페이지 이미지

"Is this a grasshopper?-Ha! no, it is my
( Whiskerandos.—You shall not keep him-
'I know you have him in your breeches pocket-
An oyster may be crossed in love!-Who says
A whale's a bird !-Ha? did you call my love?-
* He's here!-He's there!-He's every where !
Ah me! he's no where.'

[Exit TILBURINA. [The CONFIDANT imitates TILBURINA, and exit. Puff. There! do you ever desire to see any body madder than that?

Sneer. Never, while I live! And pray what becomes of her?

Puff. She is gone to throw herself into the sea, to be sure—and that brings us at once to the scene of action, and so to my catastrophe—my sea-fight, I mean.

Sneer. What, you bring that in at last?

Puff. Yes, yes; you know my play is called the Spanish Armada, otherwise, egad, I have no occasion for the battle at all. Now then for my magnificence! my battle ! my noise! and my procession ? You are all ready?

Prom (Within.] Yes, sir.

Puff. Very well. Now, then, change the scene, and then for our grand display. [The scene changes to a view of the Spanish Ar

mada in close action with the British fleet. Music plays · Britons strike home.' Spanish fleet destroyed by fire-ships' &c. English fleet advances, -Music plays' Rule Britannia. During this

Puffdirects and applauds everything: then] Well, pretty well—but not quite perfect; so, ladies and gentlemen, if you please, we'll rehearse this piece again on the first opportunity. [Curtain drops.


REMARKS. This amusing little drama is on a similar plan to that of the Duke of Buckingham, entitled "The Rehearsal.' It is throughout lively, witty, and sarcastic; and may be taken as affording an excellent specimen of the author's power to embody satire with the most laughable efforts of the dramatic muse.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Chill'n by rude gales, while yet reluctant May
Withholds the beauties of the vernal day,
As some fond maid whom matron frowns reprove ,
Suspends the smile her heart devotes to love :
The season's pleasures, too, delay their hour,
And winter revels with protracted power :
Then blame not, Critics, if, thus late, we bring
A Winter Drama-but reproach-the Spring.
What prudent Cit dares yet the season trust,
Bask in his whiskey, and enjoy the dust ?
Hors’d in Cheapside, scarce yet the gayer spark
Achieves the Sunday triumph of the Park;
Scarce yet you see him, dreading to be late,
Scour the New Road, and dash thro' Grosvenor Gale;
Anxious—yet timorous, too!-his steed to shew,
The hack Bucephalus of Rotten Row.
Careless he seems, yet, vigilantly sly,
Wooes the gay glance of ladies passing by,
While his off-heel, insidiously aside,
Provokes the caper which he seems to chide.
Scarce rural Kensington due honour gains;
The vulgar verdure of her walk remains!
Where night-rob'd misses amble two by two,
Nodding to booted beaux-'How'do, how'do?'
With generous questions, that no answer wait.
• How vastly full! A’n’t you come vastly late ?
I’n't it quite charming ? When do you leave town?
A’n't you quite tired? Pray can't we sit down!
Those suburb pleasures of London May,
Imperfect yet, we hail the cold delay;
Should our play plcase—and you're indulgent ever-
Be your decree— 'Tis better late than never.'

[ocr errors]



SCENE I.-A Tented field in the background-the

foreground, a Pavilion near Pizarro's Tent. Elvira discovered reclining on a couch. VALVERDE enters, and attempts to kiss her hand ; ELVIRA rises.

Elv. AUDACIOUS! Whence is thy privilege to interrupt the few moments of repose my harassed mind can snatch amid the tumults of this noisy camp? Shall I inform thy master, Pizarro, of this presumptuous treachery ?

Val. I am his servant, it is true-trusted by himand I know him well; and therefore 'tis I ask, by what magic could Pizarro gain thy heart, by what fatality still holds he thy affection?

Ew. Hold! thou trusty secretary !

Val. Ignobly born! in mind and manners rude, ferocious, and unpolish'd, though cool and crafty if occasion need-in youth audacious—ill his first manhood a licensed pirate-treating men as brutes, the world as booty; yet now the Spanish hero he is styled-The first of Spanish conquerors! and for a warrior so accomplished, 'tis fit Elvira should leave her noble family, her fame, her home, to share the dangers, humours, and the crimes of such a lover as Pizarro!

Elv. What! Valverde moralizing! But grant I am in error, what is thy incentive? Passion, infatuation, call it what thou wilt; but what attaches thee to this despised, unworthy leader? Base lucre is thy object, mean fraud thy means. Could you gain me, thou only hop'st to win a higher interest in Pizarro-I know you.

Val. On my soul, thou wrong'st me; what else my faults, I have none towards thee: but indulge the

scorn and levity of thy nature; do it while the time permits; the gloomy hour, I fear, too soon approaches.

Elv. Valverde a prophet, too.

Dal. Hear me, Elvira-Shame from his late defeat, and burning wishes for revenge, again have brougth Pizarro to Peru; but trust me, he overrates his strength, nor measures well the foe. Encamped in a strange country, where terror cannot force, nor corruption buy, a single friend , what have we to hope? The army murmuring at increasing hardships, while Pizarro decorates with gaudy spoil the gay pavilion of his luxury, each day diminishes our force.

Elv. But are you not the heirs of those that fall ?

Val. Are gain and plunder, then, our only purpose ? Is this Elvira's heroism?

Elv. No, so save me, Heaven! I abhor the motive, means, and end of your pursuits; but I will trust none of you :-in your whole army there is not one of you that has a heart, or speaks ingenuously—aged LasCasas, and he alone, excepted.

Val. He ! an enthusiast in the opposite and worse extreme !

Elv. Oh! had I earlier known that virtuous man, how different might my lot have been?

Val. I will grant Pizarro could not then so easily have duped you; forgive me, but at that event I stiil must wonder.

Elv. Hear me, Valverde. When first my virgin fancy waked to love, Pizarro was iny country's idol. 'Tis known that when he left Panama in a slight vessel, his force was not a hundred men. Arrived at the Island of Gallo, with his sword he drew a line upon the sand, and said, “Pass those who fear to die or conquer with their leader.' Thirteen alone remained, and at the head of these the warrior stood his ground. Even at the moment when my ears first caught this tale, my heart exclaimed, ‘Pizarro is its lord! What since I have perceived, or thought, or felt! you must have more worth to win the knowledge of.

Val. I press no further; still assured, that while

« 이전계속 »