The Love-Chase

James Sheridan Knowles
by James Sheridan Knowles


Sir William Fondlove, an old Baronet Mr. Strickland.
Waller, in love with Lydia Mr. Elton.
Wildrake, a Sportsman Mr. Webster.
Trueworth, a Friend of Sir William Mr Hemmings.
Neville, Friend to Waller Mr. Worrell.
Humphreys, Friend to Waller Mr. Hutchings.
Lash Mr. Ross.
Chargewell, a Landlord Mr. Edwards.
George, a Waiter Mr. Bishop.
First Lawyer Mr. Ray.
Widow Green Mrs. Glover.
Constance, Daughter to Sir William Fondlove Mrs. Nisbett.
Lydia, lady's Maid to Widow Green Miss Vandenhoff.
Alice, Housekeeper to Master Waller Mrs. Tayleure.

Phoebe, Maid to Constance, Miss Wrighten.
Amelia Miss Gallot.
First Lady Mrs. Gallot.



SCENE I.--The Lobby of an Inn.
[Enter CHARGEWELL, hurriedly.]
Charg. What, hoa there! Hoa, sirrahs! More wine! Are the knaves
asleep? Let not our guests cool, or we shall starve the till! Good waiting,
more than viands and wine, doth help to make the inn!--
George!--Richard!--Ralph!--Where are you?
[Enter GEORGE.]
George. Here am I, sir!
Charg. Have you taken in more wine to that company?
George. Yes, sir.
Charg. That's right. Serve them as quick as they order! A fair company!
I have seen them here before. Take care they come again. A choice
company! That Master Waller, I hear, is a fine spirit-- leads the town.
Pay him much duty. A deep purse, and easy strings.
George. And there is another, sir;--a capital gentleman, though from the
country. A gentleman most learned in dogs and horses! He doth talk
wondrous edification: --one Master Wildrake. I wish you could hear

him, sir.
Charg. Well, well!--attend to them. Let them not cool o'er the liquor, or
their calls will grow slack. Keep feeding the fire while it blazes, and the
blaze will continue. Look to it well!
George. I will, sir.
Charg. And be careful, above all, that you please Master Waller. He is a
guest worth pleasing. He is a gentleman. Free order, quick pay!
George. And such, I'll dare be sworn, is the other. A man of mighty
stores of knowledge--most learned in dogs and horses! Never was I so
edified by the discourse of mortal man.
[They go out severally.]
SCENE II.--A Room.
sitting round a table.]
Wal. Well, Master Wildrake, speak you of the chase! To hear you one
doth feel the bounding steed; You bring the hounds and game, and all
to view - All scudding to the jovial huntsman's cheer! And yet I pity the
poor crowned deer, And always fancy 'tis by fortune's spite, That lordly
head of his, he bears so high - Like Virtue, stately in calamity, And
hunted by the human, worldly hound - Is made to fly before the pack,
that straight Burst into song at prospect of his death. You say their cry
is harmony; and yet The chorus scarce is music to my ear, When I
bethink me what it sounds to his; Nor deem I sweet the note that rings
the knell Of the once merry forester!
Nev. The same things Please us or pain, according to the thought We
take of them. Some smile at their own death, Which most do shrink
from, as beast of prey It kills to look upon. But you, who take Such pity
of the deer, whence follows it You hunt more costly game?--the comely

maid, To wit, that waits on buxom Widow Green?
Hum. The comely maid! Such term not half the sum Of her rich beauty
gives! Were rule to go By loveliness, I knew not in the court, Or city,
lady might not fitly serve That lady serving-maid!
True. Come! your defence? Why show you ruth where there's least
argument, Deny it where there's most? You will not plead? Oh, Master
Waller, where we use to hunt We think the sport no crime!
Hum. I give you joy, You prosper in your chase.
Wal. Not so! The maid In simple honesty I must pronounce A miracle
of virtue, well as beauty.
Nev. And well do I believe you, Master Waller; Those know I who
have ventured gift and promise But for a minute of her ear--the boon Of
a poor dozen words spoke through a chink - And come off bootless,
save the haughty scorn That cast their bounties back to them again.
True. That warrants her what Master Waller speaks her. Is she so very
Nev. Yes, Master Trueworth; And I believe indeed an honest maid: But
Love's the coin to market with for love, And that knows Master Waller.
On pretence Of sneaking kindness for gay Widow Green, He visits her,
for sake of her fair maid! To whom a glance or word avails to hint
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