

Doric. Oh! the hour of expectation is past. She Sav. I never saw her; but 'tis Miss Hardy, the is arrived, and I this morning had the honour of an rich heiress. The match was made by the parents, interview at Pleadwell's. The writings were ready; and the courtship began on their nurses' knees. and, in obedience to the will of Mr. Hardy, we met Master used to crow at miss, and miss used to to sign and seal. chuckle at master.

Sav. Has the event answered ? Did your heart Court. Oh! then by this time, they care no more leap or sink, when you beheld your mistress? for each other, than I do for my country cousins. Doric. 'Faith, neither one nor t’other. She's a

Sav. I don't know that; they have never met fine girl, as far as mere fesh and blood goes ; since thus high; and so, probably, have some re

butgard for each other.

Sav. But what? Court. Never met! Odd!

Doric. Why, she's only a fine girl; complexion, Sav. A whim of Mr. Hardy's; he thought bis shape, and features; nothing more. daughter's charms would make a more forcible im- Sav. Is not that enough? pression, if her lover remained in ignorance of them Doric. No! she should have spirit! fire! l'air till his return from the continent.

enjoül! that something, that nothing, wbich every

body feels, and which nobody can describe, in the Enter SAVILLE's Servant.

resistless charmers of Italy and France. Serv. Mr. Doricourt, sir, has been at Counsellor kept me from travel!' I would not have lost my

Sav. Thanks to the parsimony of my father, that Pleadwell's, and gone about five minates. [Exit. relish for true, unaffected English beauty, to have

Sav. Five minutes ! Zounds! I have been five minutes too late all my life-time! Good morrow,

been quarrelled for by all the belles of Versailles

and Florence. Coartall; I must pursue him. (Going.) Court. Promise to dine with me to-day ; I have | 'tis insipidity; it wants the zest-it wants poig

Doric. Pho! thou hast no taste. English beauty! some honest fellows. (Going of:)

Sav. Can't promise ; perhaps "I'may. See there! nancy, Frank ! Why, I have known a Frenchus there's a bevy of female Patagonians coming down

man, indebted to nature for no one thing but a pair

of decent eyes, reckon in her suite as many counts, Court. By the lord! then, it must be my strap- tbree dozen of our first-rate toasts. I have known

marquesses, and petits-maitres, as would satisfy ping cousins. I dare not look behind me. Run, man, run!

an Italian marguizina make ten conquests in step[Exit.

ping from her carriage; and carry her slaves from SCENE II.-An Apartment at Doricourt's.

one city to another, whose real, intrinsic beauty

would have yielded to half the little grisettes that Enter DORICOURT.

pace your Mall on a Sunday, Doric. (Speaking to a Servant behind.) I shall

Sav. And bas Miss Hardy nothing of this?

Doric. If she has, she was pleased to keep it to be too late for St. James's ; bid him come imme

herself. I was in the room half-an-hour before I diately.

could catch the colour of her eyes ; and every atEnter SAVILLE.

tempt to draw her into conversation, occasioned so Doric, Most fortunate! My dear Saville, let the cruel an embarrassment, that I was reduced to the

upon us!

serves

necessity of news, French fleets, and Spanish oap- Mre. R. Delightful compliment ! What do you tures with her father.

think of that, Villers? Sa. So, Miss Hardy, with only beauty, modesty, Vil. That he and his compliments are alike and merit, is doomed to the arms of a husband who showy, but won't bear examining. So you brought will despise her.

Miss Hardy to town last night? Doric. You are unjust. Though she has not in- Mrs. R. Yes; I should have brought her before, spired me with violeat passion, my honour secures but I had a fall from my horse, that contined me a her felicity.

week. I suppose in her heart she wished me Sac. Come, come, Doricourt; you know very hanged a dozen times an hour. well, that when the honour of a husband is locuni- Flut. Why? tenens for his heart, his wife must be as indifferent Mrs. R. Had she not an expecting lover in town as himself, if she is not unhappy.

all the time? She meets bim this morning at the Dorie. Pho! never moralize without spectacles. lawyer's. I hope she'll charm him; she's the Bat as we are upon the tender subject, how did sweetest girl in the world. you bear Touchwood's carrying off Lady Frances? Vil. Vanity, like murder, will out. You have

Sav. You know I never looked up to her with convinced me you think yourself more charming. hope ; and Sir George is every way worthy of her. Mrs. R. How can that be?

Doric. A-la-mode Angloise; a philosopher, even Vil. No woman ever praises another, unless she ia lore.

thinks herself superior in the very perfectious sho Sar. Come, I detain you; you seem dressed at allows. all points, and of course have an engagement. Flut. Nor po man ever rails at the sex, unless he

Doric. To St. James's. I dine at Hardy's, and is conscious he deserves their hatred. accompany them to the masquerade in the evening. Mrs. R. Thank ye, Flutter; I'll owe ye a bouBut breakfast with me to-morrow, and we'll talk guet for that. I am going to visit the new married of our old companions ; for I swear to you, Saville, Lady Frances Touchwood. Wbo knows her hus

the air of the continent bas not effaced one youth: band ? • fal prejudice or attachment.

Flut. Every body. Sav. With an exception to the case of ladies and Mrs. R. Is there not something odd in the cha servants.

racter? Doric. True! there I plead guilty. But I have Vil. Nothing, but that he is passionately fond of never yet found any man, whom I could cordially bis wife ; and so petulant in his love, that he opentake to my heart and call friend, who was not borned the cage of a favourite bull finch, and set it to beneath a British sky, and whose heart and man- catch butterflies, because she rewarded its song ners were pot truly English.

[Exeunt. with her kisses.

Mrs. R. Intolerable monster! Such a brute de SCENE III.-An Apartment in Mr. Hardy's house. VILLERS seated on a sofu, reauing. Vil. Nay, nay, nay, nay; this is your sex now. Give

a woman but one stroke of character, off she goes Enter FLUTTER.

like a ball from a racket; sees the whole man, Flut. Ha! Villers, liave you seen Mrs. Rackett? marks him down for an angel or a devil, and so Miss Hardy, I find, is out.

exhibits him to her acquaintance. This monster!

ibis brute! is one of the worthiest fellows upon Vil. I have not seen her yet. I have made a voyage to Lapland since I came in. (Flinging away

earth : sound sense and a liberal mind; but doats The book.) A lady at ber toilette is as difficult to

on his wife to such excess, that be quarrels with be moved as a Quaker. (Yaming.) What events

every thing she admires, and is jealous of her tiphave happened in the world since yesterday? bave pet and nosegay;

Mrs. R. Oh! less love for me, kind Cupid! I can you heard ? Flul. Oh, yes! I stopped at Tattersall's as I came

see no difference between the torment of such an by, and there I found Lord James Jessamy, Sir affection, and hatred. William Wilding, and Mr.-But, now I think

Flut. Oh! pardon me, inconceivable difference, on't, you sba'n't know a syllable of the matter; for inconceivable ; I see it as clearly as your bracelet. I bave been informed you never believe above one

In the one case, the husband would say, as Mr. balf of what I say.

Snapper said t'other day, “ Zounds! madam, do you Vil. My dear fellow, somebody has imposed / suppose that my table, and my house, and my picapon you most egregiously! Hall! why, I never

tures”-Apropos, des Bottes : there was the dibelieve one-tenth part of what you say: that is ao

vinest Plague of Athens sold yesterday at Langcording to the plain and literal expression ; but, as

ford's! The dead figures so natural ; you would I understand you, your intelligence is amusing.

have sworn they had been alive. Lord Primrose Flut. That's very hard now, very hard. I never

bid five hundred; six, said Lady Carmine; a thourelated a falsity in my life, unless I stumbled on it sand, said Ingot the nabob. Down went the hamby mistake; and if it were otherwise, your dull,

A rouleau for your bargain, said Sir Jeremy matter-of-fact people are infinitely obliged to those Jingle. And what answer do you think Ingot mado

binn? warm imaginations which soar into fiction to amuse you; for, positively, the common events of this

Mrs. R. Why, took the offer. little dirty world are not worth talking about, un

Flut. “Sir, I would oblige you, but I buy this less you embellish them. Ha! here comes Mrs. picture to place in the nursery; the children have Racket. Adieu lo weeds, I see! All life! already got Whittington and his Cat! 'tis just this

size, and they'll make good companions.”. Enter Mrs. RACKET.

Mrs. R. Ha, ha, ha! Well, I protest that's just

the way now; the nabobs and their wives outbid Enter, madam, in all your charms! Völlers has

one at every sale, and the creatures have no more been abasing your toilette, for keeping you so taste long; but I think we are much obliged to it, and Vil. There again! You forget this story is told so are you.

by Flutter, who always remembers every thing Mrs. R. How so, pray? Good morning t'ye both. but the circumstances and the person he talks Here, here's a band a piece for you. (They kiss about. 'Twas Ingot who offered a rouleau for the her hands.)

bargain, and Sir Jeremy Jingle who made the Flut. How so? because it has gived you so many | reply. beauties.

Flut. Egad! I believe you are right. Well, the

mer.

story is as good one way as t'other, you know. Mrs. R. Absurd and romantic! If you have no Good morning. I am going to Mrs. Crotchet's. reason to believe bis heart pre-engaged, be satis

Vil. I'll venture every tigure in your tailor's-bill fied; if he is a man of honour, you'll have nothing you make some blunder there.

to complain of. Flut. (Turning back.) Done! my tailor's-bill Let. Nothing to complain of? Heavens ! shall I has not been paid these two years; and I'll open marry the man I adore with such an expectation as my mouth with as much care as Mrs. Bridget But that? ton, who wears cork plumpers in each cheek, and Mrs. R. And when you have fretted yourself never hazards more than six words for fear of pale, my dear, you'll have mended your expectashewing them.

[Exit. tion greatly. Mrs. R. 'Tis a good-natured, insignificant crea- Lei. (Pausing.) Yet I have one hope. If there ture ! let in every where, and cared for no where is any power whose peculiar care is faithful love, There's Miss Hardy returned from Lincoln's Inn : that power 1 invoke to aid me. she seems rather chagrined. Vil. Then I leave you to your communications.

Enter MR. HARDY.

Har. Well, now, wasn't I right? Ay, Letty! ay, Enter LETITIA, followed by her Maid.

cousin Rackett! wasn't I right? I knew 'iwould Adieu! I am rejoiced to see you so well, ma- be so. He was all agog to see her before he went dam ; but I must tear myself away.

abroad; and if he had, he'd have thought no more Let. Don't vanish in a moment.

of her face, may be, than his own. Vil. Oh, inhuman! you are two of the most dan- Mrs. R. May be not half so much. gerous women in town. Staying here to be can- Har. Ay, may be so; but I see into things; exnonaded by four such eyes, is equal to a rencontre actly as I foresaw, to day he fell desperately in with Paul Jones, or a midnight march to Omoa ! love with the wench. He, he, he ! They'll swallow the nonsense for the sake of the Let. Indeed, sir! How did you perceive it? compliment. (Aside.)

[Exit. Har. That's a pretty question ! How do I perLet. (Gives her cloak to the maid.) Order Duceive every thing? How did I foresee the fall of Quesne never more to come again; he shall posi: corn, and the rise of taxes? How did I know that tively dress my hair no more. (Exit Maid.] And if we quarrelled with America, Norway deals would this odious silk, how unbecoming it is ! I was be- be dearer? How did I foretell that a war would sink witched to choose it. (Throwing herself on a chair, the funds? How did I forewarn parson Homily, and looking in a pockel-glass; Mrs. Racket staring that if he didn't some way or the other contrive to at her.) Did you ever see such a fright as I am to get more votes than Rubrio, be'd lose the lectureday?

ship? How did I—But what the devil makes you Mrs. R. Yes, I have seen you look much worse. so dall, Letitia ? I thought to bave found you pop

Let. How can you be so provoking? If I do not ping about as brisk as the jacks of your harpsilook this morning worse than ever I looked in my chord. life, I am naturally a fright. You shall have it Let. Surely, sir, 'tis a very serious occasion. which way you will.

Har. Pho, pho! girls should never be grave Mrs. R. Just as you please; but pray what is before marriage. How did you feel, cousin, bethe meaning of all this?

forehand, eh? Let. (Rising.) Men are all dissemblers, flatter- Mrs. R. Feel! why exceedingly full of cares. ers, deceivers ! Have I not heard a thousand times Har. Did you? of my hair, my eyes, my shape-all made for vic- Mrs. R. I could not sleep for thinking of my tory and to day, when I bent my whole heart on coach, my liveries, and my chairmen. The taste of one poor conquest, I have proved that all those im- clothes I should be presented in, distracted me for puted charms amount to nothing; for Doricourt saw a week; and whether I should be married in white ibem unmoved. A husband of fifteen months could or lilac, gave me the most cruel anxiety. not have examined me with more cutting indiffer- Let. And is it possible that you felt no other

care? Mrs. R. Then you return it like a wife of fifteen Har. And, pray, of what sort may your cares be, months, and be as indifferent as he.

Mrs. Letitia? I begin to foresee now that you bave Let. Ay, there's the sting! the blooming boy taken a dislike to Doricourt. that left his image in my young heart, is at four- Let. Indeed, sir, I have not. and-twenty, improved in every grace that fixed him Har. Then what's all this melancholy about? there. It is the same face that my memory and A’n't you a going to be married ? and what's more, my dreams constantly painted to me; but its graces to a sensible man ; and what's more to a young girl, are finished, and every beauty heightened. How to a bandsome man? And what's all this melanmortifying to feel myself at the same moment choly for, I say? bis slave, and an object of perfect indifference to Mrs. R. Why, because he is handsome and senhim !

sible, and because she's over head and ears in love Mrs. R. How are you certain that was the case? with him; all which, it seems, your foreknowledge Did you expect him to kneel down before the law- had not told you a word of, yer, bis clerks, and your father, to make oath of Let. Fie, Caroline! your beauty ?

Har. Well, come, do you tell me what's the Let. No; but he should have looked as if a sad- matter then. If you don't like him, hang the sigoden ray had pierced him; he should have been ing and sealing, he sh'an't have you ; and yet I breathless, speechless! for, oh! Caroline, all this can't say that neither; for you kuow that estate, was I!

that cost his father and me upwards of fourscore Mrs. R. I am sorry you was such a fool. Can thousand pounds, must go all to him if you won't you expect a man, who has courted and been have him: if he won't have you, indeed, 'twill be courted by half the fine women in Europe, to feel all your's. All that's clear; engrossed upon parchlike a girl from a boarding-school? He is the pret- ment, and the poor dear man set his hand to it tiest fellow you have seen, and in course, bewilders whilst he was a-dying. “Ah!” said I, “I foresee your imagination ; but he has seen a million of you'll never live to see them come together; but pretty women, child, before he saw you ; and his their first son shall be christened Jeremiah, after first feelings have been over long ago.

you, that I promise you.” But come, I say, what Let. Your raillery distresses me; but I will is the matter? Don't you like him? toach his heart, or never be his wife.

Let. I fear, sirif I must speak-I fear I was

ence.

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