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your master, and miss is willing, I warrant we'll be too hard for the old folks.

Puff. I'll about it streight!-but hold, Tag, I had forgot-Pray how does Mr Jasper do?

Tag. Mr Jasper! what do you mean? I-I-I

Puf: What out of countenance, child? Oh fy ! Speak plain, my dear And the certificate, when comes that heh, love?

Tag. He has sold himself, and turn'd conjurer, or he could never have known it.

[ Aside. Puff. Are not you a jade ? Are not you a JezebelAsn't you a

Tag. O ho, temperance? or I walk off

Puf. I know I'm not finished yet, and so am easy; but more thanks to my fortune than your virtue, madam.

Aunt. [within.) Tag, Tag, where are you Tag?

Tag. Coming, madam.-My old lady calls; away to your master, and I'll prepare his reception within.

Puff. Shall I bring the certificate with me? [Exit. Tag. Go, you graceless rogue, you richly deserve it.


SCENE, changes to a Chamber.

Enter Aunt and TAG. Aunt. Who was that man you were talking too, Tag?'

Fag: A cousin of mine, madam, that brought me news from my aunt in the country.

Aunt. Where's my niece? why are not you with her?

Tag. She bid me leave her alone-She's melancholy, madam;

I don't know what's come to her of lateAunt. The thoughtfulness that is natural upon the approach of matrimony, generally occasions a decent concern.

Tag. And do you think, madam, a husband of threescore and five

Aunt. Hold, Tag, he protests to me, he is but fifty and five,

Tag. He is a rogue, madam, and an old rogue, which is the worst of rogues.

Aunt. Alas! youth or age, 'tis all one to her; she is all simplicity without experience; but she's so innocent she won't know the difference

Tag. Tag. Innocent! ne'er trust to that, madam ; I was in nocent myself once, but live and learn is an old saying, and a true one; I believe, madam, nobody is more innocent than yourself, and a good maid you are to be sure; but tho' you really don't know the difference, yet you can fancy it, I warrant you.

Aunt. I should prefer a large jointure to a small one, and that's all: but it's impossible that Biddy should have desires, she's but newly come out of the country, and just turn’d of sixteen.

Tag. That's a ticklish age, madam! I have observ'd slre does not eat, nor she does not sleep: she sighs, and she cries, she loves moon-light; these I take it are very strong symptoms.

Aunt. They are very un'accountable, I must confess; but you talk from a deprav'd mind, Tag: her’s is simple, and untainted.

Tag. She'll make him a cuckold tho' for all that, if you force her to marry him.

Aunt. You shock me Tag, with your coarse expressions, I tell you, her chastity will be her guard, let her husband be what he will.

Tag. Chastity ? never trust to that, madam ; get her a husband that's fit for her, and I'll be bound for her virtue, but with such a one as Sir Simeon, I'm a rogue if I'd ana swer for my own.

Aunt. Well; Tag, the child shall never have reason to repent of my severity; I was going before to my lawyer's to speak about the articles of marriage, I will now put a. stop to'em for some time, till we can make further discoveries.

Tag. Heaven will bliss you for your goodness; look where the poor bird comes, quite mop'd and melancholy; I'll set my pump to work, and draw something from her before you return, I warrant you. [Exit Aunt.] There goes a miracle ; she has neither pride, envy, or ill nature, and yet is near sixty and a virgin.

Enter BIDDY. Bid. How unfortunate a poor girl am 1? dare not tell my secrets to any body, and if I don't I'm undone-Heighho! (sigbs.] Pray Tag, is my aunt gone to her lawyer about me? Heigho !


Tag. What's that sigh for my dear young mistress ? Bid. I did not sigh, not [sigbs] Tug. Nay never gulp 'em down, they are the worst things you can swallow. There's something in that little heart of yours, that swells it and puffs-it, and will burst it at last if you don't give it vent.

Bid. What would you have me tell you? [sig bs]

Tag. Come, come, you are afraid I'll betray you, but you had as good speak, I may do you some service you little think of.

Bid. It is not in your power Tag, to give me what I want. [sigbs]

Tag. Not directly, perhaps; but I may be the means of helping you to it; as for example-If you should not like to marry the old man your aunt designs for you, one may find a way to break

Bid. His neck, Tag?
Tug. Or the match either; will do, child.

Bid. I don't care which indeed, so I was clear of him.I don't think I'm fit to be marry'd,

Tag. To him you mean You have no objection to marriage, but the man, and I applaud yqu for it; but come courage, miss, never keep it in, out with it all

Bid. If you'll ask me anv questions, I'll answer 'em, but I can't tell you any thing of myself, I shall blush if I do.

Tag. Well then In the first place pray tell me, Miss Biddy Bellair, if you don't like somebedy better than old Simeon Loveit?

Bid. Heigho! Tag. What's heigho, miss ? Bid. When I say heigho! it means yes. Tag. Very well; and this somebody is a young handsome fellow?

Bid. Heigho!

Tag. And if you were once his, you'd be as merry as the best of us.

Bid. Heigho !

Tag. So far so good; and since I have got you to wet your feet, souse over head at once, and the pain will be

Bid. There then.--( A long sigb.) now help me out Tag, as fast as you can,



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Tag. When did you hear from your gallant?
Bid. Never since he went to the army.
Tag. How so?

Bid. I was afraid the letters would fall into my aunt's hands, so I would not let him write to me : but I had a better reason then.

Tag. Pray let us hear that too.

Bid. Why, I thought if I should write to him and promise him to love no body else, and should afterwards change my mind, he might think I was inconstant, and call me a coquette.

Tag. What a simple innocent it is ! [aside] And have you chang'd your mind, miss? Bid. No indeed, Tag, I love him the best of any

of 'em. Tag. Of any of 'em! why have you any more ? Bid. Pray don't ask me.

Tag. Nay, miss, if you only trust me by halyes you can't expects

Bid. I will trust you with every thing-When I parted
with him, I grew melancholy; so in order to divert me,
I have let two others court me till he returns again,
Tag. Is that all, my dear? mighty simple indeed.

[ Aside. Bid. One of 'em is a fine blustering man, and is called captain Flash; he's always talking of fighting and wars ; he thinks he's şure


but I shall baulk him; we shall see him this afternoon, for he press'd strongly to come and I have given him leave, while my aunt's taking her afternoon's nap,

Tag. And who is the other pray ?

Bid. Quite another sort of a man; he speaks like a lady for all the world, and never swears as Mr Flash does, but wears nice white gloves, and tells me what ribbons become my complexion, where to stick my patches, who is the best milliner, where they sell the best tea, and which is the best wash for the face, and the best paste for the hands; he is always playing with my fan, and shewing his teeth, and whenever I speak he pats me

cand cries Tbe devil take me, Miss Biddy, but you'll be my perdition.-Ha, ha, ha!

Tug. Oh the pretty creature ! and what do you-call him, prav

w? Bid. His name is Fribble; you shall see him too, fer by



mistake I appointed 'em at the same time; but you must
help me out with them.
Tag. And suppose your favourite should come too
Bid, I should not care what become of the others,
Tag. What's his name?
Bid. It begins with R-h-
Tag. I'll be hang'd if it is not Rhodophil.
Bid. I am frighten'd at you! you are a witch, Tag!

Tag. I am so, and can I tell your fortune too. Look me in the face. The gentleman you love most in the world will be at our house this afternoon; he arriv'd from the army this morning and dies till he sees you.

Bid. Is he come, Tag? don't joke with me

Tag. Not to keep you longer in suspence, you must know the servant of your Strephon, by some unaccountable fate or other, is my lord and master; he has just been with me, told me of his master's arrival and impatience

Bid. O my dear, dear, Tag, you have put me out of myswits-I am all over in a futter.--I shall leap out of my skin- I don't know what to do with myself-Is he come, Tag ?-I am ready to faint-I'd give the world I had put on my pink and silver robings to-day.

Tag. I assure you, miss, you look charmingly!

Bid. Do I indeed tho'? I'll put a little patch under my left eye, and powder my hair immediately.

Tag. We'll go to dinner first, and then I'll assist you.

Bid. Dinner! I can't eat a morsel I don't know what's the matter with me-my ears tingle, my heart beats, my face blushes, and I tremble every joint of me-I must run in and look at myself in the glass this moment.

Tag. Yes, she has it, and deeply too; this is no hypocrisy

Not art, but nature now performs her part,
And every word's the language of the heart.


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