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pany to night. I had made a small preparation: but 'tis no matter; Sharp shall go to the rest of the company, and let them know it is put off.
Kit. Not for the world, Sir; my mistress was sensible you must have provided for her, and the rest of the company: so she is resolv'd, tho’ she can't, the other ladies and ger:tlemen shall partake of your entertainment: she's very good natur’d. Sbarp. I had better run, and let 'em know 'tis deferr’d.
[Going Kit. [ Stopping bim.] I have been with 'em already, and told 'em my mistress insists upon their coming, and they have all promised to be here: so pray, don't be under an ny apprehensions, that your preparations will be thrown away.
Gayl. But as I can't have her company, Mrs Kitty, 'twill be a greater pleasure to me, and a greater compliment to her, to defer our mirth; besides I can't enjoy any thing at present, and she not partake of it.
Xit. Oh, no to be sure; but what can I do? My mistress will have it so: and Mrs Gad-about, and the rest of the company, will be here in a few minutes, there are two or three coachfuls of 'em.
Sbarp. Then my master must be ruin'd in spite of my parts.
Gayl. [Aside to Sharp.] 'Tis all over, Sharp.
Sbarp. Why, Sir, as our rooms aie a little out of furniture at present, take'em into the captain's that lodges here, and set'em down to cards; if he should come in the mean time, I'll excuse you to him.
Kit. I have disconcerted their affairs, I find; I'll have some sport with 'em.-Pray, Mr Gayless, don't order too many things, they only make you a friendly visit; the more ceremony, you know, the less welcome. Pray, Sir, let me intreat you not to be profuse. If I can be of service, prav, command me: my mistress has sent me on purpose; while Mr Sharp is doing the business without doors, I may be employed within ; if you'll lend me the keys of your side-board, [to Sharp. ] I'll dispose of your plate to the best advantage.
Sbarp. Thank you, Mrs Kitty ; but it is dispos'd of already.
(Knocking at the door. Kit. Bless me the company's come! I'll go to the door and conduct 'em into your presence. [Exit Kitty.
Sbarp. If you'd conduct them into a horse-pond, and wait of 'em there yourself; we should be more oblig'd to you.
Gayl. I can never support this!
Sharp. Rouse your spirits and put on an air of gaiety, and I don't dispair of bringing you off yet.
Gayl. Your words have done it effectually.
TLE, Mr TRIPPET, and Mrs Trippet.
[Kisses bima. Gayl. My dear widow !
[Kisses ber. Gud. We are come
give you joy, Mr Gayless. Sharp. You never was more mistaken in your life.
[Aside. Gud. I have brought some company here, I believe, is not well known to you, and I protest I have been all about the town to get the little I have-Prissy, my dear Mr Gayless, my daughter.
Gayl. And as handsome as her mother; you must have a husband shortly, my dear.
Pris. I'll assure you I don't dispair, Sir.
Gad. Mr Guttle, Sir, Mr Gayless; Mrs. Gayless, Justice
Sbarp. O destruction! one of the quorum. Gut. Hem. tho' I had not the honour of any personal knowledge of you; yet at the instigation of Mrs Gad-about, I have, without any previous acquaintance with you, throw'd aside all ceremony to let you know that I joy to hear the solemnization of your nuptials is so near at hand.
Gayl. Sir, tho’I cannot answer you with the same elocution, however, Sir, I thank you with the same sincerity.
Gad. Mr and Mrs Trippit, Sir, the properest lady in the world for your purpose, for she'll dance for four and twenty hours together.
Trip. My dear Charles, I am very angry with you, faith; 80 near marriage, and not let me know, 'twas barbarous;
you thought, I suppose, I should rally you upon it; but dear Mrs Trippet, here has long ago eradicated all my antimatrimonial principles.
Mrs Trip. I eradicate! fye, Mr Trippet, don't be so obscene.
Kit. Pray, ladies, walk into the next room ; Mr Sharp can't lay his cloth till you are set down to cards.
Gad. One thing I had quite forgot; Mr Gayless, my nephew, who you never saw,
will be in town from France presently, so I left word to send him here immediately, to make one.
Gayl. You do me honour, madam.
Gut. Oh, the supper by all means, for I have eat nothing to signify since dinner.
Sbarp. Nor I, since Monday was a fortnight. [Aside.
Gayi. Pray, ladies, walk into the next room; Sharp, get things ready for supper, and call the music.
Sbarp. Well said, master.
Kit. I'll to my mistress, and let her know every thing is ready for her appearance.
[Erit Kitty. GUTTLE and SHARP. Gut. Pray Mr what's your name, don't be long with supper; but harkee, what can I do in the mean time? Suppose you get me a pipe and some good wine, I'll try to divert myself that way till supper's ready.
Sharp. Or suppose, Sir, you was to take a nap till then, there's a very easy couch in that closet.
Gut. The best thing in the world, I'll take your advice; but be sure and wake me when the supper is ready.
[Exit Guttle. Sbarp. Pray heaven, you may not wake till then- What a fine situation my master is in at present: I have promised him my assistance, but his affairs are in so desperate a way that I am afraid it is out of my skill to recover 'em. Well, fools have fortune, says an old proverb, and a very true one it is, for my master and I are two of the most unfortunate mortals in the creation,
Enter GAYLESS. Gayl. Well, Sharp, I have set them down to cards, and now what have you to propose ?
Sharp. I have one scheme left, which in all probability may succeed. The good citizen, overloaded with his last meal, is taking a nap in that closet, in order to get him an appetite for yours. Suppose, Sir, we should make him treat us.
Gayl. I don't understand you.
Sbarp. I'll pick his pocket, and provide us a supper with the booty.
Gayl. Monstrous ! for, without considering the villainy of it, the danger of waking him, makes it impracticable.
Sbarp. If he wakes, I'll smother him, and lay his death to indigestion-a very common death, among the justices.
Gayl. Prithee be serious, we have no time to lose ; can you invent nothing to drive 'em out of the house?
Sbarp. I can fire it.
Gayi. Shame and confusion, so perplex me, I cannot give myself a moment's thought.
Sburp. I have it; did not Mrs Gad-about say her nephew would be here?
Gayl. She did.
Sbarp. Say no more, but in to your company; if I don't send 'em out of the house for the night, I'll at least frighten their stomachs away: and if this stratagem fails, l'll relinquish politics, and think my understanding no better than my neighbours.
Gayl. How shall I reward thee, Sharp?
Sbarp. By your silence and obedience; away to your company, Sir. [Exit Gayless.] Now, dear madam Fore tune, for once open your eyes and behold a poor unfortunate man of parts addressing you; now is your time to convince
foes, you are not that blind whimsical whore they take vou for; but let 'em see, by your assisting me, that men of sense, as well as fools, are sometimes intitled to your favour and protection. So much for prayer; now for a great noise and a lye. [Goes aside and cries out.] Help! help, master; help, gentlemen, ladies; murder, fire, brimstone; help, help, help!
Enter Mr Gayless and tbe ladies, with cards in their bands,
and SHARP enters running, and meets them. Gayl. What's the matter?
Sbarp. Matter, Sir, if you don't run this minute with that gentleman, this lady's nephew will be murder'd; I am sure, 'twas he, he was set upon the corner of the street, by four; he has kill'd two, and if you don't make haste, he'll be either murdered or took to prison.
Gad. For heaven's sake, gentlemen, run to his assistance. How I tremble for Melissa ! this frolic of her's may be fatal.
[Aside. Gayl. Draw, Sir, and follow me.
[Exit Gayless and Gad-about. Trip. Not I; I don't care to run myself into needless quarrels; I have suffered too much formerly by flying into passions; besides, I have pawn'd my honour to Mrs Trippet, never to draw my sword again; and in her present condition, to break my word might have fatal consequences.
Sharp. Pray, Sir, don't excuse yourself, the young gentleman may be murdered by this time.
Trip. Then my assistance will be of no servise to him ;. however, I'll go to oblige you, and look on at a distance.
Mrs Trip. I shall certainly faint, Mr Trippet, if you. draw.
Enter GUTTLE, disorder'd as from sleep. Gut. What a noise and confusion is this? Sbarp. Sir, there's a man murder'd in the street. Gut. Is that all.--zounds, I was afraid you had throw'd
down—a plague of your noise.-shan't recover my stomach this half hour. Enter GAYLESS and GAD-ABOUT, witb Melissa in boy's
cloaths dress'd in tbe FRENCH manner. Gad. Well, but my dear Jemmy, you are not hurt sure? Mel. A little with riding post only.
Gad. Mr Sharp alarm’d us all with an accident of your being set upon by four men; and that you had kill'd two, and was attacking the other, when he came away, and when we met you at the door, we were running to your rescue.
Mel. I had a small encounter with half a dozen villain'; VOL. I.