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THE FUNERAL;

OR,

GRIEF A-LA-MODE.

BY

STEELE.

PROLOGUE.

NATURE's deserted and dramatic art,

But we, still kind to your inverted sense, To dazzle now the eye, has left the heart: Do most unnatural things once more dispense ; Gay lights and dresses, long-extended scenes, For, since you're still prepost'rous in delight, Demons and angels moving in machines ; Our author made, a full house to invite, All that can now, or please, or fright the fair, A funeral for a comedy to-night. May be perform’d without a writer's care, Nor does he fear that you will take the hint, And is the skill of carpenter, not player.

And let the funeral his own be meant ; Old Shakespeare's days could not thus far advance: No, in Old England, nothing can be won But what's his buskin to our ladder dance? Without a faction, good or ill be done : In the mid region a silk youth to stand,

To own this our frank author does not fear, With that unwieldy engine at command ! But hopes for a prevailing party here ; Gorg'd with intemperate meals while here you sit, He knows h' has num'rous friends, nay, knows Well may you take activity for wit.

they'll shew it, Fie, let confusion on such dulness seize! And for the fellow-soldier save the poet. Blush you're so pleas'd, as we, that so we please.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

MEN.
Lord BRUMPTON."
Lord HARDY, Son to Lord Brumpton.
| Mr CAMPLEY.
Mr TRUSTY, Steward to Lord Brumpton.
CABINET.
Mr SABLE, an Undertaker.
PUZZLE, a Lawyer.
TRIM, Seroant to Lord Hardy.
Tom, the Lawyer's Clerk.

WOMEN.
Lady BRUMPTON.
Lady CHARLOTTE, an Orphan, Ward to Lord

Brumpton.
Lady HARRIOT, her Sister.
Mademoiselle D'EPINGLE.
TATTLEAID.
Mrs FARDINGALE.
KATE MATCHLOCK.

Visitant Ladies, SABLE's Servants, Recruits,&c.

SCENE,—Covent-Garden.

ACT I.

Sub. I tell you, sir, 'tis an infallible one: You SCENE I.

know those professions are only to introduce disEnter CABINET, SABLE, and CAMPLEY.

course of matrimony and young fellows.

Cab. But I swear I could not have confidence, Cab. I burst into laughter. I cann't bear to see ev'n after all our long acquaintance, and the muwrit over an undertaker's door, -Dresses for the tual love which his lordship (who, indeed, has dead, and necessaries for funerals !-ha, ha, ha! now been so kind as to leave us) has so long in

Sab. Well, sir, 'tis very well : I know you are terrupted, to mention a thing of such a nature so of the laughers, the wits, that take the liberty to unseasonably. deride all things that are magnificent and solemn. Sab. Unseasonably! Why, I tell you, 'tis the

Cab. But is it not strangely contradictory, that only season, (granting her sorrow unfeigned.) men can come to so open, so apparent an hypo- When would you speak of passion, but in the crisy, as, in the face of all the world, to hire pro midst of passions ? There's a what d'ye call a crifessed mourners to grieve, lament, and follow, in sis—The lucky minute, that's so talk'd of, is a their stead, the nearest relations, and suborn moment between joy and grief, which you must others to do by art what they themselves should take hold of, and push your fortune. But get you be prompted to by nature.

in, and you'll best read your fate in the reception Sub. Ålas ! sir, the value of all things under the Mrs Tattleaid gives you: All she says, and all she sun is merely fantastic.-We run, we strive, and does, nay, her very love and hatred are mere repurchase things with our blood and money, quite petitions of her ladysbip's passions. I'll say that foreign to our intrinsic real happiness, and which for her, she's a truc lady's woman, and is herself have a being in imagination only, as you may see as much a second-hand thing as her clothes. But by the pother that is made about precedence, titles, I must beg your pardon, sir; my people are come; court-favours, maidenheads, and china-ware. I see. (Ereunt CAB. and CAMP. Enter Sable's

Cump. Ay, Mr Sable, but all those are objects Men.)-Where, in the name of goodness, have you that promote our joy, are bright to the eye, or all been? Have you brought the saw-dust and tar, stamp upon our minds pleasure and self-satisfac- for embalming ? Have you the hangings and the tion.

sixpenny nails, and my lord's coat of arms ? Sab. You are extremely mistaken—and there

Enter Servant. is often nothing more inwardly distress'd, than a young bride in her glittering retinue, or deeply Sero. Yes, sir, and had come sooner, but I went joyful, than a young widow in her weeds and to the herald's for a coat for Alderman Gatherblack train ; of both which the lady of this house grease, that died last night

grease, that died last night

he has pronised) may be an instance ; for she has been the one, and is, P'll be sworn, the other.

Sab. Ah! pox take some of our cits; the first Cab. You talk, Mr Sable, most learnedly. thing after their death is to take care of their

Sab. I have the deepest learning, sir,-experi- birth -pox! let him bear a pair of stockings; he ence. Remember your widow cousin, that mar is the first of his family that ever wore one. Well, ried last month.

come, you that are to be mourners in this house, Cab. Ay, but how could you imagine she was put on your sad looks, and walk by me, that I may in all that grief an hypocrite? Could all those sort you. Ha, you! a little more upon the disshrieks, those swoonings, that rising falling bosom mal." [ Forming iheir countenances.] This fellow be constrained? You're uncharitable, Sable, to has a good mortal look-place him near the believe it. What colour, what reason had you corpse ;--that wainscot face must be o' top of the

stairs ;—that fellow almost in a fright (that looks Sub. But, as for her, nothing, she resolv'd, that as if he were full of some strange misery) at the look'd bright or joyous should, after her love's entrance of the hall-So—but I'll fix you all mydeath, approach her. All her servants that were self-Let's have no laughing now, on any provonot coal-black must turn out ; a fair complexion | cation. [Mukes faces.) Look yonder, that hale, made her eyes and heart ache; she'd none but well-looking puppy! You ungrateful scoundrel, downright jet; and, to exceed all example, she did not I pity you, take you out of a great man's hir'd my mourning furniture by the year, and, in service, and shew you the pleasure of receiving case of my mortality, ty'd my son to the saine wages? Did not I give you ten, then fifteen, now article; so in six weeks time ran away with a twenty shillings a week, to be sorrowful? and the young fellow.-Prythee, push on briskly, Mr Ca more I give you, I think, the gladder you are. binet; now is your time to have this widow; for Tattleaid tells me she always said she'd never

Enter u Boy.

Boy. Sir, the grave-digger of St Timothy's in Cib. As you say, that's generally the most the Fields would speak with you.

Sab. Let him come in. VUL, IV,

L

for it?

marry

hopeful sign.

Enter Grave-linger.

L. Brump. Sure, 'tis impossible she should be

such a creature as you tell me My mind reflects Grad. I carried home to your house tl:e shroud upon ten thousand endearments that plead unanthe gentleman was buried in last night: I could swerably for her ;-her chaste reluctant love, her not get his ring off very easily, therefore I brought easy observance of all my wayward humours, to you the finger and all: and, sir, the sexton gives which she would accommodate herself with so his service to you, and desires to know whether much ease, I could scarce observe it was a virtue you'd have any bodies remov'd or not: if not, in her; she hid her very patience. he'll let them lie in their graves a week longer. Trusty. It was all art, sir, or indifference to Sab. Give him my service,

you; for what I say is downright matter of fact.

L. Brump. Why didst thou ever tell me it? or Enter GOODY TRASH.

why not in my life-time? for I must call it so; nor I wonder, Goody Trash, you could not be more can I date a minute mine, after her being false: punctual, when I told you I wanted you, and all past that moment is death and darkness. your two daughters, to be three virgins to-night, Why didst thou not tell me then, I say? to stand in white about my lady Catherine Gris Trusty. Because you were too much in love sel's body; and you know you were privately to with her to be inform’d. I must, I will conjure bring her home from the man-midwife's

, where you to be conceald, and but contain yourself in she died in child-birtb, to be buried like a maid : hearing one discourse with that cursed instrubut there is nothing minded. Well, I have put off ment of all her secrets, that Tattleaid, and you that till to-morrow. Go, and get your bags of will see what I tell you ; you will call me then brick-dust and your whiting; go, and sell to the your guardian and good genius. cook-maids; know who is surfeited about town ; L. Brump. Well, you shall govern me; but bring me no bad news, -- none of your recoveries would I had died in earnest ere I had known it: again. [Exit Goody Trash.] 'And yoil, Mr my head swims, as it did when I fell into my fit, Blockhead, I warrant you have not call’d at Mr at the thoughts of it.--All human life's a inere Pestle's the apothecary: -Will that fellow never vertigo ! pay me? I stand bound for all the poison in that Trusty. Ay, ay, my lord, fine reflections, fine starving murderer's shop! He serves me just as reflections; but that does no business. Thus, sir, Dr Quibus did, who promised to write a treatise we'll stand concealed, and hear, I doubt not, a against water-gruel, a damn'd healthy slop, that much sincerer dialogue than usual between vihas done me more injury than all the faculty. cious persons; for a late accident has given a little Look you now, you are all upon the sneer : let me jealousy, which makes them over-act their love have none but downright stupid countenances, and confidence in each other. [They retire.

I've a good mind to turn you all off, and take Enter Widow and TATTLEAID, meeting, and people out of the play-house; but, hang them, they are as ignorant of their parts as you are of yours :

running to each other. they never act but when they speak ; when the H’id. Oh, Tattleaid ! his and our hour is come! chief indication of the mind is in the gesture, or, Tat. I always said, by his church-yard cough, indeed, in case of sorrow, in no gesture, except you'd bury hini, but still you were impatient. you were to act a widow, or so—but yours, you Ilid. Nay, thou hast ever been my comfort, dolts, is all in dumb show, dumb show. I mean my confidant, my friend, and my servant : and expressive elegant show : as who can see such now I'll reward thy pains; for tho' I scorn the an horrid ugly phiz as that fellow's, and not be whole sex of fellows, I'll give them hopes for thy shocked, offended, and killed of all joy while he sake :-every smile, every frown, every gesture, beholds it? But we must not loiter-Ye stupid humour, caprice, and whimsy of mine shall be rogues, whom I have picked out of the rubbish of gold to thee, girl; thou shalt feel all the sweets mankind, and fed for your eminent worthlessness, and wealth of being a fine rich widow's woman. attend, and know that I speak you this moment Oh! how my head runs my first year out, and stiff and immutable to all sense of noise, mirth, jumps to all the joys of widowhood! If, thirteen or laughter. (Makes mouths at them as they pass months hence, a friend should haul one to a play by him, to bring them to a constant countenance.] one has a mind to see, what pleasure 'twill be, Šo:--they are pretty well-pretty well. [ Exeunt. when my lady Brumpton's footman's called, who

kept a place for that very purpose, to make a Enter TRUSTY and Lord BRUMPTON.

sudden insurrection of fine wigs in the pit and Trusty. 'Twas fondness, sir, and tender duty side-boxes. Then, with a pretty sorrow in one's to you, who have been so worthy and so just a face, and a willing blush, for being stared at, one - master to me, made me stay near you : they left ventures to look round, and bow to one of one's me so, and there I found you wake from your le own quality. Thus (very directly) to a snug prethargic slumber; on which I will assume an au tending fellow of no fortune. Thus [as scarce thority to beseech you, sir, to make just use of seeing him) to one that writes lampoons. Thus your revived life, in seeing who are your true (fearfullys to one one really loves. Thus (looking friends, and knowing her who has so wrought down to one woman acquaintance. From box to upon your noble nature, as to make it act against box thus, (with looks differently familiar.) Then itself, in disinheriting your brave son.

the serenades! the lovers!

Tat. Oh, madam, you make my heart bound

Enter TATTLEAJD.
within me. I'll warrant you, madam, I'll manage
them all ; and, indeed, madam, the men are really

Tat. Madam, Counsellor Puzzle is come to wait very silly creatures: 'tis no such hard inatter

on your ladyship, about the will and the convey

ance of the estate-there must, it seerns, be no They rulers ! they governors ! I warrant you, time lost, for fear of things. Fie, fie, madam, you indeed! Wid. Ay, Tattleaid, they imagine themselves parchment yet --Oh, impious ! to neglect the will

a widow these three hours, and not look'd on a mighty things. I laugh to see men go on our

of the dead! errands, strut in great offices, live in cares, hazards, and scandals, to come home and be fools to husband's so willingly obeyed as his last, But I

Wid. As you say, indeed, there is no will of a us, in brags of their dispatches, and negociations; must go in, and receive him in my forınalities: and their wisdoms—as my good dear deceas'd used to entertain me; which I to relieve myself going behind his desk when he speaks to a

leaning on a couch is a necessary posture, as his from—would lisp some silly request, pat him on the face-He shakes his head at my pretty

client-But do you bring him in hither till I am folly, calls me simpleton, gives me a jewel, then

ready.

(Exit.

Tat. Mr Counsellor, Mr Counsellor ! goes to bed, so wise, so satisfied, and so de

(Calling ceived. Tat. But I protest, madam, I've always won

Enter PUZZLE and Clerk. der'd how you could accomplish my young lord's Puz. Servant, good Madam Tattleaid.--My anbeing disinherited.

cient friend is gone, but business must be minded. Wid. Why, Tatty, you must know, my late Tat. I told my lady twice or thrice, as she lies Mord—How prettily that sounds :-My late lord ! in dumb grief on the couch within, that you were -But, I say, my late lord's foible was generosity here, but she regarded me not; however, since -I press’d him there; and whenever you, by my you say it is of such moment, I'll venture to inorder

, had told him stories to my son-in-law's dis- troduce you. Please but to repose here a little, advantage, in his rage and resentment, I (whose while I step in ; for, methinks, I would a little interest lay otherwise) always fell on my knees prepare her. to implore his pardon, and, with tears, sighs, and Puz. Alas! alas ! poor lady! importunities for him, prevailed against him : Be

(Exit TATTLEAID. sides this, you know I had, when † pleased, fits. — Damn’d hypocrites !-Well, this nobleman's death Fits are a mighty help in the government of a is a little sudden; therefore, pray let me recollect: goocl-natured man.

-Open the bag, good Tom. Now, Tom, thou art Tat. O, rare, madam! Your ladyship's a great my nephew, my dear sister Kate's only son, and head-piece: but now, dear madam, is the hard my heir, therefore I will conceal from thee, on no task, if I may take the liberty to say it-to enjoy occasion, any thing; for I would enter thee into all freedoms, and seem to abstain : but now, ma business as soon as possible. Know then, child, dam, a fine young gentleman, with a red coat, that that the lord of this house was one of your men dances

of honour and sense, who lose the latter in the Wid. You may be sure the happy man (if it be former, and are apt to take all men to be like in fate that there is a happy man, to make me an themselves : now this gentleman entirely trusted unhappy woman) shall not be an old one again : me, and I made the only use a man of business

- but the day is now my own—Yet, now I think can of a trust-I cheated him; for I imperception't, Tattleaid, be sure to keep an obstinate shy- bly, before his face, made his whole estate liable ness to all our old acquaintance.

to an hundred per annum for myself, for good Tat. Ay, madam— believe, madam I speak, services, &c. As for legacies, they are good or madam, but my humble sense-Mr Cabinet would not, as I please; for, let me tell you, a man must marry you.

take pen, ink, and paper, sit down by an old felWid. Marry me! No, Tattleaid, he that is so low, and pretend to take directions, but a true mean as to marry a woman after an affair with lawyer never makes any man's will but his own; her, will be so base as to upbraid that very weak and as the priest of old, among us, got near the

dying man, and gave all to the church, so now Enter a Servant.

the lawyer gives all to the law.

Clerk. Ay, sir, but priests then cheated the naSero. A gentleman to Mrs Tattleaid.

tion by doing their offices in an unknown lan

[Exit Tat. guage. Wid. Go to him.--Bless me! how careless and Puz. True-but ours is a way much surer; for open have I been to this subtle creature in the we cheat in no language at all, but loll in our own case of Cabinet; she's certainly in his interests. coaches, elegant in gibberish, and learned in jingle. How miserable it is to have one one hates always -Pull out the parchment :- There's the deed; about one ; and when one cann't endure one's I made it as long as I could—Well, I hope to own reflection upon some actions, who can bear see the day when the indenture shall be the exact the thoughts of another upon them? But she measure of the land that passes by it; for 'tis a has me by deep secrets.

discouragement to the gown, that every ignorant

ness.

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rogue of an heir should, in a word or two, under- | dict-Comes de Brumpton-totas meas barstand his father's meaning, and hold ten acres of nos-out-housas et stabulus-yardos—But there land by half an acre of parchment–Nay, I hope needs no further perusal. I now recollect the to see the time when that there is indeed some whole-My lord, by this instrument, disinherits progress made in, shall be wholly effected, and, his son utterly, gives all to my lady, and, moreby the improvement of the noble art of tautology, over, grants the guardianship of two fortune every inn in Holborn an inn of court. Let others wards to her- id est, to be sold by her, which is the think of logic, rhetoric, and I know not what im- subject of my business to her ladyship, who, mepertinence, but mind thou tautology—What's the thinks, a little over-does the affair of grief, in letfirst excellence in a lawyer? Tautology. What's ting me wait thus long on such welcome articles the second ? Tautology. What's the third ? Tau -But here tology; as an old pleader said of action. But to turn to the deed-(Pulls out an immeasurable

Enter TATTLEAID, wiping her eyes. parchment] for the will is of no force, if I please, Tat. I have, in vain, done all I can to make for he was not capable of making one after the her regard me. Pray, Mr Puzzle, you're a man former, as I managed it-upon which account of sense, come in yourself, and speak reason, to now wait on my lady:--By the way, Tom, do you bring her to some consideration of herself, if posknow the true meaning of the word a deed ? sible.

Clerk. Ay, sír, as if a man should say the Puz. Tom, I'll come down to the hall to you. deed.

-Dear madam, lead on. Puz. Right; 'tis emphatically so called, be (Exit Clerk one way, PUZZLE and Tatcause after it all deeds and actions are of no ef.

TLEAID another. fect, and you have nothing to do but bang your- (LORD BRUMPTON and Trusty advance from self-theonly obliging thing you can then do. But their concealment, after a long pause, and staI was telling you the use of tautology-Read to ring at each other.] wards the middle of that instrument.

L. Brump. Trusty, on thy sincerity, on thy Clerk. (Rrads.] I, the said Earl of Brumpton, fidelity to me, thy friend, thy patron, and thy do give, bestow, grant, and bequeath, over and master, answer me directly to one questionabove the said premises, all the site and capital Am I really alive ? Am I that identical, that numessuage called by the name of Oatham, and all merical, that very same Lord Brumpton, that out-houses, barns, stables, and other edifices and Trusty. That very lord—that very Lord Brumpbuildings, yards, orchards, gardens, fields, arbors, ton, the very generous, honest, and good Lord trees, lands, earths, meadows, greens, pastures, Brumpton, who spent his strong and riper years feedings, woods, under-woods, ways, waters, water- with honour and reputation :-- that very Lord courses, fishing-ponds, pools, commons, common Brumpton who buried a fine lady, who brought of pasture, paths, heath-thickets, profits, commo him a fine son, who is a fine gentleman; but, in dities, and emoluments, with their and every of his age, that very man, unseasonably captivated their appurtenances whatsoever, to the said capi- with youth and beauty, married a very fine young tal messuage and site belonging, or in any wise ap- lady, who has dishonoured his bed, disinherited pertaining, or with the same heretofore used, oc his brave son, and dances o'er bis grave. cupied, or enjoyed, accepted, executed, known, L. Brump. Oh, that damn'd tautologist too! or taken as part, parcel, or member of the same; That Puzzle, and his irrevocable deed.—{Paucontaining in the whole, by estimation, four hun sing.)-Well, I know I do not really live, but wandred acres of the large measure, or thereabouts, der o'er the place where once I had a treasure be the same more or less : all and singular which --I'll haunt her, Trusty, gaze in that false the said site, capital messuage, and other the pre- beauteous face, till she trembles, till she looks mises, with their and every of their appurtenan- pale, nay, till she blushes. ces, are situate, lying, and being

Trusty. Ay, ay, my lord, you speak a ghost [Puzzle nods and sneers as the synonymous very much ; there's flesh and blood in that ex

words are repeating, whom L. BRUMPTON pression—that false beauteous face ! scornfully mimics.

L. Brump. Then, since you see my weakness, Puz. Hold, hold, good Tom; you do come on be a friend, and arm me with all your care and indeed in business, but do'nt use your nose all

your reason. enough in reading-[Reads in a ridiculous low Trusty. If you'll condescend to let me direct tone, till out of breath.)– Why, you're quite out : you, you shall cut off this rotten limb, this false, you read to be understood-let me see it-1, the disloyal wife, and save your noble parts, your said earl—Now, again, suppose this were to be son, your family, your honour. in Latin-(Runs into Lulin terminations.] Making Short is the date in which ill acts prevail, Latin is only making it no English-Ego pra But honesty's a rock can never fail. (Exeunt.

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