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The Contrast by Royall Tyler

Part 2 out of 3

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JESSAMY

Never doubt it; remember a faint heart never--
blisters on my tongue--I was going to be guilty of a
vile proverb; flat against the authority of Chester-
field. I say there can be no doubt that the brilliancy
of your merit will secure you a favourable reception.

JONATHAN

Well, but what must I say to her?

JESSAMY

Say to her! why, my dear friend, though I admire
your profound knowledge on every other subject, yet,
you will pardon my saying that your want of oppor-
tunity has made the female heart escape the poignancy
of your penetration. Say to her! Why, when a man
goes a-courting, and hopes for success, he must begin
with doing, and not saying.

JONATHAN

Well, what must I do?

JESSAMY

Why, when you are introduced you must make five
or six elegant bows.

JONATHAN

Six elegant bows! I understand that; six, you say?
Well--

JESSAMY

Then you must press and kiss her hand; then press
and kiss, and so on to her lips and cheeks; then talk
as much as you can about hearts, darts, flames, nectar,
and ambrosia--the more incoherent the better.

JONATHAN

Well, but suppose she should be angry with I?

JESSAMY

Why, if she should pretend--please to observe, Mr.
Jonathan--if she should pretend to be offended, you
must-- But I'll tell you how my master acted in
such a case: He was seated by a young lady of eighteen
upon a sofa, plucking with a wanton hand the blooming
sweets of youth and beauty. When the lady thought it
necessary to check his ardour, she called up a frown
upon her lovely face, so irresistibly alluring, that it
would have warmed the frozen bosom of age; remem-
ber, said she, putting her delicate arm upon his, re-
member your character and my honour. My master
instantly dropped upon his knees, with eyes swimming
with love, cheeks glowing with desire, and in the gen-
tlest modulation of voice he said: My dear Caroline, in
a few months our hands will be indissolubly united at
the altar; our hearts I feel are already so; the favours
you now grant as evidence of your affection are
favours indeed; yet, when the ceremony is once past,
what will now be received with rapture will then be
attributed to duty.

JONATHAN

Well, and what was the consequence?

JESSAMY

The consequence!--Ah! forgive me, my dear friend,
but you New England gentlemen have such a laud-
able curiosity of seeing the bottom of everything;--
why, to be honest, I confess I saw the blooming
cherub of a consequence smiling in its angelic mother's
arms, about ten months afterwards.

JONATHAN

Well, if I follow all your plans, make them six bows,
and all that, shall I have such little cherubim conse-
quences?

JESSAMY

Undoubtedly.--What are you musing upon?

JONATHAN

You say you'll certainly make me acquainted?--
Why, I was thinking then how I should contrive to
pass this broken piece of silver--won't it buy a sugar-
dram?

JESSAMY

What is that, the love-token from the deacon's
daughter?--You come on bravely. But I must hasten
to my master. Adieu, my dear friend.

JONATHAN

Stay, Mr. Jessamy--must I buss her when I am
introduced to her?

JESSAMY

I told you, you must kiss her.

JONATHAN

Well, but must I buss her?

JESSAMY

Why, kiss and buss, and buss and kiss, is all one.

JONATHAN

Oh! my dear friend, though you have a profound
knowledge of all, a pugnency of tribulation, you don't
know everything. [Exit.

JESSAMY, alone.

Well, certainly I improve; my master could not
have insinuated himself with more address into the
heart of a man he despised. Now will this blundering
dog sicken Jenny with his nauseous pawings, until she
flies into my arms for very ease. How sweet will the
contrast be between the blundering Jonathan and
the courtly and accomplished Jessamy!

END OF THE SECOND ACT.

ACT III. SCENE I.

DIMPLE'S Room.

DIMPLE discovered at a Toilet, Reading.

"WOMEN have in general but one object, which is
their beauty." Very true, my lord; positively very
true. "Nature has hardly formed a woman ugly
enough to be insensible to flattery upon her person."
Extremely just, my lord; every day's delightful ex-
perience confirms this. "If her face is so shocking
that she must, in some degree, be conscious of it, her
figure and air, she thinks, make ample amends for it."
The sallow Miss Wan is a proof of this. Upon my
telling the distasteful wretch, the other day, that her
countenance spoke the pensive language of sentiment,
and that Lady Wortley Montague declared that if the
ladies were arrayed in the garb of innocence, the face
would be the last part which would be admired, as
Monsieur Milton expresses it; she grinn'd horribly, a
ghastly smile. "If her figure is deformed, she thinks
her face counterbalances it."

Enter JESSAMY with letters.

DIMPLE

Where got you these, Jessamy?

JESSAMY

Sir, the English packet is arrived.

DIMPLE opens and reads a letter enclosing notes.

"Sir,
"I have drawn bills on you in favour of Messrs.
Van Cash and Co. as per margin. I have taken up
your note to Col. Piquet, and discharged your debts
to my Lord Lurcher and Sir Harry Rook. I here-
with enclose you copies of the bills, which I have no
doubt will be immediately honoured. On failure, I
shall empower some lawyer in your country to recover
the amounts.
"I am, Sir,
"Your most humble servant,
"JOHN HAZARD."

Now, did not my lord expressly say that it was un-
becoming a well-bred man to be in a passion, I confess
I should be ruffled. [Reads.] "There is no accident
so unfortunate, which a wise man may not turn to his
advantage; nor any accident so fortunate, which a
fool will not turn to his disadvantage." True, my
lord; but how advantage can be derived from this I
can't see. Chesterfield himself, who made, however,
the worst practice of the most excellent precepts, was
never in so embarrassing a situation. I love the per-
son of Charlotte, and it is necessary I should com-
mand the fortune of Letitia. As to Maria!--I doubt
not by my sang-froid behaviour I shall compel her to
decline the match; but the blame must not fall upon
me. A prudent man, as my lord says, should take all
the credit of a good action to himself, and throw the
discredit of a bad one upon others. I must break
with Maria, marry Letitia, and as for Charlotte--why,
Charlotte must be a companion to my wife.--Here,
Jessamy!

Enter JESSAMY.

DIMPLE folds and seals two letters.

DIMPLE

Here, Jessamy, take this letter to my love.
[Gives one.

JESSAMY

To which of your honour's loves?--Oh! [reading]
to Miss Letitia, your honour's rich love.

DIMPLE

And this [delivers another] to Miss Charlotte Manly.
See that you deliver them privately.

JESSAMY

Yes, your honour. [Going.

DIMPLE

Jessamy, who are these strange lodgers that came
to the house last night?

JESSAMY

Why, the master is a Yankee colonel; I have not
seen much of him; but the man is the most unpol-
ished animal your honour ever disgraced your eyes by
looking upon. I have had one of the most outre con-
versations with him!--He really has a most prodig-
ious effect upon my risibility.

DIMPLE

I ought, according to every rule of Chesterfield, to
wait on him and insinuate myself into his good
graces.--Jessamy, wait on the colonel with my com-
pliments, and if he is disengaged I will do myself the
honour of paying him my respects.--Some ignorant,
unpolished boor--

JESSAMY goes off and returns.

JESSAMY

Sir, the colonel is gone out, and Jonathan his ser-
vant says that he is gone to stretch his legs upon the
Mall.--Stretch his legs! what an indelicacy of diction!

DIMPLE

Very well. Reach me my hat and sword. I'll ac-
cost him there, in my way to Letitia's, as by accident;
pretend to be struck by his person and address, and
endeavour to steal into his confidence. Jessamy, I
have no business for you at present. [Exit.

JESSAMY [taking up the book].

My master and I obtain our knowledge from the
same source;--though, gad! I think myself much
the prettier fellow of the two. [Surveying himself in the
glass.] That was a brilliant thought, to insinuate that
I folded my master's letters for him; the folding is so
neat, that it does honour to the operator. I once in-
tended to have insinuated that I wrote his letters too;
but that was before I saw them; it won't do now;
no honour there, positively.--"Nothing looks more
vulgar, [reading affectedly] ordinary, and illiberal than
ugly, uneven, and ragged nails; the ends of which
should be kept even and clean, not tipped with black,
and cut in small segments of circles."--Segments of
circles! surely my lord did not consider that he wrote
for the beaux. Segments of circles; what a crabbed
term! Now I dare answer that my master, with all
his learning, does not know that this means, according
to the present mode, let the nails grow long, and then
cut them off even at top. [Laughing without.] Ha! that's
Jenny's titter. I protest I despair of ever teaching
that girl to laugh; she has something so execrably
natural in her laugh, that I declare it absolutely dis-
composes my nerves. How came she into our house!
[Calls.] Jenny!

Enter JENNY.

JESSAMY

Prythee, Jenny, don't spoil your fine face with
laughing.

JENNY

Why, mustn't I laugh, Mr. Jessamy?

JESSAMY

You may smile, but, as my lord says, nothing can
authorise a laugh.

JENNY

Well, but I can't help laughing.--Have you seen
him, Mr. Jessamy? ha, ha, ha!

JESSAMY

Seen whom?

JENNY

Why, Jonathan, the New England colonel's servant.
Do you know he was at the play last night, and the
stupid creature don't know where he has been. He
would not go to a play for the world; he thinks it
was a show, as he calls it.

JESSAMY

As ignorant and unpolished as he is, do you know,
Miss Jenny, that I propose to introduce him to the
honour of your acquaintance?

JENNY

Introduce him to me! for what?

JESSAMY

Why, my lovely girl, that you may take him under
your protection, as Madame Ramboulliet did young
Stanhope; that you may, by your plastic hand, mould
this uncouth cub into a gentleman. He is to make
love to you.

JENNY

Make love to me!--

JESSAMY

Yes, Mistress Jenny, make love to you; and, I doubt
not, when he shall become domesticated in your kitchen,
that this boor, under your auspices, will soon become
un amiable petit Jonathan.

JENNY

I must say, Mr. Jessamy, if he copies after me, he
will be vastly, monstrously polite.

JESSAMY

Stay here one moment, and I will call him.--Jona-
than!--Mr. Jonathan!--[Calls.]

JONATHAN [within]

Holla! there.--[Enters.] You promise to stand
by me--six bows you say. [Bows.]

JESSAMY

Mrs. Jenny, I have the honour of presenting Mr.
Jonathan, Colonel Manly's waiter, to you. I am ex-
tremely happy that I have it in my power to make
two worthy people acquainted with each other's merits.

JENNY

So, Mr. Jonathan, I hear you were at the play last
night.

JONATHAN

At the play! why, did you think I went to the
devil's drawing-room?

JENNY

The devil's drawing-room!

JONATHAN

Yes; why an't cards and dice the devil's device,
and the play-house the shop where the devil hangs
out the vanities of the world upon the tenter-hooks of
temptation? I believe you have not heard how they
were acting the old boy one night, and the wicked one
came among them sure enough, and went right off
in a storm, and carried one quarter of the play-house
with him. Oh! no, no, no! you won't catch me at a
play-house, I warrant you.

JENNY

Well, Mr. Jonathan, though I don't scruple your
veracity, I have some reasons for believing you were
there: pray, where were you about six o'clock?

JONATHAN

Why, I went to see one Mr. Morrison, the hocus
pocus man; they said as how he could eat a case knife.

JENNY

Well, and how did you find the place?

JONATHAN

As I was going about here and there, to and again,
to find it, I saw a great crowd of folks going into a
long entry that had lantherns over the door; so I
asked a man whether that was not the place where
they played hocus pocus? He was a very civil, kind
man, though he did speak like the Hessians; he lifted
up his eyes and said, "They play hocus pocus tricks
enough there, Got knows, mine friend."

JENNY

Well--

JONATHAN

So I went right in, and they shewed me away, clean
up to the garret, just like meeting-house gallery.
And so I saw a bower of topping folks, all sitting
round in little cabbins, "just like father's corn-cribs";
and then there was such a squeaking with the fiddles,
and such a tarnal blaze with the lights, my head was
near turned. At last the people that sat near me set
up such a hissing--hiss--like so many mad cats;
and then they went thump, thump, thump, just like
our Peleg threshing wheat, and stampt away, just like
the nation; and called out for one Mr. Langolee,--I
suppose he helps act the tricks.

JENNY

Well, and what did you do all this time?

JONATHAN

Gor, I--I liked the fun, and so I thumpt away,
and hiss'd as lustily as the best of 'em. One sailor-
looking man that sat by me, seeing me stamp, and
knowing I was a cute fellow, because I could make a
roaring noise, clapt me on the shoulder and said, "You
are a d---d hearty cock, smite my timbers!" I told
him so I was, but I thought he need not swear so,
and make use of such naughty words.

JESSAMY

The savage!--Well, and did you see the man with
his tricks?

JONATHAN

Why, I vow, as I was looking out for him, they
lifted up a great green cloth and let us look right into
the next neighbor's house. Have you a good many
houses in New-York made so in that 'ere way?

JENNY

Not many; but did you see the family?

JONATHAN

Yes, swamp it; I see'd the family.

JENNY

Well, and how did you like them?

JONATHAN

Why, I vow they were pretty much like other
families;--there was a poor, good-natured, curse of a
husband, and a sad rantipole of a wife.

JENNY

But did you see no other folks?

JONATHAN

Yes. There was one youngster; they called him
Mr. Joseph; he talked as sober and as pious as a
minister; but, like some ministers that I know, he was
a sly tike in his heart for all that. He was going to ask
a young woman to spark it with him, and--the Lord
have mercy on my soul!--she was another man's wife.

JESSAMY

The Wabash!

JENNY

And did you see any more folks?

JONATHAN

Why, they came on as thick as mustard. For my
part, I thought the house was haunted. There was
a soldier fellow, who talked about his row de dow,
dow, and courted a young woman; but, of all the cute
folk I saw, I liked one little fellow--

JENNY

Aye! who was he?

JONATHAN

Why, he had red hair, and a little round plump face
like mine, only not altogether so handsome. His
name was--Darby;--that was his baptizing name;
his other name I forgot. Oh! it was Wig--Wag--
Wag-all, Darby Wag-all,--pray, do you know him?--
I should like to take a sling with him, or a drap of
cyder with a pepper-pod in it, to make it warm and
comfortable.

JENNY

I can't say I have that pleasure.

JONATHAN

I wish you did; he is a cute fellow. But there was
one thing I didn't like in that Mr. Darby; and that
was, he was afraid of some of them 'ere shooting
irons, such as your troopers wear on training days.
Now, I'm a true born Yankee American son of
liberty, and I never was afraid of a gun yet in all my
life.

JENNY

Well, Mr. Jonathan, you were certainly at the play-
house.

JONATHAN

I at the play-house!--Why didn't I see the play
then?

JENNY

Why, the people you saw were players.

JONATHAN

Mercy on my soul! did I see the wicked players?--
Mayhap that 'ere Darby that I liked so was the old
serpent himself, and had his cloven foot in his pocket.
Why, I vow, now I come to think on't, the candles
seemed to burn blue, and I am sure where I sat it
smelt tarnally of brimstone.

JESSAMY

Well, Mr. Jonathan, from your account, which I
confess is very accurate, you must have been at the
play-house.

JONATHAN

Why, I vow, I began to smell a rat. When I
came away, I went to the man for my money
again; you want your money? says he; yes, says
I; for what? says he; why, says I, no man shall
jocky me out of my money; I paid my money to see
sights, and the dogs a bit of a sight have I seen, unless
you call listening to people's private business a sight.
Why, says he, it is the School for Scandalization.--
The School for Scandalization!--Oh! ho! no wonder
you New-York folks are so cute at it, when you go to
school to learn it; and so I jogged off.

JESSAMY

My dear Jenny, my master's business drags me from
you; would to heaven I knew no other servitude than
to your charms.

JONATHAN

Well, but don't go; you won't leave me so--

JESSAMY

Excuse me.--Remember the cash. [Aside to him,
and--Exit.]

JENNY

Mr. Jonathan, won't you please to sit down? Mr.
Jessamy tells me you wanted to have some conversa-
tion with me. [Having brought forward two chairs,
they sit.]

JONATHAN

Ma'am!--

JENNY

Sir!--

JONATHAN

Ma'am!--

JENNY

Pray, how do you like the city, Sir?

JONATHAN

Ma'am!--

JENNY

I say, Sir, how do you like New-York?

JONATHAN

Ma'am!--

JENNY

The stupid creature! but I must pass some little time
with him, if it is only to endeavour to learn whether it
was his master that made such an abrupt entrance into
our house, and my young mistress's heart, this morn-
ing. [Aside.] As you don't seem to like to talk, Mr.
Jonathan--do you sing?

JONATHAN
Gor, I--I am glad she asked that, for I forgot what
Mr. Jessamy bid me say, and I dare as well be hanged
as act what he bid me do, I'm so ashamed. [Aside.]
Yes, Ma'am, I can sing--I can sing Mear, Old
Hundred, and Bangor.

JENNY

Oh! I don't mean psalm tunes. Have you no little
song to please the ladies, such as Roslin Castle, or the
Maid of the Mill?

JONATHAN

Why, all my tunes go to meeting tunes, save one,
and I count you won't altogether like that 'ere.

JENNY

What is it called?

JONATHAN

I am sure you have heard folks talk about it; it is
called Yankee Doodle.

JENNY

Oh! it is the tune I am fond of; and if I know any-
thing of my mistress, she would be glad to dance to
it. Pray, sing!

JONATHAN [Sings.]

Father and I went up to camp,
Along with Captain Goodwin;
And there we saw the men and boys,
As thick as hasty-pudding.
Yankee doodle do, etc.

And there we saw a swamping gun,
Big as log of maple,
On a little deuced cars,
A load for father's cattle.
Yankee doodle do, etc.
And every time they fired it off
It took a horn of powder,
It made a noise--like father's gun,
Only a nation louder.
Yankee doodle do, etc.

There was a man in our town,
His name was--

No, no, that won't do. Now, if I was with Tabitha
Wymen and Jemima Cawley down at father Chase's,
I shouldn't mind singing this all out before them--
you would be affronted if I was to sing that, though
that's a lucky thought; if you should be affronted,
I have something dang'd cute, which Jessamy told
me to say to you.

JENNY

Is that all! I assure you I like it of all things.

JONATHAN

No, no; I can sing more; some other time, when
you and I are better acquainted, I'll sing the whole
of it--no, no--that's a fib--I can't sing but a hun-
dred and ninety verses; our Tabitha at home can sing
it all.--[Sings.]

Marblehead's a rocky place,
And Cape-Cod is sandy;
Charlestown is burnt down,
Boston is the dandy.
Yankee doodle, doodle do, etc.

I vow, my own town song has put me into such top-
ping spirits that I believe I'll begin to do a little, as
Jessamy says we must when we go a-courting.--
[Runs and kisses her.] Burning rivers! cooling flames!
red-hot roses! pig-nuts! hasty-pudding and ambrosia!

JENNY

What means this freedom? you insulting wretch.
[Strikes him.]

JONATHAN

Are you affronted?

JENNY

Affronted! with what looks shall I express my
anger?

JONATHAN

Looks! why as to the matter of looks, you look as
cross as a witch.

JENNY

Have you no feeling for the delicacy of my sex?

JONATHAN

Feeling! Gor, I--I feel the delicacy of your sex
pretty smartly [rubbing his cheek], though, I vow, I
thought when you city ladies courted and married, and
all that, you put feeling out of the question. But I
want to know whether you are really affronted, or only
pretend to be so? 'Cause, if you are certainly right
down affronted, I am at the end of my tether; Jessamy
didn't tell me what to say to you.

JENNY

Pretend to be affronted!

JONATHAN

Aye, aye, if you only pretend, you shall hear how
I'll go to work to make cherubim consequences.
[Runs up to her.]

JENNY

Begone, you brute!

JONATHAN

That looks like mad; but I won't lose my speech.
My dearest Jenny--your name is Jenny, I think?--
My dearest Jenny, though I have the highest esteem
for the sweet favours you have just now granted me--
Gor, that's a fib, though; but Jessamy says it is not
wicked to tell lies to the women. [Aside.] I say,
though I have the highest esteem for the favours you
have just now granted me, yet you will consider that,
as soon as the dissolvable knot is tied, they will no
longer be favours, but only matters of duty and mat-
ters of course.

JENNY

Marry you! you audacious monster! get out of my
sight, or, rather, let me fly from you.
[Exit hastily.]

JONATHAN

Gor! she's gone off in a swinging passion, before I
had time to think of consequences. If this is the way
with your city ladies, give me the twenty acres of rock,
the Bible, the cow, and Tabitha, and a little peaceable
bundling.

SCENE II. The Mall.

Enter MANLY.

It must be so, Montague! and it is not all the tribe
of Mandevilles that shall convince me that a nation,
to become great, must first become dissipated. Lux-
ury is surely the bane of a nation: Luxury! which
enervates both soul and body, by opening a thousand
new sources of enjoyment, opens, also, a thousand new
sources of contention and want: Luxury! which ren-
ders a people weak at home, and accessible to bribery,
corruption, and force from abroad. When the Grecian
states knew no other tools than the axe and the saw,
the Grecians were a great, a free, and a happy people.
The kings of Greece devoted their lives to the service
of their country, and her senators knew no other
superiority over their fellow-citizens than a glorious
pre-eminence in danger and virtue. They exhibited
to the world a noble spectacle,--a number of inde-
pendent states united by a similarity of language,
sentiment, manners, common interest, and common
consent, in one grand mutual league of protection.
And, thus united, long might they have continued the
cherishers of arts and sciences, the protectors of the
oppressed, the scourge of tyrants, and the safe asylum
of liberty. But when foreign gold, and still more per-
nicious foreign luxury, had crept among them, they
sapped the vitals of their virtue. The virtues of their
ancestors were only found in their writings. Envy
and suspicion, the vices of little minds, possessed them.
The various states engendered jealousies of each other;
and, more unfortunately, growing jealous of their
great federal council, the Amphictyons, they forgot
that their common safety had existed, and would exist,
in giving them an honourable extensive prerogative.
The common good was lost in the pursuit of private
interest; and that people who, by uniting, might have
stood against the world in arms, by dividing, crum-
bled into ruin;--their name is now only known in the
page of the historian, and what they once were is all
we have left to admire. Oh! that America! Oh!
that my country, would, in this her day, learn the
things which belong to her peace!
Enter DIMPLE.

DIMPLE

You are Colonel Manly, I presume?

MANLY

At your service, Sir.

DIMPLE

My name is Dimple, Sir. I have the honour to be
a lodger in the same house with you, and, hearing you
were in the Mall, came hither to take the liberty of
joining you.

MANLY

You are very obliging, Sir.

DIMPLE

As I understand you are a stranger here, Sir, I have
taken the liberty to introduce myself to your acquaint-
ance, as possibly I may have it in my power to point
out some things in this city worthy your notice.

MANLY
An attention to strangers is worthy a liberal mind,
and must ever be gratefully received. But to a sol-
dier, who has no fixed abode, such attentions are
particularly pleasing.

DIMPLE

Sir, there is no character so respectable as that of a
soldier. And, indeed, when we reflect how much we
owe to those brave men who have suffered so much in
the service of their country, and secured to us those
inestimable blessings that we now enjoy, our liberty
and independence, they demand every attention which
gratitude can pay. For my own part, I never meet
an officer, but I embrace him as my friend, nor a pri-
vate in distress, but I insensibly extend my charity to
him.--I have hit the Bumkin off very tolerably.

[Aside.

MANLY

Give me your hand, Sir! I do not proffer this hand
to everybody; but you steal into my heart. I hope I
am as insensible to flattery as most men; but I declare
(it may be my weak side) that I never hear the name
of soldier mentioned with respect, but I experience a
thrill of pleasure which I never feel on any other
occasion.

DIMPLE

Will you give me leave, my dear Colonel, to confer
an obligation on myself, by shewing you some civilities
during your stay here, and giving a similar oppor-
tunity to some of my friends?

MANLY

Sir, I thank you; but I believe my stay in this city
will be very short.

DIMPLE

I can introduce you to some men of excellent sense,
in whose company you will esteem yourself happy;
and, by way of amusement, to some fine girls, who
will listen to your soft things with pleasure.

MANLY

Sir, I should be proud of the honour of being
acquainted with those gentlemen;--but, as for the
ladies, I don't understand you.

DIMPLE

Why, Sir, I need not tell you, that when a young
gentleman is alone with a young lady he must say
some soft things to her fair cheek--indeed, the lady
will expect it. To be sure, there is not much pleasure
when a man of the world and a finished coquette
meet, who perfectly know each other; but how deli-
cious is it to excite the emotions of joy, hope, expecta-
tion, and delight in the bosom of a lovely girl who
believes every tittle of what you say to be serious!

MANLY

Serious, Sir! In my opinion, the man who, under
pretensions of marriage, can plant thorns in the bosom
of an innocent, unsuspecting girl is more detestable
than a common robber, in the same proportion as
private violence is more despicable than open force,
and money of less value than happiness.

DIMPLE

How he awes me by the superiority of his senti-
ments. [Aside.] As you say, Sir, a gentleman should
be cautious how he mentions marriage.

MANLY

Cautious, Sir! No person more approves of an inter-
course between the sexes than I do. Female conver-
sation softens our manners, whilst our discourse, from
the superiority of our literary advantages, improves
their minds. But, in our young country, where there
is no such thing as gallantry, when a gentleman speaks
of love to a lady, whether he mentions marriage or
not, she ought to conclude either that he meant to in-
sult her or that his intentions are the most serious and
honourable. How mean, how cruel, is it, by a thou-
sand tender assiduities, to win the affections of an ami-
able girl, and, though you leave her virtue unspotted,
to betray her into the appearance of so many tender
partialities, that every man of delicacy would suppress
his inclination towards her, by supposing her heart
engaged! Can any man, for the trivial gratification of
his leisure hours, affect the happiness of a whole life!
His not having spoken of marriage may add to his
perfidy, but can be no excuse for his conduct.

DIMPLE

Sir, I admire your sentiments;--they are mine.
The light observations that fell from me were only a
principle of the tongue; they came not from the heart;
my practice has ever disapproved these principles.

MANLY

I believe you, Sir. I should with reluctance sup-
pose that those pernicious sentiments could find ad-
mittance into the heart of a gentleman.

DIMPLE

I am now, Sir, going to visit a family, where, if you
please, I will have the honour of introducing you.
Mr. Manly's ward, Miss Letitia, is a young lady of
immense fortune; and his niece, Miss Charlotte
Manly, is a young lady of great sprightliness and
beauty.

MANLY

That gentleman, Sir, is my uncle, and Miss Manly
my sister.

DIMPLE

The devil she is! [Aside.] Miss Manly your sister,
Sir? I rejoice to hear it, and feel a double pleasure in
being known to you.--Plague on him! I wish he
was at Boston again, with all my soul. [Aside.]

MANLY

Come, Sir, will you go?

DIMPLE

I will follow you in a moment, Sir. [Exit Manly.]
Plague on it! this is unlucky. A fighting brother is
a cursed appendage to a fine girl. Egad! I just
stopped in time; had he not discovered himself, in
two minutes more I should have told him how well I
was with his sister. Indeed, I cannot see the satisfac-
tion of an intrigue, if one can't have the pleasure of
communicating it to our friends. [Exit.

END OF THE THIRD ACT.

ACT IV. SCENE I.

CHARLOTTE'S Apartment.

CHARLOTTE leading in MARIA.

CHARLOTTE

THIS is so kind, my sweet friend, to come to see
me at this moment. I declare, if I were going to be
married in a few days, as you are, I should scarce
have found time to visit my friends.

MARIA

Do you think, then, that there is an impropriety in
it?--How should you dispose of your time?

CHARLOTTE

Why, I should be shut up in my chamber; and my
head would so run upon--upon--upon the solemn
ceremony that I was to pass through!--I declare, it
would take me above two hours merely to learn that
little monosyllable--Yes. Ah! my dear, your senti-
mental imagination does not conceive what that little
tiny word implies.

MARIA
Spare me your raillery, my sweet friend; I should
love your agreeable vivacity at any other time.

CHARLOTTE

Why, this is the very time to amuse you. You
grieve me to see you look so unhappy.

MARIA

Have I not reason to look so?

CHARLOTTE

What new grief distresses you?

MARIA

Oh! how sweet it is, when the heart is borne down
with misfortune, to recline and repose on the bosom
of friendship! Heaven knows that, although it is im-
proper for a young lady to praise a gentleman, yet I
have ever concealed Mr. Dimple's foibles, and spoke
of him as of one whose reputation I expected would
be linked with mine; but his late conduct towards me
has turned my coolness into contempt. He behaves
as if he meant to insult and disgust me; whilst my
father, in the last conversation on the subject of our
marriage, spoke of it as a matter which lay near his
heart, and in which he would not bear contradiction.

CHARLOTTE

This works well; oh! the generous Dimple. I'll
endeavour to excite her to discharge him. [Aside.]
But, my dear friend, your happiness depends on your-
self. Why don't you discard him? Though the match
has been of long standing, I would not be forced
to make myself miserable: no parent in the world
should oblige me to marry the man I did not like.

MARIA

Oh! my dear, you never lived with your parents,
and do not know what influence a father's frowns have
upon a daughter's heart. Besides, what have I to
alledge against Mr. Dimple, to justify myself to the
world? He carries himself so smoothly, that every
one would impute the blame to me, and call me capri-
cious.

CHARLOTTE

And call her capricious! Did ever such an objection
start into the heart of woman? For my part, I wish I
had fifty lovers to discard, for no other reason than
because I did not fancy them. My dear Maria, you
will forgive me; I know your candour and confidence
in me; but I have at times, I confess, been led to sup-
pose that some other gentleman was the cause of your
aversion to Mr. Dimple.

MARIA

No, my sweet friend, you may be assured, that
though I have seen many gentlemen I could prefer to
Mr. Dimple, yet I never saw one that I thought I
could give my hand to, until this morning.

CHARLOTTE

This morning!

MARIA

Yes; one of the strangest accidents in the world.
The odious Dimple, after disgusting me with his con-
versation, had just left me, when a gentleman, who, it
seems, boards in the same house with him, saw him
coming out of our door, and, the houses looking very
much alike, he came into our house instead of his
lodgings; nor did he discover his mistake until he got
into the parlour, where I was; he then bowed so
gracefully, made such a genteel apology, and looked
so manly and noble!--

CHARLOTTE

I see some folks, though it is so great an impropri-
ety, can praise a gentleman, when he happens to be
the man of their fancy. [Aside.]

MARIA

I don't know how it was,--I hope he did not think
me indelicate,--but I asked him, I believe, to sit
down, or pointed to a chair. He sat down, and, in-
stead of having recourse to observations upon the
weather, or hackneyed criticisms upon the theatre, he
entered readily into a conversation worthy a man of
sense to speak, and a lady of delicacy and sentiment
to hear. He was not strictly handsome, but he spoke
the language of sentiment, and his eyes looked tender-
ness and honour.

CHARLOTTE

Oh! [eagerly] you sentimental, grave girls, when
your hearts are once touched, beat us rattles a bar's
length. And so you are quite in love with this he-angel?

MARIA

In love with him! How can you rattle so, Char-
lotte? am I not going to be miserable? [Sighs.] In
love with a gentleman I never saw but one hour in my
life, and don't know his name! No; I only wished
that the man I shall marry may look, and talk, and
act, just like him. Besides, my dear, he is a married
man.

CHARLOTTE

Why, that was good-natured--he told you so, I sup-
pose, in mere charity, to prevent you falling in love
with him?

MARIA

He didn't tell me so; [peevishly] he looked as if he
was married.

CHARLOTTE

How, my dear; did he look sheepish?

MARIA

I am sure he has a susceptible heart, and the ladies
of his acquaintance must be very stupid not to--

CHARLOTTE

Hush! I hear some person coming.

Enter LETITIA.

LETITIA

My dear Maria, I am happy to see you. Lud!
what a pity it is that you have purchased your wed-
ding clothes.

MARIA

I think so. [Sighing.]

LETITIA

Why, my dear, there is the sweetest parcel of silks
come over you ever saw! Nancy Brilliant has a full
suit come; she sent over her measure, and it fits her
to a hair; it is immensely dressy, and made for a
court-hoop. I thought they said the large hoops were
going out of fashion.

CHARLOTTE

Did you see the hat? Is it a fact that the deep laces
round the border is still the fashion?

DIMPLE within. Upon my honour, Sir.

MARIA

Ha! Dimple's voice! My dear, I must take leave
of you. There are some things necessary to be done
at our house. Can't I go through the other room?

Enter DIMPLE and MANLY.

DIMPLE

Ladies, your most obedient.

CHARLOTTE

Miss Van Rough, shall I present my brother Henry
to you? Colonel Manly, Maria,--Miss Van Rough, brother.

MARIA

Her brother! [turns and sees Manly.] Oh! my
heart! the very gentleman I have been praising.

MANLY

The same amiable girl I saw this morning!

CHARLOTTE

Why, you look as if you were acquainted.

MANLY

I unintentionally intruded into this lady's presence
this morning, for which she was so good as to promise
me her forgiveness.

CHARLOTTE

Oh! ho! is that the case! Have these two pense-
rosos been together? Were they Henry's eyes that
looked so tenderly? [Aside.] And so you promised to
pardon him? and could you be so good-natured?
have you really forgiven him? I beg you would do
it for my sake [whispering loud to Maria]. But, my
dear, as you are in such haste, it would be cruel to
detain you; I can show you the way through the other
room.

MARIA

Spare me, my sprightly friend.

MANLY
The lady does not, I hope, intend to deprive us of
the pleasure of her company so soon.

CHARLOTTE

She has only a mantua-maker who waits for her at
home. But, as I am to give my opinion of the dress,
I think she cannot go yet. We were talking of the
fashions when you came in, but I suppose the subject
must be changed to something of more importance
now. Mr. Dimple, will you favour us with an account
of the public entertainments?

DIMPLE

Why, really, Miss Manly, you could not have asked
me a question more mal-apropos. For my part, I must
confess that, to a man who has travelled, there is noth-
ping that is worthy the name of amusement to be found
in this city.

CHARLOTTE

Except visiting the ladies.

DIMPLE

Pardon me, Madam; that is the avocation of a man
of taste. But for amusement, I positively know of
nothing that can be called so, unless you dignify with
that title the hopping once a fortnight to the sound of
two or three squeaking fiddles, and the clattering of
the old tavern windows, or sitting to see the miserable
mummers, whom you call actors, murder comedy and
make a farce of tragedy.

MANLY

Do you never attend the theatre, Sir?

DIMPLE

I was tortured there once.

CHARLOTTE
Pray, Mr. Dimple, was it a tragedy or a comedy?

DIMPLE

Faith, Madam, I cannot tell; for I sat with my
back to the stage all the time, admiring a much better
actress than any there--a lady who played the fine
woman to perfection; though, by the laugh of the
horrid creatures round me, I suppose it was comedy.
Yet, on second thoughts, it might be some hero in a
tragedy, dying so comically as to set the whole house
in an uproar. Colonel, I presume you have been in
Europe?

MANLY

Indeed, Sir, I was never ten leagues from the conti-
nent.

DIMPLE

Believe me, Colonel, you have an immense pleasure
to come; and when you shall have seen the brilliant
exhibitions of Europe, you will learn to despise the
amusements of this country as much as I do.

MANLY

Therefore I do not wish to see them; for I can
never esteem that knowledge valuable which tends to
give me a distaste for my native country.

DIMPLE

Well, Colonel, though you have not travelled, you
have read.

MANLY

I have, a little; and by it have discovered that
there is a laudable partiality which ignorant, untrav-
elled men entertain for everything that belongs to their
native country. I call it laudable; it injures no one;
adds to their own happiness; and, when extended, be-
comes the noble principle of patriotism. Travelled
gentlemen rise superior, in their own opinion, to this;
but if the contempt which they contract for their coun-
try is the most valuable acquisition of their travels, I
am far from thinking that their time and money are
well spent.

MARIA

What noble sentiments!

CHARLOTTE

Let my brother set out where he will in the fields of
conversation, he is sure to end his tour in the temple
of gravity.

MANLY

Forgive me, my sister. I love my country; it has
its foibles undoubtedly;--some foreigners will with
pleasure remark them--but such remarks fall very
ungracefully from the lips of her citizens.

DIMPLE

You are perfectly in the right, Colonel--America
has her faults.

MANLY

Yes, Sir; and we, her children, should blush for
them in private, and endeavour, as individuals, to re-
form them. But, if our country has its errors in com-
mon with other countries, I am proud to say America--
I mean the United States--has displayed virtues and
achievements which modern nations may admire, but
of which they have seldom set us the example.

CHARLOTTE

But, brother, we must introduce you to some of our
gay folks, and let you see the city, such as it is. Mr.
Dimple is known to almost every family in town; he
will doubtless take a pleasure in introducing you.

DIMPLE

I shall esteem every service I can render your
brother an honour.

MANLY

I fear the business I am upon will take up all my
time, and my family will be anxious to hear from me.

MARIA

His family! but what is it to me that he is married!
[Aside.] Pray, how did you leave your lady, Sir?

CHARLOTTE

My brother is not married [observing her anxiety];
it is only an odd way he has of expressing himself.
Pray, brother, is this business, which you make your
continual excuse, a secret?

MANLY

No, sister; I came hither to solicit the honourable
Congress, that a number of my brave old soldiers may
be put upon the pension-list, who were, at first, not
judged to be so materially wounded as to need the
public assistance. My sister says true [to Maria]: I
call my late soldiers my family. Those who were not
in the field in the late glorious contest, and those who
were, have their respective merits; but, I confess, my
old brother-soldiers are dearer to me than the former
description. Friendships made in adversity are last-
ping; our countrymen may forget us, but that is no
reason why we should forget one another. But I must
leave you; my time of engagement approaches.

CHARLOTTE

Well, but, brother, if you will go, will you please
to conduct my fair friend home? You live in the
same street--I was to have gone with her myself--
[Aside]. A lucky thought.

MARIA
I am obliged to your sister, Sir, and was just intend-
ping to go. [Going.]

MANLY

I shall attend her with pleasure. [Exit with Maria,
followed by Dimple and Charlotte.]

MARIA

Now, pray, don't betray me to your brother.

CHARLOTTE

[Just as she sees him make a motion to take his
leave.] One word with you, brother, if you please.
[Follows them out.

Manent, DIMPLE and LETITIA.

DIMPLE

You received the billet I sent you, I presume?

LETITIA

Hush!--Yes.

DIMPLE

When shall I pay my respects to you?

LETITIA

At eight I shall be unengaged.

Reenter CHARLOTTE.

DIMPLE

Did my lovely angel receive my billet? [to Char-
lotte.]

CHARLOTTE

Yes.

DIMPLE

At eight I shall be at home unengaged.

DIMPLE

Unfortunate! I have a horrid engagement of busi-
ness at that hour. Can't you finish your visit earlier
and let six be the happy hour?

CHARLOTTE

You know your influence over me.
[Exeunt severally.

SCENE II.

VAN ROUGH'S House.

VAN ROUGH, alone.

IT cannot possibly be true! The son of my old
friend can't have acted so unadvisedly. Seventeen
thousand pounds! in bills! Mr. Transfer must have
been mistaken. He always appeared so prudent, and
talked so well upon money matters, and even assured
me that he intended to change his dress for a suit of
clothes which would not cost so much, and look more
substantial, as soon as he married. No, no, no! it can't
be; it cannot be. But, however, I must look out sharp.
I did not care what his principles or his actions were,
so long as he minded the main chance. Seventeen thou-
sand pounds! If he had lost it in trade, why the best
men may have ill-luck; but to game it away, as Trans-
fer says--why, at this rate, his whole estate may go in
one night, and, what is ten times worse, mine into the
bargain. No, no; Mary is right. Leave women to
look out in these matters; for all they look as if they
didn't know a journal from a ledger, when their inter-
est is concerned they know what's what; they mind
the main chance as well as the best of us. I wonder
Mary did not tell me she knew of his spending his
money so foolishly. Seventeen thousand pounds!
Why, if my daughter was standing up to be married,
I would forbid the banns, if I found it was to a man
who did not mind the main chance.--Hush! I hear
somebody coming. 'Tis Mary's voice; a man with
her too! I shouldn't be surprised if this should be the
other string to her bow. Aye, aye, let them alone;
women understand the main chance.--Though, I' faith,
I'll listen a little. [Retires into a closet.

MANLY leading in MARIA.

MANLY

I hope you will excuse my speaking upon so impor-
tant a subject so abruptly; but, the moment I entered
your room, you struck me as the lady whom I had
long loved in imagination, and never hoped to see.

MARIA

Indeed, Sir, I have been led to hear more upon
this subject than I ought.

MANLY

Do you, then, disapprove my suit, Madam, or the
abruptness of my introducing it? If the latter, my
peculiar situation, being obliged to leave the city in a
few days, will, I hope, be my excuse; if the former, I
will retire, for I am sure I would not give a moment's
inquietude to her whom I could devote my life to
please. I am not so indelicate as to seek your imme-
diate approbation; permit me only to be near you,
and by a thousand tender assiduities to endeavour to
excite a grateful return.

MARIA

I have a father, whom I would die to make happy;
he will disapprove--

MANLY

Do you think me so ungenerous as to seek a place
in your esteem without his consent? You must--you
ever ought to consider that man as unworthy of you
who seeks an interest in your heart contrary to a
father's approbation. A young lady should reflect
that the loss of a lover may be supplied, but nothing
can compensate for the loss of a parent's affection.
Yet, why do you suppose your father would disap-
prove? In our country, the affections are not sacri-
ficed to riches or family aggrandizement: should you
approve, my family is decent, and my rank honourable.

MARIA

You distress me, Sir.

MANLY

Then I will sincerely beg your excuse for obtruding
so disagreeable a subject, and retire. [Going.

MARIA

Stay, Sir! your generosity and good opinion of me
deserve a return; but why must I declare what, for
these few hours, I have scarce suffered myself to
think?--I am--

MANLY

What?

MARIA

Engaged, Sir; and, in a few days, to be married to
the gentleman you saw at your sister's.

MANLY

Engaged to be married! And have I been basely
invading the rights of another? Why have you per-
mitted this? Is this the return for the partiality I
declared for you?

MARIA

You distress me, Sir. What would you have me
say? You are too generous to wish the truth. Ought
I to say that I dared not suffer myself to think of my
engagement, and that I am going to give my hand
without my heart? Would you have me confess a par-
tiality for you? If so, your triumph is compleat, and
can be only more so when days of misery with the
man I cannot love will make me think of him whom
I could prefer.

MANLY [after a pause].

We are both unhappy; but it is your duty to obey
your parent--mine to obey my honour. Let us,
therefore, both follow the path of rectitude; and of
this we may be assured, that if we are not happy, we
shall, at least, deserve to be so. Adieu! I dare not
trust myself longer with you. [Exeunt severally.

END OF THE FOURTH ACT.

ACT V. SCENE I.

DIMPLE'S Lodgings.

JESSAMY meeting JONATHAN.

JESSAMY

WELL, Mr. Jonathan, what success with the fair?

JONATHAN

Why, such a tarnal cross tike you never saw! You
would have counted she had lived upon crab-apples
and vinegar for a fortnight. But what the rattle
makes you look so tarnation glum?

JESSAMY

I was thinking, Mr. Jonathan, what could be the
reason of her carrying herself so coolly to you.

JONATHAN

Coolly, do you call it? Why, I vow, she was fire-
hot angry: may be it was because I buss'd her.

JESSAMY

No, no, Mr. Jonathan; there must be some other
cause; I never yet knew a lady angry at being kissed.

JONATHAN

Well, if it is not the young woman's bashfulness, I
vow I can't conceive why she shouldn't like me.

JESSAMY

May be it is because you have not the Graces, Mr.
Jonathan.

JONATHAN

Grace! Why, does the young woman expect I must
be converted before I court her?

JESSAMY

I mean graces of person: for instance, my lord tells
us that we must cut off our nails even at top, in small
segments of circles--though you won't understand
that; in the next place, you must regulate your laugh.

JONATHAN

Maple-log seize it! don't I laugh natural?

JESSAMY

That's the very fault, Mr. Jonathan. Besides, you
absolutely misplace it. I was told by a friend of mine
that you laughed outright at the play the other night,
when you ought only to have tittered.

JONATHAN

Gor! I--what does one go to see fun for if they
can't laugh?

JESSAMY
You may laugh; but you must laugh by rule.

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