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MR. H

A FARCE, IN TWO ACTS.

AS IT WAS PERFORMED AT DRURY LANE THEATRE, DECEMBER, 1806.

“Mr. H—, thou wert DAMNED. Bright shone the morning on the play-bills that announced thy appear. ance, and the streets were filled with the buzz of persons asking one another if they would go to see Mr. H and answering that they would certainly; but before night the gaiety, not of the author, but of his friends and the town, was eclipsed, for thou wert DAMNED! Hadst thou been anonymous, thou haply mightst have lived. But thou didst come to an untimely end for thy tricks, and for want of a better name to pass them off" Theatrical Examiner,

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I we have sinn'd in paring down a name,
All civil, well-bred authors do the same.
Survey the columns of our daily writers-
You'll find that some Initials are great fighters.
How fierce the shock, how fatal is the jar,
When Ensign W. meets Lieutenant R.
With two stout seconds, just of their own gizzard,
Cross Captain X. and rough old General Izzard !
Letter to Letter spreads the dire alarms,
Till half the Alphabet is up in arms.
Nor with less lustre have Initials shone,
To grace the gentler annals of Crim. Con,
Where the dispensers of the public lash
Soft penance give; a letter and a dash-
Where Vice reduced in size shrinks to a failing,
And loses half her grossness by curtailing.
Faux pas are told in such a modest way,-
“ The affair of Colonel B- with Mrs. A"
You must forgive them-for what is there, say,
Which such a pliant Vowel must not grant

To such a very pressing Consonant!
Or who poetic justice dares dispute,
When, mildly melting at a lover's suit,
The wife's a Liquid, her good man a Mute:
Even in the homelior scenes of honest life,
The coarse-spun intercourse of man and wife,
Initials I am told have taken place
Of Derry, Spouse, and that old-fashion'd race ;
And Cabbage, ask'd by brother Snip to tea,
Replies “ I'll come-but it don't rest with me
I always leaves them things to Mrs. C.”
O should this mincing fashion erer spread
From names of living heroes to the dead,
How would Ambition sigh, and hang the head,
As each loved syllable should melt away-
Her Alexander turn'd into Great A-
A single C. her Cæsar to express
Her Scipio shrunk into a Roman S-
And, nick'd and dock'd to these new modes of speech,
Great Hannibal tinself a Mr. H.

PP

MR. H-,

A FARCE. IN TWO ACTS.

say “Dr.”

ACT I.

putting it in.

This is one of he plaguy

comforts of going anonymous (Ezt 22 Waiter. SCENE.—A Public Room in an Inn. Landlord, Waiters, Gentlemen, &c.

Enter 3d Waiter.
Enter MR. H.
3d Waiter. Two letters for Mr. H.

[Evil Mr. H. Landlord, has the man brought Mr. H. From ladies (opens them). This home my boots ?

from Melesinda, to remind me of the morning Landlord. Yes, Sir.

call I promised ; the pretty creature posiMr. H. You have paid him ?

tively languishes to be made Mrs. H. I Landlord. There is the receipt, Sir, only believe I must indulge her (affectedly). This not quite filled up, no name, only blank- from her cousin, to bespeak me to some “ Blank, Dr. to Zekiel Spanish for one pair of party, I suppose (opening it).—Oh, “ this best hessians.” Now, Sir, he wishes to know evening”—“Tea and cards - (surveying what name he shall put in, who he shall himself with complacency). Dear H., thou

art certainly a pretty fellow. I wonder , Mr. H, Why, Mr. H. to be sure.

what makes thee such a favourite among Landlord. So I told him, Sir; but Zekiel the ladies : I wish it may not be owing to the has some qualms about it. He says he concealment of thy unfortunate — pshaw! hinks that Mr. H. only would not stand good in law.

Enter 4th Waiter. Mr. H. Rot his impertinence! Bid him 4th Waiter. Sir, one Mr. Printa gain is put in Nebuchadnezzar, and not trouble me inquiring for you. vith his scruples.

Mr. H. Oh, I remember, the poet; he is Landlord, I shall, Sir.

[Exit. publishing by subscription. Give him a

guinea, and tell him he may put me down. Enter a Waiter.

4th Waiter. What name shall I tell him, Waiter. Sir, Squire Level's man is below, Sir ? with a hare and a brace of pheasants for Mr. H. Zounds, he is a poet ; let him fancy Mr. H.

[Erit 4ih Wailer. Mr. H. Give the man half-a-crown, and

Enter 5th Waiter. bid him return my best respects to his master.

5th Waiter. Sir, Bartlemy the lame beggar, Presents, it seems, will find me out, with any that you sent å private donation to last name or no name.

Monday, has by some accident discovered

his benefactor, and is at the door waiting to Enter 2d Waiter.

return thanks. 2d Waiter. Sir, the man that makes up

the Mr. H. Oh, poor fellow, who could put it Directory is at the door.

into his head ? Now I shall be teased by Mr. H. Give him a shilling; that is what all his tribe, when once this is known. Well, these fellows come for.

tell him I am glad I could be of any service 2d Waiter. He has sent up to know by to him, and send him away. what name your Honour will please to be 5th Waiter. I would have done so, Sir; inserted.

but the object of his call now, he says is Mr. H. Zounds, fellow, I give him a only to know who he is obliged to shilling for leaving out my name not for Ir. H. Why, me.

a name,

5th Waiter. Yes, Sir.

name

-The man with the great nose on Mr. H. Me, me, me ; who else, to be sure? his face never excited wore of the gaping

5th Waiter. Yes, Sir; out he is anxious to passion of wonderment in the dames of know the name of his benefactor.

Strasburg, than this new-comer, with the Mr. H. Here is a pampered rogue of a single letter to his name, has lighted up beggar, that cannot be obliged to a gentle- among the wives and maids of Bath : his man in the way of his profession, but he simply having lodgings here, draws more must know the name, birth, parentage and visiters to the house than an election. Come education of his benefactor! I warrant you, with me to the Parade, and I will show you next he will require a certificate of one's more of him.

(Exeuni. good behaviour, and a magistrate's licence in one's pocket, lawfully empowering so and Scene in the Street. Mr. H. walking, BELVIL 80 to-give an alms. Any thing more?

meeting him. 5th Waiter. Yes, Sir; here has been Mr. Belvil. My old Jamaica schoolfellow, that Patriot, with the county petition to sign ; I have not seen for so many years ? it must and Mr. Failtime, that owes so much money, -it can be no other than Jack (going up to has sent to remind you of your promise to him). My dear Hobail him.

Mr. H. (Stopping his mouth). Ho! the Mr. H. Neither of which I can do, while devil, hush. I have no name. Here is more of the Belvil. Why sure it is plaguy comforts of going anonymous, that Mr. H. It is, it is your old friend Jack, one can neither serve one's friend nor one's that shall be nameless. country. Damn it, a man had better be

Belvil. My dear Howithout a nose, than without a name. I will Mr. H. (Stopping him). Don't name it. not live long in this mutilated, dismembered Belvil. Name what? state ; I will to Melesinda this instant, and Mr. H. My curst unfortunate name. I try to forget these vexations. Melesinda! have reasons to conceal it for a time. there is music in the name; but then, hang it! Belvil. I understand you—Creditors, Jack ? there is none in mine to answer to it.

[Exit. Mr. H. No, I assure you. (While Mr. H. has been speaking, two Gentlemen have been

Belvil. Snapp'd up a ward, peradventure, observing him curiously.)

and the whole Chancery at your heels ? 1st Gent. Who the devil is this extra

Mr. H. I don't use to travel with such ordinary personage?

cumbersome luggage. 2d Gent. Who? Why 'tis Mr. H.

Belvil. You ha'n't taken a purse ? 1st Gent. Has he no more name ?

Mr. H. To relieve you at once from all 2d Gent. None that has yet transpired. disgraceful conjecture, you must know, 'tis No more ! why that single letter has been nothing but the sound of my name. enough to inflame the imaginations of all the

Belvil. Ridiculous ! 'tis true yours is none ladies in Bath. He has been here but a of the most romantic; but what can that fortnight, and is already received into all the signify in a man? first families.

Mr. H. You must understand that I am in 1st Gent. Wonderful ! yet, nobody know some credit with the ladies. who he is, or where he comes from !

Belvil. With the ladies! 2d Gent. He is vastly rich, gives away Mr. H. And truly I think not without money as if he had infinity; dresses well, as some pretensions. My fortuneyou see; and for address, the mothers are Belvil. Sufficiently splendid, if I may judge all dying for fear the daughters should get from your appearance. him ; and for the daughters, he may com

Mr. H. My figuremand them as absolutely as - Melesinda, Belvil. Airy, gay, and imposing. the rich heiress, 'tis thought, will carry him. Mr. H. My parts

1st Gent. And is it possible that a mere Belvil. Bright. anonymous.

Mr. H. My conversation2d Gent. Phoo! that is the charm.--Who Belvil. Equally remote from flippancy and is he? and what is he? and what is his taciturnity.

Mr. H. But then my name-damn my name! priest shall pronounce the irrevocable charm, Belvil. Childish !

which makes two names one. Mr. H. Not:so. Oh, Belvil, you are blest Belvil. And that name -and then she with one which sighing virgins may repeat must be pleased, ha, Jack ? without a blush, and for it change the Mr. H. Exactly such a girl it has been my paternal. But what virgin of any delicacy fortune to meet with ; hark'e (whisperz) — (and I require some in a wife) would endure (musing). Yet, hang it ! ’tis cruel to betray to be called Mrs. - ?

her confidence. Belvil. Ha, ha, ha! most absurd. Did Belvil. But the family name, Jack ? not Clementina Falconbridge, the romantic Mr. H. As you say, the family name must Clementina Falconbridge, fancy Tommy be perpetuated. Potts ? and Rosabella Sweetlips sacrifice Belvil. Though it be but a homely one. her mellifluous appellative to Jack Deady ? Mr. H. True ; but come, I will show you Matilda her cousin married a Gubbins, and the house where dwells this credulous inelther sister Amelia a Clutterbuck.

ing fair. Mr. H. Potts is tolerable, Deady is suffer Belvil. Ha, ha! my old friend dwindled able, Gubbins is bearable, and Clutterbuck down to one letter.

(Ezcurt. is endurable, but Ho

Belvil. Hush, Jack, don't betray yourself. But you are really ashamed of the family SCENE.—An Apartment in MELESINDA's House. name?

MELESINDA sola, as if musing. Mr. H. Ay, and of my father that begot me, and my father's father, and all their Melesinda. H, H, H. Sure it must be forefathers that have borne it since the something precious by its being concealed. Conquest

It can't be Homer, that is a Heathen's name; Belvil. But how do you know the women nor Horatio, that is no surname; what if it are so squeamish ?

be Hamlet ? the Lord Hamlet—pretty, and Mr. H. I have tried them. I tell you I his poor distracted Ophelia! No, 'tis none there is neither maiden of sixteen nor widow of these ; 'tis Harcourt or Hargrave, or some of sixty but would turn up their noses at it. such sounding name, or Howard, high-born I have been refused by nineteen virgins, Howard, that would do; maybe it is Harley, twenty-nine relicts, and two old maids. methinks my H. resembles Harley, the

Belvil. That was hard indeed, Jack. feeling Harley. But I hear him! and from

Mr. H. Parsons have stuck at publishing his own lips I will once for ever be resolved. the banns, because they averred it was a heathenish name; parents have lingered

Enter Mr. H. their consent, because they suspected it was Mr. H. My dear Melesinda. a fictitious name; and rivals have declined Melesinda. My dear H. that is all you give my challenges, because they pretended it was me power to swear allegiance to,- to be an ungentlemanly name.

enamoured of inarticulate sounds, and call Belvil. Ha, ha, ha! but what course do with sighs upon an empty letter. But I you mean to pursue ?

will know. Mr. H. To engage the affections of some Mr. H. My dear Melesinda, press me no generous girl, who will be content to take more for the disclosure of that, which in the me as Mr. H.

face of day so soon must be revealed. Call Belvil. Mr. H.

it whim, humour, caprice, in me. Suppose Mr. H. Yes, that is the name I go by I have sworn an oath, never, till the cerehere ; you know one likes to be as near the mony of our marriage is over, to disclose my truth as possible.

true name. Belvil. Certainly. But what then ? to get Melesinda. Oh! H, H, H. I cherish here her to consent

a fire of restless curiosity which consumes Mr. H. To accompany me to the altar me. 'Tis appetite, passion, call it whim, without a name -in short, to suspend her caprice, in me. Suppose I have sworn, I curiosity (that is all) till the moment the must and will know it this very night.

Mr. H. Ungenerous Melesinda! I implore says, what from his figger and the appearance you to give me this one proof of your he cuts, and his sumpshous way of living, confidence. The holy vow once past, your and above all from the remarkable circumH. shall not have a secret to withhold. stance that his surname should begin with

Melesinda. My H. has overcome : his an H, that he must beMelesinda shall pine away and die, before Both. Well, wellshe dare express a saucy inclination ; but Susan. Neither more nor less than the what shall I call you till we are married ? Prince.

Mr. H. Call me ? call me anything, call me Both. Prince ! Love, Love! ay Love: Love will do very well. Susan. The Prince of Hessey-Cassel in

Melesinda. How many syllables is it, Love? disguise.

Mr. H. How many ? ud, that is coming to Both. Very likely, very likely. the question with a vengeance ! One, two, Susan. Oh, there can't be a doubt on it. three, four,—what does it signify how many Mrs. Guesswell says she knows it. syllables ?

1st Waiter. Now if we could be sure that Melesinda. How many syllables, Love ? the Prince of Hessy what-do-you-call-him

Mr. H. My Melesinda's mind, I had hoped, was in England on his travels. was superior to this childish curiosity.

2d Waiter. Get a newspaper. Look in the Melesinda. How many letters are there newspapers. in it ? [Exit ME. H. followed by MELESINDA,

Susan. Fiddle of the newspapers; who repeating the question.

else can it be?

Both. That is very true (gravely). SCENE.-- A Room in the Inn. Two Waiters disputing.

Enter LANDLORD. 1st Waiter. Sir Harbottle Hammond, you

Landlord. Here, Susan, James, Philip, may depend upon it.

where are you all? The London coach is 2d Waiter. Sir Harry Hardcastle, I tell you. come in, and there is Mr. Fillaside, the fat

1st Waiter. The Hammonds of Huntingdon- passenger, has been bawling for somebody shire.

to help him off with his boots. 2d Waiter. The Hardcastles of Hertford

[The Chambermaid and Waiters slip out. shire.

(Solus.) The house is turned upside down 1st Waiter. The Hammonds.

since the strange gentleman came into it. 2d Waiter. Don't tell does not Nothing but guessing and speculating, and Hardcastle begin with an H?

speculating and guessing ; waiters and 1st Waiter. So does Hammond for that chambermaids getting into corners and matter.

speculating; ostlers and stable-boys specu2d Waiter. Faith, so it does if you go to lating in the yard ; I believe the very horses spell it. I did not think of that. I begin to in the stable are speculating too, for there to be of your opinion; he is certainly a they stand in a musing posture, nothing for Hammond.

them to eat, and not seeming to care whether 1st Waiter. Here comes Susan Chamber- they have anything or no; and after all maid : may be she can tell.

what does it signify? I hate such curious

odso, I must take this box up into his Enter SUSAN.

bed-room — he charged me to see to it Both. Well, Susan, have you heard any- myself ; — I hate such inquisitive. I thing who the strange gentleman is ? wonder what is in it-it feels heavy; (reads) Susan. Haven't you heard ? it's all come Leases, title-deeds, wills."

Here now a out! Mrs. Guesswell, the parson's widow, man might satisfy his curiosity at once. has been here about it. I overheard her Deeds must have names to them, so must talking in confidence to Mrs. Setter and leases and wills. But I wouldn't — no I Mrs. Pointer, and she says they were holding wouldn't-it is a pretty box too-prettily a sort of a cummitty about it.

dovetailed—I admire the fashion of it much, Both. What ? What ?

But I'd cut my fingers.off, before I'd do such Susan. There can't be a doubt of it, she a dirty – what have I to do

- curse the

me :

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