Steele’s third play, _The Tender Husband: or, the Accomplished Fools, a
Comedy_, was given to Rich, of the Theatre Royal, in March, 1705, and
was produced on April 23, when it ran for five nights, “with several
entertainments of singing by Mrs. Tofts, and dancing”; and again in May
and June. The profits were but small. The play was published by Tonson
on the 9th of May. It was acted several times nearly every year between
1705 and 1736, and occasionally afterwards. In 1760, Garrick appeared
as Sir Harry Gubbin, and in 1802, Charles Kemble and Mrs. Jordan
acted in the piece. Mills (Clerimont, Sen.), Wilks (Capt. Clerimont),
Estcourt (Pounce), Bullock (Sir Harry Gubbin), Pinkethman (Humphry
Gubbin), Norris (Tipkin), Mrs. Powell (Aunt), and Mrs. Oldfield
(Niece), were in the original cast. Steele was indebted for some ideas
in the fourth Act to Molière’s _Sicilien: ou, l’Amour Peintre_, and
possibly to Cibber’s _Careless Husband_, which had recently appeared.
In No. 555 of the _Spectator_ he said that “many applauded strokes” in
the piece were from Addison’s hand. Fielding, Goldsmith, and Sheridan
had Steele’s play in view when they created the characters of Squire
Western, Tony Lumpkin, and Lydia Languish. The phrase “accomplished
fools” had been used by Steele in the _Lying Lover_ (p. 148).
You’ll be surprised, in the midst of a daily and familiar conversation,
with an address which bears so distant an air as a public dedication.
But to put you out of the pain which I know this will give you, I
assure you I do not design in it, what would be very needless, a
panegyric on yourself, or what, perhaps, is very necessary, a defence
of the play. In the one I should discover too much the concern of an
author, in the other too little the freedom of a friend.
My purpose in this application is only to show the esteem I have for
you, and that I look upon my intimacy with you as one of the most
valuable enjoyments of my life. At the same time I hope I make the
Town no ill compliment for their kind acceptance of this Comedy, in
acknowledging that it has so far raised my opinion of it, as to make me
think it no improper memorial of an inviolable friendship.
I should not offer it to you as such, had I not been very careful to
avoid everything that might look ill-natured, immoral, or prejudicial
to what the better part of mankind hold sacred and honourable.
Poetry, under such restraints, is an obliging service to human society;
especially when it is used, like your admirable vein, to recommend more
useful qualities in yourself, or immortalise characters truly heroic in
others. I am here in danger of breaking my promise to you, therefore
shall take the only opportunity that can offer itself of resisting my
own inclinations, by complying with yours. I am,
Your most faithful,
_Written by_ MR. ADDISON.
_Spoken by_ MR. WILKS.
In the first rise and infancy of farce,
When fools were many, and when plays were scarce,
The raw, unpractised authors could, with ease,
A young and unexperienced audience please;
No single character had e’er been shown,
But the whole herd of fops was all their own;
Rich in originals, they set to view,
In every piece, a coxcomb that was new.
But now our British theatre can boast
Drolls of all kinds, a vast unthinking host!
Fruitful of folly and of vice, it shows
Cuckolds, and cits, and bawds, and pimps, and beaux;
Rough-country knights are found of every shire,
Of every fashion gentle fops appear;
And punks of different characters we meet,
As frequent on the stage as in the pit.
Our modern wits are forced to pick and cull,
And here and there by chance glean up a fool;
Long ere they find the necessary spark,
They search the Town and beat about the Park;
To all his most frequented haunts resort,
Oft dog him to the Ring, and oft to Court;
As love of pleasure or of place invites,
And sometimes catch him taking snuff at White’s.
However, to do you right, the present age
Breeds very hopeful monsters for the stage,
That scorn the paths their dull forefathers trod,
And won’t be blockheads in the common road.
Do but survey this crowded house to-night–
Here’s still encouragement for those that write.
Our author, to divert his friends to-day,
Stocks with variety of fools his play;
And that there may be something gay and new,
Two ladies errant has exposed to view;
The first a damsel, travelled in romance,
The t’other more refined–she comes from France.
Rescue, like courteous knights, the nymph from danger,
And kindly treat, like well-bred men, the stranger.
_Designed for the Fourth Act, but not set._
See, Britons, see, with awful eyes,
Britannia from her seas arise!
Ten thousand billows round me roar,
While winds and waves engage,
That break in froth upon my shore,
And impotently rage.
Such were the terrors which of late
Surrounded my afflicted state;
United fury thus was bent
On my devoted seats,
Till all the mighty force was spent
In feeble swells, and empty threats.
But now, with rising glory crowned,
My joys run high, they know no bound;
Tides of unruly pleasure flow
Through every swelling vein,
New raptures in my bosom glow,
And warm me up to youth again.
Passing pomps my streets adorn;
Captive spoils, in triumph borne,
Standards of Gauls, in fight subdued,
Colours in hostile blood embrued,
Ensigns of tyrannic might,
Foes to equity and right,
In courts of British justice wave on high,
Sacred to law and liberty.
My crowded theatres repeat,
In songs of triumph, the defeat.
Did ever joyful mother see
So bright, so brave a progeny!
Daughters with so much beauty crowned,
Or sons for valour so renowned!
But oh, I gaze and seek in vain
To find, amidst this warlike train,
My absent sons, that used to grace
With decent pride this joyous place:
Unhappy youths! how do my sorrows rise,
Swell my breast, and melt my eyes,
While I your mighty loss deplore?
Wild, and raging with distress
I mourn, I mourn my own success,
And boast my victories no more.
Unhappy youths! far from their native sky,
On Danube’s banks interred they lie.
Germania, give me back my slain,
Give me my slaughtered sons again.
Was it for this they ranged so far,
To free thee from oppressive war?
Tears of sorrow while I shed
O’er the manes of my dead,
Lasting altars let me raise
To my living heroes’ praise;
Heaven give them a longer stay,
As glorious actions to display,
Or perish on as great a day.
Sir HARRY GUBBIN, brother-in-law to Mr. TIPKIN.
HUMPHRY GUBBIN, son of Sir HARRY GUBBIN, and suitor to BIDDY TIPKIN,
Mr. TIPKIN, a banker, BIDDY TIPKIN’S uncle.
Capt. CLERIMONT, brother of CLERIMONT, SEN.
Mr. POUNCE, a lawyer, FAINLOVE’S brother.
AUNT (Mrs. TIPKIN).
NIECE (BIDDY TIPKIN), Mr. TIPKIN’S niece.
FAINLOVE, mistress to CLERIMONT, SEN.
JENNY, maid to Mrs. CLERIMONT.
_THE TENDER HUSBAND: OR, THE ACCOMPLISHED FOOLS._
ACT THE FIRST.
SCENE I.–CLERIMONT, SEN.’S _House._
_Enter_ CLERIMONT, SEN. _and_ FAINLOVE.
_Cler. Sen._ Well, Mr. Fainlove, how do you go on in your amour with my
_Fain._ I am very civil and very distant; if she smiles or speaks, I
bow and gaze at her; then throw down my eyes, as if oppressed by fear
of offence, then steal a look again till she again sees me. This is my
_Cler. Sen._ And it is right. For such a fine lady has no guard to her
virtue but her pride; therefore you must constantly apply yourself
to that. But, dear Lucy, as you have been a very faithful but a very
costly wench to me, so my spouse also has been constant to my bed, but
careless of my fortune.
_Fain._ Ah! my dear, how could you leave your poor Lucy, and run into
France to see sights, and show your gallantry with a wife? Was not that
_Cler. Sen._ She brought me a noble fortune, and I thought she had a
right to share it; therefore carried her to see the world, forsooth,
and make the tour of France and Italy, where she learned to lose her
money gracefully, to admire every vanity in our sex, and contemn every
virtue in her own, which, with ten thousand other perfections, are the
ordinary improvements of a travelled lady. Now I can neither mortify
her vanity, that I may live at ease with her, or quite discard her,
till I have catched her a little enlarging her innocent freedoms, as
she calls ’em. For this end I am content to be a French husband, though
now and then with the secret pangs of an Italian one; and therefore,
sir, or madam, you are thus equipped to attend and accost her ladyship.
It concerns you to be diligent. If we wholly part–I need say no more.
If we do not–I’ll see thee well provided for.
_Fain._ I’ll do all I can, I warrant you, but you are not to expect
I’ll go much among the men.
_Cler. Sen._ No, no; you must not go near men; you are only (when
my wife goes to a play) to sit in a side box with pretty fellows. I
don’t design you to personate a real man, you are only to be a pretty
gentleman; not to be of any use or consequence in the world, as to
yourself, but merely as a property to others; such as you see now and
then have a life in the entail of a great estate, that seem to have
come into the world only to be tags in the pedigree of a wealthy house.
You must have seen many of that species.
_Fain._ I apprehend you; such as stand in assemblies, with an indolent
softness and contempt of all around them; who make a figure in public
and are scorned in private; I have seen such a one with a pocket glass
to see his own face, and an effective perspective to know others.
_Cler. Sen._ Ay, ay, that’s my man–thou dear rogue.
_Fain._ Let me alone; I’ll lay my life I’ll horn you–that is, I’ll
make it appear I might if I could.
_Cler. Sen._ Ay, that will please me quite as well.
_Fain._ To show you the progress I have made, I last night won of her
five hundred pounds, which I have brought you safe. [_Giving him bills._
_Cler. Sen._ Oh the damned vice! That women can imagine all household
care, regard to posterity, and fear of poverty, must be sacrificed to
a game at cards! Suppose she had not had it to pay, and you had been
capable of finding your account another way?
_Fain._ That’s but a suppose–
_Cler. Sen._ I say, she must have complied with everything you asked.
_Fain._ But she knows you never limit her expenses.–I’ll gain him from
her for ever if I can. [_Aside._
_Cler. Sen._ With this you have repaid me two thousand pounds, and if
you did not refund thus honestly, I could not have supplied her. We
must have parted.
_Fain._ Then you shall part–if t’other way fails–[_Aside._]–However,
I can’t blame your fondness of her, she has so many entertaining
qualities with her vanity. Then she has such a pretty unthinking air,
while she saunters round a room, and prattles sentences.
_Cler. Sen._ That was her turn from her infancy; she always had a great
genius for knowing everything but what it was necessary she should. The
wits of the age, the great beauties, and short-lived people of vogue,
were always her discourse and imitation. Thus the case stood when she
went to France; but her fine follies improved so daily, that though I
was then proud of her being called Mr. Clerimont’s wife, I am now as
much out of countenance to hear myself called Mrs. Clerimont’s husband,
so much is the superiority of her side.
_Fain._ I am sure if ever I gave myself a little liberty, I never found
you so indulgent.
_Cler. Sen._ I should have the whole sex on my back, should I pretend
to retrench a lady so well visited as mine is. Therefore I must bring
it about that it shall appear her own act, if she reforms; or else I
shall be pronounced jealous, and have my eyes pulled out for being
open. But I hear my brother Jack coming, who, I hope, has brought yours
with him–Hist, not a word.
_Enter_ CAPTAIN CLERIMONT _and_ POUNCE.
_Cler._ I have found him out at last, brother, and brought you the
obsequious Mr. Pounce; I saw him at a distance in a crowd, whispering
in their turns with all about him. He is a gentleman so received, so
courted, and so trusted—-
_Pounce._ I am very glad if you saw anything like that, if the
approbation of others can recommend me (where I much more desire it) to
_Cler._ Oh, the civil person–But, dear Pounce, you know I am your
professed admirer; I always celebrated you for your excellent skill and
address, for that happy knowledge of the world, which makes you seem
born for living with the persons you are with, wherever you come. Now
my brother and I want your help in a business that requires a little
more dexterity than we ourselves are masters of.
_Pounce._ You know, sir, my character is helping the distressed, which
I do freely and without reserve; while others are for distinguishing
rigidly on the justice of the occasion, and so lose the grace of the
benefit. Now ’tis my profession to assist a free-hearted young fellow
against an unnatural long-lived father; to disencumber men of pleasure
of the vexation of unwieldy estates; to support a feeble title to an
_Cler. Sen._ I have been well acquainted with your merits, ever since
I saw you with so much compassion prompt a stammering witness in
Westminster Hall, that wanted instruction. I love a man that can
venture his ears with so much bravery for his friend.
_Pounce._ Dear sir, spare my modesty, and let me know to what all this
_Cler. Sen._ Why, sir, what I would say is in behalf of my brother, the
Captain, here, whose misfortune it is that I was born before him.
_Pounce._ I am confident he had rather you should have been so than any
other man in England.
_Cler._ You do me justice, Mr. Pounce, but though ’tis to that
gentleman, I am still a younger brother, and you know we that are so,
are generally condemned to shops, colleges, or inns of court.
_Pounce._ But you, sir, have escaped ’em, you have been trading in the
noble mart of glory.
_Cler._ That’s true. But the general makes such haste to finish the
war, that we red coats may be soon out of fashion; and then I am a
fellow of the most easy indolent disposition in the world! I hate all
manner of business.
_Pounce._ A composed temper, indeed!
_Cler._ In such a case I should have no way of livelihood, but calling
over this gentleman’s dogs in the country, drinking his stale beer to
the neighbourhood, or marrying a fortune.
_Cler. Sen._ To be short, Pounce–I am putting Jack upon marriage, and
you are so public an envoy, or rather plenipotentiary, from the very
different nations of Cheapside, Covent Garden, and St. James’s; you
have, too, the mien and language of each place so naturally, that you
are the properest instrument I know in the world, to help an honest
young fellow to favour in one of ’em, by credit in the other.
_Pounce._ By what I understand of your many prefaces, gentlemen, the
purpose of all this is, that it would not in the least discompose this
gentleman’s easy indolent disposition to fall into twenty thousand
pounds, though it came upon him never so suddenly.
_Cler._ You are a very discerning man; how could you see so far through
me, as to know I love a fine woman, pretty equipage, good company, and
a clean habitation?
_Pounce._ Well, though I am so much a conjurer–what then?
_Cler. Sen._ You know a certain person, into whose hands you now and
then recommend a young heir, to be relieved from the vexation of
tenants, taxes, and so forth—-
_Pounce._ What! My worthy friend and city patron Hezekiah Tipkin,
banker in Lombard Street; would the noble Captain lay any sums in his
_Cler._ No; but the noble Captain would have treasure out of his hands.
You know his niece?
_Pounce._ To my knowledge ten thousand pounds in money.
_Cler._ Such a stature, such a blooming countenance, so easy a shape!
_Pounce._ In jewels of her grandmother’s five thousand.
_Cler._ Her wit so lively, her mien so alluring!
_Pounce._ In land a thousand a year.
_Cler._ Her lips have that certain prominence, that swelling softness
that they invite to a pressure; her eyes that languish, that they give
pain, though they look only inclined to rest; her whole person that one
_Pounce._ Raptures! Raptures!
_Cler._ How can it, so insensibly to itself, lead us through cares it
knows not, through such a wilderness of hopes, fears, joys, sorrows,
desires, despairs, ecstasies and torments, with so sweet, yet so
_Pounce._ Why, I thought you had never seen her?
_Cler._ No more I han’t.
_Pounce._ Who told you then of her inviting lips, her soft sleepy eyes?
_Cler._ You yourself.
_Pounce._ Sure you rave, I never spoke of her afore to you.
_Cler._ Why, you won’t face me down–Did you not just now say she had
ten thousand pounds in money, five in jewels, and a thousand a year?
_Pounce._ I confess my own stupidity and her charms. Why, if you were
to meet, you would certainly please her, you have the cant of loving;
but pray, may we be free–that young gentleman.
_Cler._ A very honest, modest gentleman of my acquaintance, one that
has much more in him than he appears to have. You shall know him
better, sir; this is Mr. Pounce; Mr. Pounce, this is Mr. Fainlove; I
must desire you to let him be known to you and your friends.
_Pounce._ I shall be proud. Well then, since we may be free, you must
understand, the young lady, by being kept from the world, has made a
world of her own. She has spent all her solitude in reading romances,
her head is full of shepherds, knights, flowery meads, groves, and
streams, so that if you talk like a man of this world to her, you do
_Cler._ Oh, let me alone–I have been a great traveller in fairy-land
myself, I know Oroondates; Cassandra, Astræa and Clelia are my
Go my heart’s envoys, tender sighs make haste,
And with your breath swell the soft zephyr’s blast;
Then near that fair one if you chance to fly,
Tell her, in whispers, ’tis for her I die.
_Pounce._ That would do, that would do–her very language.
_Cler. Sen._ Why then, dear Pounce, I know thou art the only man living
that can serve him.
_Pounce._ Gentlemen, you must pardon me, I am soliciting the marriage
settlement between her and a country booby, her cousin, Humphry Gubbin,
Sir Harry’s heir, who is come to town to take possession of her.
_Cler. Sen._ Well, all that I can say to the matter is, that a thousand
pounds on the day of Jack’s marriage to her, is more than you’ll get by
the despatch of those deeds.
_Pounce._ Why, a thousand pounds is a pretty thing, especially when
’tis to take a lady fair out of the hands of an obstinate ill-bred
clown, to give her to a gentle swain, a dying enamoured knight.
_Cler. Sen._ Ay, dear Pounce, consider but that–the justice of the
_Pounce._ Besides, he is just come from the glorious Blenheim! Look
ye, Captain, I hope you have learned an implicit obedience to your
_Cler._ ‘Tis all I know.
_Pounce._ Then, if I am to command, make not one step without me. And
since we may be free, I am also to acquaint you, there will be more
merit in bringing this matter to bear than you imagine. Yet right
measures make all things possible.
_Cler._ We’ll follow yours exactly.
_Pounce._ But the great matter against us is want of time, for the
nymph’s uncle, and ‘squire’s father, this morning met, and made an end
of the matter. But the difficulty of a thing, Captain, shall be no
reason against attempting it.
_Cler._ I have so great an opinion of your conduct, that I warrant you
we conquer all.
_Pounce._ I am so intimately employed by old Tipkin, and so necessary
to him, that I may, perhaps, puzzle things yet.
_Cler. Sen._ I have seen thee cajole the knave very dexterously.
_Pounce._ Why, really, sir, generally speaking, ’tis but knowing what
a man thinks of himself, and giving him that, to make him what else
you please. Now Tipkin is an absolute Lombard Street wit, a fellow
that drolls on the strength of fifty thousand pounds. He is called on
‘change, Sly-boots, and by the force of a very good credit, and very
bad conscience, he is a leading person. But we must be quick, or he’ll
sneer old Sir Harry out of his senses, and strike up the sale of his
_Cler._ But my rival, what’s he?
_Pounce._ There’s some hopes there, for I hear the booby is as averse
as his father is inclined to it. One is as obstinate as the other is
_Cler. Sen._ He is, they say, a pert blockhead, and very lively out of
his father’s sight.
_Pounce._ He that gave me his character called him a docile dunce, a
fellow rather absurd, than a direct fool. When his father’s absent,
he’ll pursue anything he’s put upon. But we must not lose time. Pray
be you two brothers at home to wait for any notice from me, while that
pretty gentleman and I, whose face I have known, take a walk and look
about for ’em–So, so, young lady. [_Aside to_ FAINLOVE.] [_Exeunt._
SCENE II.–_St. James’s Park._
_Enter_ SIR HARRY GUBBIN _and_ TIPKIN.
_Sir Har._ Look ye, brother Tipkin, as I told you before, my business
in town is to dispose of an hundred head of cattle, and my son.
_Tip._ Brother Gubbin, as I signified to you in my last, bearing date
September 13th, my niece has a thousand pounds per annum, and because
I have found you a plain-dealing man (particularly in the easy pad
you put into my hands last summer), I was willing you should have
the refusal of my niece, provided that I have a discharge from all
retrospects while her guardian, and one thousand pounds for my care.
_Sir Har._ Ay, but brother, you rate her too high, the war has fetched
down the price of women; the whole nation is overrun with petticoats;
our daughters lie upon our hands, Brother Tipkin; girls are drugs, sir,
_Tip._ Look ye, Sir Harry, let girls be what they will, a thousand
pounds a year, is a thousand pounds a year; and a thousand pounds a
year is neither girl nor boy.
_Sir Har._ Look ye, Mr. Tipkin, the main article with me is, that
foundation of wive’s rebellion, and husband’s cuckoldom, that cursed
pin-money. Five hundred pounds per annum pin-money!
_Tip._ The word pin-money, Sir Harry, is a term.
_Sir Har._ It is a term, brother, we never had in our family, nor
ever will. Make her jointure in widowhood accordingly large, but four
hundred pounds a year is enough to give no account of.
_Tip._ Well, Sir Harry, since you can’t swallow these pins, I will
abate to four hundred pounds.
_Sir Har._ And to mollify the article, as well as specify the uses,
we’ll put in the names of several female utensils, as needles,
knitting-needles, tape, thread, scissors, bodkins, fans, play-books,
with other toys of that nature. And now, since we have as good as
concluded on the marriage, it will not be improper that the young
people see each other.
_Tip._ I don’t think it prudent till the very instant of marriage, lest
they should not like one another.
_Sir Har._ They shall meet–As for the young girl, she cannot dislike
Numps; and for Numps, I never suffered him to have anything he liked in
his life. He’ll be here immediately; he has been trained up from his
childhood under such a plant as this, in my hand–I have taken pains in
_Tip._ Sir Harry, I approve your method; for since you have left
off hunting you might otherwise want exercise, and this is a subtle
expedient to preserve your own health and your son’s good manners.
_Sir Har._ It has been the custom of the Gubbins to preserve severity
and discipline in their families: I myself was caned the day before my
_Tip._ Ay, Sir Harry, had you not been well cudgelled in your youth,
you had never been the man you are.
_Sir Har._ You say right, sir, now I feel the benefit of it. There’s
a crab-tree near your house which flourishes for the good of my
posterity, and has brushed our jackets from father to son, for several
_Tip._ I am glad to hear you have all things necessary for the family
_Sir Har._ Oh, yonder, I see Numps is coming–I have dressed him in the
very suit I had on at my own wedding; ’tis a most becoming apparel.
_Enter_ HUMPHRY GUBBIN.
_Tip._ Truly, the youth makes a good marriageable figure.
_Sir Har._ Come forward, Numps; this is your uncle Tipkin, your
mother’s brother, Numps, that is so kind as to bestow his niece upon
you.–Don’t be so glum, sirrah, don’t bow to a man with a face as if
you’d knock him down, don’t, sirrah. [_Apart._
_Tip._ I am glad to see you, cousin Humphry.–He is not talkative, I
_Sir Har._ He is very shrewd, sir, when he pleases.–Do you see
this crab-stick, you dog? [_Apart._]–Well, Numps, don’t be out of
humour.–Will you talk? [_Apart._]–Come, we’re your friends, Numps;
_Hump._ You are a pure fellow for a father. This is always your tricks,
to make a great fool of one before company. [_Apart to his father._
_Sir Har._ Don’t disgrace me, sirrah, you grim, graceless
rogue–[_Apart._]–Brother, he has been bred up to respect and silence
before his parents. Yet did you but hear what a noise he makes
sometimes in the kitchen, or the kennel–he’s the loudest of ’em all.
_Tip._ Well, Sir Harry, since you assure me he can speak, I’ll take
your word for it.
_Hump._ I can speak when I see occasion, and I can hold my tongue when
I see occasion.
_Sir Har._ Well said, Numps–Sirrah, I see you can do well, if you
_Tip._ Pray walk up to me, cousin Humphry.
_Sir Har._ Ay, walk to and fro between us with your hat under your
arm.–Clear up your countenance. [_Apart._
_Tip._ I see, Sir Harry, you han’t set him a-capering under a French
dancing-master. He does not mince it. He has not learned to walk by a
courant or a boree. His paces are natural, Sir Harry.
_Hump._ I don’t know, but ’tis so we walk in the West of England.
_Sir Har._ Ay, right, Numps, and so we do. Ha! ha! ha! Pray, brother,
observe his make, none of your lath-backed wishy-washy breed. Come
hither, Numps–Can’t you stand still? [_Apart._]
[_Measuring his shoulders._
_Tip._ I presume this is not the first time, Sir Harry, you have
measured his shoulders with your cane.
_Sir Mar._ Look ye, brother, two foot and a-half in the shoulders.
_Tip._ Two foot and a-half? We must make some settlement on the younger
_Sir Har._ Not like him, quotha’!
_Tip._ He may see his cousin when he pleases.
_Hump._ But harkee, uncle, I have a scruple I had better mention before
marriage than after.
_Tip._ What’s that? What’s that?
_Hump._ My cousin, you know, is akin to me, and I don’t think it lawful
for a young man to marry his own relations.
_Sir Har._ Harkee, harkee, Numps, we have got a way to solve all
that.–Sirrah! Consider this cudgel! Your cousin! suppose I’d have you
marry your grandmother; what then? [_Apart._
_Tip._ Well, has your father satisfied you in the point, Mr. Humphry?
_Hump._ Ay, ay, sir, very well. I have not the least scruple remaining;
no, no–not in the least, sir.
_Tip._ Then harkee, brother, we’ll go take a whet and settle the whole
_Sir Har._ Come, we’ll leave Numps here: he knows the way–Not marry
your own relations, sirrah! [_Apart._ [_Exeunt._
_Hump._ Very fine, very fine! How prettily this park is stocked with
soldiers, and deer, and ducks, and ladies!–Ha! where are the old
fellows gone? where can they be tro’—-I’ll ask these people.
_Enter_ POUNCE _and_ FAINLOVE.
_Hump._ Ha, you pretty young gentleman, did you see my father?
_Fain._ Your father, sir?
_Hump._ A weazel-faced cross old gentleman with spindle-shanks?
_Fain._ No, sir.
_Hump._ A crab-tree stick in his hand?
_Pounce._ We han’t met anybody with these marks; but sure I have seen
you before–Are not you Mr. Humphry Gubbin, son and heir to Sir Henry
_Hump._ I am his son and heir–but how long I shall be so I can’t tell,
for he talks every day of disinheriting me.
_Pounce._ Dear sir, let me embrace you–Nay, don’t be offended if I
take the liberty to kiss you. Mr. Fainlove, pray [FAINLOVE _kisses_]
kiss the gentleman–Nay, dear sir, don’t stare and be surprised, for I
have had a desire to be better known to you ever since I saw you one
day clinch your fist at your father when his back was turned upon you;
for I must own I very much admire a young gentleman of spirit.
_Hump._ Why, sir, would it not vex a man to the heart to have an old
fool snubbing a body every minute afore company?
_Pounce._ Oh fie, he uses you like a boy.
_Hump._ Like a boy! He lays me on now and then as if I were one of his
hounds. You can’t think what a rage he was in this morning because I
boggled a little at marrying my own cousin.
_Pounce._ A man can’t be too scrupulous, Mr. Humphry–a man can’t be
_Hump._ Sir, I could as soon love my own flesh and blood; we should
squabble like brother and sister; do you think we should not?
Mr.—-Pray, gentlemen, may I crave the favour of your names?
_Pounce._ Sir, I am the very person that has been employed to draw up
the articles of marriage between you and your cousin.
_Hump._ Ay, say you so? Then you can inform me in some things
concerning myself–Pray, sir, what estate am I heir to?
_Pounce._ To fifteen hundred pounds a year, an entailed estate.
_Hump._ I am glad to hear it with all my heart; and can you satisfy me
in another question–Pray how old am I at present?
_Pounce._ Three-and-twenty last March.
_Hump._ Why, as sure as you are there, they have kept me back. I have
been told by some of the neighbourhood that I was born the very year
the pigeon-house was built, and everybody knows the pigeon-house is
three-and-twenty. Why! I find there have been tricks played me. I have
obeyed him all along, as if I had been obliged to it.
_Pounce._ Not at all, sir; your father can’t cut you out of one acre of
fifteen hundred pounds a year.
_Hump._ What a fool have I been to give him his head so long!
_Pounce._ A man of your beauty and fortune may find out ladies enough
that are not akin to you.
_Hump._ Look ye, Mr. what d’ye call–as to my beauty, I don’t know but
they may take a liking to that. But, sir, mayn’t I crave your name?
_Pounce._ My name, sir, is Pounce, at your service.
_Hump._ Pounce, with a P?
_Pounce._ Yes, sir, and Samuel, with an S.
_Hump._ Why, then, Mr. Samuel Pounce, do you know any gentlewoman that
you think I could like? For, to tell you truly, I took an antipathy to
my cousin ever since my father proposed her to me; and since everybody
knows I came up to be married, I don’t care to go down and look balked.
_Pounce._ I have a thought just come into my head–Do you see this
young gentleman? He has a sister, a prodigious fortune. ‘Faith, you two
shall be acquainted.
_Fain._ I can’t pretend to expect so accomplished a gentleman as Mr.
Humphry for my sister, but being your friend, I’ll be at his service in
_Hump._ If I had your sister, she and I should live like two turtles.
_Pounce._ Mr. Humphry, you shan’t be fooled any longer; I’ll carry you
into company. Mr. Fainlove, you shall introduce him to Mrs. Clerimont’s
_Fain._ She’ll be highly taken with him; for she loves a gentleman
whose manner is particular.
_Pounce._ What, sir, a person of your pretensions, a clear estate,
no portions to pay! ‘Tis barbarous, your treatment.–Mr. Humphry,
I’m afraid you want money. There’s for you–What, a man of your
accomplishments! [_Giving a purse._
_Hump._ And yet you see, sir, how they use me. Dear sir, you are the
best friend I ever met with in all my life. Now I am flush of money,
bring me to your sister, and I warrant you for my behaviour–A man’s
quite another thing with money in his pocket, you know.
_Pounce._ How little the oaf wonders why I should give him money!
[_Aside_].–You shall never want, Mr. Humphry, while I have it, Mr.
Humphry; but dear friend, I must take my leave of you; I have some
extraordinary business on my hands. I can’t stay; but you must not say
_Fain._ But you must be in the way half-an-hour hence, and I’ll
introduce you at Mrs. Clerimont’s.
_Pounce._ Make ’em believe you are willing to have your cousin Bridget,
till opportunity serves. Farewell, dear friend. [_Exit_ POUNCE _and_
_Hump._ Farewell, good Mr. Samuel Pounce.–But let’s see my cash–
’tis very true, the old saying, a man meets with more friendship from
strangers than his own relations–Let’s see my cash: 1, 2, 3, 4, there
on that side; 1, 2, 3, 4, on that side; ’tis a foolish thing to put
all one’s money in one pocket; ’tis like a man’s whole estate in one
county–These five in my fob–I’ll keep these in my hand, lest I should
have a present occasion.–But this town’s full of pickpockets; I’ll go
home again. [_Exit whistling._
ACT THE SECOND.
_Enter_ POUNCE, _and_ CAPTAIN CLERIMONT _with his arm in a scarf._
_Pounce._ You are now well enough instructed both in the aunt and niece
to form your behaviour.
_Cler._ But to talk with her apart is the great matter.
_Pounce._ The antiquated virgin has a mighty affectation for youth,
and is a great lover of men and money–One of these, at least, I am
sure I can gratify her in, by turning her pence in the annuities, or
the stocks of one of the companies; some way or other I’ll find to
entertain her, and engage you with the young lady.
_Cler._ Since that is her ladyship’s turn, so busy and fine a gentleman
as Mr. Pounce must needs be in her good graces.
_Pounce._ So shall you too–but you must not be seen with me at first
meeting; I’ll dog ’em, while you watch at a distance. [_Exeunt._
_Enter_ AUNT _and_ NIECE.
_Niece._ Was it not my gallant that whistled so charmingly in the
parlour before he went out this morning? He’s a most accomplished
_Aunt._ Come, niece, come; you don’t do well to make sport with your
relations, especially with a young gentleman that has so much kindness
_Niece._ Kindness for me! What a phrase is there to express the darts
and flames, the sighs and languishings, of an expecting lover!
_Aunt._ Pray, niece, forbear this idle trash, and talk like other
people. Your cousin Humphry will be true and hearty in what he says,
and that’s a great deal better than the talk and compliment of romances.
_Niece._ Good madam, don’t wound my ears with such expressions; do you
think I can ever love a man that’s true and hearty? What a peasant-like
amour do these coarse words import! True and hearty! Pray, aunt,
endeavour a little at the embellishment of your style.
_Aunt._ Alack-a-day, cousin Biddy, these idle romances have quite
turned your head.
_Niece._ How often must I desire you, madam, to lay aside that familiar
name, cousin Biddy? I never hear it without blushing–Did you ever meet
with a heroine in those idle romances, as you call ’em, that was termed
_Aunt._ Ah! cousin, cousin, these are mere vapours, indeed; nothing but
_Niece._ No, the heroine has always something soft and engaging in
her name; something that gives us a notion of the sweetness of her
beauty and behaviour; a name that glides through half-a-dozen tender
syllables, as Elismonda, Clidamira, Deidamia, that runs upon vowels
off the tongue; not hissing through one’s teeth, or breaking them with
consonants. ‘Tis strange rudeness those familiar names they give us,
when there is Aurelia, Sacharissa, Gloriana, for people of condition;
and Celia, Chloris, Corinna, Mopsa, for their maids and those of lower
_Aunt._ Look ye, Biddy, this is not to be supported. I know not where
you learned this nicety; but I can tell you, forsooth, as much as you
despise it, your mother was a Bridget afore you, and an excellent
_Niece._ Good madam, don’t upbraid me with my mother Bridget, and an
_Aunt._ Yes, I say she was; and spent her time in better learning
than you ever did–not in reading of fights and battles of dwarfs and
giants, but in writing out receipts for broths, possets, caudles, and
surfeit-waters, as became a good country gentlewoman.
_Niece._ My mother, and a Bridget!
_Aunt._ Yes, niece, I say again, your mother, my sister, was a Bridget!
the daughter of her mother Margery, of her mother Sisly, of her mother
_Niece._ Have you no mercy? Oh, the barbarous genealogy!
_Aunt._ Of her mother Winifred, of her mother Joan.
_Niece._ Since you will run on, then I must needs tell you I am not
satisfied in the point of my nativity. Many an infant has been placed
in a cottage with obscure parents, till by chance some ancient servant
of the family has known it by its marks.
_Aunt._ Ay, you had best be searched–That’s like your calling the
winds the fanning gales, before I don’t know how much company; and the
tree that was blown by it had, forsooth, a spirit imprisoned in the
trunk of it.
_Aunt._ Then a cloud this morning had a flying dragon in it.
_Niece._ What eyes had you, that you could see nothing? For my part I
look upon it to be a prodigy, and expect something extraordinary will
happen to me before night.–But you have a gross relish of things. What
noble descriptions in romances had been lost, if the writers had been
persons of your goût?
_Aunt._ I wish the authors had been hanged, and their books burnt,
before you had seen ’em.
_Aunt._ A parcel of improbable lies.
_Niece._ Indeed, madam, your raillery is coarse—-
_Aunt._ Fit only to corrupt young girls, and fill their heads with a
thousand foolish dreams of I don’t know what.
_Niece._ Nay, now, madam, you grow extravagant.
_Aunt._ What I say is not to vex, but advise you for your good.
_Niece._ What, to burn Philocles, Artaxeres, Oroondates, and the rest
of the heroic lovers, and take my country booby, cousin Humphry, for a
_Aunt._ Oh dear, oh dear, Biddy! Pray, good dear, learn to act and
speak like the rest of the world; come, come, you shall marry your
cousin and live comfortably.
_Niece._ Live comfortably! What kind of life is that? A great heiress
live comfortably! Pray, aunt, learn to raise your ideas–What is, I
wonder, to live comfortably?
_Aunt._ To live comfortably is to live with prudence and frugality, as
we do in Lombard Street.
_Niece._ As we do! That’s a fine life, indeed, with one servant of each
sex. Let’s see how many things our coachman is good for–He rubs down
his horses, lays the cloth, whets the knives, and sometimes makes beds.
_Aunt._ A good servant should turn his hand to everything in a family.
_Niece._ Nay, there’s not a creature in our family that has not two or
three different duties. As John is butler, footman, and coachman, so
Mary is cook, laundress, and chamber-maid.
_Aunt._ Well, and do you laugh at that?
_Niece._ No, not I; nor at the coach-horses, though one has an
easy trot for my uncle’s riding, and t’other an easy pace for your
_Aunt._ And so you jeer at the good management of your relations, do
_Niece._ No, I’m well satisfied that all the house are creatures of
business; but, indeed, was in hopes that my poor little lap-dog might
have lived with me upon my fortune without an employment; but my uncle
threatens every day to make him a turn-spit, that he too, in his
sphere, may help us to live comfortably.
_Aunt._ Hark ye, cousin Biddy.
_Niece._ I vow I’m out of countenance when our butler, with his careful
face, drives us all stowed in a chariot drawn by one horse ambling
and t’other trotting, with his provisions behind for the family, from
Saturday night till Monday morning, bound for Hackney–then we make a
comfortable figure, indeed.
_Aunt._ So we do, and so will you always, if you marry your cousin
_Niece._ Name not the creature.
_Aunt._ Creature! What, your own cousin a creature!
_Niece._ Oh, let’s be going. I see yonder another creature that does my
uncle’s law business, and has, I believe, made ready the deeds–those
_Aunt._ What, Mr. Pounce a creature too! Nay, now I’m sure you’re
ignorant. You shall stay, and you’ll learn more wit from him in an
hour, than in a thousand of your foolish books in an age—-Your
servant, Mr. Pounce.
_Pounce._ Ladies, I hope I don’t interrupt any private discourse.
_Aunt._ Not in the least, sir.
_Pounce._ I should be loth to be esteemed one of those who think they
have a privilege of mixing in all companies, without any business but
to bring forth a loud laugh or vain jest.
_Niece._ He talks with the mien and gravity of a Paladin. [_Aside._
_Pounce._ Madam, I bought the other day at three and a-half, and sold
_Aunt._ Then pray sir, sell for me in time. Niece, mind him; he has an
infinite deal of wit.
_Pounce._ This that I speak of was for you. I never neglect such
opportunities to serve my friends.
_Aunt._ Indeed, Mr. Pounce, you are, I protest without flattery, the
wittiest man in the world.
_Pounce._ I assure you, madam, I said last night, before an hundred
head of citizens, that Mrs. Barsheba Tipkin was the most ingenious
young lady in the Liberties.
_Aunt._ Well, Mr. Pounce, you are so facetious–But you are always
among the great ones; ’tis no wonder you have it.
_Niece._ Idle! Idle!
_Pounce._ But, madam, you know Alderman Grey-Goose, he’s a notable
joking man. Well, says he, here’s Mrs. Barsheba’s health; she’s my
_Aunt._ That man makes me split my sides with laughing, he’s such a
wag.–Mr. Pounce pretends Grey-Goose said all this, but I know ’tis his
own wit, for he’s in love with me. [_Aside._
_Pounce._ But, madam, there’s a certain affair I should communicate to
_Aunt._ Ay, ’tis certainly so–he wants to break his mind to me.
[CAPTAIN CLERIMONT _passing._
_Pounce._ Oh, Mr. Clerimont, Mr. Clerimont—-Ladies, pray let me
introduce this young gentleman; he’s my friend, a youth of great virtue
and goodness, for all he’s in a red coat.
_Aunt._ If he’s your friend we need not doubt his virtue.
_Cler._ Ladies, you are taking the cool breath of the morning.
_Niece._ A pretty phrase. [_Aside._
_Aunt._ That’s the pleasantest time this warm weather.
_Cler._ Oh, ’tis the season of the pearly dews and gentle zephyrs.
_Niece._ Ay! pray mind that again, aunt. [_Aside._
_Pounce._ Shan’t we repose ourselves on yonder seat? I love improving
company, and to communicate.
_Aunt._ ‘Tis certainly so. He’s in love with me, and wants opportunity
to tell me so [_Aside._]–I don’t care if we do–He’s a most ingenious
man. [_Aside._ [_Exeunt_ AUNT _and_ POUNCE.
_Cler._ We enjoy here, madam, all the pretty landscapes of the country
without the pains of going thither.
_Niece._ Art and nature are in a rivalry, or rather a confederacy, to
adorn this beauteous park with all the agreeable variety of water,
shade, walks, and air. What can be more charming than these flowery
_Cler._ Or these gloomy shades—-
_Niece._ Or these embroidered valleys—-
_Cler._ Or that transparent stream—-
_Niece._ Or these bowing branches on the banks of it, that seem to
admire their own beauty in the crystal mirror?
_Cler._ I am surprised, madam, at the delicacy of your phrase. Can such
expressions come from Lombard Street?
_Niece._ Alas, sir! what can be expected from an innocent virgin that
has been immured almost one-and-twenty years from the conversation of
mankind, under the care of an Urganda of an aunt?
_Cler._ Bless me, madam, how have you been abused! Many a lady before
your age has had an hundred lances broken in her service, and as many
dragons cut to pieces in honour of her.
_Niece._ Oh, the charming man! [_Aside._
_Cler._ Do you believe Pamela was one-and-twenty before she knew
_Niece._ I could hear him ever. [_Aside._
_Cler._ A lady of your wit and beauty might have given occasion for a
whole romance in folio before that age.
_Niece._ Oh, the powers! Who can he be?–Oh, youth unknown–But let
me, in the first place, know whom I talk to, for, sir, I am wholly
unacquainted both with your person and your history. You seem, indeed,
by your deportment, and the distinguishing mark of your bravery which
you bear, to have been in a conflict. May I not know what cruel beauty
obliged you to such adventures till she pitied you?
_Cler._ Oh, the pretty coxcomb! [_Aside._]–Oh, Blenheim, Blenheim! Oh,
_Niece._ You mention the place of battle. I would fain hear an exact
description of it. Our public papers are so defective; they don’t so
much as tell us how the sun rose on that glorious day–Were there not a
great many flights of vultures before the battle began?
_Cler._ Oh, madam, they have eaten up half my acquaintance.
_Niece._ Certainly never birds of prey were so feasted; by report, they
might have lived half-a-year on the very legs and arms our troops left
_Cler._ Had we not fought near a wood we should never have got legs
enough to have come home upon. The joiner of the Foot Guards has made
his fortune by it.
_Niece._ I shall never forgive your General. He has put all my ancient
heroes out of countenance; he has pulled down Cyrus and Alexander, as
much as Louis-le-Grand–But your own part in that action?
_Cler._ Only that slight hurt, for the astrologer said at my nativity,
nor fire, nor sword, nor pike, nor musket shall destroy this child, let
him but avoid fair eyes—-But, madam, mayn’t I crave the name of her
that has so captivated my heart?
_Niece._ I can’t guess whom you mean by that description; but if you
ask my name, I must confess you put me upon revealing what I always
keep as the greatest secret I have–for would you believe it, they have
called me–I don’t know how to own it, but they have called me–Bridget.
_Niece._ Spare my confusion, I beseech you, sir; and if you have
occasion to mention me, let it be by Parthenissa, for that’s the
name I have assumed ever since I came to years of discretion.
_Cler._ The insupportable tyranny of parents, to fix names on helpless
infants which they must blush at all their lives after! I don’t think
there’s a surname in the world to match it.
_Niece._ No! What do you think of Tipkin?
_Cler._ Tipkin! Why, I think if I was a young lady that had it I’d part
with it immediately.
_Niece._ Pray, how would you get rid of it?
_Cler._ I’d change it for another. I could recommend to you three very
pretty syllables–What do you think of Clerimont?
_Niece._ Clerimont! Clerimont! Very well–but what right have I to it?
_Cler._ If you will give me leave, I’ll put you in possession of it. By
a very few words I can make it over to you, and your children after you.
_Niece._ O fie! Whither are you running? You know a lover should sigh
in private, and languish whole years before he reveals his passion; he
should retire into some solitary grove, and make the woods and wild
beasts his confidants. You should have told it to the echo half-a-year
before you had discovered it, even to my handmaid. And yet besides–to
talk to me of children! Did you ever hear of a heroine with a big belly?
_Cler._ What can a lover do, madam, now the race of giants is extinct?
Had I lived in those days there had not been a mortal six foot high,
but should have owned Parthenissa for the paragon of beauty, or
measured his length on the ground—-Parthenissa should have been
heard by the brooks and deserts at midnight, the echo’s burden and the
_Niece._ That had been a golden age, indeed! But see, my aunt has left
her grave companion and is coming toward us—-I command you to leave
_Cler._ Thus Oroondates, when Statira dismissed him her presence,
threw himself at her feet, and implored permission but to live.
[_Offering to kneel._
_Niece._ And thus Statira raised him from the earth, permitting him to
live and love. [_Exit_ CLER.
_Aunt._ Is not Mr. Pounce’s conversation very improving, niece?
_Niece._ Is not Clerimont a very pretty name, aunt?
_Aunt._ He has so much prudence.
_Niece._ He has so much gallantry.
_Aunt._ So sententious in his expressions.
_Niece._ So polished in his language.
_Aunt._ All he says is, methinks, so like a sermon.
_Niece._ All he speaks savours of romance.
_Aunt._ Romance, niece? Mr. Pounce! what savours of romance?
_Niece._ No, I mean his friend, the accomplished Mr. Clerimont.
_Aunt._ Fie, for one of your years to commend a young fellow!
_Niece._ One of my years is mightily governed by example! You did not
dislike Mr. Pounce.
_Aunt._ What, censorious too? I find there is no trusting you out of
the house–A moment’s fresh air does but make you still the more in
love with strangers, and despise your own relations.
_Niece._ I am certainly by the power of an enchantment placed among
you, but I hope I, this morning, employed one to seek adventures, and
break the charm.
_Aunt._ Vapours, Biddy, indeed! Nothing but vapours. Cousin Humphry
shall break the charm.
_Niece._ Name him not–Call me still Biddy rather than name that brute.
[_Exeunt_ AUNT _and_ NIECE.
_Enter_ CAPTAIN CLERIMONT _and_ POUNCE.
_Cler._ A perfect Quixote in petticoats! I tell thee, Pounce, she
governs herself wholly by romance–it has got into her very blood. She
starts by rule, and blushes by example. Could I but have produced one
instance of a lady’s complying at first sight, I should have gained her
promise on the spot. How am I bound to curse the cold constitutions of
the Philocleas and Statiras? I am undone for want of precedents.
_Pounce._ I am sure I laboured hard to favour your conference, and
plied the old woman all the while with something that tickled either
her vanity or her covetousness; I considered all the stocks, Old and
New Company, her own complexion and youth, partners for sword-blades,
Chamber of London, banks for charity, and mine adventures, till she
told me I had the repute of the most facetious man that ever came to
Garraway’s–For you must know public knaves and stock-jobbers pass
for wits at her end of the town, as common cheats and gamesters do at
_Cler._ I pity the drudgery you have gone through; but what’s next to
be done towards getting my pretty heroine?
_Pounce._ What should next be done in ordinary method of things? You
have seen her; the next regular approach is that you cannot subsist a
moment without sending forth musical complaints of your misfortune by
way of serenade.
_Cler._ I can nick you there, sir. I have a scribbling army friend that
has writ a triumphant, rare, noisy song in honour of the late victory,
that will hit the nymph’s fantasque to a hair. I’ll get everything
ready as fast as possible.
_Pounce._ While you are playing upon the fort, I’ll be within and
observe what execution you do, and give you intelligence accordingly.
_Cler._ You must have an eye upon Mr. Humphry while I feed the vanity
of Parthenissa; for I am so experienced in these matters that I know
none but coxcombs think to win a woman by any desert of their own–No,
it must be done rather by complying with some prevailing humour of your
mistress, than exerting any good quality in yourself.
‘Tis not the lover’s merit wins the field,
But to themselves alone the beauteous yield.
ACT THE THIRD.
SCENE I.–MRS. CLERIMONT’S _Room._
_Enter_ MRS. CLERIMONT, FAINLOVE _(carrying her lap-dog), and_ JENNY.
_Jen._ Madam, the footman that’s recommended to you is below, if your
ladyship will please to take him.
_Mrs. Cler._ O fie; don’t believe I’ll think on’t. It is impossible
he should be good for anything–The English are so saucy with their
liberty–I’ll have all my lower servants French. There cannot be a good
footman born out of an absolute monarchy.
_Jen._ I am beholden to your ladyship for believing so well of the
maidservants in England.
_Mrs. Cler._ Indeed, Jenny, I could wish thou wert really French; for
thou art plain English in spite of example. Your arms do but hang
on, and you move perfectly upon joints; not with a swim of the whole
person–But I am talking to you, and have not adjusted myself to-day:
What pretty company a glass is, to have another self! [_Kisses the
dog._] To converse in soliloquy! To have company that never contradicts
or displeases us! The pretty visible echo of our actions! [_Kisses the
dog._] How easy, too, it is to be disencumbered with stays, where a
woman has anything like shape; if no shape, a good air–But I look best
when I’m talking. [_Kisses the lap-dog in_ FAINLOVE’S _arms._
_Jen._ You always look well.
_Mrs. Cler._ For I’m always talking, you mean so; that disquiets thy
sullen English temper; but I don’t really look so well when I am
silent. If I do but offer to speak, then I may say that–Oh, bless me,
Jenny, I am so pale, I am afraid of myself–I have not laid on half red
enough–What a dough-baked thing was I before I improved myself, and
travelled for beauty! However, my face is very prettily designed to-day.
_Fain._ Indeed, madam, you begin to have so fine an hand, that you are
younger every day than other.
_Mrs. Cler._ The ladies abroad used to call me Mademoiselle Titian, I
was so famous for my colouring; but prithee, wench, bring me my black
eyebrows out of the next room.
_Jen._ Madam, I have ’em in my hand.
_Fain._ It would be happy for all that are to see you to-day, if you
could change your eyes, too.
_Mrs. Cler._ Gallant enough–no, hang it, I’ll wear these I have on;
this mode of visage takes mightily. I had three ladies last week came
over to my complexion. I think to be a fair woman this fortnight, till
I find I’m aped too much–I believe there are an hundred copies of me
_Jen._ Dear madam, won’t your ladyship please to let me be of the next
countenance you leave off?
_Mrs. Cler._ You may, Jenny; but I assure you it is a very pretty piece
of ill-nature, for a woman that has any genius for beauty to observe
the servile imitation of her manner, her motion, her glances, and her
_Fain._ Ay, indeed, madam, nothing can be so ridiculous as to imitate
_Mrs. Cler._ Indeed, as you say, Fainlove, the French mien is no more
to be learned than the language, without going thither. Then, again, to
see some poor ladies who have clownish, penurious, English husbands,
turn and torture their old clothes into so many forms, and dye ’em into
so many colours, to follow me–What say’st, Jenny? What say’st? Not a
_Jen._ Why, madam, all that I can say—-
_Mrs. Cler._ Nay, I believe, Jenny, thou hast nothing to say any more
than the rest of thy country-women. The splenatics speak just as
the weather lets ’em; they are mere talking barometers. Abroad the
people of quality go on so eternally, and still go on, and are gay and
entertain. In England discourse is made up of nothing but question
and answer. I was t’other day at a visit, where there was a profound
silence, for, I believe, the third part of a minute.
_Jen._ And your ladyship there?
_Mrs. Cler._ They infected me me with their dulness; who can keep up
their good humour at an English visit? They sit as at a funeral,
silent in the midst of many candles. One, perhaps, alarms the
room–“‘Tis very cold weather”–then all the mutes play their fans till
some other question happens, and then the fans go off again.
_Boy._ Madam, your spinet-master is come.
_Mrs. Cler._ Bring him in; he’s very pretty company.
_Fain._ His spinet is; he never speaks himself.
_Mrs. Cler._ Speak, simpleton! What then; he keeps out silence,
does not he?–Oh, sir, you must forgive me; I have been very idle.
Well, you pardon me. [_Master bows._] Did you think I was perfect in
the song? [_Bows_]–but pray let me hear it once more. Let us see
With studied airs, and practised smiles,
Flavia my ravished heart beguiles;
The charms we make, are ours alone,
Nature’s works are not our own;
Her skilful hand gives every grace,
And shows her fancy in her face.
She feeds with art an amourous rage,
Nor fears the force of coming age.
You sing it very well; but, I confess, I wish you’d give more in to the
French manner–Observe me hum it à-la-Française.
“With studied airs,” &c.
The whole person, every limb, every nerve sings. The English way is
only being for that time a mere musical instrument, just sending forth
a sound without knowing they do so. Now I’ll give you a little of it,
like an Englishwoman: You are to suppose I’ve denied you twenty times,
looked silly, and all that–then, with hands and face insensible–I
have a mighty cold.
“With studied airs” &c.
_Ser._ Madam, Captain Clerimont and a very strange gentleman are come
to wait on you.
_Mrs. Cler._ Let him and the very strange gentleman come in.
_Fain._ Oh! madam, that’s the country gentleman I was telling you of.
_Enter_ HUMPHRY _and_ CAPTAIN CLERIMONT.
_Fain._ Madam, may I do myself the honour to recommend Mr. Gubbin, son
and heir to Sir Harry Gubbin, to your ladyship’s notice?
_Mrs. Cler._ Mr. Gubbin, I am extremely pleased with your suit; ’tis
antique, and originally from France.
_Hump._ It is always locked up, madam, when I’m in the country. My
father prizes it mightily.
_Mrs. Cler._ ‘Twould make a very pretty dancing suit in a masque. Oh!
Captain Clerimont, I have a quarrel with you.
_Ser._ Madam, your ladyship’s husband desires to know whether you see
company to-day or not?
_Mrs. Cler._ Who, you clown?
_Ser._ Mr. Clerimont, madam.
_Mrs. Cler._ He may come in.
_Enter_ CLERIMONT, SEN.
_Mrs. Cler._ Your very humble servant.
_Cler. Sen._ I am going to take the air this morning in my coach, and
did myself the honour, before I went, to receive your commands, finding
you saw company.
_Mrs. Cler._ At any time when you know I do, you may let me see
you. Pray, how did you sleep last night?–If I had not asked him
that question they might have thought we lay together. [_Aside.
Here_ FAINLOVE, _looking through a perspective, bows to_ CLERIMONT,
SEN.]–But captain, I have a quarrel with you–I have utterly forgot
those three coupees you promised to come again and show me.
_Cler. Sen._ Then, madam, you have no commands this morning?
_Mrs. Cler._ Your humble servant, sir–But, oh! [_As she is going to be
led by the Captain._] Have you signed that mortgage to pay off my Lady
Faddle’s winnings at ombre?
_Cler. Sen._ Yes, madam.
_Mrs. Cler._ Then all’s well; my honour’s safe. [_Exit_ CLERIMONT,
SEN.] Come, captain, lead me this step, for I’m apt to make a false
one; you shall show me.
_Cler._ I’ll show you, madam; ’tis no matter for a fiddle; I’ll give
you ’em the French way, in a teaching tune. Pray, more quick–Oh,
mademoiselle, que faites-vous?–A moi–There again–Now slide, as it
were, with and without measure–There you outdid the gipsy; and you
have all the smiles of the dance to a tittle.
_Mrs. Cler._ Why, truly, I think that the greatest part. I have seen an
English woman dance a jig with the severity of a vestal virgin.
_Hump._ If this be French dancing and singing, I fancy I could do it.
Haw! haw! [_Capers aside._
_Mrs. Cler._ I protest, Mr. Gubbin, you have almost the step, without
any of our country bashfulness. Give me your hand. Haw! haw! So, so;
a little quicker. That’s right, haw!–Captain, your brother delivered
this spark to me, to be diverted here till he calls for him. [_Exit_
_Hump._ This cutting so high makes one’s money jingle confoundedly. I’m
resolved I’ll never carry above one pocketful hereafter.
_Mrs. Cler._ You do it very readily; you amaze me.
_Hump._ Are the gentlemen in France generally so well bred as we are in
England? Are they, madam, ha?–But, young gentleman, when shall I see
this sister? Haw! haw! haw! Is not the higher one jumps the better?
_Fain._ She’ll be mightily taken with you, I’m sure. One would not
think ’twas in you–you’re so gay, and dance so very high.
_Hump._ What should ail me? Did you think I was wind-galled? I can
sing, too, if I please; but I won’t till I see your sister–This is a
mighty pretty house.
_Mrs. Cler._ Well, do you know that I like this gentleman extremely? I
should be glad to inform him–But were you never in France, Mr. Gubbin?
_Hump._ No; but I’m always thus pleasant, if my father’s not by.–[_To_
FAINLOVE.] I protest I’d advise your sister to have me: I’m for
marrying her at once. Why should I stand shilly-shally, like a country
_Fain._ Mr. Gubbin, I daresay she’ll be as forward as you; we’ll go in
and see her. [_Apart._
_Mrs. Cler._ Then he has not yet seen the lady he is in love with! I
protest very new and gallant–Mr. Gubbin, she must needs believe you a
frank person–Fainlove, I must see this sister, too, I’m resolved she
shall like him.
There needs not time true passion to discover;
The most believing is the most a lover.
SCENE II.–NIECE’S _Lodgings._
_Niece._ Oh, Clerimont! Clerimont! To be struck at first sight! I’m
ashamed of my weakness; I find in myself all the symptoms of a raging
amour. I love solitude, I grow pale, I sigh frequently, I call upon the
name of Clerimont when I don’t think of it–His person is ever in my
eyes, and his voice in my ears–Methinks I long to lose myself in some
pensive grove, or to hang over the head of some warbling fountain, with
a lute in my hand, softening the murmurs of the water.
_Aunt._ Biddy, Biddy; where’s Biddy Tipkin?
_Niece._ Whom do you inquire for?
_Aunt._ Come, come; he’s just a-coming at the Park door.
_Niece._ Who is coming?
_Aunt._ Your cousin Humphry. Who should be coming? Your lover, your
husband that is to be–Pray, my dear, look well, and be civil for your
credit, and mine too.
_Niece._ If he answers my idea, I shall rally the rustic to death.
_Aunt._ Hist–Here he is.
_Hump._ Aunt, your humble servant. Is that–ha! Aunt?
_Aunt._ Yes, cousin Humphry, that’s your cousin Bridget–Well, I’ll
leave you together. [_Exit_ AUNT. _They sit._
_Hump._ Aunt does as she’d be done by, cousin Bridget, does not she,
cousin? Ha! What, are you a Londoner, and not speak to a gentleman?
Look ye, cousin, the old folks resolving to marry us, I thought it
would be proper to see how I liked you, as not caring to buy a pig in a
poke, for I love to look before I leap.
_Niece._ Sir, your person and address bring to my mind the whole
history of Valentine and Orson. What, would they marry me to a wild
man? Pray answer me a question or two.
_Hump._ Ay, ay; as many as you please, cousin Bridget.
_Niece._ What wood were you taken in? How long have you been caught?
_Niece._ Where were your haunts?
_Hump._ My haunts!
_Niece._ Are not clothes very uneasy to you? Is this strange dress the
first you ever wore?
_Niece._ Are you not a great admirer of roots, and raw flesh? Let me
look upon your nails–Don’t you love blackberries, haws, and pig-nuts,
_Niece._ Can’st thou deny that thou wert suckled by a wolf? You have
not been so barbarous, I hope, since you came among men, as to hunt
your nurse, have you?
_Hump._ Hunt my nurse? Ay, ’tis so, she’s distracted, as sure as a gun.
Hark ye, cousin, pray will you let me ask you a question or two?
_Niece._ If thou hast yet learned the use of language, speak, monster.
_Hump._ How long have you been thus?
_Niece._ Thus! What would’st thou say?
_Hump._ What’s the cause of it? Tell me truly, now; did you never love
anybody before me?
_Niece._ Go, go, thou’rt a savage. [_Rises._
_Hump._ They never let you go abroad, I suppose.
_Niece._ Thou’rt a monster, I tell thee.
_Hump._ Indeed, cousin, though ’tis a folly to tell thee so–I am
afraid thou art a mad woman.
_Niece._ I’ll have thee carried into some forest.
_Hump._ I’ll take thee into a dark room.
_Niece._ I hate thee.
_Hump._ I wish you did–There’s no hate lost, I assure you, cousin
_Niece._ Cousin Bridget, quoth’a! I’d as soon claim kindred with a
mountain bear–I detest thee.
_Hump._ You never do any harm in these fits, I hope.–But do you hate
me in earnest?
_Niece._ Dost thou ask it, ungentle forester?
_Hump._ Yes; for I’ve a reason, look ye. It happens very well if you
hate me and are in your senses, for, to tell you truly, I don’t much
care for you; and there is another fine woman, as I am informed, that
is in some hopes of having me.
_Niece._ This merits my attention. [_Aside._
_Hump._ Look ye, d’ye see–as I said, since I don’t care for you,
I would not have you set your heart on me; but if you like anybody
else let me know it, and I’ll find out a way for us to get rid of one
another, and deceive the old folks that would couple us.
_Niece._ This wears the face of an amour.–There is something in that
thought which makes thy presence less insupportable.
_Hump._ Nay, nay, now you’re growing fond; if you come with these
maid’s tricks, to say you hate at first and afterwards like me, you’ll
spoil the whole design.
_Niece._ Don’t fear it–When I think of consorting with thee, may the
wild boar defile the cleanly ermine; may the tiger be wedded to the
_Hump._ When I of thee, may the pole-cat caterwaul with the civet.
_Niece._ When I harbour the least thought of thee, may the silver
Thames forget its course.
_Hump._ When I like thee, may I be soused over head and ears in a
horsepond–But do you hate me?
_Niece._ For ever; and you me?
_Hump._ Most heartily.
_Aunt._ Ha! I like this. They are come to promises and protestations.
_Hump._ I am very glad I have found a way to please you.
_Niece._ You promise to be constant?
_Hump._ Till death.
_Niece._ Thou best of savages!
_Hump._ Thou best of savages! Poor Biddy.
_Aunt._ Oh! the pretty couple, joking on one another–Well, how do you
like your cousin Humphry now?
_Niece._ Much better than I thought I should. He’s quite another thing
than what I took him for–We have both the same passion for one another.
_Hump._ We wanted only an occasion to open our hearts, aunt.
_Aunt._ Oh, how this will rejoice my brother and Sir Harry! we’ll go to
_Hump._ No, I must fetch a walk with a new acquaintance, Mr. Samuel
_Aunt._ An excellent acquaintance for your husband; come, niece, come.
_Niece._ Farewell, rustic.
_Hump._ Bye, Biddy.
_Aunt._ Rustic! Biddy! Ha! ha! pretty creatures. [_Exeunt._
ACT THE FOURTH.
_Enter_ CAPTAIN CLERIMONT _and_ POUNCE.
_Cler._ Does she expect me then, at this very instant?
_Pounce._ I tell you, she ordered me to bring the painter at this very
hour, precisely, to draw her niece; for, to make her picture peculiarly
charming, she has now that downcast pretty shame, that warm cheek,
glowing with the fear and hope of to-day’s fate, with the inviting, coy
affection of a bride, all in her face at once. Now I know you are a
pretender that way.
_Cler._ Enough, I warrant, to personate the character on such an
_Pounce._ You must have the song I spoke of performed at this window,
at the end of which I’ll give you a signal. Everything is ready for
you; your pencil, your canvas stretched, your—-Be sure you play
your part in humour. To be a painter for a lady, you’re to have the
excessive flattery of a lover, the ready invention of a poet, and the
easy gesture of a player.
_Cler._ Come, come, no more instructions, my imagination out-runs all
you can say. Be gone, be gone! [_Exit_ POUNCE.
Why, lovely charmer, tell me why,
So very kind, and yet so shy?
Why does that cold forbidding air
Give damps of sorrow and despair?
Or why that smile my soul subdue,
And kindle up my flames anew?
In vain you strive with all your art,
By turns to freeze and fire my heart:
When I behold a face so fair,
So sweet a look, so soft an air,
My ravished soul is charmed all o’er,
I cannot love thee less nor more.
[_After the song_ POUNCE _appears beckoning the_ CAPTAIN.]
_Pounce._ Captain, captain. [_Exit_ CAPTAIN.
SCENE II.–NIECE’S _Lodgings; two chairs and a table._
_Enter_ AUNT _and_ NIECE.
_Aunt._ Indeed, niece, I am as much overjoyed to see your wedding day
as if it were my own.
_Niece._ But why must it be huddled up so?
_Aunt._ Oh, my dear, a private wedding is much better; your mother had
such a bustle at hers, with feasting and fooling. Besides, they did not
go to bed till two in the morning.
_Niece._ Since you understand things so well, I wonder you never
_Aunt._ My dear, I was very cruel thirty years ago, and nobody has
asked me since.
_Aunt._ Yet, I assure you, there was a great many matches proposed
to me: There was Sir Gilbert Jolly, but he, forsooth, could not
please; he drank ale and smoked tobacco, and was no fine gentleman,
forsooth–But then, again, there was young Mr. Peregrine Shapely, who
had travelled, and spoke French, and smiled at all I said; he was a
fine gentleman–but then he was consumptive. And yet again, to see how
one may be mistaken; Sir Jolly died in half-a-year, and my Lady Shapely
has by that thin slip eight children, that should have been mine–but
here’s the bridegroom.–So, cousin Humphry!
_Hump._ Your servant, ladies. So, my dear—-
_Niece._ So, my savage–
_Aunt._ O fie, no more of that to your husband, Biddy.
_Hump._ No matter, I like it as well as duck or love; I know my cousin
loves me as well as I do her.
_Aunt._ I’ll leave you together; I must go and get ready an
entertainment for you when you come home. [_Exit._
_Hump._ Well, cousin, are you constant? Do you hate me still?
_Niece._ As much as ever.
_Hump._ What an happiness it is, when peoples’ inclinations jump! I
wish I knew what to do with you. Can you get nobody, d’ye think, to
_Niece._ Oh! Clerimont, Clerimont! Where art thou? [_Aside._
_Enter_ AUNT _and_ CAPTAIN CLERIMONT, _disguised._
_Aunt._ This, sir, is the lady whom you are to draw. You see, sir, as
good flesh and blood as a man would desire to put in colours–I must
have her maiden picture.
_Hump._ Then the painter must make haste. Ha, cousin!
_Niece._ Hold thy tongue, good savage.
_Cler._ Madam, I’m generally forced to new-mould every feature, and
mend nature’s handiwork; but here she has made so finished an original,
that I despair of my copies coming up to it.
_Aunt._ Do you hear that, niece?
_Niece._ I don’t desire you to make graces where you find none.
_Cler._ To see the difference of the fair sex! I protest to you, madam,
my fancy is utterly exhausted with inventing faces for those that sit
to me. The first entertainment I generally meet with, are complaints
for want of sleep; they never looked so pale in their lives, as when
they sit for their pictures. Then so many touches and retouches, when
the face is finished. That wrinkle ought not to have been, those eyes
are too languid, that colour’s too weak, that side-look hides the mole
on the left cheek. In short, the whole likeness is struck out–But in
you, madam, the highest I can come up to will be but rigid justice.
_Hump._ A comical dog this!
_Aunt._ Truly, the gentleman seems to understand his business.
_Niece._ Sir, if your pencil flatters like your tongue, you are
going to draw a picture that won’t be at all like me–Sure I have heard
that voice somewhere. [_Aside._
_Cler._ Madam, be pleased to place yourself near me; nearer still,
madam, here falls the best light. You must know, madam, there are three
kinds of airs which the ladies most delight in: There is your haughty,
your mild, and your pensive air. The haughty may be expressed with
the head a little more erect than ordinary, and the countenance with
a certain disdain in it, so as she may appear almost, but not quite,
inexorable. This kind of air is generally heightened with a little
knitting of the brows–I gave my lady Scornwell the choice of a dozen
frowns before she could find one to her liking.
_Niece._ But what’s the mild air?
_Cler._ The mild air is composed of a languish, and a smile–But, if
I might advise, I’d rather be a pensive beauty; the pensive usually
feels her pulse, leans on one arm, or sits ruminating with a book in
her hand; which conversation she is supposed to choose rather than the
endless importunities of lovers.
_Hump._ A comical dog!
_Aunt._ Upon my word he understands his business well; I’ll tell you,
niece, how your mother was drawn: she had an orange in her hand,
and a nosegay in her bosom, but a look so pure and fresh-coloured you’d
have taken her for one of the Seasons.
_Cler._ You seem indeed, madam, most inclined to the pensive. The
pensive delights also in the fall of waters, pastoral figures, or any
rural view suitable to a fair lady who, with a delicate spleen, has
retired from the world, as sick of its flattery and admiration.
_Niece._ No; since there is room for fancy in a picture, I would be
drawn like the amazon Thalestris, with a spear in my hand, and an
helmet on a table before me. At a distance behind let there be a dwarf,
holding by the bridle a milk-white palfrey.
_Cler._ Madam, the thought is full of spirit, and if you please, there
shall be a Cupid stealing away your helmet, to show that love should
have a part in all gallant actions.
_Niece._ That circumstance may be very picturesque.
_Cler._ Here, madam, shall be your own picture, here the palfrey, and
here the dwarf–The dwarf must be very little, or we shan’t have room
_Niece._ A dwarf cannot be too little.
_Cler._ I’ll make him a blackamoor to distinguish him from the other
too powerful dwarf [_Sighs_]–the Cupid–I’ll place that beauteous boy
near you, ’twill look very natural–He’ll certainly take you for his
_Niece._ I leave these particulars to your own fancy.
_Cler._ Please, madam, to uncover your neck a little; a little
lower still–a little, little lower.
_Niece._ I’ll be drawn thus, if you please, sir.
_Cler._ Ladies, have you heard the news of a late marriage between a
young lady of great fortune and a younger brother of a good family?
_Aunt._ Pray, sir, how is it?
_Cler._ This young gentleman, ladies, is a particular acquaintance of
mine, and much about my age and stature (look me full in the face,
madam); he accidentally met the young lady, who had in her all the
perfections of her sex (hold up your head, madam, that’s right);
she let him know that his person and discourse were not altogether
disagreeable to her. The difficulty was how to gain a second interview
(your eyes full upon mine, madam); for never was there such a sigher
in all the valleys of Arcadia as that unfortunate youth, during the
absence of her he loved.
_Aunt._ Alack-a-day! poor young gentleman!
_Niece._ It must be he–what a charming amour is this! [_Aside._
_Cler._ At length, ladies, he bethought himself of an expedient; he
dressed himself just as I am now, and came to draw her picture (your
eyes full upon mine, pray, madam).
_Hump._ A subtle dog, I warrant him.
_Cler._ And by that means found an opportunity of carrying her off, and
_Aunt._ Indeed, your friend was a very vicious young man.
_Niece._ Yet perhaps the young lady was not displeased at what he had
_Cler._ But, madam, what were the transports of the lover when she made
him that confession?
_Niece._ I daresay she thought herself very happy when she got out of
her guardian’s hands.
_Aunt._ ‘Tis very true, niece; there are abundance of those headstrong
young baggages about town.
_Cler._ The gentleman has often told me, he was strangely struck at
first sight, but when she sat to him for her picture, and assumed all
those graces that are proper for the occasion, his torment was so
exquisite, his passion so violent, that he could not have lived a day,
had he not found means to make the charmer of his heart his own.
_Hump._ ‘Tis certainly the foolishest thing in the world to stand
shilly-shally about a woman, when one has a mind to marry her.
_Cler._ The young painter turned poet on the subject; I believe I have
the words by heart.
_Niece._ A sonnet! pray repeat it.
While gentle Parthenissa walks,
And sweetly smiles, and gaily talks,
A thousand shafts around her fly,
A thousand swains unheeded die.
If then she labours to be seen,
With all her killing air and mien;
From so much beauty, so much art,
What mortal can secure his heart?
_Hump._ I fancy if ’twas sung, ‘twould make a very pretty catch.
_Cler._ My servant has a voice; you shall hear it. [_Here it is sung._
_Aunt._ Why this is pretty! I think a painter should never be without
a good singer, it brightens the features strangely–I profess I’m
mightily pleased. I’ll but just step in, and give some orders, and be
with you presently. [_Exit._
_Niece._ Was not this adventurous painter called Clerimont?
_Cler._ It was Clerimont, the servant of Parthenissa; but let me
beseech that beauteous maid to resolve, and make the incident I feigned
to her a real one. Consider, madam, you are environed by cruel and
treacherous guards, which would force you to a disagreeable marriage;
your case is exactly the same with the princess of the Leontines in
_Niece._ How can we commit such a solecism against all rules? What, in
the first leaf of our history to have the marriage? You know it cannot
_Cler._ The pleasantest part of the history will be after marriage.
_Niece._ No! I never yet read of a knight that entered tilt or
tournament after wedlock; ’tis not to be expected: when the husband
begins, the hero ends; all that noble impulse to glory, all the
generous passion for adventures, is consumed in the nuptial torch; I
don’t know how it is, but Mars and Hymen never hit it.
_Hump._ [_Listening._] Consumed in the nuptial torch! Mars and Hymen!
What can all this mean? I am very glad I can hardly read. They could
never get these foolish fancies into my head, I had always a strong
brain [_Aside._]–Hark ye, cousin, is not this painter a comical dog?
_Niece._ I think he’s very agreeable company.
_Hump._ Why then I tell you what: marry him–a painter’s a very genteel
calling. He’s an ingenious fellow, and certainly poor. I fancy he’d be
glad on’t; I’ll keep my aunt out of the room a minute or two, that’s
all the time you have to consider. [_Exit._
_Cler._ Fortune points out to us this only occasion of our happiness:
Love’s of celestial origin, and needs no long acquaintance to be
manifest. Lovers, like angels, speak by intuition; their souls are in
_Niece._ Then I fear he sees mine. [_Aside._]–But I can’t think
of abridging our amours, and cutting off all farther decoration of
disguise, serenade, and adventure.
_Cler._ Nor would I willingly lose the merit of long services, midnight
sighs, and plaintive solitudes, were there not a necessity.
_Niece._ Then to be seized by stealth!
_Cler._ Why, madam, you are a great fortune, and should not be married
the common way. Indeed, madam, you ought to be stolen, nay, in
strictness, I don’t know but you ought to be ravished.
_Niece._ But then our history will be so short.
_Cler._ I grant it; but you don’t consider there’s a device in
another’s leading you instead of this person that’s to have you; and,
madam, though our amours can’t furnish out a romance, they’ll make a
very pretty novel–Why smiles my fair?
_Niece._ I am almost of opinion that had Oroondates been as pressing
as Clerimont, Cassandra had been but a pocket-book; but it looks
so ordinary, to go out at a door to be married. Indeed, I ought to be
taken out of a window, and run away with.
_Enter_ HUMPHRY _and_ POUNCE.
_Hump._ Well, cousin, the coach is at the door. If you please I’ll lead
_Niece._ I put myself into your hands, good savage; but you promise to
_Hump._ I tell you plainly, you must not think of having me.
_Pounce._ [_To_ CLER.] You’ll have opportunity enough to carry her off;
the old fellows will be busy with me. I’ll gain all the time I can, but
be bold and prosper.
_Niece._ Clerimont, you follow us.
_Cler._ Upon the wings of love.
ACT THE FIFTH.
SCENE I.–CLERIMONT, SEN.’S _House._
_Enter_ CLERIMONT, SEN. _and_ FAINLOVE.
_Cler. Sen._ Then she gave you this letter, and bid you read it as a
paper of verses?
_Fain._ This is the place, the hour, the lucky minute. Now am I rubbing
up my memory, to recollect all you said to me when you first ruined me,
that I may attack her right.
_Cler. Sen._ Your eloquence would be needless; ’tis so unmodish to need
persuasion: Modesty makes a lady embarrassed; but my spouse is above
that, as for example [_Reading her letter_]–
“Fainlove, you don’t seem to want wit; therefore I need say no more
than that distance to a woman of the world is becoming in no man but a
husband: an hour hence come up the back stairs to my closet.
“Adieu, Mon Mignon.”
I am glad you are punctual; I’ll conceal myself to observe your
interview.–O torture! but this wench must not see it. [_Aside._
_Fain._ Be sure you come time enough to save my reputation.
_Cler. Sen._ Remember your orders, “distance becomes no man but a
_Fain._ I am glad you are in so good humour on the occasion; but you
know me to be but a bully in love, that can bluster only till the
minute of engagement–but I’ll top my part, and form my conduct by my
own sentiments. If she grows coy, I’ll grow more saucy–’twas so I was
_Cler. Sen._ Well, my dear rival, your assignation draws nigh; you are
to put on your transport, your impatient throbbing heart won’t let you
wait her arrival. Let the dull family-thing and husband, who reckons
his moments by his cares, be content to wait; but you are a gallant,
and measure time by ecstasies.
_Fain._ I hear her coming–To your post–good husband, know your duty,
and don’t be in the way when your wife has a mind to be in private–To
your post, into the coal-hole.
_Enter_ MRS. CLERIMONT.
Welcome, my dear, my tender charmer, oh! to my longing arms–feel
the heart pant, that falls and rises as you smile or frown. Oh, the
ecstatic moment!–I think that was something like what has been said to
_Mrs. Cler._ Very well, Fainlove.–I protest I value myself for my
discerning. I knew you had fire through all the respect you showed me;
but how came you to make no direct advances, young gentleman? Why was I
forced to admonish your gallantry?
_Fain._ Why, madam, I knew you a woman of breeding, and above the
senseless niceties of an English wife. The French way is, you are to
go so far, whether you are agreeable or not. If you are so happy as
to please, nobody that is not of a constrained behaviour is at a loss
to let you know it–Besides, if the humble servant makes the first
approaches, he has the impudence of making a request, but not the
honour of obeying a command.
_Mrs. Cler._ Right; a woman’s man should conceal passion in a familiar
air of indifference. Now there’s Mr. Clerimont; I can’t allow him the
least freedom, but the unfashionable fool grows so fond of me he cannot
hide it in public.
_Fain._ Ay, madam, I have often wondered at your ladyship’s choice of
one that seems to have so little of the beau monde in his carriage,
but just what you force him to, while there were so many pretty
_Mrs. Cler._ Oh, young gentleman, you are mightily mistaken, if you
think such animals as you, and pretty Beau Titmouse, and pert Billy
Butterfly, though I suffer you to come in, and play about my rooms, are
any ways in competition with a man whose name one would wear.
_Fain._ O madam! then I find we are—-
_Mrs. Cler._ A woman of sense must have respect for a man of that
character; but alas! respect–what is respect? Respect is not the
thing. Respect has something too solemn for soft moments–you things
are more proper for hours of dalliance.
_Cler. Sen._ [_Peeping._] How have I wronged this fine lady! I find I
am to be a cuckold out of her pure esteem for me.
_Mrs. Cler._ Besides, those fellows for whom we have respect have none
for us. I warrant on such an occasion Clerimont would have ruffled a
woman out of all form, while you—-
_Cler. Sen._ A good hint–now my cause comes on. [_Aside._
_Fain._ Since then you allow us fitter for soft moments, why do we
misemploy ’em? Let me kiss that beauteous hand and clasp that graceful
_Mrs. Cler._ How, Fainlove! What, you don’t design to be
impertinent–But my lips have a certain roughness on ’em to-day, han’t
_Fain._ [_Kissing._] No, they are all softness; their delicious
sweetness is inexpressible. Here language fails; let me applaud thy
lips, not by the utterance, but by the touch of mine.
_Enter_ CLERIMONT, SEN., _drawing his sword._
_Cler. Sen._ Ha, villain! Ravisher! Invader of my bed and honour! draw.
_Mrs. Cler._ What means this insolence–this intrusion into my privacy?
What, do you come into my very closet without knocking? Who put this
into your head?
_Cler. Sen._ My injuries have alarmed me, and I’ll bear no longer, but
sacrifice your bravado, the author of ’em.
_Mrs. Cler._ Oh! poor Mr. Fainlove! Must he die for his complaisance
and innocent freedoms with me? How could you, if you might? Oh! the
sweet youth! What, fight Mr. Fainlove? What will the ladies say?
_Fain._ Let me come at the intruder on ladies’ private hours. The
unfashionable monster! I’ll prevent all future interruption from
him–Let me come. [_Drawing his sword._
_Mrs. Cler._ Oh the brave pretty creature! Look at his youth and
innocence–he is not made for such rough encounters. Stand behind
me–Poor Fainlove!–There is not a visit in town, sir, where you shall
not be displayed at full length for this intrusion. I banish you for
ever from my sight and bed.
_Cler. Sen._ I obey you, madam, for distance is becoming in no man but
a husband [_Giving her the letter, which she reads, and falls into a
swoon._]–I’ve gone too far–[_Kissing her._]–The impertinent was
guilty of nothing but what my indiscretion led her to. This is the
first kiss I’ve had these six weeks–but she awakes. Well, Jenny, you
topped your part, indeed. Come to my arms, thou ready, willing, fair
one. Thou hast no vanities, no niceties; but art thankful for every
instant of love that I bestow on thee. [_Embracing her._
_Mrs. Cler._ What, am I then abused? Is it a wench then of his? Oh me!
Was ever poor abused wife, poor innocent lady, thus injured! [_Runs and
seizes_ FAINLOVE’S _sword._]
_Cler. Sen._ Oh the brave pretty creature! Hurt Mr. Fainlove! Look at
his youth, his innocence–Ha! ha! [_Interposing._
_Fain._ Have a care, have a care, dear sir–I know by myself she’ll
have no mercy.
_Mrs. Cler._ I’ll be the death of her; let me come on. Stand from
between us, Mr. Clerimont–I would not hurt you. [_Pushing and crying._
_Cler. Sen._ Run, run, Jenny. [_Exit_ JENNY.] [_Looks at her
upbraidingly before he speaks._] Well, madam, are these the innocent
freedoms you claimed of me? Have I deserved this? How has there been
a moment of yours ever interrupted with the real pangs I suffer? The
daily importunities of creditors, who became so by serving your profuse
vanities: did I ever murmur at supplying any of your diversions, while
I believed ’em (as you call ’em) harmless? Must, then, those eyes that
used to glad my heart with their familiar brightness hang down with
guilt? Guilt has transformed thy whole person; nay, the very memory of
it—-Fly from my growing passion!
_Mrs. Cler._ I cannot fly, nor bear it. Oh! look not—-
_Cler. Sen._ What can you say? Speak quickly. [_Offering to draw._
_Mrs. Cler._ I never saw you moved before. Don’t murder me impenitent;
I’m wholly in your power as a criminal, but remember I have been so in
a tender regard.
_Cler. Sen._ But how have you considered that regard?
_Mrs. Cler._ Is it possible you can forgive what you ensnared me into?
Oh, look at me kindly! You know I have only erred in my intention, nor
saw my danger, till, by this honest art, you had shown me what ’tis to
venture to the utmost limit of what is lawful. You laid that train, I’m
sure, to alarm, not to betray, my innocence. Mr. Clerimont, scorn such
baseness! Therefore I kneel–I weep–I am convinced. [_Kneels._
[_Takes her up, embracing her._
_Cler. Sen._ Then kneel, and weep no more, my fairest–my reconciled!
Be so in a moment, for know I cannot (without wringing my own heart)
give you the least compunction. Be in humour. It shall be your own
fault if ever there’s a serious word more on this subject.
_Mrs. Cler._ I must correct every idea that rises in my mind, and learn
every gesture of my body anew–I detest the thing I was.
_Cler. Sen._ No, no; you must not do so. Our joy and grief, honour and
reproach, are the same; you must slide out of your foppery by degrees,
so that it may appear your own act.
_Mrs. Cler._ But this wench!
_Cler. Sen._ She is already out of your way; you shall see the
catastrophe of her fate yourself. But still keep up the fine lady till
we go out of town; you may return to it with as decent airs as you
please.–And now I have shown you your error, I’m in so good humour as
to repeat you a couplet on the occasion–
They only who gain minds, true laurels wear:
‘Tis less to conquer, than convince, the fair.
SCENE II.–TIPKIN’S _House._
_Enter_ POUNCE _with papers; a table, chairs, pen, ink, and paper._
_Pounce._ ‘Tis a delight to gall these old rascals, and set ’em at
variance about stakes, which I know neither of ’em will ever have
_Enter_ TIPKIN _and_ SIR HARRY.
_Tip._ Do you design, Sir Harry, that they shall have an estate in
their own hands, and keep house themselves, poor things?
_Sir Har._ No, no, sir, I know better; they shall go down into the
country, and live with me, not touch a farthing of money; but, having
all things necessary provided, they shall go tame about the house, and
_Tip._ Well, Sir Harry, then considering that all human things are
subject to change, it behoves every man that has a just sense of
mortality to take care of his money.
_Sir Har._ I don’t know what you mean, brother. What do you drive at,
_Tip._ This instrument is executed by you, your son, and my niece,
which discharges me of all retrospects.
_Sir Har._ It is confessed, brother; but what then?
_Tip._ All that remains is, that you pay me for the young lady’s twelve
years’ board, as also all other charges, as wearing-apparel, &c.
_Sir Har._ What is this you say? Did I give you my discharge from all
retrospects, as you call it? and after all do you come with this and
t’other, and all that? I find you are–I tell you, sir, to your face–I
find you are—-
_Tip._ I find too what you are, Sir Harry.
_Sir Har._ What am I, sir? What am I?
_Tip._ Why, sir, you are angry.
_Sir Har._ Sir, I scorn your words; I am not angry. Mr. Pounce is my
witness; I am as gentle as a lamb. Would it not make any flesh alive
angry, to see a close hunks come after all with a demand of—-
_Tip._ Mr. Pounce, pray inform Sir Harry in this point.
_Pounce._ Indeed, Sir Harry, I must tell you plainly, that Mr. Tipkin,
in this, demands nothing but what he may recover. For though this case
may be considered _multifariam_–that is to say, as ’tis usually,
commonly, _vicatim_, or vulgarly expressed–yet, I say, when we only
observe that the power is settled as the law requires, _assensu
patris_, by the consent of the father, that circumstance imports you
are well acquainted with the advantages which accrue to your family by
this alliance, which corroborates Mr. Tipkin’s demand, and avoids all
objections that can be made.
_Sir Har._ Why then, I find you are his adviser in all this.
_Pounce._ Look ye, Sir Harry, to show you I love to promote among my
clients a good understanding; though Mr. Tipkin may claim four thousand
pounds, I’ll engage for him, and I know him so well, that he shall take
three thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight pounds, four shillings and
_Tip._ Indeed, Mr. Pounce, you are too hard upon me.
_Pounce._ You must consider a little, Sir Harry is your brother.
_Sir Har._ Three thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight pounds, four
shillings and eightpence farthing! For what, I say? For what, sir?
_Pounce._ For what, sir! for what she wanted, sir; a fine lady is
always in want, sir–her very clothes would come to that money in half
_Sir Har._ Three thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight pounds, four
shillings and eighteenpence farthing for clothes! Pray how many suits
does she wear out in a year?
_Pounce._ Oh! dear sir, a fine lady’s clothes are not old by being
worn, but by being seen.
_Sir Har._ Well, I’ll save her clothes for the future, after I have got
her into the country. I’ll warrant her she shall not appear more in
this wicked town, where clothes are worn out by sight–And as to what
you demand, I tell you, sir, ’tis extortion.
_Tip._ Sir Harry, do you accuse me of extortion?
_Sir Har._ Yes, I say extortion.
_Tip._ Mr. Pounce, write down that; there are very good laws provided
against scandal and calumny–Loss of reputation may tend to loss of
_Pounce._ Item, “for having accused Mr. Tipkin of extortion.”
_Sir Har._ Nay, if you come to your items–look ye, Mr. Tipkin, this
is an inventory of such goods as were left to my niece, Bridget, by
her deceased father, and which I expect shall be forthcoming at her
marriage to my son: Imprimis, “a golden locket of her mother’s, with
something very ingenious in Latin on the inside of it”; item, “a couple
of muskets, with two shoulder-belts and bandoleers”; item, “a large
silver caudle-cup, with a true story engraven on it.”
_Pounce._ But, Sir Harry—-
_Sir Har._ Item, “a bass viol, with almost all the strings to it, and
only a small hole on the back.”
_Pounce._ But nevertheless, sir—-
_Sir Har._ This is the furniture of my brother’s bedchamber that
follows:–“A suite of tapestry hangings, with the story of Judith and
Holofernes, torn only where the head should have been off; an old
bedstead, curiously wrought about the posts, consisting of two load of
timber; a hone, a basin, three razors, and a comb-case”–Look ye, sir,
you see I can item it.
_Pounce._ Alas, Sir Harry, if you had ten quire of items, ’tis all
answered in the word retrospect.
_Sir Har._ Why then, Mr. Pounce and Mr. Tipkin, you are both rascals.
_Tip._ Do you call me rascal, Sir Harry?
_Sir Har._ Yes, sir.
_Tip._ Write it down, Mr. Pounce, at the end of the leaf.
_Sir Har._ If you have room, Mr. Pounce, put down “villain, son of a
whore, curmudgeon, hunks, and scoundrel.”
_Tip._ Not so fast, Sir Harry, he cannot write so fast; you are at the
word “villain”; “son of a whore,” I take it, was next–You may make the
account as large as you please, Sir Harry.
_Sir Har._ Come, come, I won’t be used thus. Hark ye, sirrah,
draw–what do you do at this end of the town without a sword? Draw, I
_Tip._ Sir Harry, you are a military man, a colonel of the Militia.
_Sir Har._ I am so, sirrah, and will run such an extorting dog as you
through the guts, to show the Militia is useful.
_Pounce._ O dear, O dear! How am I concerned to see persons of your
figure thus moved–The wedding is coming in, we’ll settle these things
_Tip._ I am calm.
_Sir Har._ Tipkin, live these two hours, but expect–
_Enter_ HUMPHRY, _leading_ NIECE; MRS. CLERIMONT, _led by_ FAINLOVE;
CAPTAIN CLERIMONT _and_ CLERIMONT, SEN.
_Pounce._ Who are these? Hey-day, who are these, Sir Harry? Ha!
_Sir Har._ Some frolic, ’tis wedding-day; no matter.
_Hump._ Haw! haw! father, master uncle, come, you must stir your
stumps, you must dance–Come, old lads, kiss the ladies.
_Mrs. Cler._ Mr. Tipkin, Sir Harry, I beg pardon for an introduction so
malapropos; I know sudden familiarity is not the English way. Alas, Mr.
Gubbin, this father and uncle of yours must be new modelled; how they
stare, both of them!
_Sir Har._ Hark ye, Numps, who is this you have brought hither? is it
not the famous fine lady, Mrs. Clerimont? What a pox did you let her
come near your wife?
_Hump._ Look ye, don’t expose yourself, and play some mad country prank
to disgrace me before her; I shall be laughed at, because she knows I
_Mrs. Cler._ I congratulate, madam, your coming out of the bondage of
a virgin state. A woman can’t do what she will properly till she’s
_Sir Har._ Did you hear what she said to your wife?
_Enter_ AUNT, _before a service of Dishes._
_Aunt._ So, Mr. Bridegroom, pray take that napkin, and serve your
spouse to-day, according to custom.
_Hump._ Mrs. Clerimont, pray know my aunt.
_Mrs. Cler._ Madam, I must beg your pardon; I can’t possibly like all
that vast load of meat that you are sending in to table, besides, ’tis
so offensively sweet, it wants that haut-goût we are so delighted with
_Aunt._ You’ll pardon it, since we did not expect you–Who is this?
_Mrs. Cler._ Oh, madam, I only speak for the future; little saucers
are so much more polite. Look ye, I’m perfectly for the French way;
where’er I’m admitted, I take the whole upon me.
_Sir Har._ The French, madam, I’d have you to know—-
_Mrs. Cler._ You’ll not like it at first, out of a natural English
sullenness, but that will come upon you by degrees. When I first went
into France I was mortally afraid of a frog, but in a little time I
could eat nothing else, except salads.
_Aunt._ Eat frogs! have I kissed one that has ate frogs? Paw! paw!
_Mrs. Cler._ Oh, madam, a frog and a salad are delicious fare; ’tis
not long come up in France itself, but their glorious monarch has
introduced the diet which makes ’em so spiritual. He eradicated all
gross food by taxes, and, for the glory of the monarch, sent the
subject a-grazing–but I fear I defer the entertainment and diversion
of the day.
_Hump._ Now father, uncle, before we go any further, I think ’tis
necessary we know who and who’s together; then I give either of you two
hours to guess which is my wife–and ’tis not my cousin; so far I’ll
_Sir Har._ How! What do you say? But oh! you mean she is not your
cousin now, she’s nearer akin; that’s well enough. Well said, Numps;
ha! ha! ha!
_Hump._ No, I don’t mean so; I tell you I don’t mean so–My wife hides
her face under her hat. [_All looking at_ FAINLOVE.
_Tip._ What does the puppy mean? His wife under a hat!
_Hump._ Ay, ay, that’s she, that’s she–A good jest, ‘faith!
_Sir Har._ Hark ye, Numps, what dost mean, child? Is that a woman, and
are you really married to her?
_Hump._ I am sure of both.
_Sir Har._ Are you so, sirrah? then, sirrah, this is your wedding
dinner, sirrah–Do you see, sirrah, here’s roast meat.
_Hump._ Oh, oh! what, beat a married man! Hold him, Mr. Clerimont,
Brother Pounce, Mr. Wife; nobody stand by a young married man! [_Runs
_Sir Har._ Did not the dog say Brother Pounce? what, is this Mrs.
Ragout? this Madam Clerimont? Who the devil are you all? but especially
who the devil are you two? [_Beats_ HUMPHRY _and_ FAINLOVE _off the
_Tip._ [_To_ POUNCE.] Master Pounce, all my niece’s fortune will be
demanded now–for I suppose that red coat has her. Don’t you think you
and I had better break?
_Pounce._ [_To_ TIPKIN.] You may as soon as you please, but ’tis my
interest to be honest a little longer.
_Tip._ Well, Biddy, since you would not accept of your cousin, I hope
you han’t disposed of yourself elsewhere.
_Niece._ If you’ll for a little while suspend your curiosity, you shall
have the whole history of my amour to this my nuptial day, under the
title of the loves of Clerimont and Parthenissa.
_Tip._ Then, madam, your portion is in safe hands.
_Cler._ Come, come, old gentleman, ’tis in vain to contend; here’s
honest Mr. Pounce shall be my engineer, and I warrant you we beat you
out of all your holds.
_Aunt._ What then, is Mr. Pounce a rogue?–He must have some trick,
brother, it cannot be; he must have cheated t’other side, for I’m sure
he’s honest. [_Apart to_ TIPKIN.
_Cler. Sen._ Mr. Pounce, all your sister has won of this lady she has
honestly put into my hands; and I’ll return it her, at this lady’s
_Pounce._ And the thousand pounds you promised in your brother’s
behalf, I’m willing should be hers also.
_Cler. Sen._ Then go in, and bring ’em all back to make the best of an
ill game; we’ll eat the dinner and have a dance together, or we shall
transgress all form.
_Re-enter_ FAINLOVE, HUMPHRY, _and_ SIR HARRY.
_Sir Har._ Well, since you say you are worth something, and the boy has
set his heart upon you, I’ll have patience till I see further.
_Pounce._ Come, come, Sir Harry, you shall find my alliance more
considerable than you imagine; the Pounces are a family that will
always have money, if there’s any in the world–Come, fiddles.
[_A Dance here._]
You’ve seen th’ extremes of the domestic life,
A son too much confined–too free a wife;
By generous bonds you either should restrain,
And only on their inclinations gain;
Wives to obey must love, children revere,
While only slaves are governed by their fear.
_Spoken by_ MR. ESTCOURT.
Britons, who constant war, with factious rage,
For liberty against each other wage,
From foreign insult save this English stage.
No more th’ Italian squalling tribe admit,
In tongues unknown; ’tis popery in wit.
The songs (theirselves confess) from Rome they bring,
And ’tis high mass, for ought you know, they sing.
Husbands take care, the danger may come nigher,
The women say their eunuch is a friar.
But is it not a serious ill to see
Europe’s great arbiters so mean can be;
Passive, with an affected joy to sit,
Suspend their native taste of manly wit;
Neglect their comic humour, tragic rage,
For known defects of nature, and of age?
Arise, for shame, ye conquering Britons rise,
Such unadorned effeminacy despise;
Admire (if you will dote on foreign wit)
Not what Italians sing, but Romans writ.
So shall less works, such as to-night’s slight play,
At your command with justice die away;
Till then forgive your writers, that can’t bear
You should such very tramontanes appear,
The nations which contemn you to revere.
Let Anna’s soil be known for all its charms;
As famed for liberal sciences, as arms:
Let those derision meet, who would advance
Manners or speech, from Italy or France.
Let them learn you, who would your favour find,
And English be the language of mankind.