Page images


Plume. Can he write ?

should hold them open when a friend's so near Kite. Hum! he plays rarely upon the fiddle. The man has got the vapours in his ears, I be

Plume. Keep hin, by all means—But how lieve. I must expel this melancholy spirit. stands the country affected? were the people Spleen, thou worst of fiends below, pleas'd with the news of my coming to town? Fly, I conjure thee, by this magic blow. Kite. Sir, the mob are so pleas'd with your

(Słups WORTHY on the shoulder. nour, and the justices and better sort of people Wor Plume ! iny dear captain! welcome. Safe are so delighted with me, that we shall soon do and sound return'd! your business

-But, sir, you have got a re Plume. I escaped safe from Germany, and cruit here, that you little think of.

sound, I hope, from London: you see I have lost Plume. Who?

neither leg, arm, nor nose. Then, for my inside, 'tis Kite. One that you beat up for the last time neither troubled with sympathies nor antipathies; you were in the country. You remember your and I have an excelient stomach for roast beef. old friend Molly at the Castle?

Wor. Thou art a happy fellow: once I was so. Plume. She's not with child, I hope.

Plume. What ails thee, man? no inundations Kile. She was brought to-bed yesterday. nor earthquakes in Wales I hope ? Has your faPlume. Kite, you must father the child. ther rose from the dead, and reassumed his esKite. And so her friends will oblige me to tate? marry the mother.

Wor. No. Plume. If they should, we'll take her with us; Plume. Then you are married, surely? she can wash, you know, and make a bed upon Wor. No. occasion.

Plume. Then you are mad, or turning quaker? Kue. Ay, or unmake it upon occasion. But Wor. Come, I must out with it-Your once your honour knows that I am married already. gay, roving friend is dwindled into an obsequious, Plume. To how many ?

thoughtful, romantic, constant coxcomb. Kite. I cann't tell readily“I have set them Plume. And pray what is all this for? down here upon the back of the muster-roll

. Wor. For a woman. (Draws it out.] Let me see

- Imprimis, Mrs Plume. Shake hands, brother. If thou go to Shely Snikereyes; she sells potatoes upon Or- that, behold me as obsequious, as thoughtful, and mond key in Dublin-Peggy Guzzle, the brandy as constant a coxcomb as your worship. woman, at the Horse-Guards at Whitehall-Dolly lor. For whom? Waggon, the carrier's daughter, at Hull-Mada Plume. For a regiment !--but for a woman! moiselle Van Bottomflat, at the Buss—then Jenny Sdeath! I have been constant to fifteen at a Oakum, the ship carpenter's widow

at Portsmouth; time, but never melancholy for one : and can the but I don't reckon upon her, for she was mar- love of one bring you into this condition? Pray, ried at the same time to two lieutenants of ma who is this wonderful Helen? rines and a man of war's boatswain.

Wor. A Helen indeed! not to be won under Plume. A full company—you have named five- ten years siege; as great a beauty, and as great & come, make them half-a-dozen-Kite, is the childjilt. a boy or a girl ?

Plume. A jilt! pho! is she as great a whore? Kite. A chopping boy.

Wor. No, no. Plume. Then set the mother down in your Plume. 'lis ten thousand pities ! But who is list, and the boy in mine; enter him a grenadlier, she? do I know her? by the name of Francis Kite, absent upon furlough Wor. Very well. -I'll allow you a man's pay for his subsistence; Plume. That's impossible---I know no woman and now, go comfort the weneh in the straw. that will hold out a ten years siege. Kite. I shall, sir.

Wor. What think you of Melinda ? Plume. Bui hold, have you mate any use of Plume. Melinda! why, she began to capitulate pour German doctor's babit since you arriv'd ? this time twelvemonth, and offered to surrender Kite. Yes, yes, sir, and my fame's all about upon honourable terms ; and I advised you to

country, for the most faithful fortune-teller propose a settlement of five huvdred pounds athat ever told a lie— I was obliged to let my land- year to her, before I went last abroad. lord into the secret, for the convenience of keep Wor. I did, and she hearken’d to it, desiring ing it so; but he is an honest fellow, and

will only one week to consider-when, beyond her be faithful to any roguery that is trusted to him. hopes, the town was reliev’d, and I forc'd to turn This device, sir, will get you men and me mo

my siege into a blockade. ney, which, I think, is all we want at present Plume. Explain, explain. But yonder comes your friend, Mr Worthy. Wor. My lady Richly, her aunt, in Flintshire, Has your honour any farther commands ? dies, and leaves her, at this critical time, twenty

Plume. None at present. (Erit Kite.). 'Tis thousand pounds. indeed the picture of Worthy, but the life's de Plume. Oh, the devil! what a delicate woman

was there spoild! But, by the rules of war, now Enter WORTHY.

-Worthy, blockade was foolish-After such

a convoy of provisions was enter'd the place, you - What! arms across, Worthy! methinks you could have no thought of reducing it by famine ;




you should have redoubled your attacks, taken If your town has a dishonourable thought of Sylthe town by storm, or have died upon the breach. via, it deserves to be burnt to the ground, I love

Wor. I did make one general assault, but was Sylvia, I admire her frank generous dispositionso vigorously repuls’d, that, despairing of ever there's

's something in that girl more than woman gaining her for a mistress, I have alter'd my con -her sex is but a foil to her—the ingratitude, duct, giving my addresses the obsequious and dis- dissimulation, envy, pride, avarice, and vanity of tant turn, and court her now for a wife.

her sister females do but set off their contraries Plume. So, as you grew obsequious she grew in her-In short, were I once a general, I wou'd haughty, and because you approached her like a

marry her. goddess, she us’d you

a dog.

Wor. Faith, you have reason—for were you Wor. Exactly.

but a corporal, she would marry you-But my Plume. 'Tis the way of 'em all -Come, Melinda coquets it with every fellow she sees Worthy, your obsequious and distant airs will I'll lay fifty pounds she makes love to you. never bring you together; you must not think to Plume. I'll lay you a hundred, that I return surmount her pride by your humility. Wou'd | it, if she does.-Look'e, Worthy, I'll win ber, and you bring her to better thoughts of you, she give her to you afterwards. must be reduc'd to a meaner opinion of herself. Wor, If you win her you shall wear her, faith; Let me see,—the very first thing that I would do I would not yalue the conquest without the credit should be to lie with her chamber-maid, and hire of the victory. three or four wenches in the neighbourhood to report that I had got them with child Sup

Enter KITE. pose we lampoon'd all the pretty women in town, Kite. Captain, captain ! a word in your ear. and left her out; or, what if we made a ball, and Plume. You may speak out, here are none but forgot to invite her, with one or two of the ug-friends. liest.

Kite. You know, sir, that you sent me to comWor. These would be mortifications, I must fort the good woman in the straw, Mrs Mollyconfess; but we live in such a precise, dull my wife, Mr Worthy. place that we can have no balls, no lampoons, Wor. O bo! very well. I wish you joy, Mr Kite.

Kite. Your worship very well may—for I have Plume. What! no bastards! and so many re got both a wife and a child in half an hour-But cruiting officers in town! I thought 'twas a max as I was saying—you sent me to comfort Mrs im among them to leave as many recruits in the Molly—my wife, I mean--but what d'ye think, country as they carried out,

sir ? she was better comforted before I came. Wor. Nobody doubts your good will, noble Plume. As how? captain, in serving your country with your best Kite. Why, sir, a footman in a blue livery had blood, witness our friend Molly at the Castle; brought her ten guineas, to buy her baby-clothes. there have been tears in town about that busi Plume. Who, in the name of wonder, could ness, captain.

send them? Plume. I hope Sylvia has not heard of it. Kite. Nay, sir, I must whisper that,Mrs Syl

Wor. Oh, sir, have you thought of her? I via. began to fancy you had forgot poor Sylvia. Plume. Sylvia! generous creature!

Plume. Your affairs had quite put mine out of War. Sylvia ! impossible ! my head. 'Tis true, Sylvia and I had once agreed Kite. Here are the guineas, sir-I took the to go to bed together, could we have adjusted gold, as part of my wife's portion. Nay, farther, preliminarieș ; but she would have the wedding sir, she sent word the child should be taken all before consummation, and I was for consumma- imaginable care of, and that she intended to stand tion before the wedding: we could not agree. godmother. The same footman, as I was coming She was a pert, obstinate fool, and would lose her

to you with this news, call’d after me, and told maidenhead her own way; so she might keep it me, that his lady would speak with me, I went, for Plume.

and upon hearing that you were come to town, Wor. But do you intend to marry upon po she gave me half-a-guinea for the news, and orother conditions ?

der'd me to tell you, that Justice Balance, her faPlume. Your pardon, sir; I'll marry upon no ther, who is just come out of the country, would conditions at all - If I should, I am resolv'd never be glad to see you. to bind myself down to a woman for my

whole Plume. There's a girl for you, Worthy-Is life, till I know whether I shall ļike her com there any thing of woman in this ?-No, 'tis noble, pany for half an hour. Suppose I marry'd a wo

generous, manly friendship. Shew me another man that wanted a leg-such a thing might be, woman that would lose an inch of her prerogative unless I examined the goods before-hand. -If that way, without tears, fits, and reproaches. The people would but try one another's constitutions common jealousy of her sex, which is nothing before they engag'd, it would prevent all these but their avarice of pleasure, she despises, and elopements, divorces, and the devil knows what.

can part with the lover though she dies for the Wor. Nay, for that matter, the town did not man-Come, Worthy—where's the best' wine? stick to say that

for there I'll quarter. Plume. I hate country towns for that reason Wor. Horton has a fresh pipe of choice Bara

[ocr errors]

we go

celona, which I would not let him pierce before, Syl. And there's a pleasure in being mad because I reserv'd the maidenhead of it for your

Which none but madmen know. welcome to town.

Mel. Thou poor, romantic Quixote !-hast Plume. Let's away, then-Mr Kite, go to the thou the vanity to imagine that a young, sprightlady, with my humble service, and tell her, I shall ly officer, that rambles o'er half the globe in half only refresh a little, and wait upon


a year, can confine his thoughts to the little Wor. Hold, Kite-have you seen the other re- daughter of a country justice, in an obscure part cruiting captain ?

of the world? Kite. No, sir; I'd have you to know I don't Syl. Pshaw! what care I for his thoughts ? I keep such company;

should not like a man with confined thoughts; it Plume. Another! who is he?

shews a narrowness of soul. Constancy is but a Wor. My rival, in the first place, and the most dull, sleepy quality at best; they will hardly adunaccountable fellow-but I'll tell you more as mit it anong the manly virtues, nor do I think it

(Exeunt. deserves a place with bravery, knowledge, policy,

justice, and some other qualities that are proper SCENE II.-An Apartment. MELINDA and for that noble sex. In short, Melinda, I think SYLVIA meeting.

a petticoat a mighty simple thing, and I am Mel. Welcome to town, cousin Sylvia. (Salute.) heartily tired of my sex. I envy'd you your retreat in the country; for Mel. That is, you are tir'd of an appendix to Shrewsbury, methinks, and all your heads of our sex, that you cann't so handsomely get rid of shires, are the most irregular places for living: in petticoats as if you were in breeches.-0' my here we have smoke, scandal, affectation, and conscience, Sylvia, hadst thou been a man, thou pretension ; in short, every thing to give the hadst been the greatest rake in Christendom. spleen—and nothing to divert it-then the air is Syl. I should have endeavoured to know the intolerable.

world, which a man can never do thoroughly Syl. Oh, madam! I have heard the town com without half a hundred friendships, and as many mended for its air.

amours. But, now I think on't, how stands your Mel. But

you don't consider, Sylvia, how long affair with Mr. Worthy? I have lived in it; for I can assure you, that, to Mel. He's my aversion. a lady the least nice in her constitution—no air Syl. Vapours ! can be good above half a year. Change of air I Mel. What do you say, madam? take to be the most agreeable of any variety in Syl. I say that you should not use that honest life.

fellow so inhumanly: he's a gentleman of parts Syl. As you say, cousin Melinda, there are se and fortune, and, besides that, he's my Plume's veral sorts of airs.

friend; and, by all that's sacred, if you don't use Mel. Pshaw ! I talk only of the air we breathe, him better, I shall expect satisfaction. or, more properly, of that we taste-Have not you, Mel. Satisfaction ! you begin to fancy yourSylvia, found a vast difference in the taste of airs? self in breeches in good earnest-But, to be plain

Syl. Pray, cousin, are not vapours a sort of with you, I like Worthy the worse for being so air! Taste air ! you might as well tell me I may intimate with your captain, for I take him to be feed upon air ! But prythee, my dear Melinda ? a loose, idle, unmannerly coxcomb. don't put on such an air to me. Your education Syl. Oh, madam ! you never saw him, perand mine were just the same, and I remember the haps, since you were mistress of twenty thousand time when we never troubled our heads about pounds : you only knew him when you were caair

, but when the sharp air from the Welch moun- pitulating with Worthy for a settlement, which tains made our fingers ache in a cold morning at perhaps might encourage him to be a little loose the boarding-school.

and unmannerly with you. Mel. Our education, cousin, was the same, Mel. What do you inean, madam ? but our temperaments had nothing alike: you Syl. My meaning needs no interpretation, have the constitution of an horse.

madam. Syl. So far as to be troubled neither with Mel, Better it had, madam, for methinks you spleen, cholic, nor vapours. I need no salts for are too plain. my stomach, no hartshorn for my head, nor wash Syl. If you mean the plainness of my person, I for my complexion ; I can gallop all the morn think your ladyship’s as plain as me to the full. ang after the hunting horn, and all the evening Mel

. Were I sure of that, I would be glad to after a fiddle. In short, I can do every thing take up with a rake-helly officer, as you do. with my father, but drink, and shoot flying; and Syl. Again ! look'e, madam, you are in your I am sure I can do every thing my mother could, own house. were I put to the trial.

Mel. And if you had kept in yours, I should Mel. You are in a fair way of being put to't, have excused you. for I am told your captain is come to town. Syl. Don't be troubled, madam; I sha'n't de

Syl, Ay, Melinda, he is come, and I'll take sire to have my visit returned. care he sha'n't go without a companion.

Mel. The sooner, therefore, you make an end Mel. You are certainly mad, cousin.

of this the better,

Syl. I am easily persuaded to follow my in- \ -I have it-Bring me pen and ink-Hold, III dinations; and so, madam, your humble seryant. go write in my closet.

(Exit. Lucy. An answer to this letter, I hope, madam! Mel. Saucy thing!

(Presents a letter.

Mel. Who sent it?
Enter Lucy.

Lucy. Your captain, madam.
Lucy. What's the matter, madam ?

Mel. He's a fool, and I'm tir'd of him: Send Mei. Did not you see the proud nothing, how it back unopen'd. she swelld upon the arrival of her fellow? Lucy. The messenger's gone, madam.

Lucy. Her fellow has not been long enough Mel. Then how should I send an answer ? arriv'd to occasion any great swelling, madam: Call him back immediately, while I go write. I don't believe she has seen him yet.

(Exeunt. Mel. Nor sha'n't, if I can help it-Let me see


like you.

one of my legs to have deluded the daughter of SCENE I.-An Apartment.

an old country gentleman like me, as I was then Enter Justice BALANCE and PLUME.

Plume. But, sir, was that country gentleman Bal. Look'e, captain, give us but blood for your friend and benefactor? our money, and you sha'n't want men. I re Bal. Not much of that. member that for some years of the last war we Plume. There the comparison breaks: the fahad no blood, no wounds, but in the officers' vours, sir, thatmouths; nothing for our millions but news-pa Bal. Pho, pho! I hate set speeches : If I have pers not worth a reading-Our army did nothing done you any service, captain, it was to please but play at prison-bars, and hide and seek with myself

. I love thee, and if I could part with my the enemy; but now ye have brought us colours, girl, you should have her as soon as any young and standards, and prisoners-Ads my life, cap fellow I know; but I hope you have more honour tain, get us but another marshal of France, and than to quit the service, and she more prudence I'll go myself for a soldier.

than to follow the camp: but she's at her own Plume. Pray, Mr Balance, how does your fair disposal: she has fifteen hundred pounds in her daughter?

pocket, and so-Sylvia, Sylvia !

(Calls. Bah. Ah, captain! what is my daughter to a marshal of France! we're upon a nobler subject:

Enier SYLVIA. I want to have a particular description of the Syl. There are some letters, sir, come by the battle of Hockstet.

post from London ; I left them upon the table in Plume. The battle, sir, was a very pretty bat- your closet. tle, as any one should desire to see; but we were Bal. And here is a gentleman from Germany. all so intent upon victory that we never minded (Presents PLUME to her.] Captain, you'll excuse the battle: all that I know of the matter is, our me; I'll go read my letters, and wait on you. general commanded us to beat the French, and

{Erit. we did so; and, if he pleases but to say the word, Syl. Sir, you are welcome to England. we'll do it again. But pray, sir, how does Mrs Plume. You are indebted to me a welcome, Sylvia ?

madam, since the hopes of receiving it from this Bal. Still upon Sylvia ! for shame, captain ! fair band was the principal cause of my seeing you are engaged already, wedded to the war: England. Victory is your mistress, and 'tis below a soldier Syt. I have often heard that soldiers were sinto think of any other.

cere; may I venture to believe public report? Plume. As a mistress, I confess, but as a friend, Plume. You may, when 'tis back'd by private Mr Balance

assurance; for I swear, niadam, by the honour Bal. Come, come, captain, never mince the of my profession, that whatever dangers I went matter; would not you debauch my daughter if upon, it was with the hope of making myself more

worthy of your esteem; and if ever I had Plume. How, sir! I hope she is not to be de- thoughts of preserving my life, 'twas for thie pleabauch'd.

sure of dying at your feet. Bal. Faith but she is, sir, and any woman in Syl. Well, well, you shall die at my feet, or England, of her age and complexion, by your youth where you will; but you know, sir, there is a and vigour. Look'e, captain, once I was young, certain will and testament to be made beforeand once an officer, as you are, and I can guess hand. at your thoughts now by what mine were then; Plume. My will, madam, is made already, and and I remember very well that I would have given there it is ; and if you please to open that parch

you could ?

of him s

[ocr errors]

shent, which was drawn the evening before the heir to my estate and family :-fifteen hundred patle of Hockstet, you will find whom I left my pounds, indeed, I might trust in his hands, and it heir.

might do the young fellow a kindness; but Syl. Mrs Sylvia Balance.(Opens the will, and ods my life ! twelve hundred pounds a-year reads.] Well, captain, this is a handsome and a would ruin him, quite turn his brain-A captain substantial compliment ; but I can assure you I of foot worth twelve hundred pounds a-year !, am much better pleased with the bare knowledge 'tis a prodigy in nature! Besides this, I have of your intention, than I should have been in the five or six thousand pounds in woods upon my. possession of your legacy: but, methinks, sir, estate: oh! that would make him stark mad'; you should have left something to your little boy for you must know that all captains have a mighty at The Castle.

aversion to timber; they cann't endure to see Plume. That's home. (Aside.] My little boy ! trees standing. Then I should have some rogue Lack-a-day, madam! that alone may convince of a builder, by the help of his damn'd magic art, you 'twas none of mine: why, the girl, madam, transform my noble oaks and elms into cornices, is my serjeant's wife, and so the poor creature portals, sashes, birds, beasts, and devils, to adorn gave out that I was the father, in hopes that my some maggoty new-fashion’d bauble upon the friends might support her in case of neces Thames; and then you should have a dog of a sity-That was all, madam-My boy! no, no, gard'ner bring a habeas corpus upon my terra no !

firma, remove it to Chelsea or Twickenham, and:

clap it into grass-plots and gravel-walks.
Enter a Servant.
Sero. Madam, my master has receiv'd some ill

Enter a Servant. news from London, and desires to speak with Sero. Sir, here's one with a letter below for you immediately; and he begs the captain's par- your worship, but he will deliver it into no hands: don that he cann't wait on him, as he promised. but your own. Plume. Il news! Heavens avert it ! Nothing

Bul. Come, shew me the messenger. could touch me nearer than to see that generous,

(Erit with Servant. worthy gentleman afflicted. I'll leave you to Syl Make the dispute between love and duty, comfort him, and be assured, that if my life and and I am Prince Prettyman exactly-If my bro fortune can be any way serviceable to the father ther dies, ah, poor brother! if he lives, ah,

poor of my Sylvia, he shall freely command both. sister! It is bad both ways. I'll try it again

Syl. The necessity must be very pressing that Follow my own inclinations, and break my father's would engage me to endanger either.

heart, or obey his commands, and break my own! (Exeunt sederally. Worse and worse. Suppose I take it thus:-A

moderate fortune, a pretty fellow, and a pad; or, SCENE II.-Another Apartment.

a fine estate, a coach-and-six, and an ass-That:

will never do neither.

Enter BALANCE and a Servant.
Syl. Whilst there is life there is hope, sir:
perhaps my brother may recover.

Bal. Put four horses to the coach. [To, a Sere
Bal. We have but little reason to expect it: vant, who goes out.) Ho, Sylvia !
the doctor Kilman acquaints me here, that be Syl. Sir.
fore this comes to my hands he fears I shall have Bal. How old were you when your mother died?
no son.-Poor Owen !—but the decree is just: I Syl. So young that I don't remember I ever
was pleased with the death of my father, because had one; and you have been sp careful, so ina
he left me an estate, and now I am punish'd with dulgent to me since, that indeed I never want-
the loss of an heir to inherit mine. I must now
look upon you as the only hopes of my family; Bal. Have I ever denied you any thing you:
and I expect that the augmentation of your for- ask'd of me?
tune will give you fresh thoughts and new pro Syl. Never, that I remember.

Bal. Then, Sylvia, I must beg that, once in Syl. My desire in being punctual in my obedi- your life, you would grant me a favour. ence requires that you would be plain in your Syl. Why should you question it, sir? commands, sir.

Bal. I don't, but I would rather coupsel than Bal. The death of your brother makes you command. I don't propose this with the authosole heiress to my estate, which, you know, is rity of a parent, but as the advice of your friend, about twelve hundred pounds a-year: this for that you would take the coach this moment, and tune gives you a fair claim to quality and a title: go into the country, you must set. a just value upon yourself, and, in Syl. Does this advice, sir, proceed from the plain terms, think no more of Captain Plume. contents of the letter you receiv'u just now?

Syl. You have often commended the gentle Bul. No matter; I will be with you in three man, sir.

or four, days, and then give you my reasonsBal. And I do so still; he's a very pretty fel- but before you go, I expect you will make me one low; but though I lik'd him well enough for a solemn promise. bare son-in-law, I don't approve of him for an Syl. Propose the thing, sir.


ed one.

« PreviousContinue »