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And to you, dear Mrs. Delmaine, I offer a true friend, in lieu of a false lover.
Enter FRANK, C. Frank. “ Sauve qui peut.” Lady Creamly and old Sleek !
Capt. Stand firm, Charley ! Mrs. D. Courage, dearest madam ! Emma. Oh, we're lost! we're lost ! Enter LADY CREAMLY, followed by SLEEK.-She throws
herself in a posture of violent anger, Sleek stands behind her, hypocritically raising his hands. She does not perceive either of the three ladies, the threc gentlemen standing before them. Lady C. [Violently.) What's this I see? What's this I hear? Who has dared to turn this house into a house of sin and iniquity ?
Sleek. An abode of Agapemenons !
Lady C. (Haughtily.] I spoke not lo you, sir; where is my daughter ? Sleek. Where is her sole offspring ? [The Captain who has been standing before Mrs.
Torrens, moves aside and discovers her.
Mrs. T. Why, dear mamma, it is only a ball.
Sleck. You can't dance without a license-call in the police, even Government cannot defer that tax on hops.
Lady C. (To Charles.] Explain this, Mr. Charles Tor
Capt. (Aside.] Stand firm, or you're lost !
(Charles hesitatingly steps aside and discovers Emma. Emma. (Advancing.) It is only a nice little ball, Lady Creamly.
Sleek. Child of polkamania! Cellarius infant !
Mrs. T. It's only a ball, mamma, I give in honor of my husband's birth-day.
Charles. Yes, dear mamma, a little dance in honor of my birth-day.
Frank. (Coming forward, discovers Mrs. Delmaine.] Merely a valse and a polka.
Sleek. And that widow of profane Ephesus.
Mrs. D. Yes, Mr. Aminadab Sleek, for once in my life I am tempted to join the solemn circle of a serious family, but only in the hope of bringing cheerfulness and geniality, where hitherto have been groans and sighs and straight-laced formality.
Charles. To speak plainly, Lady Creamly, this is my house, and for the future I am determined to be master in it. I will have no longer puritanical faces and starched behavior about me. I'll see happy countenances, smiles and cheerfulness.
Sleek. Then look at us.
Mrs. T. (Crosses to Lady Creamly.) Yes, mamma, we love you very dearly; but Charles and I are commencing a new system.
Lady C. What do I hear? Support me, Mr. Sleek. Sleek. Morally I would, but physically I can't.
Lady C. Must I renounce you for ever? Daughter, I command you to follow me!
Mrs. T. Dear mamma, one's first duty is to obey one's husband, and Charles has ordered me to stay.
Lady C. (To Emma.] As for Miss Insolence~come hither!
Emma. Pardon me, Lady Creamly, Charles is my guardian, and has ordered me to stay.
Lady C. [To. Mrs. Delmaine.) And you, madam, will inatantly leave my house.
Mrs. D. Pardon me, Lady Creamly, this gentleman, my intended husbaud, has ordered me to stay.
Capt. (R.) And the three pair of us will make a mighty pretty couple.
Lady C. Why, this is rebellion.
Charles. (The first bar of a polka is heard.] Ah ! there's the polka-partners and places.
Lady C. Vice and vanity! Ungrateful children, I banish you forever! Come, Mr. Sleek. .
Sleek. Your wicked sallations won't last. No! though it's a long time, there's a good time coming!
[Sleek girrs his hand, and they walk of majestically.
The doors at the brick of the stage are thrown open, and disclose a ball-room, richly ornamented and lighted up
The Orchestra play Polka pianissimo. Captain gives his arm to the widow ; Frank Vincent to Emma ; and Charles to Mrs. Torrens. Guests
dancing. Charles. [Rubbing his hands.] This is a capital day's shooting
[The following lines are spoken to the polka air while
I vow it.
Gaily The Serious Family ends.
DISPOSITION OF THE CHARACTERS AT THE FALL OF THE
MRS. D. MAGUIRE. MRS. T. CHARLES.
EMMA. FRANK, L. C.
and I have arranged it all. In order to show Mr. Torrens that you are no longer at the mercy of Mr. Sleek and Lady Creamly, we have determined that you shall give a ball to-night. We have issued tickets to all
friends and I will present you to several of mine. The music and the refreshments are ordered, and you have nothing to do but make yourself look as handsome as possible, and surprise your husband with an unexpected pleasure. [Charles speaks outside. And, by the way, here he comes, just at the very fortunate moment when his presence is 'so desired.
[Maguire goes up and comes down R.
Enter CHARLES, R., seeing Mrs. DELMAINE he starts, but
quickly recovers himself. Charles. Ah! Mrs. Delmaine, I am delighted to see you in this house, and I feel obliged by your early returning my wife's visit. (Crosses to Mrs. Torrens.) Bon jour, ma petite ! [To Captain.] Ah, Maguire ! how are you? It is an unlooked-for pleasure to find you here.
Capt. My dear fellow, I just called to know at what hour we are to go to Lady Blank's to-night.
Charles. [ Aside to Captain.] Don't be absurd, my wife knows nothing of my engagement.
Capt. [Not heeding him.] There is to be an immense squeeze.
The Duchess de B., and the Countess de F., and the Spanish beauty Donna Inez de Valencia, and valses, and polkas, and to crown the affair, Mrs. Ormsby Delmaine will, I have no doubt, have the felicity to meet you. [To Mrs. D.] If I mistake not, Mr. Torrens is engaged to you for the first polka.
Mrs. T. Sir, my husband does not polk. (Crosses to R., goes up and down R. c.
Capt. (Aside.] Courage, Charley, now is the decisive moment!
Mrs. D. [Aside.] Fail now, and you are lost forever.
Charles. With affected courage.) Yes, my dear Mrs. Ormsby Delmaine, the first polka, the first valse, and a myriad of quadrilles. MIrs. D. Oh, you unreasonable man!
Capt. (Aside to Mrs. Torrens.] You see, madam, the only chance of keeping your husband home at night, is to