The Mysteryan unfinished Comedy
To the Revd George Austen
I humbly solicit your Patronage to the following Comedy, which tho’ an unfinished one, is I flatter myself as complete a Mystery as any of its kind.
I am Sir your most Humle
a Comedy –
Colonel Elliott Fanny Elliott
Sir Edward Spangle Mrs Humbug
Old Humbug and .
Young Humbug Daphne – .
Act the First
Scene the 1st
Cory.) But Hush! I am interrupted.
Enter Old Humbug & his Son, talking.
Old Hum:) It is for that reason I wish you to follow my advice. Are you convinced of its propriety?
Young Hum:) I am Sir, and will certainly act in the manner you have pointed out to me.
Old Hum:) Then let us return to the House.
Scene the 2d
A Parlour in Humbug’s house.
Mrs Humbug & Fanny, discovered at work.
Mrs Hum:) You understand me my Love?
Fanny) Perfectly ma’am. Pray continue your narration.
Mrs Hum:) Alas! it is nearly concluded, for I have nothing more to say on the Subject.
Fanny. Ah! here’s Daphne.
Daphne) My dear Mrs Humbug how d’ye do? Oh! Fanny t’is all over.
Fanny) Is it indeed!
Mrs Hum:) I’m very sorry to hear it.
Fanny) Then t’was to no purpose that I. . . .
Daphne) None upon Earth.
Mrs Hum. And what is to become of?. . . . .
Daphne) Oh! thats all settled. (whispers Mrs Humbug)
Fanny) And how is it determined?
Daphne) I’ll tell you. (whispers Fanny)
Mrs Hum:) And is he to? . . .
Daphne) I’ll tell you all I know of the matter. (whispers Mrs Humbug & Fanny)
Fanny) Well! now I know every thing about it, I’ll go away.
Scene the 3d
The Curtain rises and discovers Sir Edward Spangle reclined in an elegant Attitude on a Sofa, fast asleep.
Enter Colonel Elliott.
Colonel) My Daughter is not here I see . . . there lies Sir Edward . . . Shall I tell him the secret? . . . No, he’ll certainly blab it . . . But he is asleep and wont hear me . . . So I’ll e’en venture.
(Goes up to Sir Edward, whispers him, & Exit)
End of the 1st Act.
© Oxford University Press
Extract from Teenage Writings by Jane Austen, edited by Kathryn Sutherland and Freya Johnston. Published by Oxford University Press in April 2017, available in paperback and eBook formats, £8.99