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his whole stock in the purchase of a commission, had be haved with great bravery in the war, in hopes of preferment, but, upon conclusion of the peace, had been reduced to starve upon half-pay. This the duke thought a favour. able circumstance for his purpose ; but he learnt, upon further inquiry, that the captain, having a wife and several children, had been reduced to the necessity of sending them down to Yorkshire, whither he instantly transmitted them the moiety of bis half-pay, which would not subsist them near London, and reserved the other moiety to keep himself upon the spot, where alone he could hope for an opportunity of obtaining a more advantageous situation. These particulars afforded a new scope for the duke's genius, and he immediately began his operation. After some time, when every thing had been prepared, he watched an opportunity, as the captain was sitting alone, busied in thought, to send his gentleman to him, with his compliments, and an invitation to dinner. the next day. The duke, having placed himself at a convenient distance, saw his messenger approach without being perceived, and begin to speak without being heard : he saw his intended guest start, at length, from his reverie, like a man frighted out of a dream, and gaze with a foolish look of wonder and perplexity at the person that accosted him, without seeming to comprehend what he said, or to believe his senses, when it was repeated to him. In short, he saw, with infinite satisfaction, all that could be expected in the looks, behaviour, and attitude of a man, addressed in so abrupt and unaccountable a manner; and, as the sport depended on the man's sensibility, he discovered so much of that quality, on striking the first stroke, that he promised himself success beyond his former hopes. He was told, however, that the captain returned thanks for the honour intended him, and would wait upon his grace at the time appointed. When he came, the duke received him with particular marks of civility; and taking him aside, with an air of great secresy and importance, told him, that he had desired the favour of his company to dine, chiefly upon account of a lady who had long had a particular regard for him, and had expressed a great desire to be in his company, which her situation made it impossible for her to accomplish, without the assistance of a friend ; that having learnt these particulars by accident, he had taken the liberty to bring them together; and added, that he thought such an act of civility, (whatever might be the opinion of the world,) would be no imputation on his honour. During this discourse, the duke enjoyed a profound astonishment and the various changes or confusion that appeared in the captain's face, who, after he had a little recovered himself, began a speech with great solemnity, in which the duke perceived he was labouring, in the best manner he could, to insinuate that he doubted whether he was not imposed upon, and whether he ought not to resent it; and, therefore, to put an end to his difficulties at once, the duke laid his hand upon his breast, and very devoutly swore, that he told him nothing that he did not believe, upon good evidence, to be true. When word was brought that dinner was served, the captain entered the dining-room with curiosity and wonder; but his wonder was unspeakably increased, when he saw, at the table, his own wife and children. The duke had begun his frolic by sending for them out of Yorkshire, and had as much, if not more, astonished the lady, than he had done her husband, to whom he took care she should have no opportunity to send a letter. It is much more easy to conceive than describe a meeting so sudden, unexpected, and extraordinary: it is sufficient to say, that it afforded the duke the highest entertainment, who, at length, with much diffi. culty, quietly seated them at his table, and persuaded them to eat, without thinking either of yesterday or to-morrow. Soon after dinner was over, word was brought to the duke, that his lawyer attended about some business by his, grace's order. The duke, willing to have a short truce with the various inquiries of the captain about his family, ordered the lawyer to be introduced, who, pulling out a deed that the duke was to sign, was directed to read it, with an apology to the company for interruption. The lawyer accordingly began to read, when, to complete the adventure, and the confusion and astonishment of the poor captain and his wife, the deed appeared to be a settlement which the duke had made upon them, of a genteel sufficiency for life. Having gravely heard the instrument read, without appearing, to take any notice of the emotions of his guests, he signed and sealed it, and delivered it into the captain's hand, desiring him to accept it without compliments; “ For," says he, “ I assure you, it is the last thing I would have done, if I thought I could have employed my money, or my time, more to my satisfaction, in any other way."
A QUEEN IN DANGER.
The Spanish etiquette is a certain regulation which contains all the ceremonies which the Spanish monarchs are obliged to observe, and which they dare not, upon any pretence, break through ; but yet is a greater check upon the liberty of the queen consort, for they are often forbid things the most innocent. The duchess of Terra Nova, who was camera major to the wife of Charles 11. told her majesty plainly, that the queens of Spain must not look out of the windows of the palace. There happened to this princess an adventure, which, by the formalities of the etiquette, had like to have lost her life. The queen was very fond of riding, and several fine horses having been brought her from Andalusia, she had a mind to try one of them; but she had no sooner mounted, than the proud steed began to prance and caper, and at length threw the royal rider; and what was worse, her majesty's foot hitched in the stirrup, and the horse dragged her along, to the utmost peril of her life. All the court were spectators of this unlucky accident, but nobody had thought of succouring the queen: the etiquette formally opposed it; for it forbid any man whatsoever, on pain of death, to touch the queen of Spain, and more especially, her foot. We do not know why her foot, rather than her hand, should be prohibited; but, in short, that was the law, and therefore nobody durst approach her. Charles II. who had a great love for his queen, and who, from a balcony, saw the danger she was in, cried out vehemently; but the custom was inviolable, and the untouchable foot restrained the grave Spaniards from intermeddling in so delicate an affair. At length, two brisk cavaliers, one named Don Louis de las Terres, and the other Don Jaine de Sotomajor, resolved to hazard all in spite of the law of the queen's foot. One seized the bridle of the horse, and the other laid hold of the queen's foot, and took it out of the stirrup; and, in rendering her this service, displaced one of his fingers. When this was done, the cavaliers took the advantage of the confusion this accident occasioned, and, without stopping, went home, got their horses saddled, and fled from the punishment they had incurred, for daring to offend against so strict and so august a custom. The queen, recovering from her fright, desired to see her two deliverers. A young lord, their friend, told her majesty, that they were obliged to fly the country to
avoid the punishment they had merited. The queen, who was a French-woman, and knowing nothing of the prerogative of her heel, and probably without this fall had ever remained ignorant of it, imagined it a very impertinent custom to punish men for saving her life. In short, she, by much intreaty, obtained their pardon from the king her husband. But notwithstanding the restraint laid on them by the etiquette, the queens of Spain have been fond enough of gallantry, which helped to rid them of a troublesome and ridiculous yoke. The wife of Philip iv. (if we may credit the historians of those days) had a liking to the count de Monterei, and she was at a loss how to make him sensible of it. The etiquette was now fixed, which settled the ceremonial to be observed with regard to the king's amours; but no mention was made therein with respect to those of the queen. The princess could find no better expedient, than to drop a paper out of her hand one day when Monterei was giving her an account of an affair with which she had charged him. He took it up, and, with one knee to the ground, presented it to her : “ Perhaps," says the queen, “ you imagine this paper to be of importance. I will have you judge of it.” The count therein read these words : “ I spend the night without rest, alone, dull, forming of desires : my pain is a martyrdom, but such as I take delight in.” The count (who never imagined that a queen of Spain could stoop so low as to discover the tenderness of her heart) seemed not to understand the meaning of the letter, and perused it in a cool manner, so natural to a Spaniard. The queen, observing his indifference, grew outrageous, aud, with spite and indignation, snatched it out of his hands. “Go,” says she, “ you may justly say, Domina non sum dignus.”
SPIRIT OF THE DRAMATIC JOURNALS.
THEATRE ROYAL, HAYMARKET.
MORNING POST. , The public were regaled with another new farce at this theatre, on Saturday, Sept. 23. It is from the pen of Mr. Theodore Hook, being the second which that gentleman has given to this theatre, in the course of the present season. The production in question is entitled “Over the Water,” and is a free translation from a very spirited and favourite French Piece, called “ Douvres et Calais.” Its principal wit and originality
are to be attributed to its original, although, at the same time, its adaptation to the English Stage is very ingenious, and bears strong marks of Mr. Hook's punning propensities. The plot is very simple: the scene of action is alternately at two inns, one at Dover and the other at Calais, through the medium of conversations held between the respective host and hostess, of which, the plans or plot of the hero are made known. The following is a sketch of the piece :- *.*
" Trapley, Mr. J. Russell, arrives from Calais at Dover, on his road to London, where he is returning by order of his father, for the purpose of being introduced to a city heiress as his future wife. He is himself averse to the object of his journey, for the excellent reason that he has already chosen a partner for life in the person of a handsome and accomplished young French Lady, (Miss R. CORRI,) whom he has left at Calais, whilst he proceeds to London, in hopes of hitting upon some expedient to extricate him from the embarrassment into which his father's injunctions are likely to place him. An easy solution of his difficulties offers itself to him, however, on the first stage of his journey. At the Inu at Dover, he meets with a Mr. and Mrs. Daddicky, (Mr. OxBERRY and Mrs. BAKER,) a run-away couple from London, who are in great haste to get over the water, in order effectually to put a stop to pursuit. The lady, Mrs. Daddicky, happens to be the very identical Miss Patty Angelica Bunn, who was destined to be the bride of Mr. Trapley, and as he had never seen her, he of course does not know to whose ears he is contiding his secret, when he tells her the object of his journey, and passes many unpleasant reflections on the looks and acquirements of the young lady herself, which he has had from hearsay. The renegade couple take alarm at that part of his narrative which states that he is in hourly expectation of his father's messenger, and anxious to escape from England before they are blown, earnestly beseech Mr. Trapley's assistance, telling him that they are flying the officers of justice, who are in search of Mr. Daddicky (the son of a linen-draper in Barbican), he having had the misfortune to shoot a gentleman in an affair of honour. The credulous Trapley readily lends his aid, and furnishes them with a passage across the Channel in the vessel which had brought him over, giving them at the same time a letter of introduction to a French Count. The party have no sooner set sail, however, than he is undeceived by the arrival of his father's messenger, who, sending him a convenient supply of the needful, charges him to give immediate chase to the fugitives. He complies with this injunction, but with different views from those which prompted the order to him ; his intention being merely to amuse himself at the expense of the Cockney and his rib, and finally to assist them in their escape. For this purpose, he assumes the disguise of the French Count, to whom he has sent the letter of introduction, and under the pretence of giving friendly aid, contrives to throw every sort of obstruction in the way. In this consists the whole of the plot, and at this point, like that period of a pantomime, at which the different metamorphoses into Harlequin, the Clown, &c. take place, all the tricks and drollery of the piece commence. Trapley, in fine, succeeds admirably in his plan of tormenting the city youth, and induces him, to crown the whole, to allow himself to be shut up in an upright eight-day clock,