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Bir. But now, when we believ'd thee dead, Elw. Off-murderer, off! she vowd

Do not defile me with those crimson hands. Never to see thy rival. Instantly,

[Shows the scarf. Not in a state of momentary passion,

This is his winding sheet--I'll wrap him in itBut with a martyr's dignity and calmness, I wrought it for my love-there-now I've She bade me bring the poison.

dress'd him,

[him, Dou. Had'st thou done it, [Birtha, How brave he looks! my father will forgive Despair had been my portion! Fly, good He dearly lov'd him once but that is over. Find out the suffering saint-describe my See where he comes-beware, my gallant penitence,

Percy, And paint my vasi extravagance of fondness, Ah! come not here, this is the cave of death, Tell her I love as never mortal lov'd

And there's the dark, dark palace of Revenge! Tell her I know her virtues, and adore them- See the pale king sits on his blood-stain'd Tell her I come, but dare not seek her pre

throne ! Till she pronounce my pardon. [sence, He points to me–I come, I come, I come. Bir. I obey.

[Exit Birtha? She faints, they run to her, Douglas takes Raby. My child is innocent! ye choirs of

up his sword and stabs himself. saints,

Dou. Thus, thus I follow thee. Catch the bless'd sounds--my child is innocent! Edr. Hold thy rash hand ! Dou. 0 I will kneel, and sue for her for- Dou. It is too late. No remedy but this giveness,

[love, Could medicine a disease so desperate. And thou shalt 'help me plead the cause of Raby. Ah, she revives ! And thou shalt weepshe cannot sure refuse Dou. [Raising himself.) She lives! bear, A kneeling husband and a weeping father.

bear me to her! Thy venerable cheek is wet already.

We shall be happy yet. Raby. Douglas ! it is the dew of grateful joy! (He struggles to get to her, but sinks down. My child is innocent! I now would die,

It will not beLést fortune should grow weary of her kind- O for a last embrace—Alas ! I faintAnd grudge me this short transport. [ness, She lives—Now death is terrible indeedDou. Where, where is she?

Fair spirit, I lov'd thee~0~Elwina! [Dies. My fond impatience brooks not her delay; Elw. Where have I been? The damps of Quick, let me tind her, hush ber anxious soul,

death are on me. And sooth her troubled spirit into peace.

Raby. Look up, my child! I do not leave

me thus! Enter BIRTHA.

Pity the anguish of thy aged father. Bir. O horror, horror, horror!

Hast thou forgot me? Dou. Ah! what mean'st thou ?

Elw. Now you are my father; Bir. Elwina

O you are kindly come to close my eyes, Dou. Speak

And take the kiss of death from my cold lips ! Bir. Her grief wrought up to frenzy,

Ruby. Do we meet thus ? She has, in her delirium, swallow'd poison !

Elw. We soon shall meet in peace. Ruly. Frenzy and poison !

I've but a faint remembrance of the pastDou. Both a husband's gift;

But something tells me-0 those painful But thus I do her justice.

struggles !

Raise me a little-thereAs Douglas goes to stab himself, enter ELWINA distracted, her hair dishevelled, Percy's scarf what sight is that?

(She sees the body of Douglas.

(murder'd! in her hand.

A sword, and bloody ? Ah! and Douglas Elw. (Goes up to Douglas.]. What, blood Edr. Convinc'd too late of your unequallid again? We cannot kill him twice!

virtues,

[wrongs, Soft, soft-no violence--he's dead already ;- And wrung with deep compunction for your I did it-Yes I drown'd him with my tears ; By his own hand the wretched Douglas fell. But hide the cruel deed! I'll scratch him out Elw. This adds another, sharper pang to A shallow grave, and lay the green sod on it;

death. Ay-and l’fi bind the wild briar o'er the turf, O thou Eternal ! take him to thy mercy, And plant a willow there, a weeping willow Nor let this sin be on his head, or mine !

(She sits on the ground. Raby. I have undone you all—the crime is But look you tell not Douglas, he'll disturb

mine! him;

O thou poor injur'd saint, forgive thy father, He'll pluck the willow up-and plant a thorn. He kneels to his wrong'á child. He will not let me sit upon his grave,

Elw. Now you are cruel.

[you, And sing all day, and weep and pray all night. Come near, my father, nearer-I would see Raby. Dost thou not know me?

But mists and darkness cloud my failing sight. Elw. Yes I do remember

O Death ! suspend thy rights for one short You had a harmless lamb.

moment, Raby. I had indeed !

Till I have ta'en a father's last embraceElw. From all the flock you chose her out A father's blessing. Once-and now 'tis over, a mate,

Receive me to thy mercy, gracious Heaven! In sooth a fair one-you did bid her love it

[She dies. But while the shepherd slept the wolf de- Raby. She's gone! for ever gone ! cold, dead vour'd it.

and cola. Raby. My heart will break. This is too Am I a father? Fathers love their childrenmuch, too much!

I murder mine! With impious pride I snatch'd Elw. (Smiling.] O 'twas a cordial draught The bolt of vengeance from the hand of Heaven. -I drank it all.

My punishment is great-but oh! 'tis just. Raby. What means my child ?

My soul submissive bows. A righteous God. Dou. The poison! Oh'the poison !

Has made my criine become my chastisement. Thou dear wrong'd innocence

(Excunt.

THE BELLE'S STRATAGEM:

A COMEDY,

IN FIVE ACTS.

BY MRS. CROWLEY.

REMARKS.

This successful play first appeared at Covent Garden in 1780, and was particularly patronised by the royal family, who frequently commanded its representation.

The Biographia Dramatica says: “ To speak of it as a first-rate performance would be doing injustice to the piece, as it possesses little originality either in plot, character, or situation ; it however always gives pleasure in the exhibi. tion." A late editor has observed, that “the mind must have been gifted with various powers that could produce such a comedy as this, and such a poem as the Sicge of Acre.”

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

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COVENT GARDEN, 1780.
DORICOURT,

Mr. Lewis.
HARDY,

Mr. Quick.
Sir GEORGE TouchWOOD, . Mr. Wroughton.
FLUTTER,

Mr. Lee Lewis.
SAVILLE,

Mr. Aickin.
VILLERS,

Mr. Whitfield.
COURTALL,

Mr. Rolson.
SILVERTONGUE,

Mr. W. Bates.
CROWQUILL,

Mr. Jones.
FIRST GENTLEMAN,

Mr. Thompson.
Second GENTLEMAN,

Mr. L'Estrange.
MOUNTEBANK,

Mr. Booth.
FRENCH SERVANT,

Mr. Wewitzer.
LETITIA HARDY,

Miss Younge.
Mrs. RACKET,

Mrs. Mattocks.
LADY FRANCES Touchwood, Mrs. Hartley.
Miss OGLE,

Mrs. Morton.
KITTY WILLIS,

Miss Stewart.
LADY,

Mrs. Poussin.
Masqueraders, Traders, Servants, &c.

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Miss Walstein.
Mrs. Harlowe.
Mrs. Orger.
Miss Boyce.
Mrs. Scott.

ACT I.

you ought to have taken directions, block

head! SCENE I.-Lincoln's-inn.

Enter Courtall, singing. Enter Saville, followed by a SERVANT, at the Ha, Courtall :-Bid him keep the horses in top of the Stage, looking round as if at a loss.

motion, and then inquire at all the chambers Sav. Lincoln's-inn !--Well, but where to find round. (Exit SERVANT.] What the devil him, now I am in Lincoln's-inn ? Where did he brings you to this part of the town ? Have any say his master was?

of the long robes handsome wives, sisters, or Serv. He only said in Lincoln's-inn, Sir. chambermaids ?

Sav. That's pretty!— And your wisdom Court. Perhaps they have ; but I came on a never inquired at whose chambers ?

different errand : and had thy good fortune Serv. Sir, you spoke to the servant your brought thee here half an hour sooner, I'd have self.

given thee such a treat! ha, ha, ha! Sau. If I was too impatient to ask questions, Sav. I'm sorry I miss'd it. What was it?

Court. I was informed, a few days since, Court. Marriage! Doricourt on the point of that my cousins Fallow were come to towy, marriage! 'tis the happiest tidings you could and desired earnestly to see me at their lodg- have given, next to his being hanged.-Who ings, in Warwick-court, Holborn. Away drove is the bride elect? I, painting them all the way as so many Hebes. Sav. I never saw her; but 'tis Miss Hardy, They came from the farthest part of Northum- the rich heiress. The match was made by the berland; had never been in town, and in parents, and the courtship began on their course were made up of rusticity, innocence, nurses knees; master used to crow at miss, and beauty.

and miss used to chuckle at master. Sav. Well!

Court. Oh, then by this time they care no Court. After waiting thirty minutes, during more for each other, than I do for my country which there was a violent bustle, in bounced cousins. five sallow damsels, four of them maypoles; Suv. I don't know that; they have never the fifth, nature, by way of variety, had bent met since thus high; and so probably have in the Æsop, style. But they all opened at some regard for each other. once, like hounds on a fresh scent,-Oh, Court. Never met !-Odd! cousin Courtall !-How do you do, cousin Sav. A whim of Mr. Hardy's; he thought Courtall ?—Lord, cousin, I am glad you are bis daughter's charms would make a more come! We want you to go with us to the forcible impression, if her lover remained in Park, and the plays, and the opera, and Al ignorance of them till his return from the conmack's, and all the fine places !—The devil, i tinent. thought I, my dears, may attend you, for I'm sure I wont. -However, I heroically staid

Enter Saville's SERVANT. an hour with them, and discovered the virgins were all come to town with the hopes of leav- sellor Pleadwell's, and gone about five min.

Ser. Mr. Doricourt Sir, has been at Couning it wives—their heads full of koight- utes. baronights, fops, and adventures.

(Exit.

Suv. Five minutes.-Zounds! I have been Sav. Well, how did you get off ?

five minutes too late all my lifetime! Good Court. Oh, pleaded a million engagements.However, conscience twitched me, so I break

morrow, Courtall.-I must pursue him. fasted with them this morning, and afterwards

[Going:

Court. Promise to dive with me to-day ; I squired them to the gardens bere, as the most have some honest fellows. private place in town ; and then took a sorrow

(Going off on the opposite side. ful leave, complaining of my hard fortune,

Sav. Can't promise-perhaps I may.- -See that obliged me to set off immediately for Dor- there, there's a bevy of female Patagonians, setshire. -Ha, ha, ha!

coming down upon us. Sar. I congratulate your escape.-Courtall

Court. By the Lord, then, it must be my at Almack's, with five awkward, country strapping cousins.- I dare not look behind cousins !-Ha, ha, ha!- Why your existence,

me.-Run, man, run! [Exeunt both on one side. as a man of gallantry, could never have survived it. Court. Death and fire ! had they come to

SCENE II.-An Apartment in DORICOURT'S

House. town, like the rustics of the last age, to see Paul's, the lions, and the waxwork at their service; but the cousins of our days come up

Enter DORICOURT. ladies-and, with the knowledge they glean from magazines and pocket-books, fine ladies- late for St James'; bid him come immediate

Dor. [To a Serrant behind.) I shall be too laugh at the bashfulness of their grandmothers,

ly. and boldly demand their entrées into the first circles.

Enter FRENCHMAN and SAVILLE.
Sar. Come, give me some news.
Court. Oh, enough for three gazettes !- The French. Monsieur Saville.

[ Exit. ladies are going to petition for a bill, that, Dor. Most fortunate -My dear Saville, during the war, every man may be allowed let the warmth of this embrace speak the pleatwo wives.

sure of my heart, Sav. 'Tis impossible they should succeed; Sav. Well, this is some comfort, after the for the majority of both houses know what it scurvy reception I met with in your ball.-I is to have one.

prepared my mind, as I came up stairs, for a Court. But pr’ythee, Saville how came you bon jour, a grimace, and an adieu. to town?

Dor. Why so? Sav. I came to meet my friend Doricourt, Sav. Judging of the master from the rest of who, you know, is lately arrived from Rome. the family. What the devil is the meaning of

Court. Arrived! yes, faith, and has cut us that fock of foreigners below, with their all ont !-His carriage, his liveries, his dress, parchment faces, and snuffy whiskers ?-What! himself, are the rage of the day! His first ap- can't an Englishman stand behind your carpearance set the whole town in a ferment, and riage, buckle your shoe, or brush your coat? his valet is besieged by levees of tailors, Dor. Stale, my dear Saville, stale- Englishhabit-makers, and other ministers of fashion, men make the best soldiers, citizens, artizans, to gratify the impatience of their customers for and philosophers, in the world, but the very becoming a la mode de Doricourt.-Nay, the worst tootmen. I keep French fellows and beautiful lady Frolic, t'other night, with two Germans, as the Romans kept slaves; because sister countesses, insisted upon his waistcoat their own countrymen had minde too enlarged for muffs; and their snowy arms now bear it and haughty to descend with a grace to the in triumph about town, to the heart-rending duties of such a station. affliction of all our beau garcons.

Sav. A good excuse for a bad practice, Sav. Indeed! Well, those little gallantries Dor. On my honour, experience will conwill soou be over-he's on the point ofmarriage. vince you of its truth. 'A Frenchman neither

3 X

nears, sees, nor breathes, but as his master Dor. If she has, she was pleased to keep it directs; and his whole system of conduct is to herself. I was in the room half an hour, comprised in one short word-obedience! An before I could catch the colour of her eyes; Englishman reasons, forms opinions, cogitates, and every attempt to draw her into conversa. and disputes ; he is the mere creature of your tion occasioned so cruel an embarrassment, will: the other, a being conscious of equal im- that I was reduced to the necessity of news, portance in the universal scale with yourself, French fleets, and Spanish captures, with her and is therefore your judge, whilst he wears father. your livery, and decides on your actions with Sav. So, Miss Hardy, with only beauty, the freedom of a censor.

modesty, and merit, is doomed to the arms of Sav. And this is in defence of a custom I have a husband who will despise her. heard you execrate, together with all the ad- Dor. You are unjust. Though she has not ventitious manners imported by our travelled inspired me with very violent passion, my gentry.

honour secures her felicity. Dor. Ay, but that was at eighteen ; we are Sav. Come, come, Doricourt, you know very always very wise at eighteen. But consider well, that when the honour of a husband is this point: we go into Italy, where the sole locum-tenens for his heart, his wife must be as business of the people is to study and improve indifferent as himself, if she is not unbappy. the powers of music: we yield to the fascina. Dor. Pho! never moralize without spec. tion, and grow enthusiasts in the charming tacles. But, as we are upon the tender subscience: we travel over France, and see the ject, how did you bear Touchwood's carrying whole kingdom composing ornaments, and in- lady Frances ? venting fashions: we condescend to avail our- Suv. You know I never looked up to her selves of their industry, and adopt their modes : with hope ; and Sir George is in every way we return to England, and find the nation in worthy of her. tent on the most important objects ; polity, Dur. A la mode Angloise, a philosopher, even commerce, war, with all the liberal arts, em- in love. ploy her sons ; the latent sparks glow afresh Sav. Come, s detain you. You seemed dressed within our bosoms; the sweet follies of the at all points, and of course have an engagecontinent imperceptibly slide away, whilst inept. senators, statesmen, patriots, and heroes, Dor. To St. James'. I dine at Hardy's, and emerge from the virtú Italy, and the frip accompany them to the masquerade in the pery of France.

evening-but breakfast with me to-morrow Sav. I may as well give it up-Yon had and we'll talk of our old companions ; for always the art of placing your faults in the best swear to you, Saville, the air of the continent light; and I can't help loving you, faults and has not effaced one youthful prejudice or atall : so to start a subject which must please tachment. you--When do you expect Miss Hardy ? Sav. With an exception to the case of ladies

Dor. Oh, the hour of expectation is past- and servants. She is arrived, and I this morning had the Dor. True ; there I plead guilty : but I have honour of an interview at Pleadwell's. The never yet found any man, whom I could corwritings were ready: and, in obedience to the dially take to my heart and call friend, who was will of Mr. Hardy, we met to sign and seal. not boro beneath a British sky, and whose

Sav. Has the event answered ? Did your heart and manners were not truly English. heart leap or sink, when you beheld your mis

(Exeunt Dor. and Sav. tress? Dor. 'Faith, neither one nor t'other:-she's

SCENE III.-An Apartment in MR. HARDY'S

House.
a fine girl, as far as mere flesh and blood goes.
-But

VILLERS seated on a Sofa, reading.
Sar. But what?
Dor. Why, she's only a fine girl ; com-

Enter FLUTTER. plexion, shape, and features-nothing more. Flut. Ha, Villers, have you seen Mrs. Suv. Is not that enough?

Rackett ? -Miss Hardy, I find, is out. Dor. No-she should have spirit; fire ! L'air Vil. I have not seen her yet. I have made a enjoué ! that something, that nothing, which voyage to Lapland since I came. (Flinging every body feels, and which nobody can de-away the book.j A lady at her toilet is as dit scribe, in the resistless charmers of Italy and ficult to be moved as a quaker. (Yawning.) France.

What events have happened in the world since Suv. Thanks to the parsimony of my father, yesterday? have you heard ? that kept me from travel! I would not bave Flut. On, yes; I stopped at Tattersall's, as lost my relish for true unaffected English I came by, and there I found Lord James beauty, to have been quarrelled for by all the Jessamy, Sir Willian Wilding, and Mr.belles of Versailles and Florence,

But now I think on't, you sha'n't know a sylla. Dor. Pho! thou hast no taste - English ble of the matter; for I have been informed beauty! 'tis insipidity : it wants the zest, it you never believe above one-half of what I say. wants poignancy, Frank ! Why, I have known Vil. My dear fellow, somebody has imposed a Frenchwoman, indebted to nature for no one upon you most egregiously! Half! Why, I thing but a pair of decent eyes, reckon in her never believe one-tenth part of what you say: suit as many counts, marquisses, and petits that is, according to the plain and literal exmaitres, as would satisfy three dozen of our pression ; but, as I understand you, your infirst rate toasts. I have known an Italian mar- telligence is amusing. quizina make ten conquests in stepping from Flut. That's very hard now, very hard. I her carriage, and carry her slaves from one city never related a falsity in my life, unless I to another, whose real intrinsic beauty wonld stumbled at it by mistake; and if it were otherhave yielded to half the little griseites that wise, your dull matter-of-fact people are inpace your Mall on a Sunday.

finitely obliged to those warm imaginations Sav. And bas Miss Hardy nothing of this ? which soar joto fiction to amuse you; for, posi. tively, the common events of this little, dirty | hundred-Six, said Lady Carmine-A thouworld are not worth talking about, unless you sand, said Ingot the nabob.-Down went the embellish them !Ha ! here comes Mrs. hammer.-A rouleau for your bargain, said Rackett: adieu to weeds, I see! All life! Sir Jeremy Jingle. And what answer do you

think Ingot made him? Enter Mrs. RACKETT.

Mrs. R. Why, took the offer, Enter, Madam, in all your charms ! Villers picture to place in the nursery: the children

Flut. Sir, I would oblige you, but I buy this has been abusing your toilet, for keeping you have already got Whittington and his cat! so long; but I think we are much obliged to | 'tis just his size, and they'll make good comit, and so are you. Mrs. R. How so, pray? Good morning t'ye

panions. both. Here, bere's a hand a-piece for you. just the way now—the nabobs and their wives

Mrs. R. Ha, ha, ha! Well, I protest that's Flut. How so! Because it hath given you so have no more taste

(Kiss her hands. outbid one at every sale, and the creatures many beauties. Mrs. R. Delightful compliment! What do told by Flutter, who always remembers every

Vil. There again! You forget this story is you think of that, Villers ? Vil. That he and his compliments are alike talks about ;-'twas Ingot who offered a rou

thing but the circumstances and the person he --sbowy, but wont bear examining:-So you leau for the bargain, and Sir Jeremy Jingle brought Miss Hardy to town last night?

who made the reply. Mrs. R. Yes, I should have brought her be

Flut. 'Egad, I believe you are right-Well, fore, but I had a fall from my horse, that confined me a week-I suppose in her heart she know. Good morning. I am going to Mrs.

the story is as good one way as t'other, you wished me hanged a dozen times an hour. Flut. Why?

Crotchet's concert, and in my way back shall

make my bow at Sir George's. Mrs. R. Had she not an expecting lover in

[Going. town all the time? She meets him this morning bill you make some blunder there.

Vil. I'll venture every figure in your tailor's at the lawyer’s.-I hope she'll charm himn ; she's the sweetest girl in the world.

Flut. [Turning back.) Done! my tailor's bill Vil Vanity, like murder, will out-You have has not been paid these two years ; and I'll convinced me you think yourself more charm open my mouth with as much care as Mrs. Brid. ing.

get Button, who wears cork plumpers in each Mrs. R. How can that be?

cheek, and never hazards more than six words, for fear of showing them.

[Exit. Vil. No woman ever praises another, unless she thinks herself superior in the very perfec- creature ! let in every where, and cared for no

Mrs. R. 'Tis a good-natured, insignificant tions she allows. Flut. Nor no man ever rails at the sex, yn Lincoln's-inn : she seems rather chagrined.

where.-There's Miss Hardy returned from less he is conscious he deserves their hatred.

Vil. Then I leave you to your communicaMrs. R. Thank ye, Flutter-I'll owe ye a

tions. bouquet for that, I am going to visit the Dew married Lady Frances Touchwood-Who

Enter LETITIA, followed by her Maid. knows her husband? Flut. Every body.

Adieu! I am rejoiced to see you so well, Ma. Mrs. R. Is there not something odd in his dam! but I must tear myself away. character ?

Let. Don't vanish in a moment. Vil. Nothing, but that he is passionately Vil. Oh, inhuman! you are two of the most fond of his wife ;-and so petulant is his love, dangerous women in town-Staying here to be that he opened the cage of a favourite bull cannonaded by four such eyes, is equal to a finch, and sent it to catch butterflies, because rencontre with Paul Jones, or a midnight she rewarded its song with her kisses.

march to Omoa !- - They'il swallow the nonMrs. R. Intolerable monster ! Such a brute sense for the sake of the compliment, deserves

[Aside ; exil. Vil. Nay, nay, nay, nay, this is your sex Let. [Gives her cloak to her Maid.] Order Du now.Give a woman but one stroke of char- Quesne never more to come again; he shall acter, off she goes, like a ball from a racket; positively dress my hair no more. (Exit Maid.] sees the whole man, marks him down for an- And this odious silk, how unbecoming it is ! gel or a devil, and so exhibits him to her ac- I was bewitched to choose it. [Throwing herquaintance. This monster ! this brute! is one self on a chair, and looking in a pocket glass ; of the worthiest fellows upon earth; sound Mrs. RACKETT staring at her,] Did you ever sense, and a liberal mind; but dotes on see such a fright as I am to-day? his wife to such excess, that he quarrels with Mrs. R. Yes, I have seen you look much every thing she admires, and is jealous of her worse. tippet and nosegay.

Let. How can you be so provoking ? If I do Mrs. R. Oh, less love for me, kind Cupid ! not look this morning worse than ever I look. I can see no dítference between the torment of ed in my life, I am naturally a fright. You such an affection, and hatred.

shall have it which way you will. Flut. Oh, pardon me, inconceivable diffe- Mrs. R. Just as you please; but pray what rence, inconceivable; I see it as clearly as is the meaning of all this? your bracelet. In the one case the husband Let. [Rising.) Men are all dissemblers, flatwould say, as Mr. Snapper said t'other day, terers, deceivers! Have I not heard a thouZounds! Madam, do you suppose that my sand times of my air, my eyes, my shape_all table, and my house, and my pictures Apró- made for victory! and to-day, when I bent my pos, des Bottes :-there was the divinest Plague whole heart on one poor conquest, I have of Athens sold yesterday at Langford's! the proved that all those imputed charms amount dead figures so natural; you would have sworn to nothing ; for Doricourt saw them unmoved. they had been alive. Lord Primrose bid five A husband of fifteen montis could not

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