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excellent specimen of Vanbrugh's spirited comedy. It might be headed, Malitia supplet aetatem.

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Flip. Nay, if you can bear it so, you are not to be pitied so much as I thought.

Cor. Not pitied! Why, is it not a miserable thing for such a young creature as I am should be kept in perpetual solitude, with no other company but a parcel of old fumbling masters, to teach me geography, arithmetic, philosophy, and a thousand useless things ? Fine entertainment, indeed, for a young maid at sixteen! Methinks one's time might be better employed.

Flip. Those things will improve your wit.

Cor. Fiddle, faddle! han't I wit enough already? My mother-in-law has learned none of this trumpery, and is not she as happy as the day is long ?

Flip. Then you envy her I find ?

Cor. And well I may. Does she not do what she has a mind to, in spite of her husband's teeth ?

Flip. [Aside.] Look you there now! If she has not already conceived that as the supreme blessing of life !

Cor. I'll tell you what, Flippanta; if my mother-in-law would but stand by me a little, and encourage me, and let me keep her company, I'd rebel against my father to-morrow, and throw all my books in the fire. Why, he can't touch a groat of my portion ; do you know that, Flippanta!

Flip. [Aside.] So—I shall spoil her! Pray Heaven the girl don't debauch me!

Cor. Look you : in short, he may think what he pleases, he may think himself wise; but thoughts are free, and I may

think in my turn. I'm but a girl, 'tis true, and a fool too, if you'll believe him ; but let him know, a foolish girl may make a wise man's heart ache; so he had as good be quiet.-Now it's out.

Flip. Very well, I love to see a young woman have spirit, it's a sign she'll come to something.

Cor. Ah, Flippanta ! if you would but encourage me, you'd find me quite another thing. I'm a devilish girl in the bottom; I wish you'd but let me make one amongst you.

Flip. That never can be till you are married. Come, examine


your strength a little.


durst venture upon a husband ?

Cor. A husband! Why, a—if you would but encourage me. Come, Flippanta, be a true friend now. I'll give you advice when I have got a little more experience. Do you in your

conscience and soul think I am old enough to be married ?

Flip. Old enough! why, you are sixteen, are you not ?
Cor. Sixteen! I am sixteen, two months, and odd days,

I keep an exact account.
Flip. The deuce you are !

Cor. Why, do you then truly and sincerely think I am old enough?

Flip. I do, upon my faith, child.

Cor. Why, then, to deal as fairly with you, Flippanta, as you do with me, I have thought so any time these three years.

Flip. Now I find you have more wit than ever I thought you had ; and to show you what an opinion I have of your discretion, I'll show you a thing I thought to have thrown in the fire.

Cor. What is it, for Jupiter's sake ?
Flip. Something will make your heart chuck within you.
Cor. My dear Flippanta !
Flip. What do you think it is ?

Cor. I don't know, nor I don't care, but I'm mad to have it.

Flip. It's a four-cornered thing.
Cor. What, like a cardinal's cap ?

Flip. No, 'tis worth a whole conclave of 'em. How do you like it?

[Showing the letter. Cor. O Lard, a letter! Is there ever a token in it?

Flip. Yes, and a precious one too. There's a handsome young gentleman's heart.

Cor. A handsome young gentleman's heart! [Aside.] Nay, then, it's time to look grave.

Flip. There.
Cor. I shan't touch it.
Flip. What's the matter now?
Cor. I shan't receive it.
Flip. Sure you jest.

Cor. You'll find I don't. I understand myself better than to take letters when I don't know who they are from.

Flip. I'm afraid I commended your wit too soon.

Cor. 'Tis all one, I shan't touch it, unless I know who it comes from.

Flip. Heyday, open it and you'll see.
Cor. Indeed I shall not.
Flip. Well—then I must return it where I had it.

Cor. That won't serve your turn, madam. My father must hare an account of this.

Flip. Sure you are not in earnest ?
Cor. You'll find I am.

Flip. So, here's fine work! This 'tis to deal with girls before they come to know the distinction of sexes !

Cor. Confess who you had it from, and perhaps, for this once, I mayn't tell my father.

Flip. Why then, since it must out, 'twas the Colonel. But why are you so scrupulous, madam ?

Cor. Because if it had come from anybody else—I would not have given a farthing for it.

[Snatching it eagerly out of her hand.' Farquhar has what Vanbrugh wants-individuality. He seems to identify himself with his favourite characters, the heedless, dissolute, but gentlemanly and good-hearted sparks about town whom he so delights to portray, and hence wins a firmer place in our affections than his wittier and in every way stronger rival, who might have been a comic automaton for any idea of his personality that we are able to form. Whether the inevitable conception of Farquhar is really correct may be doubted; it is not in

l harmony with the few particulars which we possess of his manners and personal appearance. While reading him, nevertheless, one feels no doubt of the applicability to the author of the character of his Sir Harry Wildair, “entertaining to others, and easy to himself, turning all passion into gaiety of humour.' The plays answer the description

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of the personage; they are lively, rattling, entertaining, and the humour is certainly much in excess of the passion. Serjeant Kite, in The Recruiting Officer, has become proverbial, otherwise no character has been recognized as an absolute creation, though almost all are natural and unaffected. The Beaux' Stratagem, his last play, is by common consent his best; it is assuredly admirable, from the truth and variety of the characters, and the pervading atmosphere of adventurous gaiety. The separation between Mr. and Mrs. Sullen is a good specimen of Farquhar's vis comica :

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Mrs. Sul. Hold, gentlemen, all things here must move by consent, compulsion would spoil us ; let my dear and I talk the matter over, and you shall judge it between us.

Squire Sul. Let me know first who are to be our judges. Pray, sir, who are you ?

Sir Chas. I am Sir Charies Freeman, come to take away your wife.

Squire Sul. And you, good sir ?

Aim. Charles Viscount Aimwell, come to take away your sister. Squire Sul. And you, pray,

sir ? Arch. Francis Archer, esquire, come

Squire Sul. To take away my mother, I hope. Gentlemen, you're heartily welcome. I never met with three more obliging people since I was born !—And now, my dear, if you please, you shall have the first word.

Arch. And the last, for five pound !
Mrs. Sul. Spouse!
Squire Sul. Rib!
Mrs. Sul. How long have we been married ?

Squire Sul. By the almanac, fourteen months; but by my account, fourteen years.

Mrs. Sul. 'Tis thereabout by my reckoning.
Count Bel. Garzoon, their account will agree.
Mrs. Sul. Pray, spouse, what did you marry for?

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Squire Sul. To get an heir to my estate.
Sir Chas. And have you succeeded ?
Squire Sul. No.

Arch. The condition fails of his side. —Pray, madam, what did you marry for?

Mrs. Sul. To support the weakness of my sex by the at strength of his, and to enjoy the pleasures of an agreeable society.

Sir Chas. Are your expectations answered ?

Mrs. Sul. No.
Count Bel. A clear case! a clear case!
Sir Chas. What are the bars to your mutual contentment ?
Mrs. Sul. In the first place, I can't drink ale with him.
Squire Sul. Nor can I drink tea with her.
Mrs. Sul. I can't hunt with you.
Squire Sul. Nor can I dance with you.
Mrs. Sul. I hate cocking and racing.
Squire Sul. And I abhor ombre and piquet.
Mrs. Sul. Your silence is intolerable.
Squire Sul. Your prating is worse.

Mrs. Sul. Have we not been a perpetual offence to each other? a gnawing vulture at the heart ?

Squire Sul. A frightful goblin to the sight?
Mrs. Sul. A porcupine to the feeling ?
Squire Sul. Perpetual wormwood to the taste ?
Mrs. Sul. Is there on earth a thing we could agree in ?

Squire Sul. Yes—to part. ring

Mrs. Sul. With all my heart.
Squire Sul. Your hand.
Mrs. Sul. Here.

Squire Sul. These hands joined us, these shall part us.-

Mrs. Sul. North.

Squire Sul. South. zny

Mrs. Sul. East.
Squire Sul. West— far as the poles asunder.
Count Bel. Begar, the ceremony be vera pretty!'




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Farquhar is fuller of allusions to contemporary events


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