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NICODEMUS.-Black suit, silk stockings shoes, and clerical hat.
ALDWINKLE.-Antique scarlet suit, embroidered.
VAUNTINGTON.-Blue coat, white waistcoat, white pantaloons, silk stockings, and shoes.
DICKORY.-Rich suit of yellow livery.
PAUL.-Ist. dress : Light drab suit, worsted stockings, and shoes : 2nd. dress : Black suit, mourning cloak, and three-cornered hat with crape hat-band.
GEORGIANA.-White satin dress, ornamented with pinck crape. LAVINIA._White satin dress.
The Conductors of this Work print no Plays but those which they have seen acted. The Stage Directions are given from their own personal observations, during the most recent performances.
EXITS and ENTRANCES. R. means Right; L. Left; D. F. Door in Flat; R. D. Right Door ; L. D. Left Door ; S. E. Second Entrance ; U. E. Upper Entrance ; M. D. Middle Door.
RELATIVE POSITIONS. R. means Right; L. Left ; C. Centre ; R. C. Right of Centre ; L. C. Left of Centre.
The Reader is supposed to be on the Stage facing the Audience.
THE SPECTRE BRIDEGROOM.
SCENE I.-An Apartment in Mr. Nicodemus's House.
Enter. SERVANT and NICODEMUS, R. Nic. (R.) My cousin's servant, Paul, inquiring for ine! What can he possibly want with me? Let him come in. (Exit Servant.] It must certainly be some business of life and deathr, to make my gay thoughtless cousin send to me ; for, though every one allows we are like as two peas in person, no one has ever discovered the slightest similarity in our minds : he has none of my solidity, none of my depth and gravity ;-he's all volatility,-wild, uncertain, Hey, oh! here Paul comes. Well, Paul, what brings you here?
Enter Paul, L. Paul. (Crying.) Oh, sir, such a relation ! your poor cousin
Nic. Poor cousin ? Why, he hasn't, surely, gambled away all his estates on a cast of the die ?
Paul. Worse than that, sir ; though, to be sure, it is through the die he has lost every thing. Ah, sir, when I look at you, it renews all my grief; poor gentleman, I fancy I see him still-oh, oh!
(Crying Nic. What mean you ? Explain, good Paul; what horrible event are you going to relate ?
Paul. My poor master, sir-unfortunate gentleman, he was just going to sow all his wild oats in a marriage with the young and beautiful Miss Aldwinkle, daughter of the rich Squire Aldwinkle, of Aldwinkle Hall-oh! oh! oh!
Nic. Well !--what was there so very shocking in that?
Paul. You shall hear, sir : they had never seen one another ; but my master had sent his portrait, which was approved of both by the young lady and his father.
Nic. No doubt, if he remained as like me as he used to be.
Paul. Very true, sir : it was settled that my poor master was to go to Aldwinkle Hall this very evening, that the ceremony might take place out of hand.
Nic. Well, and why didn't he go?
Paul. He did go, sir; but going and coming are twe different things ; and it will be long enough before they find him come to Aldwinkle Hall-oh! oh!
Nic. Why? Paul. A slight impediment, sir.- We set out, the first thing this morning, on our way there; but had scarcely performed a third part of the journey, when my poor master fell down in an apoplectic fit!-oh! oh! oh!
Nic. Unhappy Gaspar! but what could he expect, living as he did ?
Paul. He expected to be married, sir, and repent; but the Fates ordered it otherwise. Atropos came with her damued shears, and cut his vital thread, as close as any tailor in the kingdom could have done. Just before he gave his last kick, he called me to him, and squeezing my hand, exclaimed, “ Paul, my dear Paul, as soon as it's all over,
send my body to the half-way.house, where dinner will be waiting for me; then hasten to my cousin, Abraham, (that's you, sir;) bid him set off immediately to Ald. winkle Hall, break out the melancholy news to the Old Squire and my dear Georgiana ; return, bury me decently, write an epitaph to my memory, take all I'm worth for his pains, and I shall rest in peace !-oh, oh!
Nic. Poor fellow ! Did he die rich ?
Nic. Then his wishes shall be complied with. I'll lock up my grand Treatise on Vampires, hasten to Aldwinkle Hall this very moment, and return here the first thing tomorrow morning, to make preparations for the funeral. Unhappy Gaspar! he was the last of the Nicodemus family, except myself. What a pity he wasn't as like me in other things as he was in person. But drink! drink ! was the ruin of him. I'll go directly, and break the melancholy news to Miss and the Old Gentleman; while you, Paul, you
Paul. I'll go to the half-way-house, and watch over my
poor master's remains. Poor gentleman! drink was, as you say, sir, the ruin of him.
Heigho! sorrow is dry! I must get a little drop of something to comfort me for his loss. Good bye, sir !-Oh! oh!.
Nic. (L.) Farewell, Paul. Heu, fugaces! What frail creatures we are !
SCENE II.--An Apartment in Aldwinkle Hall.
Enter GEORGIANA and LAVINIA, R. Lav. (c.) If you ask my advice, my dear Georgiana, I must candidly express my opinion, that, as you wish to marry Captain Vauntington, who has no money ; and Mr. Nicodemiis, who has plenty, wishes to marry you; you, having plenty, ought to take pity on the Captain's poverty, and leave me, who have nothing, to make love if I like, to Mr. Nicodemus's abundance. It's quite enough for one party to be rich in marriage : there can be no participation, if it's otherwise, you know.
Geo. (R.) What you say, coz, is, as it always is, full of excellent sense ; the only question is, how is it to be accomplished ? You know my father's obstinacy ; his engagement with Mr. Nicodemus; and-eh, here comes my father, and my dear Captain Vauntington too, as I live; they are discussing a subject too interesting to my feelings to permit my being an auditor. Let us retire, my dear cousin, and await, in hope, the end of their conference.
[Exeunt Georgiana and Lavinill, C. D. F. Enter ALDWINKLE and VAUNTINGTON, Ald. (R. C.) "Tis no use talking, Mr. Vauntington-if you are a captain, you are only a South American captain ; they spring up like mushrooms, now o’days, and, egad, are worth about as much.
Vau. (L. C.) But, my dear sir, my family
Ald. Ah! there's the thing—if you get a family, how the devil are you to support them! Besides, I've solemuly engaged my daughter to Mr. Nicodemus; he has it under my hand and seal-sent it him, by the general post, abore a month ago. To be sure, I've never seen the gentleman; but his character is unexceptionable.
Vau. It is not too late to retract, sir.
Ald. Indeed, but it is, sir; for I expect him to arrive every, moment.
He sent me word he was coming express, though there was no occasion for that ; I knew it; for, in
dependently of an amazing bright letter in the candle last night, that pointed directly towards me, iny man Dickory saw a stranger on the bars this morning; that, immediately he clapped his hands, flew into the fire-a sure sign ho was a good friend.
Vau. Ridiculous, childish superstition !
Ald. So you may think; but I'm of a different opinion. You're one of those heedless fellows, now, who'd walk twenty times under a ladder and never once look behind you; and, if you were to see fifty piebald horses, would'nt pull a hair out of the tail of any one of them, though you might get any thing you chose to wish for, for your pains.
Vau. But allow me to say, sir, that my passion for your daughter
Ald. Zounds, sir, you'll put me in a passion, if you go on in this way. Hav'nt I sent Dickory off to meet Mr. Nicodemus, at the half-way-house, --where he wrote me word, he should stop and dine,-on purpose to conduct him here all the sooner. I wonder they hav'nt arrived, for it's getting rather late.
Vau. But early impressions,-first love, sir
Ald. Second thoughts are best-hey, surely, I hear the sound of visitors without. It must be Mr. Nicodemus. Now do, my good sir, oblige me by taking an answer, and going. Mr. Nicodemus has put your nose so completely out of joint, that
Vau. Vulgar rascal ![-Aside.] But your former kindness.
Ald. Lower your tone, ny good friend, I beg ; zounds! do you think you're giving the word of command ? It's time I turn General :-come---march! • Vau, I must submit to fate. You'll repent this, old Aldwinkle ; take my word for it; the loss is as much yours as mine; so, good night! Poor Georgiana!
[Exit Vauntington, L. Ald. Thank heaven! he's off.Now then for
Enter SERVANT, preceding NICODEMUS, L. Ser. Mr. Nicodemus. Sir
[Bows and retires. Ald. Welcome, my dear, dear sir ! ten thousand wel. conies! You need no introduction : from the strong resemblance you bear to your likeness, I should have known you any where.
Nic. (L.) That is fortunate.. I can proceed to the busie