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PROLOGUE.

N this

I

grave age, when comedies are few,

;

We crave your patronage for one that's new
Though 'twere poor ftuff, yet bid the author fair,
And let the fcarcenefs recommend the ware.
Long have your ears been fill'd with tragic parts,
Blood and blank-verfe have harden'd all your hearts;
If e'er you fimile, 'tis at fome party strokes,
Round-beads and Wooden-fhoes are standing jokes ;
The fame conceit gives claps and hiffes birth,
You're grown fuch politicians in your mirth!
For once we try (though 'tis I own unfafe,)
To please you all and make both parties laugh.

Our author, anxious for his fame to-night,
And bafhful in his first attempt to write,
Lies cautiously obfcure and unreveal'd,
Like ancient actors in a mask conceal'd.
Cenfure, when no man knows who writes the play,
Were much good malice merely thrown away.
The mighty critics will not blaft, for fhame,
A raw young thing, who dares not tell his name:
Good natur'd judges will th' unknown defend,
And fear to blame, left they should hurt a friend:

Each

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Each wit may praise it, for his own dear fake,
And hint he writ it, if the thing fhou'd take.
But if you're rough, and use him like a dog,
Depend upon it---He'll remain incog.
If you shou'd hifs, he swears he'll hifs as high,
And, like a Culprit, join the hue-and-cry.

If cruel men are still averse to spare
These scenes, they fly for refuge to the fair.
Tho' with a ghoft our comedy be heighten'd,
Ladies, upon my word, you shan't be frighten'd;
O, 'tis a ghoft that fcorns to be uncivil,

A well-fpread, lufty, jointure-hunting devil;
An am'rous ghoft, that's faithful, fond and true,
Made up of flesh and blood- -as much as you.
Then every evening come in flocks, undaunted,
We never think this houfe is too much haunted.

Dra

Dramatis Perfonæ.

Coachman,

Gardiner,

MEN.

Sir George Truman.

Tinfel,

Fantome, the Drummer,

Vellum, Sir George Truman's Steward, Mr. Johnson.

Butler,

Mr.Penkethman.

Mr. Miller.

Mr. Norris.

Lady Truman,

Abigal,

Mr. Wilks.

Mr. Cibber.

Mr. Mills.

WOMEN.

Mrs. Oldfield.

Mrs. Saunders

THE

THE

DRUMMER:

OR, THE

HAUNTED-HOUSE.

ACT I SCENE I

A GREAT HAL L.

Enter the Butler, Coachman, and Gardiner.

BUTLER.

T

HERE came another coach to town last night, that brought a gentleman to enquire about this ftrange noise, we hear in the houfe. This fpirit will bring a power of cuftom to the George-If fo be he continues his pranks, I defign to fell a pot of ale, and fet up the fign of the Drum.

COACH

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COACHMAN.

I'll give Madam warning, that's flat-I've always liv'd in fober families. I'll not difparage myself to be a fervant in a house that is haunted.

GARDINER.

I'll e'en marry Nell, and rent a bit of ground of my own, if both of you leave Madam; not but that Madam's a very good woman-if Mrs. Abigal did not fpoil her-come, here's her health.

BUTLER.

It's a very hard thing to be a butler in a house, that is diftur'd. He made fuch a racket in the cellar laft night, that I'm afraid he'll four all the beer in my barrels. COACHMAN,

Why then John, we ought to take it off as faft as we can. Here's to you-He rattled fo loud under the tiles last night, that I verily thought the house would have fallen over our heads. I durft not go up into the cock-loft this morning, if I had not got one of the maids to go along with me.

GARDINER.

-I

I thought I heard him in one of my bed-poftsmarvel, John, how he gets into the house when all the gates are fhut,

BUTLER.

Why look ye, Peter, your fpirit will creep you into an augre-hole-he'll whisk you through a key-hole, without fo much as juftling against one of the wards.

COACHMAN.

Poor Madam is mainly frighted, that's certain, and verily believes 'tis my mafter that was kill'd in the laft campaign.

BUTLER.

Out of all manner of queftion, Robin, 'tis Sir George. Mrs. Abigal is of opinion it can be none but his honour; he always lov'd the wars, and you know was mightily pleas'd from a child with the music of a drum

GAR.

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