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noon has quite turned my senses; here they are, Flash. Is she? then she won't be mine, I am certhough, and I believe you'll like 'em. tain. [Aside.] Well, Mrs. Tag, you know, I supBid. There can be no doubt of it. [Curtsies. pose, what's to be done: this young lady and I have Frib. I protest, miss, I don't like that curtsy.contracted ourselves; and so, if you please to stand Look at me, and always rise in this manner. [Rises.] bridemaid, why we'll fix the wedding-day directly. But, my dear creeter, who put on your cap to-day? Tag. The wedding-day, sir? They have made a fright of you, and it is as yellow as old Lady Crowfoot's neck. When we are settled, I'll dress your head myself.
Bid. Pray read the verses to me, Mr. Fribble. Frib. I obey-Hem! William Fribble, Esq. to Miss Biddy Bellair. Greeting:
No ice so hard, so cold as I,
'Till warm'd and soften'd by your sye;
Bid. Ha, ha, ha! I swear they are very pretty; but I do'nt quite understand 'em.
Frib. These light pieces are never so well understood in reading, as in singing; I have set 'em my self, and will endeavour to give 'em you. La, la! I have an abominable cold, and can't sing a note; however, the tune's nothing; the manner's all. Sings. No ice so hard, &e.
ding-day, sir; what have you to say to that, sir?
Flash. And suppose I did, child, what then?
Flash. At me, miss! frightened at me? Tout au contraire, I assure you; you mistake the thing, child; I have some reason to believe I am not quite so shocking. [Affectedly.]
Tag. Indeed, sir, you flatter yourself; but pray, sir, what are your pretensions?
Flash. The lady's promises, my own passion, and the best-mounted blade in the three kingdoms. If any man can produce a better title, let him take her; if not, the devil mince me, if I give up an atom of her.
Bid. He's in a fine passion, if he would but hold
Tag. Pray, sir, hear reason a little.
Flash. I never do, madam; it is not my method of proceeding; here is my logic. [Draws his sword.] Sa, sa-my best argument is carte over arm, madam, ha, ha! [lunges.] and if he answers that, madam, through my small guts, my breath, blood, and mistress, are all at his service. Nothing more, madam. Bid. This 'll do, this 'll do. Tag. But, sir, sir, sir!
Flash. But, madam, madam, madam! I profess blood, madam! I was bred up to it from a child; I study the book of fate, and the camp is my univerupon the Rhine, and Bathiani upon the Po, and have sity. I have attended the lectures of prince Charles I'm not to be frightened with squibs, madam, no, no. extracted knowledge from the mouth of a cannon:
prevail with you to go away this time. Your pas-
Flash. When you'd have me come again, child? And suppose I never would come again, what do you think of that now, eh? You pretend to be afraid of your aunt; your aunt knows what's what too well to refuse a good match when 'tis offered. Lookye miss, I am a man of honour; glory is my aim; I have told you the road I am in; and do you see here, child? Shewing his sword.] No tricks upon tra
Bid. But pray, sir, hear me.
am as well known at Covent-garden as the dial, Flash. No, no, no; I know the world, madam; I madam; I'll break a lamp, bully a constable, bam a justice, or bilk a box-keeper, with any man in the liberties of Westminster. What do you think of me now, madam?
Bid. Pray don't be so furious, sir.
Flash. Come, come, come, few words are best; somebody's happier than somebody, and I am a poor, silly fellow, ha, ha! That's all. Lookye, child, to be short, (for I'm a man of reflection,) I have but a bagatelle to say to you: I am in love with you up to hell and desperation; may the sky crush me if I am not. But since there is another more fortunate than I, adieu Biddy! Prosperity to the happy rival, patience to poor Flash; but the first time we meet,
gunpowder be my perdition, but I'll have the honour to cut a throat with him.
Bid. [Stopping him.] You may meet with him now, if you please.
Flash. Now may I?-Where is he?—I'll sacrifice the villain! [Aloud.]
Tag. Hush! he's but in the next room.
Bid. No, sir, I never was better pleased, I assure you.
Bid. As soon as you please; take your own time. Tag. I'll fetch the gentleman to you immediately. [Going.] Flash. [Stopping her.] Stay, stay a little; what a passion I am in! Are you sure he is in the next room? I shall certainly tear him to pieces; I would fain murder him like a gentleman, too; besides, this family sha'n't be brought into trouble upon my account. I have it I'll watch for him in the street, and mix his blood with the puddle of the next kennel. [Going.]
Bid. [Stopping him.] No, pray, Mr. Flash, let me see the battle; I shall be glad to see you fight for me; you sha'n't go, indeed. [Holding him.]
Tag. [Holding him.] Oh! pray let me see you fight; there were two gentlemen fought yesterday, and my mistress was never so diverted in her life. I'll fetch him out. [Exit.
Bid. Do; stick him, stick him, Captain Flash; I shall love you the better for it.
Flash. D-n your love; I wish I were out of the house. [Aside.]
Bid. Here he is; now speak some of your hard words, and run him through
Flash. Don't be in fits now.
Aside to Biddy.]
Re-enter TAG, with FRIBBLE.
Tag. [To Fribble.] Take it on my word, sir, he is a bully, and nothing else.
Frib. [Frightened.] I know you are my good friend; but, perhaps, you don't know his disposition. Tag. I am confident he is a coward.
Frib. Is he? Nay, then, I'm his man.
I am determined in my resolutions I am alwayı calm; 'tis our way, madam; and now I shall pro ceed to business. Sir, I beg to say a word to you in private.
Frib. Keep your distance, fellow, and I'll answer you. That lady has confessed a passion for me; and as she has delivered up her heart into my keeping, nothing but my heart's blood shall purchase D-n!
Tag. Bravo! bravo!
Flash. If those are the conditions, I'll give you earnest for it directly. [Draws.] Now, villain, re nounce all right and title this minute, or the torrent of my rage will overflow my reason, and I shall annihilate the nothingness of your soul and body in an instant.
Frib. I wish there was a constable at hand to take us both up; we shall certainly do one another a prejudice.
him; if you would but draw your sword, and be in Tag. No, you won't indeed, sir; pray bear up to a passion, he would run away directly.
Frib. Will he? [Draws his sword. Then—I can Come on, thou savage brute! no longer contain myself.-Hell and the furies!
postures, while Biddy and Tag push them forward.] Tag. Go on, sir. [Here they stand in fighting Flash. Come on.
Bid. Go on.
Frib. Come on, rascal.
Enter Captain LOVEIT and PCFF.
Rhodophil, these two sparks are your rivals, and
Capt. L. What's the matter, gentlemen? [They both keep their fencing posture.]
Flash. Don't part us, sir.
Frib. No, pray, sir, don't part us; we shall do you a mischief.
Capt. L. Puff, look to the other gentleman, and
Flash. I like his looks; but I'll not venture too call a surgeon. far at first.
Tag. Speak to him, sir.
Bid and Tag. Ha, ha, ha!
Puff. Bless me! how can you stand under your
Frib. Am I hurt, sir?
Frib. I will. I understand, sir-hem!-that you-wounds, sir ? by Mrs. Tag, here-sir-who has informed mehem!-that you would be glad to speak with meD- -e! [Turns off:]
Flash. I can speak to you, sir, or to anybody, sir; or I can let it alone, and hold my tongue, if I see occasion, sir-D- -e! [Turns off]
Bid. Well said, Mr. Flash, be in a passion. Tag. [To Fribble.] Don't mind his looks; he changes colour already; to him, to him. [Pushes him.] Frib. Don't hurry me, Mrs. Tag, for heaven's sake! I shall be out of breath before I begin, if you do.Sir, [to Flash.] if you can't speak to a gentleman in another manner, sir, why then I'll venture to say, you had better hold your tongue. Oons!
Flash. Sir, you and I are of different opinions. Frib. You and your opinion may go to the devil. Take that. [Turns off to Tag.]
Tug Well said, sir, the day's your own.
Frib. I have done his business. [Struts about.]
Puff. Hurt, sir! why you have-let me see-pray heart; and let me see-hum!-eight through the stand in the light-one, two, three, through the small-guts! Come, sir, make it up the round dozen, and then we'll part you.
All. Ha, ha, ha!
Puff. "Tis the very same, sir.
pleasure of seeing you abroad?
Flash. I have served abroad.
Capt. L. Had not you the misfortune, sir, to be
cannon-ball struck him flat upon his face; he i jest
Capt. L. Pray, sir, what advancement did you get by the service of that day? Flash. My wounds rendered me unfit for service, and I sold out.
Puff. Stole out, you mean. We hunted him by scent to the water side; thence he took shipping for England; and, taking the advantage of my master's absence, has attacked the citadel which we are luckily come to relieve, and drive his honour into the ditch again.
All. Ha, ha, ha! Frib. He, he, he!
Capt L. And now, sir, how have you dared to shew your face in open day, or wear even the outside of a profession you have so much scandalized by your behaviour? I honour the name of a soldier, and as a party concerned, am bound not to see it disgraced. As you have forfeited your title to honour, deliver up your sword this instant.
Flash. Nay, good Captain
Capt. L. No words, sir. [Takes his sword.] Frio. He's a sad scoundrel; I wish I had kicked him.
Capt. L. The next thing I command, leave this house, change the colour of your clothes and fierceness of your looks; appear from top to toe the wretch, the very wretch thou art. If e'er I meet thee in the military dress again, or if you put on looks that belie the native baseness of thy heart, be it where it will, this shall be the reward of thy imJudence and disobedience. [Kicks him, he runs off Bid. Oh my dear Rhodophil!
Frib. What an infamous rascal it is! I thank you, sir, for this favour; but I must after and cane him. [Going, he is stopped by the Captain.
Capt. L. One word with you, too, sir
Bid. But pray, Mr. Fox, how did you get out of your hole? thought you were locked in.
Capt. L. I shot the bolt back when I heard a noise; and, thinking you were in danger, I broke my confinement without any other consideration than your safety. Kisses her hand.]
Bid. I'm afraid the town will be ill-natured enough to think I have been a little coquettish in my behaviour; but I hope, as I have been constant to the Captain, I shall be excused diverting myself with pretenders.
Ladies, to fops and braggarts ne'er be kind,
SCENE I.-The House of Mr. Mordent.
Enter MORDENT and DONALD.
Don. Gin the black de'il glowr at me, I'ze tell ye my mind! Dischairge me, an ye wull: I ha' been nae mair but therty years i' the faimily. I care nae for yeer cankered girns! An ye wad nae hear fashus tales, ye munna be guilty o'fou' deeds!
Mor. Will you speak in a lower key? Earth is wholly inhabited by harpies, and I am eternally haunted by the most malignant of them!
Don. An I get nae tidings of her to-day, I'ze advertize for her i' the public papers: ay, and I'ze gar yeer name be imprented at full langth.
Mor. Terrified. Print my name? Don. The de'il hike me on his horns, gin I dunna! Mor. Demon! I'll blow your brains out! Don. Fiz, wi' your flash i' the pan! I dunna fear ye! Yeer rash and mad enoch! Sham betide ye! a father abandon his child!
Mor. Leprosy seize your licentious tongue! will you speak lower? Did I abandon her?
Don. Ye wad nae acknowledge her; wad nae see her; never frae the time that she war a wee tot at the knee. Gin ye had a hairt ye wad nae aixpose
Don. Tramp the streets! Aixpald the warld of onesty by her ain father! And why, trow? she is s naitural child! To beget children, and then turn them adrift to bag, steal, or stairve, is a d-d un
Mor. Prophet of evil! would you tell all the family? Expose me to my wife?
Don. I'ze aixpose ye tul the whole warld, gin I dunna find her. And what the muckle better shall I be gin I do? A thrawart poverty maun be her lot! Ye ha' diced, and drabbed, and squandered, and mortgaged, till ye wull nae ha' a bawber tul yeersal.
Mor. Cease your croaking, raven! Do you govern this house, or I?
Don. Govern, trow! Balzebub himsal is the governor! There is yeer pet steward-an auld whilly wha! Tak warning! I ha' tould ye afortime, and I tell ye again, he's a rascal!
Mor. Viper, 'tis false! If the earth holds an honest man, Mr. Item is he.
Don. Onest? A juggling loon o' hell! He feigns to borrow the siller for ye, wetch he lends himsel; and the walthy possassions ye lang syne held, wull, eftsoon, be aw his ain.
zeal are unexampled. Mor. I say 'tis false! His truth, integrity, and
Don. Marcy o' God! ye're bewitched!
Mor. What a den of misery is this world! Swarming with one set of fiends that raise the whirlwind of the passions, and with another that beset and tantalize the bewildered wretch for having been overtaken by the storm!
Don. Poor Joanna! winsom lassy. I're keep my
Mor. Can nothing stop your pestiferous tongue? and shewn you that I must not, cannot own her? Have I not fifty times descended to explanation,
Don. Dare not! Ye hanna the hairt to be onest! Ye bogle at shadows!
Mor. Pertinacious devil! The public clamour and bearance of Lady Anne, the resentment of her imdisgrace, the affected sufferings and insulting forperious family, are these shadows?
Enter Mrs. SARSNET.
Mrs. S. What is it you are pleased to be talking, pray, about my lady, Mr. Scotch Donald?
Don. Troth, Mrs. English Sarsnet, nae ward o'ill.
Mrs. S. Ill, truly! No, sir; my lady may defy her | worst enemies; though there are folks, who ought to adore the very ground she treads upon, that use her
like a Turk.
Mor. How now?
Mrs. S. I name no names.
Mor. Who sent for you here, mistress? Mrs. S. My lady sent me here, sir. Mor. And did she bid you behave with impertinence?
Mrs. S. She, indeed! A dear suffering saint! She bid me always behave with affability and decorum; and so I would, if I could. But it would provoke an angel!
Mor. And what is it your wisdom thinks so provoking?
Mrs. S. To see a sweet lady sit for hours, and pine and grieve; and, then, when some folks are in sight, pretend to smile, and be all contentment, when all the while her poor heart is ready to break.
Mor. Then she complains to you?
Mrs. S. I said no such thing, sir! No; she complains to no christian soul! I wish some folks had a little of my spirit; other folks, mayhap, mut find
Don. Troth, an yee wad nae be speaking o' that, Mrs. Sarsnet.
Mrs. S. A poor, weak woman, who can only take her own part by crying and fainting.
Don. Yee forget, Mrs. Sarsnet, there are some poor, weak women that ha' tongues and nails.
Mrs. S. Have they, Mr. Snapshort? Why, then, if I had you for a husband, mayhap, I would let you see that I could use them.
Don. The muckle de'il may doubt yee! Mrs. S. It's a shame, Mr. Donald, for you to be getting into corners, and whispering, and peering, and plotting to my lady's dishonour!
Don. I plotting? How dare yee, Mrs. Sarsnet Mrs. S. You ought to be ashamed of making yourself a spy, and a skip-jack go-between!
Don. I a skip-jack? Varra weel! Yee hear, sir, what are my thanks. 'Tis unco well! I ha' but my desairts! True enoch, I am a go-between !
Mrs. S. Yes; we know that well, Mr. Donald. Don. But nae sic go-between as yee, Mrs. Malapert, may thenk me. I ha' been a trust-worthy caterer tul the family; [to MORDENT] a slave tul yeer revels, and yeer roots, and yeer banquetings. 'Tis lang syne ye made me yeer purveyor; but nae man ever yet made me his pander.
Mor. Begone! See if Mr. Item is returned. Don. Skip-jack! Go-between! Mag's malison o' yeer spitefu' tongue-gab! [Erit. Mor. Did your lady, I say, instruct you to behave with this insolence?
Mrs S. You know very well, sir, my lady is the best of wives! she sent me on a civil message, and bid me speak with propriety; and so, if speaking one's mind and telling the truth be a fault, it's all my own.
Mor. I'll put an end to this.
Mrs. S. Oh! to be sure; you may tell my lady and get me turned away, if you please. Because, I know very well, if you bid her, she will do it.
Mor. Prometheus and his vulture is no fable! Mrs. S. But, as it is all for love of my lady, I am sure the Earl of Oldcrest, her father, will give me a situation. He knows, mayhap, more than you may think; so does the viscount, her brother, too; her aunt, Lady Mary, and her uncle, the bishop: and everybody is not obliged to be so blind and so tame as my lady.
Mor. What is it they know
Mrs. S. That's more than I can say; but they nave all been here, and my lady desires to speak with you. Mor. [Aside.] Indeed!-I have no leisure. Mrs. S. Ah! I told my lady so.
Mor. Begone! inform your lady I have tormentors enough, and have no inclination to increase the number. [Erit.
Mrs. S. I prognostified the answer! A good-fornothing chap! I know very well what is becoming of a husband. He should love his wife dearly, by day and by night: he should wait upon her; and give her her own way; and keep her from the cold and the wet; and provide her with everything comfortable; and if she happen to be in an ill-humour, should coax her, and bear a little snubbing patiently. The fellows! what are they good for? [Exit.
SCENE IL-The Steward's Room.
Enter ITEM and GRIME meeting.
Item. Eagerly. My dear Grime, I am glad you are come. Well, is the deed prepared?
Grime. Ready for sealing. Mr. Mordent never examines what he signs; he trusts all to you.
Item. We cannot be too safe. But this other affair, this Joanna; what have you done? Have you decoyed her to Mrs. Enfield's?
Grime. Really, Mr. Item, she is so fine a creature that, when I consigned her over, I am not a true Christian, if I did not feel such a twinge here
Item. Curse your twinges! Is she safe? Did she suspect nothing?
Grime. No, no! The poor innocent blessed herself to think what a kind protectress Providence had sent her.
Item. That is well! that is well!
Grime. But I do not yet understand why you should seek the ruin of this lovely creature? Item. I? You mistake; 'tis Mr. Mordent. Grime. What! wish destruction to his child? Item. No, no: we neither of us seek her harm, but our own safety.
Grime. Which way?
Item. He has various tormentors: his wife, or rather her proud relations, are among the chief; and he dreads they should come to the knowledge of this secret. But his strongest terror is of being detected in having for years disowned a child, who, if now produced would be his everlasting disgrace.
Grime. Then he does not know that his daughter is now in the house of Mrs. Enfield?
Item. Not a word. His plan, for the present, is to settle her in some profession; for this he will bestow a thousand pounds, which-ha, ha, ha !—I am to expend.
Grime. Or keep?
Item. [Aside.] Plague! I have said too much. Grime. Aside.] Oh, oh! A thousand pounds? Item. That, my dear Grime, would be a paltry motive.
Grime. [Aside.] I'll have my share.
Item. Mr. Mordent has been all his life squandering, like a blockhead, what I have been prudently picking up.
Grime. And pretty pickings you have had, Mr. Item.
Item. [Exulting.] I have him in the toils! Interest accumulating upon interest, and all in arrear. I can forclose upon him, when I please, for all except the Berkshire estate; and by this second mortgage, agreeably to the deed you have brought, equity of re