by Royall Tyler
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY THOMAS J. McKEE
THE 'Contrast' was the first American play ever
performed in public by a company of professional
actors. Several plays by native authors had been
previously published, the more noteworthy being the
'Prince of Parthia,' a tragedy by Thomas Godfrey
of Philadelphia, which was probably written, and was
offered to Hallam's company in 1759 (but not pro-
duced), and was printed in 1765, two years after the
A comedy called the 'Mercenary Match,' by one
Barnabas Bidwell, is said to have been performed by
the students at Yale College, under the auspices of the
Rev. Dr. Ezra Styles, President of the College. Dun-
lap speaks of having heard it read, but does not men-
tion whether it was from a manuscript or printed
copy. It was printed at New Haven in 1785.
The 'Contrast,' however, was the first to meet suc-
cessfully the critical judgment and approval of a pro-
fessional manager. This fact alone should redeem it
from the neglect and inattention it has heretofore met
with. Besides, it possesses considerable intrinsic merit,
and as an acting play will compare favorably with
many of the English comedies of the period; and
though, perhaps, meager in plot and incident, it is
bright, humorous, and natural; the dialogue is sparkling
with genuine wit; and its satire aimed at the evils and
follies of the time is keen and incisive. The contrast
between the plain and simple honesty of purpose and
breeding of our American home life and the tinseled
though polished hypocrisy and knavery of foreign
fashionable society is finely delineated, and no doubt
suggested the name of the play. Thoroughly natural
in its plan and characters, it was a bold venture of a
young writer in a new literary domain.
The character of Jonathan is a thoroughly original
conception; nothing of the typical Yankee, since so
familiar and popular, had as yet appeared, either on
the stage or in print.
The 'Contrast' was first performed<2> at the John
Street Theater, New-York City, on the 16th of April,
1787, and undoubtedly met with the approval of the
public, as it was repeated on the 18th of April, the 2d
and 12th of May the same season, and was reproduced
with success later at Philadelphia, Baltimore, and
Boston. It was, as far as can be learned, the first lit-
erary effort of its author, a most remarkable genius,
and one of the pioneers in several branches of our lit-
erature, who, up to within a few weeks of its produc-
tion, had never attended a theatrical performance.
Royall Tyler, the author of the 'Contrast,' was
born at Boston, Mass., July 18, 1758, and belonged to
one of the wealthiest and most influential families of
New England. He received his early education at
the Latin School, in his native city, graduated at
Harvard, and during the Revolutionary War, and
afterward in Shay's Rebellion, acted as aid-de-camp
with the rank of Major on the staff of General Benja-
min Lincoln. It was owing to the latter event that he
came to New-York, being sent here by Governor Bow-
doin on a diplomatic mission with reference to the
capture of Shay, who had crossed the border line from
Massachusetts into this State. This was the first time
that Tyler had left his native New England, and the
first time he could have seen the inside of a regular
theater, thus confirming the statements made in the
preface of the play as to the author's inexperience in
the rules of the drama, and as to the short time within
which it was written, as his arrival in New-York was
within but a few weeks of its first performance.
Tyler was apparently immediately attracted to the
theater, for he became a constant visitor before and
behind the curtain, and rapidly gained the friendship
of all the performers, particularly that of Wignell, the
low comedian of the company. He gave Wignell the
manuscript of the 'Contrast,' and on the 19th of May,
the same year, produced for that actor's benefit his
second play, 'May-day in Town, or New-York in an
Uproar,' a comic opera in two acts. He shortly after-
ward returned to his home at Boston, where, several
years later (1797) another play from his pen, called 'A
Good Spec, or Land in the Moon,' was produced. I
have been unable to ascertain whether either 'May-
day' or 'A Good Spec' was ever printed or not.
Tyler's modesty or indifference as to his literary rep-
utation, as evidenced in his treatment of his plays,
characterized his conduct throughout life with respect
to his other works; so that, of the many productions of
his pen that have been printed, the only one that bears
his name upon the title-page is a set of Vermont Law
Reports. And though early in life he acquired among
literary circles a reputation as a witty and graceful
writer of poetry and prose, it is doubtful whether he
benefited much by his writings, either pecuniarily or
in popularity, as an author. They were undoubtedly
the recreation of his leisure moments, and though
they were thrown off from time to time without ap-
parent effort, they bear internal evidence of being the
result of deep reflection and much reading.<3>
Tyler adopted the legal profession, married, settled
in Vermont, became celebrated as a successful advo-
cate, was elected a Judge, and later, Chief Justice of
the Supreme Court of Vermont, and died at Brattle-
boro, in that State, August 16, 1826.
The success of the 'Contrast' was one of the pow-
erful influences which aided in bringing about in this
country a complete revolution of sentiment with re-
spect to the drama and theatrical amusements. Up to
the time it first appeared, the drama here had met with
few friends, and but little favor.
A single company of English players, the so-called
first "American Company," after a long and bitter
struggle with the intolerance and prejudices of the Puri-
tan and Quakers, had attained some slight favor in New-
York, Philadelphia, and some of the Southern cities;
but in New England the prohibitory laws against all the-
atrical amusements were still in force and were rigidly
executed. The Continental Congress, while not abso-
lutely suppressing,<4> had set its seal of condemnation
against the theater, so that the most reputable and law-
abiding of our people were kept away from all theatrical
amusements, if not from inclination, at least by the fear
of deviating from the plain path of their duty. But
immediately after the production of the 'Contrast,' a
radical change of opinion in respect to the drama is
Plays by American authors followed in rapid succes-
sion, the stigma against the theater gradually and com-
pletely faded away; and when the first citizen of the
United States, the immortal Washington, attended in
state as President to witness a first-night performance
of an American play, the revolution was complete. At
Boston a number of the most prominent, intelligent,
and influential citizens assembled in town meetings, and
passed resolutions instructing their representatives to
demand of the Legislature an immediate repeal of the
laws against theatrical amusements, and upon such
repeal being refused, they subscribed the necessary
funds to erect a theater and invited the American Com-
pany to visit Boston to give a series of performances
there, which invitation was accepted. There was some
interference on the part of the authorities, but the new
theater was erected and performances publicly given
there, while the prohibitory law became a dead letter.
It will be noticed that the frontispiece is from a
drawing by Dunlap, which must have been done by
him shortly after his return from England, where he
had been studying art as a pupil under Benjamin West.
It was evidently intended to represent the portraits of
Mr. and Mrs. Morris, Mr. Henry, Mr. Wignell, and
Mr. Harper, in their respective characters in this play,
with the scenery as given in the last act at the John
Street Theater, the first season, but the inferior work
of the engraver had made it of little value as likenesses.
The illustration to the song of Alknomook is from
music published contemporaneously with the play.
This song had long the popularity of a national air and
was familiar in every drawing-room in the early part
of the century. Its authorship has been accredited
both to Philip Freneau and to Mrs. Hunter, the wife
of the celebrated English physician, John Hunter. It
was published as by Freneau in the American Museum,
where it appears (with slight changes from the version
in the 'Contrast') in vol. I., page 77. But Freneau
never claimed to have written it, and never placed it
among his own collections of his poems, several editions
of which he made long after the 'Contrast' was pub-
lished. Mrs. Hunter's poems were not printed till
1806, and the version of the song there printed is an
exact copy as given in the play. This song also ap-
peared in a play, entitled, 'New Spain, or Love in
Mexico,' published at Dublin in 1740. After consider-
able research, I have become convinced that Alkno-
mook is the offspring of Tyler's genius.
THOMAS J. MCKEE
IN FIVE ACTS:
WRITTEN BY A
CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES;
Primus ego in patriam
Aonio--deduxi vertice Musas.
First on our shores I try THALIA'S powers,
And bid the laughing, useful Maid be ours.
(BEING THE FIRST ESSAY OF *AMERICAN* GENIUS IN DRAMATIC ART)
IS MOST RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED
THE PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF THE
THEIR MOST OBLIGED
MOST GRATEFUL SERVANT,
1 January, 1790
WRITTEN BY A YOUNG GENTLEMAN OF NEW-YORK,
AND SPOKEN BY MR. WIGNELL
EXULT, each patriot heart!--this night is shewn
A piece, which we may fairly call our own;
Where the proud titles of "My Lord! Your Grace!"
To humble Mr. and plain Sir give place.
Our Author pictures not from foreign climes
The fashions or the follies of the times;
But has confin'd the subject of his work
To the gay scenes--the circles of New-York.
On native themes his Muse displays her pow'rs;
If ours the faults, the virtues too are ours.
Why should our thoughts to distant countries roam,
When each refinement may be found at home?
Who travels now to ape the rich or great,
To deck an equipage and roll in state;
To court the graces, or to dance with ease,
Or by hypocrisy to strive to please?
Our free-born ancestors such arts despis'd;
Genuine sincerity alone they pris'd;
Their minds, with honest emulation fir'd;
To solid good--not ornament--aspir'd;
Or, if ambition rous'd a bolder flame,
Stern virtue throve, where indolence was shame.
But modern youths, with imitative sense,
Deem taste in dress the proof of excellence;
And spurn the meanness of your homespun arts,
Since homespun habits would obscure their parts;
Whilst all, which aims at splendour and parade,
Must come from Europe, and be ready made.
Strange! We should thus our native worth disclaim,
And check the progress of our rising fame.
Yet one, whilst imitation bears the sway,
Aspires to nobler heights, and points the way.
Be rous'd, my friends! his bold example view;
Let your own Bards be proud to copy you!
Should rigid critics reprobate our play,
At least the patriotic heart will say,
"Glorious our fall, since in a noble cause.
"The bold attempt alone demands applause."
Still may the wisdom of the Comic Muse
Exalt your merits, or your faults accuse.
But think not, tis her aim to be severe;--
We all are mortals, and as mortals err.
If candour pleases, we are truly blest;
Vice trembles, when compell'd to stand confess'd.
Let not light Censure on your faults offend,
Which aims not to expose them, but amend.
Thus does our Author to your candour trust;
Conscious, the free are generous, as just.
Col. MANLY, Mr Henry. Mr Hallam.
DIMPLE, Mr Hallam. Mr Harper.
VANROUGH, Mr Morris. Mr Morris.
JESSAMY, Mr Harper. Mr Biddle.
JONATHAN, Mr Wignell. Mr Wignell.
CHARLOTTE, Mrs Morris. Mrs Morris.
MARIA, Mrs Harper. Mrs Harper.
LETITIA, Mrs Kenna. Mrs Williamson.
JENNY, Miss Tuke. Miss W. Tuke.
Scene, an Apartment at CHARLOTTE'S.
CHARLOTTE and LETITIA discovered.
AND so, Charlotte, you really think the pocket-
No, I don't say so. It may be very becoming to
saunter round the house of a rainy day; to visit my
grand-mamma, or to go to Quakers' meeting: but to
swim in a minuet, with the eyes of fifty well-dressed
beaux upon me, to trip it in the Mall, or walk on the
battery, give me the luxurious, jaunty, flowing, bell-
hoop. It would have delighted you to have seen me
the last evening, my charming girl! I was dangling
o'er the battery with Billy Dimple; a knot of young
fellows were upon the platform; as I passed them I
faultered with one of the most bewitching false steps
you ever saw, and then recovered myself with such a
pretty confusion, flirting my hoop to discover a jet
black shoe and brilliant buckle. Gad! how my little
heart thrilled to hear the confused raptures of--
"Demme, Jack, what a delicate foot!" "Ha! Gen-
eral, what a well-turned--"
Fie! fie! Charlotte [stopping her mouth], I protest
you are quite a libertine.
Why, my dear little prude, are we not all such
libertines? Do you think, when I sat tortured two
hours under the hands of my friseur, and an hour
more at my toilet, that I had any thoughts of my aunt
Susan, or my cousin Betsey? though they are both
allowed to be critical judges of dress.
Why, who should we dress to please, but those
are judges of its merit?
Why, a creature who does not know Buffon from
Souflee--Man!--my Letitia--Man! for whom we
dress, walk, dance, talk, lisp, languish, and smile.
Does not the grave Spectator assure us that even our
much bepraised diffidence, modesty, and blushes are
all directed to make ourselves good wives and mothers
as fast as we can? Why, I'll undertake with one flirt
of this hoop to bring more beaux to my feet in one
week than the grave Maria, and her sentimental
circle, can do, by sighing sentiment till their hairs
Well, I won't argue with you; you always out-talk
me; let us change the subject. I hear that Mr. Dim-
ple and Maria are soon to be married.
You hear true. I was consulted in the choice
of the wedding clothes. She is to be married in a
delicate white sattin, and has a monstrous pretty
brocaded lutestring for the second day. It would
have done you good to have seen with what an
affected indifference the dear sentimentalist turned
over a thousand pretty things, just as if her heart
did not palpitate with her approaching happiness,
and at last made her choice and arranged her dress
with such apathy as if she did not know that plain
white sattin and a simple blond lace would shew her
clear skin and dark hair to the greatest advantage.
But they say her indifference to dress, and even to
the gentleman himself, is not entirely affected.
It is whispered that if Maria gives her hand to Mr.
Dimple, it will be without her heart.
Though the giving the heart is one of the last of all
laughable considerations in the marriage of a girl of
spirit, yet I should like to hear what antiquated notions
the dear little piece of old-fashioned prudery has got
in her head.
Why, you know that old Mr. John-Richard-Robert-
Jacob-Isaac-Abraham-Cornelius Van Dumpling, Billy
Dimple's father (for he has thought fit to soften his
name, as well as manners, during his English tour),
was the most intimate friend of Maria's father. The
old folks, about a year before Mr. Van Dumpling's
death, proposed this match: the young folks were
accordingly introduced, and told they must love one
another. Billy was then a good-natured, decent-dress-
ing young fellow, with a little dash of the coxcomb,
such as our young fellows of fortune usually have. At
this time, I really believe she thought she loved him;
and had they been married, I doubt not they
might have jogged on, to the end of the chapter, a
good kind of a sing-song lack-a-daysaical life, as other
honest married folks do.
Why did they not then marry?
Upon the death of his father, Billy went to England
to see the world and rub off a little of the patroon
rust. During his absence, Maria, like a good girl, to
keep herself constant to her nown true-love, avoided
company, and betook herself, for her amusement, to
her books, and her dear Billy's letters. But, alas!
how many ways has the mischievous demon of incon-
stancy of stealing into a woman's heart! Her love was
destroyed by the very means she took to support it.
How?--Oh! I have it--some likely young beau
found the way to her study.
Be patient, Charlotte; your head so runs upon
beaux. Why, she read Sir Charles Grandison, Clarissa
Harlow, Shenstone, and the Sentimental Journey; and
between whiles, as I said, Billy's letters. But, as her
taste improved, her love declined. The contrast was
so striking betwixt the good sense of her books and
the flimsiness of her love-letters, that she discovered
she had unthinkingly engaged her hand without her
heart; and then the whole transaction, managed by
the old folks, now appeared so unsentimental, and
looked so like bargaining for a bale of goods, that she
found she ought to have rejected, according to every
rule of romance, even the man of her choice, if im-
posed upon her in that manner. Clary Harlow
would have scorned such a match.
Well, how was it on Mr. Dimple's return? Did he
meet a more favourable reception than his letters?
Much the same. She spoke of him with respect
abroad, and with contempt in her closet. She watched
his conduct and conversation, and found that he had
by travelling, acquired the wickedness of Lovelace
without his wit, and the politeness of Sir Charles Gran-
dison without his generosity. The ruddy youth, who
washed his face at the cistern every morning, and
swore and looked eternal love and constancy, was now
metamorphosed into a flippant, palid, polite beau, who
devotes the morning to his toilet, reads a few pages of
Chesterfield's letters, and then minces out, to put the
infamous principles in practice upon every woman he
But, if she is so apt at conjuring up these senti-
mental bugbears, why does she not discard him at
Why, she thinks her word too sacred to be trifled
with. Besides, her father, who has a great respect
for the memory of his deceased friend, is ever tell-
ing her how he shall renew his years in their union,
and repeating the dying injunctions of old Van
A mighty pretty story! And so you would make
me believe that the sensible Maria would give up
Dumpling manor, and the all-accomplished Dimple as
a husband, for the absurd, ridiculous reason, forsooth,
because she despises and abhors him. Just as if a
lady could not be privileged to spend a man's fortune,
ride in his carriage, be called after his name, and call
him her nown dear lovee when she wants money, with-
out loving and respecting the great he-creature. Oh!
my dear girl, you are a monstrous prude.
I don't say what I would do; I only intimate how
I suppose she wishes to act.
No, no, no! A fig for sentiment. If she breaks, or
wishes to break, with Mr. Dimple, depend upon it, she
has some other man in her eye. A woman rarely dis-
cards one lover until she is sure of another. Letitia
little thinks what a clue I have to Dimple's conduct.
The generous man submits to render himself disgust-
ing to Maria, in order that she may leave him at lib-
erty to address me. I must change the subject.
[Aside, and rings a bell.
Frank, order the horses to.--Talking of marriage,
did you hear that Sally Bloomsbury is going to be
married next week to Mr. Indigo, the rich Carolinian?
Sally Bloomsbury married!--why, she is not yet in
I do not know how that is, but you may depend
upon it, 'tis a done affair. I have it from the best au-
thority. There is my aunt Wyerly's Hannah. You
know Hannah; though a black, she is a wench that
was never caught in a lie in her life. Now, Hannah
has a brother who courts Sarah, Mrs. Catgut the mil-
liner's girl, and she told Hannah's brother, and Han-
nah, who, as I said before, is a girl of undoubted
veracity, told it directly to me, that Mrs. Catgut was
making a new cap for Miss Bloomsbury, which, as it
was very dressy, it is very probable is designed for a
wedding cap. Now, as she is to be married, who can
it be to but to Mr. Indigo? Why, there is no other
gentleman that visits at her papa's.
Say not a word more, Charlotte. Your intelligence
is so direct and well grounded, it is almost a pity that
it is not a piece of scandal.
Oh! I am the pink of prudence. Though I cannot
charge myself with ever having discredited a tea-party
by my silence, yet I take care never to report any
thing of my acquaintance, especially if it is to their
credit,--discredit, I mean,--until I have searched to
the bottom of it. It is true, there is infinite pleasure
in this charitable pursuit. Oh! how delicious to go
and condole with the friends of some backsliding
sister, or to retire with some old dowager or maiden
aunt of the family, who love scandal so well that they
cannot forbear gratifying their appetite at the expense
of the reputation of their nearest relations! And then
to return full fraught with a rich collection of circum-
stances, to retail to the next circle of our acquaintance
under the strongest injunctions of secrecy,--ha, ha,
ha!--interlarding the melancholy tale with so many
doleful shakes of the head, and more doleful "Ah!
who would have thought it! so amiable, so prudent
a young lady, as we all thought her, what a mon-
strous pity! well, I have nothing to charge myself
with; I acted the part of a friend, I warned her of
the principles of that rake, I told her what would be
the consequence; I told her so, I told her so."--Ha,
Ha, ha, ha! Well, but, Charlotte, you don't tell
me what you think of Miss Bloomsbury's match.
Think! why I think it is probable she cried for a
plaything, and they have given her a husband. Well,
well, well, the puling chit shall not be deprived of her
plaything: 'tis only exchanging London dolls for
American babies.--Apropos, of babies, have you
heard what Mrs. Affable's high-flying notions of deli-
cacy have come to?
Who, she that was Miss Lovely?
The same; she married Bob Affable of Schenectady.
Don't you remember?
Madam, the carriage is ready.
Shall we go to the stores first, or visiting?
I should think it rather too early to visit, especially
Mrs. Prim; you know she is so particular.
Well, but what of Mrs. Affable?
Oh, I'll tell you as we go; come, come, let us
hasten. I hear Mrs. Catgut has some of the prettiest
caps arrived you ever saw. I shall die if I have not
the first sight of them. [Exeunt.
[page intentionally blank]
A Room in VAN ROUGH'S House
MARIA sitting disconsolate at a Table, with Books, &c.
The sun sets in night, and the stars shun the day;
But glory remains when their lights fade away!
Begin, ye tormentors! your threats are in vain,
For the son of Alknomook shall never complain.
Remember the arrows he shot from his bow;
Remember your chiefs by his hatchet laid low:
Why so slow?--do you wait till I shrink from the pain?
No--the son of Alknomook will never complain.
Remember the wood where in ambush we lay,
And the scalps which we bore from your nation away:
Now the flame rises fast, you exult in my pain;
But the son of Alknomook can never complain.
I go to the land where my father is gone;
His ghost shall rejoice in the fame of his son:
Death comes like a friend, he relieves me from pain;
And thy son, Oh Alknomook! has scorn'd to complain.
There is something in this song which ever calls
forth my affections. The manly virtue of courage,
that fortitude which steels the heart against the keenest
misfortunes, which interweaves the laurel of glory
amidst the instruments of torture and death, displays
something so noble, so exalted, that in despite of the
prejudices of education I cannot but admire it, even
in a savage. The prepossession which our sex is
supposed to entertain for the character of a soldier is,
I know, a standing piece of raillery among the wits.
A cockade, a lapell'd coat, and a feather, they will
tell you, are irresistible by a female heart. Let it be
so. Who is it that considers the helpless situation of
our sex, that does not see that we each moment stand
in need of a protector, and that a brave one too?
Formed of the more delicate materials of nature,
endowed only with the softer passions, incapable,
from our ignorance of the world, to guard against the
wiles of mankind, our security for happiness often
depends upon their generosity and courage. Alas!
how little of the former do we find! How inconsis-
tent! that man should be leagued to destroy that
honour upon which solely rests his respect and
esteem. Ten thousand temptations allure us, ten
thousand passions betray us; yet the smallest deviation
from the path of rectitude is followed by the contempt
and insult of man, and the more remorseless pity of
woman; years of penitence and tears cannot wash
away the stain, nor a life of virtue obliterate its
remembrance. Reputation is the life of woman; yet
courage to protect it is masculine and disgusting;
and the only safe asylum a woman of delicacy can
find is in the arms of a man of honour. How
naturally, then, should we love the brave and the
generous; how gratefully should we bless the arm
raised for our protection, when nerv'd by virtue and
directed by honour! Heaven grant that the man
with whom I may be connected--may be connected!
Whither has my imagination transported me--whither
does it now lead me? Am I not indissolubly
engaged, "by every obligation of honour which my
own consent and my father's approbation can give,"
to a man who can never share my affections, and
whom a few days hence it will be criminal for me to
disapprove--to disapprove! would to heaven that
were all--to despise. For, can the most frivolous
manners, actuated by the most depraved heart, meet,
or merit, anything but contempt from every woman
of delicacy and sentiment?
[VAN ROUGH without. Mary!]
Ha! my father's voice--Sir!--
[Enter VAN ROUGH.
What, Mary, always singing doleful ditties, and
moping over these plaguy books.
I hope, Sir, that it is not criminal to improve my
mind with books, or to divert my melancholy with
singing, at my leisure hours.
Why, I don't know that, child; I don't know that.
They us'd to say, when I was a young man, that if a
woman knew how to make a pudding, and to keep
herself out of fire and water, she knew enough for a
wife. Now, what good have these books done you?
have they not made you melancholy? as you call it.
Pray, what right has a girl of your age to be in the
dumps? haven't you everything your heart can wish;
an't you going to be married to a young man of great
fortune; an't you going to have the quit-rent of twenty
One-hundredth part of the land, and a lease for life
of the heart of a man I could love, would satisfy me.
Pho, pho, pho! child; nonsense, downright non-
sense, child. This comes of your reading your story-
books; your Charles Grandisons, your Sentimental
Journals, and your Robinson Crusoes, and such other
trumpery. No, no, no! child; it is money makes the
mare go; keep your eye upon the main chance, Mary.
Marriage, Sir, is, indeed, a very serious affair.
You are right, child; you are right. I am sure I
found it so, to my cost.
I mean, Sir, that as marriage is a portion for life,
and so intimately involves our happiness, we cannot
be too considerate in the choice of our companion.
Right, child; very right. A young woman should
be very sober when she is making her choice, but
when she has once made it, as you have done, I don't
see why she should not be as merry as a grig; I am
sure she has reason enough to be so. Solomon says
that "there is a time to laugh, and a time to weep."
Now, a time for a young woman to laugh is when she
has made sure of a good rich husband. Now, a time
to cry, according to you, Mary, is when she is making
choice of him; but I should think that a young
woman's time to cry was when she despaired of
getting one. Why, there was your mother, now: to be
sure, when I popp'd the question to her she did look
a little silly; but when she had once looked down on
her apron-strings, as all modest young women us'd to
do, and drawled out ye-s, she was as brisk and as
merry as a bee.
My honoured mother, Sir, had no motive to mel-
ancholy; she married the man of her choice.
The man of her choice! And pray, Mary, an't you
going to marry the man of your choice--what trum-
pery notion is this? It is these vile books [throwing
them away]. I'd have you to know, Mary, if you
won't make young Van Dumpling the man of your
choice, you shall marry him as the man of my choice.
You terrify me, Sir. Indeed, Sir, I am all submission.
My will is yours.
Why, that is the way your mother us'd to talk.
"My will is yours, my dear Mr. Van Rough, my will
is yours"; but she took special care to have her
own way, though, for all that.
Do not reflect upon my mother's memory, Sir--
Why not, Mary, why not? She kept me from speak-
ing my mind all her life, and do you think she shall
henpeck me now she is dead too? Come, come;
don't go to sniveling; be a good girl, and mind the
main chance. I'll see you well settled in the world.
I do not doubt your love, Sir, and it is my duty to
obey you. I will endeavour to make my duty and
inclination go hand in hand.
Well, Well, Mary; do you be a good girl, mind the
main chance, and never mind inclination. Why, do
you know that I have been down in the cellar this
very morning to examine a pipe of Madeira which I
purchased the week you were born, and mean to tap on
your wedding day?--That pipe cost me fifty pounds
sterling. It was well worth sixty pounds; but I over-
reach'd Ben Bulkhead, the supercargo. I'll tell you
the whole story. You must know that--
Sir, Mr. Transfer, the broker is below. [Exit.
Well, Mary, I must go. Remember, and be a good
girl, and mind the main chance. [Exit.
How deplorable is my situation! How distressing
for a daughter to find her heart militating with her
filial duty! I know my father loves me tenderly; why
then do I reluctantly obey him? Heaven knows!
with what reluctance I should oppose the will of a
parent, or set an example of filial disobedience; at a
parent's command, I could wed awkwardness and
deformity. Were the heart of my husband good, I
would so magnify his good qualities with the eye
of conjugal affection, that the defects of his person
and manners should be lost in the emanation of his
virtues. At a father's command, I could embrace
poverty. Were the poor man my husband, I would
learn resignation to my lot; I would enliven our frugal
meal with good humour, and chase away misfortune
from our cottage with a smile. At a father's command,
I could almost submit to what every female heart
knows to be the most mortifying, to marry a weak
man, and blush at my husband's folly in every com-
pany I visited. But to marry a depraved wretch,
whose only virtue is a polished exterior; who is
actuated by the unmanly ambition of conquering the
defenceless; whose heart, insensible to the emotions
of patriotism, dilates at the plaudits of every unthink-
ing girl; whose laurels are the sighs and tears of the
miserable victims of his specious behaviour,--can he,
who has no regard for the peace and happiness of
other families, ever have a due regard for the peace
and happiness of his own? Would to heaven that
my father were not so hasty in his temper? Surely,
if I were to state my reasons for declining this match,
he would not compel me to marry a man, whom,
though my lips may solemnly promise to honour, I
find my heart must ever despise. [Exit.
END OF THE FIRST ACT.
ACT II. SCENE I.
Enter CHARLOTTE and LETITIA.
CHARLOTTE [at entering].
BETTY, take those things out of the carriage and
carry them to my chamber; see that you don't tumble
them. My dear, I protest, I think it was the home-
liest of the whole. I declare I was almost tempted to
return and change it.
Why would you take it?
Didn't Mrs. Catgut say it was the most fashionable?
But, my dear, it will never fit becomingly on you.
I know that; but did you not hear Mrs. Catgut
say it was fashionable?
Did you see that sweet airy cap with the white
Yes, and I longed to take it; but, my dear, what
could I do? Did not Mrs. Catgut say it was the
most fashionable; and if I had not taken it, was not
that awkward, gawky, Sally Slender, ready to purchase
Did you observe how she tumbled over the things
at the next shop, and then went off without purchasing
anything, nor even thanking the poor man for his
trouble? But, of all the awkward creatures, did you
see Miss Blouze endeavouring to thrust her unmerciful
arm into those small kid gloves?
Ha, ha, ha, ha!
Then did you take notice with what an affected
warmth of friendship she and Miss Wasp met? when
all their acquaintance know how much pleasure they
take in abusing each other in every company.
Lud! Letitia, is that so extraordinary? Why, my
dear, I hope you are not going to turn sentimentalist.
Scandal, you know, is but amusing ourselves with the
faults, foibles, follies, and reputations of our friends;
indeed, I don't know why we should have friends, if
we are not at liberty to make use of them. But no
person is so ignorant of the world as to suppose, be-
cause I amuse myself with a lady's faults, that I am
obliged to quarrel with her person every time we
meet: believe me, my dear, we should have very few
acquaintance at that rate.
SERVANT enters and delivers a letter to CHAR-
You'll excuse me, my dear.
[Opens and reads to herself.
Oh, quite excusable.
As I hope to be married, my brother Henry is in
What, your brother, Colonel Manly?
Yes, my dear; the only brother I have in the world.
Was he never in this city?
Never nearer than Harlem Heights, where he lay
with his regiment.
What sort of a being is this brother of yours? If
he is as chatty, as pretty, as sprightly as you, half the
belles in the city will be pulling caps for him.
My brother is the very counterpart and reverse of
me: I am gay, he is grave; I am airy, he is solid; I
am ever selecting the most pleasing objects for my
laughter, he has a tear for every pitiful one. And
thus, whilst he is plucking the briars and thorns from
the path of the unfortunate, I am strewing my own
path with roses.
My sweet friend, not quite so poetical, and a little
Hands off, Letitia. I feel the rage of simile upon
me; I can't talk to you in any other way. My brother
has a heart replete with the noblest sentiments, but
then, it is like--it is like--Oh! you provoking girl,
you have deranged all my ideas--it is like--Oh! I
have it--his heart is like an old maiden lady's band-
box; it contains many costly things, arranged with
the most scrupulous nicety, yet the misfortune is that
they are too delicate, costly, and antiquated for com-
By what I can pick out of your flowery description,
your brother is no beau.
No, indeed; he makes no pretension to the char-
acter. He'd ride, or rather fly, an hundred miles to
relieve a distressed object, or to do a gallant act in the
service of his country; but should you drop your fan
or bouquet in his presence, it is ten to one that some
beau at the farther end of the room would have the
honour of presenting it to you before he had observed
that it fell. I'll tell you one of his antiquated, anti-
gallant notions. He said once in my presence, in a
room full of company,--would you believe it?--in a
large circle of ladies, that the best evidence a gentle-
man could give a young lady of his respect and affec-
tion was to endeavour in a friendly manner to rectify
her foibles. I protest I was crimson to the eyes, upon
reflecting that I was known as his sister.
Insupportable creature! tell a lady of her faults! if
he is so grave, I fear I have no chance of captivating
His conversation is like a rich, old-fashioned bro-
cade,--it will stand alone; every sentence is a sen-
timent. Now you may judge what a time I had
with him, in my twelve months' visit to my father.
He read me such lectures, out of pure brotherly affec-
tion, against the extremes of fashion, dress, flirting, and
coquetry, and all the other dear things which he knows
I doat upon, that I protest his conversation made me
as melancholy as if I had been at church; and heaven
knows, though I never prayed to go there but on one
occasion, yet I would have exchanged his conversa-
tion for a psalm and a sermon. Church is rather
melancholy, to be sure; but then I can ogle the beaux,
and be regaled with "here endeth the first lesson," but
his brotherly here, you would think had no end. You
captivate him! Why, my dear, he would as soon fall
in love with a box of Italian flowers. There is Maria,
now, if she were not engaged, she might do something.
Oh! how I should like to see that pair of pensorosos
together, looking as grave as two sailors' wives of a
stormy night, with a flow of sentiment meandering
through their conversation like purling streams in
Oh! my dear fanciful--
Hush! I hear some person coming through the entry.
Madam, there's a gentleman below who calls him-
self Colonel Manly; do you chuse to be at home?
Shew him in. [Exit Servant.] Now for a sober
Enter Colonel MANLY.
My dear Charlotte, I am happy that I once more
enfold you within the arms of fraternal affection. I
know you are going to ask (amiable impatience!)
how our parents do,--the venerable pair transmit you
their blessing by me. They totter on the verge of a
well-spent life, and wish only to see their children
settled in the world, to depart in peace.
I am very happy to hear that they are well. [Coolly.]
Brother, will you give me leave to introduce you to our
uncle's ward, one of my most intimate friends?
MANLY [saluting Letitia].
I ought to regard your friends as my own.
Come, Letitia, do give us a little dash of your
vivacity; my brother is so sentimental and so grave,
that I protest he'll give us the vapours.
Though sentiment and gravity, I know, are ban-
ished the polite world, yet I hoped they might find
some countenance in the meeting of such near con-
nections as brother and sister.
Positively, brother, if you go one step further in this
strain, you will set me crying, and that, you know,
would spoil my eyes; and then I should never get the
husband which our good papa and mamma have so
kindly wished me--never be established in the world.
Forgive me, my sister,--I am no enemy to mirth;
I love your sprightliness; and I hope it will one day
enliven the hours of some worthy man; but when I
mention the respectable authors of my existence,--
the cherishers and protectors of my helpless infancy,
whose hearts glow with such fondness and attachment
that they would willingly lay down their lives for my
welfare,--you will excuse me if I am so unfashionable
as to speak of them with some degree of respect and
Well, well, brother; if you won't be gay, we'll not
differ; I will be as grave as you wish. [Affects gravity.]
And so, brother, you have come to the city to ex-
change some of your commutation notes for a little
Indeed you are mistaken; my errand is not of
amusement, but business; and as I neither drink nor
game, my expenses will be so trivial, I shall have no
occasion to sell my notes.
Then you won't have occasion to do a very good
thing. Why, here was the Vermont General--he
came down some time since, sold all his musty notes
at one stroke, and then laid the cash out in trinkets
for his dear Fanny. I want a dozen pretty things my-
self; have you got the notes with you?
I shall be ever willing to contribute, as far as it is in
my power, to adorn or in any way to please my sis-
ter; yet I hope I shall never be obliged for this to sell
my notes. I may be romantic, but I preserve them
as a sacred deposit. Their full amount is justly due
to me, but as embarrassments, the natural consequen-
ces of a long war, disable my country from supporting
its credit, I shall wait with patience until it is rich
enough to discharge them. If that is not in my day,
they shall be transmitted as an honourable certificate
to posterity, that I have humbly imitated our illustri-
ous WASHINGTON, in having exposed my health and
life in the service of my country, without reaping any
other reward than the glory of conquering in so ardu-
ous a contest.
Well said heroics. Why, my dear Henry, you have
such a lofty way of saying things, that I protest I
almost tremble at the thought of introducing you to
the polite circles in the city. The belles would think
you were a player run mad, with your head filled with
old scraps of tragedy; and as to the beaux, they
might admire, because they would not understand
you. But, however, I must, I believe, introduce you
to two or three ladies of my acquaintance.
And that will make him acquainted with thirty or
Oh! brother, you don't know what a fund of happi-
ness you have in store.
I fear, sister, I have not refinement sufficient to
Oh! you cannot fail being pleased.
Our ladies are so delicate and dressy.
And our beaux so dressy and delicate.
Our ladies chat and flirt so agreeably.
And our beaux simper and bow so gracefully.
With their hair so trim and neat.
And their faces so soft and sleek.
Their buckles so tonish and bright.
And their hands so slender and white.
I vow, Charlotte, we are quite poetical.
And then, brother, the faces of the beaux are of
such a lily-white hue! None of that horrid robustness
of constitution, that vulgar corn-fed glow of health,
which can only serve to alarm an unmarried lady with
apprehension, and prove a melancholy memento to a
married one, that she can never hope for the happiness
of being a widow. I will say this to the credit of our
city beaux, that such is the delicacy of their complex-
ion, dress, and address, that, even had I no reliance
upon the honour of the dear Adonises, I would trust
myself in any possible situation with them, without
the least apprehensions of rudeness.
Now, now, now, brother [interrupting him], now
don't go to spoil my mirth with a dash of your grav-
ity; I am so glad to see you, I am in tiptop spirits.
Oh! that you could be with us at a little snug party.
There is Billy Simper, Jack Chaffe, and Colonel Van
Titter, Miss Promonade, and the two Miss Tambours,
sometimes make a party, with some other ladies, in a
side-box at the play. Everything is conducted with
such decorum. First we bow round to the company
in general, then to each one in particular, then we
have so many inquiries after each other's health, and
we are so happy to meet each other, and it is so many
ages since we last had that pleasure, and if a married
lady is in company, we have such a sweet dissertation
upon her son Bobby's chin-cough; then the curtain
rises, then our sensibility is all awake, and then, by the
mere force of apprehension, we torture some harmless
expression into a double meaning, which the poor au-
thor never dreamt of, and then we have recourse to
our fans, and then we blush, and then the gentlemen
jog one another, peep under the fan, and make the
prettiest remarks; and then we giggle and they simper,
and they giggle and we simper, and then the curtain
drops, and then for nuts and oranges, and then we
bow, and it's pray, Ma'am, take it, and pray, Sir, keep
it, and oh! not for the world, Sir; and then the curtain
rises again, and then we blush and giggle and simper
and bow all over again. Oh! the sentimental charms
of a side-box conversation! [All laugh.]
Well, sister, I join heartily with you in the laugh;
for, in my opinion, it is as justifiable to laugh at folly
as it is reprehensible to ridicule misfortune.
Well, but, brother, positively I can't introduce you
in these clothes: why, your coat looks as if it were
calculated for the vulgar purpose of keeping yourself
This coat was my regimental coat in the late war.
The public tumults of our state have induced me to
buckle on the sword in support of that government
which I once fought to establish. I can only say,
sister, that there was a time when this coat was re-
spectable, and some people even thought that those
men who had endured so many winter campaigns in
the service of their country, without bread, clothing,
or pay, at least deserved that the poverty of their
appearance should not be ridiculed.
We agree in opinion entirely, brother, though it
would not have done for me to have said it: it is the
coat makes the man respectable. In the time of the
war, when we were almost frightened to death, why,
your coat was respectable, that is, fashionable; now
another kind of coat is fashionable, that is, respectable.
And pray direct the taylor to make yours the height
of the fashion.
Though it is of little consequence to me of what
shape my coat is, yet, as to the height of the fashion,
there you will please to excuse me, sister. You know
my sentiments on that subject. I have often lamented
the advantage which the French have over us in that
particular. In Paris, the fashions have their dawnings,
their routine, and declensions, and depend as much
upon the caprice of the day as in other countries; but
there every lady assumes a right to deviate from the
general ton as far as will be of advantage to her own
appearance. In America, the cry is, what is the
fashion? and we follow it indiscriminately, because
it is so.
Therefore it is, that when large hoops are in fashion,
we often see many a plump girl lost in the immensity
of a hoop-petticoat, whose want of height and en-bon-
point would never have been remarked in any other
dress. When the high head-dress is the mode, how
then do we see a lofty cushion, with a profusion of
gauze, feathers, and ribband, supported by a face no
bigger than an apple! whilst a broad full-faced lady,
who really would have appeared tolerably handsome
in a large head-dress, looks with her smart chapeau as
masculine as a soldier.
But remember, my dear sister, and I wish all my
fair country-women would recollect, that the only ex-
cuse a young lady can have for going extravagantly
into a fashion is because it makes her look extrava-
gantly handsome.--Ladies, I must wish you a good
But, brother, you are going to make home with us.
Indeed I cannot. I have seen my uncle and
explained that matter.
Come and dine with us, then. We have a family
dinner about half-past four o'clock.
I am engaged to dine with the Spanish ambassador.
I was introduced to him by an old brother officer; and
instead of freezing me with a cold card of compliment
to dine with him ten days hence, he, with the true old
Castilian frankness, in a friendly manner, asked me to
dine with him to-day--an honour I could not refuse.
Sister, adieu--Madam, your most obedient--[Exit.
I will wait upon you to the door, brother; I have
something particular to say to you. [Exit.
What a pair!--She the pink of flirtation, he the
essence of everything that is outre and gloomy.--I
think I have completely deceived Charlotte by my
manner of speaking of Mr. Dimple; she's too much
the friend of Maria to be confided in. He is certainly
rendering himself disagreeable to Maria, in order to
break with her and proffer his hand to me. This is
what the delicate fellow hinted in our last conversation.
SCENE II. The Mall.
Positively this Mall is a very pretty place. I hope
the cits won't ruin it by repairs. To be sure, it won't
do to speak of in the same day with Ranelagh or
Vauxhall; however, it's a fine place for a young fellow
to display his person to advantage. Indeed, nothing
is lost here; the girls have taste, and I am very happy
to find they have adopted the elegant London fashion
of looking back, after a genteel fellow like me has
passed them.--Ah! who comes here? This, by his
awkwardness, must be the Yankee colonel's servant.
I'll accost him.
Votre tres-humble serviteur, Monsieur. I under-
stand Colonel Manly, the Yankee officer, has the
honour of your services.
I say, Sir, I understand that Colonel Manly has the
honour of having you for a servant.
Servant! Sir, do you take me for a neger,--I am
Colonel Manly's waiter.
A true Yankee distinction, egad, without a differ-
ence. Why, Sir, do you not perform all the offices of
a servant? do you not even blacken his boots?
Yes; I do grease them a bit sometimes; but I am a
true blue son of liberty, for all that. Father said I
should come as Colonel Manly's waiter, to see the
world, and all that; but no man shall master me. My
father has as good a farm as the colonel.
Well, Sir, we will not quarrel about terms upon the
eve of an acquaintance from which I promise myself
so much satisfaction;--therefore, sans ceremonie--
I say I am extremely happy to see Colonel Manly's
Well, and I vow, too, I am pretty considerably glad
to see you; but what the dogs need of all this out-
landish lingo? Who may you be, Sir, if I may be so
I have the honour to be Mr. Dimple's servant, or,
if you please, waiter. We lodge under the same roof,
and should be glad of the honour of your acquaintance.
You a waiter! by the living jingo, you look so top-
ping, I took you for one of the agents to Congress.
The brute has discernment, notwithstanding his
appearance.--Give me leave to say I wonder then at
Why, as to the matter of that, Mr.--; pray,
what's your name?
Jessamy, at your service.
Why, I swear we don't make any great matter of
distinction in our state between quality and other
This is, indeed, a levelling principle.--I hope, Mr.
Jonathan, you have not taken part with the insurgents.
Why, since General Shays has sneaked off and
given us the bag to hold, I don't care to give my
opinion; but you'll promise not to tell--put your ear
this way--you won't tell?--I vow I did think the
sturgeons were right.
I thought, Mr. Jonathan, you Massachusetts men
always argued with a gun in your hand. Why didn't
you join them?
Why, the colonel is one of those folks called the
Shin--Shin--dang it all, I can't speak them lignum
vitae words--you know who I mean--there is a com-
pany of them--they wear a china goose at their
button-hole--a kind of gilt thing.--Now the colonel
told father and brother,--you must know there are,
let me see--there is Elnathan, Silas, and Barnabas,
Tabitha--no, no, she's a she--tarnation, now I have
it--there's Elnathan, Silas, Barnabas, Jonathan, that's
I--seven of us, six went into the wars, and I staid at
home to take care of mother. Colonel said that it was
a burning shame for the true blue Bunker Hill sons of
liberty, who had fought Governor Hutchinson, Lord
North, and the Devil, to have any hand in kicking up
a cursed dust against a government which we had,
every mother's son of us, a hand in making.
Bravo!--Well, have you been abroad in the city
since your arrival? What have you seen that is
curious and entertaining?
Oh! I have seen a power of fine sights. I went to
see two marble-stone men and a leaden horse that
stands out in doors in all weathers; and when I came
where they was, one had got no head, and t'other
wern't there. They said as how the leaden man was
a damn'd tory, and that he took wit in his anger and
rode off in the time of the troubles.
But this was not the end of your excursion?
Oh, no; I went to a place they call Holy Ground.
Now I counted this was a place where folks go to
meeting; so I put my hymn-book in my pocket, and
walked softly and grave as a minister; and when I
came there, the dogs a bit of a meeting-house could I
see. At last I spied a young gentlewoman standing
by one of the seats which they have here at the
doors. I took her to be the deacon's daughter, and
she looked so kind, and so obliging, that I thought I
would go and ask her the way to lecture, and--would
you think it?--she called me dear, and sweeting, and
honey, just as if we were married: by the living jingo,
I had a month's mind to buss her.
Well, but how did it end?
Why, as I was standing talking with her, a parcel
of sailor men and boys got round me, the snarl-headed
curs fell a-kicking and cursing of me at such a tarnal
rate, that I vow I was glad to take to my heels and
split home, right off, tail on end, like a stream of chalk.
Why, my dear friend, you are not acquainted with
the city; that girl you saw was a--[whispers.]
Mercy on my soul! was that young woman a
harlot!--Well! if this is New-York Holy Ground,
what must the Holy-day Ground be!
Well, you should not judge of the city too rashly.
We have a number of elegant, fine girls here that make
a man's leisure hours pass very agreeably. I would
esteem it an honour to announce you to some of
them.--Gad! that announce is a select word; I won-
der where I picked it up.
I don't want to know them.
Come, come, my dear friend, I see that I must
assume the honour of being the director of your amuse-
ments. Nature has given us passions, and youth and
opportunity stimulate to gratify them. It is no shame,
my dear Blueskin, for a man to amuse himself with a
Girl huntry! I don't altogether understand. I
never played at that game. I know how to play
hunt the squirrel, but I can't play anything with the
girls; I am as good as married.
Vulgar, horrid brute! Married, and above a hun-
dred miles from his wife, and thinks that an objection
to his making love to every woman he meets! He
never can have read, no, he never can have been in a
room with a volume of the divine Chesterfield.--So
you are married?
No, I don't say so; I said I was as good as mar-
ried, a kind of promise.
As good as married!--
Why, yes; there's Tabitha Wymen, the deacon's
daughter, at home; she and I have been courting a
great while, and folks say as how we are to be married;
and so I broke a piece of money with her when we
parted, and she promised not to spark it with Solomon
Dyer while I am gone. You wouldn't have me false
to my true-love, would you?
May be you have another reason for constancy;
possibly the young lady has a fortune? Ha! Mr.
Jonathan, the solid charms: the chains of love are
never so binding as when the links are made of gold.
Why, as to fortune, I must needs say her father is
pretty dumb rich; he went representative for our town
last year. He will give her--let me see--four times
seven is--seven times four--nought and carry one,--
he will give her twenty acres of land--somewhat
rocky though--a Bible, and a cow.
Twenty acres of rock, a Bible, and a cow! Why, my
dear Mr. Jonathan, we have servant-maids, or, as you
would more elegantly express it, waitresses, in this
city, who collect more in one year from their mistresses'
You don't say so!--
Yes, and I'll introduce to one of them. There
is a little lump of flesh and delicacy that lives at next
door, waitress to Miss Maria; we often see her on the
But are you sure she would be courted by me?
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.
Well, but what must I say to her?
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.
Well, what must I do?
Why, when you are introduced you must make five
or six elegant bows.
Six elegant bows! I understand that; six, you say?
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.
Well, but suppose she should be angry with I?
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.
Well, and what was the consequence?
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.
Well, if I follow all your plans, make them six bows,
and all that, shall I have such little cherubim conse-
Undoubtedly.--What are you musing upon?
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-
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.
Stay, Mr. Jessamy--must I buss her when I am
introduced to her?
I told you, you must kiss her.
Well, but must I buss her?
Why, kiss and buss, and buss and kiss, is all one.
Oh! my dear friend, though you have a profound
knowledge of all, a pugnency of tribulation, you don't
know everything. [Exit.
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 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.
Where got you these, Jessamy?
Sir, the English packet is arrived.
DIMPLE opens and reads a letter enclosing notes.
"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
"I am, Sir,
"Your most humble servant,
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,
DIMPLE folds and seals two letters.
Here, Jessamy, take this letter to my love.
To which of your honour's loves?--Oh! [reading]
to Miss Letitia, your honour's rich love.
And this [delivers another] to Miss Charlotte Manly.
See that you deliver them privately.
Yes, your honour. [Going.
Jessamy, who are these strange lodgers that came
to the house last night?
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.
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,
JESSAMY goes off and returns.
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!
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!
Prythee, Jenny, don't spoil your fine face with
Why, mustn't I laugh, Mr. Jessamy?
You may smile, but, as my lord says, nothing can
authorise a laugh.
Well, but I can't help laughing.--Have you seen
him, Mr. Jessamy? ha, ha, ha!
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.
As ignorant and unpolished as he is, do you know,
Miss Jenny, that I propose to introduce him to the
honour of your acquaintance?
Introduce him to me! for what?
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.
Make love to me!--
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.
I must say, Mr. Jessamy, if he copies after me, he
will be vastly, monstrously polite.
Stay here one moment, and I will call him.--Jona-
Holla! there.--[Enters.] You promise to stand
by me--six bows you say. [Bows.]
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.
So, Mr. Jonathan, I hear you were at the play last
At the play! why, did you think I went to the
The devil's drawing-room!
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.
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?
Why, I went to see one Mr. Morrison, the hocus
pocus man; they said as how he could eat a case knife.
Well, and how did you find the place?
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."
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.
Well, and what did you do all this time?
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.
The savage!--Well, and did you see the man with
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?
Not many; but did you see the family?
Yes, swamp it; I see'd the family.
Well, and how did you like them?
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.
But did you see no other folks?
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.
And did you see any more folks?
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--
Aye! who was he?
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
I can't say I have that pleasure.
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
Well, Mr. Jonathan, you were certainly at the play-
I at the play-house!--Why didn't I see the play
Why, the people you saw were players.
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.
Well, Mr. Jonathan, from your account, which I
confess is very accurate, you must have been at the
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.
My dear Jenny, my master's business drags me from
you; would to heaven I knew no other servitude than
to your charms.
Well, but don't go; you won't leave me so--
Excuse me.--Remember the cash. [Aside to him,
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,
Pray, how do you like the city, Sir?
I say, Sir, how do you like New-York?
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?
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.
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?
Why, all my tunes go to meeting tunes, save one,
and I count you won't altogether like that 'ere.
What is it called?
I am sure you have heard folks talk about it; it is
called Yankee Doodle.
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!
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.
Is that all! I assure you I like it of all things.
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
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!
What means this freedom? you insulting wretch.
Are you affronted?
Affronted! with what looks shall I express my
Looks! why as to the matter of looks, you look as
cross as a witch.
Have you no feeling for the delicacy of my sex?
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.
Pretend to be affronted!
Aye, aye, if you only pretend, you shall hear how
I'll go to work to make cherubim consequences.
[Runs up to her.]
Begone, you brute!
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.
Marry you! you audacious monster! get out of my
sight, or, rather, let me fly from you.
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
SCENE II. The Mall.
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!
You are Colonel Manly, I presume?
At your service, Sir.
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
You are very obliging, Sir.
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.
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
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.
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
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?
Sir, I thank you; but I believe my stay in this city
will be very short.
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.
Sir, I should be proud of the honour of being
acquainted with those gentlemen;--but, as for the
ladies, I don't understand you.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
I believe you, Sir. I should with reluctance sup-
pose that those pernicious sentiments could find ad-
mittance into the heart of a gentleman.
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
That gentleman, Sir, is my uncle, and Miss Manly
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.]
Come, Sir, will you go?
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 leading in MARIA.
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.
Do you think, then, that there is an impropriety in
it?--How should you dispose of your time?
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.
Spare me your raillery, my sweet friend; I should
love your agreeable vivacity at any other time.
Why, this is the very time to amuse you. You
grieve me to see you look so unhappy.
Have I not reason to look so?
What new grief distresses you?
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.
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.
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-
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.
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.
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!--
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.]
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.
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?
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
Why, that was good-natured--he told you so, I sup-
pose, in mere charity, to prevent you falling in love
He didn't tell me so; [peevishly] he looked as if he
How, my dear; did he look sheepish?
I am sure he has a susceptible heart, and the ladies
of his acquaintance must be very stupid not to--
Hush! I hear some person coming.
My dear Maria, I am happy to see you. Lud!
what a pity it is that you have purchased your wed-
I think so. [Sighing.]
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.
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.
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.
Ladies, your most obedient.
Miss Van Rough, shall I present my brother Henry
to you? Colonel Manly, Maria,--Miss Van Rough, brother.
Her brother! [turns and sees Manly.] Oh! my
heart! the very gentleman I have been praising.
The same amiable girl I saw this morning!
Why, you look as if you were acquainted.
I unintentionally intruded into this lady's presence
this morning, for which she was so good as to promise
me her forgiveness.
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
Spare me, my sprightly friend.
The lady does not, I hope, intend to deprive us of
the pleasure of her company so soon.
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?
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.
Except visiting the ladies.
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.
Do you never attend the theatre, Sir?
I was tortured there once.
Pray, Mr. Dimple, was it a tragedy or a comedy?
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
Indeed, Sir, I was never ten leagues from the conti-
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.
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.
Well, Colonel, though you have not travelled, you
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
What noble sentiments!
Let my brother set out where he will in the fields of
conversation, he is sure to end his tour in the temple
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.
You are perfectly in the right, Colonel--America
has her faults.
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.
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.
I shall esteem every service I can render your
brother an honour.
I fear the business I am upon will take up all my
time, and my family will be anxious to hear from me.
His family! but what is it to me that he is married!
[Aside.] Pray, how did you leave your lady, Sir?
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?
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.
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.
I am obliged to your sister, Sir, and was just intend-
ping to go. [Going.]
I shall attend her with pleasure. [Exit with Maria,
followed by Dimple and Charlotte.]
Now, pray, don't betray me to your brother.
[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.
You received the billet I sent you, I presume?
When shall I pay my respects to you?
At eight I shall be unengaged.
Did my lovely angel receive my billet? [to Char-
At eight I shall be at home unengaged.
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?
You know your influence over me.
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.
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.
Indeed, Sir, I have been led to hear more upon
this subject than I ought.
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.
I have a father, whom I would die to make happy;
he will disapprove--
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.
You distress me, Sir.
Then I will sincerely beg your excuse for obtruding
so disagreeable a subject, and retire. [Going.
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
Engaged, Sir; and, in a few days, to be married to
the gentleman you saw at your sister's.
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?
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.
JESSAMY meeting JONATHAN.
WELL, Mr. Jonathan, what success with the fair?
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?
I was thinking, Mr. Jonathan, what could be the
reason of her carrying herself so coolly to you.
Coolly, do you call it? Why, I vow, she was fire-
hot angry: may be it was because I buss'd her.
No, no, Mr. Jonathan; there must be some other
cause; I never yet knew a lady angry at being kissed.
Well, if it is not the young woman's bashfulness, I
vow I can't conceive why she shouldn't like me.
May be it is because you have not the Graces, Mr.
Grace! Why, does the young woman expect I must
be converted before I court her?
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.
Maple-log seize it! don't I laugh natural?
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.
Gor! I--what does one go to see fun for if they
You may laugh; but you must laugh by rule.
Swamp it--laugh by rule! Well, I should like that
Why, you know, Mr. Jonathan, that to dance, a
lady to play with her fan, or a gentleman with his cane,
and all other natural motions, are regulated by art.
My master has composed an immensely pretty gamut,
by which any lady or gentleman, with a few years'
close application, may learn to laugh as gracefully as
if they were born and bred to it.
Mercy on my soul! A gamut for laughing--just
like fa, la, sol?
Yes. It comprises every possible display of jocu-
larity, from an affettuoso smile to a piano titter, or full
chorus fortissimo ha, ha, ha! My master employs his
leisure hours in marking out the plays, like a cathedral
chanting-book, that the ignorant may know where to
laugh; and that pit, box, and gallery may keep time
together, and not have a snigger in one part of the
house, a broad grin in the other, and a d---d grum
look in the third. How delightful to see the audience
all smile together, then look on their books, then twist
their mouths into an agreeable simper, then altogether
shake the house with a general ha, ha, ha! loud as a
full chorus of Handel's at an Abbey commemoration.
Ha, ha, ha! that's dang'd cute, I swear.
The gentlemen, you see, will laugh the tenor; the
ladies will play the counter-tenor; the beaux will
squeak the treble; and our jolly friends in the gallery
a thorough base, ho, ho, ho!
Well, can't you let me see that gamut?
Oh! yes, Mr. Jonathan; here it is. [Takes out a
book.] Oh! no, this is only a titter with its variations.
Ah, here it is. [Takes out another.] Now, you must
know, Mr. Jonathan, this is a piece written by Ben
Johnson, which I have set to my master's gamut. The
places where you must smile, look grave, or laugh out-
right, are marked below the line. Now look over me.
"There was a certain man"--now you must smile.
Well, read it again; I warrant I'll mind my eye.
"There was a certain man, who had a sad scolding
wife,"--now you must laugh.
Tarnation! That's no laughing matter though.
"And she lay sick a-dying";--now you must titter.
What, snigger when the good woman's a-dying!
Yes, the notes say you must--"and she asked her
husband leave to make a will,"--now you must begin
to look grave;--"and her husband said"--
Ay, what did her husband say? Something dang'd
cute, I reckon.
"And her husband said, you have had your will all
your life-time, and would you have it after you are
Ho, ho, ho! There the old man was even with
her; he was up to the notch--ha, ha, ha!
But, Mr. Jonathan, you must not laugh so. Why
you ought to have tittered piano, and you have
laughed fortissimo. Look here; you see these marks,
A, B, C, and so on; these are the references to
the other part of the book. Let us turn to it, and you
will see the directions how to manage the muscles.
This [turns over] was note D you blundered at.--You
must purse the mouth into a smile, then titter, discov-
ering the lower part of the three front upper teeth.
How? read it again.
"There was a certain man"--very well!--"who
had a sad scolding wife,"--why don't you laugh?
Now, that scolding wife sticks in my gizzard so
pluckily that I can't laugh for the blood and nowns of
me. Let me look grave here, and I'll laugh your
belly full, where the old creature's a-dying.
"And she asked her husband"--[Bell rings.] My
master's bell! he's returned, I fear.--Here, Mr. Jona-
than, take this gamut; and I make no doubt but with
a few years' close application, you may be able to
smile gracefully." [Exeunt severally.
WHAT, no one at home? How unfortunate to meet
the only lady my heart was ever moved by, to find
her engaged to another, and confessing her partiality
for me! Yet engaged to a man who, by her inti-
mation, and his libertine conversation with me, I fear,
does not merit her. Aye! there's the sting; for, were
I assured that Maria was happy, my heart is not so
selfish but that it would dilate in knowing it, even
though it were with another. But to know she is
unhappy!--I must drive these thoughts from me.
Charlotte has some books; and this is what I believe
she calls her little library. [Enters a closet.
Enter DIMPLE leading LETITIA.
And will you pretend to say now, Mr. Dimple, that
you propose to break with Maria? Are not the banns
published? Are not the clothes purchased? Are not
the friends invited? In short, is it not a done affair?
Believe me, my dear Letitia, I would not marry her.
Why have you not broke with her before this, as
you all along deluded me by saying you would?
Because I was in hopes she would, ere this, have
broke with me.
You could not expect it.
Nay, but be calm a moment; 'twas from my regard
to you that I did not discard her.
Regard to me!
Yes; I have done everything in my power to break
with her, but the foolish girl is so fond of me that
nothing can accomplish it. Besides, how can I offer
her my hand when my heart is indissolubly engaged
There may be reason in this; but why so attentive
to Miss Manly?
Attentive to Miss Manly! For heaven's sake, if you
have no better opinion of my constancy, pay not so ill
a compliment to my taste.
Did I not see you whisper her to-day?
Possibly I might--but something of so very trifling
a nature that I have already forgot what it was.
I believe she has not forgot it.
My dear creature, how can you for a moment sup-
pose I should have any serious thoughts of that trifling,
gay, flighty coquette, that disagreeable--
My dear Miss Manly, I rejoice to see you; there is
a charm in your conversation that always marks your
entrance into company as fortunate.
Where have you been, my dear?
Why, I have been about to twenty shops, turning
over pretty things, and so have left twenty visits unpaid.
I wish you would step into the carriage and whisk
round, make my apology, and leave my cards where
our friends are not at home; that, you know, will
serve as a visit. Come, do go.
So anxious to get me out! but I'll watch you.
[Aside.] Oh! yes, I'll go; I want a little exercise.
Positively [Dimple offering to accompany her], Mr.
Dimple, you shall not go; why, half my visits are cake
and caudle visits; it won't do, you know, for you to
go. [Exit, but returns to the door in the back scene and
This attachment of your brother to Maria is fortunate.
How did you come to the knowledge of it?
I read it in their eyes.
And I had it from her mouth. It would have
amused you to have seen her! She, that thought it so
great an impropriety to praise a gentleman that she
could not bring out one word in your favour, found a
redundancy to praise him.
I have done everything in my power to assist his
passion there: your delicacy, my dearest girl, would
be shocked at half the instances of neglect and mis-
I don't know how I should bear neglect; but Mr.
Dimple must misbehave himself indeed, to forfeit my
Your good opinion, my angel, is the pride and pleas-
ure of my heart; and if the most respectful tenderness
for you, and an utter indifference for all your sex
besides, can make me worthy of your esteem, I shall
richly merit it.
All my sex besides, Mr. Dimple!--you forgot your
tete-a-tete with Letitia.
How can you, my lovely angel, cast a thought on
that insipid, wry-mouthed, ugly creature!
But her fortune may have charms?
Not to a heart like mine. The man, who has been
blessed with the good opinion of my Charlotte, must
despise the allurements of fortune.
I am satisfied.
Let us think no more on the odious subject, but
devote the present hour to happiness.
Can I be happy when I see the man I prefer going
to be married to another?
Have I not already satisfied my charming angel,
that I can never think of marrying the puling Maria?
But, even if it were so, could that be any bar to our
happiness? for, as the poet sings,
"Love, free as air, at sight of human ties,
Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies."
Come, then, my charming angel! why delay our bliss?
The present moment is ours; the next is in the hand
of fate. [Kissing her.]
Begone, Sir! By your delusions you had almost
lulled my honour asleep.
Let me lull the demon to sleep again with kisses.
[He struggles with her; she screams.]
Turn, villain! and defend yourself.--[Draws.]
[VAN ROUGH enters and beats down their swords.]
Is the devil in you? are you going to murder one
another? [Holding Dimple.]
Hold him, hold him,--I can command my passion.
What the rattle ails you? Is the old one in you?
Let the colonel alone, can't you? I feel chock-full
of fight,--do you want to kill the colonel?--
Be still, Jonathan; the gentleman does not want to
Gor! I--I wish he did; I'd shew him Yankee
boys play, pretty quick.--Don't you see you have
frightened the young woman into the hystrikes?
Pray, some of you explain this; what has been the
occasion of all this racket?
That gentleman can explain it to you; it will be a
very diverting story for an intended father-in-law to
How was this matter, Mr. Van Dumpling?
Sir,--upon my honour,--all I know is, that I was
talking to this young lady, and this gentleman broke
in on us in a very extraordinary manner.
Why, all this is nothing to the purpose; can you
explain it, Miss? [To Charlotte.]
Enter LETITIA through the back scene.
I can explain it to that gentleman's confusion.
Though long betrothed to your daughter [to Van
Rough], yet, allured by my fortune, it seems (with
shame do I speak it) he has privately paid his ad-
dresses to me. I was drawn in to listen to him by his
assuring me that the match was made by his father
without his consent, and that he proposed to break
with Maria, whether he married me or not. But, what-
ever were his intentions respecting your daughter, Sir,
even to me he was false; for he has repeated the same
story, with some cruel reflections upon my person, to
What a tarnal curse!
Nor is this all, Miss Manly. When he was with
me this very morning, he made the same ungenerous
reflections upon the weakness of your mind as he has
so recently done upon the defects of my person.
What a tarnal curse and damn, too!
Ha! since I have lost Letitia, I believe I had as
good make it up with Maria. Mr. Van Rough, at
present I cannot enter into particulars; but, I believe,
I can explain everything to your satisfaction in private.
There is another matter, Mr. Van Dumpling, which
I would have you explain. Pray, Sir, have Messrs.
Van Cash & Co. presented you those bills for accept-
The deuce! Has he heard of those bills! Nay,
then, all's up with Maria, too; but an affair of this
sort can never prejudice me among the ladies; they
will rather long to know what the dear creature pos-
sesses to make him so agreeable. [Aside.] Sir, you'll
hear from me. [To Manly.]
And you from me, Sir--
Sir, you wear a sword--
Yes, Sir. This sword was presented to me by that
brave Gallic hero, the Marquis De la Fayette. I have
drawn it in the service of my country, and in private
life, on the only occasion where a man is justified in
drawing his sword, in defence of a lady's honour. I
have fought too many battles in the service of my
country to dread the imputation of cowardice. Death
from a man of honour would be a glory you do not
merit; you shall live to bear the insult of man and the
contempt of that sex whose general smiles afforded you
all your happiness.
You won't meet me, Sir? Then I'll post you for a
I'll venture that, Sir. The reputation of my life
does not depend upon the breath of a Mr. Dimple. I
would have you to know, however, Sir, that I have a
cane to chastise the insolence of a scoundrel, and a
sword and the good laws of my country to protect me
from the attempts of an assassin--
Mighty well! Very fine, indeed! Ladies and gen-
tlemen, I take my leave; and you will please to observe
in the case of my deportment the contrast between a
gentleman who has read Chesterfield and received
the polish of Europe and an unpolished, untravelled
Is he indeed gone?--
I hope, never to return.
I am glad I heard of those bills; though it's plaguy
unlucky; I hoped to see Mary married before I died.
Will you permit a gentleman, Sir, to offer himself as
a suitor to your daughter? Though a stranger to you,
he is not altogether so to her, or unknown in this city.
You may find a son-in-law of more fortune, but you
can never meet with one who is richer in love for her,
or respect for you.
Why, Mary, you have not let this gentleman make
love to you without my leave?
I did not say, Sir--
Say, Sir!--I--the gentleman, to be sure, met
Ha, ha, ha! Mark me, Mary; young folks think
old folks to be fools; but old folks know young folks
to be fools. Why, I knew all about this affair. This
was only a cunning way I had to bring it about.
Hark ye! I was in the closet when you and he were
at our hours. [Turns to the company.] I heard that
little baggage say she loved her old father, and would
die to make him happy! Oh! how I loved the little
baggage! And you talked very prudently, young man.
I have inquired into your character, and find you to
be a man of punctuality and mind the main chance.
And so, as you love Mary and Mary loves you, you
shall have my consent immediately to be married.
I'll settle my fortune on you, and go and live with
you the remainder of my life.
Sir, I hope--
Come, come, no fine speeches; mind the main
chance, young man, and you and I shall always agree.
I sincerely wish you joy [advancing to Maria]; and
hope your pardon for my conduct.
I thank you for your congratulations, and hope we
shall at once forget the wretch who has given us so
much disquiet, and the trouble that he has occasioned.
And I, my dear Maria,--how shall I look up to
you for forgiveness? I, who, in the practice of the
meanest arts, have violated the most sacred rights of
friendship? I can never forgive myself, or hope
charity from the world; but, I confess, I have much
to hope from such a brother; and I am happy that I
may soon say, such a sister.
My dear, you distress me; you have all my love.
If repentance can entitle me to forgiveness, I have
already much merit; for I despise the littleness of my
past conduct. I now find that the heart of any wor-
thy man cannot be gained by invidious attacks upon
the rights and characters of others;--by countenan-
cing the addresses of a thousand;--or that the finest
assemblage of features, the greatest taste in dress, the
genteelest address, or the most brilliant wit, cannot
eventually secure a coquette from contempt and
And I have learned that probity, virtue, honour,
though they should not have received the polish of
Europe, will secure to an honest American the good
graces of his fair countrywomen, and, I hope, the
applause of THE PUBLIC.
<1> In addition to the 'Prince of Parthia,' the following plays by
American authors are known to have been printed:
1. 'The Suspected Daughter, or Jealous Father,' a Farce in
three acts, both serious and comic, written by T. T. Bos-
2. 'The Disappointment, or The Force of Credulity,' a new
American Comic Opera of two acts, by Andrew Barton, Esq.
3. 'The Conquest of Canada, or Siege of Quebec, a Historic
Tragedy,' by George Cockings. Philadelphia, 1772.
4. 'The Adulateur,' a tragedy; and
5. 'The Group,' a Political Comedy, 1775; both by Mrs. Mercy Warren.
6. 'The Blockheads, or the Affrighted Officers,' a Farce. Boston, 1776.
7. 'The Battle of Bunker Hill,' a dramatic piece, in five acts.
Philadelphia, 1776; and
8. 'The Death of General Montgomery in storming the City of
Quebec,' a Tragedy. Philadelphia, 1777; both by H. H. Brackenridge.
9. 'The Patriot Chief,' a Drama, by Peter Markoe. Philadelphia, 1783.
10. 'Edwin and Angelina, or The Banditti,' an Opera in three
acts, by Dr. Elihu H. Smith. New-York, 1787.
<2> Dunlap erroneously gives the date of the first performance
of the 'Contrast' as in 1786, and writers generally following
him make the same mistake. Ireland in his 'Records' gives
the date correctly.
<3> Tyler, in addition to the plays and law reports mentioned,
wrote and published the following works:
1. 'The Algerine Captive, or The Life and Adventures of Doctor
Updike Underhill, six years a prisoner among the Algerines.'
2 vols. Walpole, N. H., 1797.
2. 'Moral Tales for American Youths.' Boston, 1800.
3. 'The Yankey in London; a series of Letters written by an
American Youth during nine months' residence in the City of
London.' New-York, 1809.
He also contributed to a number of newspapers of his period,
and a collection of his contributions (with those of Joseph Den-
nie) were published in a volume, at Walpole, in 1801, entitled
'The Spirit of the Farmers' Museum and Lay Preachers' Gazette.'
<4> On October 16th, 1778, the Continental Congress passed
the following resolution:
"Whereas, frequenting play-houses and theatrical entertainments
has a fatal tendency to divest the minds of the people from a
due attention to the means necessary to the defence of their
Country and preservation of their liberties;
"Resolved, That any person holding an office under the United
States who shall act, promote, encourage or attend such play,
shall be deemed unworthy to hold such office, and shall be
T. J. McK.