Page images
PDF
EPUB

%

can

Enter BEVER.

Sir Tho. Witb infinite pleasure !

Bev. Then give me your niece; her hands So, sir; this is delicate treatment, after all I shall seal op my lips. have suffered !

Sir Tho. What Juliet? Willingly. But, are Sir Tho. Mr. Bever, I hope you don't-that you serious? Do you really admire the girl ? is

Bev. Beyond what words can express. It was Beo. Well, sir Thomas Lofty, what think you by her advice I consented to father your play. grow of your Robinson Crusoe ? a pretty per Sir Tho. What is Juliet apprized? Here formance !

Robin, John, run and call my niece hither this Sir Tho. Think, Mr. Bever! I think the pub- moment. That giddy baggage will blab all in lic are blockheads! a tasteless, stupid, ignorant an instant. tribe ! and a man of genius deserves to be damn Bev. You are mistaken ; she is wiser than ed, who writes any thing for them. But cou- you are aware of. rage, dear Dick ! the principals will give you what the people refuse; the closet will do you that

Enter JULIET. justice the stage has denied : Print your play. Beo. My play! zounds, sir, 'tis your own!

Sir Tho. Oh, Juliet, you know what has hapSir Tho. Speak lower, dear Dick! be mode- pened? rate, my good, dear lad!

Jul. I do, sir. Beo. Oh, Sir Thomas, you may be easy enough;

Sir Tho. Have you revealed this unfortunate you are safe and secure, removed far from that

secret? precipice that has dashed me to pieces.

Jul. To no mortal, Sir Thomas. Sir Tho. Dear Dick, don't believe it will hurt

Sir Tho. Come give me your hand. Mr. Bever, you: the critics, the real judges, will discover in child, for my sake, bas renounced the stage, and that piece such excellent talents

the whole republic of letters ; in return, I owe Bev. No, sir Thomas, no ! I shall neither flat

him your hand. ter you nor myself ; I have acquired a right to

Jül. My hand! what to a poet hooted, lissed, speak what I think. Your play, sir, is a wretch- and exploded ! you must pardon me, sir. ed performance; and in this opinion, all man

Sir Tho. Juliet, a trifle ! the most they ca kind are united.

say of him is, that he is a little wanting in wit; Sir Tho. May be not.

and he has so many brother writers to keep him Beo. If your piece had been greatly received, in countenance, that, now-a-days, that is no reI would have declared sir Thomas Lofty the au

flection at all. thor; if coldly, I would have owned it myself;

Jul. Then, sir your engagement to Mr. Rust. but such disgraceful, such contemptible treat

Sir Tho. I have found out the rascal : he has ment! I own the burden is too heavy for me ;

been inore impertinently severe on my play than so sir, you must bear it yourself,

all the rest put together; so that I am deterSir Tho. Me, dear Dick! what to become ri- mined he shall be none of the man. diculous in the decline of my life; to destroy, in

Enter Rust.
one hour, the fame that forty years has been
building ! that was the

prop,
the

support of my Rust. Are you so, sir? what then, am I to be age! Can you be cruel enough to desire it? sacrificed, in order to preserve the secret; that

Bev. Zounds, sir! and why must I be your you are a blockhead ? but you are out in your crutch? would you have me tecome a voluntary politics; before night it shall be known in all victim ? No, sir, this cause does not merit a mar- the coffee-houses in town. tyrdom.

Sir Tho. For Heaven's sake, Mr. Rust!Sir Tho. I own myself greatly obliged ; but Rust. And tomorrow I will paragraph you in persevere, dear Dick, persevere! you have time every newspaper; you shall no longer impose on to recover your fame; I beg it, with tears in my the world : 1 will unmask you; the lion's skin eyes. Another play will

shall hide you no longer. Bev. No, sir Thomas; I have done with the Sir Tho. Juliet ! Mr. Berer! what can I do? stage--the muses and I meet no more.

Bev. Sir Thomas, let me manage this matter. Sir Tho. Nay, there are various roads open in Harkye, old gentleman, a word in your ear? you life.

remember what you have in your pocket ? Bev. Not one where your piece won't pursue Rust. Hey! how! what! me : If I go to the bar, the ghosi of this cursed Bev. The curiosity what has cost you so much comedy will follow, and hunt me in Westmin- pains. šter-ball. Nay, when I die, it will stick to my Rust. What, my Æneas ! my precious relict memory, and I shall be handed down to poste- of Troy! rity with the author of Love in a Hollow Tree. Bev. You must give up that, or the lady.

Sir Tho. Then marry: you are a pretty smart Jul. How, Mr. Bever? figure, and your poetical talents

Beo. Never fear; I am sure of my man. Bev. And what fair would admit of my suit, Rust. Let me consider-As to the girl, girls or favpily wish to receive me? make the case your are plenty enough; I can marry when I will: own, Sir Thomas, would you ?

But my paper, my phoenix, that springs fresh

from the flames, that can never be matched Sir Tho. You oblige me for ever. Now the Take her.

secret dies with us four. My fault. I owe him Ber. And as you love your own secret, be much. careful of ours. Rust. I am dumb.

Be it your care to show it; Sir Tho. Now, Juliet.

And bless the man, though I have damned the Jul. You join me, sir, to an unfortunate bard; poet. but, to procure your peace

[Excunt omnes.

[blocks in formation]

SCENE I.-MRS. MECHLIN'S House, Jen. Why, you knock with authority; and what

are your commands, Master Simon? [Loud Knocking at the Door.] Sim. I come, madam, to receive those of your

mistress. What, Jenny, has she any great affair Enter JENNY.

on the anvil? Her summons is most exceedingly

pressing; and you need not be told, child, that a Jen. Rap, rap, rap! up stairs and down, from man of my consequence does not trouble himself morning to night!—if this same commissary stays about trifles. much longer amongst us, my inistress must e'en Jen. Oh, sir, I know very well you principal hire a porter. Who's there?

actors don't perforin every night. Sim.[Without.] Is Mrs. Mechlin at home?

Sim. Mighty well, ma'am! but, notwithstandJen. No. (Opens the Door.] Oh! what, it is ing your ironical sneer, it is not every man that

will do for your mistress; her agents must have

genius and parts: I don't suppose, in the whole Enter Simon.

bills of mortality, there is so general and extenSim, At your service, sweet Mrs. Jane, sive a dealer as my friend Mrs. Mechlin.

you, Simon?

Jen. Why, to be sure, we have plenty of cus Sim. That engrosser and seducer of virgins ? tomers, and for various kinds of cominodities; it Jen. Keep it up, Master Simon. would be pretty difficult, I fancy, to

Sim. That forestaller of bagnios ? Sim. Commodities! Your humble servant, Jen. Incomparably fine ! sweet Mrs. Jane; yes, yes, you have various kinds Sim. That canting, cozeniny, money-lending, of commodities, indeed.

match-making, pawnbrokingJen. Mr. Simon, I don't understand you; I

[ Loud knocking. suppose it is no secret in what sort of goods our Jen. Mighty well, sir! here comes my misdealing consists?

tress ; she shall thank you for the pretty picture Sim. No, no; they are pretty well known. you have been pleased to draw.

Jen. And, to be sure, though now and then, to Sim. Nay, but, dear Jennyoblige a customer, my mistress does condescend Jen. She shall be told how lightly she stands to smuggle a little

in your favour. Sim. Keep it up, Mrs. Jane!

Šim. But, my sweet girl

Knock again. Jen. Yet there are no people in the liberty of Jen. Let me go, Mr. Simon ? don't you hear? Westminster, that live in more credit than we Sim. And can you have the heart to ruin me do.

at once? Sim. Bravo!

Jen. Hands off! Jen. The very best of quality are not ashamed Sim. A peace, a peace, my dear Mrs. Jane, to visit my mistress.

and dictate the articles. Sim. They have reason. Jen. Respected by the neighbours.

Enter Mrs. Mechlin, followed by a HackneySim. I know it.

Couchman, with several bundles, in a capuJen. Punctual in her payments.

chin, a bonnet, and her clouths pinned up. Sim. To a moment. Jen. Regular hours.

Mrs. Mech. So, hussy! what, must I stay all Sim. Doubtless.

day in the streets? Who have we here? The deJen. Never miss the sarmant on Sundays. vil's in the wenches, I think !-One of your felSim. I own it.

lows, I suppose-Oh, is it you? How fares it, Jen. Not an oath comes out of her mouth, Simon ? unless now and then, when the poor gentlewo Jen. Madam, you should not have waited a man happens to be overtaken in liquor. minute ; but Mr. SimonSim. Granted.

Sim. Hush, hush! you barbarous jade Jen. Not at all given to lying, but, like other Jen. Knowing your knock, and eager to open tradesfolks, in the way of her business.

the door, few up stairs, fell over the landingSim. Very well.

place, and quite barred

up
the

way. Jen. Very well! then pray, sir, what would Sim. Yes; and I am afraid I have put out my you insinuate? Look you, Mr. Simon, don't go to ancle. Thanks, Jenny; you shall be no loser, cast reflections upon us; don't think to blast the you slut.

Aside. reputation of our

Mrs. Mech. Poor Simon! Oh, Lord have Sim. Hark ye, Jenny, are you serious ? mercy upon me, what a round have I taken? Jen. Serious ! Ay, marry am I.

Is the wench petrified? Why don't you reach me Sim. The devil you are !

a chair? don't you see I am tired to death? Jen. Upon my word, Mr. Simon, you should Jen. Indeed, madam, you'll kill yourself. not give your tongue such a licence; let me tell Sim. Upon iny word, Madam Mechlin, you you, these airs do not become you at all. should take a little care of yourself; indeed you

Sim. Hey-day! why, where the deuce have I labour too hard. got? Sure, I have mistaken the house; is not Mrs. Mech. Ay, Simon, and for little or nos this Mrs. Mechlin's ?

thing: only victuals and clothes : more cost than Jen. That's pretty well known.

worship-Why does not the wench take the Sim. The commodious, convenient Mrs. Mech-things from the fellow ?

-Well, what's your lin, at the sign of the Star, in the parish of St. fare? Paul's?

Coach. Mistress, 'tis honestly worth half-a Jen. Bravo! Sim. That commercial caterpillar ?

Mrs. Mech. Give him a couple of shillings, Jen, I know it.

and send him away. Sim. That murderer of manufacturers?

Coach. I hope you'll tip me the tester to Jen. Doubtless.

drink! Sim. That walking warehouse?

Mrs. Mech. Them there fellows are never Jen. Granted,

contented : Drink! Stand farther off! why, you Sim. That carries about a greater cargo of smell already as strong as a beer-barrel. contraband goods under her petticoats than a Coach. Mistress, that's because I have already Calais cutter?

been drinking. Jen. Very well.

Mrs. Mech. And are you not ashamed, you

crown.

us all.

sot, to be eternally guzzling? You bad better party has interest enough to obtain it, whenever buy you some some cloaths.

he will. And then the bridegroom may put the Coach. No, mistress; my honour won't let purchase-money too of that same presentation me do that.

into his pocket. Mrs. Mech. Your honour! And pray bow Jen. Truly, madam, I should think this would does that hinder you?

prove the best match for the lady, Coach. Why, when a good gentlewoinan like Mrs. Mech. Who doubts it? -Here, Jenny, you, cries, Here, coachman, liere's something to carry these things above stairs. Take care of drink

the eigrette, leave the watch upon the table, and Mrs. Nech. Well!

be sure you don't mislay the pearl necklace: the Coach. Would it be honour in mc to lay it lady goes to Mrs. Corneley's to-night; and, if out in any thing else? No, mistress, my con- she has any luck, she will he sure to redeem it science won't let me; because why, 'tis the will to-morrow, of the donor you know.

Sim. What a world of affairs ! it is a wonder, Mrs. Mech. Did you ever hear such a block- madam, how you are able to remember them head!

all. Coach. No, no, mistress; though I am a poor. Mrs. Mech. Trifles, mere trifles, Master Siman, I won't forfeit my honour; my cattle, thof mon -But I have a great affair in hand-such I love them, poor beastesses, are not more dearer an affair, if well managed, will be the making of to me tban that.

Mrs. Mech. Yes, you and your horses give Sim. If I, madam, can be of the least usepretty strony proofs of your honour; for you Mrs. Mech. Of the highest ! there's no doing have no cloaths on your back, and they have no without you—You know the greatflesh. Well, Jenny, give him the sixpence There, there lay it out as you will.

Enter JENNY. Coach. It will be to your health, mistress; it shall melt at the Meuse before I go home;

Jen. I have put the things where ordered I

you

madam. shall be careful to clear my conscience.

AIrs. Msech. Very well, you may go. [Erit Mrs. Mech. I don't doubt it. Coach. You need not; Mistress, your servant that is coine to Yodge in my house? Now, they

JENNY.) I say, you know the great commissary Mrs Mech. Has there been any body here, say this Mr. Fungus is as rich as an Indian Jenny?

governor; heaven knows how he came by it; Jen. The gentleman, madam, about the Glou- but that, you know, is no business of ours. cestershire living.

Pretty pickings, I warrant abroad. [Loud Mrs. Mech. He was! Oh, oh! what, I sup-let it be who it will, you must not go tili I speak

knocking.] who the devce can that be? But pose his stomach's come down. Does he like the encumbrance? will he marry the party? Jen. Why, that article seems to go a little

Enter JENNY. against him. Mrs. Mech. Does it so ? then let him retire

Jen. The widow Loveit, madam, to his Cumberland curacy; that's a fine keen air; from Devonshire Square? Show her in. (Exit

Mrs. Mech. What, the old liquorish dowager, it will soon give him an appetite. He'll stick Jenny. You'll wait in the kitchen, Simon; I to his honour too, till his cassock is wore to a shall soon dispatch her affair.

[Erit Simon. rag Jen. Why, indeed, madam, it seems pretty

Enter Mrs. Loveit.' rusty already

Mrs. Mech. Devilish squeamish, I think; a Mrs. Love. So, so, good morning to you, good good fat living, and a fine woman into the bar- Mrs, Mechlin ! John, let the coach wait at the gain ! You told him a friend of the lady's will corner. take the child off her hands?

Mrs. Mech. You had better sit here, maJen. Yes, madam,

dam. Mrs. Mech. So that the affair will be a se Mrs. Love. Any where. Well, my dear wocret to all but himself. But he must quickly man, I hope, you have not forgot your old friend resolve; for, next week, his wife's month will -Ugh, ugh, ugh.—[Coughs.] Consider I have

no time to lose, and you are always so full of Jen. He promised to call about four. employment.

Mrs. Mech. But don't let him think we are Mrs. Mech. Forgot you! you shall judge, Mrs. at a loss for a husband; there is, to my know- Loveit. I have, madam, provided a whole caryo ledge, a merchant's clerk in the city, a comely of husbands for you, of all nations, complexions, young man, and comes of good friends, that will ages, tempers, and sizes: so, you see, you have take her with but a small place in the custom- nothing to do hut choose. house,

Mrs. Love. To choose, Mrs. Mechlin ! Lord Jen. He shall know it.

help me! what choice can I have? I look upon Mrs. Mech. Ay, and tell him that the party's | wedlock to be a kind of a lottery, and I have

to you.

be up:

« PreviousContinue »