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fortune, but I can't talk. If you have a mind, of an untasted happiness, and the other in their sir Charles, to be merry, and celebrate my sis deliverance from an experienced misery. ter's wedding, and my divorce, you may command my house; but my head aches consumedly! . Both happy in their several states we find; Scrub, bring me a dram.

• These parted by consent, and those conjoinArch. 'Twould be hard to guess which of these ed. parties is the better pleased, the couple joined, • Consent, if mutual, saves the lawyer's fee; or the couple parted; the one rejoicing in hopes • Consent is law enough to set you free.?

THE

BRITISH DRAMA;

COMPREHENDING

THE BEST PLAYS

IN

THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

COMEDIES.

VOL. II.-- PART II.

LONDON,

PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM MILLER, OLD BOND-STREET.

PRINTED BY JAMES BALLANTYNE,

EDINBURGH.

1804.

THE

BRITISH DRAMA.

THE

BUSY BODY.

BY

MRS CENTLIVRE.

DRAMATIS PERSONE.

MEN.

WOMEN. Sir George Arry, a gentleman of four thou- | Miranda, an heiress, worth thirty thousand sand a-year, in love with MIRANDA.

pounds, really in love with Sir GEORGE, but SIR FRANCIS GRIPE, guardian to MIRANDA and pretends to be so with her guardian, Sir

MARPLOT, father to Charles, in love with FRANCIS.
MIRANDA.

ISABINDA, daughter to Sir JEALOUS, in love CHARLES, friend to Sir George, in love with with CHARLES, but designed for a Spanish ISABINDA.

merchant by her father. Sir JEALOUS TRAFFICK, a merchant that had Patch, her woman.

lived some time in Spain, father to ISABINDA, SCENTWELL, woman to MIRANDA. Marplot, a sort of silly fellow, cowardly, but

very inquisitive to know every body's business. WHISPER, servant to Charles.

Scene-London.

ACT I

.. SCENE 1.- The Park.

Sir Geo. Why, there it is now! a man, that

wants money, thinks none can be unhappy that Sir George AIRY meeting CHARLES.

has it; but, my affairs are in such a whimsical Cha. Ha! Sir George Airy a birding thus posture, that it will require a calculation of my early! what forbidden game roused you so soon? nativity to find if my gold will relieve me or noč. for no lawful occasion could invite à person of Cha. Ha, ha, ha! never consult the stars about your figure abroad, at such untashionable hours. that; gold has a power beyond them; gold un

Sir Geo. There are some men, Charles, whom locks the midnight councils ; gold outdoes the fortune bas left free from inquietudes, who are wind, becalms the ship, or fills her sails; gold is diligently studious to find out ways and means to omnipotent below; it makes whole armies hight make themselves uneasy.

or fly; it buys even souls; and bribes wretches to Cha. Is it possible that any thing in nature can betray their country : then, what can thy busiruffle the temper of a man whom the four seasons ness be that gold won't serve thee in? of the year compliment with as many thousand Sir Geo. Why, I'm in love. pounds, nay, and a father at rest with his ancestors? Cha. In love!

-Ha, ha, ha, ha! in love!

get her?

Ha, ha, ha, ha! with what, prithee? a cheru- avoid that, I shun his house as much as possible. bin?

The report is, he intends to marry her himself. Sir Geo. No; with a woman.

Sir Geo. Can she consent to it? Cha. A woman! good. Ha, ha, ha, ha! and Cha. Yes, faith! so they say : but, I tell you, gold not help thee?

I am wholly ignorant of the matter. Miranda Sir Geo. But, suppose I'm in love with two and I are like two violent members of a contrary Cha. Ay, if thou'rt in love with two hundred, party; I can scarce allow her beauty, though all

will fetch them, I warrant thee, boy. But the world does ; nor she me civility for that who are they? who are they? come!

contenipt. I fancy she plays the mother-in-law Sir Geo One is a lady, whose face I never already; and sets the old gentleman on to do saw; but witty to a miracle; the other, beauti- mischief. ful as Venus

Sir Geo. Then, I have your free consent to Cha. And a fool

Sir Geo. For aught I know ; for I never spoke Cha. Ay; and my helping hand, if occasion to her; but you can inform me. I am charmed be. by the wit of the one, and die for the beauty of Sir Geo. Poh! yonder's a fool coming this the other.

way; let's avoid him. Cha. And, pray, which are you in quest of now? Cha. What? Marplot ? No, no; he's my in

Sir Geo. I prefer the sensual pleasure ; I'm for strument; there's a thousand conveniences in her I've seen, who is thy father's ward, Miranda. him : he'll lend me his money, when he has any;

Cha. Nay, then, I pity you; for the Jew, my run of my errands, and be proud of it; in short, father, will no more part with her and thirty he'll pimp for ine, lie for me, drink for me, do thousand pounds, than he would with a guinea to any thing but fight for me; and that I trust to keep me froin starving.

my own arm for, Sir Geo. Now, you see gold can't do every Sir Geo. Nay, then, he's to be endured; I thing, Charles.

never knew his qualifications before. Cha. Yes; for 'tis her gold that bars my father's gate against you.

Enter Marplot, with a patch cross his face. Sir Geo. Why, if he be this avaricious wretch, Mar, Dear Charles, your's-Ha! Sir George how cam'st thou by such a liberal education ? Airy! the man in the world I have an ambition

Cha. Not a snuse out of his pocket, I assure to be known to! [Aside.] Give me thy hand, dear you : I had an uncle who defrayed that charge ; | boy! but, for some little wildness of youth, though he Cha. A good assurance ! But hark ye, how made me his heir, left dad my guardian till I came your beautiful countenance clouded in the came to years of discretion, which, I presume, wrong place? the old gentleman will never think I am; and Mar. I must confess 'tis a little mal-a-propos ; now he has got the estate into his clutches, it but no matter for that. A word with you, does me no more good than if it lay in Prester Charles. Prithee, introduce me to sir George John's dominions.

he is a man of wit, and I'd give ten guineas Sir Geo. What! canst thou find no stratagem to to redeem it?

Cha. When you have them, you mean? Cha. I have made many essays to no purpose.

Mar. Av, when I have them; pugh, pox, you Though want, the mistress of invention, still cut the thread of my discourse—I would give tempts me on, yet still the old fox is too cunning ten guineas, I say, to be ranked in his acquaintfor me.--I am upon my last project, which, if ance. Well, 'tis a vast addition to a man's forit fails, then, for my last refuge, a brown mus- tune, according to the mout of the world, to be quet,

seen in the company of leading men; for, then, Sir Geo. What is't? can I assist thee? we are all thought to be politicians, or whigs, or

Cha. Not yet; when you can, I have confi- jacks, or highflyers, or low flyers, or levellers-and dence enough in you to ask it,

so forth; for, you must know, we all herd in par. Sir Geo. I am always ready. But what does ties now. he intend to do with Miranda ? is she to be sold Cha. Then, a fool for diversion is out of fain private, or will he put her up by way of auc-shion, I find? tion, at who bids most ? if so, egad I'm for him; Mar. Yes, without it be a mimicking fool; my gold, as you say, shall be subservient to my and they are darlings every where. But, prithee, pleasure.

introduce me, Cha. To deal ingenuously with you, sir George, Cha. Well, on condition you'll give us a true I know very little of her or home; for, since my account how you came by that mourning nose, I uncle's death, and my return from travel, I have will. never been well with my father : he thinks my Nar. I'll do it. expences too great, and i, bis allowance too lit Cha. Sir George, here's a gentleman has a pas. ile; he never sees me, but he quarrels; and, to sionate desire to kiss your hand.

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