Austen for Beginners

Jane Austen's juvenilia - The Mystery


The Mystery: An Unfinished Comedy

by Jane Austen



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


The Author

Dramatis Personae



Colonel Elliott

Sir Edward Spangle

Old Humbug

Young Humbug

and Corydon

Fanny Elliott

Mrs Humbug

and Daphne

Act the First

Scene the lst

A Garden.

Enter Corydon.

Cory. But Hush! I am interrupted.

(Exit Corydon)

Enter Old Humbug and 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 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 and Fanny, discovered at work.

Mrs Hum. You understand me, my Love?

Fanny. Perfectly ma'm. 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.

Enter Daphne.

Daphne. My dear Mrs Humbug, how d'ye do? Oh! Fanny, t'is all over.

Fanny. It is 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! that's all settled.

(whispers Mrs Humbug)

Fanny.And how is it determined?

Daphne.I'Il tell you.

(whispers Fanny)

Mrs Hum. And is he to? ...

Daphne. I'll tell you all I know of the matter.

(whispers Mrs Humbug and Fanny)

Fanny. Well! now I know everything about it, I'll go away.

Mrs Hum. and Daphne. And so will I.


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 won't hear me.... So I'll e'en venture.

(Goes up to Sir Edward, whispers him, and Exit)

End of the 1st Act.


Back to Jane Austen's other writings contents list

Back to home page

Questions or comments?

 Contact the webmaster

Austen for Beginners 2008

Austen for Beginners   Pride and Prejudice   Sense and Sensibility   Emma   Mansfield Park   Northanger Abbey   Persuasion