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Com. Opera, by Isaac Bickerstaffe. Acted at Covent Garden 1765. This is taken from Richardson's novel of Pamela, and ran thirty-five nights. In the year 1782, Mr. O'Keeffe added several airs to it, with which it was revived with applause. It has since been reduced to an afterpiece, and performed in that state at Covent Garden. It has been observed, that, "like Pamela, this is one of those delusions which frequently destroy the proper subordination of society. The village beauty, whose simplicity and innocence are her native charms, smitten with the reveries of rank and splendour, becomes affected and retired, disdaining her situation and every one about her."-We do not believe, however, that many instances of this could be adduced.
SIR HARRY SYCAMORE.
SCENE I-A rural Prospect, with a Mill
at Work. Several People employed about it; on one Side a House, PATTY read ing in the Window; on the other a Barn, where FANNY sits mending a Net; GILES appears at a distance in the Mill; FAIRFIELD and RALPH taking Sacks from a Cart.
Free from sorrow, free from strife,
Let the great enjoy the blessings
By indulgent fortune sent:
no doubt but you'll find enow for a body to do.
Fair. What dost mutter? Is't not a strange plague that thou canst never go about any thing with a good will; murrain take it, what's come o'er the boy? So then thou wilt not
set a hand to what I have desired thee?
Pat do do some thing then? I thought when Ralph. Why don't you speak to suster she came home to us, after my old lady's death, she was to have been of some use in the house; but instead of that, she sits there all day, reading outlandish books, dressed like a fine madumasel; and the never a word you says to she.
Fair. Sirrah, don't speak so disrespectfully of thy sister; thou wilt never have the tithe of her deserts.
Ralph. Why, I'll read and write with her for what she dares; and as for playing on the hapsichols 1), I thinks her rich godmother might have learn'd her something more properer, seeing she did not remember to leave her a legacy at last.
Fair. That's none of thy business, sirrah. Ralph. A farmer's wife painting pictures, at it. Stop the mill there; and dost hear, and playing on the hapsicols; why I'll be son Ralph, hoist yon sacks of flour upon this hang'd now, for all as old as she is, if she cart, lad, and drive it up to lord Aimworth's: knows any more about milking a cow, than coming from London last night with strange I do of sewing a petticoat. company, no doubt there are calls enough for it by this time.
Ralph. Ay, feyther, whether or not, there's
Fair. Ralph, thou hast been drinking this morning.
Ralph. Well, if so be as I have, it's no- Fair. Well, Patty, master Goodman, my thing out of your pocket, nor mines neither. lord's steward has been with me just now, Fair. Who has been giving thee liquor, and I find we are like to have great doings; sirrah? his lordship has brought down sir Harry Sycamore and his family, and there is more company expected in a few days.
Ralph. Why it was wind1)-a gentleman guve me.
Fair. A gentleman!
Ralph. Yes, a gentleman that's come piping hot from London: he is below at the Cat and Bagpipes; Icod he rides a choice bit of a nag. I dare to say she'd fetch as good as forty pound at ever a fair in all England. Fair. A fig's end for what she'd fetch; mind thy business, or by the lord Harry—
Ralph. Why I won't do another hand's turn to-day now, so that's flat.
Fair. Thou wilt not
Pat. I know sir Harry very well; he is by marriage a distant relation of my lord's.
Fair. Pray what sort of a young body is the daughter there? I think she used to be with you at the castle, three or four summers ago, when my young lord was out upon his travels.
Pat. Oh! very often; she was a great favourite of my lady's: pray, father, is she come down?
Fair. Why you know the report last night, about my lord's going to be married. By Ralph. Why no I wont; so what argufies what I can learn she is; and there is likely your putting yourself in a passion, feyther? to be a nearer relationship between the fa I've promised to go back to the gentleman; milies, ere long. It seems his lordship was and I don't know but what he's a lord too; not over willing for the match, but the friends and mayhap he may do more for me than you on both sides in London pressed it so hard: thinks of. then there's a swinging fortune: master GoodFair. Well, son Ralph, run thy gait; but man tells me, a matter of twenty or thirty remember I tell thee, thou wilt repent this thousand pounds. untowardness.
Pat. If it was a million, father, it would Ralph. Why, how shall I repent it? May-not be more than my lord Aimworth deserhap you'll turn me out of your service; a ves; I suppose the wedding will be celebrated match; with all hearts-Icod I don't care three here at the mansion-house.
A 1 R.
You think I'm afraid, but the diff'rence to
show you, First yonder's your shovel; your sacks too I
Henceforward take care of your matters who will:
They're welcome to slave for your wages
Fair. So it is thought, as soon as things can be properly prepared-And now, Patty, if I could but see thee a little merry-Come, bless thee, pluck up thy spirits-To be sure thou hast sustained, in the death of thy lady, a heavy loss; she was a parent to thee; nay, and better, inasmuch as she took thee when thou wert but a babe, and gave thee an education which thy natural parents could not afford to do.
Pat. Ah! dear father, don't mention what perhaps has been my greatest misfortune.
Tol lol de rol lol, I have purchas'd my freedom,
Fair. Nay then, Patty, what's become of all thy sense that people talk so much about? -But I have something to say to thee which I need not tell thee, my child, that a young I would have thee consider seriously-I believe she has any thing about her to draw people's maiden, after she is marriageable, especially if cross accidents; so that the sooner she's out of notice, is liable to ill tongues, and a many harm's way the better. I say, then, a young [Exit. woman's best safeguard is a good husband. Fair. Dear heart, dear heart! I protest this Now there is our neighbour, farmer Giles; ungracious boy puts me quite beside myself. he is a sober, honest, indust:ious, young felPally, my dear, come down into the yard a low, an done of the wealthiest in these parts; little, and keep me company-and you, thieves, he is greatly taken with thee; and it is not vagabonds, gipsies, out here! 'tis you de- the first time I have told thee I should be bauch my son. [Drives off Gipsies. glad to have him for a son-in-law.
Enter PATTY from the House.
In love to pine and languish,
Can sharpen pangs like these;
1) The country way of pronouncing wine.
Pat. And I have told you as often, father, I would submit myself entirely to your tion; whatever you think proper for me is so. Fair. Why that's spoken like a dutiful, sensible girl; get thee in, then, and leave me to manage it-Perhaps our neighbour Giles is not a gentleman; but what are the greatest part of our country gentlemen good for? Pat. Very true, father. [Exit into the Cottage.
Giles. Well, master Fairfield, you and miss Pat have had a long discourse together; did you tell her that I was come down?
Fair. No, in truth, friend Giles; but I mentioned our affair at a distance; and I think there is no fear.
Giles. That's right-and when shall usYou do know I have told you my mind often and often.
Fair. Farmer, give us thy hand; nobody doubts thy good will to me and my girl; and you may take my word, I would rather give her to thee than another; for I am main certain thou wilt make her a good husband.
Giles. Thanks to your kind opinion, master Fairfield; if such be my hap, I hope there will be no cause of complaint.
Re-enter PATTY from the Cottage. Fair. Patty, child, why wouldst not thou open the door for our neighbour Giles? Pat. Really, father, I did not know what was the matter.
Fair. And I promise thee my daughter will make thee a choice wife. But thou know'st, friend Giles, that I, and all belongs to me, Fair. Well, our neighbour Giles will be have great obligations to lord Aimworth's fa-here another time; he'll be here again premily; Patty, in particular, would be one of sently. He's gone up to the castle, Patty: the most ungrateful wretches this day breath-thou know'st it would not be right for us to ing, if she was to do the smallest thing do any thing without giving his lordship in contrary to their consent and approbation. telligence, so I have sent the farmer to let Giles. Nay, nay, 'tis well enough known to him know that he is willing, and we all the country she was the old lady's darling. willing, and, with his lordship's approbationFair. Well, master Giles, I'll assure thee Pat. Oh, dear father-what are you going she is not one whit less obliged to my lord to himself. When his mother was taken off so Fair. Nay, child, I would not have stirr'd suddenly, and his affairs called him up to a step for fifty pounds, without advertising London, if Patty would have remained at the his lordship beforehand. castle, she might have had the command of all; or if she would have gone any where else, he would have paid for her fixing, the cost be what it would.
Pat. But surely, surely, you have not done this rash, this precipitate thing?
Fair. How rash, how is it rash, Patty? I don't understand thee.
Giles. Why, for that matter, folks did not Pat. Oh, you have distress'd me beyond spare to say, that my lord had a sort of a imagination-but why would you not give sneaking kindness for her himself: and I re- me notice, speak to me first? member, at one time, it was rife all about the neighbourhood, that she was actually to be our lady.
Fair. Pho, pho! a pack of woman's tales. Giles. Nay, to be sure they'll say any thing. Fair. My lord's a man of a better way of thinking, friend Giles--but this is neither here nor there to our business-Have you been at the castle yet?
Giles. Who, I! bless your heart I did not hear a syllable of his lordship's being come down, till your lad told me.
Fair. Why han't I spoken to thee an hundred times? No, Patty, 'tis thou that wouldst distress me, and thou'lt break my heart.
Pat. Dear father!
Fair. All I desire is to see thee well settled; and now that I am likely to do so, thou art not contented. I am sure the farmer is as sightly a clever lad as any in the country; and is he not as good as we?
Pat. 'Tis very true, father, I am to blame; pray forgive me.
Fair. Forgive thee! Lord help thee, my Fair. No! why then go up to my lord, let child, I am not angry with thee; but quiet him know you have a mind to make a match thyself, Patty, and thou'lt see all this will with my daughter, hear what he has to say turn out for the best. to it, and afterwards we will try if we can't Pat. What will become of me?-My lord settle matters. will certainly imagine this is done with my Giles. Go up to my lord? Icod, if that be consent-Well, is he not himself going to be all, I'll do it with the biggest pleasure in life. -But where's miss Pat? Might not one ax her how she do?
Fair. Never spare it; she's within there. Giles. I sees her-old rabbit it, this hatch is locked now-miss Pat-miss Patty--she makes believe not to hear me.
Fair. Well, well, never mind, thou'lt come and eat a morsel of dinner with us. Giles. Nay, but just to have a bit of a joke with her at present-miss Pat, I say won't you open the door?
Hark! 'tis I, your own true lover;
married to a lady, suitable to him in rank, suitable to him in fortune, as this farmer is to me; and under what pretence can I refuse the husband my father has found for me? Shall I say that I have dared to raise my inclinations above my condition, and presumed to love where my duty taught me only gratitude and respect? Alas! who could live in the house with lord Aimworth, see him, converse with him, and not love him! I have this consolation, however, my folly is yet undiscover'd to any; else, how should I be ridiculed and despised! nay, would not my lord himself despise me, especially if he knew that I have more than once construed his natural affability and politeness into sentiments as unworthy of him, as mine are bold and extravagant. Unexampled vanity.
SCENE II.-A Chamber in LORD AIMWORTH'S Retreats the most harren, most desert, would be
Enter SIR HARRY SYCAMORE and THEODOSIA. Sir H. Well but, Theodosia, child, you are quite unreasonable.
With the man that I love, was I destin'd to
Insensible creatures! 'tis all they can taste.
Theo. Pardon me, papa, it is not I am unreasonable, but you; when I gave way to my inclinations for Mr. Mervin, he did not seem less agreeable to you and my mamma than he was acceptable to me. It is therefore you have been unreasonable, in first encouraging Mr. Mervin's addresses, and afterwards for- Lady S. I am just come from looking over bidding him your house; in order to bring his lordship's family trinkets.-Well, miss Syme down here, to force me on a gentleman-camore, you are a happy creature, to have Sir H. Force you, Dossy 1), what do you diamonds, equipage, title, and all the blessings mean? By the la, I would not force you on of life poured thus upon you at once. the czar of Muscovy. Theo. Blessings, madam! Do you think Theo. And yet, papa, what else can I call then I am such a wrach as to place my it? for though lord Aimworth is extremely at-licity in the possession of any such trumpery? tentive and obliging, I assure you he is by Lady S. Upon my word, miss, you have no means one of the most ardent of lovers. a very disdainful manner of expressing yourSir H. Ardent, ah! there it is; you girls self; I believe there are very few young wonever think there is any love, without kissing men of fashion, who would think any sacri and hugging; but you should consider, child, fice they could make too much for them.— my lord Aimworth is a polite man, and has Did you ever hear the like of her, sir Harry? been abroad in France and Italy, where these Sir H. Why, my dear, I have just been things are not the fashion: I remember when talking to her in the same strain, but what I was on my travels, among the madames ever she has got in her headand signoras, we never saluted more than the tip of the ear.
Theo. Really, papa, you have a very strange opinion of my delicacy.
Sir H. Well come, my poor Dossy, 1 see you are chagrin'd, but you know it is not my fault; on the contrary, I assure you, I had always a great regard for young Mervin, and should have been very glad
Lady S. Oh, it is Mr. Mervin, her gentleman of Bucklersbury.-Fie, miss, marry a cit! Were is your pride, your vanity; have you nothing of the person of distinction about you?
Sir H. Well but, my lady, you know I am a piece of a cit myself, as I may say, my great-grandfather was a dry-salter.
Theo. And yet, madam, you condescended to marry my papa.
Lady S. Well, if I did, miss, I had but five thousand pounds to my portion, and sir Harry knows I was past eight-and-thirty before I
Theo. How then, papa, could you join in forcing me to write him that strange letter, never to see me more? or how indeed could I comply with your commands? what must would listen to him. be think of me?
Sir H. Nay, Dossy, that's true, your mamSir H. Ay, but hold, Dossy, your mamma ma own'd eight-and-thirty before we were convinced me that he was not so proper a son-in-law for us as lord Aimworth. Theo. Convinced you! Ah, my dear papa, you were not convinced.
Sir H. What, don't I know when I am convinced?
married: but by the la, my dear, you were a lovely angel; and by candle-light_nobody would have taken you for above five-andtwenty.
Lady S. Sir Harry, you remember the last time I was at my lord duke's.
Sir H. Yes, my love, it was the very day your little bitch Minxey pupt.
Theo. Why no, papa; because your good nature and easiness of temper is such, that you pay more respect to the judgment of Lady S. And pray what did the whole famamma, and less to your own, than you mily say? my lord John, and my lord Thoought to do. mas, and my lady duchess in particular? Sir H. Well, but Dossy, don't you see how Cousin, says her grace to me-for she always your mamma loves me? If the tip of my little called me cousin
finger does but ache, she's like a bewitched Theo. Well but, madam, to cut this matter woman; and if I was to die, I don't believe short at once, my father has a great regard she would outlive the burying of me: nay, for Mr. Mervin, and would consent to our she has told me as much herself.
1) Dossy is an abbreviation of Theodosia.
union with all his heart.
Lady S. Do you say so, sir Harry?
Sir H. Who I, love!
Lord A. Upon my word, farmer, you have
Lady S. Then all my care and prudence made an excellent choice-It is a god-daughter of my mother's, madam, who was bred up
are come to nothing.
Sir H. Well, but stay, my lady-Dossy, under her care, and I protest I do not know you are always making mischief.
Theo. Ah! my dear sweet
Lady S. Do, miss, that's right, coax— Theo. No, madam, I am not capable of any such meanness.
Lady S. 'Tis very civil of you to contradict me however.
Sir H. Eh! what's that-hand's off, Dossy, don't come near me.
Enter LORD AIMWORTH and GILES.
Lord A. Come, farmer, you may come in, there are none here but friends. Sir Harry, your servant.
a more amiable young woman.-But are you sure, farmer, that Patty herself is inclinable to this match?
Giles. O yes, my lord, I am sartain of that. Lord A. Perhaps then she desired you to come and ask my consent?
Giles. Why as far as this here, my lord; to be sure, the miller did not care to publish the bans, without making your lordship acquainted-But I hope your honour's not angry with I.
Lord A. Angry, farmer! why should you think so?-what interest have I in it to be angry
Sir H. And so, honest farmer, you are going to be married to little Patty Fairfield? She's an old acquaintance of mine: how long have you and she been sweethearts?
Giles. Not a long while, an please your worship.
Sir H. Well, her father's a good warm fellow; I suppose you take care that she brings something to make the pot boil?
Lady S. What does that concern you, sir Ilarry? How often must I tell you of meddling in other people's affairs?
Sir H. My lord, a penny for your thoughts1). Lord A. I beg your pardon, sir Harry; Sir H. My lord, I kiss your lordship's hands upon my word, I did not think where I was. -I hope he did not overhear us squabbling. Giles. Well then, your honour, I'll make [Aside. bold to be taking my leave; I may say you Lord A. Well now, master Giles, what is gave consent for miss Patty and I to go on. it you have got to say to me? If I can do Lord A. Undoubtedly, farmer, if she apyou any service, this company will give you proves of it: but are you not afraid that her leave to speak. education has rendered her a little unsuitable for a wife for you?
Giles. I thank your lordship; I has not got a great deal to say; I do come to your lordship about a little business, if you'll please to give me the bearing.
Lord A. Certainly, only let me know what it is.
Giles. Why, an please you, my lord, being left alone, as I may say, feyther dead, and all the business upon my own hands, I do think of settling and taking a wife, and am come to ax your honour's consent.
Lord A. My consent, farmer! if that be necessary, you have it with all my heart-I hope you have taken care to make a prudent choice. Giles. Why I do hope so, my lord. Lord A. Well, and who is the happy fair one? Does she live in my house?
Giles. No, my lord, she does not live in your house, but she's a parson of your acquaintance.
Lord A. Of my acquaintance!
Giles. No offence, I hope, your honour. Lord A. None in the least: but how is she an acquaintance of mine?
Lady S. Oh, my lord, if the girl's handy-
Giles. Handy! Why, saving respect, there's nothing comes amiss to her; she's cute at every varsal kind of thing.
Odd's my life, search England over,
Giles. Your lordship do know miller Fair-er.
Lord A. Well
Giles. And Patty Fairfield, his daughter, my lord?
Lord A. Ay, is it her you think of marrying? Giles. Why if so be as your lordship has no objection; to be sure we will do nothing without your consent and approbation.
1) A young lady being once melancholy and thoughtful in the presence of a gentleman for whom she had a sort of a tendre, which was returned on his part also, though neither party knew the sentiments of the other, was thus accosted by the gentleman; "A penny for your thoughts." (I will give you a penny for your thoughts.) "For the other odd (remaining) eleven pence you shall have thoughts and thinker," answered the lady; the gentleman produced a shilling, and the lady consented to marry him.-This is now often used, but not necessarily implying this meaning.