Page images
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

OUR authors have, in most their late essays,

From the front-boxes he has pick'd his style, Prologu'd their own, by damning other plays ; And learns, without a blush to inake them smile; Made great harangues to teach you what was fit A lesson only taught us by the fair ; To pass for humour, and go down for wit. A waggish action -but a modest air. Athenian rules must form an English piece, Among his friends here in the pit he reads And Drury-Lane comply with ancient Greece : Some rules that every modish writer needs. Exactness only, such as Terence writ,

He learns from every Covent-Garden critic's Must please our masqu’d Lucretias in the pit,

face, Our youthful author swears he cares not a pin The modern forms of action, time, and place; For Vossius, Scaliger, Hedelin, or Rapin : The action he's asham'd to name

-d'ye see; He leaves to learned pens such labour'd lays; The time is seven ; the place is Number Three. You are the rules by which he writes his plays.

The masks he only reads by passant looks ; From musty books let others take their view; He dares not venture far into their books. He hates dull reading, but he studies you, Thus then, the pit and boxes are his schools, First, from you beaus his lesson is formality; Your air, your humour, his dramatic rules. And in your footmen there-most nice morality; Let critics censure then, and hiss like snakes; To pleasure them, his Pegasus must fly, He gains his ends, if he light fancy takes, Because they judge—and lodge-three storeys St James's beaus, and Covent-Garden rakes.





FIREBALL, a Sea Captain.
Mons. MARQUIS, a sharping Refugee.


PARLY. Beau CLINCHER, turned Politician,

Lady LUREWELL! DICKY, Sertant to Wisdair.

Servants and Attendants, SHARK, Servant to Fireball.

SCENE,-St James's.



Fire. She's an Eve in herself, and a devil to SCENE I.-The Park.


Stand. She's all truth, and the world a liar. STANDARD and FIREBALL enter, meeting. Fire. Why, then-'Egad, brother, it shall Stand. Ha, brother Fireball! Welcome ashore. be sol'll back again to White's, and whoever

-What, heart whole? Limbs firm, and frigate dares mutter scandal of my brother and sister, safe?

I'll dash his ratafia in his face, and call him Fire. All, all, as my fortune and friends could

(Going wish.

Stand. Hold, hold, sir ; the world is too strong Stand. And what news from the Baltic ? for us. Were scandal and detraction to be tho

Fire. Why, yonder are three or four young boys roughly revenged, we must murder all the beaus, i'th' north, that have got globes and sceptres to and poison half the ladies. Those that have noplay with—They fell to loggerheads about their thing else to say, must tell stories ; fools over play-things; the English came in like Robin Burgundy, and ladies over tea, must have someGood-fellow, cry'd boh! and made them quiet. thing that's sharp to relish their liquor ; malice is

Stand. In the next place, then, you're to con the piquant sauce of such conversation, and withgratulate my success—You have heard, I sup out it their entertainment would prove mighty pose, that I've married a fine lady with a great insipid. Now, brother, why should we pretend fortune.

to quarrel with all mankind? Fire. Ay, ay, 'twas my first news upon my land Fire. Because all mankind quarrel with us. ing, that colonel Standard had married the fine Stand. The worst reason in the world. Would lady Lurewell —A fine lady indeed! a very fine you pretend to devour a lion, because a lion lady!-But, faith, brother, I had rather turn would devour you? skipper to an Indian canoe, than manage the ves Fire. Yes, if I could. sel you're master of.

Stand. Ay, that's right; if you could! But Stand. Why so, sir ?

since you have neither teeth nor paws for such Fire. Because she'll run adrift with every wind an encounter, lie quietly down, and perhaps the that blows: she's all sail and no ballast-Shall I furious beast may run over you. tell you the character I have heard of a fine lady? Fire. 'Sdeath, sir! but I say, that whoever A fine lady can laugh at the death of her hus abuses my brother's wife, though at the back of band, and cry for the loss of her lap-dog. A the king's chair, he's a villain. fine lady is angry without a cause, and pleased Stand. No, no, brother, that's a contradiction ; without a reason. A fine lady has the vapours there's no such thing as villainy at court.-Inall the morning, and the colic all the afternoon. deed, if the practice of courts were found in a The pride of a fine lady is above the merit of an single person, he might be styled villain with a understanding head; yet her vanity will stoop to vengeance; but number and power authorise the adoration of a peruke. And, in fine, a fine every thing, and turn the villain upon their aclady goes to church for fashion's sake, and to the cusers. In ort, sir, every nian's morals, like basset-table with devotion; and her passion for his religion now-a-days, pleads liberty of congaming exceeds her vanity of being thought vir science; every man's conscience is his convenituous, or the desire of acting the contrary, ence, and we know no convenience but preferWe scamen speak plain, brother.

ment-As, for instance, who would be so comStand. You seamen are like your element, al. plaisant as to thank an officer for his courage, ways tempestuous, too ruffling to handle a fine when that's the condition of his pay? And who lady.

can be so ill natured as to blame a courtier for esFire. Say you so? Why then give me thy pousing that which is the very tenure of his livehand, honest Frank, and let the world talk on lihood? and be damn'd.

Fire. Avery good argument in a very damnable Stand. The world talk, say you? What does

But, sir, my business is not with the the world talk ?

court, but with you : I desire you, sir, to open Fire. Nothing, nothing at all: they only say your eyes; at least, be pleased to lend an ear to what's usual upon such occasions

what I heard just now at the chocolate-house. wife's the greatest coquet about the court, and Stand. Brother ! your worship the greatest cnckold about the Fire. Well, sir ! city; that's all.

Stand. Did the scandal please you when you Stund. How, how, sir?

heard it? Fire. That she's a coquet, and you a cuckold. fire. No.

Stand. She's an angel in berself, and a para Stand. Then why should you think it should dise to me!

please me? Be not more uncharitable to your


That your


friends than to yourself, sweet sir. If it made

PARLY enters, running across the Stage. you uneasy, there's no question but it will torment me, who am so much nearer concerned. Here, here, Mrs Parly! Whither so fast?

Fire. But would you not be glad to know your Par. Oh, Lord ! my master ! -Sir, I was enemies?

running to Mademoiselle Furbelo, the French milStand. Pshaw! if they abuse me, they are my liner, for a new Buryundy for my lady's head. friends, my intimate friends, my table company, Stand. No, child; you're employed about an and bottle companions.

old-fashioned garniture for your master's head, if Fire. Why, then, brother, the devil take all I mistake not your errand. your acquaintance. You were so rally'd, so torn! Par. Oh, sir, there's the prettiest fashion late--there was a hundred ranks of sneering white ly come over ! so airy, so French, and all that! teeth drawn upon your misfortunes at once, which –The pinners are double ruffled, with twelve so mangled your wife's reputation, that she can plaits of a side, and open all from the face; the never patch up her honour while she lives. hair is frizzled all up round the head, and stands Stand. And their teeth were very white, you as stiff as a bodkin. Then the favourites hang

loose upon the temples, with a languishing lock Fire. Very white ! Blood, sir, I say they mang- in the middle. Then the caul is extremely wide; led your wife's reputation !

and over all is a coronet raised very high ; and all Stand. And I say, that if they touch my wife's the lappets behind - I must fetch it presently. reputation with nothing but their teeth, her ho Stund. Hold a little, child; I must talk with nour will be safe enough.

you. Fire. Then you won't hear it?

Par. Another time, sir; my lady stays for me. Stand. Not a syllable. Listening after slander Stand. One question, first. What wages does is laying nets for serpents, which, when you have my wife give you? caught, will sting you to death. Let them spit Par. Ten pounds a year, sir, which, God knows, their venom among themselves, and it hurts no is little enough, considering how í slave from body.

place to place upon her occasions. But then, Fire. Lord, Lord, how cuckoldom and content- sir, my perquisites are considerable ; I make ment go together! Fie, fie, sir! consider you above two hundred pounds a year by her old have been a soldier, dignified by a noble post, clothes. distinguished by brave actions, an honour to your Stund. Two hundred pounds a year of her old nation, and a terror to your enemies—Hell ! that clothes! What then must her new ones cost? a man who has stormed Namur should become -But what do you get by visiting gallants, and the jest of a coffee-table. The whole house was piquet? clearly taken up with the two important questions, Par. About a hundred pounds more. whether the colonel was a cuckold, or a kid pirate? Stand. A hundred pounds more !-Now who Stand. This I can't bear.

(Aside. can expect to find a lady's woman honest, when Fire. Ay (says a sneering coxcomb) the colonel she gets so much by being a jade ?-What religion has made his fortune with a witness; he has se are you of, Mrs Parly? cured himself a good estate in this life, and a re Pur. Religion, sir! I can't tell. version in the world to come. Then (replies Siand. What was your father? another) I presume he's obliged to your lordship's Par. A mountebank. bounty for the latter part of the settlement. There Stand. Where was you born? are others (says a third) that have played with my Pur. In Holland. Lady Lurewell at piquet, besides my lord ; I have Sland. Were you ever christened? capotted her myself two or three times in an Par. No. evening.

Stund. How came that? Stand. Oh, matrimonial patience, assist me! Par. My parents were anabaptists; they died Fire. Matrimonial patience! matrimonial pes- before I was dipp'd ; I then forsook their religion, tilence ! Shake off these drowsy chains, that fet- and have got ne'er a new one since. ter your resentments. If your wife has wronged Stand. I'm very sorry, madam, that I had not Je, pack her off, and let her person be as public | the honour to know the worth of your extraction as her character: if she be honest, revenge her sooner, that I might have paid you the respect due quarrel - I can stay no longer-This is my hour to your quality. of attendance at the Navy-Office: I'll come and Pur. Sir, your humble servant. dine with you. In the mean time, revenge! think Stund. Have you any principles?

[Exit. Par. Five hundred. Stand. How easy is it to give advice, and how Stand. Have you lost your maidenhead ?-(She difficult to observe it!—If your wife has wronged puts on her musk, and nods.) —Do you love ye, pack her off-Ay, bụt how? The gospel money? drives the matrimonial 'nail, and the law clinches Pur. Yaw, Mynbeer. it so very hard, that to draw it again would tear Stand. Well, Mrs Parly, now you have been the work to pieces—That her intentions have so free with me, I'll tell you what you must trust 'wronged me, here's a young bawd can witness. to in return : never to come near my house again.


gan truth?

Be gone, monster! fly-Hell and furies! never Par. Then give me earnest. christened ! her father a mountebank !

Stand. Five guineas. (Giving her money. Par. Lord, sir, you need not be so furious ! Par. Are they right? No Gray's-Inn pieces Never christened! What then? I may be a very amongst them ?--All right as my leg-Now, sir, good Christian for all that, I suppose. Turn me I'll give you an earnest of my service. Who dye off! sir, you sha’n’t. Meddle with your fellows; think is come to town? ’tis my lady's business to order her women. Stund. Who?

Stand. Here's a young whore for you now! A Par. Your old friend, Sir Harry Wildair, sweet companion for my wife! Where there's Stand. Impossible ! such a hellish confidante, there must be damna Par. Yes, faith, and as gay as ever. ble secrets

-Be gone, I say—My wife shall turn Stand. And has he forgot his wife so soon? you away:

Par. Why, she has been dead now above a Par. Šir, she won't turn me away ; she sha'n't year.—He appeared in the ring last night with turn me away ; nor she cann't turn me away. Sir, such splendour and equipage, that he eclipsed the I say she dare not turn me away.

beaus, dazzled the ladies, and made your wie Stand. Why, you jade, why?

dream all night of six Flanders mares, seven Par. Because I'm the mistress, not shc. French liveries, a wig like a cloak, and a hat like Stand, You the mistress!

a shuttlecock. Par. Yes, I know all her secrets; and let her Sland. What are a woman's promises and offer to turn me off if she dares.

oaths ? Stand. What secrets do you know?

Par. Wind, wind, sir, Par. Humph-Tell a wife's secrets to her Stand. When I married her, how heartily did husband !--Very pretty, faith !-Sure, sir, you she condemn her light preceding conduct, and don't think me such a Jew; though I was never for the future vowed herself a perfect pattern of christened, I have more religion than that comes to. conjugal fidelity!

Stand. Are you faithful to your lady for af Par. She might as safely swear, sir, that this fection or interest ?

day se’nnight, at four o'clock, the wind will blow Pur. Shall I tell you a Christian lie, or a Pa- fair for Flanders. 'Tis presuming for any of us

all to promise for our inclinations a whole week, Slund. Come, truth for once.

Besides, sir, my lady has got the knack of coquetPar. Why, then, interest, interest! I have a ting it; and when once a woman has got that in great soul, which nothing can gain, but a great her head, she will have a touch on't every where bribe.

else. Stand. Well, though thou art a devil, thou art Stand. An oracle, child. But now I must a very honest one-Give me thy hand, wench. make the best of a bad bargain; and since I have Should not interest make you faithful to me, as got you on my side, I have some hopes, that by much as to others ?

constant disappointment and crosses in her de Par. Honest to you! Marry, for what? You signs, I may at last tire her into good behaviour. gave me indeed two pitiful pieces the day you Par, Well, sir, the condition of the articles were married, but not a stiver since. One gal-being duly performed, I stand to the obligation, lant gives me ten guineas, another a watch, and will tell you farther, that by and by Sir Har. another a pair of pendants, a fourth a diamond ry Wildair is to come to our house to cards, and ring, and my noble master gives me his linen that there is a design ļaid to cheat him of his to mend.--Faugh !--I'll tell you a secret, sir :

money. stinginess to servants makes more cuckolds than Stund. What company will there be besides ? ill-nature to wives.

Par. Why, the old set at the basset-table; my Stund. And anı I a cuckold, Parly?

Lady Lovecards, and the usual company. They Par. No, faith, not yet; though in a very fair have made up a bank of fifteen hundred louis d'ors way of having the dignity conferred upon you among them; the whole design lies upon Sir very suddenly.

Harry's purse; and the French marquis, you know, Štand. Come, girl, you shall be my pensioner; constantly taillees. you shall have a glorious revenue : for every Stand." Ay, the French marquis; that's one of guinea that you get for keeping a secret, I'll give your benefactors, Parly;--the persecution of basyou two for revealing it ; you shall find a hus- set in Paris furnished us with that refugée, but band once in your life out-do all your gallants in the character of such a fellow ought not to reflect generosity. Ťake their money, child; take all on those who have been real sufferers for their their bribes; give them hopes; make them as religion.-But take no notice. Be sure only to signations; serve your lady faithfully, but tell inform me of all that passes. There's more earall to me: by which means, she will be kept nest for you : be rich and faithful. chaste, you will grow rich, and I shall preserve

[Exit STANDARD. my honour,

Par. (Sola.] I am now not only woman to the Par. But what security shall I have for per- Lady Lurewell, but steward to her husband, in formance of articles ?

my double capacity of knowing her secrets, and Stand. Rcady payment, child,

commanding his purse. A very pretty office in

a family: for every guinea that I get for keeping there was our labour lost.-Bat, to be short, a secret, he'll give me two for revealing it. my poor lady, with the tiresomeness of travelling, My comings in, at this rate, will be worth a mas feil sick—and died. ter in chancery's place, and many a poor tem Par. Poor woman! plar will be glad to marry me with half my for Dick. Ay, but that was not all. Here comes tune.

the worst of the story. Those cursed barbarous

devils, the French, would not let us bury her. DICKY enters, meeting her.

Par. Not bury her! Dick. Here's a man much fitter for your pur Dick. No, she was a heretic woman, and they poses.

would not let her corpse be put in their holy Pur. Bless me! Mr Dicky?

ground. -Oh! damn their holy ground for me. Dick. The very same in "longitude and lati Par. Now, had not I better be an honest Patude ! not a bit diminished, nor a hair's-breath gan, as I am, than such a Christian as one of increased.—Dear Mrs Parly, give me a buss, for these ?--But how did you dispose the body? I'm almost starved.

Dick. Why, there was one charitable gentle. Par. Why so hungry, Mr Dicky?

woman that used to visit my lady in her sickness; Dick. Why, I ha'n't tasted a bit this year and she contrived the matter so, that she had her half, woman. I have been wandering about all buried in her own private chapel. This lady and over the world, following my master, and come myself carried her out upon our own shoulders, home to dear London but two days ago. Now, through a back-door, at the hour of midnight, and the devil take me, if I had not rather kiss an laid her in a grave that I dug for her with my English pair of pattens, than the finest lady in own bands; and if we had been catched by the France.

priests, we had gone to the gallows, without the Par. Then you're overjoyed to see London benefit of clergy. again?

Par. Oh, the devil take them. But what did Dick. Oh! I was just dead of a consumption, they mean by a heretic woman? till the sweet smoke of Cheapside, and the dear Dick. I don't know ; some sort of cannibal, I perfume of Fleet-ditch, made me a man again. believe. I know there are some cannibal women

Par. But how came you to live with Sir Har- here in England, that come to the play-houses in Ty Wildair?

masks; but let them have a care how they go to Dick, Why, seeing me a handsome personable France; (for they are all heretics, I believe). fellow, and well qualified for a livery," he took a But I'm sure my good lady was none of these. fancy to my figure, that was all.

Par. But how did Sir Harry bear the news? Par. And what's become of your old master? Dick. Why, you must know, that my lady, Dick. Oh, hang him, he was a blockhead, and after she was buried, sent me I turned him off, I turned him away.

Par. How! after she was buried? Par. And were you not very sorry for the loss Dick. Pshaw! Why, Lord, mistress, you know of your mistress, Sir Harry's lady? They say, she what I mean; I went to Sir Harry all the way to was a very good woman.

Rome; and where d'ye think I found him? Dick. Oh! the sweetest woman that ever the Par. Where? sun shined upon. I could almost weep when I Dick. Why, in the middle of a monastery, think of her.

(Wiping his eyes. among a hundred and fifty nuns, playing at hotPar. How did she die, pray? I could never hear cockles. He was surprised to see honest Dicky, how 'twas.

you may be sure. But when I told him the sad Dick. Give me a buss then, and I'll tell ye. story, he roared out a whole volley of English Par. You shall have your wages when your oaths upon the spot, and swore that he would work's done.

set fire to the pope's palace for the injury done Dick. Well then-Courage! —Now for a dole- to his wife. He then flew away to his chamber, ful tale-You know that my master took a freak locked himself up for three days: we thought to to go see that foolish jubilee that made such a have found him dead; but instead of that, he noise among us here; and no sooner said than called for his best linen, fine wig, gilt coach, and, donc ; away he went; he took his fine French laughing very heartily, swore again he would be servants to wait on him, and left me, the poor revenged, and bid them drive to the nunnery; English puppy, to wait upon

his lady at home and he was revenged to some purpose. here. Well, so far so good-But scarce was my Par. How, how, dear Mr Dicky? master's back turned, when my lady fell to sigh Dick. Why, in a matter of five days, he got ing, and pouting, and whining, and crying; and, six nuns with child, and left them to provide for in short, fell sick upon't,

their heretic bastards -Ah, plague on them, Par. Well

, well, I know all this already; and they hate a dead heretic, but they love a pipingthat she plucked up her spirits at last, and went hot warm heretic with all their hearts.--So 80 follow him.

away we came; and thus did he jog on, revenging Dick. Very well. Follow him we did, far anel himself at this rate through all the catholic counfar, and farther than I can tell, till we came to a tries that we passed, till we came home; and place called Montpelier, in France; a goodly now, Mrs Parly, I fancy he has soine designs of place truly. But Sir Harry was gone to Rome' ;revenge too upon your lady.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »