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THE WAY TO GET MARRIED:
En five Acts,
BY THOMAS MORTON, ESQ.
Author of Education, Town and Country, School of Refurin, The Slave',
Knight of Snowdoun, Zorinski, Columbus, Spred the Plough, 8c.
PRINTED FROM THE ACTING COPY, WITH REMARKS,
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL, BY D-G.
To which are added,
A DESCRIPTION OF THE COSTUME, -CAST OF THE CHARACTERS, ENTRANCES AND EXITS,--RELATIVE POSITION OF THE PERFORMERS ON THE STAGE,—AND THE WHOLE OF TIE STAGE
As now performed at the
THEATRES ROYAL, LONDON.
EMBELLISHED WITH A FINE WOOD ENGRAVING,
By MR. BONNER, from a Drawing taken in the Theatre, by
MR. R. CRUIKS HANK.
JOHN CUMBERLAND, 19, LUDGATE HILL.
Che Way to get married. The title of this comedy is a sufficient advertisement to raise the curiosity of the unmarried of both sexes, of every age and denomination. We may imagine young maids and bachelors tripping in crowds to the theatre with quick steps and palpitating hearts, to be put in this wonderful way; and single gentlemen of riper years and venerable spinsters journeying with less alacrity, but with equal desire, thinking that the acquirement of useful knowledge is better late than never. We can also picture to ourselves their blank looks at finding how they had been hoaxed; and for the first time in their lives they have felt disappointed at receiving entertainnient when they had hoped for instruction: for he who, by dint of ingenuity, shall discover in this comedy the way to get married, may rank with certain Shakspearian commentators, who have imputed meanings to the author that he, simple wight, never dreamt of. Bat married people and critics
“ Whose sober wishes never learned to stray," will pronounce this, in many respects, a good comedy. If in the laughable parts they find mirth sometimes excited by extravagance and caricature, there is still much to approve--it is only in the serious scenes that the author deserves particular censare; and here he has offended equally against morals and taste.
We shall not analyze the absurdities of Captain Fauikner's character-his bombastical pride, his despicable meanness. He is a heterogeneous compound of blastering valour and pious execration; of high-flown sentiment and fustian woe. He is alternately a knave, a man of honour, a tender father, and a would-be suicide. These contradictions we pass over ;-but when he hoards up a brace of pis. tols as the last remnant of his ruined fortunes, and presents one of them to his daughter as a dernier resort, inviting her to become a partner in his crime, our indignation rises to its height. Such an incident is quite sufficient to condemn the best comedy that ever was written ; and we can only wonder at the excessive forbearance of the audience that did not mark this with their especial reprobation. Although we do not agree with the epigram
" When all the blandisbments of life are gone,
The coward shrinks to death--the brave live on," the conduct of Captain Faulkner in this instance adınits of no es tepuation.
We now turn to more congenial characters; and, among the most prominent, is Dashall, a London merchant of the new school, who takes his chief clerk out a hunting with him, and plans his specula. tions while the hounds are at fault. This character, like an attor. ney's bill, will bear taxing-though (and here ends the simile), but a little. Unlike the merchants of ancient times, who dwelt in the city, were at business early and late, and wore velvet night-caps in their counting-houses, Dick sees his office but once in three weeks or 80; yet, nevertheless, contrives to stake as much money in one month as they did in twelve. The grand secret of all this is kite-flying
“ Bless'd puper-credit ! last and best supply,
That lends corruption lighter wings to fly." A secret unknown to our simple ancestors, whose transactions were always paid down on the nail, or, as Dan will have it, on the counter. This, however, enables him to make a splash, a term that anciently applied to a horse-pond; but in the modern vocabulary means trading in style-by monopoly, a system of the newest and most improved invention, viz. buying up any commodity, no matter whether stuffs, muffs, tippets, or darning needles. If their value increase in a ratio with the lobnails, his fortune is made-the contrary, he is pot out of pocket, but his creditors.
“If chance will have me king, why chance may crown me," exclaims Macbeth; and Dashall is of the like opinion as regards his fortune. If the juggling fiends of witchcraft bring Birnam Wood to Dunsinane, those of speculation drive Dick into the gazette. And, after losing three thousand pounds by his beton green peas, bis mercantile career is cut short by the liveliness of hops; and he makes a smash-another phrase of modern coinage, which signifies doing the thing handsomely, not by paltry units, tens, and hundreds, but by thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands.
We hardly know whether Dick's account of the fashionable world be strictly correct-whether it possess the Jeremy-Diddler predjlection for dining at other people's expense, or if folks of quality will subject themselves to the pompous vulgarity of illiterate opulence to enjoy its good living, or to win its money. We rather think not. “ Damme !" says the Duchess," and " Curse me," cries little Miss Swagger-now we never heard a duchess say " Damme," nor a sweet little creature about fourteen, in decent company, indulge iņ this species of juvenile imprecation. We remember a story in Peregrine Pickle, where Peregrine's lady, the ci-devant gipsy girl, having been detected cheating at cards, is guilty of the like inad. vertence; and we think Mr. Morton must have remembered it also, for the incident is exactly similar, except in some fundamental par. ticulars, not material to mention.
Toby Allspice is a natural picture of a sober trader, who, by in. dustry, has acquired a fortune, and by folly is about to lose it. He would not (like Malvolio) have greatness thrust upon him—witness how joyfully he casts off the cumbrous trappings of office, but he would have a dash at speculation by way of doubling his riches, and be initiated in fashionable frolics; who, therefore, shall we find more expert to cheat him of his money, and to make him a mountebank, than Dick Dashall? Toby's compunction at parting with his banknotes, and Dick's fidgetty impatience to finger them, form a whim. sical contrast. Indeed, we are almost sorry for their restitution. Toby deserved to pay for his folly : his long experience should have saved him from becoming the dope of an impudent sharper; and his age, from such silly vanities as quizzing-glasses, cropped hair, and pretty women.
Caustic is one of those singular contradictions who can say a barsh thing, but cannot do one-whose tongue will admit of no apology for the follies of mankind, but wbose heart can find an extenuation for most of them. If he possess not the patience of pbilosophy, he has none of its apathy, and, considering who it is that pats his patience to the trial, we can hardly blame him in this respect.
Tangent is the very essence of that mathematical term whence he derives his name. A more provoking eccentric never existed. If Jove appeared to bis goddess in a shower of gold, Tangent may vie in singularity with the thunderer, for his disguise was the captivating costame of a grocer's shopman-an apron round his waist, and a parcel under his arm. This was stooping to conquer with a vengeance!
It is hardly possible to mix in society without encountering a Clementina Allspioe :
“Gold! yellow, glittering, precious gold!
That makes the waped widow wed again:
will at all times introduce ignorant affectation to the most polite as. semblies. Clementina's ludicrous attempts to be well-bred, her genteel abhorrence of every thing that appertains to the shop, and her whimsical estimate of elegant breeding, as exemplified in Dick Dashall, who stamps about the room with bis hands in his pockets, and tears the ladies' dresses in such a style, are the very haut-ton of vulgar arrogance; while her tender concern for the sorrows of Julia-her reply to the passionate appeals of her friend, that to be ruined is extremely disagreeable, and that the guinea Joo-table waitş for her-with her affectionate injunction to some and see her