Page images
PDF
EPUB

her face with his fins, till the poor devil fell into delicate creature she is : sweet as a sugarcane, a fit. He, ha, ba !

straight as a bamboo, and her teeth as white as Young. Oh, an absolute Rabelais !

a negro's Bev. What, I reckon, Sir Peter, you are going Beo. Poetic, but true. Now only conceive, to the squire ?

Sir Peter, such a plantation of perfection to be Sir Pet. Yes; I extremely admire Sir Tho- devoured by by that caterpillar, Rust. mas: you know this is his day of assembly; I Sir Pet. A liquorish grub! Are pine-apples suppose you will be there? I can tell you, you for such muckworms as he? I'll send him a jar are a wonderful favourite.

of citrons and ginger, and poison the pipkin. Bev. Am I?

Beo. No, no. Sir Pet. He says your natural genius is fine; Sir Pet. Or invite him to dinner, and mix and, when polished by his cultivation, will sur- rat's-bane along with his curry. prise and astonish the world.

Bed. Not so precipitate: I think we may deBev. I hope, sir, I shall have your voice with feat him without any danger. the public?

Sir Pet. How, how? Sir Pet. Mine! O fie Mr. Bever!

Beo. I have a thought--but we must settle Bev. Come, come, you are no inconsiderable the plan with the lady: Could not you give her patron.

the bint that I should be glad to see her a moSir Pet. He, he, he! Can't say but I love to ment. encourage the arts.

Sir Pet. I'll do it directly. Bev. And have contributed largely yourself. Bev. But don't let Sir Thomas perceive you. Young. What, is sir Peter an author?

Sir Pet. Never fear. You'll follow? Sir Pet. O fie! what, me? a mere dabbler; Bev. The instant I have settled matters with have blotted my fingers, 'tis truc. Some sonnets, her; but fix the old fellow, so that she may not that have not been thought wanting in salt. be missed. Bev. And your epigrams.

Sir Pet. I'll nail him, I warrant; I have his Sir Pet. Not entirely without point. opinion to beg on this manuscript.

Beo. But come, sir Peter, the love of the arts Bev. Your own? is not the sole cause of your visits to the house Sir Pet. No. you are going to.

Beo. Oh, oh? what something new from the Sir Pet. I don't understand you.

doctor, your chaplain? Beo. Miss Juliet, the niece.

Sir Pet. He! no, no. O Lord, he's eloped ! Sir Pet. O fie! 'what chance have I there? Beo. How ! Indeep, if lady Pepperpot should happen to pop Sir Pet. Gone. You know he was to dedeoff

cate his volume of fables to me: so I gave him Bev. I don't know that. You are, Sir Peter, thirty pounds to get my arins engraved, to prefix a dangerous man: and, were I a father or uncle, (by way of print) to the frontispiece; and, O I should not be a little shy of your visits. grief of griefs ! the doctor has moved off with

Sir Pet. Psha! dear Bever, you banter ! the money. I'll send you Miss Juliet. (Erit.

Bev. And unless I am extremely out in my Bev. There, now, is a special protector? the guess, that lady

arts I think, can't but flourish under such a Sir Pet. Hey! what, what, dear Bever? Mæcenas, Beo. But if you should betray me

Young. Heaven visits with a taste the wealthy Sir Pet. May I never eat a bit of green fat if fool. I do?

Beo. True ; but then to justify the dispensaBeo. Hints have been dropped.

tion, Sir Pet. The devil! Come a little this way. Beo. Well-made: not robust and gigantic, From hence the poor are clothed, the hungry 'lis true ; but extremely genteel. Sir Pet. Indeed !

Fortunes to booksellers, to authors bred. Bev. Features, not entirely regular; but marking with an air pow, superior; greatly Young. The distribution is, I own, a little unabove the-you understand me?

equal; and here comes a melancholy instanceSir Pet. Perfectly. Something noble: ex- poor Dick Dactyl, and his publisher, Puff. pressive of-fashion. Ber. Right.

Enter Dactyl and PUFF. Sir Pet. Yes, I have been frequently told so. Puff. Why, then, Mr. Dactyl, carry them to

Beo. Not an absolute wit; but something in- somebody else; there are people enough in the finitely better : an ejouement, a spirit, a trade. But I wonder you would meddle with

Sir Pet. Gaiety-1 was ever so from a child. poetry; you know it rarely pays for the paper.

Bev. In short, your dress, address, with a Dac. And how can one help it, Mr. Puft? thousand other particulars, that at present I genius impels; and when a man is once listed can't recollect.

in the service of the musesSir Pet. Why, dear Bever, to tell thee the Puff. Why, let him give them warning as soon truth, I have always admired Miss Juliet, and I as he can. A pretty sort of service indeed,

fed ;

ears.

where there are neither wages nor vails ! The Dac. Your trade ! and pray with what stock muses ! And what, I suppose this is the livery did you trade? I can give you the catalogue; I they give! Gadzooks, I had rather be a waiter believe it won't overburden my memory. Two. at Ranelagh.

odd volumes of Swift; the life of Moll Flanders, Bed. The poet and publisher are at variance! with cuts: the Five Senses, printed and colours What is the matter, Mr. Dactyl ?

ed by Overton; a few classics, thumbed and Dac. As Gad shall judge me, Mr. Bever, as blotted by the boys of the Charter-house ; with pretty a poem, and so polite ! not a mortal can the

trial of Dr. Sacheverel

. take any offence; all full of panegyric and praise.

Duc. Then, sirrah, I gave you my canning ; Puff: A fine character he gives of his works! it was the first set you afloat. No offence! the greatest in the world, Mr. Puff. A grub! Dactyl. Panegyric and praise ! and what will Doc. And it is not only 'my writings : you that do with the public? why, who the devil will know, sirrah what you owe to my physic. give money to be cold, that Mr. Such-a-one is Bev. How! a physician ? a wiser or better man than himself? No, no ; Dac. Yes, Mr. Bever; physic and poetry. 'tis quite clean out of nature. A good sousing Apollo is the patron of both: Opiferque per orsatire now, well powdered with personal pepper, bem dicor. and seasoned with the spirit of party ; that de Puff. His physic! molishes a conspicuous character, and sinks him Dac. My physic! ay, my physic! Why, dare below our own level; there, there, we are pleas- you deny it, you rascal! what have you forgot ed! there we chuckle and grin, and toss the my powders for flatulent crudities? half-crowns on the counter.

Puff. No. Dac. Yes, and so get cropped for a libel. Dac. My cosmetic lozenge, and sugar plumbs?

Puff. Cropped ! ay, and the luckiest thing Puff. No. that can happen to you. Why, I would not Duc. My coral for cutting of teeth, my pogive twopence for an author that is afraid of his tions, my lotions, my pregnancy drops, with my

Writing, writing is (as I may say), Mr. paste for superfluous hairs ? Dactyl, a sort of warfare, where none can be Puff. No, no; have you done. victor that is the least afraid of a scar. Why, Dac. No, no, no ! but I believe this will sufzooks, sir, I never got salt to my porridge till i fice for the present. mounted at the royal exchange!

Puff. Now, would not any mortal believe that Beo. Indeed !

I owed my all to this fellow? Puff. No, no: that was the making of me. Bev. Why, indeed, Mr. Puff, the balance does Then my name made a noise in the world. Talk seem in his favour, of forked hills, and of Helicon! romantic and Puff. In his favour! why you don't give fabulous stuff! the true Castalian stream is a any credit to him ? a reptile, a bug, that owes shower of eggs, and a pillory the poet's Par- his very being to me. nassus.

Dac, I, I, I! Dac. Ay, to you, indeed, it may answer; Puff. You, you! What I suppose you forget but what do we get for our pains ?

your garret in Wine-office-court, when you furPuff. Why, what the deuce would you get ! wished paragraphs for the Farthing post at food, fire, and fame. Why you would not grow twelvepence a dozen ? fat! a corpulent poet is a monster, a prodigy! Dac, Fiction ! No, no : spate diet is a spur to the fancy Puff. Then did not I get you made collector high teeding would but founder your Pegasus. of casualties to the Whitehall and St. James's ?

Dac. Why, you impudent, illiterate rascal ! but that post your laziness lost you. Gentlemen, who is it you dare treat in this manner? he never brought them a robbery till the high

Puff. Hey-day, what is the matter now? wayman was going to be hanged ; a birth, till the

Däc. And is this the return for all the obli-christening was over ; no death, will the hatchgations you owe me? But no matter-the ment was up. world, the world shall know what you are, and Dac. Mighty well ! how you have used me.

Puff. And now, because the fellow has got a Puff. Do your worst; I despise you. little in flesh, by being puff to the play-house this

Dac They shall be told from what a dunghill winter (to whichi, by the by, I got him appointed), you sprang. Gentlemen, if there be faith in a he is as proud and as vain as Voltaire. But sinner, that fellow owes every shilling to me. I shall soon bave him under! the vacation will

Puff. To thee!

Duci Ay, sirrah, to me. In what kind of way Dac. Let it. did I find you? when, where and what was your Puff. Then I shall have him sneaking and state? Gentlemen, his shop was a shed in Moor-cringing, hanging about me, and beyging a bit of fields; his kitchen, u broken pipkin of charcoal; translation. and his bedchamber under the counter.

Duc. I beg, I, for translation ! Puff. I never was fond of expense; I ever Puff. No, no, not a line; not if you would minded my trade.

do it for two-pence a sheet. No boiled beef and

come.

mend it.

eårrot at mornings; no more cold pudding Dac. Sir, I am calm ; that thought has reand porter. You may take your leave of my stored me. To your insignificancy you are inshop.

debted for safety. But what my generosity has Dac. Your shop! then at parting I will leave saved my pen shall destroy. you a legacy.

Puff. Then you must gct soinebody to Beo. O tie, Mr. Dactyl ! Puff. Let him alone.

Dac. Adieu ! Dac. Pray gentlemen, let me do myself jus Puff. Farewell! [Ereunt sederally. tice!

Beo. Ha, ha, ha! come, let us along to the. Beo. Younger, restrain the publisher's fire. squire.

Young. Fie, gentlemen ! such an illiberal combat ! it is a scandal to the republic of letters. Blockheads, with reason, wicked wits abhor;

Bev. Mr. Dactyl, an old man, a mechanic, But dunce with dunce is barbarous civil war. beneath

[Erit.

ACT II.

SCENE I.

possession of your heart I shall have too many

competitors. Enter Bever and YOUNGER.

Rust. How, madam ? were Prometheus alive

and would animate the Helen that stands in my Young. Poor Dactyl ! and dwell such mighty ball, she should not cost me a sigh. rage in little men? I hope there is little danger Jul. Ay, sir, their lies my greaiest misfortune. of bloodshed?

Had I only those who are alive to contend with, Bev. Oh, not in the least : the gens vatum, by assiduity, affections, cares, and caresses, I the nation of poets, though an irritab le, are yet might secure my conquest, though that would a placable people. Their mutual interests will hedifficult; for, I am convinced, were you, Mr. soon bring them together again.

Rust, put up by Prestage to Auction, the Apolio Young. But shall not we be too late? The cri- Belvidere would not draw a greater number of tical senate is by this time assembled.

bidders. Bev. I warrant, you, frequent and full, where Rust. Would that were the case, madam, so Stately Bufo, puffe ! by every quill,

I might be thought a proper companion to the Sits like Apollo ou his forked hill.

Venus de Medicis !

Jul. The flower of rhetoric, and pink of pnBut you know I must wait for Miss Lofty: I am liteness ! But my fears are not confined to the now totally directed by her ; she gives me the living ; for every nation and age, even painters key to all Sir Thomas's foibles, and prescribes and statuaries, conspire against me. Nay, when the most proper method to feed them: but the pantheon itself, the very goddesses, rise up what good purpose that will produce-

as my rivals, what chance has a mortal like Young. Is she clever, adroit ?

me ? - I shall certainly laugh in his face. Bev. Doubtless. I like your asking the ques

[Aside. tion of me.

Rust. She is a delicate subject.-Goddesses, Young. Then pay an implicit obedience : the Madam! Zooks, had you been on Mount Ida ladies, in these cases generally know what they when Paris decided the contest, the Cyprian are about. The door opens.

queen had pleaded for the pippin in vain. Bed. It is Juliet, and with her old Rust. Jul. Extravagant gallantry. You know the knight, so no introduction is Rust. In you madam, are concentered all wanted.—[Exit Younger.)-I should be glad the beauties of the heathen mythology; the to hear this reverend piece of Jumber make love; open front of Diana, the lustre of Pallas' the courtship must certainly be curious. Good eyes manners, stand by; by your leave, I will listen Jul. Oh, sir! a little.

[BEVER retires. Rust. The chromatic music of Clio, the bloomEnter JULIET and Rust.

ing graces of Hebe, the imperial port of queen

Juno, with the delicate dimples of Venus. Jul. And your collection is large?

Jul. I see, sir, antiquity has not engrossed all Rust. Most curious and capital. When, ma- your attention : You are no novice in the nature dam, will you give me Jeave to add your charms of women. Incense, I own is grateful to most to the catalogue?

of my sex; but there are times when adoration Jul. O dear! Mr. Rust, I shall but disgrace may be dispensed with. it. Besides, sir, when I marry, I am resolved to Rust. Madam! have my husband all to myself: now, for the Jul. I say, sir, when we women willingly wave

our rank in the skies, and wish to be treated as your Portia or Flora, your Fum-Fam from mortals.

China, or your Egyptian Osiris. You have long Rust. Doubtless, madam; and are you want paid your addresses to them. ing in materials for that? No, madam, as in Rust. Marry! what, marble ! dignity you surpass the beathen divinities, so, Jul. The properest wives in the world; you in the charms of attraction, you beggar the can't choose amiss; they will supply you with queens of the earth. The whole world, at dif- all that you want. ferent periods, has contributed its several beau Rust. Your uucle has, madain consented. ties to form you.

Jus. That is more than ever his niece will. Jul. The deuce it has !

[ Aside. Consented! and to what? to be swatbed to a Rust. See there, the ripe Asiatic perfection, mouldering mummy? or be locked up

like

your joined to the delicate soitness of Europe ! In medals, to canker and rust in a cabinet ? No, you madam, I burn to possess Cleopatra's al- no; I was made for the world, and the world luring glances, the Greek profile of queen shall not be robbed of its right. Clitemnestra, the Roman nose of the empress Bev. Bravo, Juliet! gad, she's a fine spirited Pompaa.

girl! Jul. With the majestic march of queen Bess. Jul. My profile, indeed ! No, sir; when I Mercy on me what i wonderful creature am 1! marry I must have a man that will meet me full

kust. In short, madam, not a feature you have, face. but recals to my mind some trait in a medai or Rust. Might I be heard for a moment? bust.

Jul. To what end? You say you liave Sir Jul. Indeed! why by your account. I must Thomas Lotty's consent; I tell you, you can be an absolute olio, a perfect salmagundy of never have mine. You may screen me from, charins.

or expose me to, my uncle's resentment ; the Rust. Oh, madam, how can you demean, as I choice is your own: if you lay the fault at my may say, undervalue.

door, you will doubtless greatly distress me; but Jul. Value! there is the thing! and to tell take the blame on yourseli, and I shall own myyou the trush, Mr. Rust, in that word, value, seit extremely obliged to you. lies my greatest objection.

Rust. Ilow! contess myself in tlie fault? Rust. I don't understand you.

Jul. Av; for the best thing a man can do, Jul. Wly then, l'il explain myself. It has when he finds he can't be beloved, is to take been said, and I believe with some shadow of are he is not heartily hated. There is no other truth, that no man is a hero to his valet de alternative. chambre; now I am afraid, when you and I Rust. Madam, I shan't break my word with grow a little more intimate, which I suppose sir Thomas. must be the case if you proceed on your plan, Jul. Nor I with myself. So there's an end of you will be horribly disappointed in your high our conference. Sir, your very obedient. expectations, and soon discover this Juno, this Rust. Madam, I, I, don'ı-that is, let meco Cleopatra, and Princess Pompæa, to be as arrant But no matter. Your servant, [Exit. a mortal, as madam your mother.

Jul. Ha, ha, ha!
Rust. Madam, I,1,1
Jul, Your patience a moment... Being there-

Enter Bever from behind. fore desirous to preserve your devotion, I beg, for the future, you would please to adore at a Bev. Ila, ha, ha! Incomparable Juliet ! how distance.

the old dotard trembled and tottered ! he could Rust. To Endymion, madam, Luna once lis- not have been more inflamed, had he bcen robtened.

bed of his tho. Jul. Ay, but he was anoi ber kind of a mortal: Jul. Ay; was ever goddess so familiarly used? you may do very well as a votary, but for a In my conscience, I began to be afraid that he hasband-mercy upon me!

would treat me as the Indians do their dirty diRust. Madam, you are not in earneșt? nat vinities; whenever they are deaf to their prayer's serious ?

they beat and abuse them. Jul. Not serious! Why, have you the impu Bev. But, after all, we are in an aukward sidence to marry a goddess ?

tuation. Rust. I should hope

Jul. IIow so? Jul. And what should you hope ? I find your Bev. I have my fears. devotion reseinbles that of the world: when the Jul. So have not I. power of sinning is over, and t' e sprightly first Bev. Your uncle bas resolved that you shallrunnings of life are racked off, you offer the be married to Rust. vapid dregs to your deity. No, no; you may if Jul. Ay, he may decree; but it is I that must you please, turn monk in my service. One vow, execute. I believe, you will observe better than most of Ber. But suppose he has given his word ? them-chastity.

Jul. Why then let hiin recal it again. Rust. Peripit me

Beo. But are you sure you shall have couJul. Or, if you must marry, take your Julia, raye enough.

Jul. To say no ? That requires much resolu- smart, satyrical epigram: new, and prettily tion indeed !

pointed; in short, a production, that Martial Bev. Then I am at the height of my hopes. himself would not have blushed to acknowledge.

Jul. Your hopes ! Your hopes and your fears Rust. Your own, Sir Thomas ? are ill-founded alike.

Sir Tho. O, fie! no, sent me this morning, Bed. Why, you are determined not to be bis ? anonymous. Jul. Well, and what then?

Dac. Pray, Sir Thomas, let us have it ! Bev. What then? why, then you will be mine. All. By all means; by all means.

Jul. Indeed! and is that the natural conse Sir Tho. [Reads.] quence? whoever wont be his, must be yours?

To Phillss. Is that the logic of Oxford ?

Think'st thou, fond Phillis, Strephon told thee Beo. Madamı I did fatter myself

true, Jul. Then you did very wrong, indeed, Mr.

Angels are painted fair to look like you? Bever; you should ever guard against flattering Another story all the town will tell; yourself; for, of all dangerous parasites, belf is

Phillis paints fair, to look like an an-gel. the worst. Beo. I am astonished !

All. Fine! fine ! very

fine! Jul. Astonished ! you are mad, I believe ! Dac. Such an ease and simplicity! Why, I have not known you above a month. It Puff. The turn so unexpected and quick! is true my uncle says your father is his friend; Rust. The satire so poignant! your fortune in time, will be easy; your figure Sir Tho. Yes, I think it possesess in an emiis not remarkably faulty; and as to your under-nent degree, the three epigramatical requisites; standing, passable enough for a young fellow, brevity, familiarity, and severity. who has not seen much of the world: but when

Phillis paints fair to look like an an-gel. one talks of a husband-Lord, 'tis quite another sort of a-Ha, ba, ha? Poor Bever, how he Dac. Happy! Is the Phillis, the subject, a stares ! he stands like a statue !

secret? Bev. Statue! Indeed, inadam, I am very near Sir Tho. Oh, dear me ! nothing personal; no ; petrified.

an impromptu; a mere jeu d'esprit. Jul. Even then, you will make as good a hus Puff. Then, Sir Thomas, the secret is out: i band as Rust. But go, run,.and join the assem- is your own. bly within ; be attentive to every word, motion, Dac. That was obvious enough. and look of my uncle's; he dumb, when he Puff. Who is there else could have wrote it? speaks; admirc all he says ; laugh, when he Rust. True, irue! smirks; bow, when he sneezes; In short, fawn, Sir Tho. The name of the author is needless. flatter and cringe; don't be afraid of overload. So it is an acquisition to the republic of leting his stomach; for the knight has a noble ters, any gentleman may claim the merit that digestion, and you will find some there, who will will. keep you in countenance.

Puff. What a noble contempt! Bev. I fly. So, then, Juliet, your intention Dac. What greatness of mind ! was only to try

Rust. Scipio and Lælius were the Roman Jul. Don't plague me with impertinent ques- Lofty's, Why, I dare believe Sir Thomas has tions; march; obey ray directions. We must been the making of half the authors in town: leave the issue to chance; a greater friend to he is, as I may say, the great manufacturer : the mankind than they are willing to own. Oli, if other poets are but pedlars, that live by retailing any thing new should occur, you may come into his wares. the drawing.room for further instructions. All. Ha, ha, ha! well observed, Mr. Rust!

[Ereunt severally. Sir Tho. Ha, ha, ha! Molle atque factum.

Why, to pursue the metaphor, if Sir Thomas
Lofty was to call in his poetical debts, I believe

there would be a good many bankrupts in the SCENE II.-A room in Sir Thomas Lofty's

Muse's Gazette. house.

All. Ha, ha, ha!

Sir Tho. But, a propos, gentlemen : with reSIR Thomas, Rust, PUFF, DACTYL, and others gard to the eclipse: you found my calculation discovered sitting.

exact?

Duc. To a digit. Sir Tho. Nothing new to-day froin Parnassus? Sir Tho. Total darkness, indeed! and birds Dac. Not that I hear.

going to roost! Those philomaths, those almaSir Tho. Nothing critical, philosophical, or nack-makers are the most ignorant rascalspolitical?

Puff. It is amazing where Sir Thomas Lofty Puff. Nothing.

stores all his knowledge. Şir Tho. Then in this disctte, this dearth of Dac. It is wonderful how the mind of man invention, give me leave, gentlemeu, to distribute can contain it. my stores. I have here in my hand a little Sir Tho. Why to tell you the truth, that circum

« PreviousContinue »