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Title: The Jew and the Doctor

Date of first publication: 1800

Author: Thomas Dibdin (1771-1841)

Date first posted: August 4 2012

Date last updated: August 4 2012

Faded Page eBook #20120804

This eBook was produced by: Delphine Lettau & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net















The Jew and Doctor was first performed at the Maidstone Theatre; this public opportunity is eagerly embraced of acknowledging the politeness of Mr Bicknell, of Norfolk-street, who, from being a casual spectator, unsolicited, recommended the Farce to Mr Harris.

The same combination of great talents and friendly exertions on the parts of the Performers and Proprietors, which has accompanied the Author's subsequent attempts, may principally account for the success of the present one, which, though not produced in that order, is his first.

It is respectfully submitted to the public, that at the time of writing this Farce, the author had never read the popular Comedy of the Jew; that Mr Cumberland honoured the Piece with a perusal, prior to its representation, and kindly pointed out those passages which came too near his own production, and which were consequently omitted.




Bromley,Mr Emery.
Specific,Mr Murray.
Abednego,Mr Fawcett.
Changeable,Mr Farley.
Charles,Mr Klanert.
William,Mr Claremont.
Emily,Mrs Fawcett.
Mrs Changeable, Mrs Dibdin.
Betty,Miss Leserve.







SCENE I.—A Chamber at Old Bromley's.

Enter Old Bromley and Charles.

Brom. Bless my soul, that it should fall to my lot to have an obstinate son! I tell you, Charles, I've a wife in my eye, rich, fair, fashionable—In short, a wife—

Char. Whom, I fear, sir, I should never like; I have frankly told you my heart is engaged to another.

Brom. Come, I like that: Why, you young dog, I knew how to choose a wife before you was born.

Char. For yourself, I own, sir. But does not the example of my sister prove how little you are calculated to choose for others? Her husband and she lead lives the most wretched.

Brom. Well, and I would make amends by doing better by you.

Char. Ay, sir; but your way of thinking and mine on this point differ so widely, that—

Brom. Don't I always think for your good? But I know the seducer of your heart—the young girl at the old Jew's—the foundling, the daughter of nobody.

Char. My dear sir, forgive me: I wou'dn't offend you for the universe. But, perhaps, a time may come when my arguments in favour of Emily may be better received.

Brom. They must be golden arguments then, and a great many of them. Go, young man, mend your way of thinking, and value women properly, not by fashion, but by weight.—You understand me.

Char. Perfectly. And were the riches of my Emily equal to her virtues, the Indies would not purchase her.


Brom. Was ever an old fellow so plagued with undutiful children! My son wants to marry against my wish, and my daughter wants to un-marry. Plague on't, here she is.

Enter Mrs Changeable.

Mrs Chan. My dear father, it does not signify—Mr Changeable is such a brute—

Brom. A brute!—Come, I like that: he wasn't one when you married him.

Mrs Chan. Nay, sir, this is no joking matter. In short, we are determined to part, and I have insisted the terms of our separation should be left to you. Mr Changeable will soon be here, and the matter must, by all means, be settled immediately.

Brom. What the deuce is the reason you can't be happy together?—Here he comes.

Mrs Chan. And as he does nothing, you know, without accounting for it, let him give his own reasons.

Enter Changeable.

So, my dear, I'm here first you see, though I only promised to follow you.

Chan. Humph!—that accounts for it. Had you promised to be here first, I should have waited an hour for you.

Brom. Plague on't, why can't you agree?

Mrs Chan. Why, sir, because—because—we fall out.

Chan. Aye, that accounts for it.

Brom. Bless my soul, that it should fall to my lot to have children that can't agree because they fall out!—what can I do in the business?—I wish you both happy.

Mrs Chan. Then permit us, sir, to part. Agree in an amicable way with my husband what settlement is to be made on me, and then we shall be happy.

Brom. Have you ever tried to be happy together?

Mrs Chan. I'm sure, papa, I have.

Chan. But I don't like her way, and she dislikes mine.

Brom. And that, as you say, son-in-law, accounts for it. Pray, sir, were you ever in Switzerland?

Chan. Sir!

Brom. Because there are some excellent laws in Switzerland relative to this very point; and if I could prevail on you to abide by one of them which now strikes me, I think it would settle this matter very well.

Mrs Chan. Dear sir, haven't we laws enough of our own?

Brom. Why, I'm no advocate for innovation; but the good old laws of Switzerland have all been sent packing—and if they're willing to be useful, there can be no harm in taking one of them upon trial.

Chan. Well, sir, and what must we do by virtue of this law?

Brom. I'll tell you—If married people in the Canton of Zurich, in spite of remonstrance, persist in a desire to separate, they are confined together some weeks in a room, in which there is only one small bed, one seat, and one table: their food is served on one dish, with one knife, one fork, and one spoon; and all these unities generally end in their forming one opinion.

Mrs Chan. What is that, papa?

Brom. That both have been mistaken in wishing to part, when they are so well qualified to assist each other. Now, if you'll try this scheme, I'll consent to what you determine at the end of three days. If you refuse the trial, and can't make up your minds to my will, why, I shall not make my will to your minds.

Chan. I bow, sir, to your judgment—though, as to the proposal, I cannot say I like it.

Mrs Chan. Now I do of all things.

Chan. Ay, that accounts for it. Well, sir, when and where must our quarantine be performed?

Brom. In my house—I'll give the necessary orders: but this little agreement of ours must be kept a secret. I'll manage it all myself. So, come both of you here this evening. Dear me! only to think, that I should part man and wife by locking them up together! Come, I like that. [Exit.

Mrs Chan. Well, my dear, are you going home?

Chan. Not immediately.

Mrs Chan. Then I am. [Exit.

Chan. That accounts for it. Egad, this scheme of my good father-in-law may do very well in Switzerland; but it don't at all square with my ideas. Part man and wife by locking them up together! Must form some counter-plot.—Eh! who have we here? Why, Doctor Specific.

Enter Doctor Specific.

How goes it, Doctor? Are you on a professional visit here? All my father-in-law's family, I fancy, are in very good health.

Doctor. Perhaps so—I hav'n't been here this many a day.

Chan. That accounts for it.

Doctor. Sir, I have forsaken the practice of physic for the body, and now prescribe only for the mind. I pursue, however, a similar system; I have purgatives for pride, probes for probity, correctives for curiosity, and pills for poverty. (Shaking a Purse.)

Chan. Then, my dear prescriber of morals, I stand in need of your advice. I suppose you have heard of that abominable evil called a scolding wife?

Doctor. I'll tell you the exact composition.—A heart full of suspicion, a tongue full of the spirit of contradiction, and an occasional dram of any other spirit you please.

Chan. In some points, sir, you have described exactly the causes which occasion the approaching separation of Mrs Changeable and myself. The grand obstacle is, that we disagree about the manner.

Doctor. Consult the civilians; they can best prescribe.

Chan. Aye, sir; but there's no accounting for the expense—besides, modern lawyers, you know—

Doctor. Are too often formed of the following ingredients.—To a face full of brass, add a brain full of quibbles, a handful of business, a pocket full of papers, and a client full of folly; mix them together without one scruple of conscience, and place them under a black coat.

Chan. Doctor, you are too severe.

Doctor. It may be so; the law has among its professors some of the first ornaments of society; and the wisdom of our ancestors has provided a remedy for the mistakes of mal-practitioners in that essence of our constitution, an English jury.

Chan. My father-in-law has offered a plan for our separation; but I beg pardon, you have business here, which I am, perhaps, delaying.

Doctor. I wished to feel your father-in-law's pulse relative to his son Charles. I have no other view but to serve both; and if I can serve you, or him, or any one else, I desire no other fee than the gratification of doing it.

Chan. Doctor, I thank you, and may profit by your efforts: but don't mistake me; it is I who want to part with a wife, and my brother who wishes to be comfortably situated with one.

Doctor. My dear sir, domestic, wedded happiness is the acmé of human bliss—it is made up as follows: to affection on both sides, add a moderate quantity of Abraham Newland's specific—a mutual allowance for failings, and a determination not to be laughed out of real propriety by the rest of the world—mix them together in the compass of a wedding-ring, adding a few words from the parson of the parish, and be sure to take the prescription before going to bed.


Chan. A mighty pleasant one truly. I wonder the doctor don't take it himself; but it's his own prescription, and, egad, that accounts for it. [Exit.


SCENE II.—A Chamber at Abednego's.

Enter Emily and Abednego.

Abed. I tell you, ma dear, it's all true, every word of it. Pless my heart, I'm so happy! I was always happy; and now I don't know whether I stand upon ma head or ma heels.

Emily. But, my dear sir, pray be explicit—inform me more particularly by what means—

Abed. Sit down, my dear, sit down. You know I vas alvays mighty fond to take care of de main chance.

Emily. But, sir, the suspense I am in—

Abed. Don't mention the expense, my dear; but hear the story. You know, Miss Emily, dat I alvays did every kindness vat I could for you.

Emily. Indeed, sir, you have always been a father to me.

Abed. No, ma dear, not alvays; for I never saw your mother in all ma life. So, ma dear, I vent to day to make some pargains, mit ma friend Shadrach vat lives o' top of Duke's-Place, and dere I pought this peautiful ring. Vat you tink it cost me, ma tear?

Emily. A great sum, without doubt. But the story, sir.

Abed. Vell, ma tear—I'll tell you—It is a fine tiscovery I have made—it cost me twenty-five guineas, as I am an honest man, every varthing of the money. (Looking at the Ring.)

Emily. No doubt, sir; but this is cruel.—

Abed. I told him so, ma tear; but he wou'dn't take a farthing less. So I vas determined to puy it; because it matches exactly mit this jewel, vat I found upon you when you vas left at my door.

Emily. Ah, sir, how fortunate! Do you not think that by means of this you may probably trace who were my parents?

Abed. Yes, ma dear; I tink myself dat—pless ma heart, it's a creat pity they hadn't always been together—they'd have sold, my dear, for twenty per cent. more, as I'm an honest man.

Emily. But, sir, didn't your friend inform you of whom he bought the jewel—can't it be traced? But you have taken already so much trouble on my account, that—

Abed. I cou'dn't take less, upon ma vord. I'll tell you now, Miss Emily, all vat I know about it. Ven I was in Amstertam, I took ma lodgings in a creat house vat had just been left by a rich merchant. How much you tink I paid a week for ma lodging?

Emily. Dear sir!

Abed. O, more dear as people would tink. Vel, ma tear, I vas vaken one morning out of ma sleep wit de cry of a shild in de passage of ma lodging; and ven I saw it, it looked for all de vorld so it was an angel—

Emily. Ah, sir!

Abed. So I took it up, and ax'd all over de place whose little shild it vas—all de people he laugh at me, and said vat it vas my own, and I vanted to sheat 'em, and dat I vas a Jew, and wou'd take in te devil; but I told dem I vould take in noting but de shild. So I took pity upon you, ma tear, for I remembered ven I vas a poor little poy myself, and sold rollers a top o' the street.

Emily. Was there any thing besides the jewel with me?

Abed. There vas some paper mit your name upon it, which said, this shild is christened Emily. And as for the clothes vat vas mit you, I suppose they would fetch about five guineas, and the basket I sold myself for a rattle out of the toyman's shop for you—for I always minded the main chance—so I prought you to England, and put you to a Christian school; for as your father and mother made you a Christian, for vat I should make you a Jew, ma tear?

Emily. How, sir, shall I ever repay your goodness? Alas! the debt of gratitude commenced with my birth.

Abed. (With reverence.) Ma dear, I always minds de main chance. The panker, on whom I draw for payment, is Provitence; he placed you in ma hands as a pledge of his favour, and the security is unexceptionable. This jewel, ma tear, is for yourself—it pelongs to the other, the value of which I laid out in merchandises for you, which have prospered. I kept the jewel in ma own hands, to lead to a discovery of your parents; and I expect ma friend Shadrach every moment mit intelligence—den Charles, you know, ma tear, vat loves you so, I expect him too—he tinks vat you hav'n't got a penny in all de world—but I've taken care of de main chance.

Emily. And may those spirits of benevolence, who prompt the generous feelings in your heart, preserve in mine, till it shall cease to beat, the warmest glow of endless gratitude!


Abed. Pless ma heart, vat is de matter mid me—(Wiping his eyes.)—Well, well, I must mind ma pusiness—I must take care of de main chance—(Knocking.) Open the toor there, and see vat it is the people vants, I tell you.

Enter Old Bromley.

Brom. A fine piece of business, that my son's disobedience should send me dancing after a Jew!—O, your servant, sir!

Abed. Sir, your servant. Any ting in my vay, sir—any pills to be discounted—any ting vat I can serve you in? (Offers a chair, which Bromley refuses.)

Brom. Come, I like that. Sir—I—called to—pray, sir, do you know me?

Abed. No, sir; but I can make de proper enquiries; and if you are a coot man—

Brom. I a good man!—Sir, I come to ask you how you dare suffer my son to pay his addresses to a girl without a halfpenny?—a foundling, who, having been educated upon speculation, I suppose, at your expense, is to be provided with a husband, from whom you doubtless expect a swinging bill for board and lodging.—(Is going to take a chair, when Abed. angrily pulls it away.)

Abed. Sir, you may say vat you please about me; but if you come to apuse Miss Emily, I tell you, you have got de wrong sow in your ear; she is a coot girl and de delight of ma heart.

Brom. Money-lenders with hearts!—come, I like that.

Abed. I pelieve if they had hearts as the vorld goes, they vould soon preak. I tell you, sir, ma poor shild is a match for any pody.

Brom. She!—come, I like that. Why you yourself was once no more than a little pedling boy, then a ragman, then a bailiff's follower.

Abed. 'Tis petter I follow de pailiff, as te pailiff follow me:—any ting more vat you vant mit me?

Brom. Don't suffer my son to enter your doors.

Abed. I vont suffer none of de family—vill dat please you?—dere now—so go from ma house—I must go to Change.

Brom. I tell you, if the girl wasn't poor, I wou'dn't mind—but, damn it, only think what an estate my son will have.

Abed. How much you ax for it?—I'll puy it, if you like it—every pit of it.

Brom. Buy my estate!—come, I like that. Why, you dealer in discount—you dabbler in dirty water—you old—old Jew, you!

Abed. Any ting more vat you can call ma? Can you trow noting in my face but my religion?—I wish wid all my heart I could return the compliment.

Brom. Give me your hand—I beg your pardon—I do, upon my honour. Ha, ha, ha! Come now—I—I'm very sorry—I forgot myself—I—Bless my soul, that it should fall to my lot to behave so unlike a gentleman!

Abed. You hurt ma very much. You apuse Miss Emily, you come to ma house, you call ma names, and for vat? You hurt ma very much.

Brom. Well, don't I beg your pardon? There, take my cane, and if you a'n't satisfied, lay it about my back—for the man who can forget the feelings of a fellow-creature, cannot be more degraded than in doing so.

Abed. I take it in my hand to shew you, that if Christians profess forgiveness of injuries, Jews can sometimes practise it: but I confess it hurt ma very much. How much you ax for the gold top of dis walking-stick?—[In this speech the Jew is returning the cane without looking at it, and while he is repeating, "You hurt ma very much," the top of it suddenly catches his eye as he is giving it back to Bromley; his face of course changes from serious to comic.]

Brom. Well, good bye. I dare say, if you see my son, you'll give him good advice. Tell him, that though Miss Emily is very pretty, yet you can't give her a fortune; and if he marries her without, he can't expect me to give her one. In short, tell him—

Abed. Tell him all yourself—tell him Emily vill be worth five thousand pounds, and if he can petter himself, let him go to another market.

Brom. Five thousand pounds! Come, I like that vastly. Why, you sly old rogue you!—Bless my soul, that it should fall to Miss Emily's lot to have five thousand pounds!

Abed. I tell you she vill, ma friend; I shall give to her maself, on the day of her marriage, five thousand pounds in pank notes, besides three shillings and sixpence vat de pocket-book cost me to put it in. Vat you say now? Vill you out-bid me?

Brom. Guinea for guinea, and more at my death. Come to my house this evening—Bring the writings in your pocket—Let me see—[Looks at his Watch.]—Come at six—I'm so happy!

Abed. I can sell you a better vatch as dat. I'll pring it in ma pocket mit me.

Brom. Bring whatever you please—I could dance for joy. Ah, I'm so happy.

Abed. And I could cry myself—I cried for trouble just now, and now I cry midout no trouble at all.

Brom. You're a good fellow!—I've heard of the worth of a Jew's eye; but I don't think it can ever be half so rich as when impearled with an honest tear!


Abed. Pless ma heart—I shall be merry again. I never told Mr Charles that Emily would have money, dat I might be sure vat his love was good; for love is the only principal vat should be midout interest.





SCENE I.—A Chamber in Old Bromley's House;
two Doors in the flats

Old Bromley enters from the Door, as having been
preparing the Apartment

Brom. One seat, one bed, one table, all ready; and the parties will soon be here. If I do but make them friends again, I'll have a patent for my plan—and reconciled couples shall chaunt my praises to the tune of the downfall of Doctors Commons.—Come, I like that.

Enter Doctor Specific.

Oh, doctor, here I am, providing â la Suisse for the reconciliation of my son and daughter.

Doctor. What, by locking them up together?—You want to marry your son Charles â la Suisse, and make him a mere mercenary votary of Hymen.

Brom. Why, isn't money a desirable thing?—it can do, Doctor, it can do—Dam'me, what can it not do?

Doctor. True: 'tis a strange mixture, and stranger in effect. To the properties of Proteus, it adds the magic of a Harlequin's sword—to the moderate man, means of content—and to the benevolent, the certainty of happiness in heaven, by the simple plan of making others happy on earth.

Brom. Don't I endeavour to make every body happy on earth?—I came into the world for no other purpose—I was born to please my father;—married to please my mother;—and had children to please my wife—who, in turn, would have died to please me.

Doctor. I thought she did.

Brom. And wouldn't I now please my son by marrying him well in the world—and my daughter by separating her from a husband she don't like?

Doctor. Her husband is a mere man of fashion—a blood and a buck.

Brom. Well, he's not the only man of fashion that's a buck. But, doctor, you don't seem in a good humour to-day.

Doctor. To the disappointments of life, we should always apply a cataplasm of patience. I am, however, vexed—I have lost a ring more valuable from circumstances than its intrinsic worth.

Brom. The gift of a friend, perhaps?

Doctor. Of a dear one; and the counterpart of another ring given by that friend to me. I have before told you of my marriage with the daughter of a merchant at Amsterdam.

Brom. Who was averse to your alliance.

Doctor. From the day of my union with his daughter, he refused to see her. My duty, as surgeon on board an Indiaman, tore me from my wife, who, in giving birth to a daughter during my absence, found an early grave.

Brom. Did the infant survive?

Doctor. It did. A stranger, whom I have never been able to trace, adopted it;—and the ring I have lost was the only remaining memorial of wife or child.

Brom. Have you made any enquiry for your ring?

Doctor. I took the liberty to employ your William, who is a clever active fellow, to look into the affair, as I suspect a servant who lately left me, and with whom William was acquainted.

Brom. William's a sharp lad; but then he has such an eternal knack at talking—Yet, he's the only servant I can trust with any thing material. [William talks without.] Why, here he comes. One cannot, you see, even talk about him but he comes in for his share of the conversation.

Enter William.

Doctor. Well, William, what success?

Wil. [With rapidity.] Wonderful, sir!—My agents had scarcely been at work six hours, when the ring was traced into as many different hands; when, all of a sudden, we lost scent, till it was luckily seen on the finger of a young lady in company with a Jew. This suspicious circumstance induced me to take steps for securing her; and, as my master is a magistrate, she will be brought here, in order that the affair may be accommodated without those circumstances of unpleasant publicity which frequently attend matters of this kind.

Brom. Psha!—Damn it, I shall be talked out of my senses.

Doctor. I have a little business to transact, and will return to wait the lady's arrival. In the mean time, I wish your schemes may answer, particularly the locking-up one.

Brom. There's little fear: My daughter, I'm sure, won't be obstinate.

Doctor. There's no guessing the mind of a woman. It has as many variations as a nervous disorder—it's composition being as follows: To the stability of a weathercock, add the changes of the moon, the colour of a cameleon, and the whirl of a windmill.


Brom. What a pity that a woman should be such a whirligig!—But I had forgot—William?

Wil. Sir.

Brom. Do you think you could positively and absolutely keep a secret, if I was to tell you one?

Wil. I couldn't keep it without your telling me at any rate, you know, sir.

Brom. Come, I like that. But you are so plaguy fond of talking.

Wil. On this occasion, sir, I won't even talk to myself.

Brom. Well, here's half-a-guinea for you.—Now you're sure you can keep it?

Wil. O yes, sir—I'll keep it, I warrant. [Pockets the Money.]

Brom. Aye, do, William.—Now you must know that—that—that is my study. (Pointing to the Door.)

Wil. Lud, sir, that's no secret.

Brom. Hold your confounded tongue, and mind what I say:—I expect my daughter here presently, and if I am not in the way, do you shew her into that room, and then lock the door. Her husband will come shortly after, and then you must lock him up with her. Give me the key at my return; and if you say a word to man, woman, or child, I'll strip you of your character, and turn you out of doors without a livery.


Wil. Half-a-guinea for locking up a man and his wife together, and nobody to know it! Ay, that's because fashionable couples are ashamed to be seen in each other's company.

Enter Charles (with a Letter).

Char. William, go immediately and leave this letter for Emily. I have called twice, and she has been each time denied to me.—Go! What does the fellow stand for?

Wil. Sir, I beg pardon; but my master has just now given me the key of a secret which must not be unlocked, and which makes my presence here absolutely necessary.

Char. Plague on your secret! how long must you wait?

Wil. About half-a-crown, sir—I beg pardon; I meant half an hour, and not half-a-crown, upon my honour.

Char. I understand your hint.—There, sir. (Gives Money.)—Now fly, and entrust one of your fellow servants with your commission.

Wil. I dare not, sir:—I dare no more trust them with the secret, than with the half-guinea I got for keeping it—No, sir—I'll run the risk of running the errand; and, perhaps may be back again before Mrs Changeable comes. No, here she is. Please, sir, to shew her into that room, and give the key to Betty, to whom I will impart the necessary instructions. Betty and I, sir, you must know, have that kind of mutual interest, that I haven't the least diffidence in entrusting her with a secret; which, if told to any one else, might——

Char. Fly, sir! while you are prating, you might be there.

[Exit William.

Enter Mrs Changeable.

Mrs Chan. Lord, Charles, how d'ye do?—Well, here I am, prepared for papa's frolic. Do you think he seriously means to keep Hubby and I locked up together for three whole days?

Char. It's a whim of his, and he generally perseveres pretty strongly in his whims. At present I am to be your gaoler.

Mrs Chan. Well, then, you may lock me up, and when Changeable comes you may lock him up; and if locking us up together is the only means of our parting, I wish we had been locked up when the parson waited in church for us.

[Exit into the Room.

Char. (Locking the Door.) Well, so much for my important commission; and now Mrs Betty shall have the key. Three days! Why, if my father would take a whim of locking me up with my Emily, I shouldn't complain, though the key were to be lost for three centuries.


Enter Doctor Specific, Bromley, and Emily.

Doctor. Madam, I am sorry you should be detained a moment on this account;—you have had this ring, you say, from infancy?

Emily. I have, sir; and but that your questions lead to a very interesting subject, I should not thus patiently bear the slightest hint of the accusation they imply. I can boast nothing of my own, but the integrity of an heart which never meant ill to others, and which, though beating in an orphan's bosom, can as proudly repel the suspicion of guilt, as it would honestly shun the reality.

Brom. Now, only to think that I should have so fair a young lady brought here on so foul a charge!—Madam, be so good as to step in here til the gentleman you have sent for arrives. (Pointing to the Door of another Apartment.)—Doctor, there must be some mistake in this; those agents of William's looked only to the reward.

Doctor. Have the goodness to pass a few moments in that chamber; and, till your friend arrives, I'll leave you to recollect yourself.

Emily. I obey you, sir—because, in spite of the resentment I ought to feel, I have an indescribable wish to appear to you as I am—too grateful to Providence to repay its blessings with meanness or injustice.

[Exit, led by the Doctor through the Door.

Brom. Come, I like that girl. I wish Charles's choice may be half as beautiful. But what a block-head I must be to be caught in my old age by a pretty face. Except my poor deceased Biddy Bromley's, I never saw any thing at all like it.

Re-enter Doctor Specific.

Doctor. Though I would repress my emotions before that lady, for fear of raising hopes I might afterwards disappoint, yet I'm overjoyed.—Blessings on the hour I lost my ring!


Brom. Come, I like that; he is quite happy that he has lost his ring, and out of his senses with joy because the poor girl has no father. Bless my soul, I hope it will be a long time before it falls to the lot of my children to rejoice on the like occasion.


Enter Abednego and Betty.

Abed. Let ma see her, I tell you—Let ma see her.

Betty. You mean the lady that's locked up, I suppose, sir?

Abed. Vat, is she locked up then? Well, well, I shall take de law o'top of your master, ma dear, that is all—so let me see her directly.

Betty. Why, sir, I've got the key on purpose. My master left word with our William, who desired Squire Charles to tell me to let you into the room the moment you came.

Abed. Vell, dat is enough—make haste, I tell you—take care you don't break de lock—I dare say it cost a matter of fifteen shillans at least. Dear me! Bless ma heart!—Let me see her, I tell you.

Betty. Lud, sir, there. (Opens the Door where Mrs Changeable is.)

Abed. Ah, ma poor girl!—But I'll take de law upon every soul in de house. (Goes inBetty locks the Door.)

Enter William.

Wil. So, so, I've got back at last. Ah, Betty!—Well, are they both come?

Betty. Yes; and both locked in too. But, if I was the lady, before I'd have any thing to say to such an ugly old frump——

Wil. Old frump! Why, my dear Betty, you are certainly cracked.—Old! Why, he's as young, and very near as smart as I am. Eh! run out of the way, for here comes old master.

[Exit Betty.

Abed. (Within.) Let ma come out, I tell you—let ma come out.

Wil. Bless me, how a little confinement has changed his note!—his voice seems to be quite altered.

Enter Old Bromley.

Brom. Well, William, are they both caged?

Wil. Yes, sir; but the gentleman wants his liberty already.

Brom. Well, go, William—I'll attend them myself. [Exit William.] His liberty already! Come, I like that. No, no; (Goes to the Door and calls.) make yourself easy, I'll wait on you myself, and bring you some refreshment. I know you're vastly fond of a delicate piece of pork griskin.—Though, by wishing to part with your wife, you seem to have a spare-rib already.—Bless my soul, that it should fall to my lot to pun upon pork-chops![Exit.

Enter Changeable (drunk.)

Chan. Ha, ha, ha!—Going to be locked up with my own wife!—As my father-in-law says, "Bless my soul, that it should fall to my lot to do such a foolish thing;"—but I'm drunk, and that accounts for it:—no man in his sober senses would dream of such a thing. (Staggers up the Stage.)

Enter William.

Wil. While master is giving cooky orders, I'll have a peep through the key-hole. (Sees Changeable.)—Eh!—What? why, sir, how the deuce did you get out of the room?

Chan. Room? (Hiccups)—What room?

Wil. Your lady's room, sir.—Oh! what, you don't like it?

Chan. O yes, I do, William; I like her room much better than her company.

Wil. Well, I should have thought it impossible you could ever get out.

Chan. Quite impossible—Couldn't get out of the room, because (Hiccups) I never was in it—so, that accounts for it;—I'm only just come—I'm before my time, I believe—or does the watch stop, I wonder:—it's one o'clock, isn't it?

Wil. No, sir—it's about six.

Chan. I'm sure it's one—can't be mistaken—for I heard the clock strike one half a dozen times;—so, as it's to please old dad, open the door—I'll go in. (Goes to the Door where Emily is.)

Wil. I beg pardon, sir; but this is the door. (Pointing to the other Door.)

Chan. (Just peeping in.) Ay, but this is the room:—for I swear I see a petticoat—so, lock us in, William, lock us in. Mum, you sly dog!—This is better than bargain—I shall not only lose one wife, but get another.

Wil. But, sir, your wife is in that room.

Chan. And if I chuse to go into this, why, you know that accounts for it.

[Exit into the Room where Emily is.

Wil. What the devil shall I do now?—Who can the man be in this room?—and who can the woman be in that?—Perhaps the lady about the ring:—Egad, if I have caused any mistake here, the best thing I can possibly do, will be to keep out of the way till somebody else sets it to rights. [Exit.


SCENE II.—A Chamber: one Bed, one Chair, one Table.

[Abednego and Mrs Changeable discovered: Mrs Changeable seated on the Chair, and the Jew leaning in a melancholy posture against the Door.

Abed. [After a pause.] Pless ma heart, pless ma heart, what a wicked and apominable vorld it is to live in! It's no more use as noting at all to mind de main chance. I pegin ma life a poor little boy what sells rollers a top of de street. I go to Amsterdam, and pring up a little shild vat is put upon ma door—I give her the pest education vat is to be had—It cost ma more as two hundred guineas; and pecause she's a good girl, she's taken up for shtealing the only property she can call her own.—She sends me a letter—I come—They lock me up mit a mad oman vat calls me all de names she can tink of—and ven I wants to come out, dey tell me vat I shall have a pork griskin for ma supper. It's a bad vorld; but I'll take de law upon dem for all dat.

Mrs Chan. [Rising.] Well, sir, if you have sufficiently amused yourself with what you, doubtless, conceive to be a most excellent piece of humour, I shall be highly obliged by your absence; and you may tell those who employed you to insult an unprotected woman, that they have carried the joke rather too far.

Abed. I tink so maself. But de joke won't stop here. I shall take de law upon 'em. I shall get a matter of sixty pounds damages.

Mrs Chan. It's no use talking to the savage. I must e'en sit down till it's their pleasure to release me. [Sits down.]

Abed. And where de devil shall I sit down?—There's never anoder chair in de room. Vell, vat den—I must sit upon de table. [Sits on the Table, swinging his Legs and leaning his Chin upon his Cane. Mrs Changeable contemplates, in silence, her wedding Ring, and at length speaks.]

Mrs Chan. To what perplexity, thou paultry bauble, hast thou brought me!—I wish there had never been such a thing as a ring in the world.

Abed. I wish so too, mit all my heart.

Mrs Chan. What trouble and anxiety we put ourselves to, to obtain this trifle, and, after all, what is it worth?

Abed. Not above six shillans at most.

Mrs Chan. And now, because I want to part with it——

Abed. Well, I'll puy it, if you like.

Mrs Chan. That an insignificant hoop of gold should have power to confine a couple who detest each other! 'Tis abominably provoking!

Abed. I tink so maself. 'Tis damn'd provoking sure enough! What, have you been taking up for shtealing a ring too, madam?

Mrs Chan. Sir!—but anger is of no avail.—If I could but persuade him to let me escape.—My dear sir, do the laws of Switzerland decree no end to my captivity?

Abed. She talks all de vorld so she vas out of her senses.

Mrs Chan. Ah, sir, if you knew how much you could oblige, and how grateful I could be——

Abed. Go avay mit you. I see de whole plot—you vant to ruin ma—to seduce de innocence of ma heart, and make ma pocket pay for it; but it von't do, I tell you—dere now.

Mrs Chan. How shall I find my way out of this dilemma?

Abed. I vish I could find my vay out of de room. [Goes to the Door.] Let ma come out, I tell you!

Enter Old Bromley with Lights: speaks as he enters.

I've brought you a candle, and the supper will be ready presently. But I can't stop, for I expect every moment a visit from old Abednego, about his ward's marriage.

Abed. Vell, here I am, vat d'ye vant mit me?

Brom. Eh! oh dear! Why, poor Mr Changeable! sooner than turn to his wife, has turned to a Jew.

Abed. Well, I know I'm a Jew! And a Jew is a man vat in this country can take de law upon any body vat forgets the duties of a Christian.—Vere is Miss Emily, I tell you? For vat have you first locked her up, and den locked up me into a room along mit a mad lady that is out of her senses? You take Miss Emily for a tief, and me for a fool. You treat her like a robber, vat shteals atop of de shtreets, and vanted to treat me mit a pork griskin.

Brom. Ha! ha! only to think that I have locked my daughter up with a Jew; and that that Jew should be my new daughter-in-law's guardian; and that——

[Emily screams without.

Abed. Pless ma heart! it is Miss Emily's voice!—If you don't come out of my vay, I shall knock you down, I tell you. Ven Miss Emily is in danger, I feel all de vorld so I vas a lion. Let ma come by, I say, [Struggling with Old Bromley,] or I shall preak ma stick upon you, though it's worth more as four shillans.

Enter Emily, pursued by Changeable.

Emily. [Running to Abed.] Oh, sir, are you here! Save me, protect me!

Abed. Come to me, ma dear.—Go away mit you, you scoundrel!—Never mind, ma dear—I shall fight for you all de world so I was Daniel Mendoza.

Mrs Chan. Why, where have you been, Mr Changeable, and what is the reason of all this?

Chan. Why, I have been tipsey, and the reason is because I have been drinking—that accounts for it.

Mrs Chan. You see, sir, how it is.—How dare you, Mr Changeable, run after another woman?

Chan. Because the other woman ran away from me—that accounts for it.—And if you was to do me the same favour, I'd be very much obliged to you.

Mrs Chan. Mr Changeable, I will not put up with this treatment any longer; and unless you atone for your brutality, I shall find a better method of parting, than that of our being locked up together.


Chan. Quite of your opinion; and the best part of your speech was your going away at the end of it.—And now stand out of the way, Mordecai.

Abed. I'm not Mordecai, and won't shtand out of the way—dere now.

Chan. Why then I'm Sampson; and dam'me, I'll—

Abed. It's all talk, I tell you. And if Sampson hadn't made a petter use of the jaw-bone of an ass as you do, he'd never killed de Philistines.

Brom. Come, I like that.—Follow your wife, and if you won't be locked up yourselves, lock up your quarrels, and don't let my house be made the scene of your impertinence.

Chan. Sir, I take my leave.—A queer quiz, but very rich. Has his will here by virtue of the will he makes hereafter—that accounts for it.


Enter the Doctor.

Doctor. Why, good folks, what's the matter?—I've been seeking you, young lady. Your friend, I see, is arrived.

Emily. Ah, sir, to what trouble have you exposed me!—This, my dear guardian, is the person who claims my ring.

Abed. Give it ma, my dear. [Pretends to take it, but shews the other.]—Is dis de ring vat you say is yours? [To the Doctor.]

Doctor. It is, sir;—and I must tell you——

Abed. And vat I shall tell you? I shall tell you your vord is vorth so much as noting at all. I don't pelieve that you can shwear to it.

Brom. Why, I have seen the doctor wear it an hundred times.

Abed. Den vy, sir, did you trouble ma ward for wearing dis ring, [Producing her Hand,] when you know that [Shewing the former] to be yours?

Doctor. Good heaven! the likeness!

Abed. Vat signifies de likeness? If dat ring makes a rogue of de wearer, the owner ought to have worn it all his life-time.

Doctor. Sir, both those rings were mine. Each has a secret spring, concealing the initials of a name, the one of my own, the other of a wife once dearer to me than all the world.

Abed. [With agitation.] Was you ever at Amsterdam—did you know the house of Winterfeldt, the great Dutch merchant?

Doctor. Good heavens! too well I know——

Abed. Then if de secret spring had been transferred from dis ring to your heart, it might have told you vat you had a daughter.

Emily. [Rushing to him.] My father! My dear father!

Enter Charles.

Char. My Emily! I heard you had been insulted.

Doctor. And you came, I suppose, to protect her?

Char. No one, I hope, sir, will dispute that right with me.

Doctor. I might dispute it; but as it's an office you are so fond of, take it for life. Emily shall explain all to you.—Mr Bromley, the fortune you expected shall be doubled.—I must settle too with my worthy benefactor, here, for——

Abed. It was very well settled before you sent de constable to take us all up.

Doctor. My generous friend, instruct me how to thank you for this blessing!

Abed. I'll tell you how to pay me. If ever you see a helpless creature vat needs your assistance, give it for ma sake:—And if de object should even not be a Christian, remember that humanity knows no difference of opinion; and that you can never make your own religion look so well, as when you shew mercy to de religion of others.


[The end of The Jew and the Doctor by Thomas Dibdin]