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bis money better than his son, and would not settle a fare thing upon me.
Puff. Mine did so by me
Capt. Purchas'd me a pair of colours at my own-request; but before I join'd the regiment, which was going abroad, I took a ramble into the country with a fellow-collegian, to see a relation of his who liv'd in Berkshire.
Puff. A party of pleasure, I suppose.
Capt. During a short stay there, I came acquainted with this young creature: she was just come from the boardingschool, and tho' she had all the simplicity of her age and the country, yet it was mix'd with such sensible vivacity, that I took fire at once.
Puff. I was tinder myself at your age. But pray, Sir, did you take fire before you knew her fortune.
Capt. Before, upon my honour.
Capt. I was introduced to the family by the name of Rbodopbil, (for 90 my companion and I had settled it;) at the end of three weeks I was obliged to attend the call of honour in Flanders.
Puff. Your parting, to be sure, was heart-breaking.
Capt. I feel it at this instant.-We vow'd eternal constancy, and I promis'd to take the first opportunity of returning to her: I did so, but we found the house was shut up, and all the information you know, that we could get from the neighbouring cottage was, that miss and her aunt remov'd to town, and liv'd somewhere near this part of it.
Puf. And now we are got to the place of action, propose vour plan of operation.
Capt. My father lives but in the next street, so I must decamp immediately for fear of discoveries; you are not known to be my servant, so make what enquiries you can in the neighbourhood, and I shall wait at the inn for your intelligence.
Puff I'll patrol hereabouts, and examine all that pass; but I've forgot the word, Sir—Miss Biddy
Puff A young lady of wit, beauty, and fifteen thousand pounds fortune-but' Sir
Capt. What do you say, Puff?
Puff. If your honour pleases to consider that I bad a wife in town whom I left somewhat abruptly half a year ago, you'll think it, I believe, but decent to make some enquiry after her first; to be sure it would be some small consolation to me to know whether the poor woman is living, or has made away with herself, or
Capt. Pry’thee don't distract me; a moment's delay is of the utmost consequence; I must insit upon an immedi. ate compliance with my cominands. [Exit Captain.
Puff. The devil's in these fiery young fellows ! they think of no body's wants but their own. He does not consider that I ain flesh and blood as well as himself. However I may kill two birds at once; for I shan't be surprized if I meet my lady walking in the streetBut who have we here? Sure I should know that face.
Enter JASPER from a bouse. Who's that? my old acquaintance, Jasper?
Jas. What, Puff! are you here? Puff. My dear friend! [Kisses bim.) Well, and now, Jasper, still easy and happy ! Toujours le meme !-What intrigues now? what girls have you ruin'd, and what cuckolds made, since you and I used to beat up together, Eh
Fas. Faith, business has been very brisk during the war ; men are scarce, you know; not that I can say I ever wanted amusement in the worst of times-But harkee, Puff
Puff. Not a word aloud, I am incognito.
Jas. Why faith, I should not have known you, if you had not spoke first; you seem to be a little disbabitle too, as well as incognito. Whom do you honour with your service now? are you from the wars?
Puff. Piping hot, I assure you : fire and smoke will tarnish;
a man that'will go into such service as I have been in, will find his cloaths the worse for wear, take word for it; but how is it with you, friend Jasper? what, you still serve; I see? You live at that house, I suppose?
Jas. I don't absolutely live, but I am most of my time there; I have been these two months enter'd into the service of an old gentleman, who hired a reputable servant, and dressed him as you see, because he has taken it into his head to fall in love.
Puff. False appetite, and second childhood! but pry'thee, what's the object of his passion ?
Jas. No less than a virgin of sixteen.
Jas. And he mumbles and plays with her till his mouth waters; then chuckles till he cries, and calls it his Bid, and his Bidsy, and is so foolishly fond Puf. Bidsy! what's that?
Fas. Her name is Biddy.
Puff I have no luck to be sure. [Aside.]Oh! I have heard of her; she's of a pretty good family, and has some fortune, I know. But are things settled? Is the marriage fixd?
Jas. Not absolutely; the girl I believe detests him; but. her aunt, a very good prudent old lady, has given her consent, if he can gain her nieces; how it will end I can't tell -but I am hot upon't myself.
Puff. The devil ! not marriage, I hope.
Jas. A maid in the same family, a woman of honour, I assure you ; she has one husband already, a scoundrel sort of a fellow that has run away from her, and listed for a soldier; so towards the end of the campaign she hopes to have a certificate that he's knock'd oth' head; if not, I suppose we shall settle matters another way.
Puff. Well speed the ploughBut harkye, consummate without the certificate if you can keep your neck out of the collar-do I have wore it these two years, and damnably gall'd I am.
Jas. I'll take your advice; but I must run away to my master, who will be impatient for an answer to his message which I have just delivered to the young lady: so, dear Mr Puff, I am your most obedient humble servant.
Puff. And I must to our agent's for my arrears: if you have an hour to spare, you'll hear of me at George's or the Tilt-Yard.Au Revoir, as we say abroad. [Exit Jasper.] Thus we are as civil and as false as our betters; Jasper and I were always the Beau Monde exactly; we ever hated one another heartily, yet always kiss and shake handsBut now to my master with a head full of news, and a heart full of joy.
(Going, starts. Angels, and ministers of grace defend me!
It can't be! by heavens, it is, that fretful porcupine, my wife! I can't stand it; what shall I do, I'll try to avoid her.
Puff. I sweat-I tremble-She comes upon me !
Tag. If your honour pleases to look this way
Puff. The kingdom is over-run with beggars; I suppose the last I gave to has sent this; but I have no more loose silver about me; so pr’ythee, woman, don't disturb mé.
Tag. I can hold no longer; oh, you villain, you ! where have you been, scoundrel ? do
[Seizes bim. Puff. Here, watch, watch, zounds I shall have my pocket pick'd.
Tag. Owo me this minute, hang-dog, and confess every thing, or by the rage of an injured woman, I'll raise the neighbouroood, throttle you, and send you to Newgate.
Puff. Amazement! what, my own dear Tag! Come to my arms, and let me press you to my heart, that pants for thee, and only thee, my true and lawful wife.--Now my stars have over-paid me for the fatigue and dangers of the field; I have wandered about like Achilles in search of faithful Penelope, and the Gods have brought me to this happy spot.
[Embraces ber. Taģ. The fellow's crack'd for certain! Leave your bombastic stuff, and tell me, rascal, why you left me, and where
you have been these six months, heh? Puff. We'll reserve my adventures for our happy winter evenings I shall only tell
heart beats so strong in my country's cause, and being instigated either by honour or the devil, (I can't tell which) I set out for Flanders, to gatħer laurels, and lay 'em at thy feet.
Tag. You left me to starve, villain, and beg, my bread, you did.so.
Puff. I left you too hastily I must confess, and often has my conscience stung me for it. I am got into an officer's service, have been in several actions, gain'd some credit
by my behaviour, and am now return’d with my master to indulge the genteeler passions.
Tag. Don't think to sob me off with this nonsensical talk; what have you brought me home besides?
Puff Honour and immoderate love.
Tug. Temperance, traitor, temperance ! what can you say for yourself; leave me to the wide world
Puff. Well I have been in the wide world too, han't I? what would the woman have ? Tag. Reduce me to the necessity of going to service.
[Cries. Puff. Why, I'm in service too, your lord and master an't I you saucy jade, you? Come, where dost thou live, hereabouts ? hast got good vails ? dost go to market? Come, give me a kiss, darling, and tell me where I shall pay my duty to thee. Tag. Why there I live at that honse.
[Pointing at tbe bouse Jasper came out of Puff. What, there.? that house? Tag. Yes, there that house. Puff
. Huzza ! we're made for ever, you slut you! huzza! every thing conspires this day to make me happyPrepare for an inundation of joy! my master is in love with your Miss Biddy over head and ears, and she with him: I know she is courted by some old fumbler, and her aunt is not against the match; but now we are come, the town will be reliev'd, and the governor brought over; in plain English, our fortune is made; my master must marry the lady, and the old gentleman may go to the devil.
Tag. Heyday! what's all this?
Puff. Say no more, the dice are thrown, doubtless for us; away to your young mistress, while I run to my master, tell her Rhodophil ! Rhodophil! will be with her immediately; then if her blood does not mount to her face like quick-silver in a weather-glass, and point to extreme hot, believe the whole a lye, and your husband no politician.
Tag. This is news indeed! I have had the place but a Httle while, and have not quite got into the secrets of the family; but part of your story is true, and if you bring