Page images


Char. Oh dear papa, I shall faint away;

there's murder doing.

Sir J. Who! when! what is it?

Tip. Yes, sir, for a cheat and impostor.
Old Lady L. What does he say?
Sir J. Dear son, what is this?

Col. L. Only some action of the doctor's,

Char. The doctor, sir, and Seyward, were sir, which I have affidavits in my hand here at high words just now in the garden; and, to prove, from more than one creditable witupon a sudden, there was a pistol fired be-ness; and I think it my duty to make the pubtween them. Oh! I'm afraid poor Seyward lic acquainted with: if he can acquit himself is killed. of them, so; if not, he must take the consequence. Sir J. How? Dr. C. Well, but stay; let the accusations Char. Oh, there he comes himself; he'll tell against me be what they will, by virtue of this

[blocks in formation]

conveyance I am still master here; and if I
am forced to leave the house myself, I will
shut up the doors-nobody shall remain behind.
Sir J. There! there! indeed, he stings me

Darn. Here, bring in this ruffian; this is to the heart! for that rash act, reproach and villany beyond example.

Sir J. What means this outrage?
Lady L. I tremble.

Sey. Don't be alarmed, madam-there is no mischief done: what was intended, the doctor here can best inform you.

Sir J. Mr. Darnley, I am ashamed to see you. Maw. So you ought: but this good man is ashamed of nothing.

endless shame will haunt me!

Char. No, sir!-be comforted.- Even there too his wicked hopes must leave him; for know, the fatal deed which you intended to sign is here, even yet unsealed and innocent!

Sir J. What mean you?

Dr. C. Come, sir; lead me where you please.


Col. L. Secure your prisoner.
Old Lady L. I don't know what to make

Char. I mean, sir, that this deed by accident falling into this gentleman's hands, his generous concern for our family discovered it to me; Dr. C. Alas! my enemies prevail. and that in concert we procured that other to Sey. In short, gentlemen, the affair is cir- be drawn exactly like it; which, in your imcumstantially this-The doctor called me out patience to execute, passed unsuspected for the into the pavilion in the garden; appeared in original. Their only difference is, that whergreat disorder; told me here was a sudden ever here you read the doctor's name, there storm raised, which he was not sufficiently you'll find my brother's. prepared to weather. He said, his dependance) was upon me; and at all events, I must be ready to swear, when he called upon me, I had seen him pay sir John several large sums of money. He talked confusedly about giving of all this. value for an estate; but I boldly refused to Maw. They'll all go to the devil for what perjure myself; and told him, on the contrary, they are doing-Come away, my lady, and let I was satisfied he had fleeced sir John of se- us see after the good dear doctor. Ay, do veral large sums, under pretence of charitable laugh, you'll go to the devil for all that.— uses, which he secretly converted to his own. Come, my lady, you go first. -This stung him, and he fastened at my throat. Then, indeed, all temper left me; and, disengaging myself from his hold, with a homeblow, I struck him down. At this, grown desperate, he ran with fury to some pistols that hung about the chimney: but in the instant he reached one, I seized upon his wrist; and as we grappled, the pistol, firing to the ceiling, alarmed the family.

Old Lady L. This is a lie, young man; I see the devil standing at your elbow. Maw. So do I, with a great big pitchfork, pushing him on.

Dr. C. Well, what have you more against me? Darn. More, sir, I hope is needless—but if sir John is yet unsatisfied.

Sir J. Oh! I have seen too much.
Dr. C. I demand my liberty.
Sir J. Let him go.

Enter COLONEL LAMBERT and Attendants.
Col. L. Hold, sir! not so fast; you can't pass.
Dr. C. Who, sir, shall dare to stop me?
Col. L. Within there!

[blocks in formation]

[Exeunt Mawworm and old Lady Lambert.

Char. Now, Darnley, I hope I have made atonement for your jealousy.

Darn. You've banished it for ever! this was beyond yourself surprising. Col. L. Sister

Char. Come, no set speeches; if I deserve your thanks, return them in friendship to your first preserver.

Col. L. The business of my life shall be to merit it.

[ocr errors]

Sey. And mine, to speak my sense of obligations.

Sir J. Oh, my child! for my deliverance I can only reward you here.-For you, my son, whose filial virtue I have injured, this honest deed shall in every article be ratified.—And for the sake of that hypocritical villain, I declare, that from henceforward I renounce all pious folks; I will have an utter abhorrence for every thing that bears the appearance

Char. Nay now, my dear sir, I must take the liberty to tell you, you go from one ex treme to another.-What, because a worthles wretch has imposed upon you, under the fa lacious show of austere grimace, will you nee have it every body is like him, confound th good with the bad, and conclude there are truly religious in the world?-Leave, my de sir, such rash consequences to fools and lib

tines.—Let us be careful to distinguish between character in life, greater or more valuable than virtue and the appearance of it. Guard if pos- that of the truly devout-nor any thing more sible against doing honour to hypocrisy-But, noble or more beautiful, than the fervor of a at the same time, let us allow there is no sincere piety. [Exeunt.



This lady was daughter of one Mr. Freeman, of Holbeach, in Lincolnshire. It is not decided whether she was born in Ireland or England; but it must have been in the year 1680. Be it as it may, we find her left to the wide world, by the death of her parents, before she had completed her twelfth year. There is a romantic story told of her having been met on her journey to London on foot, whither she went to avoid the tyranny of her stepmother, by a young gentleman from the university of Cambridge, (the afterwards well-known Anthony Hammond), who was so extremely struck with her youth and beauty, and so affected with the distress which her circumstances naturally declared in her countenance, that he fell instantly in love with her; and, inquiring into the particulars of her story soon prevaled on her inexperienced innocence to seize on the protection he offered her, and go with him to Cambridge, where, apping her in boy's clothes, he introduced her to his intimates at college as a relation, who was come down to see the university, and pass some time with him there. If this story is true, it must have happened when she was extreme-, If you: Whincop, as well as the other writers, acknowledging that she was married in her sixteenth year, to a nephew of Sir Stephen Fox. But that gentleman not living with her above a twelvemonth, her wit and beauty soon procured her a second husband, whose name was Carrol, and who was an officer in the army; but he having the misfort to be killed in a duel, within about a year and a half after their marriage, she became a second time a widow. Such an attachment she seems to have had to the theatre, that she even became herself a performer in 1706 and perfarming the part of Alexander the Great, in Lee's Rival Queens, at Windsor, where the court then was, she wounded the heart of one Mr. Joseph Centlivre, yeoman of the mouth to Her Majesty, who soon married her; and after passing averal years happily together, she died at his house in Spring-Gardens, Charing Cross, on the first of December 1725. -That Mrs. Centlivre was perfectly acquainted with life, and closely read the minds and manners of mankind, no one, we think, can doubt who reads her comedies; but what appears to us the most extraordinary is, when we consider her history, the disadvantages she must have laboured under, by being so early left to bustle with the world, and that all the catation she could have had, must have been owing to her own application and assiduity; when, we say, we conder her as an absolutely self-cultivated genius, it is astonishing to find the traces of so much reading and learning We meet with in many of her pieces; since, for the drawing of the various characters she has presented us with, she must have perfectly well understood the French, Dutch, and Spanish languages, all the provincial dialects of her own, domewhat even of the Latin, since all these she occasionally makes use of, and whenever she does so, it is constantly with the utmost propriety and the greatest accuracy.

[blocks in formation]

Was produced at Lincoln's-inn Fields in the year 1718. Mrs. Centlivre was indebted to Mr. Mottley for two scenes of this comedy. Notwithstanding this piece has been accused by some for its numerous violations of all rule, nature, or bability, the business is so extremely active, in the course of the whole, that we are not stopped by ennui at any e of the play; but laughingly get on to the very end. It does not very materially tend to correct any parti calar vice; but seems to invite us for once to lay aside all our gravity, and open our hearts to playful gaiety and

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]


are discovered over a Bottle.

Free. COME, colonel, his majesty's health. You are as melancholy as if you were in love!

Col. F. Why, faith 2), Freeman, there is something in't: I have seen a lady at Bath, who has kindled such a flame in me, that all the waters there can't quench.

Free. Is she not to be had, colonel?

I wish some of the beauties of Bath 1) han't Col. F. That's a difficult question to answer; however, I resolve to try; perhaps you may

snapt your heart.

1) The seasons, in England, are generally managed by the be able to serve me; you merchants know at people, so as to produce their different pleasures; one another. The lady told me herself she for instance, London is overflowing in the Spring, till the month of June: then all the families whirl off to was under the charge of four persons.

Brighton, Weymouth, or other watering-places till the ammer is passed. In autumn the gentlemen shoot away their time at their country-seats, while their ladies are employed yawning over the last novels, rusticating;

Free. Odso!3) 'tis miss Ann Lovely.
Cot. F. The same-do you know her?
Free. Know her! ay-Faith, colonel, your

Winter comes to enliven them once more and then condition is more desperate than you imagine: the quiet good-natured people of Bath, are pestered why, she is the talk and pity of the whole with their routing and disturbance, tile the Spring

sends them off to London again. This, of course, means 2) In faith.

in War-time.

5) From God.

town and it is the opinion of the learned, nel: her father, my old master, was the most
that she must die a maid.
whimsical, out-of-the-way temper'd man, I
Col. F. Say you so? That's somewhat odd, ever heard of, as you will guess by his last
in this charitable city.-She's a woman, I hope? will and testament. This was his ouly child:
Free. For aught I know-but it had been and I have heard him wish her dead a thou-
as well for her, had nature made her any sand times. He died worth thirty thousand
other part of the creation. The man who pounds, which he left to his daughter, pro-
keeps this house served her father; he is a vided she married with the consent of her
very honest fellow, and may he of use to you: guardians; but that she might be sure never
we'll send for him to take a glass with us: to do so, he left her in the care of four men,
he'll give you her whole history, and 'tis as opposite to each other as the four elements:
worth your hearing.
each has his quarterly rule, and three months
in the year she is obliged to be subject to

Col. F. But may one trust him?

Free. With your life: I have obligations each of their humours, and they are pretty enough upon him, to make him do any thing; different, I assure you. She is just come from I serve him with wine. [Rings. Bath. Col. F. Nay, I know him very well myself. I once used to frequent a club that was kept here.

Enter DRAWer.

Draw. Gentlemen, d'ye call?
Free. Ay, send up your master.
Draw. Yes, sir.

Col. F. Do you know any of this guardian's, Freeman?

Free. I know two of them very well.

Col. F. Twas there I saw her.
Sack. Ay, sir, the last quarter was her beau
guardian's. She appears in all public places
during his reign.

Col. F. She visited a lady who boarded in the same house with me: I liked her person, and found an opportunity to tell her so. She [Exit. replied, she had no objection to mine; but if lady's I could not reconcile contradictions I must not think of her, for that she was condemned to the caprice of four persons, who never yet agreed in any one thing, and she was obliged to please them all.

Free. Here comes one will give you an ac- Sack. 'Tis most true, sir: I'll give you a count of them all.-Mr. Sackbut, we sent for short description of the men, and leave you you to take a glass with us. Tis a maxim to judge of the poor lady's condition. One among the friends of the bottle, that as long is a kind of virtuoso, a silly half-witted fellow, as the master is in company, one may be sure but positive and surly, fond of every thing of good wine.

Sack. Sir, you shall be sure to have as good wine as you send in. - Colonel, your most bumble servant; you are welcome to town.

Col. F. I thank you, Mr. Sackbut. Sack. I am as glad to see you as I should a hundred tun of French claret, custom free. -My service to you, sir. [Drinks] You don't look so merry as you used to do; aren't you well, colonel?

Free. He has got a woman in his head, landlord: can you help him?

Sack. If 'tis in my power, I shan't scruple to serve my friend.

antique and foreign, and wears his clothes of the fashion of the last century, dotes upon travellers, and believes more of sir John Mandeville') than he does of the Bible.

Col. F. That must be a rare odd fellow. Sack. Another is a change-broker: a fellow that will out-lie the devil for the advantage of stock, and cheat his father that got him in a bargain: he is a great stickler for trade, and hates every man that wears a sword.

Free. He is a great admirer of the Dutch management, and swears they understand trade better than any nation under the sun.


Sack. The third is an old beau, that has Col. F. 'Tis one perquisite of your calling. May in his fancy and dress, but December in Sack. Ay, at t'other end of the town, where his face and his heels: he admires all new you officers use, women are good forcers of fashions, and those must be French; loves trade: a well-customed house, a handsome bar-operas, balls, masquerades, and is always the keeper, with clean obliging drawers, soon get most tawdry of the whole company on the master an estate; but our citizens seldom birth-day 2). do any thing but cheat within the walls.- Col. F. These are pretty opposite one to But as to the lady, colonel, point you at par- another, truly; and the fourth, what is be, ticulars? or have you a good Champaign landlord? stomach? Are you in full pay, or reduced, colonel?

Col. F. Reduced, reduced, landlord!

Free. To the miserable condition of a lover! Sack. Pish! that's perferable to half-pay: a woman's resolution may break before the peace: push her home, colonel, there's no parlying with the fair sex.

Col. F. Were the lady her own mistress, I have some reasons to believe I should soon command in chief.

Free. You know miss Lovely, Mr. Sackbut? Saek. Know her! Ay, poor Nancy: I have carried her to school many a frosty morning. Alas! if she's the woman, I pity you, colo

Sack. A very rigid quaker, whose quarter began this day.-I saw miss Lovely go in, not above two hours ago.-Sir Philip set her 1) The Voiage and Travaille of Sir John MandeviUr. knight, which treateth of the way to Hierusalem, mx. marvayles of Inde; and it is well known that this bold seeker, and fearless assertor, of incredible adves tures, left England in 1522; visited Tartary about ha a century after Marco Polo; religiously declined mar rying the Soldan of Egypt's daughter, because he wou not renounce Christianity, and, after wandering years through the realms of Inde, and being long r puted dead, returned to publish his adventures, scrop. lously qualifying his most astounding relations

some such words as these:-thei seyne, or men seybut I have not sene it.

2) The king's birth day, at which time all the great ple pay their court.

down. What think you now, colonel, is not the poor lady to be pitied?

Betty. What can you not do, if you will but give your mind to it? Marry, madam, Miss L. What! and have my fortune go to build churches and hospitals?

Col F. Ay, and rescued too, landlord, Free. In my opinion that's impossible. Col. F. There is nothing impossible to a Betty. Why, let it go.-If the colonel loves lover. What would not a man attempt for a you, as he pretends, he'll marry you without fine woman and thirty thousand pounds? Be-a fortune, madam; and I assure you a colosides, my honour is at stake: I promised to nel's lady is no despicable thing. deliver her, and she bid me win her and wear her. Miss L. So you would advise me to give Sack. That's fair, faith! up my own fortune, and throw myself upon the colonel's!

Free. If it depended upon knight-errantry, I should not doubt your setting free the damsel; but to have avarice, impertinence, hypocrisy, and pride, at once to deal with, requires more Miss L. That's not the way, I'm sure. No, cunning than generally attends a man of honour. no, girl, there are certain ingredients to be Col. F. My fancy tells me I shall come off mingled with matrimony, without which I may with glory. I resolve to try, however.-Do as well change for the worse as the better. you know all the guardians, Mr. Sackbut? Sark. Very well; they all use my house. Cel. F. And will you assist me, if occasion requires?

Betty. I would advise you to make yourself easy, madam.

Sack. In every thing I can, colonel.
Free. I'll answer for him.

Col. F. First I'll attack my beau guardian: where lives he?

Sack. Faith, somewhere about St. James's; though to say in what street I cannot ; but any chairman will tell you where sir Philip Modelove lives.

Free. Oh! you'll find him in the Park at eleven every day; at least I never pass through at that hour without seeing him there-But what do you intend?

When the woman has fortune enough to make the man happy, if he has either honour or good manners, he'll make her easy, Love makes but a slovenly figure in a house, where po verty keeps the door.

Betty. And so you resolve to die a maid, do you, madam?

Miss L Or have it in my power to make the man I love master of my fortune.

Betty. Then you don't like the colonel so well as I thought you did, madam, or you would not take such a resolution.

Miss L. It is because I do like him, Betty, that I do take such a resolution.

Betty. Why, do you expect, madam, the colonel can work miracles? Is it possible for Col. F. To address him in his own way, him to marry you with the consent of all your and find what he designs to do with the lady. guardians? Free. And what then?

[ocr errors]

Miss L. Or he must not marry me at all; Col. F. Nay, that I can't tell; but I shall and so I told him; and he did not seem distake my measures accordingly. pleased with the news. He promised to set Sack. Well, 'tis a mad undertaking, in my me free; and I, on that condition, promised mind; but here's to your success, colonel. to make him master of that freedom.

[Drinks. Col. F. Tis something out of the way, I confess; but fortune may chance to smile, and



Betty. Well! I have read of enchanted castles, ladies delivered from the chains of magic, giants killed, and monsters overcome; so that I shall be the less surprised if the colonel shall conjure you out of the power of your four guardians: if he does, I am sure he deserves your fortune.

Bold was the man who ventur'd first to sea, But the first vent'ring lovers bolder were. The path of love's dark and dang'rous way, Without a landmark or one friendly star. Miss. L. And shall have it, girl, if it were And he that runs the risk deserves the fair. ten times as much-For I'll ingenuously con[Exeunt. fess to thee, that I do love the colonel above all the men I ever saw: SCENE II.—An Apartment in PRIM's House. There's something so jantée in a soldier, a kind of je ne scais Enter MISS LOVELY and her maid BETTY. quoi air, that makes them more agreeable than Betty. Bless me, madam! why do you fret all the rest of mankind. They command reand teaze yourself so? This is giving them the gard, as who shall say, We are your defenadvantage, with a witness. ders; we preserve your beauties from the in

to the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Miss L. Must I be condemned all my life sults of rude and unpolished foes, and ought preposterous humours of other people, to be preferred before those lazy indolent morand pointed at by every boy in town! -Oh! tals, who, by dropping into their father's estates, I could tear my flesh and curse the hour I set up their coaches, and think to rattle themwas born.-Isn't it monstrously ridiculous that selves into our affections.

they should desire to impose their quaking Betty. Nay, madam, I confess that the army dress upon me at these years? When I was has engrossed all the prettiest fellows-A laced a child, no matter what they made me wear; coat and a feather have irresistible charms.

but now

Miss L. But the colonel has all the beauties


Betty. I would resolve against it, madam; of the mind as well as the body. — O all ye I'd see 'em hanged before I'd put on the pinch'd powers that favour happy lovers, grant that cap again. The may be mine! Thou god of love, if thou Miss L. Then I must never expect one mo-be'st aught but name, assist my Feignwell! ment's ease: she has rung such a peal in my already, that I shan't have the right use of them this month.-VVhat can I do?


Point all thy darts to aid his just design,
And make his plots as prevalent as thine.


[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Sir P. Ha! a stranger, by his equipage keeping so close at his heels. He has the appearance of a man of quality.-Positively French, by his dancing air.

Wom. He crosses, as if he meant to sit down here.

Sir P. He has a mind to make love to thee, child.


[blocks in formation]

Col. F. Oh! that's included under the article of pleasure.

Sir P. Parbleu! c'est un homme d'esprit, May I crave your name, sir?

Col. F. My name is La Feignwell, sir, at your service.

Sir P. The La Feignwells are French, I know; though the name is become very nuWom. It will be to no purpose if he does. merous in Great Britain of late years-I was Sir P. Are you resolved to be cruel then? sure you was French the moment I laid my Col. F. You must be very cruel indeed, if eyes upon you; I could not come into the you can deny any thing to so fine a gentleman, supposition of your being an Englishman: this madam. [Takes out his Watch. island produces few such ornaments. Wom. I never mind the outside of a man. Col. F. And I'm afraid thou art no judge of the inside.

Sir P. I am positively of your mind, sir; for creatures of her function seldom penetrate beyond the pocket.

Col. F. Are you married, sir Philip? Sir P. No; nor do I believe I shall ever enter into that honourable state: I have an absolute tendre for the whole sex.

Col. F. That's more than they have for you, I dare swear. [Aside] I find I was very much Wom. Coxcombs! [Aside, and exit. mistaken-I imagined you had been married Sir P. Pray what says your watch? mine to that young lady whom I saw in the chariot [Pulling out his Watch. with you this morning in Gracechurch-street. Col. FI want thirty-six minutes of twelve, sir. Sir P. Who, Nancy Lovely? I am a piece [Puts up his Watch, and takes out of a guardian to that lady: You must know

is down.

his Snuff-box.

Sir P. May I presume, sir. Col. F. Sir, you honour me. [Presenting the Box. Sir P. He speaks good English-though he must be a foreigner. [Aside]-This snuff is extremely good-and the box prodigious fine: the work is French, I presume, sir.

Col. F. I bought it in Paris, sir.-I do think the workmanship pretty neat.

Sir P. Neat! 'tis exquisitely fine, sir. Pray, sir, if I may take the liberty of inquiring what country is so happy to claim the birth of the finest gentleman in the universe? France, I presume.

Col. F. Then you don't think me an Englishman?

Sir P. No, upon my soul, don't I.
Col. F. I am sorry for't.

her father, I thank him, joined me with three of the most preposterous old fellows-that, upon my soul, I am in pain for the poor girl: she must certainly lead apes,1) ha, ha!

Col. F. That's a pity, sir Philip. If the lady would give me leave, I would endeavour to avert that curse.

Sir P. As to the lady, she'd gladly be rid of us at any rate, I believe; but here's the mischief: he who marries miss Lovely, must have the consent of us all four-or not a penny of her portion. For my part, I shall never approve of any but a man of figure-and the rest are not only averse to cleanliness, but have each a peculiar taste to gratify.-For my part, declare I would prefer you to all men I ever saw. Col. F. And I her to all women


Sir P. I assure you, Mr. Feignwell, I am for marrying her, for I hate the trouble of a Sir P. Impossible you should wish to be guardian, especially among such wretches; but an Englishman! Pardon me, sir, this island resolve never to agree to the choice of any could not produce a person of such alertness. one of them-and I fancy they'll be even with Col. F. As this mirror shows you, sir. [Puts me, for they never came into any proposal of up a pocket-glass to Sir Philip's Face] know not how to distinguish you, sir: but your mien and address speak you right honourable.

Sir P. Thus great souls judge of others by themselves-I am only adorned with knighthood: that's all, I assure you, sir; my name is sir Philip Modelove.

Col. F. Of French extraction?

Sir P. My father was French.

mine yet.


Col. F. I wish I had leave to try them, sir Philip. Sir P. With all my soul, sir; I can refuse person of your appearance nothing.

Col. F. Sir, I am infinitely obliged to you. Sir P. But do you really like matrimony? Col. F. I believe I could with that lady. Sir P. The only point in which we differ. -But you are master of so many qualifications, Col. F. One may plainly perceive it-There that I can excuse one fault: for I must think is a certain gaiety peculiar to my nation (for it a fault in a fine gentleman; and that you I will own myself a Frenchman) which dis- are such, I'll give it under my hand. tinguishes us every where.-A person of your figure would be a vast addition to a coronet.

Sir P. I must own I had the offer of a

1) The inevitable fate of all young ladies dying old makaaccording to the English proverb, is, that they shai lead apes in hell.

« EelmineJätka »