The rival candidates: a comic opera in two acts; as it is now performing at the Theatre Royal in Drury-Lane. By the Rev. Henry Bate.

[Page] [Page]


By the Rev. HENRY BATE.

LONDON: Printed: Sold by T. BECKET, corner of the Adelphi-buildings, in the Strand; and by W. GRIFFIN, No. 6, Catharine-ſtreet, M,DCC,LXXV.



THE RIVAL CANDIDATES is an attempt of the dramatic kind, undertaken by the writer from no motive of literary vanity, but in order to introduce to the world, a young muſical compoſer, whoſe taſte he conceived might do honour to his profeſſion.

The reformer of the Engliſh drama no ſooner was informed of him, than he kindly conſented to an early trial of his abilities, and diſcovered a generous anxiety for his ſucceſs.

The author arrogates to himſelf but a moderate ſhare of that univerſal applauſe with which his piece has been received, particularly when he recollects how much of it is derived from the kind attention of Mr. GARRICK, in the double capacity, of friend, and manager;—and what immenſe claims thoſe reſpectable perſons have, who fill his little canvaſs with ſuch credit to themſelves, and their profeſſion. To ſingle out any one of theſe celebrated performers, when all ſo kindly combined to produce, what is deemed a ſtriking repreſentation in the comic ſtyle, would be a taſk unpleaſing as ungenerous. And therefore, as they have been equally zealous in their endeavours, as happy in the execution of their ſeveral characters, he wiſhes them, jointly to accept, the returns of a grateful heart.


Mr. Vernon.
Mr. Dodd.
Mr. Parſons.
Mr. Weſton.
Mr. Banniſter.
  • Mr. Kear,
  • Mr. Fawcett.
Mrs. Baddely.
Mrs. Wrighten.




PERHAPS you were not aware, when you were kind enough to ſhew an early countenance to the following petite OPERA, that ſo indulgent an overture, entitled it in ſome meaſure to your future patronage; indeed, notwithſtanding this circumſtance, you might probably have eſcaped the preſent mortifying ſituation, had not the author conceived, that his piece owes no inconſiderable ſhare of its dramatic effect to your taſte and judgment:—hence aroſe an appeal to his feelings, too powerful to be treated with ſilent indifference.—

I mean not, however, to alarm your delicacy, by a recital of thoſe accompliſhments, which have long rendered you an ornament of the moſt faſhionable circles;—nor by recounting thoſe private virtues, which ſtamp you one of the firſt patterns of domeſtic felicity; facts however agreeable or inſtructive they might prove to ſociety, I decline enumerating, in compliment to female diffidence.

[Page] Having therefore made the acknowledgement I conceive due upon this occaſion, it is high time for me frankly to confeſs, that vanity had ſome influence over me, when I preſumed to think of Mrs. GARRICK for the patroneſs of this my FIRST ESSAY.

I remain Madam, with great reſpect, Your moſt obedient, and devoted Servant, HEN. BATE.


1. 1

1.1. ACT. I SCENE I.

A Hall in General WORRY'S houſe, adorned with military trophies; through the folding doors of which, is ſeen a part of the garden.
Jenny. —INDEED ma'm I don't like to go near him:—beſides, what the deuce ſhould he want with me?
Nar. Oh ſome freſh complaints, I'll warrant you:—but I deſire you'd go.
Jenny. Lud ma'm! he's ſuch an old ſuſpicious mortal, that I can do no good with him:—and its a ſhame to throw away good reaſoning, and fine ſentiment, upon ſo unfeeling a—
Nar. Prithee, don't be triſting now, girl, but go to him, and let us know the worſt.
Jenny. Well, to oblige you, ma'm, I'll venture any thing.
[Exit Jenny.
[Page 2] Narciſſa alone.
Why was I doom'd to envy the free-born villager?—or what do I derive from fortune or education, but reflections, which render my confinement inſupportable.—The family quarrel which ſeparates me from the man I love, and my father's unreaſonable ſuſpicions lie heavy on my ſpirits:—deny'd even to breathe that pure air, which nature deſigned as a common bleſſing to all her creatures!—Surely the time will come when I ſhall regain my liberty, and my Byron have an opportunity of reſuming the tender ſubject of his paſſion, ſo cruelly cut off in its infancy.
AIR I. Mrs. Baddely.
Soft FANCY thou truant to me,
My ſummons oh quickly obey!
Neglected by BYRON and thee,
How heavily paſſes the day!
Thy charms I've miſtaken for Love's,
So artfully doſt thou beguile,
Thy magic enlivens the groves,
When he has forgotten to ſmile!
Enter JENNY haſtily.
Jenny. Oh dear, ma'm!—charming news, ma'm!
Nar. Thou art a mad girl:—but what is the cauſe of this tranſport?
Jenny. Lud m'am! as I hope to live and breath, your papa is going down to the borough to vote for his friend, Mr. Indigo, the Nabob, and his nephew, Sir Harry Muff, the ſweet ſpark that lines his clothes with fur in the dog-days—and your lover that is to be—
[Page 3] Nar. My love that is to be!—but prithee go on—
Jen. And ſo, ma'm, he has given us leave to divert ourſelves in the plantations, till he returns:—he ſent Spy in ſearch of you, to tell you of it before he ſaw me.
Nar. Indeed!
Jen. Yes, indeed, and indeed, Ma'm!—I wiſh I could let ſomebody know of it, that—he might pay us a viſit.
Nar. That's impoſſible, Jenny:—but ſoft!—here comes my father's cabinet counſellor.
Enter SPY.
Nar. —Well, Sir, what's your buſineſs?
Spy. Buſineſs, madam!—no great matter of buſineſs truly; only his worſhip ordered me to tell you, that he was going to the election at Tipplewell; and ſo if you thought fit, you and Mrs. Jenny might recreate yourſelves in the pleaſure grounds (as it's a fine day) till he returns.
Jen. There's kindneſs for you, madam!
Spy. But he charg'd me to tell you, he'd have no lolling out of the ſummer-houſe window that looks to the high-road;—nor no ſinging, for fear you ſhould ſcare the wild-ducks that are hatching in the iſland;—nor no—
Jen. —Opening our eyes, I ſuppoſe, for fear we ſhould ſee any thing in the ſhape of a man!—now your bolt's ſhot!—Your maſter's very kind truly, after depriving us of every enjoyment for three months paſt, he now ſets a diſh before us, and generouſly tells us we muſt not taſte of it.
[Page 4] Spy. Why you know, Mrs. Jenny, I would refuſe you nothing; not even if you were to take a liking to me myſelf.
Jen. That would be a fine diſh indeed!
Nar. Come, come, no more of this; you may tell your maſter, I think myſelf obliged to him, even for this limited indulgence:—what does the fellow ſtand ſo like a ſtatue for?
Spy. I only waits to let you in, that's all.
Nar. You may ſave yourſelf that trouble, by giving the keys to my maid.
Jen. Come give them to me, Sir.—
Spy. —But axing your pardon, Miſs Narciſſa, that's not the caſe neither; I was ordered to lock the garden doors after you, and carry the keys back to your papa.
Nar. Lock us in, for what?
Jen. Ay, for what, Sir?
Spy. For—for—oh!—only for fear the turkies ſhould get in, and eat up all the ſtrawberries, that's all.
Nar. I underſtand my father's cruel ſuſpicions; but thou haſt more delicacy than thy maſter; go open the gates.
[Exit Spy.
Jen. Now, ma'm!—if Mr. Byron be the gentleman I take him for, he'll find it out ſome how or other that the old gentleman has left his watch, and be here in the twinkling of an eye.—
Nar. Ah Jenny! 'tis three long weeks—
Jen. So it is Ma'm, ſince he blew you the laſt kiſs from the orchard-wall, by moonlight:—I'm ſure it [Page 5] almoſt melted my heart, it was ſent up with ſuch a deep ſigh:—poor young gentleman!—I wiſh I was not of ſo tender a conſtitution myſelf in theſe caſes.
Nar. Heigh day!—why I ſhall look upon thee as my rival preſently:—Well, I muſt confeſs girl, that Byron finds in thee a powerful advocate, and I, a faithful confidante: I hope we ſhall be enabled to reward thy fidelity.
Jen. I ſhould be ſufficiently repaid, Ma'm, in ſeeing you happy:—dear me! if he would but come now and offer himſelf a candidate here, we might have a ſnug little election of our own:—he ſhould have my vote, and if I know any thing of eyes, I don't think, but you'd immediately return him.
Nar. Faith, I cannot ſwear that I wou'd not, Jenny.
Jen. Lord, Ma'm!—I can eaſily clamber over the pales if they do lock us in:—let me go then, and ſee if I can find him any where.
Nar. Heavens, girl, not for the world!—after ſuch an imprudent advance on my part, I need not wonder if a cool indifference ſhould ſucceed on his: for I have been told, Jenny, that men always ſet a value upon a conqueſt, in proportion to the eaſe, or difficulty with which it is obtain'd:—and yet I long to ſee him!—but come, I am impatient to enjoy once more the beauties of nature: I am going into the drawing-room for my book; you'll find me at one of my favourite ſeats, where I really long to reſt myſelf.
[Exit Nar.
JENNY, alone.
Poor young lady!—I wonder ſhe holds it out ſo long: no ſleep o'nights, and her little heart hurry ſcurry, hurry ſcurry! all day:—the deuce take the men ſay I, for a pack of unfeeling numſkulls; they are all alike— [Page 6] wonderfully loving, when locks and bars are between; but if you give 'em a favourable opportunity, not one in ten of them has the brains to make uſe of it.
AIR II. Mrs. Wrighten.
Fie! fie! ſilly man,
Your ſoft nonſenſe forego,
No heart you'll trepan
With your ſighing—heigho!
For that's not the way a fond damſel to woo;
A truce to your whining,
Your ſobbing, and pining;
But preſs her!
Careſs her!
The buſineſs is done, and ſhe'll ſoon buckle too.
[Exit Jenny.

1.2. SCENE II.

[Page 7]
Enter GENERAL WORRY, diſcovering JENNY as ſhe goes off.
Gen. There's a baggage for you now!—Zounds! if I had ſtole a march upon her a minute ſooner, I ſhould have catch'd 'em out!—Damme, if the life I now lead is not more perilous, than when I was upon the coaſt of France, and expected a mine to be ſprung upon me every ſtep I advanced.—A ſine bouncing girl, ſcribbling dying ſongs, and love letters, from morning till night, and ſnivelling day after day for Liberty, in order to run away with ſome ſcape-grace, who'll cut my throat to get in for my fortune;—and an abigail, crafty enough to debauch the morals of a Lapland virgin!—It's too much for an invalid of ſixty-five!—But, upon ſecond thought, there can come no great harm on letting them out for a little while:—beſides it will give Narciſſa a bloom againſt I bring Sir Harry home with me:—
[Enter SPY, whiſtling, and leading a large maſtiff.
Spy. Here, Dragon! Dragon!
Gen. Well Spy!—what have you let 'em out?
Spy. Yes, your honor's worſhip, I let 'em looſe:—it would have done your heart good to ſee 'em: they jump'd and friſk'd about, for all the world, like rabbits in a warren.
Gen. But did you double-lock all the gates?
Spy. Yes, your honor: and I've unmuzzled Dragon, and am going to let him looſe in the back yard.
[Page 8] Gen. Well, that's right; but ſuppoſe they ſhould clamber over the pales and elope? I've heard of ſuch things in my time!
Spy. So have I; but they muſt ſcramble deucedly if they do:—indeed, for the matter of that, Mrs. Jenny has a fine ſtride with her.
Gen. Are you ſure now, Spy, that you've ſeen no ſuſpicious kind of body lurking about the grounds this week paſt?
Spy. Not a ſoul, indeed, your honor; nor can I track any thing but the foot of farmer Brown's Tom cat, that comes caterwauling after Miſs Narciſſa's Tabby; and, if I catch him, I fancy I ſhall ſtop his rambles.
Gen. Well then, all's well!—but I'm waſteing time here—I'll ſet out—nothing ſhould have tempted me from home, but the fear of affronting my old friend Indigo:—Sir Harry will have a fine eſtate, in a ring-fence, cloſe to mine,—he's worth a little powder.—Come Spy, you and Dragon to your poſts:—you muſt have an hawk's eye upon 'em;—and be ſure you don't tipple upon guard:—behave like a ſoldier to day, and I'll give you leave to get drunk to morrow by day break.
Spy. Thank your honor, I'll take you at your word: [going returns] your worſhip [pointing to Dragon] we are a pair of ſtaunch friends, or deadly enemies.
[Exit with Dragon.]
Gen. —Now I recollect, there is certainly a conſpiracy againſt me, for I traced a man's foot upon the-tulip-bed, a full inch longer than Spy's or any of the gardeners.—If I find her out, I don't know what I ſhall do in my paſſion!—perhaps take a ſecond rib, and get a ſon and heir to diſinherit her!
[Page 9] AIR III. Mr. Parſons.
What new curſes ſpring up,
To repleniſh man's cup,
Tho' heaven in pity has borrowed his wife!
His daughter will grieve him,
With plots to deceive him:
But mine!—oh, I'll match her
The firſt time I catch her,
Attempt, a young jade, to embitter my life!


[Page 10]
NARCISSA diſcovered on a garden ſeat reading:—JENNY entering haſtily to her with a bird.
Jen. Law, ma'm!—I have caught the ſweeteſt little linnet in the green-houſe, that ever you ſaw in all your born days:—how it's little heart goes pit-a-pat!—only look at it, ma'm:—
Nar. Depriv'd of liberty myſelf, I cannot behold the pretty captive without emotion:—prithee, let it go:—
Jen. But perhaps we may never catch it again, ma'm:—and I want to hang it up as a companion to my little bull-finch.
Nar. The generous find more true delight in reſtoring their priſoners to freedom, than in all the advantages they derive from their captivity:—Pretty ſportive creatures!—tho' we envy them their liberty, never let it be ſaid, that we invade the ſmalleſt of their little privileges.
[While the ſymphony is playing, Jenny releaſes the bird.]
AIR IV. RONDO. Mrs. Baddely.
Love unfetter'd is a bleſſing
Nature's commoners enjoy;
Source of raptures paſt expreſſing,
Which no tyrant laws deſtroy.
[Page 11] Come ye ſongſters! wing around me,
Tell me all ye know of love:
Watchful of your young you've found me;—
—Hark! they carol thro' the grove,
[Love unfettered, &c. D. CAPO.
Jen. Ay, ma'm!—and I'd be as free as the lark myſelf, if I had the fortune that you'll have, and not be mew'd up any longer.
Nar. But there's ſuch a thing as reputation, Jenny;—and my father never fails to tell me, 'tis to be preſerved but by prudence and philoſophy.
Jen. Philoſophy! what the deuce does he mean by that?
Nar. That I ſhould ſubdue all my feelings I ſuppoſe, in compliment to his.
Jen. Is that his philoſophy?—oh never think of it, ma'm, 'till you can think of nothing elſe.—I dare ſwear your papa never thought any thing about it, 'till he found himſelf a philoſopher againſt his will.
AIR V. Mrs. Wrighten.
Since his worſhip forſooth,
Having loſt his ſweet tooth,
Forbids you Love's feaſt
Which no more he can taſte,
Be advis'd, and he'll find you a tartar!
Talk of lovers to vex him:
Intrigue to perplex him:—
What give nature the lye?
By my ſtars would not I!
'Though I dy'd the next moment her martyr.
[Page 12] Nar. There's ſomething of reaſon in that girl;—or rather, there's ſomething in it I believe that flatters my own inclinations:—be that as it may;—methinks if Byron were preſent, I ſhould not heſitate to fly with him any where.
Jen. Lud ma'm! if you could but behold yourſelf this moment, you'd ſee the charming difference between a deſpairing damſel, and one who loves with ſpirit:—for my part, I always think it time enough for a woman to deſpair, when you may count her age by her wrinkles.
Nar. Thy pleaſantry, girl, generally carries conſolation along with it:—Well! tho' I cannot but ſometimes lament his abſence, yet I receive comfort from thy council, which tells me, I ſhall one day or other ſee a reverſe of fortune:—Oh! how tranſporting the idea, Jenny!
AIR VI. Mrs. Baddely.
Thus the midnight tempeſt raging
Strikes the ſailor with diſmay,
Furious winds, and waves engaging,
Baniſh every hope of day!
But at dawn, their wrath ſubſiding,
Ocean wears a tranquil face;
Joy, through every current gliding
Calms his boſom into peace.
Jen. Huſh! huſh!—As I hope to be married, yonder's that arch-mongrel Spy upon the watch behind the mulberry-tree there;—and now he's coming this [Page 13] way:—what if I could prevail upon him to go down to the election, and make me deputy turnkey.
Nar. That's impoſſible; he gets too much by watching us, to give up his poſt for nothing.
Jen. Do you call love nothing?—Conſider what you feel yourſelf, madam, and then think of poor Spy's ſufferings.—Ha! ha! ha!—he's dying for me; and ſo if he won't betray every body elſe to obey me, he ſhall dangle upon that willow before I give him a ſingle grain of hope;—however, take your book, and go reſt yourſelf in your favourite bower near the fountain, while I try the power of my charms.—He muſt give up his maſter or me: ſo don't fear our ſucceſs.
Nar. Proſper thee my faithful girl!
[Exit Nar.
Enter SPY.
Spy. Your ſervant, Madam Jenny:—its a bleſſed fine day, and you're all alone, I ſee.—I am with you indeed,—but then I'm nobody, Mrs. Jenny, unleſs you'd ſmile upon me.
Jen. Smile upon you, Mr. Spy?—you are nobody indeed;—can an Engliſh-woman, and a friend to liberty and the rights of the conſtitution, ſmile upon a creature—
Spy. Creature!—am I a creature, Mrs. Jenny?—why you make me as bad as Dragon.
Jen. You are worſe, Mr. Spy: he's a dumb creature, and knows no better;—but you can talk, and talk finely, Mr. Spy.
Spy. Thank you for that, Mrs. Jenny:—to be ſure I can talk a little when I am half cock'd.
[Page 14] Jen. Fie for ſhame! then, Mr. Spy!—Fie for ſhame!—Can a freeborn woman like myſelf, who would give up my life, nay more—perhaps my honour for my country—
Spy. That is noble indeed!
Jenny. —Shall I ſmile upon a creature, who, whilſt his country's rights are in danger at the election of Tipplewell, can meanly, and ingloriouſly ſtay at home to watch the motions of two innocent young ladies, when he ſhou'd be huzzaing, drinking, and breaking windows, for liberty and property?—
Spy. Indeed, and ſo I ſhould:—how her fine ſpeeches melt a body!
Jen. O fie for ſhame, Mr. Spy!—never aſk for my ſmiles. My ſmiles, my hand, and my heart ſhall be given to a man only, and an Engliſhman.
Spy. I am both a man and an Engliſhman:—but what ſignifies all that, when I've no money in my pocket:—if I had but one piece of ſilver to prime me with a little, no man ſhould ſtand firmer by you and his country, than little Spy would.
Jen. You ſhant want for that then, tho' its the only companion to my ſilver thimble:—here Mr. Spy. [gives him money.
Spy. Now one little roguiſh ſmile, that I'd give a thouſand of theſe for,—and the keys are your own.
Jen. Deareſt Mr. Spy [courteſying and ſmiling] I thank you!
Spy. Had they been the keys of the ſtrong beer cellar, you ſhould have had 'em!—thus I ſurrender up the garriſon for the preſent, [giving her the keys] and now to protect the laws, liberties, and property of Old England: [going, returns.]—Perhaps, Mrs. Jenny, [Page 15] I may return bold enough to intreat another favor,—may I hope?
Jen. A patriot may hope—never to ſigh in vain!
Spy. That's noble again!—I'll only ſtep and mount my gaters, and return in an inſtant;—you ſhall let me out at the back gate, and I'll whiſk down to the borough as quick as a nine-pounder
That—for my maſter!—by your ſmiles I'm bleſt,
Ale! love! and liberty, now fire my breaſt.
[Exit Spy.
JENNY laughing.
Ha! ha! ha! there's a pretty fool now!—If the fate of a kingdom had depended upon it, the gudgeon would have bit juſt the ſame.—Let ſhort-ſighted politicians ſay what they will about the power of money, a little well-diſſembled love will go farther, take my word for it.
[Exit Jenny.

1.4. SCENE IV.

[Page 16]
A perſpective view to the General's park; on an oak tree near the paling of which is the uſual inſcription of—Men traps, and ſpring guns, &c.
Enter BYRON.
By this time the old buck is loſt in the general uproar of an election.—What a lucky dog was I to catch a glimpſe of him as he paſs'd along the road!—let him chooſe whom he pleaſes,—I am happy that I refus'd the ſolicitations of my friends, as my ſucceſs would but have increaſed his reſentment.—Give me, kind Fortune, but thy voice in Love's ſoft election, and I care not who are the repreſentatives of a tumultuous borough!—but here's the bleſt retreat of my Narciſſa.
AIR VII. Mr. Vernon.
How oft through this reſponſive grove
Has ſofteſt echo told my tale!
When e'er ſhe caught my notes of love,
She gently bore them down the vale!
The ſcene renew'd, my wakeful breaſt
Now joyful beats to love's alarms;
Ye powr's who pity the diſtreſt,
Tranſport me to Narciſſa's arms!
[Page 17] —Heighday!— [diſcovering the inſcription]—what new bugbear have we here?—‘"Men-traps and ſpring-guns ſet in theſe grounds DAY and NIGHT."’—Well done general!—Indeed you plann'd things a little better laſt war, or we ſhould not have heard ſo much of your exploits:—ha! ha! ha!—ſuch a device might ſecure your ducks and geeſe, but not the game I'm in purſuit of, I aſſure you:—ſo with my couſin Ranger—Up I go!—up I go!— [getting upon the pales.]—there—now if the Cyprian deity, has not taken care to draw all the charges of his ſpring-guns, and blunt the teeth of his ſteel-traps, I'm miſtaken in my goddeſs!—So love and fortune go with me. [jumps over.

2. ACT II.

[Page 18]

2.1. SCENE V.

JENNY alone.
I Knew I could coax him to make a fool of himſelf, and give me the keys:—Hark! did not I hear ſomething? No; I believe it was only the noiſe of the caſcade: but it put my heart into my mouth!—Egad, if Miſs Narciſſa was to be catch'd ſleeping—and the poor thing takes a very ſound nap—there would be a fine ſpot of work; but I believe there's no great danger, for the gardeners can't be come back from the election yet:—Well, I'll e'en take a run acroſs the green, and ſee if I can ſpy him for her.—Pretty creatures I ſhould like to bring them together!—and for all ſhe's ſo ſly, and looks ſo demure, my word for it ſhe'll have no objection.—If all women were like me, they'd cut the matter very ſhort, for my tongue and my heart always go together.
[Page 19] AIR VIII. Mrs. Wrighten.
Fine ladies may tell us
They hate pretty fellows,
Deſpiſe little Cupid—his quiver, and dart,
But when love's only by,
Not a prude will deny,
That man tho' a tyrant's the lord of her heart.
So bewitching a creature!
So noble each feature!
My boſom commands me to take his dear part;
Then how can I conceal
What my eyes will reveal?—
That he muſt, and he will be—the lord of my heart.

2.2. SCENE VI.

[Page 20]
BYRON diſcovered in an attitude of ſurpriſe, beholding NARCISSA aſleep in a Jeſſamin bower.
Byr. —Surely my eyes deceive me!—or is it ſome ſleeping Naiad of the neighbouring floods?—No; 'tis her! 'tis my Narciſſa's beavenly form, harmonious form'd by nature's matchleſs hand!
AIR IX. Mr. Vernon.
My boſom's on fire!
It throbs with deſire,
Say whither ye gods ſhall I fly?
Love preſſes my ſtay;
But ſhould I obey,
To my paſſions a victim I die.
[going, returns.
—But ſtay:—thus will I obey the dictates of honor as well as love. Thanks to love and the deſcriptive author of the Seaſons. [Takes a card from his pocket, and writes]—there:—in atonement for the innocent treſpaſs on thy ſoft repoſe, I will become thy watchful guardian, and protect thee from the eye of any rude obſerver:—but ſoft! my eager tranſport has diſturb'd her:—ſhe wakes—and ſee ſhe ſhrinks even at nature's voice;—alarm'd, and bluſhing at the doubtful breeze! I muſt conceal myſelf. [He retires behind a tree.
[Page 21] NARCISSA awaking.
Nar. —Methought I heard ſome human voice! Theſe ſleepleſs eyes, wearied with perpetual watchings, betrayed me ito ſlumber:—Sure no eye profane peep'd thro' yon cloſe receſs, and in my unguarded moments—Ah! what's here? [ſeeing the card]—then I'm undone. [Comes forward and reads.]
—"Sleep on my fair,
"Yet unbeheld, ſave by the ſacred eye
"Of faithful love: I go to guard thy haunt,
"To keep from thy receſs each vagrant foot,
"And each licentious eye!"
[After a pauſe of wonder]—It is—it is my Byron's well-known hand!—then why theſe mixt emotions hard to be deſcrib'd? why heaves my labouring breaſt, except to bid eternal welcome to its long-lov'd lord?—No, my Byron, no! thy virtuous merit ſhall go no longer unrewarded:—but where is he?—fled!—aſſiſt me then love's favourite muſe, that thus expreſſing my own feelings, I may alleviate the ſeverity of his.—
[She writes and ſings
AIR X. Mrs. Baddely.
Dear youth my fond heart you have won,
Tis a truth, that it cannot deny;
Love's fetters have made us but one,
Then tell me,—ah! why didſt thou fly?
[Page 22] My hand ſhall thy honour repay,
As witneſs this amorous ſigh!
So believe me when hither you ſtray,
You need not,—
[Byron diſcovering himſelf ſings—I never will fly!
Nar. [dropping the card] Heavens defend me!
Byr. Forgive me, lovely maid, for thus breaking in upon thoſe angelic ſtrains:—if I have miſtaken their ſweet harmonious burthen, I am ſufficiently puniſhed for my preſumption.
Nar. [beholding him affectionately] My faithful Byron!—why ſhould my tongue deny, what my looks, ſighs, and every action of my life proclaim?—In the infancy of affection, hypocriſy may be merit; but when love is aſſured of love, concealment would be folly, and prudery a crime.
AIR XI. Mrs. Baddely and Mr. Vernon.
—Here I plight a maiden's vow!—
—By thy beauteous ſelf I ſwear!—
Thou ſhalt be my guardian now!
Thou ſhalt be my only care!
Here we plight, &c.—
[Page 23] Enter JENNY haſtily.
Jen. Oh, ſtop your piping!—who the deuce would have thought of ſeeing you here— [to Byron—Your papa, m'am, is this moment return'd, and Sir Harry Muff along with him; they'll be in at the gate in the twinkling of an eye!
Nar. Oh we are undone then, what ſhall we do?
Byr. How for your ſake ſhall I avoid them?
Jen. Oh dear m'am, I have it!—run both of you with me into the temple, and I'll bolt you in ſafe enough:—I've been forced to play at bo-peep with him there a hundred and a hundred times before now myſelf—in! in! in!—
[Exeunt to the temple.


[Page 24]
Sir Harry. No Sir;—theſe things never give a moments uneaſineſs to a man of the world, Sur mon hone ur.
Gen. No?—What the devil, be kick'd out of your birthright by an impudent young ſcoundrel, the ſecond ſon of an obſtinate fool of a baronet, and not take fire at it? You'd make a damn'd fine ſoldier!—
Sir Harry. We take fire at nothing, Gen. Worry: You fine gentlemen of the laſt century, wore yourſelves out with your gunpowder paſſions before you were men:—for example, your fire has burnt you to the bone, General; ſo that you are in reality, nothing but a collection of tinder and touchwood.
Gen. Damme, you've not a ſingle ſpark of fire in your whole compoſition.
Sir Harry. Paſſion of any kind agitates the human frame moſt horribly; and therefore we of the high ton have no paſſions at all; indeed our lives may be properly ſtiled, a kind of agreeable vegetation.
Gen. Agreeable vegetation!—what a devil of a huſband will this fellow make? [aſide.
Sir Harry. But I'm all agog for a ſight of your delicious daughter—they tell me ſhe's a fine cretur; is ſhe any thing like Maria?— [Taking off his hat]
Gen. What the devil has he got there?—A picture in his hat inſtead of a button!
Sir Harry. —Apropos, has Narciſſa good teeth?
[Page 25] Gen. What the devil will he aſk me next? [aſide] I'll anſwer for't, ſhe'll do your table no diſcredit, if that's all;—but zounds—
Sir Harry. Table! why my dear General, we do not underſtand each other:—Do you ſeriouſly imagine, that teeth in this enlighten'd age, like your green handled knives and forks, are mechanically conſtructed for eating?
Gen. Why, what the devil would you have 'em conſtructed for?
Sir Harry. Quel ſauvage! (aſide) why General, if you muſt know, the teeth belonging to perſons of faſhion, are tortur'd into beauteous ſemi-circles, and poliſh'd thrice a day for the admiration of the beholders.
Gen. And that's the reaſon, I ſuppoſe, why our fine Gentlemen are always upon the broad grin;—a ſet of ſlop dawdle puppies!
Sir Harry. Why, do you really think, General, that I ſhould cut ſo capital a figure in a faſhionable grin, if I had delv'd all my days in tough, old Engliſh roaſt beef?
Gen. I tell you, I neither know nor care:—but one thing I fancy you'll find, that my daughter will not eaſily be prevailed upon to give up her notions of ſubſtantials, in compliment to your delicate appetite.
Sir Harry. Oh leave that to me, General.—I ſhall ſoon make a convert of her; or why have I ſcaled the lofty Alps, and ſwept the aromatic vales of bleſt Italia:—if Narciſſa is fortunate enough to have a guſto for poetry and muſic, I ſhall make a rapid conqueſt.
Gen. Damn your muſic and poetry! for both of you together, would turn Worry-Hall into a mad-houſe. [aſide.)
[Page 26] Sir Harry. You muſt know, General, that the Muſes all Nine, ſmil'd upon my birth, and Apollo ſtood godfather to me by proxy.
Gen. Damme, but I believe he's touch'd! [aſide.
Sir Harry. I have written a ſong, that has made a little noiſe in the polite world;—and tach'd the crotchets to it myſelf.
Gen. His crotchets!—Oh he's paſt recovery. [aſide.
Sir Harry. —Nay, the Scavoire vivre, of which I've the honour to be a member, forc'd their annual prize upon me for the compoſition.—You muſt know, we were rallied a little upon a certain occaſion by the female wits of the Coterie:—ſo you may gueſs who was fix'd upon for our literary champion. (affectedly) You ſhall have it, though it will loſe much of its effect, from the preſſure of an Engliſh atmoſphere, upon the delicate organs of my pipe. General (walking about haſtily,) mad as a March hare!
AIR XII. Mr. Dodd.
Ladies in vain,
Why entertain,
Hopes to bewitch us with loves artful wiles?
Ceaſe to do ſo
Since you all know,
We have his patent for dimples and ſmiles.
Gentler beaux that pow'r poſſeſſing
Yield no more to your alarms,
Each his ſcented ſelf careſſing,
Quite enamour'd with his charms!
[Page 27] Pretty playthings all adieu!
Now diſſolve in am'rous ſighs,
We a ſofter clime purſue,
Froze too long beneath your eyes.
Da Capo.
Gen. —Pſhaw! damn your ſinging, it may be very fine, but I'm not in a humour to reliſh it:—I'm touch'd to the quick at being flung by the Byrons;—and yet you ſeem to mind it no more, than the loſs of a match of billiards.
Sir Harry. My dear General, be compos'd as I am;—and don't fret yourſelf in this abſurd manner:—
Gen. I won't be compos'd;—damme, but I will fret myſelf!—Indeed if I was of your cucumber like diſpoſition, you might expect to find me as fine a piece of ſtill life, agreeable vegitation as yourſelf; but—no, no, no, Sir!—
Sir Harry. Now indeed, General, I mean to reſent their treatment; and to ſhew you I'm in earneſt, I'll lodge a petition againſt them by this light.
Gen. Ay; why there you are right, for your grounds are good enough:—
Sir Harry. 'Pon honour, General, you ſhall be commanding officer for the day.
Gen. If that's the caſe, I have a plan:—but I'm ſo tir'd:—walk with me into the temple, and I'll tell it to you:—I am ſure we ſhall diſcover ſome underhand dealings of this young raſcal's at the bottom, and don't doubt of bringing it home to him. (finding the doors faſt)—What the devil's the meaning of this?—why the door's faſten'd within.— [liſtens at the key-hole]—Zounds! here are ſome villains concealed with a [Page 28] deſign to rob the houſe; liſten, Sir Harry, (Sir Harry puts his ear to the door) here Robbin! Matthew! Jerry!—why, where the devil are theſe ſcoundrels got to?
Sir Harry. Why really, General, I do hear a kind of confederate buz:—
[Enter Robbin.
Rob. What's your honour's will?
Gen. Here, break open the door directly:—ſome thieves have hid themſelves withi n ſide!—
Rob. Have they, your worſhip?—then we'll ſoon have them out.—Come along my boys! (Enter Mat. and Jerry.)—Thieves in our garden! we'll let 'em know that nobody ſhall encroach upon our privileges, without a good ducking, however:—
[They burſt open the door with their ſpades, and diſcover Byron:—the gardeners laugh.]
Gen. —Hell and the devil! what have we got here?—your ſervant, Mr. Byron:—I give you joy of your election, Sir!— (ſneeringly)—how compos'd the raſcal ſtands!—what, I ſuppoſe, you are a ſtick of agreeable vegitation too?
Sir Harry. This is rather too much, damme! upon his return for one borough, to be canvaſſing for another:—Don't you ſmoak a pettycoat, General? [The General looking inquiſitively.]
Byr. Gentlemen, my preſent ſituation prevents me from returning your raillery:—
Gen. Fire! and ſmoke! my daughter's maid Jenny!—why huſſy, how dare you be lock'd up with ſuch a rake as this.
Jen. Law Sir! the gentleman only aſk'd to ſee the temple, and ſo I thought there was no harm in ſhewing it him.
[Page 29] Sir Harry. Comingly kind, by all that's plump, and lovely!
Gen. How the devil did he get in when the gates were all lock'd?—but it's a lye, huſſy, he came caterwauling after you; but get about your buſineſs, you jade! you ſhan't ſtay in my houſe another minute!—
Byr. Nay then, Sir, I hope it will not offend you, ſince it can no longer be concealed, if I produce the moſt delicate teſtimony of our innocence.—
[Stepping back diſcovers Narciſſa.]
Sir Harry. Doublets by this light!
Gen. Narciſſa! Traytor! deliver up my daughter, whom you have ſeduced, that I may puniſh her as ſhe deſerves!
Byr. Retire Narciſſa, into the citadel, I beſeech you, and I'll defend you to the laſt:—
Narc. I beg you'll give me up, your danger overpowers me. [To Byron.]
Jen. Dear Ma'm, you are only to reward the conqueror; you have nothing to do with the battle:—beſides, Mr. Muff will take care there ſhan't be much blood ſpilt.—
Gen. Matchleſs impudence!—what! laugh'd at into the bargain?—Seize him, Robin, and drag him to the canal:—Raſcals, why don't you obey my orders?
Rob. What! duck young Maſter Byron:—not I, I love him too well?—
Other gardeners. And ſo do I:—
Gen. Villains, you are my ſlaves; and I'll make you do what I command you:—lay hold on him, I ſay!
[Page 30]
AIR XIII. TRIO. Mr. Banniſter, Mr. Fawcet, and Mr. Kear.
He's the pride of the borough, god bleſs him ſay I!
I've poll'd for his honour, and will till I die;
In vain then you rave,
I'll not be your ſlave,
Tho' I'm a poor fellow of humble degeee:
Which of you then will bear it?
Will you?
—MAT. No I ſwear it!
Or you? JERRY. No I ſwear it!
There is but one way then to ſet us all free:
We'll none of us bear it:
Will you?—both—No, I ſwear it:
Nor BOB, I declare it:
This, this is the way then, for now we are free.
[Throw down their ſpades, &c.]
Byr. You muſt excuſe me Gen'ral, though I am under the neceſſity even in this place, of defending your daughter, from any violence on her inclinations.
Gen. Scoundrels! I'll be revenged! Oh! here comes Spy!—fetch my double-barrel'd horſe-piſtols this inſtant; why the raſcal's drunk! [Enter Spy.]
Spy. Byron for ever! ſhoot who, him?—Lord love his heart—Byron for ever!—I tell you that won't do:—there's no flints:—I would not hurt a hair of his head.—Byron for ever!— (turning to Sir Harry)—So I think we wa'n't troubled to chair your fine gingerbread carcaſe:—damme, you know'd a trick worth too of that!
[Page 31] Sir Harry. Filthy brute!
Gen. The devil has bewitched 'em, all to conſpire againſt me! Get out of my ſight, villain, or I ſhall be the death of you:—
Spy. Oh! if that's all—I can punch it:—Byron for ever!—tho' he don't want a ſecond:—he's ſpunk:—he can manage 'em both—No Muffs and Indigo Nabobs—Byron for ever!—
[Exit reeling.]
Gen. Powder and fury! I believe there's neither a brave, nor an honeſt man left in the kingdom.—Look you, Sir Harry, win her and wear her:—What! I ſuppoſe, I muſt fight this fellow myſelf (goes up to the door) but here he comes,—if he refuſes to ſurrender her, put him to death!
Sir Harry. Well, if it muſt be ſo, it muſt; tho' 'pon my ſoul, I've no butchering ideas about me (half draws)—come, good Sir, don't put me to the fatigue of chaſtiſing you.
Byr. Sir Harry, you have more humanity:—
Sir Harry. No, ſplit me if I have!—She's mine by deed of gift; if you diſpute that title, ſhe muſt be mine by force of arms;— (Draws, and puts himſelf in an attitude.)
Byr. Say you ſo?—come on then:— (drawing a piſtol, Sir Harry ſprings back.)
Gen. Why, what the devil, are you afraid of the ſmell of powder? [To Sir Harry.
Sir Harry. No, not in the leaſt, General, (confuſedly)—I am—I am—only diſconcerted a little for,—for fear of the ladies;—you ſaw they retired diſorder'd: beſides, Sir, I'm not upon an equal footing with the aſſaſſin.
Byr. No more you were, when you valiantly drew [Page 32] upon a naked man.:—however, Sir, not to alarm you with the ſuperiority of my weapon, thus I reſign it into your hands [Sir Harry receives the piſtol, cocks it, and advances.
Sir Harry. Oh then the citadel's our own General!
Byr. When you have won it, Sir! (preſents a ſecond piſtol.
Sir Harry. [Retiring aſſrighted.] Split me, but the ruffian has got another!
Gen. [looking earneſtly at Byron] Damme, that's noble too! It's almoſt a ſin to kill ſo fine a fellow:—but the calls of honor muſt be obey'd:—come, you ſhall ſettle it like ſoldiers however:—I little thought I ſhould ever ſee another ſhot fired, (meaſures ten paces with his cane,
Sir. Harry. My dear General, what are you about?
Gen. About?—Why meaſuring the ground:—you would not fight like a couple of foot-pads, with the muzzle of the piſtol in each others mouth, would you? What the devil ails you now?
Sir. Harry. Dear General, your ear a moment (whiſpering, my conſcience forbids me.
Gen. Conſcience! who the devil ever heard of a man's having conſcience, who had no heart?—however, Sir Harry, I ſee how the land lies:—You need give yourſelf no further concern about me or my family:—I am determin'd to have a brave man for my ſon-in-law, tho' I croſs the ocean for him.
Byr. You need not put yourſelf to that inconveniency, Sir, when you behold in me, one, who is ready to lay down his life in defence of your daughter's virtue, and your honor.
Gen. Why, tho' my enemy—thou art a fine fellow I own:—and if I could forget the family grudge—
[Page 33] Byr. Believe me, Sir, I have lamented in ſecret the groundleſs animoſity, that has ſo long ſubſiſted between you and my father, ſo fatal to the early overtures I made the lovely Narciſſa.
Gen. Zounds! but when I recollect,—to be jockey'd by you out of the borough, and by ſuch underhand means!—
Byr. Why, Sir, you ſurprize me!—they have choſen that Gentleman, have they not? [pointing to Sir Harry.]
Gen. No, Sir, they have not.—what, you don't know, I ſuppoſe, that they have return'd you?
Byr. Upon my honour, no, Sir:—I have been employ'd ugon a much more agreeable ſervice:—and to convince you of it, as they have choſen me, contrary to my wiſhes, I am ready to reſign my ſeat in favour of any one, you ſhall appoint.
Gen. No, you young dog:—you ſhan't do that neither:—I am a little cooler than I was:—that piece of ſtill life there, has brought me to my ſenſes: [pointing to Sir Harry] I begin now to think, that the unanimous choice of a free body of people, is too ſacred, to be ſuperceded by the will of any individual; beſides your courage has charm'd me:—come, you young dog, you may releaſe your priſoners, they ſhall be upon their parole, 'till I paſs ſentence. [Byron opens the door of the temple, and brings them a little forward.] You look mighty cunning, Sir Harry, after looſing Tipplewell, and the richeſt heireſs in the county, through your delicate feelings.—damn ſuch feelings, ſay I! you'll cut a pretty figure in the modern hiſtory of Maccaronyiſm!
Sir Har. Why, good General, you don't know me yet:—I confeſs I have loſt a pair of pretty toys!—but with reſpect [...] a real fine gentleman, [Page 34] is infinitely beyond it's reach, I aſſure you:—ſo I ſhall laugh at the dinner-hunting tribe.
Gen. Why, where the devil did this fellow ſpring from!— (Byron, Jenny, and Narciſſa, coming forward) —I believe the young rogue deals in magic with both of us— (to Narciſſa) —come hither, girl, don't tremble ſo:—I begin to think, that I've held out too long with Sir Walter—and therefore I don't know how I can ſhew a heartier deſire of reconciliation, than by rewarding his ſon of merit, with my only daughter and fifty thouſand pounds:—What ſays Narciſſa?—but I need not aſk her!—
Nar. If I may diſcover my partiality for Mr. Byron, without offending you, Sir, I ſhould tell you, that I have every reaſon in the world to admire and eſteem him.
Gen. Come hither, then, both of you; as an earneſt of my approbation, there—I've joined your hands before the parſon; and may neither you, nor I live to repent it.
Byr. This, Sir, is ſo generous, my life will be too ſhort to repay the obligation.
Sir Har. Demme, but I cut a pretty figure here truly!—chous'd out of my own borough, and a fine girl, by the ſon of a fox-hunting baronet;—and laughed at by the old Jew of a father, for endeavouring to accommodate him!—Well!—What's to be done?—Why, upon my arrival at Almack's, I muſt carry it off, for the preſent, by dint of bronze; tell 'em the girl was damn'd ugly; and, that the other borough had loſt it's charter.
Gen. Come, come, Sir Harry; every man's not born to be a giant-killer;—(ironically) if it be not beneath the dignity of a fine gentleman, to rejoice at the ſucceſs [Page 35] of a worthier man than himſelf, adjourn with us to Worry-hall.
Sir Har. Any thing for a frolic, General, for I'm in tip-top ſpirits.
Gen. All that now remains, is for me to endeavour to prevail upon Sir Walter to meet us, and conſent to make the little rogues happy:—for my own part, I am now fully convinced, that the tender affections were never implanted in the human breaſt, to be call'd forth, or ſuppreſſed, by the caprice of an unfeeling parent.
Roſy archer come away!
Give your train a holiday,
Lay your bow and quiver by,
Ceaſe to wound,—and hither hie!
Roſy archer, &c.
Hither bring the ſmiling graces,
And the loves with cherub faces,
Bid the valleys laugh and ſay,
"Love has made a holiday!"
Hither bring, &c.
[Page 36]
Lips of coral! eyes ſo pretty!
Out of luck foregad was I:
Tho' I'm chous'd, I'll join the ditty;—
Down thou little riſing ſigh.
May Love's tender prittle-prattle
Keep the day for ever bright,
And no jealous tittle-tattle,
Mar the raptures of the night!
May Love's tender, &c.
Gentlefolks if you'll permit me
I've a word or two to ſay,
Tho' perhaps it mayn't befit me,
On my lady's wedding-day:
Graveſt Don with eye of ferrit
Tho' he practiſe all his art,
Cannot break a woman's ſpirit,
Till he's ſtrength to break her heart.
Graveſt Don, &c.
Brother grey-beards ſhort's my ſtory,
Read your features in this glaſs,
Here's a convert now before ye
Metamorphos'd from an aſs:—
[Page 37] When a ſwain of merit woos her,
Make your girl a happy wife;
Nature bids you not refufe her,
In the CRISIS of her life.
When a ſwain of merit woos her,
Make your girl a happy wife;
Nature bids you not refuſe her,
In the CRISIS of her life!


AND SPOKEN BY MR. WESTON, Entering with a large Dog.
OH! Lud! What authors have we now adays!
A farmer this!—Ecod or what you pleaſe:
He ſwears (tho' we've but juſt got thro' one ſweat-o)
He'll make us ſpeak an epilogue duetto.—
What ſay you Dragon?—Why's your tail ſo low?—
Be not chop-fall'n—they can't damn you, you know:—
What dumb my comrade?—terrible diſaſter;
So I muſt puff for you, and for your maſter.
Ye Gods be kind!—No cat-call interference!
Believe, Tom Weſton, 'tis his firſt appearance.—
You would not think it; but the rogue's ſo ſteady,
He's in the privy-council here, already;
The Prompter gives him merit univerſal,
Becauſe— [whiſtling] his whiſtle calls him to rehearſal;
Beſides, he imitates no tragic brother,—
Who makes him pull down one bill—poſt another;
Tho' he's not ſleek;—and has an hungry eye,
(A poet's dog is never fed too high)
Yet he is ſound, Sirs, and in good condition;
He has no whimſies—no indiſpoſition:
When e'er in letters large the bills he graces,
You're ſure of ſeeing him—if you have places;
He'll top the bills, if to this text he ſticks;
A dog of parts—and have no puppy tricks?—
[Page] Odzooks, I've loſt his buſineſs in his praiſe;
Oh!—here he's ſent to guard his maſter's bays.
A Dragon, once they ſay, kept watch and ward,
Some curious golden fruit from thieves to guard.
So to protect the poet's fruit from riot,
Secure ſome guineas, and a better diet,
He's ſent this Dragon critics!—So be quiet:
Sharp then's the word, my ſlender waiſted couſins,
He'll ſwallow macaronies by the dozens!
Growling, and ſnarling,—don't let this dog catch ye,
At all your tearing-work he'll over match ye;
If by ill humours, you our bard wou'd puzzle,
I've nothing elſe to do—but ſlip the muzzle!
Tho' your ſo high (to the galleries) You too he ſoon wou'd tame;
DRAGON has wings, if I but ſhew him game.
But ſhou'd his maſter's ſing-ſong melt your ſoul,
He'll be as ſoft as—Signor Roſignol:
Will with harmonious howlings ſwell each note,
And bark ſweet muſic—"only from his throat."