Animal magnetism, a farce: in three acts, as performed at the Theatre Royal, Covent-garden,.
- Doctor Mr. Quick,
- La Fluer Mr. Blanchard,
- Marquis de Lancy, Mr. Mackready,
- Jeſfrey Mr. Croſs,
- Piccard Mr. Rock,
SCENE.—An Apartment in the DOCTOR's Houſe.
A Table, a Chair, Pen, Ink, and Paper.
Enter CONSTANCE haſtily, meeting LISETTE.
Conſtance. LISETTE, Liſette, who do you think I have juſt ſeen.
Liſ. Your old guardian I ſuppoſe.
Con. Do you think I ſhould look thus pleaſant if it was he I meant?
Liſ. Who then, our jailor who keeps the keys?
Con. What poor Jeffrey, ha, ha, ha!—how you talk.
Liſ. No, no, I gueſs who you mean, the young Marquis De Lancy, and he has paſſed ſo frequently under your window within theſe few days, that I am amazed your guardian, with all his ſuſpicions, has not obſerved him.
Con. He has walked by above ten times within this hour, and every time with his eyes fixed up to the lattice of my window, and I had no heart to remove from it, for every time he ſaluted me with the moſt reſpectful bow.
Liſ. Was his valet with him?
Con. No, but I ſaw another perſon in deep converſation with him, a ſtrange looking man, who appeared like one of the faculty, for his dreſs very much reſembled that of my guardian's.
Con. But what moſt ſurpriſed me, he had a letter in his hand, which he reſpectfully held up to me; but I could not reach it.
Liſ. I know who it is—La Fluer, valet to the Marquis, diſguiſed as a doctor, and I have no doubt but under that diſguiſe he will find means to introduce himſelf to your old guardian, and perhaps be brought into the very houſe, and if I can aſſiſt his ſcheme I will; for is it not a ſhame the doctor ſhould dare here in Paris to forbid both you and your ſervant to ſtir from home; lock us up, and treat us as women are treated in Spain.
Con. Never mind, Liſette, don't put yourſelf in a paſſion, for we can learn to plot and deceive, and treat him as men are treated in Spain.
Liſ. Right, Madam, and to prove I am not leſs inclined than yourſelf to Spaniſh manners, I am as much in love as you are.
Con. Not with the Marquis?
Liſ. Do you think I don't know better where it is my duty to love? I am in love with his man—
Con. I wiſh I knew the contents of that letter he held out to me.
Liſ. That you are beloved—admired, I can tell every word in it—I know every ſentence as well as if I had read it—and now, madam, it is my advice, you ſit down and anſwer it directly.
Con. Before I have read it?
Liſ. Yes, yes, give your anſwer at the time you receive his letter—conſider how convenient it will [Page 5] be to give the one, while you take the other—we are ſo watched you know, that we ought to let no opportunity paſs, for fear we ſhould never get another, and therefore when he finds means to ſend his letter, you muſt take the ſame to return yours.
Con. But if my guardian ſhould even know I had written to a gentleman.
Liſ. I'll write for you—and ſhould there be any diſcovery the letter will be in my hand writing, not yours—we muſt loſe no time—the Doctor is abroad at preſent, and it muſt be both written and delivered before his return.
(She ſits at the table, and begins to write.)
Con. But my dear Liſette—
Liſ. Don't put me out.
Con. What are you ſaying?
(writing)What you are thinking.
Con. You don't know my thoughts?
Liſ. I do—And here they are in this letter.
Con. Let me look at it.
Liſ. No don't examine your thoughts, I beg you won't (ſolds the letter and riſes) beſides, you have no time to read it, I muſt run to the garden gate and deliver it immediately—the worſt difficulty is, having for near an hour to ſupplicate this poor ſimple decrepit'd fool of the old Doctor's to open me the garden gate for a moment.
Con. The Doctor has lately appointed Jeffrey his apothecary—he is buſy preparing of medicines and will be angry at being diſturb'd.
Liſ. No matter—it may ſave the life of ſome of his Maſter's patients.
Jef. You made me overthrow the whole decoction
Liſ. Great Apothecary!
Con. And alone worthy the phyſician under whom you have received inſtructions.
Jef. I am very ſorry I overthrew the decoction, for it was for my uſe—my leg is in pain ſtill, and I am not yet ſatisfied the dog was not mad.
Liſ. I tell you I am ſure he was not, and had you ſuffer'd him to live it would have prov'd ſo.
Jef. My maſter order'd me to kill him.
Liſ. Merely to make you believe he was mad, and to ſhew his ſkill by pretending to preſerve you from the Infection.
Jef. Nay, don't ſpeak againſt my maſter.
Liſ. Who was it undertook to cure your eyes?
Jef. He, and thank heaven, Liſette, I ſhall not ſuffer any more from that.
Liſ. Why then do you wear a bandage?
Jef. To hide the place where it was.
Liſ. And is it thus the Doctor cured you?
Jef. He was ſo kind to put my left eye out, in order to ſave the right.
Con. Well ſtill you are more fortunate than the God of Love, for he has no eyes at all—
Jef. And I ſhallhave two very ſoon, for my maſter has promis'd me to buy me one at the great manufactory, which will be much handſomer than either of my other—a very handſomer glaſs one.
Liſ. And if the Doctor will remake you thus [Page 7] piece by piece, in time my dear Jeffrey, you may become a very pretty man—but you know Jeffrey, I love you even as you are.
Jef. Love me—that's a good joke—Liſette, I am afraid you want ſomething of me, you ſpeak to me ſo pleſantly.
Liſ. Want ſomething of you—how cou'd ſuch an idea enter your head.
Jef. Becauſe when you don't want ſomething of me, you huff me, and cuff me,—from morning to night, eh, eh! you look no more as you do now, why if I was dying, I durſt hardly ſpeak to you.
Liſ. Well henceforward you ſhall have no reaſon to complain. But do you know Jeffrey, I have a little-favour to aſk of you.
Jef. Aye! I thought ſo—
Con. My dear Jeffrey, we will make you any recompence.
Jef. What is it you want, if I can do it without offending my maſter I will.
Liſ. If you don't tell him, he'll never know it—
Jef. But I tell him every thing—he pays me my wages for telling—and I muſt not take them without earning them.
Con. If money is of ſuch value to you, here take my purſe.
Jef. No it is not money I want, it is ſomething elſe
Liſ. What, what, then.
(looking at Liſette with affection.)Oh, Mrs. Liſette, you know what I [...], but you always denied me.
Jef. Oh, I won't tell him of that I proteſt.
Con. Well, Jeffrey what is your favour?
Jef. Juſt one ſalute of Mrs. Liſette.
Liſ. Oh, if that's all, after you have oblig'd us, you ſhall have twenty.
Jef. But I had rather have one now, than the twenty you promiſe after.
Liſ. Come then, make haſte if it muſt be ſo.
(afer ſaluting her)Oh the firſt kiſs of the girl one loves is ſo ſweet.
Liſ. Now you are ready to comply with our requeſt
Jef. Tell me what it is?
Liſ. To give us the key of the garden gate.
Jef. I am very ſorry I can't oblige you.
Liſ. Why not?
Jef. For ſeveral reaſons.
Liſ. Tell me one?
Jef. In the firſt place I have not got the key—my maſter took it with him when he went out.
Liſ. You know you tell a falſchood, he has not got it—is this your bargain and your gratitude—
Jef. Nay if you are angry at that give me the kiſs again.
Liſ. Ugly, fooliſh, yet artful and cunning wretch, leave the room, you make love to me indeed? Why I always hated you, laugh'd at you, and deſpiſed you.
Jef. I know that—did not I tell you when you ſpoke ſo kindly to me you wanted ſomething, how then could you expect me to oblige you.
Liſ. I ſhall ever deteſt the ſight of you.
[Page 9] Jef. Unleſs you want ſomething, and then you'll call me again—and then I ſhall kiſs you again, ha, ha, ha!
[Exit ſhewing the key.
Liſ. I never was ſo provok'd in my life.
Con. My dear Liſette, If our two lovers, the Marquis and his Servant, prove no more fortunate in their ſchemes, than we have been in ours, I fear, I muſt according to his deſire, marry the Doctor—and you Jeffrey.
Liſ. I marry Jeffrey—here comes the Doctor.
Doc. What an indignity—I can't put up with it—I can't bear it—I'm ready to choak with paſſion.
Con. Dear Sir what is the matter?
Doc. I am diſgraced, ruined and undone.
Con. And what has cauſed it Sir?
Doc. A conſpiracy of the blackeſt kind—man's weakneſs is arrived to its higheſt ſummit; and there is nothing wanting but merit, to draw upon us the moſt cruel perſecution.
Liſ. Ah! I underſtand—the faculty have been conſpiring againſt you.
Doc. They have refuſed to grant me a diploma—forbid me to practice as a phyſician, and all becauſe I don't know a parcel of inſignificant words; but exerciſe my profeſſion according to the rules of reaſon and nature; Is it not natural to die, then if a dozen or two of my patients have died under my hands, is not that natural?
Liſ. Very natural indeed.
Doc. But thank heaven, in ſpite of the ſcandalous [Page 10] reports of my enemies I have this morning nine viſits to make.
Con. Very true, Sir, a young ward has ſent for you to attend his guardian—three nephews have ſent for you to attend their uncles, very rich men—and five huſbands have ſent for you in great haſte to attend their wives.
Doc. And is not that a ſign they think what I can do—is it not a ſign they have the higheſt opinion of my ſkill, and the faculty ſhall ſee I will riſe ſuperior to their machinations—I have enter'd upon a project, that I believe will teaze them—I have made overtures to one of their profeſt enemies, a man whom they have cruſhed, and who is the chief of a ſect juſt ſprung up, of which perhaps, you never heard, for ſimply by the power of Magnetiſm they can cure any ill, or inſpire any paſſion.
Con. Is it poſſible?
Doc. Yes—and every effect is produced upon the frame, merely by the power of the Magnet, which is held in the hand of the phyſican, as a wand of a conjuror is held in his, and it produces wonders in phyſic equally ſurpriſing.
Con. And will you become of this new ſect.
Doc. If they will recieve me—and by this time the Preſident has, I dare ſay recieved my letter, and I wait impatiently for an anſwer.
Jef. A Doctor at the door, deſires to ſpeak with you.
Doc. A Doctor in my houſe?
Doc. Very likely—I dare ſay 'tis Doctor Myſtery ſhew him in Jeffry.
Jef. Pleaſe to walk this way, Sir.
Enter LA FLUER, dreſſ'd as a Doctor.
La Fluer. Doctor, I hope I have your pardon, that tho' no farther acquaintance than by letter, I thus wait upon you to pay my reſpects.
(to Liſette)It it the ſame I ſaw with the Marquis.
(aſide)And it is La Fluer his valet.
La Fluer. And to aſſure you, that I, and all my brethren have the higheſt reſpect for your talents, and ſhall be happy to have you a member of our ſociety.
Doc. I preſume, Sir, you are Doctor Myſtery, author and firſt diſcoverer of that healing and ſublime Art Animal Magnetiſm.
La Fluer I am.
Doc. And it will render you immortal—my curioſity to become acquainted with the forms and effects of your power is ſcarcely to be repreſled a moment, will you indulge me with the ſmalleſt ſpecimen of your art, juſt to ſatisfy my curioſity.
La Fluer. You are then intirely ignorant of it?
La Fluer. And ſo am I. (aſide) Hem—hem—you muſt know Doctor—
Doc. Shall I ſend the women out of the room.
La Fluer. By no means—no, no, but I will ſhew both you and them a ſpecimen of my art directly— [Page 12] You know Doctor, their is an univerſal fluid which ſpreads throughout all nature.
Doc. A fluid?
La Fluer. Yes, a fluid—which is—a—fluid—and you know, Doctor that this fluid—generally called a fluid, is the moſt ſubtile of all that is the moſt ſubtle—Do you underſtand me.
Doc. Yes, yes—
La Fluer. It aſcends on high, (looking down) and deſcends on low, (looking up) penetrates all ſubſtances, from the hardeſt metal, to the ſofteſt boſom—you underſtand me I precieve?
Doc. Not very well.
La Fluer. I will give you a ſimile then—
Doc. I ſhall be much oblig'd to you.
La Fluer. This fluid is like a river—You know what a river is?
Doc. Yes, certainly.
La Fluer. This fluid is like a river, that—that—runs—that—goes—that—gently glides—ſo—ſo—ſo—while there is nothing to ſtop it.—But if it encounters a mound or any other impediment—boo—boo—boo—it burſts forth—it overflows the country round—throws down villages, hamlets, houſes, trees, cows and lambs; but remove obſtacles which obſtruct its courſe, and it begins again, ſoftly and ſweetly to flow—thus—thus—thus—the fields are again adorned, and every thing goes on, as well as it can go on.—Thus it is with the Animal Fluid, which fluid obeys the command of my art.
Doc. Surpriſing art! but what are the means you employ?
Doc. Aſtoniſhing! give me ſome proof of your art directly, do ſatisfy my curioſity.
La Fluer. I will,—and by holding this wand, in which is a Magnet, in a particular poſition, I will ſo direct the fluid, that it ſhall immediately give you the moſt exeruciating rheumatiſm which will laſt you a couple of hours — I will then change it to the gout—then to ſtrong convulſions—and after into a raging fever, & in this manner ſhall your curioſity become satisfied
(holds up his wand as if to Magnetiſe.)
Doc. Hold, Doctor, I had rather ſee the experiment on ſome one elſe.
La Fluer. Oh then, Sir, I have now at my houſe a patient, whom the faculty have juſt given up as incurable; and notwithſtanding his diſorder is of a moſt violent and dangerous kind, I will have him brought here, and I will teach you to perform his cure yourſelf.
Doc. By the power of Magnetiſm.
La Fluer. By the power of Magnetiſm.
Doc. That wou'd do me infinite honor indeed—but why bring him to my houſe—pray who is he?
La Fluer. A young man of quality.
Con. Dear Sir, let him be brought hither, and let me see the cure perform'd.
(Takes La Fluer aſide.)I cant ſay I approve of a young man being brought into my houſe—for you muſt know Doctor—that young lady is to be my wife—as we are not exactly of an age, another may make an impreſſion.
Doc. But he'll be well after I have cured him.
La Fluer, Very true.
(wiſpering La Fluer.)Pray Doctor, is it true what they report that he who is once in poſſeſſion of your art can if he pleaſes, make every woman who comes near him, in love with him.
La Fluer. True—certainly it is.
Con. Why this wiſpering, I am ignorant what are the virtues of your art, Doctor, but I am ſure it has not that of rendering you polite.
La Fluer. Pardon madam—I was but inſtructing the Doctor in ſome particulars of which, you may hereafter have reaſon to be ſatisfied.
Liſ. I doubt that, Sir, unleſs your art cou'd render this ſolitary confinement we are doomed to agreable.
La Fluer. Before the end of the day, you ſhall prefer it to all the falſe pleaſures of the gay world, for what are more falſe than the pleaſures derived from balls maſquerades and theatres.
Doc. Very true.
Liſ. Well I muſt own I love a Theatre.
La Fluer. The worſt place of all, to frequent—once in my life, I was preſent at a theatrical repreſentation, but ſuch a piece did I ſee, ah, the moſt dangerous for a young woman to be preſent at.
(eagerly croſſing.)Pray, Sir what was it?
La Fluer. An honeſt Gentleman of about 70 years age was before the audience in love with a young [Page 15] lady of 18 whom he had brought up from her infancy, and whom he meant make his wife.
Doc. Very natural:
La Fluer. A young Gentleman of the neighbourhood becauſe he was young, rich, and handſome, imagined he would ſuit the lady better.
Doc. Juſt like them all.
La Fluer. He therefore diſguifed his Valet, who under the maſk of friendſhip introduced himſelf to this good man the guardian,
Doc. A villain, he deſerv'd to be hang'd.
La Fluer. And ſeiz'd the moment when he embraced him as I now embrace you—to ſtretch out his hand, while it was behind him, and convey a letter to the Lady's waiting maid.
(La Fluer embraces the Doctor, and exchanges Letters with Liſette, Liſette gives the the letter ſhe receives to Conſtance, La Fluer puts the other into his pocket.)
Liſ. And ſhe gave him another—I have ſeen the play myſelf—and it was very well acted.
La Fluer. And is it not ſcandalous to put ſuch examples before young people?
Con. And pray Doctor, do you think I am not under ſufficient confinement, that you take the ſame methods, to make me ſtill more unhappy.
(to the Doctor.)Why does your ward diſlike confinement.
Doc, Becauſe ſhe diſlikes me:
La Fluer. Are you ſure of that.
Doc. Yes, I think I am.
Con, I am dying with curioſity to read my letter.
[aſide and exit.
[Page 16] La Fluer. This wand ſhall cauſe in her ſentiments the very reverſe. in this is a Magnet which ſhall change her diſpoſition take it (gives the wand.) and while you keep it ſhe will be conſtrained to love you with the moſt ardent paſſion.
Doc. I thank you a thouſand times.
(quite in rapture.)
Doc. Her maid has overheard us.
La Fluer. No no, but take me into another apartment, and I will explain to you what at preſent, you are not able to comprehend—after which you will permit me to ſtep home and fetch my patient hither.
Doc. Certainly—when I am in poſſeſſion of my ward's affection, I can have nothing to apprehend from him.—And you are ſure ſhe will now become favorable to me?—you are ſure I ſhall attract her
La Fluer. Yes, ſure—by the Loadſtone.END OF ACT FIRST.
SCENE.—Another Apartment in the DOCTORS houſe.
Enter CONSTANCE and LISETTE.
Liſette. I Overheard it all—and he has given your guardian, the wand in which you heard him, ſay the Magnet was contain'd—and while he keeps it, it is to Magnetiſe you and force you to love him, in ſpite of yourſelf.
Con. All this agrees with the letter he has given [Page 17] me from his maſter, in which the Marquis informs me, by what accident, that letter, my guardian ſent to the Doctor who profeſſes Magnetiſm fell into his hands, and immediatly gave him the idea of diſguiſing his valet, and ſending him hither under the name of that Doctor, but where is La Fluer now.
Liſ. Juſt left your guardian, and gone home to bring the patient you heard him ſpeak of—and I would lay a wager, that very patient is no other than the Marquis himſelf.
Con. But for what end is all this?
Liſ. That they have planned you may depend upon it—for the preſent you have nothing to do but to pretend an affection for your guardian.
Con. It will be difficult to feign a paſſion my heart revolts at.
Liſ. Never fear your good acting—beſides I will take equal ſhare in it—
Con. How! you!—
Liſ. I'll fall in love with the Doctor as well as you—if the Magnetiſm affects you—why not have the ſame power over me? and if it makes you love him, it ſhall make me adore him.
Con. Huſh! here he comes.
Enter DOCTOR, with the wand.
(aſide)What he has told ſeems ſo very ſurpriſing, that nothing but proofs, can thoroughly convince me—and now for the proof.
(locks at Con)
(aſide to Conſtance.)He ogles you, caſt a tender look, and accompany it with a ſigh.
Doc. My dear Conſtance, my lovely ward,—what, what makes you ſigh? wearineſs of your confinement I ſuppoſe?
Con. Ah, Sir.
Doc. Come, come, I confeſs the reſtraint you have been under, has been too much, and I am not ſurpriſed you have taken a diſlike to me.
Con. A diſlike to you?—Ah! Sir— (fighing) Oh, guardian.
(going to ſpeak turnsaway and hides her face.)
(aſide)I believe it will do. Come, come, Conſtance, do not ſigh, and make yourſelf uneaſy, you ſhall not live many weeks thus retir'd for I am thinking of marrying you very ſoon (turns eagerly to him) to a fine young Gentleman
(turns from him.)
Con. Ah Cruel.
Doc. What did you ſay, if I have the good fortune to be beloved by you, let me have the happineſs to hear it from yourſelf.
Con. Yes cruel man,—ſome invincible power compels me in ſpite of my reſiſtance—yes—I love you.
Liſ. And I adore you.
(ſtarting)What! you too! I did not expect that.
Liſ. No, mine is not merely a love, but a rage—a violence—I doat to diſtraction—love you to the Joſs of my health, of ſpirits, of reſt and life.
Con. If you do not take pity on the paſſion which burns in my heart.
Liſ. If you can be regardleſs of the flames which conſume me with violence—
Liſ. Take care how you turn my affection to hatred.
(goes from between them.)
(aſide)What a terrible ſituation I have got myſelf into,—the effects of the Magnetiſm is very natural, it acts upon one as well as another, but Liſette's love is very troubleſome I'll call Jeffry in and give up part of my power to him, he wall take the wand, for a ſhew minutes and charm Liſette.
Con. Why do you thus run from me, is this the return my love demands,—but be not uneaſy, death ſhall deliver you from an object whoſe paſſion you deſpiſe.
(turns from him.)
Doc. Oh, that you could but read what is written in my heart.
Liſ. Ah. Sir, behold the ſtate (kneels) to which you have reduced a poor inocent, if I am treated with kindneſs, I am naturally ſoft, gentle, and tender, but if I am neglected (riſing)—by all that's great and precious I will do ſome ſtrange thing either to you, or my rival.
Doc. This Liſette is ſo furious, ſhe makes me tremble, I muſt put an end to her affection, Jeffry,
Jef. Here, Sir, what do you want with me?
Doc. Take this and carry it to my ſtudy.
(gives the wand.)
Jef. Yes, Sir—directly.
Doc. Stop a moment. Jeffry, ſtop a moment.
Jef. Two, or three moments if you pleaſe.
(to Conſtance)I ſee through this deſign, let us fall in love with Jeffry.
Con. With all my heart.
Doc. Well, Jeffry—and—and—how do you do Jeffry?
Jef. Pretty well, conſidering my leg, where the dog bit me, and conſidering I can only ſee with one eye.
Liſ. But even that misforturne does not prevent your looking very agreable Jeffry.
(aſide)It ſucceeds, ſhe's taken.
Con. Who can reſiſt that amiable figure, deareſt Jeffry.
Jef. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
(aſide)This is as bad as the other.
Jef. I think the mad dog has bit us all.
Liſ. Is it poſible you can love Jeffry, no no, your ſituation forbids it, take, take my maſter, I reſign him to you.
Con. No, I reſign him to you.
Liſ. I will not have him.
Doc. This is a very disagreeble ſituation.
Liſ. Jeffry will you be deaf to my paſſion?
Con. Yes, I am ſure he will prefer me.
Jef. No, I won't, I have been in love with her this twelve months, and I'll make choice of her.
Con. Then what will become of me!
Doc. I can bear this no longer, give that, (ſnatches the wand.) And do you make, up ſome medicines.
Jef. Ah! my dear Lifette! you have made me ſo happy, I muſt ſhake hands.
(offers to take her hand ſhe ſlaps his face.)
Jef. Ecod! I think you have not behaved with much reſerve, did not you hang upon me and ſaid you lov'd me?
Liſ. Love you! behold my maſter, and do not imagine I can love any but him.
Con. No, who can love any but him
Doc. This is worſe and worſe—where is the Doctor if he does not come and give me ſome relief, I am a ruined man (a loud knocking) Jeffry ſee if that is him.
[Exit Jeffry.I have no doubt but it is and with him the young patient, on whom I am to prove my ſkill, Conſtance and you Liſette, leave the room for the preſent.
Con. Yes, if you will go with me, but how do you think it is poſſible for me to leave you—a feeling which I cannot explain.
Liſ. And one I cannot explain.
Doc. But I am going to preſcribe—and it is improper.
Enter LA FLUER leading the MARQUIS dreſs'd in a handſome robe de chamber and night cap, the Doctor draws the chair:
La Fluer. This Doctor is your patient.—This is the renouned phyſician, from whom you are to expect a cure.
Doc. He looks ſurpriſingly well conſidering how much he has ſuffered.
La Fluer. That renders his caſe the more dangerous—I would rather a patient of mine ſhould look ill and be in no danger, than look well and be in imminent danger.
[Page 22] Mar. To conceive the ſufferings I have undergone a being muſt be transform'd, he muſt be more before he can conceive, what: have felt—for months have I led this agonizing life—but I am told Doctor you can put an end to my diſorder—you have in your poſſeſſion that which can give me eaſe—but by what ſcience you are maſter of ſo great a power, I own is beyond my comprehenſion.
La Fluer. Dear Sir, you know not half the reſources in the art of medicines, truſt firmly, that you are [...] per [...]ons well in [...]orm'd and well practiſed—we know how to give naturea filip.
Doc. Doctor Myſtery, do you uſe your authority with theſe females to leave us to ourſelves.
Con. I can't go.
Liſ. Nor I.
La Fluer. I b [...]eve it is very true (goes and feels their pulſes) no, the can't go—no—the force of the attraction will not ſuffer them to go. (to the Doctor What do you think of the power of Magnetſm now?
Doc, It has double the power, I deſire and I wiſh it not to act on Liſette.
Con. (to Liſ.) I hope the Marquis is not really ill.
La Fluer. I will remedy that (whiſpers the Doctor, while the Marquis makes ſigns of love to Conſtance, ſhe gets nearer to his chair.) now attend to what I am going to do I will turn the whole affection of the maid upon myſelf.
Doc. I will be very much oblig'd to you. (La Fluer wiſpers the Doctor again.)
Mar. (in a lwo voice to Conſtance.) One word only will you be mine ſhou'd my ſcheme prove ſuccesſfull?
Mar. I have no time to ſay, but anſwer me, will you be mine.
Con. I will.
(in a low voice to La Fluer.)Very well, extremely well, this will do very well, and now deliver me from her love as ſoon as you can.
La Fluer. I muſt approach her, and 'tis done. (goes to Liſette makes ſigns of Magnetiſm, then in a wiſper) I am inlove with you, ſeign to be ſo with me.
Liſ. I am in carneſt without ſeigning.
La Fluer. So much the better, it will appear more natural; (returns to the Doctor) It's done, obſerve how ſhe looks at me. (During this the Marquis and Conſtance are exchanging ſighs.)
Doc. What an art!
La Fluer. But I will ſhew its power in a manner yet more aſtoniſhing.
(to the Marquis in a low voice)I was on the point of being married to my guardian.
Doc. Is it poſſible!
(forgetting himſelf and in warmth)Diſtraction! that muſt never be.
(Doctor turns to him in ſurpriſe, Liſette p [...]ceiving).
Liſ. Oh heavens, look to the patient.
La Fluer. [...] of his fits has ſieized him, (Marquis pretends a [...]) [...] its nothing, it will ſoon be over
Mar. Nay [...] not hide yourſelf, oh, oh, that I could plung [...] this ſteel (holds up his handkerchief) a hundred [...]imes in that deteſtable heart, come on monſter, and acknowledge thy conqueror, expiring under this hand.
La Fluer. But he has no weapon, don't be afraid.
(to La Fluer)Oh, dear Sir, relieve him from this terrible fit.
Doc. Do, I beg you will.
La Fluer. I cannot wholly relieve him at preſent but you ſhall ſee me change the manner of his ravings, behold my power. (pretends to magnetiſe) See his countenance changes, his looks expreſs tenderneſs now it is no longer fury that tranſports him, but the ſoft languor of love now pervades his ſenſes.
(looking at Conſtance)Oh! charming Arpaſia
La Fluer. Arpaſia was the name of his firſt love, he fancies himſelf near to her.
(Marquis riſes from his chair and kneels to Conſtance.)
Mar. Is it you then whom I behold, but, alas you do not ſuſpect what I have ſuffered in your abſence, and I only retain my liſe in the pleaſing hope of one day paſſing it with you, and rendering yours as happy as my own, what am I to think of this ſilence, you do not anſwer to my tender complaints. Ah! you hate me▪ [...]u deſpiſe me, b [...]t dread the effects of this [...] ▪ I feel that it is in my power to accompliſh all.
Liſ. He is a going into his roving fit again, pray madam ſpeak to him, if it is but a [...]ord.
Mar. Speak to me one word if it is o [...]ly one word.
La Fluer. Your ward is afraid of diſ [...]iging you, but give her leaf to ſpeak to him, if [...] one word, only to be witneſs to a ſcene ſo novel
Do. But why ſuffer her to ſpeak?
La Fluer. Conſider you are in poſſeſſion of the Magnet, and nothing can prevent the power of that charm.
Mar. Ah! cruel, ought I thusto wait for a word from thoſe lips, you wiſh then to behold me die.
Doc. Well, well anſwer him yes.
Mar. Do you love me.
Mar. (kiſſes her hand) I am tranſported!
Doc. (endeavouring to ſeparate them) Hold, hold, this is a fit as powerful to me as it is to you.
Liſ. Dear Sir, let him alone, he may fall into his rage again.
Mar. What thrilling tranſport ruſhes to my heart all nature appears to my raviſhed eyes more beautiful than poets ever formed, his Aurora dawns, the feather'd ſongſters chant their moſt melodious ſtrains, the gentle zephyrs breath their choiceſt perfumes, and the inſpiring ſcene intoxicates my very ſoul.
Doc. Come change this fit into another.
Mar. And you who liſten to me partake my joy, come and dwell with me under the ſhady branches of the river ſide, come lovely ſhepherdeſs (takes hold of Conſtance) come young ſhepheard, (takes hold of the Doctor) mingle in the dance.
Lif. Come young ſhepherd, (takes hold of the Doctor with one hand, then La Fluer with the other.)
Doc. I can't dance.
SCENE.—The DOCTOR's Houſe.
Enter LISETTE; and LA FLUER.
Liſette. BUT when is this farce to end!
La Fluer. My maſter now he is introduced, will take advantage of ſome circumſtances, to obtain either by force or ſtratagem the Doctor's conſent to his wiſhes, and as he finds he is beloved by the young lady, which before he was in doubt of—
Liſ. Pſhaw! he might eaſily have gueſſed her ſentiments. A young woman, weary of confinement as ſhe was, is eaſily in love with the firſt young man who ſolicits her affections.
La Fluer. And may I hope you love me?
Liſ. Aye, Sir, I am weary of confinement like my miſtreſs.
La Fluer. A thouſand thanks, my dear Liſette.
Liſ. But while Jeffry keeps the keys of every door, no creature can either go out or enter without his leave.
La Fluer. And is there no way to get rid of him
Liſ. Yes, a thought ſtrikes me this moment, a couple of days ago one of our neighbours dogs, bit him, and our doctor merely to ſhew his ſkill, in the cure, perſuaded him the dog was mad, ſuppoſe we make the Doctor himſelf believe he was really ſo, and that poor—
Doc. He has had another fit, but I have juſt now [Page 27] left him in a ſound ſleep, which come upon him, as ſuddenly as any of his waking paroxyſms.
La Fluer. If that is the caſe he muſt be left alone we will not diſturb him
(aſide to La Fluer)When I return, be ſure to confirm whatever I ſhall ſay.
Doc. What have you perſuaded her to leave you▪
La Fluer, Yes, for a little while.
Doc. Why, too much of love is ſomething tedious.) I come once more to talk with you Doctor upon this ſurpriſing art, which though you have taken ſuch great pains to explain, I am ſtill far from comprehending ſo much as I think I ought.
La Fluer. I will before long, give you ſuch proof,
Enter LISETTE followed by JEFFRY.
Lis. O ſave me, ſave me, or I am a deal woman.
Doc. What's the matter?
Jef. This is no joke, and I won't take it as ſuch.
(goes between La Fluer and Doctor.)Have a care of him ſpeak low, he'll be at us.
Doc. Will be at us?
(in a low voice.)Jeffry is mad.
Doc. What do you ſay?
Lis. I found him in his bed, gnawing the bed clothes, and when he ſaw me he wou'd have gnawed me too (the Doctor turns to him) don t look at him Sir, don't look at him.
Doc. Why I don't think this poſſible, the dog that bit him was not—
Lis. Indeed, Sir, he was as mad as ever—
La Fluer. Indeed, the poor creature looks as if ſome horrible infection had ſeized him.
Doc. Why I can't ſay but I think he does.
[Page 82] Lis. And I'll give you the true proof immediately
(takes a glaſs of water and throws it on him.)
Jef. What's that for, how dare you uſe me thus.
(in great paſſion.)
Lis. There, you ſee what a diſlike has to water.
La Fluer. That is a ſymptom, which confirms our ſuſpicious.
(wich an air of ſkill)An evident ſign of the Hydrophobia.
La Fluer. Yes! of the Hydrophobia.
(Leſette comes with another glaſs of water to throw at him, he ſtarts.)
Lis. See, ſee how he looks only at the ſight of water
Jef. If you dare throw any more upon—
(holds up his hand.)
Doc. Liſette let him alone, it is dangerous to puſh the poor creature to extremities, Doctor, ſuppoſe we Magnetize him?
La Fluer. No, Magnetiſm in caſes like this can have no effect.
Doc. What remedy then?
La Fluer. I know of but one, and that is to ſmother him.
Lis. The only thing in the world.
Doc. And we ought to loſe no time, if it muſt be done.
Jef. What ſmother me. (falls on his knees to the Doctor) Oh! Sir have pity on me.
Doc. Don't be frightened, it will be over in ten minutes.
Jef. But I had rather not.
Doc. Ungrateful wretch; do you conſider the conſequence of living.
Doc. But ſince he wont conſent with a good grace, muſt ſeize him all three together.
Jef. Ah mercy what will become of me.
(aſide to Jeffry)Run out of the houſe and never come back if you wou'd ſave your life.
[Jeffry runs off.
La Fluer. He ſhant, eſcape, ſtop him there.
[Exit after him.
Doc. Why he has run into the ſtreet, what a deal of miſchief he may cauſe, and as I am alive he has run away with all the keys in his pocket.
Liſ. But luckily the doors are open.
Doc. But why does not the Doctor come back.
Liſ. Depend upon it he will not leave him, till he has ſecured him in ſome ſafe place where he can do no miſchief.
Con. Dear Sir, come to the aſſiſtance of your patient, he has follow'd me to my cha [...]er and frighten'd me out of my ſenſes, I thought he was going to die, indeed Sir he is very ill, I am ſure he can't live long.
Enter MARQUIS, creeping ſlowly to the couch, as if unable to walk.
Mar. Oh Doctor re [...]eve me from this preſſure or I die.
Doc. I wiſh my brother phyſician was return'd. ( [...]l [...]rm'd) Come Sir, lean your head this way, where is your complaint.
Mar. Here, here it lies (laying his hand to his [...]tomack) I fear this is the [...] [...]our [...] my [...].
Doc. No, no, I hope not ( [...] ſometimes with one end of the wand [...] ſ [...]metimes with t'other.)
[Page 30] Mar. The malady changes its place, oh, my head, remove it from my head, make it deſcend (the Doctor more frighted) now it flies to my heart, it ſets it on fire, it tares it in pieces.
Doc. I wiſh the Doctor wou'd return.
Mar. My tortures redouble—vultures gnaw me, can't you remove them (attempts again to Magnetiſe) no, no, my ſtrength fails me—my eyes loſe their ſight—I die— (groans, ſinks on the couch and remains motionleſs.)
Liſ Oh! he's dead—he's dead—he's dead.
(in tears too)What will become of us all—he's dead—he's dead.
Doc. I am quite ſhocked at it—but my dear children, don't make ſuch a noiſe (trembling) the neighbours will hear you, and they will ſay I have kill'd him, with ſome of my experiments.
Liſ. It was that fatal wand you put uopn his heart
Doc. Yes, I ſuppoſe I directed the fluid the wrong way, but perhaps he only fainted,—who knows but we may recover him,—I will go and find ſome of my new invented drops, which may perhaps reſtore him, (feels in his pocket) and that poor unhappy Jeffry has taken away the key of my cabinet where all my drops are.
Con. Break open the locks then, there is no time to loſe.
Doc. And Doctor Myſtery not to return, every thing conſpires to ruin me, I was loth to receive this patient into my houſe,—my heart foreboded ſome ill conſequence▪ dear me, dear me.
[Exit in great uneaſineſs.
(riſingIf my ſcheme ſucceeds,—the conſequence will be ſuch as you little dream of,—where [Page 31] is La Fluer.
Lif. Gone to ſecure Jeffry, ſomewhere out of the houſe.
Mar. If he does not return ſoon, all my long concerted plan is overturned.
Liſ. Here he is.
Enter LA FLUER.
La Fluer. I have lodged him ſafe for theſe two days.
(taking off his robe)Give me your clothes and take this immediatly and be dead.
La Fluer. Dead! what do you mean?
Mar. Aſk no queſtions, but lie down on that couch and counterfeit being dead.
Liſ. Your maſter has been doing it this half hour.
(dreſſing himſelf)It is very ſtrange, but ſince you command it—
Mar. Dare not ſtir, or breath,—all depends on your acting well, you muſt have your face powder'd, (Liſette powders his face) that he may not know you
La Fluer. Now I am in character.
Mar. Where are my people?
La Fluer. At the tavern in the next ſtreet, both diſguiſed like Doctors.
Mar. That's right, I fly to them directly.
La Fluer. Your night cap, your night cap.
Mar. And give me your wig. (puts it on) I hear the Doctor coming, farewel, play your part to a miracle.
Con. And heaven proſper your deſigns.
(ſitting on the couch)But what does all this mean, I don't underſtand?
Doc. Well, how is he, what does he ſay?
Liſ. Why like all other perſons in his ſtate, he does not complain.
Doc. Hold this bottle to his noſe, and ſprinkle this on his face.
Con. Alas, he is gone, and nothing can be of uſe.
Doc. How a few moments has changed him, he's as white as aſhes; lay your hand upon his heart Liſette, and feel if it beats at all, for my part, I am ſo diſconcerted with the accident I am fit for nothing.
(lays her hand on his heart)All is ſtill Sir.
Doc. Is their no motion?
Liſ. None in the least— (ſlaps his face)—like marble— (ſlaps again)—has little ſeeling in it.
Doc. Doctor Myſtery n [...]t returning I conceive this was a plot upon me.
Liſ. And this poor creature was in the plot you think, and died on purpoſe to bring it about.
Doc. No, but the other found he cou'd not cure him, and ſo left the diſgrace of his death to me, and my enemies will take the advantage of it,—confidering how many of my patients have died lately▪
Liſ. What are we to do with the body?
Doc. I have yet one hope left, it is my laſt and I wont heſitate, but about it inſtantly.
Con. What reſource?
(to Liſette)He is certainly dead, iſ he not?
Liſ. Certainly▪ there can be no doubt of that.
Doc. And do what we will nothing more can happen to him,
Liſ. No, certainly, not in this world.
Doc. Well then I will try an experiment upon [Page 33] him, which I once read, and I have often had a vaſt mind to try it upon Jeffry, but as he was alive it might have proved fatal.
Liſ. What is it?
Doc. No matter you ſhall ſee it performed and [...] can't ſay I have much doubt of its ſucceſs. Begin [...]o take off ſome of his garments while I go and get [...] the apparatus ready.
La Fluer. But I am not ſuch a fool to ſtay till [...] [...]me back, my maſter may ſay what he will, but [...] go away.
Liſ. Nonſenſe man have you not undertook to [...] dead, come finiſh your part with a good grace.
Doc. Pray do, La Fluer.
La Fluer. But what experiment is he going to try upon me, I always hated Doctors, and would never let any one of them come near me.
Con. But this is not a doctor, the college have refuſed to admit him, ſo don't be afraid.
La Fluer. O! if that's the caſe.
(throws him down as before)Huſh! play you part.
Entre DOCTOR with a bag of inſtruments.
Doc. Liſette, help me with theſe inſtruments, and then run and watch that ſkillet of oil on the fire, and when it boils bring it hither.
Liſ. But ſuppoſe any body ſhould come in while you are trying the experiment.
Doc. Right, I'll lock the door, my fright makes me forget every thing.
La Flure. Let me ſee the i [...]ſtruments.
Liſ. Pſhaw▪ what ſignifies ſeeing them, a'n't you to feel them?
Con. I hear a noiſe, (lokout) it is the Marquis returned, and all his ſchemes perhaps will be fulfilled.
(La Fluer lays down again.)
Enter MARQUIS, PICCARD and FRANCOIS, diſguiſed as Doctors, the Marquis having changed his dreſs, hat maſk over his face.
Enter DOCTOR PICCARD & FRANCOIS go behind.
Mar. I have powerful reaſons for entering this houſe I came hither▪ [...]ompanied by theſe phyſicians, ſent with me by the college to demand a patient, who was this morning brought hither by a notorious profeſſor of Quackery, the young gentleman is of family and nearly allied to me.
(aſide)I am undone!
Mar. Where is he, Sir—I muſt ſee him and ſpeak with him.
Liſ. At preſent you can't ſpeak with him, he is in a better world.
(pointing to La Fluer.)
Mar. Alas! behold him there, or am I deceived▪ no it is he himſelf whom I ſee,—and he is dead. Gentlemen I call you as witneſs he is dead, and that yonder ſtands the aſſaſſin.
(Piccard and Francois examine the body. Piccard puts on his ſpectacles.
(feeling his pulſe)Yes, he is dead, but he is not dead according to our rules.
(they place themſelves at the table.)
Mar. O my dear friend, and are you gone, but your death ſhall be revenged, villian (to the Doctor, tremble, for thy life ſhall anſwer for this. Gentlemen, gentlemen, pleaſe to take notes of what you ſee and hear in this houſe.
(the Doctors write.)
Liſ. Dear Sir have pity on my poor maſter he has killed, killed the poor gentleman to be ſure, but it [Page 35] was without malice.
Doc. But you know gentlemen this is not the firſt patient, that has been killed during an operation.
Pic. Aye. by the authority of the college.
(to the Marquis)Dear Sir my only hope is in your mercy.
Mar. Then deſpair, for know I am the Marquis de Lancy, and call to your remembrance, with what inſolence you rejected all my overtures to eſpouſe your ward, here is the advantageous contract I repeatedly ſent to you, which you had the arrogance to return to me without even deigning to look at it.
Doc. Only deliver me from this trouble, and I will ſign it without reading it at all.
Mar. But will the Lady alſo ſign it?
Con. No, for how could I wed another when he (the Doctor) is the object of my love.
Doc. But conſider, my dear Conſtance, that I am old, and ugly, jealous, and infirm, indeed I am indeed I am, I proteſt Conſtance.
Con. But my love for you is ſo implanted in my heart.
Mar. If that's the caſe,—come Sir follow us.
Doc. Stay, give me the contract, and let me ſign it (aſide) I will once more have recourſe to the wand.
Mar. What imports your ſigning if your ward will not.
Doc. She will ſign.
Doc. Give me the contract, and hold that
(gives the wand to the Marquis takes the contract and figns it.)
Mar. What's this?
Con. Yes, I feel a deſire to ſign give me the contract.
Doc. Aye, I was ſure of it. (Conſtance ſigns) And there Marquis is the contract.
(giving it him.)
La Fluer. Ah! I breath again, I am a little better.
(ſtarting)Why he is not dead.
La Fluer. No, I am mending apace.
Doc. Gentlemen tear in pieces the proceſs, (to La Fluer) Oh Sir what miſery have you brought upon me.
La Fluer. And what miſery would your damn'd inſtruments, and your boiling oil have brought upon me.
Doc. How did you hear, in that fit what I ſaid.
La Fluer. Very eaſily, Sir return him the wand, and the ladies I dare ſay will fall in love with him again.
(looking at him, then at the Marquis)My eyes are open, I recollect them both, but this was the ſick man
(to the Marquis.)
La Fluer. But I was the dead one.
Doc. I am cheated, defrauded,—what, ho, neighbours,—here are thieves, murderers.
Mar. Nay, Doctor, reflect upon the arts you made uſe of, to keep my Conſtance yours, even in ſpite of her inclination, then do not comdemn the artifice I employed to obtain her, with her own conſent. A reward like this urged me to encounter every hazard and every danger. For believe me doctor there is no Magnetiſm, like the powerful Magnetiſm of Love.