Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

dence, that I am sure, had they a mind to amuse themselves, they would certainly have drawn the window-curtains.

Mel. What, did you say nothing else ? did you not convince her of her error and impertinence ?

Sbarp. She swore to such ihings, that I could do nothing but swear and call names; upon which, out bolts her husband upon me, with a fine taper crab in his hand, and fell upon me with such violence, that being half delirious, I made a full confession.

Mel. A full confession! what did you confess ?

Sbarp. That my master lov'd fornication ; that you had no aversion to it; that Mrs Kitty was a bawd, and your humble servant a pimp.

Kit. A bawd! a bawd! do I look like a bawd, madam ?

Sbarp. And so, madam, in the scuffle, my coat was torn to pieces as well as your reputation.

Mel. And so you join'd to make me infamous.

Sbarp. For Heaven's sake, madam, what could I do? his proofs fell so thick upon me, as witness my head [sbewing bis bead plaister'd.] that I would have given up all the maidenheads in the kingdom, rather than have my brains beat to a jelly.

Md. Very well!--but I'll be reveng'd-And did not you tell your master of this ?

Sbarp. Tell him! no madam. Had I'told him, his love is so violent for you, that he would certainly have murdered half the attorney's i! town by this time.

-Mel. Very well !-But I'm resolv'd not to go to your master's to night.

Sbarp. Heaven's and my impudence be praised. [aside.

Kit. Why not, Madam ? if you are not guilty, face your accuisers,

Sbarp. Oh the devil!' ruin'd again! [Aside.] To be sure, face'em by all means, madam, They can't but be abusive, and break the windows a little : Besides, madam, I have thought of a way to make this affair quite diverting to you. I have a fine blund bi!ss charg'd with half a hundred slugs, and my master has a delicate large Swiss broad sword; and between us madani, we shałl sa pepper and slice'em, that you will die with lawighing. Mol. What at murder?

Kit. Don't fear, madam, there will be no murder, if Sharp's concern’d.

Sbarp. Murder, madam! 'Tis self-defence; besides, in these sorts of skirmishes there are never more than two or three killed; for, supposing they bring the whole body of militia upon us, down but with a brace of them, and away fly the rest of the, covey, Mei. Persude me never so much, I won't go;

that's

my resolution.

Kit. Why then, I'll tell you what, madam since you are resolved not to go to the supper, suppose the supper was to come to you; 'tis great pity such great preparations as Mr Sharp has made should be thrown away.

Sbarp. So it is, as you say, Mrs Kitty. But I can immediately run back and unbespeak what I have order'd; tis soon done.

Mel. But then what excuse can I send to your master; he'll be very uneasy at my not coming.

Sbarp. O terribly so !. But I have it I'll tell him you are very much out of order--that you were suddenly taken with the vapours or qualnis; or what you please, madam.

Mel. I'll leave it to you, Sharp, to make my apology; and there's half a guinea for you to help your invention.

Sbarp. Half a guinea ! 'Tis so long since I had any thing to do with money, that I scarcely know the current coin of my own.country. Oh, Sharp, what talents hast thou ! to secure thy master; deceive his mistress, out-lie her chambermaid; and yet be paid for thy honesty! But my joy wiil discover me [Aside. ] Madam, you have eternally fix'd Timothy Sharp your most obedient humble servant-Oh the delights of impudence and

a good understanding!

[E.rit. Sharp. Kit. Ha, ha! ha! was there ever such a lying varlet ! with his slugs and his broad swords; his attornies, and broken heads and nonsense! Well, madam, are you satisfied now? Do you want more proofs ?

Mel. Of your modesty I do; but I find, you are resolved to give me none.

Kit. Madam ?

Mel. I see thro' your little mean artifice; you are endeavouring to lessen Mr Gayless in my opinion, be

cause

cause he has not paid you for services he had no occasion for.

Kit. Pay me, madam, I am sure I have very little occason to be angry with Mr Gayless for not paying me, when I believe, 'tis his general practice.

Md. 'Tis false ! he's a gentleman and a man of honour, and you are

Kit. Not in love, I thank heaven! [Curtseying
Mel. You are a fool.
Kit. I have been in love; but I am much wiser now.
Mel. Hold your tongue, impertinence !
Kit. That's the severest thing she has said yet. [Aside.
Mel. Leave me.
Kit. Oh this love ! this love is the devil! (Exit Kitty.

Mel. We discover our weaknesses to our servants, make them our confidants, put 'em on an equality with us, and so they become our advisers Sharp's behavicur tho' I seem'd to disregard it, makes me tremble with apprehengons; and tho I have pretended to be angry with Kitty for her advice, I think it of too much consequence to be Deglected.

Enter Kirty.
Kit. May I speak, Madam?
Mel. Don't be a fool, what do you want?

Kit. There is a servant just came out of the country, says, he belongs to Sir Williain Gayless, wd has got a letter from his master upon very urgent business.

Mel. Sir William Gayless; what can this mean? where is the man.

Kit. In the little parlour, madam.
Mel. I'll go to him-My heart flutters strangely,

Exit Melissa. Kit. Oh woman, woman, foolish woman ! she'll certainly have this Gayless ; nay, were she as well convinc'd of his poverty as I am, she'd have hiin-A strong dose of love is worse than one of ratifia; when once it get's into our heads, it trips up our heels, and then good night to discretion. Here she is going to throw away fifteen thousand pounds ? upon what? faith, little better than nothing-He's a man, and that's all and heaven knows mere man is but small consolation.

Be this advice pursu'd by eacb fond muid,
Ni'or slight tbe substancc for a emply sdude ;
Ricb weigbly sparks alone sbould please und cbarm ye;
For sbould spouse cool, bis gold will ulways wurm ye.

ACT. II.

Inter GAYLESS and SHARI.

GAYLESS.

PR Teled

RITHEE be serious, Shirp. Hast thou really suc

ce eded. Sbarp. To our wishes, Sir. In short I have managed the business with such skill and dexterity, that neither your circumstances nor my veracity are suspected.

Gayl. But how hast thou excused me from the ball and entertainment?

Sbarp. Beyond expectation, Sir.-But in that particu. bular I was obliged to have recourse to truth, and declare the real situation of your affairs. I told her we had so long disused ourselves to dressing either dinners or supo pers, that I was afraid we should be but aukward in our preparations. In short, Sir, at that instant a cursed gnawing seized my stomach, that I could not beip telling her, that both you and myself seldom make a good meal now-a-days once a quarter of a year.

Gayl. Hell and confusion, have you betray'd me villain ! did you not tell me this moment, she did not in the least suspect my circumstances.

Sburp. No more she did, Sir, till I told her.
Gayl. Very well; and was this your skill and dexterity?

Sbarp. I was going to tell you ; but you won't hear reason; my melancholy face and piteous narration had such an effect upon her generous bowels, that she freely forgives all that's past,

Gayl. Does she, Sharp?

Sbarp. Yes; and desires never to see your face again ; and, as a farther consideration of so doing, she has sent you half a guinea.

[Sbews tbc money. Gayt. What do you mean? Sbarp. To spend, sper,d it, Sir; and regale.

Gayl.

Gayl. Villian, you have undone me!

Sbarp. What, by bringing you money, when you are not worth a farthing in the whole world? Well, well, then to make you happy gain, I'll keep it myself; and wish suinebody would take it in their head to load me with such misfortunes.

[Puts up tbe money. Gayl. Do you laugh at me rascal ?

Sburp. Who deserves more to be laughed at ? Ha, ha, ha. Never for the future, Sir, dispute the success of my negotiations, when even you, who know me so well can't help swallowing my hook. Why, Sir, I could have play'd you backwards and forwards at the end of my line, till I had put your senses into such a farmentation, that you should not have known in an hour's time whether you was a fish or a man.

Gayl. Why, what is all this you have been telling me?
Sbarp. A down-right lie from begirning to end.
Gayl. And have you really excused me to her?

Sbarp. No Sir; but I have got this half guinea to make her excuses to yoú; and, instead of a confederacy between you and me to deceive her, she thinks she has brought me over to put the deceit upon you.

Gayl. Thou excellent fellow !

Sbarp. Don't lose time but slip out of the house immediately; the back-way, I believe, will be the safest for you, and to her as fast as you can; pretend vast surprise and concern that her indisposition has de barr'd you the pleasure of her company here to-night; you need know no more: away!

Gayl. But what shall we do, Sharp ? here's her maid again.

Sbarp. The devil she is I wish I could poison her; for I'm sure, while she lives I can never prosper.

Enter KITTY. Kit. Your door was open, so I did not stand upon ceremony.

Gayl. I am sorry to hear your mistress is taken so suddenly.

Kit. Vapours, vapours Only, Sir; a few matrimonial omens, that's all : but I suppose Mr Sharp has made her excuses. G'ayl. And tells me I can't have the pleasure of her com

pany

« PreviousContinue »