Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

SCENE I.-Gayless's lodgings. to rely on so great uncertainty as a fine lady's

mercy and good-nature, Enter GAYLESS and SHARP.

Gay. I know her generous temper, and am alShap. How, sir, shall you be married to-mor- most persuaded to rely upon it. What! because row ! eh? I'm afraid you joke with your poor I am poor, shall I abandon my honour? humble servant.

Shurp. Yes, you must, sir, or abandon me. So, Gay. I tell thee, Sharp, last night Melissa con- pray, discharge one of us; for eat I must, and sented, and fixed to-morrow for the happy day. speedily too : and you know very well, that that

Sharp. 'Tis well she did, sir, or it might have honour of yours will neither introduce you to a been a dreadful one for us in our present con- great man's table, nor get me credit for a single dition : all your money spent; your moveables beef-steak. sold; your honour almost ruined, and your hum Gay. What can I do? ble servant almost starved; we could not possi Sharp. Nothing, while bonour sticks in your bly have stood it two days longer-But if this throat. Do, gulp, master, and down with it. young lady will marry you, and relieve us, o'my Gay. Pr'ythee leave me to my thoughts. conscience I'll turn friend to the sex, rail no Shurp. Leave you ! No, not in such bad commore at matrimony, but curse the whores, and pany, I'll assure you. Why, you must certainly think of a wife myself.

be a very great philosopher, sir, to moralize and Gay. And yet, Sharp, when I think how I have declaim so charmingly as you do, about honour imposed upon her, I am almost resolved to throw and conscience, when your doors are beset with myself at her feet, tell her the real situation of bailiffs, and not one single guinea in your pocket my affairs, ask her pardon; and implore her pity. to bribe the villains.

Sharp. After marriage, with all my heart, sir; Guy. Don't be witty, and give your but don't let your conscience and honour so far sirrah. get the better of your poverty and good sense, as Sharp. Do you be wise, and take it, sir. But,

advice,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

to be serious, you certainly have spent your for-1 very persons who led me to my ruin, partook
tune, and out-lived your credit, as your pockets of my prosperity, and professed the greatest
and my belly can testify. Your father has dis- friendship:
owned you; all your friends forsook you, except Sharp: [Without.] Upon my word, Mrs.
myself, who am starving with you. Now, sir, if Kitty, my master's not at home.
you marry this young lady, who, as yet, thank Kitty. [Without.]-Look'e, Sharp, I must
Heaven, knows nothing of your misfortunes, and and will see him.
by that means procure a better fortune than that Gay. Hla! What do I hear? Melissa's maid;
you have squandered away, make a good bus- What has brought her here? My poverty has
band, and turn economist, you still may be made her my enemny, 100--She is certainly come
happy, may still be sir William's heir, and the with no good intent--No friendship there with-
lady too no loser by the bargain. There's out fees-She's coming up stairs -- What must
reason and argument, sir,

I do? I'll get into this closet and listen.
Gay. "Twas with that prospect I first made

[Exit GAYLESS. love to her; and, though my fortune has been

Enter SHARP and Kitty. ill spent, I have at least purchased discretion with it.

Kitty. I must know where he is; and will Sharp. Pray, then, convince me of that, sir, know, too, Mr. Impertinence. and make no more objections to the marriage. Sharp. Not of me ye won't. Aside. He's You see I am reduced to my waistcoat already; not within, I tell you, Mrs. Kitty; I don't know and when necessity has undressed me from top myself. Do you think I can conjure? to toe, she must begin with you, and then we Kitty. But I know you will lie abominably; sball be forced to keep house and die by inches. therefore, don't trifle with me. I coine from Look you, sir, if you won't resolve to take my my mistress, Melissa: you know, I suppose, advice, while you have one coat to your back, I what's to be done to-morrow morning? must e'en take to my heels while I have strength Sharp. Ay; and to-morrow night too, girl. to run, and something to cover me. So, sir, wish Kitty. Not if I can help it.---[Aside.]-But ing you much comfort and consolation with your coine, where is your master? For see him bare conscience, I am your most obedient and I must. balf-starved friend and servant. [Going. Sharp. Pray, Mrs. Kitty, what's your opinion Gay. Hold, Sharp! You won't leave me? of this match between my master and your

Skarp. I must eat, sir; by my honour and mistress? appetite, I must.

Kitty. Why, I have no opinion of it at all; Gay. Well, then, I am resolved to favour the and yet most of our wants will be relieved by it, cheat; and as I shall quite change my former too: for instance, now, your master will get a wurse of life, happy may be the consequences: good fortune; that's what I'm afraid he wants : at least of this I am sure

my mistress will get a husband; that's what she Sharp. That you can't be worse than you are has wanted for some time; you will have the

pleasure of my conversation, and I an opportuGay. (A knocking without].-Who's there? pity of breaking your head for your imperti

Sharp. Some of your former good friends, who nence. favoured you with money at fifty per cent. and Sharp. Madam, I am your most humble serhelped you to spend it, and are now become vant. But I'll tell you what, Mrs. Kitty, I am daily memento's to you of the folly of trusting positively against the match: for was I man of rogues, following whores, and laughing at my my master's fortuneadvice.

Kitty. You'd niarry if you could, and mend it Gay. Cease your impertinence! To the door! -Ha, ha, ha! Pray, Sharp, where does your If they are duns, tell them my marriage is now master's estate lie?" certainly fixed; and persuade them still to for Guy. Oh, the devil, what a question was there! bear a few days longer, and keep my circum

[Aside. stances a secret, for theirsakes as well as my own. Sharp. Lie! Lie! Why, it lies—faith, I can't

Sharp. O never fear it, sir: they still have so name any particular place; it lies in so many— much friendship for you, as not to desire your His effects are divided, some here, some there; ruin to their own disadvantage.

his steward hardly knows himself. Gay. And, do you hear, Sharp, if it should be

Kitty. Scattered, scattered, I suppose. But, any body from Melissa, say I am not at home; hark'e, Sharp, what's become of your furniture? lest the bad appearance we make here, should You seem to be a little bare here at present, make them suspect something to our disad Gay. What, has she found out that, too? vantage.

[Aside. Sharp. I'll obey you, sir ; but I am afraid they Sharp. Why, you must know, as soon as the will easily discover the consumptive situation of wedding was fixed, my master ordered me to sur affairs, by my chop-fallen countenance. remove his goods into a friend's house, to make

[Erit SHARP. room for a ball which he designs to give here Gay. These very rascals, who are now con- the day after the marriage. tinually donning and persecuting me, were the Kitty. The luckiest thing in the world! For

al present.

my mistress designs to have a ball and entertain Gay. We are certainly undone! ment here, to-night, before the marriage; and Sharp. That's no news to me. that's my business with your master.

Gay. Eight or ten couple of dancers ten or a Sharp. The devil it is?

(Aside. dozen little nice dishes, with some fruit-my Kitty. She'll not have it public; she designs lord Stately's servants-ham and turkey! io invite only eight or ten couple of friends. Sharp. Say no more! the very sound creates Sharp. No more?

an appetite, and I am sure of late I have had Kitty, No more: and she ordered me to no occasion for whetters and provocatives. desire your master not to make a great enter Gay. Cursed misfortune! What can we do? tainment,

Sharp. Hang ourselves. I sce no other reSharp. Oh, never fear

medy, except you have a receipt to give a ball Kitty. Ten or a dozen little nice things, with and a supper, without meat or music. some fruit, I believe, will be enough in all con Gay. Melissa has certainly heard of my bad science.

circumstances, and has invented this scheine to Sharp. Oh, curse your conscience ! (Aside. distress ine, and break off the match. Kitty. And what do you think I have done Sharp. I don't believe it, sir; begging your of my own head?

pardon. Sharp. What!

Gay. No? Why did her maid, then, make so Kitty. I have invited all my lord Stately's ser- strict an inquiry into iny fortune and affairs? vants to come and see you, and have a dance in Sharp. For two very substantial reasons: the the kitchen : Won't your master be surprised ? first, to satisfy a curiosity natural to her as a woSharp, Much so indeed!

man; the second, to have the pleasure of my Kitty. Well, be quick, and find out your conversation, very natural to her as a woman of master, and make what haste you can with your taste and understanding. preparations: you have no time to lose. Pr’ythee, Gay. Pr'ythee, be more serious : is not our Sharp, what's the matter with you? I have not all at stake? seen you for some time, and you seem to look a Sharp. Yes, sir; and that all of ours is of little thin.

so little consequence, that a man, with a very Sharp. Oh my unfortunate face !--[ Aside.)- small share of philosophy, may part from it I'm in pure good health, thank you, Mrs. Kitty without much pain or uneasiness. However, and I'll assure you I've a very good stomach; sir, I'll convince you, in half an hour, that Mrs. never better in all my life ; and I am as full of Melissa knows nothing of your circumstances; vigour, hussy

[Offers to kiss her, and I'll tell you what too, sir, she shan't be here Kitty. What, with that face ; Well, bye, bye, to-night, and yet you shall marry her to-morrow -{Going.}-OL, Sharp, what ill-looking fellows morning, are those, were standing about your door when Gay. How, how, dear Sharp? I came in? They want your master too, I sup Skarp. 'Tis here, here, sir! Warm, warm ;

and delays will cool it: therefore, I'll away to Sharp. Hum! Yes; they are waiting for him. her, and do you be as merry as love and poverty They are some of his tenants out of the country, will permit you. that want to pay him some money.

Would you succeed, a faithful friend depute, Kitty. Tenants! What, do you let his tenants Whose head can plan, and front can execute. stand in the street ?

Sharp. They choose it: as they seldom come I am the man! and I hope you neither dispute, to town, they are willing to see as much of it as my friendship nor qualifications ? they can, when they do; they are raw, ignorant, Gay. Indeed I don't. Pry'thee, be gone. honest people.

Shurp. I fly!

(Ereunt. Kitty. Well, I must run home, farewell—but do you hear, get something substantial for us in SCENE II.-Melissa's lodgings. the kitchen - ham, a turkey, or what you will we'll be very merry; and be sure to remove the

Enter MELISSA und KITTY. tables and chairs away there too, that we may have room to dance : I cannot bear to be con- at home-the man in confusion--10 furniture in

Mel. You surprise me, Kitty! The master not fined in my French daoces ; tal, lal, lal Dunc- the house and ill-looking fellows about the ing:}-Well, adieu! Without any compliment, I

doors --'Tis all a riddle. shall die if I don't see you soon. [Erit Kitty. Sharp. And, without any compliment, I pray

Kitty. But very easy to be explained. Meaven you may !

Mel. Prithee, explain it, then; nor keep me

longer in suspence. Enter GAYLESS,

Kitly. The affair is this, madam: Mr. Gayless [They look for some time sorrowful at each and ears in love, you will marry him to-morrow;

is over head and ears in debt: you are over head other.

the next day your whole fortune goes to his creGay. Oh, Sharp!

ditors, and you and your children are to live Sharp. Oh, master!

comfortably upon the remainder.

pose ?

-On pain

Mel. I cannot think him base.

Mel. I do insist upon knowingKitty. But I know they are all base. You are of my displeasure, tell mevery young, and very ignorant of the sex; I am Sharp. Ifiny master should know-I must not young, too, but have had more experience : You tell you, madam, indeed. never was in love before ; I have been in love Mel. I promise you, upon my honour, he with an bundred, and tried them all; and know never shall, them to be a parcel of barbarous, perjured, de Sharp. But can your ladyship insure secresy luding, bewitching devils.

from that quarter ? Mel. The low wretches you have had to do Kitty. Yes, Mr. Jackanapes, for any thing with, may answer the character you give thein; you can say. but Mr. Gayless

Mel. I engage for her. Kitty. Is a man, madam.

Sharp. Why then, in short, madam-I cannot Mel. I hope so, Kitty, or I would have no- tell you. thing to do with him.

Mel. Don't trifle with me. Kitty. With all my heart

-I have given you

Sharp. Then, since you will have it, madammyfsentinents upon the occasion, and shall leave I lost my coat in defence of your reputation. you to your own inclinations.

Mel. In defence of iny reputation ! Mel. Oh, madam, I am much obliged to you Sharp. I will assure you, madam, I've suffered for your great condescension-ha, ha, ha! How- very much in defence of it; which is more than ever, I have so great a regard for your opinion, I would have done for my own. that had I certain proofs of his villainy

Mel. Prythee, explain! Kitty. Of his poverty, you may have a hun Sharp. In short, madam, you was seen ådred: I am sure, I have had none to the con-bout a month ago to make a visit to my master trary.

alone. Mel. Oh, there the shoe pinches ! [ Aside.

Mel. Alone ! my servant was with me. Kitty. Nay, so far from giving me the usual Sharp. What, Mrs. Kitty? So much the worse: perquisites of my place, he has not so much as for she was looked upon as my property, and I kepi me in temper with little endearing civili- was brought in guilty, as well as you and iny ties; and one might reasonably expect, when a master. man is deficient in one way, that he should make Kitty. What! your property, jackanapes? it up in another. [Knocking without. Mel. What is all this?

Mel. See who is at the door. [Exit Kitty.] Sharp. Why, madam, as I came out but now, I must be cautious how I hearken too much to to make preparation for you and your company this girl. Her bad opinion of Mr. Gayless seems to-night, Mrs. Pry-about, che attorney's wife, at to arise from his disregard of her.

next door, calls to me; • Hark'e, fellow,' says

she,' do you and your modest master know, that Enter SHARP and KITTY.

'my husband thall indict your house at the next --So, Sharp, bave you found your master? parish meeting for a nuisance?' Will things be ready for the ball and entertain Mel. A nuisance ! ment?

Sharp. I said som A nuisance! I believe, Sharp. To your wishes, madam. I have just bone in the neighbourhood live with more denow bespoke the music and supper, and wait cency and regularity than I and my masteras now for your ladyship's farther commands. is really the case– Decency and regularity!!

Mel. My compliments to your inaster, and cries she, with a sneer—'why, sirrah, does not let bim know, I and my company will be with my window look into your master's bed-chambim by six ; we design to drink tea and play at . ber? and did not he bring in a certain lady cards, before we dance.

such a day?' describing you, madam.. And did Kitty. So shall I and my company, Mr. Sharp.

not I see

(Aside. Mel. See ! 0, scandalous! What? Sharp. Mighty well, madam!

Sharp. Modesty requires my silence. Mel. Prythee, Sharp, what makes you came Mel. Did not you contradict her? without your coat? T'is too cool to go so airy, Sharp. Contradict her! Why, I told her, I

was sure she lied! for, zounds! said I, (for I Kitty. Mr. Sharp, madam, is of a very hot could not help swearing) I am so well convincconstitution—ha, ha, ha!

ed of the lady's avd my inaster's prudence, that Sharp. Jf it had been ever so cool, I have I am sure, had they a mind to amuse themselves, had enough to warm me silice I came come they would certainly have drawn the windows bome, I am sure'; but no matter for that. curtains.

[Sighing. Mel. What, did you say nothing else? Did Mel. What d'ye mean?

not you convince her of her error and impertiSharp.Pray, don't ask me, madam; I beseech nence? you, don't: let us change the subject.

Sharp. She swore to such things, that I could Kitty. Insist upon knowing it, madam! My do nothing but swear and call names; upon cariosity must be satisfied, or I shall burst. which, out bolts her husband upon me with a fine [Aside. I taper crab in his hand, and fell

upoa me with

[ocr errors]

sure.

such violence, that, being half delirious, I made him you are very much out of order—that you a full confession.

were suddenly taken with the vapours or qualms, Mel. A full confession! What did you con or what you please, madam. fess?

Mel. I'll leave it to you, Sharp, to make my Sharp. That my master loved fornication--apology; and there's half a guinea for you to that

you had no aversion to it—that Mrs. Kitty help your invention. was a bawd, and your humble servant a pimp. Sharp. Half-a-guinea! 'Tis so long since I

Kitty. A bawd! a bawd! Do I look like a had any thing to do with money, that I scarcely bawd, madam!

know the current coin of my own country.-Sharp. And so, madam, in the scuffle, my Oh, Sharp, what talents hast thou! to secure thy coat was toru to pieces, as well as your reputa- master, deceive his mistress, outlie her chambertion.

maid, and yet be paid for thy honesty ! But my Mel. And so you joined to make me infa- joy will discover me. (Aside.] Madain, you have mous ?

eternally fixed Timothy Sharp, your most obeSharp. For Heaven's sake, madam, what could dient humble scrvant -Oh the delights of imI do? His proofs fell so thick upon me, as wit- pudence, and a good understanding ! ness my head [Shewing his head plaistered.),

[Exit SHARP. that I would have given up all the maidenheads Kitty. Ha, ha, ha! was there ever such a lyin the kingdom, rather then have my brains bcat ing varlet! with his slugs and his broad swords to a jelly.

his attorneys, and broken heads, and nonsense ! Mel. Very well! but I'll be revenged -And / Well, inadam, are you satisfied now? Do you did not you tell your master of this?

want more proofs ? Sharp. Tell him! No, madam. Had I told Mel. Of your modesty I do: But, I find you him, his love is so violent for you, that he would are resolved to give me none. certainly have murdered half the attornies in Kitty. Madam! town by this time.

Mil. I see through your little mean artifice : Mel. Very well! But I ain resolved not to you are endeavouring to lessen Mr. Gayless in go to your master's to-night.

iny opinion, because he has not paid you for serShurp. Heavens and my impudence be praised! vices he had no occasion for.

[Aside. Kilty. Pay me, madam! I ain sure I have Kitty. Why not, madam? If you are not very little occasion to be anyry with Mr. Gayless guilty, face your accusers.

for not paying me, when I believe'tis his general Shap. Oh the devil! ruined again! [Aside.] practice. To be sure, face them by all means, madam Mel. 'Tis fatse! he's a gentleman, and a man They can but be abusive, and break the windows of honour, and you are a little“Besides, madam, I have thought of a Kitty. Not in love, I thank Heaven! way to make this affair quite diverting to you

[Curtseying. I have a fine blunderbuss, charged with half a Mel. You are a fool. hundred sluys, and my master has a delicate Kitty. I have been in love; but I am much large Swiss broad sword; and between us, ma

wiser now. dam, we shall so pepper and slice them, that Mel. Hold your tongue, impertinence! you will die with laughing.

Kilty. That is the severest thing she has said Mel. What, at murder?

yet.

[ Aside. Kitty. Don't fear, madam ; there will be no Mel. Leave me. murder if Sharp's concerned.

Kitty. Oh this love, this love is the devil. Sharp. Murder, madam! 'Tis self-defence.

[Exit Kittr. Besides, in these sort of skirmishes, there are Mel. We discover oor weaknesses to our sernever more than two or three killed: for, sup- vants, make them our confidants, put them upon posing they bring the whole body of militia upon an equality with us, and so they become our adus, down but with a brace of them, and away visers. Shari's behaviour, though I seened to fly the rest of the covey.

disregard it, makes me tremble with apprehenMel. Persuade me ever so much, I won't go; sions ! and, though I have pretended to be angry that's my resolution.

with Kitty for her advice, I think it of too much Kitty. Why, then, I'll tell you what, madam ; consequence to be neglected. since you are resolved not to go to the supper,

Enter KITTY. suppose the supper was to come to you? 'Tis a great pity such preparations as Mr. Sharp has Kitty. May I speak, madam? made should be thrown away.

Mel. Don't be a fool. What do you want? Sharp. So it is, as you say, Mrs. Kitty. But I Kitly. There is a servant just come out of the can immediately ruu back, and unbespeak what country, says he belongs to Sir William Gayless, I have ordered; 'tis soon done.

and has got a letter for you from his inaster upMel. But then, what excuse can I send to on very urgent business. your master? he'll be very uneasy at my not Mél. Sir William Gayless? What can this coming.

mean? Where is the man? Sharp. Oh, terribly so ! but I have it-I'll tell Kitty. In the little parlour, madam.

« PreviousContinue »