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AFING, for some years, met with very great success in my productions of the musical kind; when I wrote the following Opera, it was with unusual care and attention; and it was the general opinion of all my friends, some of whom rank among the best judges, that of all my trifles, LIONEL AND CLARISSA was the most pardonable : a decision in its favour, which I was the prouder of, because, to the best of my knowledge, through the whole, I had not borrowed an expression, a sentiment, or a character, from any
dramatic writer extant. When Mr. Garrick thought of performing this piece at Drury-lane theatre, he had a new singer to bring out, and every thing possible for her advantage was to be done; this necessarily occasioned some new songs and airs to be introduced; and other singers, with voices of a different compass from those who originally acted the parts, occasioned still more; by which means the greatest part of the music unavoidably became new. This is the chief, and indeed the only alteration made in the Opera : and even to that, I should in many places have been forced, much against my will, had it not given a fresh opportunity to Mr. Dibdin to display his admirable talents as a musical composer. And I will be bold to say, that his airs, serious and comic, in this Opera, will appear to no disadvantage by being heard with those of some of the greatest masters.
The SCHOOL FOR FATHERS is added to the title, because the plot is evidently double; and that of Lionel and Clarissa alluded to but one part of it, as the readers and spectators will easily perceive.
* This Advertisement was prefixed to the edition of this Opera in 1770, when it was brought out at Drury Lane Theatre by Garrick.
Sir John FLOWERDALE.
Lady MARY OLDBOY, wife to Col. Oldboy.
Scene, The Country.
SCENE I. A Chamber in Colonel Oldboy's House.
Colonel Oldboy at breakfast, reading a newspaper; af
a little distance sits Jenkins; and on the opposite side, Dund, playing upon a harpsichord. A GIRL attending
Diana. Ah ! how d.lightful the morning,
How sweet are the prospects it yields !
The gardens, the groves, and the fields.
Its pleasures let's employ;
Permits us to enjoy. Col. Well said, Dy; thank you, Dy. This, master Jenkins, is the way I make my daughter entertain me every morning at breakfast. Come here and kiss me, you slut; come here and kiss me, you baggage.
Diana. Oh! papa, you call one such names
Col. A fine girl, master Jenkins, a fine girl ! she has got my eye to a twinkle. There's fire for you!--spirit ! -I design to marry her to a duke: how much
do you think a duke would expect with such a wench?
Jen. Why, Colonel, with submission, I think there is no occasion to go out of our own country here; we have never a duke in it, I believe; but we have many an honest gentleman, who, in my opinion, might deserve the young lady.
Col. So you would have me marry Dy to a country 'squire, eh! How say you to this, Dy? Would not you rather be married to a duke?
Diana. So my husband's a rake, papa, I don't care what he is.
Cot. A rake! you little baggage; why, you would not wish to marry a rake, would you ? So her husband is a rake, she does not care what he is !-Ha, ha, ha, ha!
Diana. Well, but listen to me, papa-- When you go out with your gun, do you take any pleasure in shooting the poor tame ducks and chickens in your yard? No, the partridge, the pheasant, the woodcock, are the game; there is some sport in bringing them down, because they are wild; and it is just the same with an husband or a lover. I would not waste powder and shot to wound one of your sober pretty-behaved gentlemen ; but to hit a libertine, extravagant, madcap fellow, to take him upon the wing
Col. Do you hear her, master Jenkins ! Ha, ha, ha!
Jen. Yes, Colonel, many a sprightly, and I believe many a good, young lady has married a rake, in the hope of reforming him ; and has found, to her cost, that libertine principles are not so easily corrected, nor female charms so infallible in their operation.-But, good. Colonel, what do you say to my worthy and honour, able patron here, Sir John Flowerdale? He has an estate of eight thousand pounds a year, as well paid rents as any in the kingdom, and but one only daughter, to enjoy it; and yet he is willing, you see, to give this daughter to your son.
Diana. Pray, Mr. Jenkins, how does Miss Clarissa and our university friend, Mr. Lionel ? That is the only grave young man I ever liked, and the only handsome one I ever was acquainted with, that did not make love to me.
Col. Ay, master Jenkins, who is this Lionel ? They say he is a witty, knowing fellow; and I think him well enough for one brought up in a college.
Jen. His father was a general officer, a particular friend of Sir John's, who, like many more brave men