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here they come to receive a confirmation of your my soul, I had no hand in the matter. So now pardon and consent. if any of the company has a mind for preferment,




may take my place; I'm determined to resign.


Honeywood. How have I been deceived! Mrs. Croaker. Where's my husband? Come, Sir William. No, sir, you have been obliged to come, lovey, you must forgive them. Jarvis here a kinder, fairer friend, for that favour-to Miss has been to tell me the whole affair; and I say, you Richland. Would she complete our joy, and make must forgive them. Our own was a stolen match, the man she has honoured by her friendship happy you know, my dear; and we never had any reason in her love, I should then forget all, and be as blest to repent of it. as the welfare of my dearest kinsman can make


Croaker. I wish we could both say so. However, this gentleman, Sir William Honeywood, has Miss Richland. After what is past it would be been beforehand with you in obtaining their pardon. but affectation to pretend to indifference. Yes, I So if the two poor fools have a mind to marry, I will own an attachment, which I find was more think we can tack them together without crossing than friendship. And if my entreaties can not alter the Tweed for it. [Joining their hands. his resolution to quit the country, I will even try if my hand has not power to detain him. [Giving her hand.]

Leontine. How blest and unexpected! What, what can we say to such goodness? But our future obedience shall be the best reply. And as for this gentleman, to whom we owe

Honeywood. Heavens! how can I have deserved all this? How express my happiness, my gratitude? A moment like this overpays an age of apprehension.

Croaker. Well, now I see content in every face; but Heaven send we be all better this day three months!

Sir William. Excuse me, sir, if I interrupt your thanks, as I have here an interest that calls me. [Turning to Honeywood.] Yes, sir, you are surprised to see me; and I own that a desire of correcting your follies led me hither. I saw with indignation the errors of a mind that only sought ap- Sir William. Henceforth, nephew, learn to replause from others; that easiness of disposition spect yourself. He who seeks only for applause which, though inclined to the right, had not cou- from without, has all his happiness in another's rage to condemn the wrong. I saw with regret keeping.

those splendid errors, that still took name from

Honeywood. Yes, sir, I now too plainly persome neighbouring duty; your charity, that was but ceive my errors; my vanity in attempting to please injustice; your benevolence, that was but weak- all by fearing to offend any; my meanness, in apness; and your friendship but credulity. I saw proving folly lest fools should disapprove. Hencewith regret, great talents and extensive learning forth, therefore, it shall be my study to reserve my only employed to add sprightliness to error, and in-pity for real distress; my friendship for true merit; crease your perplexities. I saw your mind with and my love for her, who first taught me what it a thousand natural charms; but the greatness of its is to be happy

beauty served only to heighten my pity for its


Honeywood. Cease to upbraid me, sir: I have for some time but too strongly felt the justice of your reproaches. But there is one way still left me. Yes, sir, I have determined this very hour to quit forever a place where I have made myself the voluntary slave of all, and to seek among strangers that fortitude which may give strength to the mind, and marshal all its dissipated virtues. Yet ere I depart, permit me to solicit favour for this gentleman; who, notwithstanding what has happened, has laid me under the most signal obligations. Mr. Lofty



As puffing quacks some caitiff wretch procure
To swear the pill, or drop, has wrought a cure;
Thus, on the stage, our play-wrights still depend
For epilogues and prologues on some friend,
Who knows each art of coaxing up the town,
And make full many a bitter pill go down.
Conscious of this, our bard has gone about,
And teased each rhyming friend to help him out.
An epilogue, things can't go on without it;
It could not fail, would you but set about it.

Lofty. Mr. Honeywood, I'm resolved upon a reformation as well as you. I now begin to find that the man who first invented the art of speaking truth, was a much cunninger fellow than I thought *The author, in expectation of an Epilogue from a friend at him. And to prove that I design to speak truth Oxford, deferred writing one himself till the very last hour. for the future, I must now assure you, that you what is here offered, owes all its success to the graceful man. owe your late enlargement to another; as, upon ner of the actress who spoke it.

Young man, cries one (a bard laid up in clover,)
Alas! young man, my writing days are over;
Let boys play tricks, and kick the straw, not I;
Your brother doctor there, perhaps, may try.
What, I dear sir, the doctor interposes:
What, plant my thistle, sir, among his roses!
No, no, I've other contests to maintain;
To-night I head our troops at Warwick-lane.
Go ask your manager-Who, me! Your pardon;
Those things are not our forte at Covent-Garden.
Our author's friends, thus placed at happy distance,
Give him good words indeed, but no assistance.

| As some unhappy wight at some new play,
At the pit door stands elbowing away,
While oft with many a smile, and many a shrug,
He eyes the centre, where his friends sit snug;
His simpering friends, with pleasure in their eyes
Sink as he sinks, and as he rises rise:
He nods, they nod; he cringes, they grimace;
But not a soul will budge to give him place.
Since then, unhelp'd our bard must now conform
"To 'bide the pelting of this pit'less storm."
Blame where you must, be candid where you can,
And be each critic the Good-natured Man.




A Comedy





By inscribing this slight performance to you, I do not mean so much to compliment you as myself. It may do me some honour to inform the public, that I have lived many years in intimacy with you. It may serve the interests of mankind also to inform them, that the greatest wit may be found in a character without impairing the most unaffected piety. I have, particularly, reason to thank you for your partiality to this performance. The undertaking a Comedy, not merely sentimental, was very dangerous; and Mr. Colman, who saw this piece in its various stages, always thought it so. However, I ventured to trust it to the public; and, though it was necessarily delayed till late in the season, I have every reason to be grateful.

I am, Dear Sir,
Your most sincere friend and admirer,



am undone, that's all-shall lose my breadI'd rather, but that's nothing-lose my head. When the sweet maid is laid upon the bier, SHUTER and I shall be chief mourners here. To her a mawkish drab of spurious breed, Who deals in sentimentals, will succeed! Poor NED and I are dead to all intents; We can as soon speak Greek as sentiments! Both nervous grown, to keep our spirits up, We now and then take down a hearty cup. What shall we do?—If Comedy forsake us, They'll turn us out, and no one else will take us. But why can't I be moral ?-Let me tryMy heart thus pressing-fix'd my face and eyeWith a sententious look that nothing means, (Faces are blocks in sentimental scenes) Thus I begin—“All is not gold that glitters; Pleasures seem sweet, but prove a glass of bitters. When ign'rance enters, folly is at hand: Learning is better far than house or land. Let not your virtue trip; who trips may stumble And virtue is not virtue if she tumble."

I give it up-morals won't do for me;
To make you laugh, I must play tragedy.
One hope remains-hearing the maid was ill,
A Doctor comes this night to show his skill.
To cheer her heart, and give your muscles motion,
He, in five draughts prepared, presents a potion:

Enter MR. WOODWARD, dressed in black, and holding a A kind of magic charm-for be assured,

handkerchief to his eyes.

Excuse me, sirs, I pray,-I can't yet speak,—
I'm crying now-and have been all the week.
"'Tis not alone this mourning suit," good masters:
"I've that within"—for which there are no plasters!
Pray, would you know the reason why I'm crying?
The Comic Muse, long sick, is now a-dying!
And if she goes, my tears will never stop;
For, as a player, I can't squeeze out one drop:

If you will swallow it the maid is cured;
But desperate the Doctor, and her case is,
If you reject the dose, and make wry faces!
This truth he boasts, will boast it while he lives,
No pois'nous drugs are mix'd in what he gives.
Should he succeed, you'll give him his degree;
If not, within he will receive no fee!
The college, you, must his pretensions back,
Pronounce him Regular, or dub him Quack.


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I'm not so old as you'd make me, by more than one good year. Add twenty to twenty, and make money of that.

Hardcastle. Let me see: twenty added to twenty makes just fifty and seven.

Mrs. Hardcastle. It's false, Mr. Hardcastle; 1 was but twenty when I was brought to bed of To

MR. DUBELLAMY. ny, that I had by Mr. Lumpkin, my first husband; and he's not come to years of discretion yet.








Hardcastle. Nor ever will, I dare answer for him. Ay, you have taught him finely.

Mrs. Hardcastle. No matter. Tony Lumpkin has a good fortune. My son is not to live by his learning. I don't think a boy wants much learning to spend fifteen hundred a-year.

Hardcastle. Learning quotha! a mere composi tion of tricks and mischief.

Mrs. Hardcastle. Humour, my dear, nothing but humour. Come, Mr. Hardcastle, you must allow the boy a little humour.

Hardcastle. I'd sooner allow him a horsepond. If burning the footman's shoes, frightening the maids, and worrying the kittens be humour, he has it. It was but yesterday he fastened my wig to the

SCENE-A CHAMBER IN AN OLD-FASHIONED HOUSE. back of my chair, and when I went to make a bow,


Mrs. Hardcastle. I vow, Mr. Hardcastle, you're very particular. Is there a creature in the whole country but ourselves, that does not take a trip to town now and then, to rub off the rust a little? There's the two Miss Hoggs, and our neighbour Mrs. Grigsby, go to take a month's polishing every winter.

Hardcastle. Ay, and bring back vanity and affectation to last them the whole year. I wonder why London can not keep its own fools at home! In my time, the follies of the town crept slowly among us, but now they travel faster than a stage-coach. Its fopperies come down not only as inside passengers, but in the very basket.

Mrs. Hardcastle. Ay, your times were fine times indeed; you have been telling us of them for many a long year. Here we live in an old rumbling mansion, that looks for all the world like an inn, but that we never see company. Our best visiters are old Mrs. Oddfish, the curate's wife, and little Cripplegate, the lame dancing-master: and all our entertainment your old stories of Prince Eugene and the Duke of Marlborough. I hate such oldfashioned trumpery.

Hardcastle. And I love it. I love every thing that's old; old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines; and, I believe, Dorothy, [taking her hand] you'll own I have been pretty fond of an old wife.


popped my bald head in Mrs. Frizzle's face.

Mrs. Hardcastle. And am I to blame? The poor boy was always too sickly to do any good. A school would be his death. When he comes to be a little stronger, who knows what a year or two's Latin may do for him?

Hardcastle. Latin for him! A cat and fiddle. No, no; the alehouse and the stable are the only schools he'll ever go to.

Mrs. Hardcastle. Well, we must not snub the poor boy now, for I believe we shan't have him long among us. Any body that looks in his face may see he's consumptive.

Hardcastle. Ay, if growing too fat be one of the symptoms.

Mrs. Hardcastle. He coughs sometimes. Hardcastle. Yes, when his liquor goes the wrong


Mrs. Hardcastle. I'm actually afraid of his lungs. Hardcastle. And truly so am I; for he sometimes whoops like a speaking trumpet-[Tony hallooing behind the scenes.]--O, there he goes—a very consumptive figure, truly.

Enter TONY, crossing the stage.

Mrs. Hardcastle. Tony, where are you going, my charmer? Won't you give papa and I a little of your company, lovey?

Tony. I'm in haste, mother; I can not stay.

Mrs. Hardcastle. You shan't venture out this raw evening, my dear; you look most shockingly.

Tony. I can't stay, I tell you. The Three Pigeons expects me down every moment. There's

Mrs. Hardcastle. Lord, Mr. Hardcastle, you're for ever at your Dorothys and your old wives. You may be a Darby, but I'll be no Joan, I promise you. some fun going forward.

Hardcastle. Ay; the alehouse, the old place; I control your choice; but Mr. Marlow, whom I have thought so.

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pitched upon, is the son of my old friend, Sir
Charles Marlow, of whom you have heard me
talk so often. The young gentleman has been
bred a scholar, and is designed for an employment
in the service of his country. I am told he's a
man of an excellent understanding.

Miss Hardcastle. Is he?
Hardcastle. Very generous.

Miss Hardcastle. I believe I shall like him.
Hardcastle. Young and brave.

Miss Hardcastle. I'm sure I shall like him.
Hardcastle. And very handsome.

Miss Hardcastle. My dear papa, say no more, [kissing his hand] he's mine; I'll have him.

Hardcastle. And to crown all, Kate, he's one of the most bashful and reserved young fellows in all the world.

Mrs. Hardcastle. I say you shan't. Tony. We'll see which is strongest, you or I. [Exit, hauling her out. Hardcastle [alone]. Ay, there goes a pair that Miss Hardcastle. Eh! you have frozen me to only spoil each other. But is not the whole age in death again. That word reserved has undone all a combination to drive sense and discretion out of the rest of his accomplishments. A reserved lover, doors? There's my pretty darling Kate! the fash- it is said, always makes a suspicious husband. lons of the times have almost infected her too. By living a year or two in town, she's as fond of gauze and French frippery as the best of them.


Hardcastle. Blessings on my pretty innocence! dressed out as usual, my Kate. Goodness! What a quantity of superfluous silk hast thou got about thee, girl! I could never teach the fools of this age, that the indigent world could be clothed out of the trimmings of the vain.

Miss Hardcastle. You know our agreement, sir. You allow me the morning to receive and pay visits, and to dress in my own manner; and in the evening I put on my housewife's dress to please


Hardcastle. Well, remember I insist on the terms of our agreement; and by the by, I believe I shall have occasion to try your obedience this very evening.

Miss Hardcastle. I protest, sir, I don't comprehend your meaning.


Hardcastle. Then to be plain with you, Kate, expect the young gentleman I have chosen to be your husband from town this very day. I have his father's letter, in which he informs me his son is set out, and that he intends to follow himself shortly after.

Miss Hardcastle. Indeed! I wish I had known something of this before. Bless me, how shall I behave? It's a thousand to one I shan't like him; our meeting will be so formal, and so like a thing of business, that I shall find no room for friendship

Hardcastle. On the contrary, modesty seldom resides in a breast that is not enriched with nobler virtues. It was the very feature in his character that first struck me.

Miss Hardcastle. He must have more striking features to catch me, I promise you. However, if he be so young, so handsome, and so every thing as you mention, I believe he'll do still. I think I'll have him.

Hardcastle. Ay, Kate, but there is still an obstacle. It's more than an even wager he may not

have you.

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Miss Hardcastle. I'm glad you're come, Noville, my dear. Tell me, Constance, how do I look Hardcastle. Depend upon it, child, I never will this evening? Is there any thing whimsical about

or esteem.

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