페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

Cook. I'll spare him that trouble, and take such pain and perplexity I can't hold it out it with me, sir. I never work but for ready much longer.

[blocks in formation]

Kitty. Ay, that holding out is the ruin of half our sex.

Sharp. I have pacified the cook; and if Do you can but borrow twenty pieces of that young prig, all may go well yet. You may succeed, though I could not. Remember what I told you.-About it straight, sír.

Cook. No matter what I think; either my

meat or my money.

Sharp. Twill be very ill-convenient for him to pay you to-night.

Cook. Then I'm afraid it will be ill-convenient to pay me to-morrow, so, d'ye hear

Re-enter MELISSA.

Gay. Pr'ythee be advised.-'Sdeath, I shall be discovered!

[Apart to Gayless.

Gay. Sir, sir, I beg to speak a word with you. [To Melissa] My servant, sir, tells me he has had the misfortune, sir, to lose a note of mine of twenty pounds, which I sent him to receive; and the bankers' shops being shut up, and having very little cash by me, I should [Takes the Cook aside. be much obliged to you if you would favour Mel. What's the matter? [To Sharp. me with twenty pieces till to-morrow. Sharp. The cook has not quite answered Mel. Oh, sir, with all my heart; [Takes my master's expectations about the supper, sir, out her Purse] and as I have a small favour and he's a little angry at him; that's all. to beg of you, sir, the obligation will be mutual.

Mel. Come, come, Mr. Gayless, don't be uneasy; a bachelor cannot be supposed to have things in the utmost regularity: we don't expect it.

Cook. But I do expect it, and will have it. Mel. What does that drunken fool say? Cook. That I will have my money, and I won't stay till to-morrow, and-and

Sharp. Hold, hold! what are you doing? Are you mad? [Runs and stops his Mouth. Mel. What do you stop the man's breath for? Sharp. Sir, he was going to call you names.— Don't be abusive, cook; the gentleman is a man of honour, and said nothing to you. Pray be pacified. You are in liquor.

Cook. I will have my

Sharp. [Still holding] Why, I tell you, fool, you mistake the gentleman; he is a friend of my master's, and has not said a word to you.-Pray, good sir, go into the next room. The fellow's drunk, and takes you for another. [To Melissa] You'll repent this when you are sober, friend.-Pray, sir, don't stay to hear his impertinence.

Gay. Pray, sir, walk in.

anger.

He's below your [To Melissa. Mel. Damn the rascal! what does he mean by affronting me?-Let the scoundrel go; I'll polish his brutality, I warrant you. Here's the best reformer of manners in the universe. [Draws his Sword] Let him go, I say.

Sharp. So, so, you have done finely now.— Get away as fast as you can. He's the most courageous, metilesome man in all England. Why, if his passion was up, he could eat you. Make your escape, you fool!

Cook. I won't-Eat me! He'll find me damn'd hard of digestion though. Sharp. Pr'ythee come here; let me speak with you. [Takes Cook aside.

Gay. How may I oblige you, sir?
Mel. You are to be married, I hear, to
Melissa?

Gay. To-morrow, sir.

Mel. Then you'll oblige me, sir, by never seeing her again.

Gay. Do you call this a small favour, sir? Mel. A mere trifle, sir. Breaking of contracts, suing for divorces, committing adultery, and such like, are all reckoned trifles now-adays; and smart young fellows, like you and myself, Gayless, should be never out of fashion. Gay. But pray, sir, how are you concerned in this affair?

Mel. Oh, sir, you must know I have a very great regard for Melissa, and indeed she for me; and, by the by, I have a most despicable opinion of you; for, entre nous, I take you, Charles, to be a very great scoundrel. Gay. Sir!

Mel. Nay, don't look fierce, sir, and give yourself airs-damme, sir, I shall be through your body else in the snapping of a finger. Gay. I'll be as quick as you, villain!

[Draws, and makes at Melissa.
Kitty. Hold, hold, murder! you'll kill my
mistress-the young gentleman, I mean.
Gay. Ah! her mistress! [Drops his Sword.
Sharp. How! Melissa! Nay, then drive away,
cart; all's over now.

Enter all the Company, laughing.
Mrs. G. What, Mr. Gayless, engaging with
Melissa before your time? Ha, ha, ha!

Kitty. Your bumble servant, good Mr. Politician. [To Sharp] This is, gentlemen and ladies, the most celebrated and ingenious Timothy Sharp, schemer-general and redoubted squire to the most renowned and fortunate adventurer, Charles Gayless, knight of the woful countenance-ha, ha, ha!-Oh, that disKitty. Gad's me! is supper on the table al-mal face, and more dismal head of yours! ready?-Sir, pray defer it for a few moments; my mistress is much better, and will be here immediately.

Re-enter KITTY.

Gay. Will she indeed? Bless me, I did not expect-but however - Sharp! Kitty. What success, madam? [Apart to Melissa. Mel. As we could wish, girl: but he is in

[Strikes Sharp upon the Head. Sharp. 'Tis cruel in you to disturb a man in his last agonies.

Mel. Now, Mr. Gayless! - What, not a word? You are sensible I can be no stranger to your misfortunes, and I might reasonably expect an excuse for your ill-treatment of me.

Gay. No, madam, silence is my only re

1

fuge; for to endeavour to vindicate my crimes, | Oh, Melissa, this is too much! Thus let me would show a greater want of virtue than show my thanks and gratitude; for here is even the commission of them.

Mel. Oh, Gayless! 'twas poor to impose upon a woman, and one that loved you too. Gay. Oh, most unpardonable; but my ne

cessities

only due.

[Kneels; she raises him. Sharp. A reprieve! a reprieve! a reprieve! Kitty. I have been, sir, a most bitter enemy to you; but since you are likely to be a little more conversant with cash than you have Sharp. And mine, madam, were not to be been, I am now, with the greatest sincerity, matched, I'm sure, o'this side starving. your most obedient friend and humble servant. Mel. His tears have softened me at once. Gay. Oh, Mrs. Pry, I have been too much [Aside] Your necessities, Mr. Gayless, with indulged with forgiveness myself, not to for

such real contrition, are too powerful motives give lesser offences in other people, not to affect the breast already prejudiced in Sharp. Well then, madam, since my master your favour. You have suffered too much has vouchsafed pardon to your handmeid Kitty, already for your extravagance; and as I take I hope you'll not deny it to his footman part in your sufferings, 'tis easing myself to Timothy. relieve you: know, therefore, all that's past 1 freely forgive.

Gay. You cannot mean it, sure! I am lost in wonder!

Mel. Pardon! for what?

Sharp. Gnly for telling you about ten thousand lies, madam; and, among the rest, insinuating that your ladyship wouldMel. Prepare yourself for more wonder. Mel. I understand you; and can forgive You have another friend in masquerade here. any thing, Sharp, that was designed for the Mr. Cook, pray throw aside your drunken-service of your master; and if Pry and you ness, and make your sober appearance.-Don't will follow our example, I'll give her a small fortune, as a reward for both your fidelities.

you know that face, sir?

Cook. Ay, master, what have you forgot Sharp. I fancy, madam, 'twould be better your friend Dick, as you used to call me? to halve the small fortune between us, and Gay. More wonder indeed! Don't you live keep us both single; for as we shall live in with my father? the same house, in all probability we may Mel. Just after your hopeful servant there taste the comforts of matrimony, and not be had left me, comes this man from sir Wil-troubled with its inconveniences. What say liam, with a letter to me; upon which (being you, Kitty?

by that wholly convinced of your necessitous Killy. Do you hear, Sharp; before you talk condition) I invented, by the help of Kitty and of the comforts of matrimony, taste the comMrs. Gadabout, this little plot, in which your forts of a good dinner, and recover your flesh friend Dick there has acted miracles, resolv- a little; do, puppy.

ing to teaze you a little, that you might have Sharp. The devil backs her, that's certain; a greater relish for a happy turn in your af- and I am no match for her at any weapon. fairs. Now, sir, read that letter, and complete [Aside. your joy. Gay. Behold, Melissa, as sincere a convert Gay. [Reads] Madam, I am father to as ever truth and beauty made. The wild, the unfortunate young man, who, I hear impetuous sallies of my youth are now blown by a friend of mine (that by my desire over, and a most pleasing calm of perfect has been a continual spy upon him) is happiness succeeds. making his addresses to you. If he is so happy as to make himself agreeable to you, whose character I am charmed with, I shali own him with joy for my son, and forget his former follies. — I am, madam, your most humble servant, WILLIAM GAYLESS.

P. S. I will be soon in town myself to congratulate his reformation and marriage.

Thus Aetna's flames the verdant earth con

sume,

But milder heat makes drooping nature bloom;

So virtuous love affords us springing joy, Whilst vicious passions, as they burn, destroy. [Exeunt.

[blocks in formation]

Farce by John Till Allingham. This excellent little piece was first produced at Covent Garden in 1799, and bas since been acted at all the theatres with the greatest applause. The English theatre recently opened at Paris, com menced its representations with it to the greatest satisfaction of the audience.

[blocks in formation]

ACT I.

SCENE I-A Hall in the Castle.

Enter MR. FRANK.

Frank. To what humiliation has my bad fortune reduced me, when it brings me here an humble suppliant to my base oppressor!

of time I've lost with that beggar! [Reads. Sir,-This is to inform you that my lord Lackwit died - an heir to his estate his lordship never acknowledged her as his wife-son called Robin Roughead - Robin is the legal heir to the estate-to put him in immediate possession, according to his lordship's last will and testament. Yours to command, KIT CODICIL, Atty at Law. Snacks. A letter for me by express! What Here's a catastrophe! Robin Roughead a lord! can it be about? Something of great con- My stewardship has done pretty well for me sequence from my lord, I suppose. Frank already, but I think I shall make it do better here! What the devil does he want?-Come now. I know this Robin very well; he's dea begging though, I dare say. vilish cunning, I'm afraid; but I'll tickle him.

[ocr errors]

come to

Enter SNACKS, speaking.

[ocr errors]

Frank. Good morning to you, Mr. Snacks. He shall marry my daughter-then I can do Snacks. Good morning. [Coldly as I please. To be sure, I have given my Frank. I'm come, sir, to-I say, sir, I'm promise to Rattle; but what of that? he hasn't got it under my hand. I think I had better Snacks. Well, sir, I see you are come; tell Robin this news at once; it will make and what then? What are you come for, sir? him mad-and then I shall do as I please with Frank. The termination of the lawsuit which him. Ay, ay, I'll go. How unfortunate that you have so long carried on against me, owing I did not make friends with him before! He to my entire inability to prosecute it any has no great reason to like me; I never gave further, has thrown me into difficulties which him any thing but hat words.-[Rattle sings I cannot surmount without your kind as-without] Confound it! here's that fellow Rattle coming.

sistance.

Snacks. Very pretty, indeed! You are a very modest man, Mr. Frank; you've spent your last shilling in quarrelling with me, and now you want me to help you.

Frank. The farm called Hundred Acres is at present untenanted-I wish to rent it. Snacks. You wish to rent it, do you? And pray, sir, where's your money? And what do you know about farming?

Frank. I have studied agriculture; and, with care, have no doubt of being able to pay my rent regularly.

Snacks. But I have a great doubt about it.-No, no, sir; do you think I'm so unmindful of his lordship's interest as to let his land to a poor novice like you? It won't do, Mr. Frank; I can't think of it-Good day, friend; good day. [Showing him the Door.

Frank. My necessities, sirSnacks. I have nothing to do with your necessities, sir; I have other business-Good day-There's the door.

Frank. Unfeeling wretch!

Snacks. What!

Frank. But what could I expect? Think

not,

Enter RATTLE.

Rat. Ah, my old daddy! how are you?What! have you got the mumps - can't you speak?

Snacks. I wish you had the mumps, and could not speak. What do you old daddy me for?

Rat. Why, father-in-law! curse me but you are most conceitedly crusty to-day; What's the matter with you? why, you are as melancholy as a lame duck.

Snacks. The matter is-that I am sick.
Rat. What's your disorder?

Snacks. A surfeit: I've had too much of you. Rat, Oh! you'll soon get the better of that; for when I've married your daughter, curse me if I shall trouble you much with my company!

Snacks. But you hav'n't married her yet. Rat. Oh, but I shall soon; I have got your promise, you know.

Snacks. Can't remember any such thing.
Rat. No! Your memory's very short then.
Snacks. A short memory's very convenient

Snacks. You will-will you?

thou sordid man, 'tis for myself I sue--sometimes. My wife, my children-'tis for them I ask Rat. And so is a short stick; and I've a your aid, or else my pride had never stoop'd great mind to try the utility of it now. I tell so low my honest poverty is no disgrace: you what, Snacks—I always thought you was your ill-gotten gold gives you no advantage a damn'd old rascal, but now I'm sure of it: over me; for I had rather feel my heart beat it's no matter, though: I'll marry your daughter freely, as it does now, than know that I pos- notwithstanding. sess'd your wealth, and load it with the crimes entail'd upon it. [Exit. Rat. Yes, snacks, I will; for I love her. I Snacks. A mighty fine speech, truly! I think wonder how the devil such a pretty girl ever I'll try if I can't lower your tone a little, my came to have such a queer, little, shrivelled, fine, blustering fellow: I'll have you laid by old mopstick as you for a father. Snacks, the heels before night for this. Proud as you your wife most certainly made a cuckold of are, you'll have time to reflect in a jail, and you; it could not be else. bring down your spirit a little. But, come, Snacks. Impudent rascal! let me see what my letter says. What a deal Rat. But it signifies not who her father is

miss Nancy is lovely, and I'll marry her. Let as work; it should be one long holiday all me see-five thousand pounds you promised; the year round. Your great folks have strange yes, you shall give her that on the wedding-whims in their heads, that's for sartin. I don't day. You have been a steward a long time; know what to make of 'un, not I. Now there's that sum must be a mere fleabite to you. all yon great park there, kept for his lordSnacks. I rather think I shall never give ship to look at, and his lordship hat not seen her a farthing, if she marries such a paltry it these twelve years-Ah! if it was mine, I'd fellow as you. let all the villagers turn their cows in there, Rat. Why lookye; I'm a lively spark, with and it should not cost 'em a farthing; then, a good deal of fire in me, and it is not a as the parson said last Sunday, I should be little matter that will put me out: where others as rich as any in the land, for I should have sink I rise: and this opposition of yours will the blessings of the poor. Dang it! here comes only serve to blow me into a blaze that will Snacks. Now I shall get a fine jobation, I burn you up to a cinder. I'm up to your suppose.

gossip; I'm not to be had.

Snacks. No, nor my daughter's not to be Enter SNACKS, bowing very obsequiously; had, Mr. Banker's Clerk; so I shan't waste ROBIN takes his Hat off, and stands any more time with you: go, and take in the staring at him. flats in Lombard-street; it won't do here.

Aside.

Rob. I be main tir'd, master Snacks; so I [Exit. stopt to rest myself a little; I hope you'll exRat. Oh! what he has mizzled, has he? I cuse it. I wonder what the dickens he's fancy you'll find me the most troublesome grinning at. blade you ever settled an account with, old Snacks. Excuse it! I hope your lordship's Raise-rent. I'll astonish you, some how or infinite goodness and condescension will exother. I wonder what has changed him so!

[blocks in formation]

Rat. Yes, but he says he has forgot all about that, though it was no longer ago than yesterday; and he says I shan't have you. Nan. Does he indeed?

Rat. Yes; but never mind that.

Nan. I thought you said you loved me? Rat. And so I do, better than all the gold in Lombard-street.

Nan. Then why are you not sorry that my father won't give his consent?

cuse your lordship's most obsequious, devoted, and very humble servant Timothy Snacks, who is come into the presence of your lordship, for the purpose of informing your lordship

Rob, Lordship! he, he, he! Ecod! I never knew as I had a hump before. Why, master Snacks, you grow funny in your old age,

Snacks. No, my lord, I know my duty better; I should never think of being funny with a lord.

Rob, What lord? Oh, you mean the lord Harry, I suppose. No, no, must not be too funny with him, or he'll be after playing the very devil with you.

character.

at you,

Snacks. I say I should never think of jesting with a person of your lordship's dignified Rob. Did-dig-What! Why, now I look I see how it is: you are mad. I wonder what quarter the moon's in. Lord! how your eyes roll! I never saw you so before.-How came they to let you out alone? Snacks. Your lordship is most graciously pleased to be facetious.

Rat. His consent! I have got yours and my own, and I'll soon manage him. Don't you Rob. Why, what gammon are you at;remember how I frighten'd him one night, Don't come near me, for you have been bit when I came to visit you by stealth, drest like by a mad dog; I'm sure you have. a ghost, which he thinks haunts the castle. Snacks. If your lordship will be so kind Ob! I'll turn that to account. I know he's as to read this letter, it would convince your wery superstitious, and easily frightened into lordship-Will your lordship condescend? any thing. Come, let's take a walk, and plot Rob. Why, I would condescend, but for a how I, your knight-errant, shall deliver you few reasons, and one of 'em is, that I can't from this haunted castle. [Exeunt. read.

SCENE II.-A Corn-field.

ROBIN ROUGHEad discovered binding up a

Sheaf.

Snacks. I think your lordship is perfectly right; for these pursuits are too low for one of your lordship's nobility.

Rob. Lordship, and lordship again! I'll tell you what, master Snacks-let's have no more Rob. Ah! work, work, work all day long, of your fun, for I won't stand it any longer, and no such thing as stopping a moment to for all you be steward here: my name's Robin rest! for there's old Snacks the steward, al-Roughead, and if you don't choose to call me ways upon the look-out; and if he sees one, by that name, I shan't answer you, that's slap he has it down in his book, and then flat.[ Iside] I don't like him well enough there's sixpence gone plump. [Comes forward] to stand his jokes.

I do hate that old chap, and that's the truth Snacks. Why then, master Robin, be so on't. Now, if I was lord of this place, I'd kind as to attend whilst I read this letter. make one rule-there should be no such thing

[Reads

Sir,This is to inform you, that my tell him- No, I'll not go there; I'll go to lord Lackwit died this morning, after a Damn it, I'll go no where; yes, I will; I'll very short illness; during which he declared go every where; I'll be neither here, nor that he had been married, and had an there, nor any where else. How pleas'd Dolly heir to his estate: the woman he married will be when she hears

was commonly called, or known, by the name of Roughead: she was poor and il

Enter Villagers, shouting.

literate, und, through motives of shame, Dick, Tom, Jack, how are you, my lads?his lordship never acknowledged her as his Here's news for you! Come, stand round, wife: she has been dead some time since, make a ring, and I'll make a bit of a speech and left behind her a son called Robin to you. [They all get round him] First of Roughead: now this said Robin is the legal all, I suppose Snacks has told you that I'm heir to the estate. I have therefore sent your landlord. you the necessary writings to put him into immediate possession, according to his tordship's last will and testament. Yours to command, KIT CODICIL, Atty at Law.

Rob. What!-What all mine? the houses, the trees, the fields, the hedges, the ditches, the gates, the horses, the dogs, the cats, the

Vil. We are all glad of it.

Rob. So am 1; and I'll make you all happy : I'll lower all your rents.

All. Huzza! long live lord Robin!

Rob. You shan't pay no rent at all.
All. Huzza! huzza! long live lord Robin!
Rob. I'll have no poor people in the parish,

cocks and the hens, and the cows and the for I'll make 'em all rich; I'll have no widows, bulls, and the pigs and the-What! are they for I'll marry 'em all. [Women shout] I'll all mine? and 1, Robin Roughead, am the have no orphan children, for I'll father 'em rightful lord of all this estate!-Don't keep me all myself; and if that's not doing as a lord a minute now, but tell me it is so- Make should do, then I say I know nothing about haste, tell me-quick, quick! the matter-that's all." All. Buzza! Iluzza!

Enter SNACKS.

Snacks. I repeat it, the whole estate is yours. Rob. Huzza! buzza! [Catches off Snacks Hat and Wig] Set the bells a ringing; set Snacks. I have brought your lordship the the ale a running; make every body drunk-money.-He means to make 'em fly, so I've if there's a sober man to be found any where taken care the guineas shall be all light. [Aside. to-day, he shall be put in the stocks. Go, get Rob. Now then, young and old, great and my hat full of guineas to make a scramble small, little and tall, merry men all, here's with; call all the tenants together. I'll lower the rents-I'll —

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Snacks. What would your lordship choose for dinner?

Rob. Beef-steaks and anions, and plenty of 'em.

Snacks. Beef-steaks and onions! What a dish for a lord! — He'll be a savoury bit for my daughter, though.

[Aside.

among you- [Throws the Money; they scramble] Now you've got your pockets fill'd, come to the castle, and I'll fill all your bellies for you.

[Villagers carry him off shouting; Snacks follows. SCENE III.—Inside of a neat Cottage; Table spread for Dinner.

MARGERY and DOLLY discovered. Dolly. There, now, dinner's all ready, and 1 wish Robin would come. Do you think I may take up the dumplings, mother?

Mar. Ay, ay, take 'em up; I warrant him he'll soon be here - he's always in puddingtime.

Rob. What are you at there, Snacks? Go, Dol. And well he may, for I'm sure you get me the guineas-make haste; I'll have the keep him sharp set enough. scramble, and then I'll go to Dolly, and tell her the news.

Mar. Hold your tongue, you baggage! He pays me but five shillings a week for board, Snacks. Dolly! Pray, my lord, who's Dolly? lodging, and washing-I suppose he's not to Rob. Why, Dolly is to be my lady, and be kept like a lord for that, is he? I wonder your mistress, if I find you honest enough to how you'll keep him when you get married, keep you in my employ. as you talk of!"

Snacks. He rather smokes me.-I have a beauteous daughter, who is allow'd to be the very pink of perfection.

Rob. Damn your daughter! I have got something else to think of: don't talk to me of your daughter; stir your stumps, and get

Dol, Oh, we shall contrive to make both ends meet! and we shall do very well I dare say; for Robin loves me, and I loves Robin dearly.

Mar. Yes; but all your love won't keep the pot boiling, and Robin's as poor as Job. the money. Dol. La, now, mother, don't be so cross!Snacks. I am your lordship's most obse- Oh dear, the dinner will get cold, and the quious-Zounds! what a peer of the realm. dumplings will be quite spoil'd; I wish Robin [Aside. Exit. would come. [Robin sings without] Oh, here Rob. Ha ha! ha! What work I will make he comes, in one of his merry humours. in the village!-Work! no, there shall be no

-

such thing as work; it shall be all play. Enter ROBIN; he cools himself with his Hat, Where shall I go? I'll go to No, I won't then sings and dances.

-

go there; I'll go to Farmer Hedgestake's, and Why, Robin, what's the matter with you?

« 이전계속 »