Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

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COLONEL TOWNLY _Mr. Brereton._
LOVELESS _Mr. Smith._
TOM FASHION _Mr. J. Palmer._
LA VAROLE _Mr. Burton._
LORY _Mr. Baddeley._
PROBE _Mr. Parsons._
MENDLEGS _Mr. Norris._
JEWELLER _Mr. Lamash_
SHOEMAKER _Mr. Carpenter._
TAILOR _Mr. Parker._
AMANDA _Mrs. Robinson._
BERINTHIA _Miss Farren._
MISS HOYDEN _Mrs. Abington._
MRS. COUPLER _Mrs. Booth._
NURSE _Mrs. Bradshaw._

Sempstress, Postilion, Maid, _and_ Servants.



What various transformations we remark,
From east Whitechapel to the west Hyde Park!
Men, women, children, houses, signs, and fashions,
State, stage, trade, taste, the humours and the passions;
The Exchange, 'Change Alley, wheresoe'er you're ranging,
Court, city, country, all are changed or changing
The streets, some time ago, were paved with stones,
Which, aided by a hackney-coach, half broke your bones.
The purest lovers then indulged in bliss;
They ran great hazard if they stole a kiss.
One chaste salute! - the damsel cried - Oh, fie!
As they approach'd - slap went the coach awry -
Poor Sylvia got a bump, and Damon a black eye.

But now weak nerves in hackney-coaches roam,
And the cramm'd glutton snores, unjolted, home;
Of former times, that polish'd thing a beau,
Is metamorphosed now from top to toe;
Then the full flaxen wig, spread o'er the shoulders,
Conceal'd the shallow head from the beholders.
But now the whole's reversed - each fop appears,
Cropp'd and trimm'd up, exposing head and ears:
The buckle then its modest limits knew,
Now, like the ocean, dreadful to the view,
Hath broke its bounds, and swallowed up the shoe:
The wearer's foot like his once fine estate,
Is almost lost, the encumbrance is so great.
Ladies may smile - are they not in the plot?
The bounds of nature have not they forgot?
Were they design'd to be, when put together,
Made up, like shuttlecocks, of cork and feather?
Their pale-faced grandmammas appeared with grace
When dawning blushes rose upon the face;
No blushes now their once-loved station seek;
The foe is in possession of the cheek!
No heads of old, too high in feather'd state,
Hinder'd the fair to pass the lowest gate;
A church to enter now, they must be bent,
If ever they should try the experiment.
As change thus circulates throughout the nation,
Some plays may justly call for alteration;
At least to draw some slender covering o'er,
That _graceless wit_
[Footnote: "And _Van_ wants grace, who never wanted wit."
- POPE.]
which was too bare before:
Those writers well and wisely use their pens,
Who turn our wantons into Magdalens;
And howsoever wicked wits revile 'em,
We hope to find in you their stage asylum.

* * * * *


SCENE I. - _The Hall of an Inn_.
_Enter TOM FASHION and LORY, POSTILION following with a
_Fash_. Lory, pay the postboy, and take the portmanteau.
_Lory. [Aside to TOM FASHION_.] Faith, sir, we had better
let the postboy take the portmanteau and pay himself.
_Fash. [Aside to LORY_.] Why, sure, there's something left
in it!
_Lory_. Not a rag, upon my honour, sir! We eat the last of
your wardrobe at New Malton - and, if we had had twenty miles
further to go, our next meal must have been of the cloak-bag.
_Fash_. Why, 'sdeath, it appears full!
_Lory_. Yes, sir - I made bold to stuff it with hay, to save
appearances, and look like baggage.
_Fash. [Aside_.] What the devil shall I do? - [_Aloud_.]
Hark'ee, boy, what's the chaise?
_Post_. Thirteen shillings, please your honour.
_Fash_. Can you give me change for a guinea?
_Post_. Oh, yes, sir.
_Lory. [Aside_.] So, what will he do now? - [_Aloud_.]
Lord, sir, you had better let the boy be paid below.
_Fash_. Why, as you say, Lory, I believe it will be as well.
_Lory_. Yes, yes, I'll tell them to discharge you below,
honest friend.
_Post_. Please your honour, there are the turnpikes too.
_Fash_. Ay, ay, the turnpikes by all means.
_Post_. And I hope your honour will order me something for
_Fash_. To be sure; bid them give you a crown.
_Lory_. Yes, yes - my master doesn't care what you charge
them - so get along, you -
_Post_. And there's the ostler, your honour.
_Lory_. Psha! damn the ostler! - would you impose upon the
gentleman's generosity? - [_Pushes him out_.] A rascal, to be
so cursed ready with his change!
_Fash_. Why, faith, Lory, he had nearly posed me.
_Lory_. Well, sir, we are arrived at Scarborough, not worth
a guinea! I hope you'll own yourself a happy man - you have
outlived all your cares.
_Fash_. How so, sir?
_Lory_. Why, you have nothing left to take care of.
_Fash_. Yes, sirrah, I have myself and you to take care of
_Lory_. Sir, if you could prevail with somebody else to do
that for you, I fancy we might both fare the better for it. But
now, sir, for my Lord Foppington, your elder brother.
_Fash_. Damn my eldest brother.
_Lory_. With all my heart; but get him to redeem your
annuity, however. Look you, sir; you must wheedle him, or you
must starve.
_Fash_. Look you, sir; I would neither wheedle him, nor
_Lory_. Why, what will you do, then?
_Fash_. Cut his throat, or get someone to do it for me.
_Lory_. Gad so, sir, I'm glad to find I was not so well
acquainted with the strength of your conscience as with the
weakness of your purse.
_Fash_. Why, art thou so impenetrable a blockhead as to
believe he'll help me with a farthing?
_Lory_. Not if you treat him _de haut en bas_, as you
used to do.
_Fash_. Why, how wouldst have me treat him?
_Lory_. Like a trout - tickle him.
_Fash_. I can't flatter.
_Lory_. Can you starve?
_Fash_. Yes.
_Lory_. I can't. Good by t'ye, sir.
_Fash_. Stay - thou'lt distract me. But who comes here? My
old friend, Colonel Townly.
My dear Colonel, I am rejoiced to meet you here.
_Col. Town_. Dear Tom, this is an unexpected pleasure! What,
are you come to Scarborough to be present at your brother's
_Lory_. Ah, sir, if it had been his funeral, we should have
come with pleasure.
_Col. Town_. What, honest Lory, are you with your master
_Lory_. Yes, sir; I have been starving with him ever since I
saw your honour last.
_Fash_. Why, Lory is an attached rogue; there's no getting
rid of him.
_Lory_. True, sir, as my master says, there's no seducing me
from his service. - [_Aside_.] Till he's able to pay me my
_Fash_. Go, go, sir, and take care of the baggage.
_Lory_. Yes, sir, the baggage! - O Lord! [_Takes up the
portmanteau_.] I suppose, sir, I must charge the landlord to
be very particular where he stows this?
_Fash_. Get along, you rascal. - [_Exit_ LORY _with
the portmanteau_.] But, Colonel, are you acquainted with my
proposed sister-in-law?
_Col. Town_. Only by character. Her father, Sir Tunbelly
Clumsy, lives within a quarter of a mile of this place, in a
lonely old house, which nobody comes near. She never goes abroad,
nor sees company at home; to prevent all misfortunes, she has her
breeding within doors; the parson of the parish teaches her to
play upon the dulcimer, the clerk to sing, her nurse to dress,
and her father to dance; - in short, nobody has free admission
there but our old acquaintance, Mother Coupler, who has procured
your brother this match, and is, I believe, a distant relation of
Sir Tunbelly's.
_Fash_. But is her fortune so considerable?
_Col. Town_. Three thousand a year, and a good sum of money,
independent of her father, beside.
_Fash_. 'Sdeath! that my old acquaintance, Dame Coupler,
could not have thought of me, as well as my brother, for such a
_Col. Town_. Egad, I wouldn't swear that you are too late -
his lordship, I know, hasn't yet seen the lady - and, I believe,
has quarrelled with his patroness.
_Fash_. My dear Colonel, what an idea have you started!
_Col. Town_. Pursue it, if you can, and I promise you shall
have my assistance; for, besides my natural contempt for his
lordship, I have at present the enmity of a rival towards him.
_Fash_. What, has he been addressing your old flame, the
widow Berinthia?
_Col. Town_. Faith, Tom, I am at present most whimsically
circumstanced. I came here a month ago to meet the lady you
mention; but she failing in her promise, I, partly from pique and
partly from idleness, have been diverting my chagrin by offering
up incense to the beauties of Amanda, our friend Loveless's wife.
_Fash_. I never have seen her, but have heard her spoken of
as a youthful wonder of beauty and prudence.
_Col. Town_. She is so indeed; and, Loveless being too
careless and insensible of the treasure he possesses, my lodging
in the same house has given me a thousand opportunities of making
my assiduities acceptable; so that, in less than a fortnight, I
began to bear my disappointment from the widow with the most
Christian resignation.
_Fash_. And Berinthia has never appeared?
_Col. Town_. Oh, there's the perplexity! for, just as I
began not to care whether I ever saw her again or not, last night
she arrived.
_Fash_. And instantly resumed her empire.
_Col. Town_. No, faith - we met - but, the lady not
condescending to give me any serious reasons for having fooled me
for a month, I left her in a huff.
_Fash_. Well, well, I'll answer for it she'll soon resume
her power, especially as friendship will prevent your pursuing
the other too far. - But my coxcomb of a brother is an admirer of
Amanda's too, is he?
_Col. Town_. Yes, and I believe is most heartily despised by
her. But come with me, and you shall see her and your old friend
Fash. I must pay my respects to his lordship - perhaps you can
direct me to his lodgings.
_Col. Town._ Come with me; I shall pass by it.
_Fash._ I wish you could pay this visit for me, or could
tell me what I should say to him.
_Col. Town._ Say nothing to him - apply yourself to his bag,
his sword, his feather, his snuff-box; and when you are well with
them, desire him to lend you a thousand pounds, and I'll engage
you prosper.
_Fash._ 'Sdeath and furies! why was that coxcomb thrust into
the world before me? O Fortune, Fortune, thou art a jilt, by Gad!

SCENE II. - LORD FOPPINGTON'S _Dressing-room._
_Enter_ LORD FOPPINGTON _in his dressing-gown, and_ LA
_Lord Fop._ [_Aside._] Well,'tis an unspeakable
pleasure to be a man of quality - strike me dumb! Even the boors
of this northern spa have learned the respect due to a title. -
[_Aloud._] La Varole!
_La Var._ Milor -
_Lord Fop._ You ha'n't yet been at Muddymoat Hall, to
announce my arrival, have you?
_La Var._ Not yet, milor.
_Lord Fop._ Then you need not go till Saturday-[_Exit_
LA VAROLE] as I am in no particular haste to view my intended
sposa. I shall sacrifice a day or two more to the pursuit of my
friend Loveless's wife. Amanda is a charming creature - strike me
ugly! and, if I have any discernment in the world, she thinks no
less of my Lord Foppington.
_Re-enter_ LA VAROLE.
_La Var._ Milor, de shoemaker, de tailor, de hosier, de
sempstress, de peru, be all ready, if your lordship please to
_Lord Fop._ 'Tis well, admit them.
_La Var._ Hey, messieurs, entrez!
_Lord Fop._ So, gentlemen, I hope you have all taken pains
to show yourselves masters in your professions?
_Tai_. I think I may presume, sir -
_La Var_. Milor, you clown, you!
_Tai_. My lord - I ask your lordship's - pardon, my lord. I
hope, my lord, your lordship will be pleased to own I have
brought your lordship as accomplished a suit of clothes as ever
peer of England wore, my lord - will your lordship please to view
'em now?
_Lord Fop_. Ay; but let my people dispose the glasses so
that I may see myself before and behind; for I love to see myself
all round. [_Puts on his clothes_.]
_Enter_ TOM FASHION _and_ LORY. _They remain behind,
conversing apart_.
_Fash_. Heyday! what the devil have we here? Sure my
gentleman's grown a favourite at court, he has got so many people
at his levee.
_Lory_. Sir, these people come in order to make him a
favourite at court - they are to establish him with the ladies.
_Fash_. Good Heaven! to what an ebb of taste are women
fallen, that it should be in the power of a laced coat to
recommend a gallant to them?
_Lory_. Sir, tailors and hair-dressers debauch all the
_Fash_. Thou sayest true. But now for my reception.
_Lord Fop_. [_To_ TAILOR.] Death and eternal tortures!
Sir - I say the coat is too wide here by a foot.
_Tai_. My lord, if it had been tighter, 'twould neither have
hooked nor buttoned.
_Lord Fop_. Rat the hooks and buttons, sir! Can any thing be
worse than this? As Gad shall jedge me, it hangs on my shoulders
like a chairman's surtout.
_Tai_. 'Tis not for me to dispute your lordship's fancy.
_Lory_. There, sir, observe what respect does.
_Fash_. Respect! damn him for a coxcomb! - But let's accost
him. - [_Coming forward_.] Brother, I'm your humble servant.
_Lord Fop_. O Lard, Tam! I did not expect you in England.
- Brother, I'm glad to see you. - But what has brought you to
Scarborough, Tam! - [_To the_ TAILOR.] Look you, sir, I
shall never be reconciled to this nauseous wrapping-gown,
therefore pray get me another suit with all possible expedition;
for this is my eternal aversion. - [_Exit_ TAILOR.] Well
but, Tam, you don't tell me what has driven you to Scarborough. -
Mrs. Calico, are not you of my mind?
_Semp_. Directly, my lord. - I hope your lordship is pleased
with your ruffles?
_Lord Fop_. In love with them, stap my vitals! - Bring my
bill, you shall be paid to-morrow.
_Semp_. I humbly thank your worship. [Exit.]
_Lord Fop_. Hark thee, shoemaker, these shoes aren't ugly,
but they don't fit me.
_Shoe_. My lord, I think they fit you very well.
_Lord Fop_. They hurt me just below the instep.
_Shoe_. [_Feels his foot_.] No, my lord, they don't
hurt you there.
_Lord Fop_. I tell thee they pinch me execrably.
_Shoe_. Why then, my lord, if those shoes pinch you, I'll be
_Lord Fop_. Why, will thou undertake to persuade me I cannot
_Shoe_. Your lordship may please to feel what you think fit,
but that shoe does not hurt you - I think I understand my trade.
_Lord Fop_. Now, by all that's good and powerful, thou art
an incomprehensive coxcomb! - but thou makest good shoes, and so
I'll bear with thee.
_Shoe_. My lord, I have worked for half the people of
quality in this town these twenty years, and 'tis very hard I
shouldn't know when a shoe hurts, and when it don't.
_Lord Fop_. Well, pr'ythee be gone about thy business. -
[_Exit_ SHOEMAKER.] Mr. Mendlegs, a word with you. - The
calves of these stockings are thickened a little too much; they
make my legs look like a porter's.
_Mend_. My lord, methinks they look mighty well.
_Lord Fop_. Ay, but you are not so good a judge of those
things as I am - I have studied them all my life - therefore pray
let the next be the thickness of a crown-piece less.
_Mend_. Indeed, my lord, they are the same kind I had the
honour to furnish your lordship with in town.
_Lord Fop_. Very possibly, Mr. Mendlegs; but that was in the
beginning of the winter, and you should always remember, Mr.
Hosier, that if you make a nobleman's spring legs as robust as
his autumnal calves, you commit a monstrous impropriety, and make
no allowance Tor the fatigues of the winter. [_Exit - _
_Jewel_. I hope, my lord, these buckles have had the
unspeakable satisfaction of being honoured with your lordship's
_Lord Fop_. Why, they are of a pretty fancy; but don't you
think them rather of the smallest?
_Jewel_. My lord, they could not well be larger, to keep on
your lordship's shoe.
_Lord Fop_. My good sir, you forget that these matters are
not as they used to be; formerly, indeed, the buckle was a sort
of machine, intended to keep on the shoe; but the case is now
quite reversed, and the shoe is of no earthly use, but to keep on
the buckle. - Now give me my watches [SERVANT _fetches the
watches_,] my chapeau, [SERVANT _brings a dress hat_,] my
handkerchief, [SERVANT _pours some scented liquor on a
handkerchief and brings it_,] my snuff-box [SERVANT _brings
snuff-box_.] There, now the business of the morning is pretty
well over. [_Exit_ JEWELLER.]
_Fash_. [_Aside to_ LORY.] Well, Lory, what dost think
on't? - a very friendly reception from a brother, after three
years' absence!
_Lory_. [_Aside to_ TOM FASHION.] Why, sir, 'tis your
own fault - here you have stood ever since you came in, and have
not commended any one thing that belongs to him. [SERVANTS _all
go off._]
_Fash_. [_Aside to_ LORY.] Nor ever shall, while they
belong to a coxcomb. - [_To_ LORD FOPPINGTON.] Now your
people of business are gone, brother, I hope I may obtain a
quarter of an hour's audience of you?
_Lord Fop_. Faith, Tam, I must beg you'll excuse me at this
time, for I have an engagement which I would not break for the
salvation of mankind. - Hey! - there! - is my carriage at the door?
- You'll excuse me, brother. [_Going_.]
_Fash_. Shall you be back to dinner?
_Lord Fop_. As Gad shall jedge me, I can't tell; for it is
passible I may dine with some friends at Donner's.
_Fash_. Shall I meet you there? For I must needs talk with
_Lord Fop_. That I'm afraid mayn't be quite so praper; for
those I commonly eat with are people of nice conversation; and
you know, Tam, your education has been a little at large. - But
there are other ordinaries in town - very good beef ordinaries - I
suppose, Tam, you can eat beef? - However, dear Tam, I'm glad to
see thee in England, stap my vitals!
[_Exit_, LA VAROLE _following_.]
_Fash_. Hell and furies! is this to be borne?
_Lory_. Faith, sir, I could almost have given him a knock o'
the pate myself.
_Fash_. 'Tis enough; I will now show you the excess of my
passion, by being very calm. - Come, Lory, lay your loggerhead to
mine, and, in cold blood, let us contrive his destruction.
_Lory_. Here comes a head, sir, would contrive it better
than both our loggerheads, if she would but join in the
_Fash_. By this light, Madam Coupler! she seems dissatisfied
at something: let us observe her.
_Mrs. Coup_. So! I am likely to be well rewarded for my
services, truly; my suspicions, I find, were but too just. -
What! refuse to advance me a petty sum, when I am upon the point
of making him master of a galleon! but let him look to the
consequences; an ungrateful, narrow-minded coxcomb.
_Fash_. So he is, upon my soul, old lady; it must be my
brother you speak of.
_Mrs. Coup_. Ha! stripling, how came you here? What, hast
spent all, eh? And art thou come to dun his lordship for
_Fash_. No, I want somebody's assistance to cut his
lordship's throat, without the risk of being hanged for him.
_Mrs. Coup_. Egad, sirrah, I could help thee to do him
almost as good a turn, without the danger of being burned in the
hand for't.
_Fash_. How - how, old Mischief?
_Mrs. Coup_. Why, you must know I have done you the kindness
to make up a match for your brother.
_Fash_. I am very much beholden to you, truly!
_Mrs. Coup_. You may be before the wedding-day, yet: the
lady is a great heiress, the match is concluded, the writings are
drawn, and his lordship is come hither to put the finishing hand
to the business.
_Fash_. I understand as much.
_Mrs. Coup_. Now, you must know, stripling, your brother's a
_Fash_. Good.
_Mrs. Coup_. He has given me a bond of a thousand pounds for
helping him to this fortune, and has promised me as much more, in
ready money, upon the day of the marriage; which, I understand by
a friend, he never designs to pay me; and his just now refusing
to pay me a part is a proof of it. If, therefore, you will be a
generous young rogue, and secure me five thousand pounds, I'll
help you to the lady.
_Fash_. And how the devil wilt thou do that?
_Mrs. Coup_. Without the devil's aid, I warrant thee. Thy
brother's face not one of the family ever saw; the whole business
has been managed by me, and all his letters go through my hands.
Sir Tunbelly Clumsy, my relation - for that's the old gentleman's
name - is apprised of his lordship's being down here, and expects
him to-morrow to receive his daughter's hand; but the peer, I
find, means to bait here a few days longer, to recover the
fatigue of his journey, I suppose. Now you shall go to Muddymoat
Hall in his place. - I'll give you a letter of introduction: and
if you don't marry the girl before sunset, you deserve to be
hanged before morning.
_Fash_. Agreed! agreed! and for thy reward -
_Mrs. Coup_. Well, well; - though I warrant thou hast not a
farthing of money in thy pocket now - no - one may see it in thy
_Fash_. Not a sous, by Jupiter!
_Mrs. Coup_. Must I advance, then? Well, be at my lodgings,
next door, this evening, and I'll see what may be done - we'll
sign and seal, and when I have given thee some further
instructions, thou shalt hoist sail and be one.
_Fash_. So, Lory, Fortune, thou seest, at last takes care of
merit! we are in a fair way to be great people.
_Lory_. Ay, sir, if the devil don't step between the cup and
the lip, as he used to do.
_Fash_. Why, faith, he has played me many a damned trick to
spoil my fortune; and, egad, I am almost afraid he's at work
about it again now; but if I should tell thee how, thou'dst
wonder at me.
_Lory_. Indeed, sir, I should not.
_Fash_. How dost know?
_Lory_. Because, sir, I have wondered at you so often, I can
wonder at you no more.
_Fash_. No! what wouldst thou say, if a qualm of conscience
should spoil my design?
_Lory_. I would eat my words, and wonder more than ever.
_Fash_. Why faith, Lory, though I have played many a roguish
trick, this is so full-grown a cheat, I find I must take pains to
come up to't - I have scruples.
_Lory_. They are strong symptoms of death. If you find they
increase, sir, pray make your will.
_Fash_. No, my conscience shan't starve me neither: but thus
far I'll listen to it. Before I execute this project, I'll try my
brother to the bottom. If he has yet so much humanity about him
as to assist me - though with a moderate aid - I'll drop my project
at his feet, and show him how I can do for him much more than
what I'd ask he'd do for me. This one conclusive trial of him I
resolve to make.

Succeed or fail, still victory is my lot;
If I subdue his heart,'tis well - if not,
I will subdue my conscience to my plot.



SCENE I. - LOVELESS'S _Lodgings_.
_Enter_ LOVELESS _and_ AMANDA.
_Love_. How do you like these lodgings, my dear? For my
part, I am so pleased with them, I shall hardly remove whilst we
stay here, if you are satisfied.
_Aman_. I am satisfied with everything that pleases you,
else I had not come to Scarborough at all.
_Love_. Oh, a little of the noise and folly of this place
will sweeten the pleasures of our retreat; we shall find the
charms of our retirement doubled when we return to it.
_Aman_. That pleasing prospect will be my chiefest
entertainment, whilst, much against my will, I engage in those
empty pleasures which 'tis so much the fashion to be fond of.
_Love_. I own most of them are, indeed, but empty; yet there
are delights of which a private life is destitute, which may
divert an honest man, and be a harmless entertainment to a
virtuous woman: good music is one; and truly (with some small
allowance) the plays, I think, may be esteemed another.
_Aman_. Plays, I must confess, have some small charms. What
do you think of that you saw last night?
_Love_. To say truth, I did not mind it much - my attention
was for some time taken off to admire the workmanship of Nature
in the face of a young lady who sat at some distance from me, she
was so exquisitely handsome.
_Aman_. So exquisitely handsome!
_Love_. Why do you repeat my words, my dear?
_Aman_. Because you seemed to speak them with such pleasure,
I thought I might oblige you with their echo.
_Love_. Then you are alarmed, Amanda?
_Aman_. It is my duty to be so when you are in danger.
_Love_. You are too quick in apprehending for me. I viewed
her with a world of admiration, but not one glance of love.

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