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LIBERTY

IN

LOUISIANA;

A COMEDY,

PERFORMED AT THE CHARLESTON THEATRE.

BY JAMES WORKMAN.

THE SECOND EDITION,

WITH ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS.

CHARLESTON,

PRINTED BY QUERY AND EVANS, BROAD-STREET,

1804.

South-Carolina District, to wit:

Be it remembered, that on the second day of April, in the twenty-eighth year of the independence of the United States, James Workman, of the said district, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit — “Liberty in Louisiana; a comedy,” in conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled “An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned.”

Thomas Hall,
Clerk of South-Carolina District,

TO THE
Honorable CHANCELLOR MARSHALL.

MY DEAR SIR,

PERMIT me to inscribe to you the following production, as a just though humble tribute to your well known talents, intelligence and liberality of sentiment, and in testimony of the grateful feelings inspired by the kindness and favorable regard which you have been pleased to shew towards

Your most faithful,

and most obliged,

friend and servant,

THE AUTHOR.

ADVERTISEMENT.

THE production of a new play is an occurrence so rare in this part of America, that it may be requisite to explain why the following one was undertaken. It originated then in a desire, conceived early in the present year, to celebrate, by some literary performance, the cession of Louisiana to the United States, and to display to its inhabitants the advantages they would derive from that happy event, by illustrating the great principles of general and genuine liberty, and holding up despotism to alternate derision and abhorrence. To attain these objects, the author at first designed to have recourse to the usual means of a printed pamphlet; but on considering the superior effect produced by sentiments embodied in natural character, and exhibited in some interesting story with the splendor of theatrical decoration, to delight the eye, or addressed occasionally to the ear as well as the mind, in strains of melodious music, he determined to make a dramatic representation the engine of enforcing his political opinions. With this view he framed a plot, which he did not suppose would have extended beyond two acts.... He had not yet enertained the idea of forming a regular comedy; a spicks of composition which the best critics leave classed among the highest pretensions in literature, and one in which none have ever excelled, but those endowed by nature with extraordinary genius, or those who have gradually risen to perfection by repeated trials, or by attentive consideration and accurate observance of dramatic effect. This was a kind of knowledge he had never attempted to acquire; it was even uncongenial with the nature of his principal studies, which had been directed to political philosophy and jurisprudence, lie had not indeed neglected, in the course of a classical education, to peruse the works of Terence and Plautus, nor those which are in every one’s hands and by every one admired, of Shakespeare and Moliere; but so little did he possess of practical, playwright dramatic information, that when the three acts, in which arrangement he at first composed the piece, were written in parts for the theatre, they were found to be of nearly double the length of any ordinary comedy. The play was then cut down, (slowly and reluctantly, as all who are acquainted with the prejudices and feelings of an author will readily suppose) to the size in which it appeared in print; again greatly diminished for the first representation, and afterwards still farther shortened to the form in which, on the second night’s performance, it was received with general and reiterated laughter and applause.

It is doubtlcs improper in most cases for a writer to speak of his own productions. On the present occasion, however, an exception may be allowed in favor of one who having devoted several weeks in completing a work to contribute to the celebration of a great public event, feels anxious, not to solicit, but to urge his claim to that public approbation which constitutes his only reward. Let him then be permitted to suggest, that what he now offers to the world is an attempt, at least, at legitimate, original comedy; that its chief and obvious design, however imperfectly executed, may entitle it to the indulgence, if not the favor of every friend to America and to freedom; that of the principal characters, which belong rather to general than local nature, two or three are wholly or in a great measure new to tire stage, though well known in the world; and that none of the mirth or praise which the piece may excite can be justly attributed to any extravagant complication of incidents, any caricatured portraiture of human nature, nor any of the tricks or contrivances by which dulness so often courts and obtains the applause of folly.

To the Managers of the Charleston Theatre the author’s thanks are due. for their continued attention in getting up the piece. He owes to Mr. Hodgkinson, in particular, a distinct and strong acknowledgement, for the ability and unremitted care which he employed, and the anxious zeal which he evinced for the play’s success; to which his exertions as an actor as well as a manager essentially contributed......His performance was every thing that could have been desired; easy and natural, though distinguished for constant and unabated vivacity and energy....He drew the prominent figure he had to delineate with a hold but correct pencil; the colouring was throughout rich and vivid, never taudry or glaring. Mr. Sully too pourtrayed the Spanish judge in a masterly style; representing the several features by which that character is marked, with accurate and forcible discrimination, and frequently reminding those who had seen Parsons, of some of the happiest peculiarities of that celebrated comedian. Mr. Turn-bull did justice to McGregor. The platonic lady of Mrs. Placide was, in every respect, judicious, animated and elegant. Mrs. Brett likewise conceived the part of Theresa perfectly, and gave it with a degree of sprightliness and spirit which would have done credit to the best actress on any stage. Mrs. Villiers and Mrs. Marshall merit great commendation also for the excellence of their respective performances.



DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

Characters Original Cast



LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

A COMEDY


ACT I.

SCENE — A Wood near the banks of the river Mississippi; a distant view of the city of New Orleans.

Phelim O’Fihin, (without.) HOLLOA! holloa! holloa! Sawny M‘Cregor, and be damned to you, my dear! (Enter Phelim, looking around.) Where are you, Sawny? If you have lost yourself, why don't you tell me where you are? (pulls out a flask and drinks.) Oh! I must take a drop of comfort, before I search any farther! (Sings — Tune, Oh my kitten.)

And its oh, my whisky, my whisky, And oh, my whisky, my honey! The de’il a thing makes one so frisky That was ever yet bought with money. To the noddle it rises up up, As the throat it goes down down downy; And when we have swigg'd a good sup, We begin to reel round roundy. They may talk of their claret and sherry, Their Burgundy, hock and Madeira; But to make me quite happy and merry, Oh, whisky, its you are my deary. For it gets to my noddle up up, As my throat it goes down down downy, And when I have swigg’d a good sup, I begin to reel round round remedy.

Holloa! Sawny, my brave lump of a fellow! Where the devil has he thrust himself? Twenty to one now he has put down his pedlar’s pack, and crammed himself into the hollow of some old tree, to rest himself and count over his money. That’s a very low way that Sawny has got — Forty times a day he reckons his dollars, and fingers them over and over again; and with his Scotch brogue, that no one can understand, counts yan, twa, three. Well, this money reckoning’s a sort of a main dirty trick I was never much given to in my life — To be sure I never had much, by my soul, to reckon. Why, Sawny! May be the blackguard’s asleep, and priends not to hear me. Sawny M‘Gregor, I say! — I suppose he has passed on forward, and will he here by and by; so I’ll wait for him. (birde heard ninging.) Hark! tweet, tweet, tweet! Devil burn me if I havn’t got into the middle of a rookery of linnets and nightingales. Their singing is as delightful for myself to hear as the notes of a young pig just killing for supper. What can have become of Sawny? I must look about for him.

[Exit, searching and singing

Enter Sawny M‘Gregor, at the other side, with a peddlar’s pack on his back

Saw. The de’il tak ye, Mr. Phelim O’Flinn. Where can he hae pack’d himsel’ ? I hae luk’d up and down for ye; and ca’d blood till my lungs crack’d again, like a bag-pipe bursting wi’ over muckle wind. What a curs’d fule this maister O’Flinn is ! Ay, gude troth, and a wee bit of a knave. For a’ that he has a pleasant guidly disposition — he’ll fight brawley, but he hates the laws, and acts as if there was nae sic a thing as property. He’s a devilish gude companion though. Mony a hungry weam should we baith hae had, gin Phelim were as delicate about taking other people’s property as Sawny M‘Gregor is — I’d fast till I was famished afore I wad nock a goose or a bublie-jock on the head, and put it into my poke, as Phelim does — for I’m very honest; though 1 kinna ken ony sin in taking share on’t, when roasted, to satisfy the cravings o’ nature.

Phelim, (without.) Sawny M‘Gregor! Sawny M‘Gregor!

Saw. There’s the loon, bellowing like a great Irish bull, as he is. Holloa ! Phelim ! here I am.

Enter Phelim.

Phel.Oh, the devil sweep you, Sawny; is that yourself ? Why didn’t you let me know where you were ? Sure if you fell asleep by accident, it would be aisy for you to call out to me first, and tell me so.

Saw. Why, ye loon, I’ve been locking about for ye this half hour. I thought ye had started a lassie, or had got in pursuit of a goose or a pig for

dinner.

Phel. No, Sawny, I intend to pay a visit to that big house yonder, near the city, and invite you and myself to dine there.

8

Saw.You hae impudence enough to do ony thing.

Phel. Oh! its only a little modest assurance — Would it not be a shame to go into such a fine plentiful city as New-Orleans on an empty stomach, especially on the day the Americans take possession of it ?

Saw. You are very fond o’ the American law, Phelim, ant vou !

Phel. By my soul, honey, I ask your pardon; it never was fond of me, and I wish the devil had it and every other law in the world into the bargain.

Saw. Phelim we should do but badly without law.

Phel. A great deal better than with it Sawny. If the Congress, good luck to them, instead of turning out a few of the Judges awhile ago, had just sent all the blackguards together about their business, a man might live in peace and security, help himself to whatever he fancied, and leather any one he lik’d, (drinks.)

Saw. You’ll ne’er do any guid for yersek ; maister Phelim, tul ye gie up sic notions, and tul ye drink less whisky; if it was nae for that, ye might hae still kept your good profitable grog-shop at the Natchez, instead o’ being obliged to run awa, and leave a’ your liquors to be seiz'd by the sheriff.

Phel. Be aisy — Devil a thing will he find, but empty casks and bottles. Do you think myself could have had the heart to leave them if there was any thing good in them ? Here’s to you, Sawny, (drinks) — I’ll warrant we’ll get something good in that same fine house before we leave it.

Saw. Vary likely ! Perhaps 1 may sell some o’ my goods there.

Phel. Devil sweep you, honey ! You never can get the pedlar out of your head, no more nor myself can throw the jonilcman off my back.

Saw,You’re a great fule, maister Phelim; but hearken to me — When we get to this same fine house, look about vary warily, and gin ye can see any opening for a fair stratagem to put the siller into our pouches, dunna miss it; but it munna be dishonest, you ken.

Phel, A money-drawer lying open, or a silver tea-pot going astray. (Jeeringly.)

Saw. Hoot, awa, mon! hoot, awa, mon ! never steal, gin ye can get siller honestly — -above a’, dunna steal ony thing that the owner may ken again when he sees it. To be sure, a mon need na be sae parteecular about siller in coin, for nobody can ca* it his ain, but he that has it in his bond. But I never like to do w'hat’s not just, for I’m very honest.

Phel. Leave off now, Mr. Sawny ! You’re always bothering about being just, and what not. You’ve a great deal of honesty in your mouth, but mighty little of it any where else. Don’t pester us so much about it.

DULT. — Phelim

Arrah, Sawny, give over your blarny and brogues, What we can’t help to do sure we must;

If the wants of the flesh didn’t make us such rogues ’Twould be aisy enough to be just.

If myself was not always so damnably poor,

Devil burn me if ever I’d cheat;

Nor of jail would brave Phelim go inside the door, Could he live without clothes, drink and meat.

Sawny.

Since we canna provide for the back and the maw, Without cash to buy meat, drink and clothes; Get cash by all means, but tak care o’ the law. And ne’er cheat — except under the rose.

cuong

lionet:

Phel. Well said, honest Sawny; come along and let us sue who can do best in a honest good way.

Theresa's Apartment, in the house of Don Bentolodo de la PlaVa.

Theresa, {alone.)What a plague it is to manage the family of another. All the trouble, with-out any of the sweets of matrimony ! If one were in that blissful state, indeed, and with a flock of dear little babes about one, there would be some comfort for one’s toil; but to be house-keeper to any one, and above all to a Spanish Judge like Don Bertoldo, who is as great an epicure as an archbishop — Why, one might as well be cook to a monastery of friars. And then the old fool’s love for his ward Donna Laura, makes him so jealous of letting any agreeable young fellows into the house, that it’s almost as bad as if one lived in a nunnery — not the least chance for a husband ! What, though I am treated rather like a friend and companion than a house-keeper; I’cl have them to know, that better blood runs in my veins than they can boast of — Marry come up. indeed ! The daughter of Captain Emanuel Felix Xavier Amthonio Ferdinand Armadillo is company for the best judge in Old Spain; not to talk of a colonial alcalde, the son of a Sevillian algnazil. but here comes the old fool himself, and Laura, as usual, along with him.

Enter Don EerS’oi.vo, leading in Laura.

Don Bertcldo.Good morning, good Theresa;

I come to tell you to give directions that we may dine early to-day. 1 have a particular reason for it; and let us have something nice, if you please.

Ther, Yes, Senor, I always take care of that — because I know —

Bert. Not, Theresa, that I care what I eat; my vigorous constitution (coughs) and manly habits (coughs) make me indifferent to such things. Besides, being in the very prime of life, it would be a shame for me to think about them.

Ther,True, Senor.

Bert. But you know, worthy Theresa, it is entirely on my dear ward’s account that I am anxious.

Ther. Certainly, Senor — Devil’s in his

assurance.

Bert. So, Theresa, let us have something nice for her. As for me, a little turtie-soup, a stewed rock-fish, a haunch cf Kentucky venison, a mince of rice-birds’ breasts and a marrow pudding, and a plague of all vour nice dishes, I say. Then, with a little old hock and seltzer water, half a dozen glasses of Champaigne, a bottle of humble rote , a few bunches of grapes and a plate of olives, I shall be able to make up my dinner. Temperance ! oh, temperance ! it is the richest jewel of life ! the handmaid of health; the preserver of manhood; the parent and the nurse of love! (firessing Laura's hand, and looking ridiculously o?i her.)

Enter Senor a de la Plata, unobserved by Don

Bertoldo.

Sen. Indeed, Senor Glutton! (Bertoldo starts.) Bless me, Senor, you have become exceedingly fond of your ward of late !

Bert. Every one must be fond of her, madam.

Sen. Always with her — always praising her beauties; and, like a tender physician, always feeling her pulse.

Bert. Well, madam ! and why not ?

Sen. When she is present, lost in contemplation of her, you forget yourself. Yes, strange to tell, you forget your great age and your numerous infirmities.

Bert. Sounds! Senora!

Sen. Gout, rheumatism, catarrh!

Bert. Senora ! silence, 1 charge you. Remember the respect due to Don Bertoldo de la Plata.

Lau. I entreat, Senor.

Bert. I say, madam, I have not yet pass’d the middle age of life.

Sen. Certainly, Senor, if you have been ordained to live to the age of one hundred and thirty. (laughing.)

Ben. It is true that the climate of this country has occasioned me some slight indispositions — but these always attack young persons like me, who reside here.

Sen. Climate, indeed! Twenty-two years ago, when you paid your addresses to me, you told me ’just the same thing to account for your strange appearance, even at that time. You said you had been a soldier at Manilla; that your legs had been spindled by a plague; that your face had been wrinkled up by your accidentally falling asleep under a poison tree. You were then upwards of forty years of age, and owned to thirty-two.

Bert. By the integrity of a Spanish Judge, I swear it is false, {apppears uneasy.) Laura, my dear, retire; it will be painful to you to listen to this woman’s impertinence.(leads her to the door.)

Theresa, you may accompany Donna Laura. (Exeunt Laura and Thersea.) — I am old, eh! Well, then, let me put on my spectacles to view this nonpareil of youth, grace and beauty, who was married twenty-two years ago. (puts on spectacles.)

Sen. I was then but fourteen years of age, when my father compelled me —

Bert.Indeed! Why your lover, Don Felix Furioso, had been two years before banished to South-America for killing the Corregidor’s son, as he leaped out of your chamber window.

San. Ah, Senor, (weeps) why do you bring to my soul such cruel recollections? Why remind me of what I suffered from the pure and platonic affection I entertained for that amiable, that noble youth

Bert. Affections of the same celestial kind, I presume, as you have conceived for that American-Irishman, Captain O’Brien, whom you met with at Mons. Bordell’s, when you and Laura were up the river on a visit.

Sen.Ah, Senor — no one could contemplate such an object — a brilliant gem of human nature, polished as the oriental topaz — a soul sublimated to the highest heaven of enthusiasm, and the exquisite pleasures of platonic love — No one, my dear Senoi, could see such au object as O’Brien without feeling friendship for him.

Bert. Friendship — platonic friendship, (ireni-cally.)

Sen. Yes, Senor — immaculate and intellectual as the loves of angels; or, as I have beautifully expressed it in a delicious sonnet —

“"My soul luxuriates in seraphic love,

“"Spotless and pure — as a platonic dove."

Bert. Ti-ti-tum, ti-tum, ti-tum, ti! And this empyrean affection met, I trust, a suitable return ?

Sen. Why, yes, Senor; but it was the beauty of my mind alone which that tasteful and intelligent youth admired — for you know, my dear Don Bertoldo, l have an exquisite taste in the elegant arts; wonderful felicities in the composition of amatory poems; the most engaging and fascinating manners; in a word, all the taste, the grace and elegance of the old court —

Bert. Together with all that is excellent and lovely in the morals of the new. (ironically.)

Sen. Yes, Senor, such morals as do no discredit to Don Bertoldo de la Plata.

Bert. To me, madam! What do you mean? I am integrity itself.

Sen. Ha, ha, ha ! Be not offended, I entreat you. Indeed, my love, I do not wish to wound your delicate and sensitive moral nerves, but merely to suggest to your worship’s wisdom, that nothing can be more ridiculous than insinuations against any one’s moral character, coming from you. But you must know, my dear, that I have something to say to you of importance.

Bert. What is it, madam?

Sen. (after a chart fiance.) You know, my love, it need not be concealed — we hate each other cordially.

Bert. Most cordially, indeed, my love!

Sen. And each of us, my dear, prefers any one’s society to that of the other.

Bert. Very true, indeed, my dear — To speak for myself, I consider my better half the worst company in the world.

Sen. Very candid, my dear. There is nothing so amiable as perfect candor.

Bert. Nothing, my love."

Sen. Jealousy, my dear, as you have long been convinced, is a foolish and wicked passion.

Bert. Indeed I have, my dear; and though a Spaniard, I am perfectly innocent of it. If any thing like it ever appeared in my conduct, it was merely feigned, for the purpose of giving to my lovely consort the delightful feeling produced by a little occasional vexation, thrown in to vary the otherwise insipid monotony of her happy life.

Senora, (aside.) Hideous creature !

Don Bert. To operate like those discords in fine music, which heighten the charm of the harmonious passages that follow them.

Senora. Kind Sir !

Don Bert. And also, my love, to improve your beauty ; for nothing gives such a fine crimson to the dimpled cheek, or such a vivid lustre to the rolling eye, as a fit of rage. So that the more angry I could make you, my love, the more beautiful you would appear.

Senora. Excellent — Your good understanding, as well as your candor, at once instructs and charms me.

Don Bert. Well, then, that I may render myself more deserving of your compliments, I must acknowledge, that I feel as great a friendship for Laura, as you can do for O’Brien — full as pure — full as platonic.

Senora. (aside.) Cupid on crutches ! — (aloud) — Admirable — I declare I’ll celebrate you both in my immortal poetry, under the name of ‘ The Petrarch and Laura of Louisiana !’ And when your worship dies, (Heaven avert the fatal day !) I’I’ll compose a most pathetic epitaph on the mournful occasion. Nay, i’ll have a fountain, as renowned as the Vaucluse itself, erected, to perpetuate the remembrance of your loves, in the middle of your own rice swamp. Ha, ha, ha!

Don Bert. Thank you, my dear; thank you for your kind intentions.

Senora How lovely, my dear, is the divinity of truth ! How amply it furnishes its votaries with the means of obtaining a virtuous felicity! I think, my love, we now understand each other well.

Don Bert. Yes, my dear lady, without the least reserve — alike we know each other, and alike we love.

Senora. Then attend. The last time I was in company with Capt. O’Brien, Laura was of the party —

Don Bert. Eh ! what ?

Sen. And before she left it became, if I am not much mistaken, deeply enamoured of him.

Don Bert. Hell and the devil !

Sen. He seemed not altogether insensible. The nobler and mental charms of another person (with affected vanity) had indeed done full justice to your taste, my dear; but my quick and acute discernment soon discovered that his passions were contending against his judgment and his taste; that his soul, in short, was not wholly purified from all anti-platonic emotions.

Don Bert. No wonder, my love, when Laura was before him.

Sen. Detested creature! (aside) — In a word, my life, Laura is young and beautiful, and for a child, has a tolerable engaging manner. It is known too that she is entitled, to a large fortune. To-morrow, it is said, the Americans, and with them Captain O’Brien, will come to take possession of New-Orleans. Now, if mv conjectures; are right, and I am very confident they are, the young man may think that Laura’s fortune would compensate for her intellectual inferiority. To be plain, my dearest, her platonic friendship would be lost to you for ever.

Don Bert. And you, my love, would be for ever deprived of the virtuous conversation of Captain O’Brien!

Sen. Suppose, then, my soul’s idol, you set off immediately to the Havanna, and take Laura along with you.

Don Bert. An excellent thought. (calmly. )

Sen. Or to Spain, if you choose — Its delightful climate may perhaps remove some of your infirmities. And I might remain here, my love, to take care of our property.

Don Bert. And the modest young Irishman would assist my beloved in the management of it.

Sen. And then, darling of my heart, we should effectually separate these lovers for ever, (aside) and I should soon be able to obtain a divorce and marry O’Brien.

Don Bert. So we should, my love ! — (aside) for which reason I have already determined to do what you propose — and then I dare swear you will soon enable me to obtain a divorce and marry Laura.

Sen. Oh, you dear, charming — (aside) hideous old dotard — But I see Laura returning — Direct her to be ready to go by the frigate that sails this even-ing.

Don Bert. Yes, my dear, yes.

Sen. I don’t wish that O’Brien should see her again. Meet me presently in the boudoir, to arrange matters furTher. Adieu! charmer of my existence ! How shall I collect fortitude to part with you so soon, perhaps for ever !(pretends to weep, and then bursts out int a laugh.) [exit.

Don Bert. (solus) Ha, ha, ha ! Your plan, my good platonist, has been already arranged by me. I did not wait for your advice before I determined on taking Laura to Europe, and leaving your ladyship behind. You shall have full powers to manage my property here, if you can find any — All that I possessed in this province is already sold, and the proceeds safely lodged in the Havanna. In love with O’Brien! Ha, ha, ha! — The flash that has touched her dry withered heart may, like a spark of fire from a flint into a tinder-box, burn a little, and smoke without doing much mischief. It shall serve, however, to light the torch that Cupid and Hymen are preparing for me and my dear little Laura ! Delightful, transporting, ravishing thought.

STOPPED HERE

Song, Don Bertoldo — Air, Black Joke.

If I can my platonic consort deceive,

Or plump her at once down six feet in the grave,

Oh, what a joke and prospect so bright !

As Europe, by Jove, I’ll lead Laura away Over seas; where I’ll kiss and make love night and

day,

Spend the whole of our time in soft dalliance and

play,

Till subdu’d by my fondness, she’ll tenderly say, Oh, what a joke and prospect so bright!

Should madam take up with her Capt. O’Brien, While at him people laugh, and herself they cry fie on,

Oh, what a joke and prospect so bright!

I'll get a divorce, and my sweet Laura tether

In wedlock’s soft hands — then, like birds of a feather,

As two turtles we’ll bill, coo and cling close together,

To drive off cold winter, and keep out the weather,

Oh, the dear joke and prospect so bright!

Then fly swift, ye moments, and to my fond arms Bring Laura, with her irresistible charms;

Oh, what a prospect pleasing and bright l While my lady so prim, like a piece of crack’d delf, Shall lie unregarded by me on the shelf,

My Laura’s rich treasures I’ll take to myself,

Her sweet person pillage and pocket her pelf,

Oh, Lord, what a joke and prospect so bright 1

Enter Lavna and Theresa.

Don Bert. (taking Laura the hand.) Laura, my love, you must prepare immediately for our voyage to the Havanna.

Laura. For the Havanna ?

Don Bert. Yes; why should it surprise you \ Have you not heard that the Americans are expected to take possession of this place to-morrow.

Lau. I have, Senor — -But surely that circumstance need not hasten our departure.

Don Bert. A friga'e waits, my child, only for us.

Lau. Will there not be several other opportunities of going to Cuba in a little time hence ?

Don Bert. None so safe and agreeable as that which now offers. But why, my Laura, are you unwilling to go there now ?

Lau. (hesitating) Why, Senor, I shall not: have time to take leave of my friends, I have many

LI 1! U'TV IN LOUISIANA;

beloved companions of my clsildhootl in this country.

Don Bert. {aside)My lynx-ey’d platonist is

right. Laura must be got olV before O’Brien appears — (aloud) Aye, aye — but you’ll soon see all your friends in the Uavanna. They won’t remain here long, under the odious American government.

Lau. 1 thought, sir, it had been generally approved of, as being well suited to the habits, opinions and circumstances of the people who live under it.

Don Bert. Nonsense, my dear, nonsense. Whenever men are free, they get so fat and saucy, there’s no bearing them. Did you not hear, Theresa, how that Kentucky rascal abused me the other day, for only insisting on having a few barrels of his provisions at my own price ? And when I threatened to chastise him with my cane for his impertinence, the impudent villain immediately presented his rifle, and laughed and mocked at me.

7 'her.So he did, your worship- — And he said

with a terrible oath — ?“Take care, (mimicking the back-country pronunciation j '’on mister; for if you put your gouty foot into my boat, nation to me if I don’t shoot cut your twro remaining rotten old grinders — and save you the expence of tooth-drawing.”

Don Bert. Damn him, woman; don’t repeat his impertinent lies. 1 hope you have made up your mind to depart with ns; you won’t think of remaining among such savages, surely ?

Ther. 1 ask your worship’s pardon. I have no great objection to see the young fellous free, fat and hearty; aye, by my conscien and pretty forward too.

Don Bert. Experience will make you wiser, child.

Lau,Does Senora la Plata accompany us i1

'Jl

Don Bert. No, my dear. She remains here for a short time to settle my affairs; but she will follow us speedily. We have no time to lose., Theresa, let every thing he prepared for my departure.

[Exit.

Laura and Theresa — Laura seems thoughtful and

melancholy.

Ther, Why, lady, what is the matter with you?

Lau. Ah, my dear Theresa, this order for my immediate departure, and it seems without the Se-nora, too much confirms me in the suspicions I have just hinted to you.

Ther. So it does me, my dear young lady. I see clearly what these wretches are about. Captain O’Brien and you are to be separated for their wicked purposes.

Lau. I fear.that is their intention.

Ther. But do you really believe he loves you?

Lau. He told me so, with every appearance of sincerity.

Ther. Oh, deuce take the sincerity of the best of them. I have been so often left in the lurch myself, that —

Lau. Yes, but Theresa, he has since declared it in i letter, professing in the most earnest, yet delicate language, the ardor and fidemy of his affection for me.

Ther. It may be so — But you should be sure of it, befove you let your mind be too far engaged — If I had been mere cautious rrv-Hf, my tender heart would have been spared many a twinge — ? worse a hundred times than the rheumatism.

Lau. ( /musing) Why, I do recollect — I do recollect that almost the whole of his respect and at-

D

tendons were directed, during our interview, to ISenora. la Plata.

Ther.. That, however, makes the business look better — It is clear he could not love one so much older than himself (affectedly) as my lady. His attentions to her must then have been intended as a cover to hide his addresses to you, and to secure a future intercourse with you. I dare say he soon discovered her fondness for what she cails fashionable platonic love-making. Now, for my part, I don’t like your new-fangled ways — old-fashioned love is quite good enough for Theresa.

Lau. His eyes, indeed, seemed paying addresses to me, while his tongue flattered her.

Ther.. I’ll warrant me. You may always trust Theresa in tilings of this sort — I have had some experience in them, lady.

Lau. But what I most apprehend is, that an attachment arising from a single interview may not be sincere or lasting.

Ther.. Tell me, truly, do you love this young gentleman yourself?

Lau. Why, Theresa, I really believe I should, if I were onlv certain that he loved me.

Ther.. And why will you not give him credit for being as sincere as yourself?

Lau. To be sure, if ever character was faithfully displayed by the human countenance, the heart of O’Brien is kind, generous and true.

Ther.. And I dare say he can ^vaw from your countenance, young lady, just as fond and as faithful a picture of your disposition.

Lau. If I am mistaken, Theresa, I’ll go into the h , onvent 1 meet wl i.

Ther.. Ah ! a convent — lie, lie ! — cut upon the 1 i'ieous notion. A <. or.vent, indeed 1 — A jail, a purgatory sooner. No, no, my dear, neither of us was ever intended for such a place. Out upon it 1 Give me for my money a kind, hearty, good-humoured husband.

Lau. Indeed !

Ther. Yes, indeed — active, generous, and faithful as a spaniel dog; and, by my faith, as submissive too. Such a man, with a parcel of prattling children and jovial neighbors, are much pleasanter company than old maiden nuns.

Lau. Children, Theresa !

Ther. Aye, lady, the more the merrier; for then one never wants society. And now, my dear child, let me ask if the captain knows that you have a large fortune ?

Lau. He thinks I have none. I told him so myself, in the course of conversation, and the Senora instantly corroborated it with great earnestness.

Ther. Was it afterwards that he wrote you that handsome love-letter ?

Lau. It was.

Ther. Then, my blessings on him. A '?.cry good sign, upon my word; and, give me leave to tell you, a very extraordinary one. Money is now-a-days as requisite for marriage as for market — one can get nothing that’s toothsome in either with an empty purse. I’m sure if merit without fortune would have satisfied the men, and be-whipp’d to them, I should have been a wife and a mother long ago. I would give a little bag of doubloons myself to have a young lover I could depend upon, so well as you may on Capt. O’Brien.

Lau. But what signifies his sincerity, if Don Beftoldo obliges me to leave the province ?

Ther,Don't be afraid of that old baboon.. This day, perhaps, your dear captain will be here to protect you. d 2

Lau. In his ktier he mentions that lie does not expect he shall he able to be here till to-morrow.

Ther. That will do. Indeed, I require protection myself as much as any one. I am so afraid that some of those tall, strong Kentucky ,

(as they call them) who frequently pay us a visit ts they are passing down the river, should take it into their heads to run away with me.

Lau. I hope, my good old and faithful friend, there’s no danger.

Ther. But I tell you there is great danger — I wonder I have escaped so long. Old, quoth’a! — Let me tell you, miss, that 1 heresa Armadillo can not be called an old woman till five and twenty years more shall pass away — and, please the Virgin, she shan’t be called an old maid then. No danger, indeed ! No one is in greater. My very heart goes pit-a-pat, and my whole person becomes agitated, whenever one of those strapping back-woods fellows comes in my sight.

Lau. Well, good Theresa, I hope none of them will injure you.

Ther. By my troth, lady. I am no more safe than my neighbors. Old as you think me, however, I expect to dance very merrily at your wedding, and that too in a short time, please the Virgin.

Lau. And I hope, kind Theresa, I shall soon rejoice at vour’s. [Exit.

Ther. Heaven trrant it, mv dear child.-And

now to see that every thing is prepared for dinner, [Exit into an inner apartment*.

25

ACT II.

The same scene.

Enter Phelim and Sawst — Sawny looking round

very cautiously.

Sawny. In troth, Phelim, here is a guclely hoose. I dare say the maister of it is rich. Wha knows but they’ll buy up a’ my goods. This, I tak it, is the great mon’s hoosekeeper’s room.

Phelim, {going towards a closet) By my soul, Sawny, if my noes isn’t a great liar, we’l1 soon sec something very savoury in the ateing way. (Jinds a tureen of turtle-soup.)

Saw. Tak heed, mon I ma' be you think so only because your weam is empty, and your heed l'u’.

Phel. Holy St. Patrick ! What a flagrant smell.

Saw. {examining cautiously) Gude troth, it has a deleecious flavour!

Phel, Phelim is seldom mistaken when lie makes a good guess.

Saw. What is it, laddie ?

Phel. I believe its a sort of a savoury stirabout, made of meat.

Saw. Why, ye loon, its turtle-scup.

Phel. Whatever it is, I’ll taste a little of it. {helps himself.)

Saw. {aside) I’d like to ha’ a taste too. {To Phelim) You’re always too free, men, in helping yoursel’. Dunna you ken boo many scrapes you got us baith into by taking sic leeberties, on oov journey frae NewT-York to the Natchez ?

Phel. Oh, m vdear, wern’t we then in a land of liberty, and where else ought a man to make free . Hid I ever take any thing but in a fair, open, jon-

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

tiemanlike way ? And if I brought you now and then into a scrape, didn’t I always get you handsomely out of it ?

Saw.And ha’ na I got you, maister Phelim, out of mony a scrape ? Dunna you remember when you were put in jail in New-York for debt, where you might ha’ lain till now, gin I had na put it into your heed to tak the yellow fever and die ? Did na I, when every one besides was afraid to gang near you, go with an undertaker, and carry you oot safe and sound ?

Phel. Aye, by my soul, and almost smothered me in the coffin, for want of making the air-holes large enough. Devil burn me if ever I’ll die again of the yellow fever as long as 1 live, unless I can’t help it. But have not I risked, aye, by my soul, and got too, many a leathering on your account, Sawny ?

Saw. Why, you dunna want for spunk, Phelim, to be sure; but you’d be a better mon and a safer companion, gin you did na tak what you wanted till you had the owner’s permeesion.

Phel. By my soul, honest Phelim would rather any day take a thing like a jontleman, nor beg for it like a spalpeen; and he’s always as ready to give to a poor body, as to borrow from a churl that’s rich.

Saw. It costs leetle to sav so, maister Phelim,

ft 7

when a mon has nathing to give; but gin you were as generous as you say you are, it is na right to be so at other folks’ expence.

Puri. I tell you, Sawny, it is — and for why ? Sure if any one finds fault with me, am not I always reai to give him satisfaction; and what can any raisonable person desire more ? Don’t you

A COMEDY,

27

know the rich blackguard we had the scuffle with on the borders of the Tennessee wilderness ?

Saw. He that ca’d us a pair of impudent rascals, for roasting one of his turkies and drinking half a gallon of his whusky, when he was absent, and without asking ony one’s leave ?

rhcl. The same. Tho’ I tould him I thought it would be affronting American hospitality for a jontleman not to make as free in any American’s house as in his own, he grumbled and abused me; and then because I only laughed at him, he insisted on satisfaction; which, to be sure, he got, in as neat a leathering as ever I gave in my born days. What could I do more, Sawny ?

Saw. T roth, I think you did loo much.

Phel. Sawny, you don’t know the ways of jon-tlemen yet, though you’ve kept company so long with me. I tell you, that whenever a jontleman does wrong, its a complete satisfaction and reparation if he afterwards shoots or leathers the man that he lias injured.

Saw. Oh, you wicked sinner !

Phel. Oh ! now, Sawny, with all your fine preaching, you’re not ashamed, by my soul, to benefit by what you censure so much. The best part of the ateing of that very turkey came to your share, while the whole of the bateing afterwards fell to mine — There’s not much conscience in your stomach, my dear.

Saw. The whole of the beating, and confound ve! — I tell ye what, maister Phelim, gin ye think I’m at a’ afraid of a beating, come oot wi me into the wood, and I’ll try if I canna rattle the shillelah, as yc ca’ it, aboot your ears tul ye change your opecnion.

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

Pht'l. Now, do you think, my brave laddie, I can doubt your spunk, when avc have so often fought for one another ? No, by my sold; you’re always as ready to fight as myself, right ot Avrong, and that’s saying no little in your praise.

Saw. Especially, Phelim, when there’s ony thing to be gained by it — 1 dunna care much to ha’ what ye ca’ (imitating) a leathering, just for diversion. He’s a silly cheel that gets broker?, bones for nothing : but he’s a sorry dog that wul na fight for a bone.

Phel. I like you very' well, lad, if you didn’t talk so much about your honesty apd your conscience; when, by my soul, you can chate as roundly as the best of us. To be sure, you have always the Ioav of your side, devil burn yon.

Saw. Aye, Phelim, Avhat I do is always in the way o’ fair trade, as an honest, conscientious pedlar. I never sell ony thing for gold that is not trebble gilt, and seldom ask a greater profit than a thousand per cent.

Phel. Let me tell you, Saivny, the devil an ho-nester fellow in America than Phelim O’Flint!.

Saw. Except in ketle money matters, debts and the like.

Phel. Don’t be after giving us so much of your blarney. As to money matters, I tell you no one loves generosity more nor myself.

Saw.Vary good poleecy, Phelim; ye may gain but canna lose by it.

Phel. Be aisy noiv — and as to debts, I’m always

willing to do as I’d be done by, and what can be

fairer. I’d frealy give to every one that owes me

any money a result in full, and all I ask of my

creditors is to do the same bv honest Phelim

Orsquo;Flinn; but they wont, the cursed knaves; they

A COMEDY.

are always sending their sheriffs and constables after me. and putting rne to the t-' Me and expence of swearing out and white-wa >g two or three times every year.

Saw. Sure enough, they’re vary troublesome; and I fear it will never be better while ye stick to the dri\m-selling business. Gin ye’d tak a fule’s advice, ve’d hae na mare to do wi’ it.

Phel. By my soul, Sawny, that’s the business that will suit me best; for while I’m in it, I’ll always be sure of one good customer at least — myself. — But come now, let us attack the savoury stew again, (vita down and cats.)

Saw. Hark! someone comes this way. Tak heed, mon !

Theresa, (aside) Ha ! who have we got here ?

(Sawny bows very low, and retires into a corner.)

Phel. (rising from his seat and lifting up his hands in admiration) Oh 1 Sawny, my dream is out! — Didn’t I tell you that I’d see this very morning a beautiful sweet cratur of a dear young jontlewo-man, in just such a room as this; and that she’d bid me welcome with a ku a fat tough, and force me, whether I would or not, to wash down a bowl of savoury soup with a bottle of whisky — and there now she stands befoie me !

( Theresa appears astonished, but not displeased at the flattery of Phelim.)

song; Phelim.

Ogh 1 my lovely sweet cratur, pray how do you do? I’ve been dreaming this week past of no one but you. Give rne lave to prisint to you V’heiim O’Flinn,

A lad ever prepar’d to go through thick and thin.

v.

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

30

The likes of yourself is his greatest delight,

To talk with all day, and to toy with all night. From yourself, my dear jewel, I ne'er wish to part; Blood-and-ouns! how your bright eyes have bother’d my heart 1

Ther. Your humble ser .nt, gentlemen.

(Saw.'iy bows

Phel.(sits down again and You see, my

dear, I’m no ways bashful. I always like to behave myself in a genteel, hospitable manner wherever

1 br?-

Ther. You are from the United States, gentlemen, I presume.

Phel. Yes, my dear. We are come along with the troops that we left a few hours march behind us, just to take possession of your country.

Ther. I am glad they will be with us so soon. You are officers of the American government,

perhaps ?

Phel.No, my dear, not at present — we are in the mercantile line. My friend here — Give me lave to introduce him to you, Mr. Sawny M‘Gre-gor — My friend, Sawny, is a great merchant, that has an imminse store of dry goods at the Natchez. He has brought with him a few little samples (poind ng to Sawiy's pack) to shew to his customers, the planters and small store-keepers along the river. And your humble servant, my dear, is a very rich wine and liquor met chant, from the same flourishing city; and a hearty Irishman besides; though you need not be surprised at that, for go into what country you will, you’ll be sure to find

Irishmen enough bred and born in it.

Saw. {a dd: ) dence.

Wed ye ha’ the deil’s own impu-

Ther. Very reputable occupations, indeed! — Pray, gentlemen, be seated, and take some refreshment. This turtle-soup, I believe, you will find very good.

Phd. Come over to the table, Sawny — don’t be so shame-fac'd. Let me help you. By my soul, madam, its no lie to call this soup good. The very smell of it made my own mouth water — and no wonder; for I’ll warrant it was made by your own sweet self — that would make any one’s mouth water.

Ther. (smiling) Oh, dear, sir ! — I am told, sir, the Natchez is a very delightful country.

Phd. Yes, my dear, very pleasant, but rather too hot for myself,

Saw. (aside) The Highlands of Scotland would be the same, gin ye liv’d there three months.

Phd.It’s for that raison I am going to settle in New-Orleans, just for the benefit of my health.

Saw. (aside) Aye, to avoid the jail-consumption.

Ther. Come, gentlemen, what will you drink? This is the dwelling-house of the Spanish judge, Don Bertoldo de la Plata. We have Very good cheer I promise you.

Phd. (aside) A judge, eh! — That’s so near a-kin to a sheriff that i like neither of them — No, by my soul, nor any thing at all belonging to the law. I suppose, my dear, ycu have the honor of being the judge’s lady.

(Sawny rises and lew.)

Ther, No, sir, I am only his worship’s house

i

31

A COMEDY.

keeper; but I am tivated rather as an humble friend and companion of the family than as a servant; and a port! reason for it, by my conscience — I come of as good a family as the best of them.

Phi {like you t he better for that. I am a person of great family mysi if.

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

Saw. (aside) Vary large, in troth — You’ve children, l believe, in every parish in Ireland and America.

Ther. I dare say you have both families of your own.

Saw. No, my lady hoose-keeper, neither of us.

Ther. You’re much in the right on’t. I have no notion of people marrying too young; and for that reason I have kept myself single as yet; tho', to be sure, I might have been married, many is the hundred time. I have gained a very pretty little independency of my own in this province — a few handsome bags of doubloons in my chest, and a large line house in New-Orleans, mighty prettily furnished; but for all that, I don’t choose to marry — , No, I don’t choose to marry.

Saw. Troth, bonnie lassie, I’m vary glad to hear ye are na married yet. I ne’er met with ony one I like so muckle as yoursel. (she curtsies.)

Phel. (aside) Fair play, Sawny.

Saw. (aside to Phelim) Let me tak her, Fhelira. Dunna thrust me awa this time, and you shall ha the doubloons — the hoose will do for me. (to her) Gin we were better acquainted together, lassie, I’m sure it would be a match.

Ther. Oh, we’re both young enough, sir, to think of marrying for these — three weeks to come. But, gentlemen, you have not told me what you will drink.

Phel. For my share, my dear, I generally drink Madeira.

Saw. (aside) Made from barley.

Phel. But now that I’m fatagu’d after my journey, I’d as lief have a little whiskey, if you have any in the house.

Ther. We have some, sir, of an excellent qua-

3*>

A COMEDY.

lity, that one of iry Kentucky sweethearts made me a present of.

Phel. By my souk my dear cratur, if he has ps good a taste for the spirit as for the flesh, his whiskey must be the best in America.

Saw. (aside) Curse the fellow. He’ll tak this rich old lassie from me.

Phel.. Nothing delights my own heart more rior to drink share of a good jug of whiskey-punch with a pretty girl.

T/ier. Sir, I love good cheer myself, especially when along with such a jovial and agreeable companion as you are.

Phel. Devil a handsome young jontlewoman like yourself could ever help liking an Irish boy.

Saw. (aside to Phelim) Deil tak your tongue — Leave the lassie to me, and you shall ha the doubloons and half the hoose to boot..

Ther. Excuse me, sir, for a few minutes, while I go to the cellar and fetch a bottle of the liquor you like so much.

Phel. You may bring a couple of bottles, my dear, while your hand is in. [Exit Theresa.') (leeringly) Weel, Sawny, which of us mun tak the lassie ?

Saw. Burn ye, canna ye let me get her — Is na the offer I made ye vary fair ?

Phel. Ah, Sawny, honey, I only wanted to shew you that I might take her if 1 plaised — and now, to let you see how generous I;arn, I make her a present to you for nothing at all. No one but a young jontlewoman, by my soul, shall ever be called Mrs. Phelim O’Flinn.

Saw. You’re a gude sort of a loon, tho’ you’re so conceited. The lassie has a gude riddance of ve. If she was to listen to yc, and trust ye, vary

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

34

likely you’d serve her as you did Lucy Mar gland of Tennessee — Wasn’t it a shame for ye to seduce that poor girl ?

Phel. I vow to Jasus, I couldn’t help it. The girls can never let me alone — They kidnap me whenever they can catch me, and make me list as a volunteer sweetheart whether I will or no.

Saw. I believe ye ha na conscience, Phelim.

Phel. By my troth, Sawny, you can’t brag of much yourself; but you’re mighty ginerous of what little you have, for, by my soul, you keep it all for other people’s use. Your conscience is very quiet and aisy about your own roguery, iho’ very squameish and particular as to your friends.

Saw. No, Phelim; gin I had used that innocent young lassie as ye did, I cou'd na rest tul I had married her.

Phel. Especially if she had ony siller — I tell you it was nothing but tinderness that prevented me from marrying her. Poor girl, she could never bear the smell of whiskey — and wouldn’t it kill the dear cratur to have such a bedfellow as myself all the days of her life ?

Re-enter Theresa.

Ther. Here, gentlemen, is something to enliven us. Come, Mr. M‘Gregor, make free. May I ask, sir, if you too are a native of Europe?

Saw. I am, gude lassie, a true-born Scot; I hope ve winna like me the less for it.

m

Ther. By no means. I am very fond of the gentlemen of your country; for, by my conscience, when they get good things, they know how to take good care of them.

P/iel.In troth, my dear, neither Mr. M‘Gregor nor myself has any raison to be ashamed of our country; but sure isn’t it all one, Irishman, Englishman, American or Scot — all of the same family. Now will I give you a little bit of a toast ?

A COMEDY”.

Ther. With pleasure, sir — and a bumper it must be.

Phel. Then here’s the sister nations of Ireland, England, Scotland and America — may they always live together in a brotherhood of filial affection-may they bury the enemies of their freedom in the sea, and with them the remembrance of all their own family dissentions, pa3t, present and to come.

Saw. Here’s the sister nations of Scotland, England, Ireland and America — freedom, prosperity and riches to them all — bankruptcy and perpetual poverty to their enemies.

Ther. Here’s the sister nations of America, England, Ireland and Scotland — freedom, prosperity and the sweet comforts of domestic happiness to them all — and conversion to their enemies.

Phel. But, my dear soul, its of no consequence what countryman you are, if you choose to settle in the United States; for, let you be born where you will, (do you mind) as soon as you’re after being in America five years, you may become a native of it whenever you please — and good luck to the brave boys that so ginirously share their noble privileges with strangers !

Ther.Well, gentlemen, whatever country owns you, upon my word you please me very much.

Saw. Vary glad, you think so, lassie; gin ye like ain of us, as weel as ain of us likes ye, troth ye winna long be a maiden.

Ther. {smiling affectedly) I like you so well, gentlemen, that I’ll give you u song.

UB1CRTX IN LOUISIANA;

song — Theresa.

Nov? Phoebus runs his glorious race,

Diffusing aroun 1 th’ ail-cheering ray,

And not a cloud obscures his face —

So may he shine on my bridal day.

The bridal day’s the best day of our life,

Nought then should prevail but mirth and play.

The maid should ne’er become a wife,

Who will not rejoice on her bridal day.

Saw. Vary good, lassie; I like your notions mightily.

'/"her. But I had almost forgot to enquire if either of you is acquainted with Captain O’Brien, an Irish gentleman in the American service, who is expected to come here along with the troops that are to take possession of the province.

Saw. Mr. O’Flinn has seen him, I believe, at the Natchez.

Phel. Seen him, indeed ! My dear, we are very Intimate together. He is one of my most particular friends.

Saw. (aside) Oh, impudence !

Ther. I wish he was come.; for you must know, as you’re his friend, (but that’s a secret I wouldn’t tell every body) that lie’s over head and ears in love with Don Bertoldo’s ward, Laura de Villa-verde — a charming, sweet young lady, who will have, when she marries, a fortune of upwards of a hundred thousand dollars.

Phel, Thunder-and-ouns! — A hundred thousand dollars ! — No wonder by my soul, lie’s so much in love with her !

A COMEDY.

J i

Ther. Aye, and the best of it is, that she’s he1 as much in love with him, though they have never been more than once in each other’s company.

Phel. (aside) What luck some people have in this wicked world 1 No fear of the like happening to honest Phelim O’Flinn.

Ther.I am anxious to see him. He is, as I’ve told you, a countryman of your own; and indeed from the description ray young lady Iras given me of him, he must be very like you in every respect — so like, that if you had not told me who you were,

I should have supposed you were Captain O’Brien in disguise !

Phel. Eh?

Ther. He is exactly of your height.

Phel. (aside) Aye 1 aye !

Ther. About six or seven and twentv years old.

? m

Phel. (aside) My own age to a single day 1

Ther. Well built and of an excellent shape.

Phel. (aside)) If any one would but make me a captain now, how aisy I might christen myself O’Brien !

Ther. Said to be verv pleasing in his manners.

Phel. Devil a one more so nor myself.

Ther. Fluent and eloquent in discourse.

Phel. (aside)To be sure myseif hasn’t as glib a tongue as the best of them 1 — Phelim, take heart 1 — If I could pass mvsclf for this caotain, vnv for-tune would he made forever.

Ther. And I’m told he sings a very pleasant, lively song.

Phel. (a: hie) There I am again!-(aloud)

where was it Miss Laura and he met together, mv

1 O'.'

(par ^

^ i L wi?. *

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

Ther..At Monsieur Borddl’s plantation, up the

river.

Phd. She saw him only once, you say ?

7/hr. Once only.

Phd. 1 low Iona; is it ago ?

Ther.. About a month.

Phd.Are you sure she’d know him again ?

Ther.. I should suppose so — unless he was greatly altered.

Phd.[add.-) Mayn’t a man have had a smart fever and ague for the binifit of his complexion ? {aloud) Did any one else in the house ever see my frind the Captain ?

Ther.. No one but the Judge's lady, Senora de la Plata.

Phd. Was it often ?

Ther.. Three or four times, I believe.

Phd. Is she ould ?

Ther.. Not very old; but advancing into the vale of life.

Phd. And I care say somewhat blinking and near-sighted.

Ther.. Her eyes begin to fail a little, to be sure; but she’s so much afraid of being thought old, that she never wears spectacles in company.

Phel. {ad(hr) So much the better for brave Phe-lim OTiinu — {aloud) Do you think, my dear, that if the Caplahi was to come down unexpectedly, Miss Laura would marry him at once, off hand. — ( Theresa hesitates ) — 1 ask, my dear ma’am, only because I am terribly interested for my frind the Captain. Ton my honor and soul, (with an air of lui/ioriaucc) ma’am, I know him and love him as weil as myself.

fare. (r vhj has been lht> mug attentively — aside }

A COMEDY.

39

Wha’ does the Iocn mean by a’ these questions ?

Ther. (aside) Perhaps this is some confidential friend, sent by the Captain to know how the land lies. (To PhelimJ — Are you really, sir, a true friend to Captain O’Brien ?

Phel.(’with ifreat earnestness) I am, good lady; by all the immortal powers of love; by the blessed vartue of my Captain’s commission — Fob ! what am I after saying ? — I mean by — by every thing that’s beautiful under the sun — by your own sweet self — I am; in troth, I am.

Ther. Why, then, sir, I do believe that if the Captain were to come here now he might marry Laura without delay. She has strong reasons for wishing to be out of the power cf her guardian as soon as possible.

Phel. (aside) Every thing as I could wish it — Now or never, Phelim — (to Theresa) Mv dear, I’ve just taken a great longing for a few glasses of wine. Let me have a bottle.

Ther. The friend of Captain O’Brien shad have what he desires in an instant. \_L:cit.

Sure. Wha the deil are ye abaot, mon? W hv did ye ca’ for wine, when \e like what ye line before ve better?

Phel. Just to drive away the stink of the whiskev.

? *

Be aisy — my fortune’s made, and so is y guv’s, if

vou know how to behave yourself. You shall have

the ouid one, the furnished house and the doubloons,

and I’ll marry Miss Laura and the 100,000 doll..vs.

*

Saw. Why, laddie, hue ve lost your senses :

m * *

Ph.l. Didn’t you hear that long talk between mild madam and mvv-clf? The voumr lady has a fortune of a. hundred thousand dollars; she is rerev to marry tins Captain O’Brien in a minute, tho’

1.1BKH TV IN LOUISIANA;

A 0

she never saw him but once; and I am as like the captain as two eggs. Didn’t you mind how she described him? Just, as if any one had sint her a letter to draw my picture from. Mind now and look at me. Tall — well-built — of a good

o

ginteel si',ape — handsome — pretty behaved, with a;;Tcat dale of agreeable gab — merry — -jovial — a tight hand at a song, and the devil among the girls. Why, by the powers, if I was made exactly after him, 1 couldn’t be a greater model of him nor 1

o vv'x

44

m. Remember now, Sawny, from this minute I’m Captain O’llrien in (Visualise — do von take me ?

Pciv. W ha the deil will believe ye, do ye think ?

P/icl.Every one, Sawny. Love, like liquor, disguises the best of us at times. My love was so headstrong and impatient, (I’m Captain O’Brien, recollect) that I couldn’t wait for the snail-marching of the troops — (j ot lave of absence; doused my regimentals; put on a brown coat, (to be sure, it would be better if it wasn’t quite so ould and threadbare) took horse, and gaiiop’u down the river, like the Podcrecn Marc! Then I came, here, still disguised, to sound the ould mother duenna — and the instant I got cut of her the secret that my own sweet Laura loves me, I tell the whole truth of who I am; tho'. bv my soul, that same truth will lie a great big lie — get introduced to the dear cralur; sind for the priest, and consummate the business as fast as possible.

fan’. But line ye thought of the consequence of being detected r

Phd.Consequence ? Not I.

Saw. Do ye ken that ye arc not now in the United Stater ? Nr. public trial — na fair and open ex-a c: o:: d v.

41

animation of witnesses; na fixed, impartial laws; na jury —

Phd. And r.o lawyers, I dare say, to bother the witnesses ! But sure, the barbarians couldn’t hurt a poor fellow for the like of this ? Oh, no fear of it. If we succeed, we’re made for ever ! If not, it will be only a bb of a joke — a little Irish humbug, carried on just for divarsion.

Sr.-’. And hac ye the conscience (o deceive a young lassie in sic a way? It is najust, Phelim.

Phd. Won’t I make her as

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the best of their captains — aye, or their ginirals eiTher. She shall have kindness and kissincr era-lore, and a full share of every dollar of her fortune, as long as there is a farthing of it left.

Saw.I tlunna like the scheme at a’ — It’s vary dishonest, and the profit of it vary uncertain.

Phd. Come, Sawnv, veil shall have ten thousand out of the hundred thousand dollars that I’m to get — and then you know all the folks will be buing-and booing to you, as if you were a

Saw. (arid?) Gude troth, that alters the case — (aloud) I know, Phi Sim, youh e a brae, generous cheel; but hoo can I tell, laddie, that ye winna wrong me oot o’ the. ten iheosand dollar?, sin ve

arc sae ready to cheat this vow vr lassie oot o’ ten

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times the sum ?

Phel. I’d have vou to know. Mr. Sawnv, that the word of Plieiim OTlinn is as;>;ood as his bond —

Ha-v. (aside) Gin it is na better, it is na worth a bawbee.

Phd. But if you doubt it, honev, pull out your pin and ink, and be banned to you. and I’ll giv

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‘I'Z

you my note for the money, clown upon the nail, payable on demand.

Saw. (aside) I mun tickle the Tide’s vanity, and then I’ll hae a better chance of getting the siller — (aloud) No, Maister Pheiini, I’d scorn to doubt ye; I’ll talc vour bare word.

j

Phel.. Give us your paw, Sawny. Now you shall really get the cash; for you’ve touch’d

myself on a tinder point-my honor. But

if you had taken note or bond, you must have run your chance along with the rest of my creditors; and then, you know, devil a rap of the money ever you’d finger.

Saw. (aside) I know that vary week

Phel. Now, mind me, this story, (and a great story it will be, sure enough) of my coming here in disguise, will look better to be told by you nor myself — so, when the ould house-keeper returns, pritend a mighty great regard for her — whisper in her ear, that you are big with a terrible secret, and then let it all out, not forgetting a single word of what l ton’d you.

Saw. To oblige ye, Phelim, I’ll do it.

Phd. If you like, I’ll say you are some great jonlleman in disguise, as Aveli as myself.

Saw. Thank ye, mon; but I’d rather ye’d say I’m a vary honest, just, conscientious, cheap-selling travelling merchant, and mak them buy my goods without examining them too closely.

Phd, Aye, you blackguard! you must have large interest for your lies as well as your money. For the one you are to tell for me, you have the conscience to ask me to tell half a dozen for yourself.

9

But nmv you talk of your goods, Sawny, let’s see them — I’ll be a good customer to you, myself. Come, open your pack, and let me have some of

A COMEDY.

your rings, and such like articles, as a jontleman, the likps of myself, ought to wear. Quick 1 Don’t be stingy. Open your heart, or you may as well keep your pack shut — Remember the ten thousand dollars.

Saw. Dunna tak mare than’s absolutely necessary, tul the business is feenallv settled — we dunna ken w hat ma happen.

( Phclimtakes several articles cut of all

cf which Sawny reluctantly parts with.

Phel.(taking a watch-chainThis watch will complately equip me.

Saw. Haud your bond, mon! that article is na fit for a captain. Though I ca' it gold to strangers, I uinna deceive a friend — it’s only gilt.

Phel. No matter. It will look like gold as long as I shall condescend to wear it. (Sawny angrily shuts ufi his pack) I hear the ould one coming. — Now, Sawny, my dear, remember all I tould you, and the ten thousand dollars to boot.

Re-enter Theresa.

Ther.. Here, sir, is a glass of very nice Madeira. We’ll drink Capta’n O’Brien’s good health.

Phel. (with an affected and ridiculous air) ’Pen my honor, my dear lady, I'll drink it with all my heart; for it’s all one as my own — Ogh ! I main it’s my own best frind’s ! (walks about and nods to Sawny.)

Saw. (aside to Theresa) Gude lady, I con'd tell ye a vary great secret, gin I lik’d; and troth 1 love you so muckle that I’m almost tempted to do it, though I promised hard to haud my tongue.

Ther.. My good sir, I never could keep another person’s secrets in my life. I’ll sing you a little song about secrets.

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song — Theresa.

When to banquets or weddings my neighbors invite me,

To go there I seldom refuse, sir;

For good cheer and good chat do at all times delight me,

As well as to hear what's the news, sir.

?

Then each dame who meets me, most civilly greets me,

And exchanges her secrets for mine, sir.

So, like birds of a feather, we cluster together,

And enliven discourse with good wine, sir,

A woman, they tell you, no secrets can keep,

But i’faith that is all a humbug, sir;

The secrets of others she never let’s sleep,

But her own in her bosom lie snug, sir.

Then let each man his own secrets keep to himself, And not trust them with even his brother;

For if to divulge them he’s such a weak elf,

What the c’te'il can he expect from another ?

Saw, Varv nude advice ! But the secret I hae

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to tell concerns the young lassie we were talking of — Miss Laura.

Ther. Oh. then, let me hear it by all means.

(Sawny and 'Theresa converse a/!art — Phclim struts about the stage, ra thing watch-chain,

Ther. Bless me, say you so? Captain O’Brien in disguise! I thought there was something extraordinary about him 1

Saw. Glide troth, he has assurance enough for a general.

Ther.Captain O’Brien, I am rejoiced you are come !

A COMEDY.

45

Phel. What! Has that confounded rascal divulged ray secret ? Oh, you villain! — Oh, you dc-saiver! ( Goes as if to beat

Ther. Dear good Captain, what he did was only (o serve you.

Phel. (aside) And himself at the same time.

Ther. Indeed, Captain, you must forgive him.

Phd. Well, my dear, I will, but it’s only on your account; for, in troth and upon my honor, myselPs ashamed to appear before ray sweet Miss Laura in this disguisement.

Ther. Oh, sir, don’t let it trouble you. Love produces stranger things than these. I heard the judge’s lady say that it once caused Jupiter, the sovereign of the gods, to make himself a bull.

Phel.By the powers, it has caused myself to make a hundred bulls before now. But come now and introduce me to this young lady directly. I can wait no longer. I have waited, by my soul, too long already. But sure it was only to know whether the pretty lass was fond of me or not.

Ther. Ah, you have stole that secret from me indeed. But, let’s see — We must endeavor to conceal your arrival from the judge and his lady.

Pixel. By my honor and soul, I wish it could be concealed from every one but Laura and the priest. I don’t like to be seen even by myself in this mean disguise till the marriage is over.

Ther. Deuce take it, here she comes ! How unfortunate 1

Enter Srkora j>e la Plata.

Sen. Theresa, 1 want you to pack up some of Don Bertoldo’s trunks.

Pixel, {aside) Now or never! here goes — {aloud) Captain O'Brien, madam, has the very great honor

<;

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

46

of asking your ladyship how d’ye do? I was so eager to set my eyes once more on MisS- Laura, that I couldn't wait for my brother officers and the brave army under our command, but slipt on the first brown coat that was uppermost in my trunk, took horse and gallop'd down the river as if the devil drove me. IIow is my little jewel of a girl. Ogh! tho’ I never saw her but once, to be sure her sweet image isn’t painted on my heart in letters of brass.

Sen. (viewing Phelim with astonishment — aside) What can the fellow mean ?

Phel. (aside) She’s near sighted sure enough — so much the better. (aloud) I beg your pardon, my dear, for not asking more about yourself. But my love for Miss Laura is so strong, it leathers every thing else Out of my head — Why, you might as well stop the MiSsisippi, when in a fresh, with a pitch-fork.

Sen. (aside) This fellow’s impudenceis amusing — For curiosity I’ll suffer him to proceed.

Phel. (aside) She has doubts, I’m afraid! — (aloud) To be plain, my dear lady, the fury of my affection will put up with no delay. My poor heart is now blazing away with love, all as one as a still of whisky on fire. So, if you’ll just bring me to Miss Laura, she shall be, with the assistance of the priest, this day a wife — and this day nifte months — but no matter for that.

Sen. (aside) His size and figure have some resemblance to O’Brien — and she lias seen him but once.

Phel. Come, my dear jewel! don’t be after boggling so much about the matter.

Saw. (aside to Phelim) Din no. speak so lood

A COMEDY.

moil! Boo and be respectful to the lady, or I wad na gie ye a bawbee for your chance.

( Phelimand Sawnyconverse apart at the Luck of the stage — Plielimopens and Sawny's

pack.)

Sen. (aside) If it were possible to make this man impose upon Laura, it would be far better than sending her to the Havanna — O’Brien might possibly follow her there — But if I could make her marry this impostor, she wrould be for ever out of O’Brien’s reach. His love for her would be converted into pity or scorn, and I should then reign without a rival over his heart as well as his understanding. Some tutoring may do a. great deal with this forward fellow — I’ll try, at all events — If the imposture is found out, I can only pretend to have been deceived myself.

Phel.. plugs forward SawpackCome, you sir, let me see all your fine affairs, that I may make handsome presents to the ladies. What’s the price of this ? (taking a locket)

Saw. Twa hundred dollars.

Phel.. And of this? (taking another article)

Saw. One hundred dollars.

Phel. Give me lave, madam — (presents the first to Senora de la Plata) And do you, my dear, Theresa ) take this.

Saw. (aside to Phelim, in great anger) Oons, mon, what are ye aboot! ye hae geen ava what cost me twenty good hard dollars. ? Ye shall get na mare frac me. Be as generous as ye like with ony one’s property but Sawny M‘Gregor’s. (shuts up the pack)

Phel.. (aside to Sawny)Oil, you mean spalpeen !

Senora. ( looking more closely at PhcHni) Captain O’Brien I have to ask you a thousand pardons. 1

G .

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

really did not know you at first. Your complexion is somewhat altered since I had the pleasure of seeing you at Monsieur Bordell’s.

Phel. My dear lady, I’ve had a severe fit of the fever and ague lately; and that, you know, always affects a man’s colour. I am not quite recovered of it yet, though I had the very best doctors to attind me. By my honor, ma’am, there’s no doctors in the world to be compared with our’s in the United States. They’ll try half a dozen ways at the same time of curing a man, and they change them all every now and then, just for experiment; so that their patients shan’t have to say they don’t get variety at least for their money.

Sen. Excellent! — When did you see our friend Monsieur Bordell’s family ?

Phel. A few days ago, madam. They are all brave and hearty, and desired to be remembered to you.

Sen. His children were quite recovered, I hope.

Phel. All of them, my lady — sweet little girls, to be sure they are.

Sen. ( wlusfieringPhelim) You forget, Captain —

they are all boys.

Phel. Burn my stupid head, so they are. The girls are all boys. This fever and ague plays the mischief with a man’s memory as well as his complexion.

Sen. Permit me, captain, to conduct you to the saloon, and we shall converse on the subject of of your marriage with Donna Laura.

Phel. With all my heart — (aside) I’m a made man.

Sen. Go, Theresa, and announce the arrival of Captain O’Brien to my lovely Laura. Tell her I shall have the pleasure of introducing him to her in less than an hour. - [Exit, Theresa.

A COMSDT.

49

Phel. Do you, Mr. M‘Gregor, go and see if my rascally servants are coming with my horses and my baggage.

Saw. (aside) Your baggage! Isn’t a’ upon your back ?

Phel. (aside to Sawny) Why, you booby, have you no gumption ?

iSaw. {aside) Oh! I ken what you're aboot — {aloud) Yes, an’ please your honor, I’ll search for them di- , rectly, though I’th afraid they winna be hereto-day — (aside to Phelim) Tak gude heed now, Phe-lim, and be vary cautious to let nathing slip that may betray the grog-shop. Boo and be [respectful to every body. {Exit.

Phel. I have a pair of as great whiskey-drinking, idle rascals of servants, madam, as any in America. They lost me, about a week since, a fine racehorse I imported myself from Dublin, that won the king’s plate five years successfully on the Curragh of Kildare. I wouldn’t be the least surprised now if they got drunk and run away with my fine cattle, my brace of hair-trigger pistols, my military cloak and a pair of elegant portmanteaus.

Sen. Please to follow me, captain.

Phel. (aside) Well, what it is to have a dashing spirit, that’s neither ashamed nor afraid of any thing. [ .

ACT III.

SCENE — A Library.

Laura — Theresa.

Laura. What you tell me, Theresa, astonishes me much. I saw the two men you speak of as they entered the house, and neither of them I’m sure was Captain O’Brien ?

Ther. Is it possible ? — Blessed Virgin ! what motive can the impostor have for his wickedness ?

Lau. The questions he asked of you convince me that his only object is to obtain my fortune; yet, how to account for. the conduct of Senora de la Plata. She did not address him by the name of O’Brien at first, you say ?

Ther. No, lady — she hesitated for some time; seemed deep in thought; and then, all at once, spoke to him as the Captain.

Lau. It must be so — she is still intent on separating O’Brien and me for ever; and she supposes that this imposture affords her better means of effecting her purpose than any she has yet devised,

Ther. What a roasting she’ll get in purgatory lor all this.

Enter a Servant.

Servant. (to Laura) A young woman, madam, requests to see you. She appears to be in great distress.

Lau.Conduct her to me immediately.

[ Exit

Ther. Who can this be ?

A COMEDY.

Enter Lucr

Lucy} (to Laura) Madam, I entreat your pardon for troubling you. There is now in this house a man who has injured me cruelly.

Ther. This very villain, I dare say. What is his name ?

Lucy. Mr. Phelim O'Fiinn. I became acquainted with him, unfortunately for me, as he was travelling through Tennessee for the Natchez. He pretended to love me, and I beliqved him — but too well.

Ther. Poor girl! What did he do to you then ?

Lucy. He deceived me — and I was undone !

Ther. By St. Bridget, purgatory is too good for him — (aside) I dare say the poor girl’s with child.

Lucy. I left my family to avoid disgrace; for I found it could not much longer be concealed. — With the hope of prevailing on my seducer to repair by marriage the injury he had done me, I followed him to the Natchez; but when I arrived there, I learned he had just gone on for New-Orleans. I then got into the first boat that was passing down, and we happened to be opposite to this house when he and another man were going into it.

Ther. Poor injured innocent! — How long since tins misfortune befel you ?

Lucy. Between seven and eight months.

Ther. So that in about six weeks you may be brought to bed. Mercy on us 1

Lau. I pity you, sincerely. I should be happy if I could obtain for you the reparation you seek.

Lucy. Ah ! madam, that I were worthy of offering you my thanks ,! (t v

'Lau. Be comforted; perhaps this gentleman may yet be just and kind m you.

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Ther.. ( aside}A bright thought has just come into my head.

Lucy. When I saw Mr. O’Flinn entering this house, 1 enquired who lived n it; and you, madam, were represented to me as the most amiable and compassionate of your sex. I hoped, ( for the unfortunate will always hope) that if you would interest yourself for me, you might persuade Mr. O'Flinn to take pity on my sufferings.

Lau. I wish it were in my power.

Ther., Yes; I have it. She shall be an hottest woman before she sleeps, as sure as I'm a maid. I tell you, Donna Laura, this young woman shall be a Wife long before she’s a mother — aye, a bride this very day, if you will assist in the scheme I have formed.

Lau. What is it, Theresa ? If it is proper, I’ll cheerfully do any thing that is right to promote it.

Ther. This wicked seducer wishes to impose himself on you as Captain O’Brien; and there is no doubt but my lady, the Senora, is an accomplice in his plot. Now then, when she introduces him to you, if you will only pretend that you believe him to be the real Captain O’Brien; receive his addresses, and agree to be privately married to him —

Lau. Why, Theresa, have you lost your senses ?

Ther.. No, no, sweet lady — I say, consent to a private marriage, on condition that you shall be veiled during the ceremony. He’ll make no objection, I am sure, as he is so eager to carry on his wicked deceit.

Lau. And what then ?

Ther.. Why then, my dear, I’ll dress up this young woman to appear like you — put a veil over her face, and Mr. Phelim O’Flinn shali marry her instead of you.

A COMEDY.

Lau. But would such a marriage be valid?

Ther. It shall be made so, never fear. I’ll send instantly for our worthy priest, Father Francisco, and acquaint him with the whole af

Fair. He loves to do justice to the injured; and i’ll warrant me he'll find a way of managing the business as we wish.

Lucy. Heaven bless you, madam !

Lau. But, Theresa, can I with propriety consent to impose even upon this impostor r

Ther.To be sure, my dear lady, when your ob-

# ? ' *

ject is to do good with,out hurting any one. The stratagem that confounds wickedness, and converts its own wiles into the means of doing justice, is fair and laudable. By this plan of mine, we shall disappoint the malignity of Sen ora de la Plata, and defeat the purpose of this base man; not by injuring him, but by making him repair the injury he has already done.

Lau. Your reasons appear unanswerable.

Thn\ Aye, m irrv, ore they! We should all of us set our faces against these wretches of Irishmen. I tremble m self at the thought of them.. Who can tell how soon poor I.ucy’s case may by

one’s own ? But here comes mv ladvu with that

* *

wicked fellow. Let us retire and arrange our plan,. Lucy must be concealed for the present — fash!-.- r. v they retire) Oh. dear, how I do dread llvse Irishmen. The young Kentucky crackers are bad enough, hut both together, Saint Bridget herself could hardly resist.

Enter Hhxoh.i li:t.a Plata and P he List O'F:.;r.v.

Hen. Now, Captain, remember what ! have told you. The very short acquaintance you have hue

n

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5-t

with Donna Laura, makes it requisite that you should attend to what I say, and act as I direct. I am very desirous that you and Laura should be immediately married, because I wish to see you both happy.

Phel.. Indeed, my lady, I’m for ever obliged to you.

Sen. Be careful to repress the uncouth boisterousness of your manner, and be not too forward or presuming. It is only by gentleness and a modest demeanor, that such a lady as Donna Laura can be won.

Phel.. Ogh! if modesty would do, the business is as good as settled; for an’t I an Irishman ? But, plaise your ladyship, mayn’t I give her a little kiss, just as much as to say, I’m glad to see you again, my jew el!

Sen. Bv no means. Recollect that you have been only once in her company.

Phel.. My dear, I’ve kissed young jontlewomen without even that same, before now. I suppose I mustn't even touch her ?

Sen.Only her hand, in a very delicate manner. In speaking to her, your voice must be lowered, and \ ou must approach her with trembling diffidence 1

Phel,(aside) Nothing could ever make my sell tremble but a sheriff or a constable.

Sen. Let your countenance exnress the ardent 0 ?

hopes of your soul; but mingled with anxiety, am chastened by apprehension. Your tongue should falter — your breathing be quickened — and in your eye there should glisten the tear of enraptured iov.

J'/.ct.(aside) I never could cry cither, except when making it up with a friend, after fighting to-ei ther, over a. jug of punch.

A COMEDY.

:> j

Sen. Observe now, and try to imitate me ! When you first address Donna Laura, speak thus — “Luve-lv Laura! Sovereign of my heart! Divinity of my existence! Your angelic presence fills my soul with rapture, as the genial beams of Apollo impregnate the barren earth.”

Phel..Lovely Miss Laura ! Sovereign — No, as we're so soon to be a republic, president will do better — President of my own heart — without either congress, judge or jury to impeach or to bother you! Your angel of a face makes me pregnant with joy — Poh ! begging your pardon, my dear, wouldn't that be fitter for her to say to me? Sure a man can’t be made pregnant with any thing.

Sen. Well, Captain, say what you please yourself. I shall bring Laura to you immediately. [Exit.

Ph (solus) Hasn’t she a great dale of assurance to be after laming Fhelim O’Flinn how to make love? I that come from the land of love-making ! I that have sarved two apprenticeships to the business alreadv. since I first set up in it for myself! I must not lay my nand on her — no, nor give her a single kiss 1 ?. believe they’re afraid

the soft cratur’s made of touchwood.

Enter Senora de la Plata and Laura.

Sen. Here, my dear child, is the Captain. I know’ his arrival will delight you.

Phel.. (affecting bash fulness and How

do you do, Mademoiselle Laura ? It’s so long since Pve seen you, tho’ I know you again as well as if it was only yesterday. To be sure this same love doesn’t furbish up a man’s memory.

Sen. (aside to Pheiim) Call her Senora ! That's the mode of addressing a Spanish lady.

H 2

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ti

Phel. (to Laura) Senora Laura, I main — I’ve almost forgot all my Spanish, since I took to speaking French so much of late.

Lau. I hope, Captain, you have been well.

Phel. (amir) Phelim for ever 1 It will soon be Phelim O’Flinn, Esquire.

Sen. (aside) Poor fooll How easy these children are deceived — O’Brien is safe 1

Phel. Please your ladyship, Senora Laura, I’ve not been very well, tho’ I thank you all the same as if I hadn’t that cursed fit of the fever and ague at the Natchez. It has altered my looks, aye, and my spaking a great dale, I’m told, Senora Laura.

Lau. (aside) Impudent impostor. (aloud) Sir, I perceive the alteration very plainly.

Phel. But sure the like of that can make no alteration in a body’s affections.

{Laura curtsies.)

Sen. Let me now speak to you both, without ceremony. Your affection for each other has been known to me some time. I know too that Don Bertoldo will never consent to your marriage —

Phel. Devil fire the ould rogue ! — What objection can he or any one else have to Phelim — ogh ! to Captain O’Brien ?

Sen. For purposes, I fear, the most unworthy and perfidious, with respect to your honor, |my Laura, he intends to take you with him to the Ha-vartna, and thence to Spain; where, if yoy refuse to act as he desires, he may, by his authority as ycur guardian, shut you up in a convent as long as you live.

the thief! Wouldn’t that be Burying one sweet cratnr alivt many others from being born.

worse

and

Phel. Oh, nor murder i1 preventing so

The only way to secure your happiness,

A COMEDY.

my love, is by an immediate private marriage with Captain O’Brien.

Lau. (aside) Treacherous hypocrite !

Phel. I shall now leave you by yourselves. Your felicity depends on your following my advice. — (aside to Phelim) Now, if you do not succeed, it is

your own fault — (to Laura) Take care, my dear, that Don Bertoldo shall not know of the Captain’s arrival — he would immediately defeat your hopes. [Exit.

Laura and Phelim.

Phel.. (aside) Now, how must T begin ?

Lau. (aside) What unparalleltd assurance ! Tit try, for curiosity, if it is possible to confound or abash his impudence.

Senora1

Phel.Senora Laura, your divinity of an angel face gives me more pleasure than all the earth; aye, or than the sea, if it was turned into punch! — Oh, now, if your heart is pregnant with joy, we’ll soon put our finger in the eye of this vile ould fellow, that wants to take you away from iny longing arms. — (aside) She doesn’t spake; but that’s only modesty I suppose — (a/owd) So now, my sweet Senora Laura, if you’ll only let me sind for the priest of the parish, every thing shall be settled this very night. Spake to me, my jewel of a

Lau. Your arrival so soon, sir, has surprised me.

Phel. Bv mv soul, it surprises mvself; but Phe-lira — ogh ! Captain O’Brien ! likes to give an agreeable surprise to any one he loves. If it wasn’t for that, I’d have wrote to you to tell you I was coming. But, in troth, I’m not very fond of writing — a body can spake more to the purpose with his tongue in five minutes, nor with his pin in an hour.

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Lau. You forget, sir — here is a letter of youv's, written only a few clays ago, in which you informed me that you feared you could not be here before this evening or to-morrow morning, {shews a

letter)

Phel. {aside) By the powers, I’m bogg’d !--

W hat will you do now, Phelim ? — (takes the letter and examines it — aloud) Oh 1 murder! murder ! What will the impudence of mankind come to at last! — A forgery, Senora ! — A forgery, by St. Patrick, and all the saints, male and female, on the face of the earth — committed by some son of

a......; begging your pardon, Senora — by some

rascal invious of my happiness. Oh 1 isn’t it the devil to attempt for to take away my sweet character, in such a base, cowardly way. I’d sooner a man would come and give me a pair of black eyes behind my back. This fellow wants to make you believe that he is me; but it’s I that’s — eh ! aye, I that’s — myself — the real Captain O’Brien. Sure no one would be such a fool as to change himself when he was going a-courting.

Lau. (aside) Nothing can confound his assurance — (aloud) You recollect, sir, the picture I gave you. I wish to see it, if you have it with you.

Phel.. (aside) She’s not so bashful either, if she gives a man a present at first sight — (aloud) Oh ! yes, Senora; that beautiful picture of your’s — to be sure I didn’t hug it close to my heart, as long as I had it.

Lau. Have you then lost it, sir ?

Phel.. Wait, and I’ll tell you. I didn’t lose it, though it was taken from me — but, by the powers, it cost the fellow that has it and fifteen more of his comrades, their lives. I went out, Senora, and

A COMEDY.

.59

marched a small party -of troops against the Indians —

Lau. I thought you were at. peace with them.

Phel. Oh, my dear, didn’t you hear of an immense gang of them that earns their living by plundering the people between Tennessee and the Natchez. There’s about two hundred of the villains. I marched out with a little party of about twenty men under my command. We attacked them with great bravery — myself was foremost — and, after spitting about fifteen of them on my own sword, as nately as if they were put down to roast, I was overpowered, and the cruel thieves tore away the picture from my aching heart 1 — If it was an honest poor white man that robb’d me of it, 1 wouldn’t think half so much about it; but the idea that you may be at this moment hanging round the neck, or dangling out of the nostrils of a blackguard, red rascal, makes myself as melancholy as the devil — {firetends to iveefi) — In troth, I grieved a vast dale more about that same picture, than for all the money they took from me at the same time, and sure enough that tvas no trifle. Faith, it was the biggest half of the last gale of rint I received from my Connaught estate. Bad luck to that same estate — I am always losing by it. The whole of the half year’s rint before that wras sint by my agent, ould Larry Malowney, to Pat Flannigan, a merchant in Charleston. As soon as Pat gets the money into his hands, what does lie do but turn bankrupt for the binifit of his creditors — and when all came to all, he was just able to pay them — nothing in the pound.

Lau. I thought, sir, you told me you had no fortune whatever!

Phel. Faith and that wasn’t the first lie my modesty has made me tell. I felt unaisy, for fear you might fall in love with my dirty acres instead of my sweet self; bet now, since I know you love me, I may let the secret out. I never could bear the idea of marrying for money. In troth, I can’t tell whether you have got any or -not. If I thought you were rich, I couldn’t be half so fond of you as I am, do my best. The devil a thing I want, my dear Senora, but your own bare self.

Lau. Pray, sir, did you hear any thing further of that man who you told me behaved so ill at the Natchez ?

Phel. Do you recollect his name ?

Lau. I think it was one Phelim O’Flinn.

Phel. (aside* — starts) Devil burn me, am I after abusing myself ? — (aloud) Phelim O’Flinn? aye, I remember him — He kept a bit of a grog-shop at the Natchez. I heard nothing about him more nor what I told you. I never keep company with such low main blackguards.

Lau. (aside) Diverting impudence 1

Phel. Rut, my dear jewel of a Senora, don’t fov-get what my lady said to us — Do now let me sine! for the priest.

Lau.I am afraid, sir, I cannot refuse you.

Phel. (aside)I knew you couldn’t. It’s Phelim O’Flinn, j Esquire,sure enough, (to her) Thank

you, my jewel 1 (going to take her in his arms — she recedes) Sure now you’ll let me take a few little kisses off your sweet lips — It’s always the custom in my country, whenever we make a bargain, to get earnest.

Lau. (retiring) That is a liberty, sir, which T cannot allow.

A C0M1;.UY.

61

Pitch Oh, I ask your pardon, my dear. Myself thought that when a young lady liked a lad well enough to consint to marry him, she would be no ways unaisy at giving him a kiss.

Lau You have no doubt, sir, brought your commission with you ? The notary who makes the marriage contract may require to see it.

Phel. (aside) Bogged again \ — ~(aloud, after maging his pockets) Oh, my stupid head. Didn’t the Indian thieves take it from me as well as the picture and the money. I put it in my pocket when I marched to the battle, for fear the blackguards might refuse me my parole of honor if I was taken prisoner. When they got hold of the commission, I says to the thief that held it, devil fire you, my dear, give me back that bit of paper — What use can it be of to you, says he — Who knows, says another, but there’s some witchcraft in it — May be, says a third, it was the devil himself -that scratched all these pot-hooks and hangers; for the blockheads, you know, never get any laming; but for all I could do or say they wouldn’t give it to me. So when I returned to the Natchez, I was obliged to send away an express to the City of Washington with my positive orders to the President to make

me out another commission immediately, and not

*

to delay at his peril — and, by my soul, it will be worse for him, if he doesn’t mind what I said.

Lau. Perhaps your commission will not he required. Good morning, sir; I shall send Theresa

to inform you how the marriage ceremony is to take place.

Phel.. ( going towards her and stretching forth his arms — she retires.curtsying and Just one lit

tle kiss now! You’d rather have it, for all that — Myself doesn't like people giving themselves such

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

62

airs. Phelim O’Flinn has kiss’d many a handsomer girl. I wish Sawny was here now that 1 might tell him my good luck. I’ll make that same Sawny my steward — He’ll let no one chate me but himself, and one rogue in a family is belter than a dozen. Then he’ll force every one to pay what they owe me, or go to law with them. This same law is not so bad a thing either, when a man gets rich. To be sure, they say it’s open to the poor as well as the rich; aye, faith, just like the New-York hotel, where a poor man will get very good tratement, if he has only plenty of money to spind. The law is a mighty good sort of a thing for a man to follow, but the devil when it follows him. Some rogues follow it; others are followed by it — but the last have the worst of the bargain. Weil, when I get rich, I’ll turn very honest all at once, and pay off all my debts. Eh! Phelim, will that be right ? No, by my soul, it would be a piece of barbarous cruelty to a great many worthy jontle-men that live so genteel and so splendid, honest souls, without ever paying any debt at all — 'Wouldn’t the world point at them and abuse them, if I was to put it into their heads by paying my debts ? Then, to be sure, I won’t pay a visit to the land of potatoes and drive away in a fine coach — Death and ouns! how Judy Magragh will stare when she sees me in it — Devil relieve her; why didn’t she marry me when I asked her seven years ago ? Then there’s Father Farrell, that larned me my letters before I "was fifteen years ouid — he shall get share of many a good jug of punch for his pains; but as for that blackguard of a jontleman, the consaited guager, I’ll not know him again — hut, by vnv soul, I’ll give him a little taste of shille-lah for oulcl acquaintance sake. But won’t the real

A COMEDY.

Captain O Brien, when he comes on, make a terrible rout about all this ? Who cares ? Can’t I shoot him if he likes — He’ll say no more after that: and it will clear my character as well as my conscience. Stop now, Phelim. If I pritend to be Captain O’Brien, and not Phelim GTlinn, will the marriage stand good in law, so that I may finger the cash ? {muses) Confound this same law, it’s always in my way, baulking or bothering me S But I dare say the priest could manage the matter. I must try to coax him. It would he the devil to be disappointed after going on well so far. The ould judge would make nothing, curse on his conscience, of chateing me out of my fortune, if he could.

Enter Theresa.

Ther. Captain, I have sent for the priest, and expect him in a few minutes. Will you remain here till he comes, and amuse yourself with some of those books ?

Phel. 1 have so much laming already, my dear, that reading is of no use to me; so, if it’s all one to you, I’d rather go back to your room, and wash down another plate of the savoury stew with the remainder of the Madeira.

Ther. Come along then — (wide) Tho’ I protest I’m almost afraid to trust myself with such a wicked seducer. Who knows what he may do ?

[Exeunt.

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

ACT IV.

SCENE — Theresa's Apartment.

Fhelim. (seated at a table — ivine, Cfc. before him) Now, I think, I may do. This is the way I'll soon fare, from morning to night, and every day in the week will be Sunday to me.

Enter Theresa and Father Francisco.

Ther, This, sir, is Father Francisco, our worthy priest. I have already told him what we wish to have done; and explained to him very fully, I assure you, why both you and Donna Laura are desirous that the ceremony should be performed immediately in a private manner.

Phel.. Cshakes "he priest by the hand) How are you, honey ? The very sight of your cloth is my delight. Devil burn the better Roman Catholic in your whole community por Phe — Capt. O’Brien.

Father Francisco. (aside) Impudent villain ! — ? (to Fhelim) So, sir, you intend entering into the happy state of wedlock.

Phel. Yes, holy father, with your lave; for, upon my conscience, I am so good a Catholic that I never vinture upon doing any thing without first asking the advice of a priest.

Ther. My young lady has directed me to tell you, Captain, that she wishes no one to be present at the marriage ceremony but Father Francisco and myself. She desires also to be veiled during the performance of it. She is very young, you know, and this is a very terrible business. I’m sure, though I’m a few years older myself, I should not be able to show my face while the priest was at work on such an occasion.

A COMEDY.

65

Phel. Myself doesn’t care what Senora Laura wears ! If she hadn’t a stitch on her back, she’d be mighty well dressed to suit me.

Ther.. I must now attend her. As soon as she is ready I’ll come and inform you — aside) We’ll soon make poor Lucy an honest woman. I hope I may have some one to do as much for me, if ever any of the crackers or the Irishmen should make it necessary. [Exit,

Phelim and Father Francisco.

Phel. I was just telling you, father, how good a Catholic I am.

Father Fran. Sir, I am always glad to find men who venerate our holy religion. He who sincerely believes its sacred principles and obeys its precepts will never fail to act uprightly.

Phel. Never, FaTher.

Father Fran. To speak with truth —

Phel. Very right, by my soul.

Father Fran. And to shun every species of fraud, deceitfulness and imposture.

Phel. (afifiearing confused and uneasy) Yes, yes, father, yes. Now, Father Francisco, you may believe me, I have always had the devil’s own liking for a priest. In the town where I was born, there was a brace of them, mighty honest pretty behaved souls; and to be sure I didn’t take great notice of them both. May be you have heard of them — Father Farrell, the friar, and Father Don-nelan, the priest of the parish of Mullakiltv ?

Father Fran. Never before, sir.

Phel. Never a quarter of a year passed over my head, that I didn’t sind each of them a small present of half a score sacks of wheat, as many of oats and potatoes, a fat sheep, and a side of beef to pxtt

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

in salt; with now and then a few little young pigs to make black-puddings out of. Then I never went to dinner when I had any thing very nice to eat, that they wern’t both invited to the big house. Paddy Donnelan, poor soul, soon grew so fat that he wasn’t able to ride to mass conveniently, and so I sint to Dublin for a little noddy for him to put his ould bones in, not forgetting a snug lump of a horse to draw it, that I gave my neighbor. Bob Flaherty, five-and-twenty golden guineas for.

Father Fran. Very generous, indeed.

Phel. The women, I dare say, tould you what a pretty estate was left me in Connaught by my ould uncle, Taydy O’Brien ?

Father Fran. Not a word.

Phel. To be sure it never did me much good; for what with giving away in charity, and making presents to the priests and the church, myself was often bogged up to the ears in debt — Tho’ l could always lind enough to do, as every good Catholic ought, by jontlemen of your cloth — But now that I’m going to marry this great fortune of a hundred thousand dollars, I’ll be able to do the thing, (do you mind Father) more genteely nor ever. I hope, Father, your’re not too hard upon a body at confession ?

Father Fran.We cannot, sir, you know, give any absolution unless to sincere repentance be added the utmost possible reparation for injuries committed. Is there any thing for which you stand in need of forgiveness ? if the recollection of some heavy misconduct afflicts your conscience, you had better immediately confess it, and make every atonement in your power for any wrong you may have done.

Phel. {pausing') Eh ! (aside) By my soul I’d better let it alone till the marriage is oyer. It would

A COMEDY.

be the devil to do pinnance for a thing without having the binifit of it secured first — (aloud) Oh, no, Father, I was only thinking of a few wild tricks, such as all of us play when we are young. In troth my conscience was always mighty tinder. These little foibles began to make it unaisy. I have one thing of consequence, however, to say to you.

Father Fran. What is it ?

Phel.. I suppose I needn’t tell you that this judge, 'Den Bertoldo, is a great rogue; a devil of a canat, as we call it. He’d think no more of chateing a man, than you or I would of going to mass, or blessing ourselves.

Father Fran. Well, sir!

Phel. He knows nothing at all about this marriage. Now, if he could find out any cursed lawyer’s quibble, any kn&ving pretence to object to it, and overturn it, the ould thief would be after robbing me of my fine fortune, that I’ll do so much good with to the church. ( signific

Father Fran. Be under no apprehensions. Let me know your Christian name, and I’ll engage that your marriage shall be completely binding.

Phel. My Christian name, and please your reverence, is Phelim.

Father Fran. Enough.

Phel. ( shakes hands with him) Good luck to you, honey. May you have every day of your life, a christening breakfast, a burial for dinner, and a wedding supper, to cheer your heart.

Enter Thekfsa.

Ther. Captain, the bride is now ready. I come to conduct vou to her apartment; but we must vo by a circuitous way, round the piazza, lest Dor?.

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

C8

Bertoldo should meet us as he passes to the hall, where he is now going to hold an audience.

Phel. An audience 1 What’s that, my dear ?

Father Fran. What you would call a court of justice.

Phel.. Take me as far out of the way of it as you choose — (aside) I never had any great liking for such places — faloud) So go on — Wherever you lead me I’m ready to follow, first or last.

[ Exeunt.

SCENE — The Hall of .

Don Bertoldo, the Scrivano, Alguazils, isle. — Books, Papers, isfe. — The Judge is seated at the

top of the table, the Scrivanoat the bottom of it.

Don Bertoldo. Alguazils, you may retire till you are called — (they go) — This, Senor Scrivano, is the last audience I shall hold in Louisiana. I hope it will not be an unprofitable one — (pulls out an empty money-bag, arid shakes it)

Scrivano. No fear of that, Senor — Many of your worship’s suitors supposing that your decisions will be considered binding by the American tribunals, are urgent to obtain your decrees in their favor.

Don Ber. It is on that account that I have determined to give judgments this day in favor of every suitor who applies to me in a proper manner.

Srri. Your worship is always right; there would be no use now in postponing a suit' — no more fees or presents can be expected after to-day.

D on Ber. No more, indeed — -Curse this treaty of cession. But come, let me know which cause stands first for my consideration.

A COMEDY.

.Sc:/, (examines /ia/:crs) That between the heirs of Dan Manuel Peralta, which has been depending for twenty one years and seven —

Bon Bcr. Nonsense 1 There are scores of such causes. I want not the oldest but the best — the best, I mean, in the fee-book. It is that alone which establishes the point of precedency between my suitors.

Seri.I ask pardon, Senor; I forgot. One of the best causes then, I think, is that which is founded on the memorial of Don Antonio Gaspur, against Don Felix Pereira, demanding to be put into possession of the plantation, consisting of one thousand acres, left him by his father; which Don Felix has, without any pretence or title, seized and occupied for five years past. It appears, from the defendant’s own declaration, that he has no right whatever to the property in dispute.

Don Ber. Right 1 Senor Scrivano ! right! — Don’t use such language to me. One of the cursed Americans could do no more.

Seri. Forgive me.

D on Ber. Tell m> not of right; but tell me how much the parties have already given. Let us examine. (they examine a memorandum-book)

Seri. It appears. Senor, that Don Felix has already given, at different times, one thousand dollars to prolong the suit.

Don Ber. And he has no reason to complain. He has had five crops from the land.

Seri.Indeed, Senor, it would have been scandalous injustice to have let him pay so much money for nothing; but it also appears that Don Caspar has since given exactly the same sum. How then, Senor, shall T make out your final decree ? Shall I read any of the documents ?

tv

T.I3F.RTY IN LOUISIANA;

Seri. .Nothing can be fairer.

;i ik')\ Damn the document;! my lee-bool-, b nil the proof I want. Let me see — the parties have given equally, then 1 decree that the plantation be equally divided between them.

Enter a Se a va

Servant.Don Antonio Caspar requests permission to speak with your worship.

Don Ber. Shew him in. [Exit. Servant.] Delay drawing up the decree, perhaps Den Antonio may furnish us with some further proofs.

Enter Don As To:: to.

Don Antonio. I come, Serror, to entreat your decree that Don Felix shall give up the plantation he lias so long and unjustly with-held from me. I presume to be thus urgent, as it is supposed the American courts of law will consider your judgements to be final and decisive.

Don Ber. The supposition is just. Those tribunals will not have the insolent folly to set aside such wise and honest decisions as we always give. It is therefore that I have just ordered the Scrivano to draw up the final decree in yours as well as several other suits.

Don Ant. 1 most humbly thank your worship. Indeed, mv family has been reduced to extreme

* m ?

distress, from the length of time to which Don Felix has prolonged the proceedings.

(The Ju:!.tf t node significantly to the Serivano, ".bln reh''filers to Don Antonio.)

Seri. (toDon Antonio) You seem tr he a little mistaken, Don Antonio; you think whole of ?he plantation is adjudged to you ?

A COMEDY.

Don .inf. To be sure. Don Felix himself atl* mils that helms no right lo it, and that he has opposed my petition only to gain time to get in his

crons.

1

Seri. Then, Senor, you arc mistaken. The lands in dispute are given in equal shares between vou. (during thin discourse, the Judge nvidks about thestage shaking the money-bag

Don Ant,Senor Bertoldo, is it possible that you have decreed one half of my plantation to Don Felix ?

Don Ber. Your plantation ? Correct your speech.

Don Ant. Every one knows it is mine.

Don Ber. Then every one is mistaken; as they

will soon learn from my irrevocable decree. I tell

0

you, 1 have patiently examined all the writings, and carefully investigated every law that can apply in. your case — neither did I forget, good Senor, to allow due force to certain weighty arguments with which you, as tvell as Don Felix, had furnished me.

Don Ant. (aside) I see how it is, (>o the Judge) Senor — (gives him a parse) — here is a purse, containing the last doubloon I possess in the world. I raised the monev vestevdav on the credit of the

? ? m

decree, which, it was generally thought, you would give in my favor.

Don Be. . Well, Senor, it is but right that you should consider yourself ihbtor to the decree, in the sum for which you obtained credit upon it. We'll re-consider the case. You mav retire.

Don Ant. (aside) And never, I trust, be compelled to seek justice from such a pollv * ? 1 tribunal 1

[ Exit.

Don Ber. fcounts the m) Here is just ano

ther thousand dollars. Let Don Antonio then

i.

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

have two hundred acres move than I before intended. That is only at the race of five dollars an acre, which is extremely cheap for such excellent land.

Seri. Don Antonio never made so good a purchase.-The next suit, Senor, that appears on

my list, is that between Mr. George Wilkinson, one of the American settlers, and our countryman, Den Gusman de Passamortes, for a email farm, consisting of fifty acres of good cotton land, and as many of useless pint-barren.

Don Ber. W licit say s the fee-hook ?

0

Seri. Not a word. Neither party has given a dollar.

Don Ber. Insolent knaves ! How dare they trou-

r

ble me with their quarrels : But I’ll be even with them. I decree then that the cotton land be sold to pay the other officers of justice the expences of the suit, and that one half of the pine-barren be given to each of the parties.

Seri.Ha, ha, ha! That’s the wisest and withal the merriest decision I ever heard.

Don Ber. You see I make no national distinctions — no difference between the American and the Spanish suitor. Forbid it, Justice, that ever such illiberality should be found in this tribunal!

Seri.Or any other distinction but what appeal ', in the fee-book.

Don Ber. Right; for he who makes the richest present may be reasonably supposed to be the richest man; and he who has most riches in this

country, we should consider as the most industry-

* '

ous. Now, as industry is the source of honesty and just dealing, we should always decide in favor of the most industrious — that is, of him wh e honest exertions enable him to make us the richest

^resent:.

A COMEDY.

73

fieri. Most excellent reasoning, indeed I

Enter a Sen vr.

Servant. The Widow Sanchez requests admittance.

Seri. (to the Judge) This woman has no money — she will only tease your worship, if you admit her.

Don Ber. (to the Servant) Shew her in. [Exit Servant.'} Her friends may have assisted her on this occasion.

Enter Widow Sanchez.

Wid. I presume, Senor, to come into your presence to ask if the affaire of my deceased husband. now before your worship’s tribunal, are yet settled ?

Don Ber I am engaged on other business, woman. Withdraw.

Wid.Senor, I entreat you to recollect, that I have no other support for myself and my orphan children than the produce of that small farm of my husband’s, which your worship has kept possession of so long.

Don Ber. How then have you existed these four years past r (aside) for I have had it all that time.

Wid. By the bounty of my friends. I hope, Senor, you will have the goodness to restore me the land, and allow me some rent, be it ever so little.

Don Ber. I tell you, woman, you ought to be much obliged to me for taking care of it for you. Though indeed it is our duty to protect the pro-oerty of the widow and the orphan.

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

Was it requisite, Senor, to exhaust the soil, already poor enough, by taking from it four crops

of tobacco ?

Don Ber. To be sure, woman; to make it produce the better wheat for you. Withdraw', I say.

(The Scrivanosfteaks to

ll'id. Well, Senor, if 1 make over one half of the farm to you, will your worship let me have the remainder.

Don Ber. (with fioliteness) By all means, Sonora; by all means. Indeed, I am well entitled to one half of the land, for improving and lightening so much the soil of the whole.

Seri.It shall be done, good lady, as his worship is pleased to direct. Retire.

Illd. It is not. in my power, Senor, to make you a suitable return — (aside) but I trust the devil scon will.

Don Ber. Scrivano, you shall have half of my share of this farm.

Seri. May your w orship live a thousand years.

Enter Servant.

t

Servant. Don Joseph, the watch-maker, requests admittance.

Don Ber. Let him come. Servant.'] I

suppose it is about that shed he calls a house, which he wants me to take from the right owner and give to him; but I wont though — unless he pays down half the worth of it at least.

Enter Don Joseph.

Don Ber. What do you want, sir ?

Don Joseph. To sell your worship an elegant gold repeating watch.

A com;f nv.

i)c;i Ber.To soil, sir?

Don Joseph. Yes, Sc:nor, but very cheap. T can a fibril to lei your worship have it for one dollar.

Don Ber. (taking the watch) Well, Don Joseph, on these terms we shall deal.

Don Joseph. Has it pleased your worship to make a decree concerning that small house ?

Don Ber.Justice shall be done, my good friend; you may retire. [ Exit Don Joseph.1 Decree him the house, Scrivano.

Seri. Has the other party made any present.

Senor?

Don Bcr. Not a maravedi. The fool resolved to depend on what he called the justice of his cause.

Seri.Then all is right. I apprehended your worship might have forgotten.

DonBcr. Never fear me.

Enter Servant.

Servant. Don Rodriguez, Senor.

Don Ber. Let him come. {Exit Servant.) This is the troublesome old fellow that lay in jail three years on suspicion of doubting the authority of the Pope to grant pardons for murder, and ten years more for complaining of being kept so long in confinement without a trial. He comes, I suppose, to beg for his property.

Enter Don Rodriguez.

D on Rod. Once more, Senor, let me beseech you to restore to me my property, which was sequestrated when I was first put in prison, thirteen years ago. Surely, as the slightest degree of guilt has not been fixed upon me, and that I have been, in consequence, liberated by the king’s order, I hope von will not deem my request unreasonable.

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

.Don Bcr. You want the whole of your property, I suppose?

Don Rod. I certainly have a right to it.

Don Bcr. Unconscionable knave; To make no allowance for thirteen years’ board and lodging.

Seri. Ila, ha, ha ! — And for such secure apartments, and such luxurious diet — the best bread and water in the universe!

Don Bcr. Begone, instantly! You are an abominable, wicked, seditious old man. I know you dislike our government — you are a traitor, sir, to your king.

Don Rod. No, Senor; they are the worst of traitors who render his authority odious, by abusing it to gratify their own avarice or malice. Would to heaven that he knew what sort of magistrates he employs on this side of the Atlantic. But better times are coming — He may be undeceived. At all events, the American government will do us justice ! [ Exit.

I’ll send the villain to jail

Don Ber. {in anger) again.

O

Seri. You had better not, Senor. There are perhaps too many there already of the old standers. The Americans may abuse us.

Don Ber. For what? If these prisoners had money, they would not be where they are; and without money, what would they do any where else ?

Enter Bar. vast.

Ser. Mr, Fairtrade, Senor.

Don Ber. Let him come in. (Exit Servant.) Who is this?

Seri. The keen New-Engiand smuggler, took in the Dutch Jew so cleverly.

Don Bcr. How was that?

t <

A COMKBi,

Seri. The Jew sold him a quantity of cotton at the full price, having first half filled the bales with sand to make them weigh the better. The New* England-man detected the cheat, and to be even with the Dutchman, paid him with rum-casks filled with salt water, except a bladder of rum fixed to the bung-hole of each. The Jew was in such a hurry to close the bargain, that he let Fairtrade set sail with the cotton, before lie examined the rum.

Enter Fairtrade.

Don Ber, What’s your business, sir ?

Fair, (speaks with a nasal Please your honor, I’ve come up from my vessel that has just anchored below the fort, and 1 am going to a neighboring plantation in my boat, with a few onions and other small notions.

Don Ber. To smuggle, no doubt. Let the boat be immediately examined, Alguazils !

Fair. Pray, your honor, stop for a little. Does your honor want any butter ? I have brought a pound or two as a present to your honor.

Don Ber. Damn your butter, fellow — Let the boat be searched, I say. If I find a single contraband article in it, you shall be sent to amuse yourself Seven years in chains on the public works.

Fair. I’ll add a small cheese to the butter.

Don Bert. Insolent rogue ! Do you suppose such things would induce me to suffer the king’s revenue to be defrauded ? Smuggling, sir, is a most abominable offence — I cannot sutl’eit to

pass unpunished.

half a

baa

Fair. Flense your honor, we‘3! put

LIBERT'’ IN LOUISIANA;

of flour and a few bunches of onions to the cheese and butter.

Dun Ber. Unparalleled assurance! The villain presumes to offer me a bribe. (aside to Fain ade) A bribe of cheese and onions. Cou!dn!t you add a little garlic to it, or some other such , mister ? (Don Bertoldo walks to the side of the stage.)

Seri. Mr. Fairtrade, I am astonished that a man of your good sense and experience can behave yourself so foolishly. Don’t you know that his honor never takes any thing but money ? The flour and the other things you offered to him, are only suitable for me. Let your servant leave them at my house; but if you wish to escape seven years’, slavery, you must find cash for his honor.

Fair. (aside) What a confounded conscience some people have! but I suppose I can’t help it. {to Don Bertoldo) Please your honor, the Whole that

I have in my boat is worth wery little.

Don Ber. (takes off his I tell you

what, Mr. Fairtrade, if I happen to see your boat as she passes, I cannot, consistently with my sacred duty and my oaths of office, allow her to proceed unexamined. Now the method I adopt to reconcile my obliging disposition with my conscience is, to take the glasses out of my spectacles, and put in the place of them, something through which I cannot possibly see.

Fair.A verv good v.-av, I vow. Here’s a two-cent piece of copper; put it into your honor’s spectacles, and I’ll swear you won’t be able to see through it.

Don Ber. Fool, do von think that coJ:/ier can blind me ? p. mole could see through it.

r >

That will

Fair. Well, mister, here’s a dollar.

<’<1, T micss.

' i >

A COMEDY.

79

Don Ber. No, mister, it won’t do. I have the eye of a lynx. All metals but gold are so porous, that I can see through them easily.

Fair. (asideJ 1 vow his honor is a very great knave. (lakes a small piece of gold out qf his put se — a half-joe) Here, please your honor.

Don Ber. (tries to put the half-joe into the spectacles ) This won’t fit, Senor Smuggler. My spectacles will take the full size of a doubloon.

Fair.(aside) I swear, I marvel that Satan suffers you to tarry on the earth. (aloud) Here, your honor — behold a doubloon ! But don’t forget to return me the half-joe.

Don Ber. (takes the one and returns the other — places the doubloon in the spectacles and puts them on) Now, good sir, orte eye is completely covered, but 1 can see very well with the other eye still.

Fair.(aside) Oh, nation to your maw of a conscience. The whale that swallowed Jonas was not half so voracious — (to Don Bertoldo) Here, sir, take it. (gives another doubloon)

Don Ber. Very well, worthy sir; now I cannot see in the least., vour boat may pass. Retire.

[Fairtrade runs off.

Don Ber. What makes the fellow scamper away so last ? *

Seri. Perhaps he has cheated your worship — see if the doubloons are good.

Don Ber. (sounds the doubloons) Cased dollars, by my integrity! — Holloa! Alguaziis, stop that villain ! Stop him ! Run out and have him seized 1 (Exit Scrivano) Oh, the knave '. the cheat! — To be taken in by such a rascal —

i. 2

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

0

Enter Scrivano.

Scrivano. I have sent after the rogue; but I fear he cannot be taken — (cannon /ward — looks out at a window) — Senor, the French Prefect is just taking possession of the fort. The colours of his nation are already displayed. Your worship’s authority, I fear, is at an end.

Don Ber. No matter. If I could catch this scoundrel, I’d send him off on board the frigate, at all hazards. To be insulted with base coin ! — I could forgive any thing sooner. Damn the villain ! — ( The saluting of cannon is heard.)

A Serf a wf enters.

Sen. We have not been ablt to overtake this man, Senor;; he jumped into his boat and rowed off.

Don Ber. It can’t be helped. Come, Scrivano, collect my papers, and prepare to set sail with me. Oh, iF I had that Yankee rascal by the ear, I’d teach him what it is to defraud an upright Spanish judge. [Exit.

A COM EDI'.

ACT

SCENE — A Library.

Pitelim O’Plinn, Lucr M Theresa and Father Francisco — Lucy is dressed as Laura, and veiled.

Father Fran. Now, my children, your marriage is complete; and nothing but the death of one of you can dissolve it. I go to record it in a public manner, lest any objection should hereafter arise, or either of you be ever base enough to deny or attempt to invalidate it. [Exit.

Phel. What could put it into his reverence’s noddle that either of us would ever dream of denying our marriage? If no one else disturb us, no fear of our bothering ourselves. And now, my jewel, sure you wont be after making any more objections against my kissing you. Turn up that muslin petticoat you have got on your head, and let myself have a peep at your sweet face once more.

Lucy. (aside to Theresa) I dread his seeing me, till the affair is explained to him.

Ther. ( to her) Leave that to me, and I’ll do it bye and bye. (to Phelim) Captain, this dear timid young lady is so flustrated, (and no wonder — I should be so myself) that she is afraid of fainting. You must let me take her to her own chamber till she recovers her spirits.

Phel. Well I’ll consint, my dear, (to Lucy) if you promise to let me pay you a visit in that same chamber, as soon as you have got the better of the lustration.

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

Ther. She agrees; but she’s not able to speak, poor clear lady. I am sure if I was in her situation, my heart would be so full of what was before me, that 1 could not get a word out.

[Exit Theresa and Lucy.

Phel. But I’ll be bound you could leer consint, at least, my gay ould dowager.

Enter Senora

Sen. So, sir, I learn that your marriage has been already solemnized. You might have had the good-manners, if not the gratitude, to have informed me of it.

Phel. I wanted to do so, my dear, but Senora Laura herself prevented me.

Enter Don Ber

Don Ber. Where’s Laura? Every thing is ready for our departure, (seeing Phelim) Hal Who is this ?

Sen. Laura, my love, is married to this gentleman.

Don Ber. Nonsense! Where’s Laura, Isay? She must come with me directly.

Phel. (aside) Oh, this is the ould villain of a judge, her, guardian — (aloud) No, my dear, this night, if you please, Mrs. Laura shall set sail with me, on our first matrimonial voyage, for the land of delight.

Don Ber. Are you mad too ? Who are you, sir ?

Sen. Laura’s husband — havn’t I told you.

Phel. (aside) Since all’s safe, I may let it out. (aloud) Yes; I am Laura’s husband.

Don Ber. Villain! ’tis false.

Phel. Hare a care, honey; or you’ll get the best beating ever you had in your life.

A COMEDY.

63

Don Ber. I ask you, who are you ? What’s your name ?

Phel.. Phelan O’Flinn, , that never yet

was afraid or ashamed of any tiling — and so take care of yourself, my oukl lad; for if you are after attempting to take Mrs. Laura or her dollars away from me, you may count yourself as well-leathered

a man as any in America.

0

Sen. (calmly)'Bless me, sir, I thought you were

Captain O'Brien!

Don Ber. Distraction ! Explain this to me, madam, instantly.

Sen. I will, my soul s idol; but don’t be in such a fury. This man having heard, I suppose, that Laura had a fortune, and loved Captain O’Brien, has personated that gentleman, imposed upon both her and me, and prevailed on my dear child to marry him immediately. Father Francisco has just performed the ceremony.

Don Ber. Damnation ! What do I hear!

Sen. Indeed I am very sorry for her, and for you also, my love.

Don Ber. Hell and confusion! I see how it is. This is your work, madam. But your machinations shall not yet deprive me of Laura. This villain shall be taken in irons to the Havanr.a, and imprisoned in one of the dungeons of the More till the executioner sets him free. Laura shall yet go with me to Spain; and as for vyu, madam, 1 shall leave you to the detestation you deserve.

Phel. (astonished) What’s all this?

Sen. Thank you, my darling — Take Laura with you by all means, and this fellow also. But don’t mistake and carry away Captain O’Brien in his stead, my soul’s idol.

[ Exit., laughing.

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

Don Ber. Ho, there 1 Scrivano! Alguazhs!

Phel.. I say, honey, what are you going to he after doing :

Enter Scritako and Alguazils.

* * i

Don Ber. {to one of the yilguazils) Bring; hand* cuffs and fetters to put on this scoundrel, that he may be sent prisoner on board the frigate directly. He is an impostor, a robber, a murderer, an heretic !

An Algmzil. An heretic I Then, by Saint Anthony, I’ll get the heaviest irons I can find for him. [ Alguazil.

Don Ber. {ahart to Scrivano) Do you remain here with these alguazils to guard the miscreant, while I go to secure Laura and prepare for our departure. [ Exit Don Bcrtoldo.

Phel. Blood and ouns, what are you all about ?

Seri. (calmly) Only preparing to punish you as your guilt deserves.

Phel.. Now be aisy, my dear. Is it joking you are ? Sure you wouldn’t be after punishing any one without giving him a fair trial?

Seri. Bv no means. You shall have the fairest trial imaginable. Our proceedings, though rather slow, are vtry mere at last. In the first place, we shall take whatever properly we can find belonging to you, as property would be only an incumbrance to a man confined in a dungeon, and allowed no other nourishment but bread and water.

Phel. Oh, sweet bad luck to you!

Seri. Then when you've lain there long enough to become quite cod,and to recollect yourself perfectly, which may not, perhaps, require mere than two or three years, your first examination will take

A COMEDY.

85

Phel. Examination! What will they examine me for ?

Seri. To learn whether you are guilty or not; as no one can know this so well as yourself.

Phel. But where, my dear, would be the use of asking me such questions ? Do they think a body would be such a fool as to tell them the truth ?

Seri. If you do confess the truth, your sufferings WiP be short — The halter or the wheel will put you out of pain in a twinkling.

Phel. Oh, murder! Is it come to this at last! Sure enough, Father Farrel often told me I wasn’t horn to l>e drowned.

Seri. If you do not tell the truth, but obstinately persist that you are innocent —

Phel. What will they do to me then ?

Seri. Why then, should you have the good fortune to be tried by a merciful judge, he will order your flesh to be only slightly pinched with a pair of tongs not quite red hot — or your thumbs to be squeezed in a very agtceablc little screw — or the soles of your feet to get a gentle toasting before a slow fire.

Enter the Alguazh. with handcuff;, life. — also

jSvf irsr.

Phel. (to Saivnu) ftawny, my dear, are you there? I’m glad to see you. I’m in great trouble.

Saw. I was afraid that a’ was na right wi ye; and it was that made me insist on coming to see ve.

Phel. Good luck to you, my dear. (they con

verse afiart)

Seri. (to the Alguazilwho last entered) Who is this other fellow ?

Alg.An accomplice of the heret ic’s, I suppose. He came here ill spite of me.

’ LIBKUTY IN LOUISIANA;

Seri. Fetch another pair of handcuffs for hint.

[Exit

(Sawny and Phelim come forwa and converse

ap7<:.)

Saw. Gude troth, it’s an unlucky business.

Pivl. Oh, Sawny, my clear, this is the way I’m

always taken in, whenever I lay a good scheme to

earn an hone it bit of bread, and lay up something

for the rest of my life. I'm sure to fail at last,

though I mean every thing so well. Isn’t it cruel

now of these thieves to rob me both of mv wife and

?

my fortune ?

Saw. If they were to tak only the wife, and leave the siller, I’d think nathing at a’ aboot it. My ten thousand dollars a’ gone.

Phel. (apart to Sawny) Blood and ouns, sweet Sawny, will we be after letting these blackguards get the better of us ? Sure there’s only nine or ten of them; and there’s as nate a proker ancl pair of lonj:s as a man need desire. If we could make our escape from these tormentors, and get to New-Orleans, we might still secure the wife and the cash. Sure vou wont refuse to lend me a hand now that I have a good cause to fight for.

Saw. The cause is a vary gude one, for there's siller to be gained in it. I’d hue nathing to do vi’ a bad cause, for I’m vary honest.

Phel.Long life to you, my honest fellow.

Enter Don Bertoldo.

Don Per. Ail is now ready — Come along.

Phel. Wait a bit, my dear, if you please. (goes

to the firc-fdc.ec,

t-.v:n to Savmu ) play away like a

takes a pok er, and gives a pair of Take lioulcl of this, honey, and true-born Scot. Ould Ireland

?

ever

A COMEDY.

87

Saw.Aukl Scotland and Ireland for ever! (they attack the judge and his party

Don Ber. Villains! Ruffians! — What do you mean ! Help ! Murder!

Phel. (pursuing and beating the judge)Well done, Savvny. Ogh, how it delights my own heart to have the leathering of a limb of the law.

Don Ber. Help — Murder- — Mercy !

Phel. Aye, aye, my lad — You shall have the same mercy you shew to others yourself. You’d pinch my flesh — screw my thumbs — toast my feet — Eh ? How do you like this ? Well, by my soul, I’d never desire a better bit of shilelah nor a good iron proker. (drives Don Bertoldo and off

the stage.) Huzza! the day is our own! Give us your hand, honest Sawny.

Voices without.Bring flre-arms — get the blunderbuss — assemble ail the servants.

Phel. Keep fast the door, Sawny! What must we do now' ? By the powers, if it wasn’t for their shooting irons, myseif wouldn’t value them a rap. Wait — Let me hould a bit of a caucus with mvseif. ( pauses)

Without. Burst the door — Shoot the ruffians.

Phel.. (goes to the window) I see one of the American regiments just mulching into the city. Ob, to be sure, there isn’t my sweet little eagle, just ready to take us under his wings, and caress us with his talents.

(Attempt made to burst open the doer.)

Don Ber. (without) Fire at them through t! e door!

Saw. Phelim, d’ve hear ? Wt had better gang oo t at the window, and mak the best of oor way;; the city,

m 2

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

Phel. Right, laddie, and I’ll get a party of these brave American boys to come back with rne and rescue my sweet wife.

Saw. And her dollars too, Phelim.

Phd. Oh, when I spake of the one, my dear, I always mean the oTher. they go to the window) Wait, Sawny — We must leave the tongs and the proker behind us. If we were to take them away, these thieves might call it stealing, and put us to trouble.

Saw. I’m glad ye are so cautious, Phelim.

[Exit at the window.

The Judge and his party force open the door and enter.

Don Ber. "Where are the villains?

Seri. Gone out at the window, I suppose. (going towards the window) Aye, there they are, mak-ing the best of their way towards the city.

Don Ber. Pursue them — seize them — shoot them.

Seri. If I might take the liberty to advise, it would be better to leave them, and get Laura away immediately. My lady has assured me that your ward has been lawfully married to the impostor; so that he may, perhaps, claim not only herself but her fortune from your worship.

Don Ber. It may be so. Let s begone then instantly. Confound the ruffian, how he has made my bones ache. [Exeunt.

SC El ATI — another apartment.

Senorct. de hi Plata, (reading a letter) Captain O’Brien’s compliments — requests permission to do himself the honor of paying his respects. Ilum — ?

A COMEDY#

89

all’s well — O’Brien here, and Laura going to the Havanna — I must detain him, however, till she is actually on board — Perhaps if she were to see him, she might refuse to go#

Enter Servant,

Serv. Captain O'Brien, Senora.

Sen. Shew him up instantly. (exit Servant) Now to improve the impression I have already made.

Enter Captain O'Brien.

Capt. O'Bri. Allow me, madam, to have the honor of paying you my profound respects. I have thought it an age since I last had the felicity of your charming conversation.

Sen. Captain O'Brien is welcome to Louisiana.

Capt. O'Bri. I need hardly enquire, madam, if you are well. Your animated countenance, and the lustre of those eyes, sufficiently indicate your health, as well as the bright intelligence of your accomplished mind. (aride) I suppose I shall be taxed with an hour of this flattery before I can get a sight of Laura. But as no other means will obtain it, I must submit.

Sen. What, sir, have you studied flattery in the wilderness ?

Capt. O'Bri. Oh, no, madam; I am ignorant of what it is. My soul is simplicity itself — alive, indeed, to the impressions of beauty, genius and taste; while my tongue expresses, without consideration, the sentiments of my heart. But I am fearful I offend. The modest diffidence, which is ever the companion of such exalted perfections as your'a, would suspect the severest truth for the language of adulation.

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

Sen, Tasteful youth, (aside)

Capt.O'Bri.( aside)After that, I think I may

?venture to ask for Laura. (aloud) I hope Donna Laura has been well, madam, since I had the honor of seeing her with you ?

Sen. No, sir. (laconically)

Capt.O'Bri. Is she at home, madam ?

Sen. No, sir.

Capt.O'Bri. In the city, perhaps ?

Sen. No, sir.

Capt.O'Bri. Not indisposed I hope, for your sake, as vou love her so well.

Sen. Somewhat indisposed, I believe, and gone to take the air — (aside) where, I hope, yen’ll never see her.

Capt.O'Bri. (aside) It wont do yet. I’ve begun too soon, (aloud) She is very young, madam, ? I believe.

Sen. A mere child — yet there are those v. ho admire such babies.

Capt.O'Bri. Mine is a very different taste. I admire the rich and mellowed charms of maturity. The charms of that heavenly person, whose intelligence adds lustre, and whose taste and talents give an indescribable fascination to her beauty.

Sc??.(aside) Elega it creature.

Capt.O'Bri. Yes, madam, when beauty like your’s is arrayed in the robe of Minerva, and clasped bv the zone of the traces, the love which it in-spires, like the rapture afforded by a celestial visitation; is almost too much for mortals to bear.

Sen. Beauty without intelligence is like the sta-lue of Pygmalion before it felt the divine spark — There, sir, (pointing to a picture) is an attempt of my feeble pencil to represent that story.

A COMEDY.

91

Capt.O'Bri. Admirable! What expression! How divinely are all the muscles delineated!

Sen. And what think you of this Daphne and Apollo ?

Capt. O'Bri. Wonderful! The lightness and transparency of the nymph’s drapery make the piece exquisitely interesting. Please to favor me, madam, with some of your new poetical productions? Have you finished the elegy you were composing on the death of your little female dog, Louise, that was drowned in attempting to swim across the river to visit the dear object of her affections.

Sen. No, sir; I have attempted another subject — but I’m afraid you’ll think it vather too mean for the dignity of the muse.

Capt. O'Bri. Impossible ! Your talents, madam, could elevate the meanest subject.

Sen. The trifle of which I speak is a supposed poetical epistle from a musquito in New-Orleans, to her love in the country; inviting him to repair to town, and partake of the fresh and delicious repasts which the continual influx of strangers promises to afford abundantly for the remainder of the year.

Capt. O'Bri. A thought worthy of the imagination of Shakspeare. In what glowing colours will the poetical insect describe the personal characteristics of the countries whose natives are about to visit Louisiana. How luxuriantly will she expatiate on the various beauties which are to afford her race so much amusement as well as food.

Sen. I find that your taste in poetry, as well as in painting, is excellent.

Capt. O'Bri. But I beg pardon for so long neglecting to enquire for Don Bertoldo. I hope he

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA J

intends to remain with his family in this province.

Sen. Ah, sir, he has determined on returning tc Spain.

Capt. O'Bri. It is cruel in him thus to rob the society of New-Orleans of its brightest ornament.

Sen. And what is worse, lie intends to leave me behind him. The very idea of it overcomes me. Nay, he is in hopes of obtaining a divorce from me through his own misconduct. Indeed he has treated me with great-lint he is yet my husband,

and it becomes me to suffer in silent resignation.

Capt. O'Bri. Incomparable lady 1 Patient yet lovely in grief!

Sen. If he does succeed in obtaining the divorce, I am sure I shall never marry again.

Capt. O'Bri. Ah! madam, 4o not resolve too hastily.

Sen. Never — never. I shall never marry again.

Capt. O'Bri. Consider further, madam. Present to your amiable mind the faithful and soothing-picture of a fortunate union. Imagine the lovely bride, folded in the arms, and pressed to the heart of a tender, ardent, adoring husband, whose tongue utters the soft yet thrilling accents, while his eyes dart forth the electric fire of love 1 — A happy wife — a delighted mother !

Sen. Sir — sir I (musket shot heard from without)

Enter Theresa.

Ther.Where’s Captain O’Trien?

Cafrt. O'Bri. I am he — -What’sthe matter?

Ther. Oh, sir, come and protect your Laura. Don Bertoldo and his Alguazils are now endeavoring to carry her off by force. They have been attacked by two men who came here this morning

A COMEDY.

93

from the Natchez, and who, on hearing her cries, ran to her assistance. (O'Brien is running out.)

Sen. Stay, Captain, stay — Laura is married to one of those men.

Capt. O'Bri Married!

T/ier. No, Captain, she is not married — nor will she marry any one but you, if you deserve her. Don’t believe Senora de la Plata — she has done every thing in her power to ruin Donna Laura. Come along, and I'll tell you the whole. Oh, you wicked lady ! ’Twould be unpardonable even in an unmarried young woman like me, to set my cap at a gentleman already engaged.

[Exeunt O'Brien and Theresa.

Sen. Stay — I charge you, stay. What! am I disobeyed, neglected, scorned and abandoned? — Have I been the dupe of this traitor’s passion for Laura? — Monstrous! horrible! — Let the torch of love become the fire-brand of a fury. What shall I do first ? — Pursue and tear them both to pieces. No; I’ll send assistance to Don Bertoido, to enable him to carry Laura away. [Exit.

or*

jJL,.

EjYE — A Public Place or Square in jYew-Cr leans — view of the fort, with the French fag display cd — troops marching — the American general and his suite — the French prefect — citizens, soldiers, life.

French Prefect. Now, general, I deliver to you possession of the province-

General. (to an aid-de-cawp) Let the American colours be then hoisted on the fort.

(The French colours arc gradually lowered half way down the fag-stafund those cf the United States hoisted up to them. They rcertain together for a short time.

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

The latter are then hoisted to top., and the former

lowered down entirely. Martial , saluting of cannon, dt’c.

Enter (hifit. O'Brien, Phel and Sawkt, dragging in Don Bee-Toldo, Scrivano and Alguazils.

Gen. What occasions this disturbance ?

Capt. O'Bri 1 regret, general, that the rights of injured innocence compel me to interrupt the joy and harmony which on this happy occasion should universally prevail. I bring before you the judge, Don Bertoldo de la Plata, who has attempted, for the most flagitious purposes, to carry away by force from this province his ward, the young and lovely Laura de Villaverde; but, with the assistance of these, two brave men, I have defeated his foul project. I claim then for her the protection of your authority, and I trust you will deal with this perfidious villain as his guilt deserves.

Phel. And, please your honor, 1 claim the sweet cratur for myself — and, by my soul, no one has so good a right to her for all their fine spaking, because myself is the young lady’s husband.

Gen. What say you, Senor, to this accusation ?

Don Ber. Can your excellency ask me such a question ? Do you not know that I am a person of the first rank in the province ? That alone is a sufficient answer to the calumny of those wretches.

Gen. Not so, Senor — Liberty is now in Louisiana 1 — TSie government which now rules here will not admit your rank as the testimony of your innocence; nor sulfcr it to shelter vou if vou have acted wrong. Our laws confer no privilege which justice may refuse to recognise — the humblest are shielded by their protection — the proud-

A COMEDY.

95

est oppressor is not beyond the reach of their avenging power.

Don Ber. What means all this jargon ? I tell you I insist on having these scoundrels hanged up immediately) for daring to insult Don Bertoldo de la Plata.

Gen. I cannot comply with your desire, Senor. No man within the pale of our authority can suffer nn ignominious death, until a fair and public trial by those whose ovjn interest is justice shall have indubitably ascertained his guilt. Life would be of mean estimation indeed if held as vou would wish

m

— but at a tyrant’s mercy.

Phel.. Well said, your honor, by my soul!

Saw. Haud your tongue, Phelim — Dunna mak sae free wi your belters.

Don Ber. Don’t vou know, General, that I am a judge ? Do you suppose that I don’t know what the law is ?

Gen. Though not perhaps, Senor, what it ought to be.

Don Ber. Well, if your excellency cannot hang the villains off' at once, I hope you wont make any ceremony about fining them smartly for their impertinence, or laying them in jail till they learn to respect their superiors.

Gen.AH such despotic proceedings as these,

Senor, are inconsistent with the nature, and abhorrent to the spirit of our free constitution. Oh what value would be the fruit of honest labour, if exposed, as you would have it, to the grasp of privileged rapine ? Or what the personal freedom Avhich Providence intends for man, if by such an arbitrary mandate as you solicit he could be laid in bends ?

ft 2

’.IBER'fY IN LOUISIANA;

.PI irl.That’s light, General. Sind the ould thief himself 10 jail, and that will he better still. By my soul, Sawny, if all law was like this I’d never fall out with it.

-Saw. Tul it fell oot wi you, Phelim.

Gen. You are accused, Senor, ,of violating the rights of one whom it is my duty to protect — I therefore again request to know what you have to say in your defence ?

Don Ber. Well, since I must so far condescend, I assert, that rny ward and I are the injured persons, and these miscreants the atrocious offenders. This ruffian before you, called hlinn, has found means to inveigle her into a marriage, and your unworthy officer, O’Brien, to share in the plunder cf her fortune, has become his accomplice. The better to effect their vile purposes of dishonoring and robbing her, they have twice attempted to assassinate me, while endeavoring as a faithful guardian to rescue her from them, and place her, by the aid of your authority, beyond the reach of their infamous schemes.

that I overconversed to-

o * Of-'?

' t ?

I can swear very positively heard Fiinn and the Captain as they

srether, about dividing Donna Laura's fortune be-tween them, and throwing his worship into the river, that they might enjoy their plunder in security.

0 ,

An A/'rr.I can swear to the truth of every word * ' 0

his worship and the Scrivano have said.

Another Jig. And l can swear to all that, and a

/VV'#. .'1 ? ? ?' I ^ v r\ ? ? / \ i — : .i /?% r

wtu V; vat r!iv/i w v, .'?i vxv. o ?

Phel.And, by the powers, I can swear as hard as the best of you all, you blackguards, that you all lie; and that there isn’t one word of truth in all you have said, or all you will say about the

matter.

A COMEDY.

97

Saw. (aside to Pheiim) And whatever you swear, Phelhn, I’ll say it’s true; but I winna lak my oatli to it; for that might cost a mon his ears, and destroy his credit with the merchants.

Gen. Where is the young lady herself?

Ca/it. O'firi. She had not sufficiently recovered from her alarm to come with us; but she will be here presently, accompanied by those who will prove that both Don Bertoldo and Mr. Flinn are mistaken, and that the person and fortune of Donna Laura are still disengaged, and at her own

free disposal.

Phd. (to O'Brien) Be aisy now,

I was a little before hand with you,

countryman — mv dear — but

don’t grieve about that; for, by ray soul, I’ve cut out cleverer follows than ever your father’s son will make. Ah ! here comes the jolly priest and the gay ould house-keeper. They’ll soon set e^ry thing to rights, faside to Sawny) Mind now, S?w-nv, how foolish the Captain will look when he knows all. Cch ! by the powers, honest Pheiim is too cute for the best of them.

Enter Father Francisco, Theresa, Laura and

Lucr Margland — Laura and Lucv arc dressed

?/

alike, and are both veiled.

Phd. (observingLaura and Lucy) Bloodand-

ouns ! am I married double ? Myself has no objection to as many sweet-hearts as you please; but one wife at a time is quite sufficient.

Father Fran, (leading Lacy towards Pheiim) This,

sir, is the only lady you can claim as your wife.

Please to remove vour veil, madam.

0 7

[Lucy unveils.

MAKE TV IN LOUISIANA;

(jit sight of her Phelim starts — Don Bert old oexpresses surprise — Lucy stretches forth her arms the

attitude of supplication.)

Phel. Ogh, by the powers, I'm kilt! — (to the priest) Oh, you scandalous desaiver! — (to Lucy) Devil take you, Lucy, my clear, how could you have the conscience to seduce me this way.

Gen. (to the priest) Be so good, sir, to explain this extraordinary business.

Father Fran. Most willingly. I was informed a few hours ago by this good gentlewoman, Donna Theresa, that Mr. Flinn, assuming the name and character of Capt. O’Brien, had come to Don Ber-toldo’s house, and solicited his ward in marriage : and that there had also arrived there a short time afterwards this young woman, to whom Flinn had been guilty of an injury, for which nothing but marriage could atone. It was proposed to me. and I considered it allowable, that the imnosture he was attempting should be made the means of le-paration to the person he had wrong'd; to effect which purpose, Lucy Margland, being veiled and dressed like Donna Laura, was by me lawfully married to him.

Don Per. You served him rigid. I re joice that my ward has escaped. And now, (to the general) I hope your excellency will diicct that she be immediately restored to me.

Lau. I entreat your excellency will not do as Don Bertoklo desires. He is the most perfidious of guardians.

Ther. Indeed he is, please ycur worship. The wicked dotard has taken it into his foolish old head to fall in love with Donna Laura, and all he wants is to keep her to himself, and prevent her from marrying this handsome young officer, whom she

P9

A COMFOY.

loves as heartily — (Nay, we need not blush at being in love, my dear) — as 1 do Mr. Sawny MTiregor.

Gen. The young lady is perfectly competent to choose a protector for herself.

[ Laura given her hand to O'Brien.

Don Tier. Perdition seize you all together. I wish every American in the world broil’d on St. Anthony’s gridiron.

[. ExeuntBcricldo, the and

Phel..Instead of the hundred thousand dollars I expected, nothing but the bad sixpence returned on inv hands.

Capt. O'Bri. Come, sir. be of good cheer. To your courage the safety of this lady is in a great measure due. It is her intention to make you a generous recompence, provided you are kind to Lucy Margland.

Phel., (considers for a mom, and then to

have determined; aside) Phelim will be a squire at last — (aloud, Lucy O’Flinn, my dear, if you please. May be you think I did not know who she was all this time. Sure I only pritended I didn’t, just to humour the joke.

Sans. That's right, Phelim, make the best; your bargain.

Phel. And now, Sawny, I’m thinking that roguery, after all, is a troublesome, disagreeable, unprofitable business. I never yet could gain much by it; though, by my soul, that wasn’t for want of giving it a very fair trial. I believe we had better leave off our tricks, and turn honest in downright earnest.

Sans. 1 am always honest, Phelim; vary honest. I ha made love to this bonny lassie like an honest man, Phelim; and we ha agreed to buckle too. Gude sooth, she’s vary warm — a fine hoose and a muckle bag of doubloons will soon be between us baith.

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA.;

100

S

Capt. O'Bri Then all’s well at last, and every thing contributes to render more delightful to u the peaceful and mutually advantageous union which our country has had the happiness of effecting with this important and fortunate Province.

Gen. From the short scene that has now passed before you, my friends and fellow-citizens, you may learn to rejoice at the event by which, without a struggle or an effort, you become at once entitled to participate in all those privileges which the civilized and intelligent nations of the

world consider inestimable, and which it has cost our ancestors many severe conflicts to acquire and preserve. In the attainment cf your rights, no kindred blood of vour’s has been shed; no foreign army has desolated your land; no domestic disstntions have embittered your social intercourse, or disturbed your repose. Do you ask, what is this krkroom for which we deem no exertions too painful, no sacrifice too great ? It is that possession which makes all others valuable. It is that security against oppressions which gives animation to the industry, energy to the enterprise, vigor to the intellect, and worth and dign’ny to the moral character of man. It augments our pleasures in prosperity, and affords us in misfortune the consolation of a rich and perennial spring of hope. You may appreciate more justly its exalted value by contemplating its reverse; despotic that

accursed system which palsies ail the powers of the body and the mind; mars the beneficence of nature; defeats the bounteous purposes of God, and dries up or poisons all the fountains of felicity, rendering men miserable and abject, even in the intervals when it forbears to oppress, by the degrading fears and terrors which it continues to inspire. The

A COMEDY.

liberty we cherish consists in the laws which secure to us the enjoyment of all our natural and justly acquired advantages, and in the guarantees provided by cur government for the preservation and improvement of those laws as well as for (heir equitable administration — Legislative power d legated by these whom the laws are to protect — Ttial by those whose own interest justice.

We do not bring you a system of merr speculative excellence, but one which for centuries lias been tried and approved. The ttuple we have reared to freedom is founded on the wisd.m and experience of ancient and apes. In its structure, Gothic strength and Grecian ht svJy are com-

billed; audit is formed on a plan so wide and capacious, that all the members of the most extensive and diversified empire may find protection beneath its ample dome. The confederated states of which our commonwealth consists, compose an imperial

government, sufficiently united for national or-

fence and those objects for which union and uniformity are requisite; and mcxicipal govr ux-mexts sufficiently numerous, powerful and divided to adapt regulations suitable to the circumstances of each state; to augment our securities against usurpation, and to diffuse more widely these gratifying sentiments of confidence, independence and honest pride, which result from the light of managing our own important concerns. Do von require further proof or illustration of the excellence

the reach of its baleful influence. spreads desolation

>

over cultivated plains, converts splendid cities into !v-ups ol nuns, and reduces populous and once

LIBERTY IN LOUISIANA;

powerful nations to the abased condition of subject provinces, an easy prey to any enterprising foe — hue utv, like the forming power of Omnipotence, covers the barren heath with the cheerful abodes of men, crowns the bleakest mountains with the verdure of fertility, exalts feeble colo-nies into m ghtv commonwealths, and enables states of the most limited resources to resist, to confound, to overwhelm the proudest confederacies of unprincipled ambition. Cast your eyes on the country to which your’s will he united — -Observe her rapidly increasing population; her extended commerce; her teeming affluence; her advancement in all the useful and adorning arts of life; in a word, her universal prosperity, which neither the scourge of war nor tlie ravages of pestilence could arrest — in these von have the best commen-

J

tary of her government and her laws. Henceforth, then, and for ever be vour’s all the privileges which constitute her freedom, her greatness and her glory — your’s the just liberty of the press; the potent and ever-watchful guardian of a nation's rights; the sacred lamp of truth, that illuminates the world with an heavenly radiance — vour’s the

m m

incomparable trial by jury; the brightest gem in the diadem of a sovereign i>eoplf — your’s, in a word, every barrier and safeguard we have erected to shield us from oppression.

FINALE

TO BE SUNG BY Till-. AMERICAN CHARACTERS

’Tis not the lust of sway or gold,

That to our country your’s unites;

In us, your faithful friends, behold The guardians of your sacred rights.

A COMEDY.

102

CHORUS.

For while upon yon lower, our banners wave,

\ our land no tyrant ever shall enslave.

Oh, never may your people bear Of tyranny the galling chain,

Nor anarchy her scourges o’er them rear; But freedom with you ever reign.

For what avail the gifts of heav’n,

The wealth which art from nature draws, The affluence by commerce giv’n,

Unless secured by Freedom’s laws ?

Hail Liberty, celestial maid,

Columbia’s glory and delight!

Here be thy brightest charms display’d, And all Columbia’s sons unite.

For while upon yon tower, her banners wave, This land no tyrant ever shall enslave.

THE END.

Notes

  1. Capuchin A Catholic friar.


Text prepared by:


Fall 2015 Group:



Spring 2016 Group:



Winter 2016-17 Group:



Spring 2017 Group:

Source

Cable, George Washington. "Posson Jone'" and P?re Rapha?l: With a New Word Setting Forth How and Why the Two Tales Are One. Illus. Stanley M. Arthurs. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909. Google Books. Web. 27 Feb. 2012. <http://books. google.com/books?id=bzhLAAAAIAAJ>.

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