Imatges de pÓgina
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Honey. Cease to upbraid me, Sir: I have for some time but too strongly felt the justice of your reproaches. But there is one way still left me. Yes, Sir, I have determined this very hour to quit for ever a place where I have made myself the voluntary slave of all, and to seek among strangers that fortitude which may give strength to the mind, and marshal all its dissipated virtues. Yet, ere I depart, permit me to solicit favour for this gentleman, who, notwithstanding what has happened, has laid me under the most signal obligations. Mr. Lofty

Lofty. Mr. Honeywood, I'm resolved upon a reformation as well as you. I now begin to find that the man who first invented the art of speaking truth, was a much cunninger fellow than I thought him. And to prove that I design to speak truth for the future, I must now assure you, that you owe your late enlargement to another; as, upon my soul, I had no hand in the matter. So now, if any of the company has a mind for preferment, he may take my place: I'm determined to resign.

Honey. How have I been deceived!

[Exit.

Sir Wm. No, Sir, you have been obliged to a kinder, fairer friend, for that favour,-to Miss Richland. Would she complete our joy, and make the man she has honoured by her friendship happy in her love, I should then forget all, and be as blest as the welfare of my dearest kinsman can make me.

Miss Rich. After what is past, it would be but affectation to pretend to indifference. Yes, I will own an attachment, which I find was more than friendship. And if my entreaties cannot alter his resolution to quit the country, I will even try-if my hand has not power to detain him. (Giving her hand.)

Honey. Heavens! how can I have deserved all this? How express my happiness-my gratitude? A moment like this overpays an age of apprehension.

Cro. Well, now I see content in every face; but Heaven send we be all better this day three months!

Sir Wm. Henceforth, nephew, learn to respect yourself. He who seeks only for applause from without, has all his happiness in another's keeping.

Honey. Yes, Sir, I now too plainly perceive my errors: my vanity, in attempting to please all by fearing to offend any: my meanness, in approving folly, lest fools should disapprove. Henceforth, therefore, it shall be my study to reserve my pity for real distress; my friendship for true merit; and my love for her who first taught me what it is to be happy. [Exeunt omnes.

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER;

OR,

THE MISTAKES OF A NIGHT.

A COMEDY.

[DEDICATION.]

TO SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.

DEAR SIR,-By inscribing this slight performance to you, I do not mean so much to compliment you as myself. It may do me some honour to inform the public, that I have lived many years in intimacy with you. It may serve the interests of mankind also to inform them, that the greatest wit may be found in a character, without impairing the most unaffected piety.

I have, particularly, reason to thank you for your partiality to this performance. The undertaking a comedy, not merely sentimental, was very dangerous; and Mr. Colman, who saw this piece in its various stages, always thought it so. However, I ventured to trust it to the public; and, though it was necessarily delayed till late in the season, I have every reason to be grateful.

I am, dear Sir,

Your most sincere friend
And admirer,

OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

[THR CAST OF THE CHARACTERS AT COVENT GARDEN IN 1773.]

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Enter Mr. WOODWARD, dressed in black, and holding a handkerchief to his eyes.

EXCUSE me, Sirs, I pray-I can't yet speak-
I'm crying now-and have been all the week.

""Tis not alone this mourning suit," good masters:
"I've that within" for which there are no plasters!
Pray, would you know the reason why I'm crying?
The Comic Muse, long sick, is now a-dying!
And if she goes, my tears will never stop;
For, as a player, I can't squeeze out one drop:
I am undone, that's all-shall lose my bread-
I'd rather-but that's nothing-lose my head.
When the sweet maid is laid upon the bier,

Shuter and I shall be chief mourners here. To her a mawkish drab of spurious breed, Who deals in Sentimentals, will succeed! Poor Ned and I are dead to all intents; We can as soon speak Greek as Sentiments! Both nervous grown, to keep our spirits up, We now and then take down a hearty cup. What shall we do? If Comedy forsake us, They'll turn us out, and no one else will take us! But why can't I be moral? Let me try:My heart thus pressing-fix'd my face and eyeWith a sententious look that nothing means, (Faces are blocks in sentimental scenes,) Thus I begin:-"All is not gold that glitters, “Pleasures seem sweet, put prove a glass of bitters. "When Ign'rance enters, Folly is at hand; "Learning is better far than house and land. "Let not your virtue trip: who trips may stumble, "And Virtue is not Virtue, if she tumble."

I give it up-morals won't do for me;
To make you laugh, I must play tragedy.
One hope remains:-hearing the maid was ill,
A Doctor comes this night to show his skill:
To cheer her heart, and give your muscles motion,
He, in Five Draughts prepar'd, presents a potion—
A kind of magic charm—for, be assur'd,
If you will swallow it, the maid is cur'd:
But desp❜rate the Doctor's and her case is,
If you reject the dose, and make wry faces!
This truth he boasts, will boast it while he lives,
No pois'nous drugs are mix'd in what he gives.
Should he succeed, you'll give him his degree;
If not, within he will receive no fee!

The College, you, must his pretensions back,
Pronounce him Regular, or dub him Quack.

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