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THE

MISER.

BY

HENRY FIELDING.

PROLOGUE.

WRITTEN BY A FRIEND.

Too long the slighted Comic Muse has mourn'd, A dull collection of insipid jokes,
Her face quite alter'd and her art o'erturn’d; Some stole from conversation, some from booka,
That force of nature now no more she sees, Provided lords and ladies give 'em vent,
With which so well her Jonson knew to please; We call high comedy, and seem content.
No characters from nature now we trace ; But, to regale with other sort of fare,
All serve to empty books of common-place: To-night the author treats you with Moliere;
Our modern bards, who to assemblies stray,

Moliere! who Nature's inmost secrets knew,
Frequent the Park, the visit, or the play, Whose justest pen like Kneller's pencil drew;
Regard not what fools do, but what wits say: In whose strong scenes all characters are shewn,
Just they retail each quibble to the town, Not by low jests, but actions of their own.
That surely must admire what is its own. Happy our English bard, if your applause
Thus, without characters from nature got,

Grant he's not injured the French author's cause: Without a moral, or without a plot,

From that alone arises all his fear :-
He must be safe if he has saved Moliere

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

MEN.

CHARLES BUBBLEBOY.
LOVEGOLD, the Miser.

A Lawyer.

JAMES.
FREDERICK, his Son.

WOMEN.
CLERIMONT.
RAMILIE, Seroant to Frederick.

HARRIET, Lovegold's Daughter.
Mr Decoy, a Broker.

Mrs WISELY.
Mr FURNISH, an Upholsterer.

MARIANA.
Mr SPARKLE, a Jeweller.

LAPPET, Maid to Mariana,
Mr Satin, a Mercer.

WHEEDLE.
Mr LIST, a Tailor.

Serdants, &c.
SCENE,-London.

ACT I.

SCENE I.-LOVEGOLD's House. ings at quadrille, the deuce take me if I have seen

one opera since I came to town. Oh! now I Enter LAPPET and RAMILIE.

mention operas, if you have a mind to see Cato, Lap. I'll hear no more. Perfidious fellow! I believe I can steal my master's silver ticket; for Have I for thee slighted so many good matches; I know he is engag d to-morrow with some gen. have I for thee turn's off Sir Oliver's steward and tlemen, who never leave their bottle for music. my lord Landy's butler, and several others, thy Lap. Ah, the savages ! betters, and all to be affronted in so public a man Wheed. No one can say that of you, Mr Raner?

milie ; you prefer music to every thingRam. Do but hear me, madam.

Ram. But the ladies. [Bell rings.] So, there's Lup. If thou wouldst have neglected me, was my summons. there nobody else to dance a minuet with but Lap. Well, but shall we never have a party o Mrs Susan Cross-stitch, whom you know to be quadrille more? my utter aversion ?

Wheed. Oh, don't name it! I have work'd my Ram. Curse on all balls ! Henceforth I shall eyes out since I saw you; for my lady has taken hate the sound of a violin.

a whim of flourishing all her old cambric pinners Lap. I have more reason, I am sure, after ha- and handkerchiefs : in short, my dear! no jourving been the jest of the whole company: What neywoman sempstress is half so much a slave as must they think of me, when they see you, after I am. having countenanced your addresses in the eye Lap. Why do you stay with her? of the world, take out another lady before me? Wheed. La, child! where can one better one's

Ram. I'm sure the world must think worse of self? All the ladies of our acquaintance are just me, did they imagine, madam, I could prefer any the same. Besides, there are some little things other to you.

that make amends:-My lady has a noble train Lap. None of your wheedling, sir; that won't of admirers, do. If ever you hope to speak to me more, let Ram. That, madam, is the only circumstance me see you affront the little minx in the next as wherein she has the honour of resembling you sembly you meet her.

[Bell rings louder.] You hear, madam, I am obliRom. I'll do it; and luckily, you know, we ged to leave you—[Bellrings.] So, so, so: Would are to have a ball at my lord Landy's the first the bell were in your guts. [Exit RAMILIE night he lies out of town, where I'll give your re Lap. Oh, Wheedle! I am quite sick of this venge ample satisfaction.

family: the old gentleman grows more covetous Lap. On that condition I pardon you this time; every day he lives. Every thing is under lock but if ever you do the like again

and key: I can scarce ask you to eat or drink. Ram. May I be banish'd for ever from those Wheed. Thank you, my dear! but I have drank dear eyes, and be turn’d out of the family while half-a-dozen dishes of chocolate already this you live in it.

morning.

Lap. Well, but, my dear, I have a whole budEnter WHEEDLE.

get of news to tell you : I have made some nota. Wheed. Dear Mrs Lappet !

ble discoveries. Lap. My dear! this is extremely kind.

Wheed. Pray let us hear 'em. I have some Wheed. It is what all your acquaintance must secrets of our family too, which you shall know do that expect to see you. It is in vain to hope by and by.—What a pleasure there is in having for the favour of a visit.

a friend to tell these things to ! Lup. Nay, dear creature ! now you are barba. Lap. You know, my dear, last summer my rous. My young lady has staid at home so much, young lady had the misfortune to be overset in a I have not had one moment to myself: The first boat between Richmond and Twickenham, and time I had gone out, I am sure, madam, would that a certain young gentleman, plunging imme have been to wait on Mrs Wheedle.

diately into the water, sav'd her life, at the hazard Wheed. My lady has staid at home too pretty of his own-Oh! I shall never forget the figure much lately.--Oh, Mr Ramilie! are you confin' she made at her return home so wet, so dragtoo? Your master does not stay at home, I am gled !-Ha, ha, ha! sure: He can find the way to our house, tho' you Wheed. Yes, my dear ! I know how all your cann't.

fine ladies look when they are never so little disRom. That is the only happiness, madam, I ordered—they have no need to be so vain of envy him: but, faith, I don't know how it is in themselves. this parliament time; one's whole days are so ta Lap. You are no stranger to my master's way ken up in the Court of Requests, and one's even- of rewarding people :—When the poor gentleman

I hope.

brought miss home, my master meets 'em at the choly, it is that I have it not in my power to make door, and, without asking any question, very ci- you as happy as I would. villy shuts it against him. Well, for a whole fort Cler. Thou art too bounteous : Every tender night afterwards, I was continually entertained word from those dear lips lays obligations on me with the young spark's bravery, and gallantry, and I never can repay: but if to love, to dote on you generosity, and beauty.

more than life itself; to watch your eyes, that I Wheed. I can easily guess : I suppose she was may obey your wishes before you speak them, rather warmed than cooled by the water. These can discharge me from any part of that vast debt mistresses of ours, for all their pride, are made of I owe you, I will be punctual in the payment. just the same flesh and blood as we are.

Hur. It were ungenerous in me to doubt you ; Lup. About a month ago, my young lady goes and when I think what you have done for me, to the play in an undress, and takes me with her. believe me I must think the balance on your side. We sat in Burton's box, where, as the devil would Cler. Generous creature' and dost thou not have it, whom should we meet with but this very for me hazard the eternal anger of your father, gentleman ! Her blushes soon discovered to me the reproaches of your family, the censures of the who he was. In short, the gentleman entertainer world, who always blaine the conduct of the per. her the whole play; and I much mistake if ever -on who sacrifices interest to any consideration? she was so agreeably entertained in her life. Well, Har. As for the censures of the world, I des. as we were going out, a rude fellow thrusts his pise them, while I do not deserve them: Folly is hand into my lady's bosom, upon which her cham- forwarder to censure wisdom than wisdom folly, pion fell upon him, and did so maul him--My I were weak indeed, not to embrace real happi. lady fainted away in my arms; but as soon as ness, because the world does not call it so, she came to herself—had you seen how she look Cier. But see, my dearest! your brother iş ed on him! Ah, sir! says she, in a mighty pretty come into the garden. tone, sure you were born for my deliverance ! He Hur. Is it not safe, think you, to let him into handed her into a hackney-coach,and set us down our secret? at home. From this moment letters began to fly Cler. You know, by outwardly humouring your on both sides.

father, in railing against the extravagance of young Wheed. And you took care to see the post paid, men, I have brought him to look on me as his

enemy : it will be first proper to set him right Lap. Never fear that.-And now, what do you in that point. Besides, in managing the old think we have contrived amongst us? We have gentleman I shall still be obliged to a behaviour got this very gentleman into the house, in the qua- which the impatience of his temper may not lity of my master's clerk.

bear, therefore I think it not adviseable to trust Wheed. Soh! here's fine billing and cooing I him, at least yet.He will observe us. Adieu, warrant: Miss is in a fine condition.

my heart's only joy!

(Erit, Lap. Her condition is pretty much as it was Har. Honest creature! What happiness may yet ; how long it will continue so, I know not. 1 ! propose in a life with such a husband? What am making up my matters as fast as I can, for is there in grandeur to recompence the loss of this house holds not me after the discovery. him ? Parents choose as often ill for us as we do

Wheed. I think you have no great reason to for ourselves: they are too apt to forget how sellament the loss of a place where the master keeps dom true happiness lives in a palace, or rides in a his own keys.

coach and six. Lap. The devil take the first inventor of locks,

Enter FREDERICK. say I. But come, my. dear! there is one key which I keep, and that I believe will furnish us Fred. Dear Harriet ! good morrow: I am glad with sweet-meats; so if you will walk in with me, to find you alone, for I have an affair to impart to I'll tell you a secret which concerns your family. you that I am ready to burst with. It is in your power, perhaps, to be serviceable to Har. You know, brother, I am a trusty con

I hope, my dear, you will keep these se fidant. erets safe ; for one would not have it known that Fred. As ever wore petticoats; but this is an one publishes all the affairs of a family while one affair of such consequencestays in it.

(Exeunt. Har. Or it were not worth your telling me.

Fred. Or your telling again. In short, you SCENE II.- A Garden.

never could discover it; I could afford you ten

years to guess it in. I am-you will laugh ima Enter CLERIMONT and HARRIET.

moderately when you know it-I am—it iş ima Cler. Why are you melancholy, my dear Har possible to tell you:- In a word, I am in love ! riet? Do you repent that promise of yours, which Har. In love! has made me the happiest of mankind ?

Fred. Violently—to distraction; so much in Har. You little know my heart, if you can love, that without more hopes than I at present think it capable of repenting any thing I have see any possibility of obtainıng, I cannot live done towards your happiness. If I am melan- three days.

VOL. IV.

me.

able coquette.

Hur. And has this violent distemper, pray, Ram. Steal! a likely thing indeed, to steal come upon you of a sudden ?

from a man who locks up every thing he bas, Fred. No, I have bred it a long time: it hath and stands sentry upon it day and night ! been growing these several weeks: I stifled it as Love. I'm all over in a sweat lest this fellow long as I could, but it is now come to a crisis, should suspect something of my money. (Aside.) and I must either have the woman, or you will Hark'e, rascal, come hither: I would advise you have no brother.

not to run about the town, and tell every one Har. But who is this woman? for you have you meet that I have money hid. conceal'd it so well that I cann't even guess.

Ram. Why, have you any money hid, sir? Fred. In the first place, she is a most intoler Love. No, sirrah, I don't say I have; but you

may raise such a report nevertheless. Har. That is a description I shall neyer find Ram. 'Tis equal to me whether you have moher out by, there are so many of her sisters : you ney hid or no, since I cannot find it. might as well tell me the colour of her complexion. Love. D’ye mutter, sirrah? Get you out of my

Fred. Secondly, she is almost eternally at cards. house, I say, get you out this instant.
Har. You must come to particulars: I shall

Ram. Well, sir, I am going. never discover your mistress till you tell me more Lore. Come back : let me desire you to carry than that she is a woman, and lives in this town. nothing away with you. Fred. Her fortune is very small.

Ram. What should I carry? Har. I find you are enumerating her charms. Love. That's what I would see. These boot

Fred. Oh! Í have only shewn you the reverse; | sleeves were certainly intended to be the receibut were you to behold the medal on the right vers of stolen goods, and I wish the tailor bad side, you would see beauty, wit, genteelness, po- been hang’d who invented them. Turn your liteness—in a word, you would see Mariana. pockets inside out if you please; but you are too

Hur. Mariana ! Ha, ha, ha! you have started practised a rogue to put any thing there. These a wild-goose chase indeed. But if you could damn'd bags have had many a good thing in them, ever prevail on her, you may depend on it it is I warrant you. an arrant impossibility to prevail on my father; Ram. Give me my bag, sir: I am in the most and

you may easily imagine what success a dis- danger of being robbed. inherited son may be likely to expect with a Love. Come, come, be honest, and return what woman of her temper.

thou hast taken from me. Fred. I know 'tis difficult, but nothing's im Ram. Ay, sir, that I could do with all my heart, possible to love, at least, nothing's impossible to for I have taken nothing from you but some boses woman; and therefore if you and the ingenious on the ear. Mrs Lappet will but lay your heads together in Love. And hast thou really stolen nothing? my favour, I shall be far from despairing; and in Ram. No, really, sir. return, sister, for this kindness

Love. Then get out of my house while 'tis all Har. And in return, brother, for this kindness, well, and go to the devil. you may perhaps have it in your power to do me Rum. Ay, any where from such an old corea favour of pretty much the same nature. tous curmudgeon.

Exit. Love. Without.) Rogue ! villain !

Love. So, there's one plague gone. Now I will Har. So! what's the matter now? what can go pay a visit to the dear casket. have thrown my father into this passion? Fred. The loss of an old slipper, I suppose, or

Enter FREDERICK and HARRIET. something of equal consequence. Let us step In short, I must find some safer place to deposit aside into the next walk, and talk more of our those three thousand guineas in, which I receiaffairs.

(Ereunt. ved yesterday : three thousand guineas are a sum

Oh, Heavens! I have betray'd myself! my Enter LoveGOLD and RAMILIE.

passion has transported me to talk aloud, and I Love. Answer me not, sirrah, but get you out have been overheard. How now! what's the of my house.

matter? Ram. Sir, I am your son's servant, and not Fred. The matter, sir ! yours, sir ; and I won't go out of the house, sir, Love. Yes, the matter, sir! I suppose you can unless I am turn'd out by my proper master, sir. repeat more of my words than these : I suppose

Love. Sirrah, I'll turn your master out after you have overheardyou, like an extravagant rascal as he is : he has Fred. What, sir? no need of a servant while he is in my house ; Love. Thatand here he dresses out a fellow at more expence Fred. Sir! than a prudent man might clothe a large family Lode. What I was just now saying., at. It's plain enough what use he keeps you for; Har. Pardon me, sir ; we really did not. but I will have no spy upon my affairs, no ras. Love. Well, I see you did overhear something, cal continually prying into all my actions, de- and so I will tell you the wbole. I was saying 10 vouring all I have, and hunting about in every myself, in this great scarcity of money, what a corner, to see what he may steal.

happiness it would be to have three thousand

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guineas by one. I tell you this that you might Love. Does she not promise to make a good not misunderstand me, and imagine that I said I housewife? had three thousand guineas.

Fred. Oh, the best housewife upon earth. Fred. We enter not into your affairs, sir. Love. Might not a husband, think ye, live very Love. Ah, would I had those three thousand

easy and happy with her ? guineas !

Fred. Doubtless, sir.
Fred. In my opinion-

Love. There is one thing I'm a little afraid of,
Lode. It would make my affairs extremely easy. that is, that she has not quite as much fortune

Fred. Then it is very easily in your power to as one might fairly expect. raise 'em, sir : that the whole world knows. Fred. Oh, sir! consider but her merit, and

Love. I raise 'em! I raise three thousand gui- you may easily make an abatement in her forneas easily! My children are my greatest enemies, iune. For Heaven's sake, sir, don't let that preand will, by their way of talking, and by the extra vent your design. Fortune is nothing in comparivagant expences they run into, be the occasion

son with her beauty and merit. that, one of these days, somebody will cut my Lore. Pardon me there; however, there may throat, imagining me to be made up of nothing be some matters found, perhaps, to make up but guineas.

some little deficiency; and if you would, to obFred. What expence, sir, do I run into ? lige your father, retrench your extravagancies on

Love. How have you the assurance to ask me this occasion, perhaps the difference in some time that, sir, when, if one was but to pick those fine might be made up. feathers of yours off from head to foot, one Fred. My dearest father! I'll bid adicu to all might purchase a very comfortable annuity out extravagance for ever. of them? A fellow here with a very good for Love. Thou art a dutiful good boy; and since tune upon his back wonders that he is call'd I find you have the same sentiments with me, extravagant ! In short, sir, you must rob me to provided she can but make out a pretty tolerable appear in this manner.

fortune, I am even resolved to marry her. Fred. How sir ! rob you ?

Fred. Ha! You resolved to marry Mariana ? Love. Ay, rob me, or how could you support Love. Ay, to marry Mariana. this extravagance?

Har. Who? you, you, you! Fred. Alas, sir! there are fifty young fellows Love. Yes, I, I, I. of my acquaintance that support greater extrava Fred. I beg you will pardon me, sir : a sudden gancies, and no one knows how. Ah, sir! there dizziness has seized me, and I must beg leave to are ten thousand pretty ways of living in this retire.

(Exit FRED. town without robbing one's father.

Love. This, daughter, is what I have resolved Love. What necessity is there for all that lace for myself: as for your brother, I have a certain on your coat? and all bought at the first hand widow in my eye for him; and you, my dear! too, I warrant you. If you will be fine, is there shall marry our good neighbour Mr Spindle. not such a place as Monmouth Street in this Har. I marry Mr Spindle. town, where a man may buy a suit for the third

Love. Yes ;

he is a prudent, wise man, not much part of the sum which his tailor demands ? And above fifty, and has a great fortune in the funds. then periwigs! What need has a man of periwigs, Har. I thank you, my dear papa! but I had when he may wear his own hair? I dare swear rather not marry,

if
you please.

[Courtesying. a good periwig cann't cost less than fifteen or Love. (Mimicking her courtesy.) I thank you, twenty shillings. -Hey-day! what, are they my good daughter! but I had rather you should making signs to one another which shall pick my

marry him, if

you please. pocket?

Har. Pardon me, dear sir ! Har. My brother and I, sir, are disputing which Love. Pardon me, dear madam ! shall speak to you first, for we have both an affair Har. Not all the fathers upon earth shall force of consequence to mention to you.

me to it. Love. And I have an affair of consequence to Love. Did ever mortal hear a girl talk in this mention to you both. Pray, sir, you who are a manner to her father! fine gentleman, and converse much amongst the Hur. Did ever father attempt to marry his ladies, what think you of a certain young lady daughter after such a manner ! In short, sir, I called Mariana ?

have ever been obedient to you; but as this afFred. Mariana, sir !

fair concerns my happiness only, and not yours, Love. Ay, what do you think of her?

I hope you will give me leave to consult my own Fred. Think of her, sir !

inclination. Love. Why do you repeat my words ? -Ay, Love. I would not have you provoke me: I what do you think of her?

am resolved

upon the match.
Fred. Why, I think her the most charming
"woman in the world.

Enter CLERIMONT.
Love. Would she not be a desirable match? Cler. Some people, sir, upon justice business,

Fred. So desirable, that, in my opinion, her desire to speak with your worship.
husband will be the happiest of mankind.

Love. I can attend to no business, this girl has

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