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ter:-it, perhaps, had been better if he had; for his “ Maid of the Mill,” taken from “ Pamela," and his “Love in a Village,” taken from fifty things, will both long outlive all such operas as “ Lionel and Clarissa.”
Yet let not the reader suppose that he shall meet with no entertainment in perusing this play ; for it contains many interesting scenes, some humour, and some very excellent lessons of moral purpose-especialiy to parents.
On account of its last-stated quality, when “Lionel and Clarissa” was (after having been acted some years at Covent Garden) brought upon the stage at Drury Lane, it had the additional title of “ The School for Fathers” conferred by Garrick, who was then manacer.
The School for Coxcombs had been an appellation equally just--for Jessamy is a striking likeness 'of the youthful tourists of that period, and was so excellently personated, in the Dublin theatre, by a comedian called Wilkes, that the opera, on his account alone, was attractive beyond any former example of theatric allurement in that metropolis, and ruined the opposing theatre, where some of the great tragedians of London were performing along with the most favoured actors of the Irish stage.
The song of Diana Oldboy to her brother, on his fantastic habiliments, is perfectly curious at the present day, being an exact description of the attire worn by men, called fops, at that, no very distant, time when it was written. Yet Miss Diana may told, that even Jessamy's dress is not more out of
fashion now among men, than her total ignorance of the rudiments of astronomy is, at this period, among women of her birth and fortune.
The contrast between Sir John Flowerdale and the Colonel is very happily executed ; and whilst the wishes of an audience must ever be excited for a happy conclusion to the paternal anxieties of the first, every spectator is sure to be so extremely dissatisfied with the mind and manners of the last, that, but for the preservation of the filial duty of the daughter, to spare her heart compunction for deceit and treachery -it might be wished that she had married the mean impostor her lover, without returning to obtain the consent of her profligate father.
Lionel and Harman are as much contrasted in the character of lovers, as the elder gentlemen are in the character of parents; and how much soever the young ladies of former times might allow themselves to sigh for men who descended to the vilest falsehoods, in order to obtain their hands, the better in. formed woman of the present era would, perhaps, as soon become the wife of the effeminate Jessamy, as of the unprincipled Harman; and have sense to look forward for happiness in wedlock only with a man of strict honour-such as Lionel
Mr Incledon, Mr Munden. Mr Murray. Mr Betterton. Mr Clarke. Mr Townsend.
Mrs Mountain. Mrs Davenport. Mrs Martyr. Madame Mara.
LIONEL AND CLARISSA.
ACT THE FIRST,
A Chamber in COLONEL OLDBOY's House : COLONEL
OLDBOY is discovered at Breakfast, reading a Newspaper ; at a little Distance
from the Tea Table sits JENKINS ; and, on the opposite Side, Diana, who appears playing upon a Harpsichord. A GIRL attending
Ah, how delightful the morning,
How sweet are the prospects it yields !
The gardens, the groves, and the fields.
Col. 0. Well said, Dy, thank
you, Dy. This, Master Jenkins, is the way I make my daughter entertain me every morning at breakfast. Come here, and kiss me, you slut, come here, and kiss me, you baggage. Diana. Lord, papa, you call one such names
Col. O. A fine girl, Master Jenkins, a devilish fine girl! she has got my eye to a twinkle. There's fire
for you-spirit !-I design to marry her to a duke: how much money do you think a duke would expect with such a wench ?
Jenk. Why, Colonel, with submission, I think there is no occasion to go out of your own county here; we have never a duke in it, I believe, but we have many an honest gentleman, who, in my opinion, might deserve the young lady.
Col. 0. So, you would have me marry Dy to a country 'squire, eh? How say you to this, Dy? would not you rather be married to a duke?
Diana. So my husband's a rake, papa, I don't care what he is.
Col. O. A rake! you damned confounded little baggage ! why, you would not wish to marry a rake, would you? So her husband is a rake, she does not care what he is! Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!
Diana. Well, but listen to me, papa-When you go out with your gun, do you take any pleasure in shooting the poor tame ducks and chickens in your yard? No, the partridge, the pheasant, the woodcock, are the game; there is some sport in bringing them down, because they are wild ; and it is just the same with a husband or a lover. I would not waste powder and shot to wound one of your sober, pretty-behaved gentlemen; but to hit a libertine, extravagant, mad-cap fellow, to take him upon the wing
Col, O. Do you hear her, Master Jenkins ? Ha! ha! ha!
Jenk. Well, but good Colonel, what do you say to my worthy and honourable patron here, Sir John Flowerdale ? He has an estate of eight thousand pounds a-year, as well-paid rents as any in the kingdom, and but one only daughter to enjoy it; and yet. he is willing, you see, to give this daughter to your
Diana. Pray, Mr Jenkins, how does Miss Clarissa, and our university friend, Mr Lionel? That is the