Henry Fielding.

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As it is Acted at the THEATRE-ROYAL

By His MAJESTY's Servants.

By the Author of the MODERN HUSBAND.


Printed for J. W. And Sold by J. ROBERTS in

_Warwick-Lane_, MDCCXXXII.

[Price One Shilling.]


Spoken by Mr. _William Mills_.

_I Wish, with all my Heart, the Stage and Town
Would both agree to cry all Prologues down;
That we, no more oblig'd to say or sing,
Might drop this useless necessary Thing:
No more with aukward Strut, before the Curtain,
Chaunt out some Rhimes - there's neither good nor hurt in._

_What is this Stuff the Poets make us deal in,
But some old worn-out Jokes of their Retailing:
From Sages of our own, or former Times,
Transvers'd from Prose, perhaps transpros'd from Rhimes._

_How long the Tragick Muse her Station kept, }
How Guilt was humbl'd, and how Tyrants wept, }
Forgetting still how often Hearers slept._ }

_Perhaps, for Change, you, now and then, by Fits,
Are told that Criticks are the Bane of Wits;
How they turn Vampyres, being dead and damn'd,
And with the Blood of living Bards are cramm'd:
That Poets thus tormented die, and then
The Devil gets in them, and they suck agen._

_Thus modern Bards, like Bays, their Prologues frame, }
For this, and that, and every Play the same, }
Which you, most justly, neither praise nor blame._ }

_As something must be spoke, no matter what;
No Friends are now by Prologues lost or got;
By such Harangues we raise nor Spleen, nor Pity -
Thus ends this idle, but important Ditty._

Dramatis Personæ.


_Old Laroon._ Mr. _Shepard_.
_Young Laroon._ Mr. _Mills_, Junior.
_Father Martin._ Mr. _Cibber_, Junior.
_Old Jourdain._ Mr. _Roberts_.


_Isabel._ Miss _Raftor_.
_Beatrice._ Miss _Williams_.




SCENE, _Mr._ Jourdain'_s_.

Isabel, Beatrice.


A Nunnery! Ha, ha, ha! And is it possible, my dear _Beatrice_, you can
intend to sacrifice your Youth and Beauty, to go out of the World as
soon as you come into it!

_Bea._ No one, my dear _Isabel_, can sacrifice too much or too soon to

_Isa._ Pshaw! Heaven regards Hearts and not Faces, and an old Woman will
be as acceptable a Sacrifice as a young one.

_Bea._ It is possible you may come to a better Understanding, and value
the World as little as I do.

_Isa._ As you say, it is possible when I can enjoy it no longer, I may;
nay, I do not care if I promise you when I grow old and ugly, I'll come
and keep you Company: But this I am positive, till the World is weary of
me, I never shall be weary of the World.

_Bea._ What can a Woman of Sense see in it worth her valuing?

_Isa._ Oh! ten thousand pretty things! Equipage, Cards, Musick, Plays,
Balls, Flattery, Visits, and that prettiest thing of all pretty things,
a pretty Fellow - - I rather wonder what Charms a Woman of any Spirit can
fancy in a Nunnery, in watching, working, praying, and sometimes, I am
afraid, wishing for other Company than that of an old fusty Friar - Oh!
'tis a delightful State, when every Man one sees, instead of tempting us
to Sin, is to rebuke us for them.

_Bea._ Such Sentiments as these would indeed make you very uneasy - but
believe me, Child, you would soon bring yourself to hate Mankind;
fasting and praying are the best Cures in the World for these violent

_Isa._ On my Conscience I should want neither; if the continual Sight of
a Set of dirty Priests would not bring me to abhor Mankind, I dare swear
nothing could.


_Old_ Laroon, Isabel, Beatrice.

_Old Lar._ Good-morrow, my little Wag-tail - my Grashopper, my Butterfly.
Odso! you little Baggage, you look as full of - - as full of Love and
Sport and Wantonness - - I wish I was a young Fellow again - - Oh! that I
was but five and twenty for thy sake. Where's my Boy? What, has not he
been with you, has not he serenaded you? - Odsheart - I never let his
Mother sleep for a Month before I married her.

_Isa._ Indeed!

_Old Lar._ No Madam, nor for a Month afterwards neither. The young
Fellows of this Age are nothing, mere Butterflies, to those of
ours - - Odsheart I remember the Time, when I could have taken a Hop,
Step, and Jump over the Steeple of _Notre Dame_.

_Bea._ I fancy the Sparks of your Age had Wings, Sir.

_Old Lar._ Wings, you little Baggage, no - but they had - they had Limbs,
like Elephants, and as strong they were as _Sampson_, and as swift
as - - Why, I have my self run down a Stag in a fair Chace, and eat him
afterwards for my Dinner. But come, where is my old Neighbour, my old
Friend, my old _Jourdain_?

_Isa._ At his Devotions, I suppose, this is the Hour he generally
employs in them.

_Old Lar._ This Hour! ay, all Hours. I dare swear he spends more Time in
them, than all the Priests in _Toulon_. Well, give him his due, he was
wicked as long as he could be so, and when he could sin no longer, why
he began to repent that he had sinned at all. Oh! there is nothing so
devout as an old Whoremaster.

_Bea._ I fancy then it will be shortly Time for you to think of it, Sir!

_Old Lar._ Ay, Madam, about some thirty or forty Years hence it
may - - Odsheart! I am but in the prime of my Years yet: And if it was
not for a saucy young Rascal who looks me in the Face and calls me
Father, might make a very good Figure among the Beaus. But tho' I am not
so young in Years, I am in Constitution as any of them; and I don't
question but to live to see a Son and a great Grandson both born on the
same Day.

_Isa._ You will excuse this Lady, Mr. _Laroon_, who is going to retire
so much earlier -

_Old Lar._ Retire! - - Then it is with a young Fellow, I hope.

_Isa._ Into a Cloister, I assure you.

_Old Lar._ A Cloister! - Why, Madam, if you have a mind to hang your self
at the Year's End; would it not be better to spend your Time in
Matrimony than in a Nunnery? Don't let a Set of rascally Priests put
strange Notions in your Head. Take my Word for it, and I am a very
honest Fellow, there are no Raptures worth a Louse, but those in the
Arms of a brisk young Cavalier. Of all the Actions of my Youth, there
are none I reflect on with so much Pleasure as having burnt half a Dozen
Nunneries, and delivered several hundred Virgins out of Captivity.

_Bea._ Oh! Villany! unheard of Villany!

_Isa._ Unheard of till this Moment I dare swear.

_Old Lar._ Out of which Number there are at present nine Countesses,
three Dutchesses, and a Queen, who owe their Liberty and their Promotion
to this Arm.


_Old_ Laroon, _Young_ Laroon, Isabel, Beatrice.

_Old Lar._ You are a fine Spark truly to let your Father visit your
Mistress before you - 'Sdeath! I believe you are no Son of mine. Where
have you been, Sir? What have you been doing, Sir, hey?

_Y. Lar._ Sir, I have been at my Devotions.

_Old Lar._ At your Devotions! nay, then you are no Son of mine, that's
certain. Is not this the Shrine you are to offer up at, Sirrah! Is not
here the Altar you are to officiate at? - Sirrah! you have no Blood of
mine in you. I believe you are the Bastard of some travelling _English_
Alderman, and must have come into the World with a Custard in your

_Y. Lar._ I hope, Madam, you will allow my Excuse, tho' the old
Gentleman here will not.

_Old Lar._ Old Gentleman! very fine! Sirrah! I'll convince you I am a
young Gentleman; I'll marry to-night, and make you a Brother before you
are a Father; I'll teach you to thrust him out of the World that thrust
you into it - - Madam, have no more to say to the ungracious Dog.

_Y. Lar._ That will be a sure way to quit all Obligations between us;
for the Happiness I propose in this Lady, is the chief Reason why I
should thank you for bringing me into the World.

_Old Lar._ What's that you say, Sir; say that again, Sir.

_Y. Lar._ I was only thanking you, Sir, for desiring this Lady to take
from me all I esteem on Earth.

_Old Lar._ Well enough that! I begin to think him my own again. I have
made that very Speech to half the Women in _Paris_.


_To them_ Martin.

_Mart._ Peace be with you all, Good People.

_Old Lar._ Peace cannot stay long in any Place where a Priest comes.

_Mart._ Daughter, I am ready to receive your Confession -

_Old Lar._ Ay, ay, she has a fine Parcel of sinful Thoughts to answer
for, I warrant her.

_Mart._ Mr. _Laroon_, you are too much inclined to Slander, I must
reprove you for it. My Daughter's Thoughts are as pure as a Saint's.

_Old Lar._ As any Saint's in Christendom within a Day of Matrimony.

_Mart._ Within a Day of Matrimony; it is too quick; I have not yet had
sufficient Time to prepare her Mind for that solemn Sacrament.

_Old Lar._ Prepare her Mind for a young Fellow; prepare your Mind for a

_Mart._ Sir, there are Ceremonies requisite, I shall be as expeditious
as possible, but the Church has Rules.

_Old Lar._ Sir, you may be as expeditious or as slow as you please, but
I will not have my Boy disappointed of his Happiness one Day, for all
the Rules in _Europe_.


Martin, Isabel.

_Mart._ I shall bring this Haughtiness to a Penance, you may not like.
Well, my dear Daughter, I hope your Account is not long. You have not
many Articles since our last Reckoning.

_Isa._ I wish you do not think it so, Father. First, telling nine Lyes
at the Opera the other Night to Mr. _Laroon_; yesterday talk'd during
the whole Mass to a young Cavalier, [_he groans._] Nay, if you groan
already, I shall make you groan more before I have done; last Night
cheated at Cards, scandalized three of my Acquaintance, went to Bed
without saying my Prayers, and dreamt of Mr. _Laroon_.

_Mart._ Oh! - Tell me the Particulars of that Dream.

_Isa._ Nay, Father, that I must be excus'd.

_Mart._ Modesty at Confession is as unseasonable as in Bed, and your
Mind should appear as naked to your Confessor, as your Person to your

_Isa._ I thought he embraced me with the utmost Tenderness.

_Mart._ But were you pleased therewith?

_Isa._ You know, Father, a Lye now would be the greatest of Sins. I was
not displeased I assure you. But I have often heard you say, there is no
Sin in Love.

_Mart._ No, in Love it self there is not: Love is not _Malum in se_. Nor
in the Excess is there sometimes any: but then it must be rightly
placed, must be directed to a proper Object. The Love a Daughter bears
her Confessor is no doubt not only innocent, but extremely laudable.

_Isa._ Yes, but that - that is another sort of Love, you know.

_Mart._ You are deceived, there is but one sort of Love which is
justifiable, or, indeed, desirable.

_Isa._ I hope my Love for _Laroon_ is that.

_Mart._ That I know not, I wish it may; however, I have some Dispute as
yet remaining with me concerning it; 'till that be satisfied, it will be
improper for you to proceed any farther in the Affair. All the Penance,
therefore, I shall enjoin you on this Confession, is to defer your
Marriage one Week; by which time I shall have resolved within my self
whether you shall marry him at all.

_Isa._ Not marry him at all? Sure, Father, you are not in earnest.

_Mart._ I never jest on these Occasions.

_Isa._ What Reason can you have?

_Mart._ My Reasons may not be so ripe for your Ears at present. But,
perhaps, better things are designed for you.

_Isa._ A Fidlestick! I tell you, Father, better things cannot be
designed for me. I suppose, you have found out some old Fellow with
twenty Livres a Year more in his Power; but I can assure you, if I marry
not _Laroon_, I'll not marry any.

_Mart._ Perhaps you are not designed to marry any. Let me feel your
Pulse - - Extremely feverish.

_Isa._ You are enough to put any one in a Fever. I was to have been
married to-morrow to a pretty Fellow, and now I must defer my Marriage,
'till you have consider'd whether I shall marry at all or no.

_Mart._ Have you any more Sins to confess!

_Isa._ Sins! - You have put all my Sins out of my Head, I think.

_Mart._ Benedicite - [_crossing himself._] Daughter, you shall see me
soon again, for great things are in Agitation; At present, I leave you
to your Prayers.


Isabel _alone_.

_Isa._ Sure never poor Maid had more need of Prayers: but you have left
me no great Stomach to them. Great things are in Agitation! What can he
mean? It must be so - - Some old liquorish Rogue with a Title, or a
larger Estate hath a mind to supplant my dear _Laroon_.


_Young_ Laroon, Isabel.

_Yo. Lar._ My _Isabel_, my Sweet! - how painfully do I count each tedious
Hour, till I can call you mine?

_Isa._ Indeed, you are like to count many more tedious Hours than you

_Yo. Lar._ Ha! What means my Love?

_Isa._ I would not have your Wishes too impatient, that's all; but if
you will wait a Week, you shall know whether I intend to marry you or

_Yo. Lar._ And is this possible? Can Words like these fall from
_Isabel_'s sweet Lips; can she be false, inconstant, perjured?

_Isa._ Oh! do not discharge such a Volley of terrible Names upon me
before you are certain I deserve them; doubt only whether I can be
obedient to my Confessor, and guess the rest.

_Yo. Lar._ Can he have enjoined you to be perjured, by Heaven it would
be sinful to obey him.

_Isa._ Be satisfied, if I prevail with my self to obey him in this
Week's Delay, I will carry my Obedience no farther.

_Yo. Lar._ Oh! to what Happiness have those dear Words restor'd me. I am
again my self: for while the Possession of thee is sure, tho' distant,
there is in that dear Hope, more Transport than any other actual
Enjoyment can afford.

_Isa._ Well adieu, and to cram you quite full with Hope (since you like
the Food) I here promise you, that the Commands of all the Priests in
_France_ shall not force me to marry another. That is, Sir, I will
either marry you or die a Maid, and I have no violent Inclination to the
latter, on the Word of a Virgin.


_Young_ Laroon _solus_.

Whether a violent Hatred to my Father, or an inordinate Love for
Mischief, hath set the Priest on this Affair, I know not. Perhaps it is
the former - - for the old Gentleman hath the Happiness of being
universally hated by every Priest in _Toulon_ - - Let a Man abuse a
Physician, he makes another Physician his Friend, let him rail at a
Lawyer, another will plead his Cause gratis; if he libel this Courtier,
that Courtier receives him into his Bosom: but let him once attack a
Hornet or a Priest, the whole Nest of Hornets, and the whole Regiment of
Black-guards are sure to be upon him.


_Old_ Laroon _laughing_, _Young_ Laroon.

_Yo. Lar._ You are merry, Sir.

_Old. Lar._ Merry, Sir! Ay, Sir! I am merry, Sir. Would you have your
Father sad, you Rascal? Have you a mind to bury him in his Youth?

_Yo. Lar._ Pardon me, Sir, I rather wished to know the happy Occasion of
your Mirth.

_Old Lar._ The Occasion of my Mirth, Sir, is the saddest Sight that ever
Mortal beheld.

_Yo. Lar._ A very odd Occasion indeed.

_Old Lar._ Very odd truly. It is the Sight of an old honest Whoremaster
in a Fit of Despair, and a damned Rogue of a Priest riding him to the

_Yo. Lar._ Ay, Sir, but I have seen a more melancholy Sight.

_Old Lar._ Ha! what can that be?

_Yo. Lar._ A fine young Lady in a Fit of Love, and a Priest keeping her
from her Lover.

_Old Lar._ How?

_Yo. Lar._ The Explanation of which is, that Father Martin hath put off
our Match for a Week.

_Old. Lar._ Put off your Match with _Isabel_!

_Yo. Lar._ Even so, Sir.

_Old Lar._ Well I never have made a Hole in a Gown yet, I never have
tapped a Priest: but if I don't let out some reverend Blood before the
Sun sets, may I never See him rise again. I'll carbonade the Villain,
I'll make a Ragout for the Devil's Supper of him.

_Yo. Lar._ Let me intreat you, Sir, to do nothing rashly, as long as I
am safe in the Faith of my _Isabel_.

_Old Lar._ I tell you, Sirrah, no Man is safe in the Faith of a
Mistress, no one is secure of a Woman till he is in Bed with her. Had
there been any Security in the Faith of a Mistress, I had been at
present married to half the Dutchesses in _France_. I no more rely on
what a Woman says out of a Church, than on what a Priest says in it.

_Yo. Lar._ Pardon me, Sir: but I should have very little Appetite to
marry the Woman whom I had such an Opinion of.

_Old Lar._ You had an Opinion of! What Business have you to have any
Opinion. Is it not enough that I have an Opinion of her, that is of her
Fortune - But I suppose you are one of those romantick, whining Coxcombs,
that are in Love with a Woman behind her Back: Sirrah, I have had two
Women lawfully, and two thousand unlawfully, and never was in Love in my

_Yo. Lar._ Well, Sir, then I am happy, that we both agree in the same
Person; I like the Woman, and you her Fortune.

_Old. Lar._ Yes, you Dog, and I'd have you secure her as soon as you
can: for if a greater Fortune should be found out in _Toulon_, I'd make
you marry her - So go find out your Mistress, and stick close to her, and
I'll go seek the Priest, whom, if I can find, I will stick close to with
a Vengeance.


_Another Apartment._

Jourdain, Martin.

_Jourd._ Alas! Father, there is one Sin sticks by me more than any I
have confessed to you. It is so enormous a one my Shame hath prevented
me discovering it - I have often concealed my Crimes from my Confessor.

_Mart._ That is a damnable Sin indeed. It seemeth to argue a Distrust of
the Church, the greatest of all Crimes; a Sin I fear the Church cannot

_Jourd._ Oh! say not so, Father!

_Mart._ I should have said will not, or not without difficulty: for the
Church can do all things.

_Jourd._ That is some Comfort again.

_Mart._ I hope, however, tho' you have not confessed them, you have not
forgotten them; for they must be confessed before they can be forgiven.

_Jourd._ I hope I shall recollect them, they are a black Roll - I
remember I once was the Occasion of ruining a Woman's Reputation by
shewing a Letter from her.

_Mart._ If you had shewn it to the Priest it had been no Fault.

_Jourd._ Alas! Sir, I wrote the Letter to my self, and thus traduced the
Innocent. I afterwards commanded a Company of Granadiers, at the taking
of a Town, where I knocked a poor old Gentleman in the Head for the sake
of his Money, and ravished his Daughter.

_Mart._ These are crying Sins indeed.

_Jourd._ At the same time I robbed a Jesuit of two Pistoles.

_Mart._ Oh! damnable! Oh! execrable!

_Jourd._ Good Father, have Patience: I once borrowed five hundred Livres
of an honest Citizen in Paris, and repay'd him by lying with his Wife:
And what sits nearest my Heart, was forced to pay a young Cavalier the
same Sum, by suffering him to lie with mine.

_Mart._ Oh!

_Jourd._ And yet what are these to what I have done since I commenced
Merchant. What have I not done to get a Penny. I insured a Ship for a
great Value, and then cast it away; I broke when I was worth a hundred
thousand Livres, and went over to _London_. I settled there, renounced
my Religion, and was made a Justice of Peace.

_Mart._ Oh! that Seat of Heresy and Damnation! that Whore of _Babylon_!

_Jourd._ With the Whores of _Babylon_ did I unite: I protected them from
Justice: Gaming-houses and Baudy-houses did I license, nay, and frequent
too; I never punished any Vice but Poverty: for Oh! I dread to name it:
I once committed a Priest to _Newgate_ for picking Pockets.

_Mart._ Oh! monstrous! horrible! dreadful! I'll hear no more. Thou art
damn'd without Reprieve.

_Jourd._ Take Pity, Father, take Pity on a Penitent.

_Mart._ Pity! the Church abhors it. 'Twere Mercy to such a Wretch to
pray him into Purgatory.

_Jourd._ I'll give all my Estate to the Church, I'll found Monasteries,
I'll build Abbies.

_Mart._ All will not do, ten thousand Masses will not deliver you.

_Jourd._ Was ever such a miserable Wretch!

_Mart._ Thou hast Sins enough to damn thy whole Family. Monstrous
Impiety! to lift up the Hand of Justice against the Church.

_Jourd._ Oh speak some Comfort to me: will no Penance expiate my Crime?

_Mart._ It is too grievous for a single Penance, go settle your Estate
on the Church, and send your Daughter to a Nunnery, her Prayers will
avail more than yours: Heaven hears the young and innocent with
Pleasure. I will, my self, say four Masses a-day for you; and all these,
I hope, will purchase your Forgiveness, at least your Stay in Purgatory
will be short.

_Jourd._ My Daughter! She is to be married to-morrow, and I shall never
prevail on her.

_Mart._ You must force her; your all depends on it.

_Jourd._ But I have already sworn I will not force her.

_Mart._ The Church absolves you from that Oath, and it were now Impiety
to keep it. Go, lose not a Moment, see her entered with the utmost
Expedition; she may put it out of your Power.

_Jourd._ What a poor miserable Wretch am I?


Martin _solus_.

Thou art a miserable Wretch indeed! And it is on such miserable Wretches
depends our Power: that Superstition which tears thy Bowels, feeds
ours. This Nunnery is a Master-piece, let me but once shut up my dear
_Isabel_ from every other Man, and the Warmth of her Constitution may be
my very powerful Friend. How far am I got already from the very Brink of
Despair, by the Despair of this old Fool. Superstition, I adore thee,

Thou handle to the cheated Layman's Mind,
By which in Fetters Priestcraft leads Mankind.


Jourdain, Isabel.


Have you no Compassion for your Father, for him that gave you being?
Could you bear to hear me howl in Purgatory?

_Isa._ Lud! Pappa! Do you think your putting me into Purgatory in this
World, will save you from Purgatory in the next? If you have any Sins
you must repent of them your self; for I give you my Word, I have enough
to do to repent of my own.

_Jourd._ You will soon wipe off that Score, and will be then in a Place
where you cannot contract a new one.

_Isa._ Indeed, Sir, to shut a Woman out from Sin is not so easy. But,
dear Sir, how can it enter into your Head, that my Penance can be
acceptable for your Sin? Take my Word, one Week's fasting will be of
more Service to you than this long Fast you would enjoin me.

_Jourd._ Alas! Child, if fasting would do, I am sure I have not been
wanting to my Duty: I have fasted till I am almost worn away to
nothing; I have almost fasted my self into Purgatory, while I was
fasting my self out of it.

_Isa._ But whence comes all this Apprehension of your Danger?

_Jourd._ Whence should it come, but from the Church.

_Isa._ Oh! Sir, I have thought of the most lucky thing. You know, my
Cousin _Beatrice_ is just going into a Nunnery, and she will pray for
you as much as you would have her.

_Jourd._ Trifle not with so serious a Concern. No Prayers but yours will
ever do me good.

_Isa._ Then you shall have them any where but in a Nunnery.

_Jourd._ They must be there too.

_Isa._ That will be impossible: for if I was there, instead of praying
you out of Purgatory, my Prayers would be all bent to pray my self out
of the Nunnery again.


_Old_ Laroon, Jourdain, Isabel.

_Old. Lar._ A Dog, a Villain, put off my Son's Match. Mr. _Jourdain_,
your Servant; will you suffer a Rogue of a Jesuit to defer your
Daughter's Marriage a whole Week?

_Jourd._ I am sorry, Mr. _Laroon_, for the Disappointment, but her
Marriage will be deferred longer than that.

_Old. Lar._ How, Sir!

_Jourd._ She is intended for another Marriage, Sir, a much better Match.

_Old. Lar._ A much better Match! -

_Isa._ Yes, Sir, I am to be sent to a Nunnery, to pray my Father out of

_Old Lar._ Oh! Ho! - We'll make that Matter very easy: he shall have no
Fear of Purgatory; for I'll send him to the Devil this Moment. Come,
Sir, draw, draw -

_Jourd._ Draw what, Sir!

_Old Lar._ Draw your Sword, Sir.

_Jourd._ Alas, Sir, I have long since done with Swords, I have broke my
Sword long since.

_Old Lar._ Then I shall break your Head, you old Rogue.

_Jourd._ Heyday - - you are mad; what's the Matter?

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