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Expedition-Will be blown up—All of a flameQuick despatch-Cupid the little god of love.-I conclude it, Madam, with Cupid: I love to see a loveletter end like poetry.
Olivia. Well, well, what you please, anything. But how shall we send it? I can trust none of the servants of this family.
Garnet. Odso, Madam, Mr. Honeywood's butler is in the next room: he's a dear, sweet man; he'll do anything for me.
Jarvis. He! the dog, he'll certainly commit some blunder. He's drunk and sober ten times a day.
Olivia. No matter. Fly, Garnet; anybody we can trust will do. Exit GARNET. Well, Jarvis, now we can have nothing more to interrupt us; you may take up the things and carry them on to the inn. Have you no hands, Jarvis ?
Jarvis. Soft and fair, young lady. You, that are going to be married, think things can never be done too fast; but we, that are old, and know what we are about, must elope methodically, Madam.
Olivia. Well, sure, if my indiscretions were to be done over again
Jarvis. My life for it, you would do them ten times
Olivia. Why will you talk so? If you knew how unhappy they make me
Jarvis. Very unhappy, no doubt: I was once just
as unhappy when I was going to be married myself. I'll tell you a story about that
Olivia. A story! when I'm all impatience to be away. Was there ever such a dilatory creature !—
Jarvis. Well, Madam, if we must march, why we will march, that's all. Though, odds-bobs, we have still forgot one thing; we should never travel without -a case of good razors, and a box of shaving powder. But no matter, I believe we shall be pretty well shaved by the way. Going.
Garnet. Undone, undone, Madam. Ah, Mr. Jarvis, you said right enough. As sure as death, Mr. Honeywood's rogue of a drunken butler dropped the letter before he went ten yards from the door. There's old Croaker has just picked it up, and is this moment reading it to himself in the hall.
Olivia. Unfortunate! we shall be discovered.
Garnet. No, Madam; don't be uneasy; he can neither make head nor tail of it. To be sure he looks as if he was broke loose from Bedlam about it, but he can't find what it means, for all that. O lud, he is coming this way all in the horrors.
Olivia. Then let us leave the house this instant, for fear he should ask further questions. In the mean time, Garnet, do you write and send off just such another. Exeunt.
Croaker. Death and destruction! Are all the horrors of air, fire and water, to be levelled only at me? Am I only to be singled out for gunpowder-plots, combus. tibles, and conflagration! Here it is an incendiary letter dropped at my door. "To Muster Croaker, these with speed.' Ay, ay, plain enough the direction: all in the genuine incendiary spelling, and as cramp as the devil. With speed.' O confound your speed. But let me read it once more. Reads. 'Muster Croaker, as sone as yow see this, leve twenty gunnes at the bar of the Talboot tell caled for, or yowe and yower experetion wil be al blown up.' Ah, but too plain. Blood and gunpowder in every line of it. Blown up! murderous dog! all blown up! Heavens! what have I and my poor family done, to be all blown up? Reads. Our pockets are low, and money we must have.' Ay, there's the reason; they'll blow us up, because they have got low pockets. Reads. It is but a short time you have to consider; for if this takes wind, the house will quickly be all of a flame.' Inhuman monsters! blow us up, and then burn us! The earthquake at Lisbon was but a bonfire to it. Reads. 'Make quick despatch, and so no more at present. But may Cupid, the little god of love, go with you wherever you go.' The little god of love! Cupid, the little god of love, go with me! Go you to
the devil, you and your little Cupid together. I'm so frightened I scarce know whether I sit, stand, or go. Perhaps this moment I'm treading on lighted matches, blazing brimstone, and barrels of gunpowder. They are preparing to blow me up into the clouds. Murder ! we shall be all burnt in our beds; we shall be all burnt in our beds.
Enter Miss RICHLAND.
Miss Richland. Lord, Sir, what's the matter. Croaker. Murder's the matter. We shall all be blown up in our beds before morning.
Miss Richland. I hope not, Sir.
Croaker. What signifies what you hope, Madam, when I have a certificate of it here in my hand? Will nothing alarm my family? Sleeping and eating, sleeping and eating, is the only work from morning till night in my house. My insensible crew could sleep though rocked by an earthquake, and fry beefsteaks at a volcano.
Miss Richland. But, Sir, you have alarmed them so often already; we have nothing but earthquakes, famines, plagues, and mad dogs, from year's end to year's end. You remember, Sir, it is not above a month ago, you assured us of a conspiracy among the bakers, to poison us in our bread; and so kept the whole family a week upon potatoes.
Croaker. And potatoes were too good for them.
But why do I stand talking here with a girl, when I should be facing the enemy without? Here, John, Nicodemus, search the house. Look into the cellars, to see if there be any combustibles below; and above, in the apartments, that no matches be thrown in at the windows. Let all the fires be put out, and let the engine be drawn out in the yard, to play upon the house in case of necessity. Exit.
SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER
Two young men, Marlow and Hastings, are on their
road to the house of Mr. Hardcastle, an old-fashioned country gentleman, whose family consists of his wife and daughter, Tony Lumpkin, Mrs. Hardcastle's son by a first marriage, a country bumpkin with low tastes, and Constance Neville, her niece and ward, whom she designs to marry to Tony. Hastings is attached to Miss Neville, and Marlow makes this visit in obedience to his father's wish that he should pay his addresses to Miss Hardcastle, the daughter of his old friend. They are both strangers to all the family, except Miss Neville.
They lose their way, and inquiring at a village alehouse, are directed by Tony Lumpkin to his stepfather's house as the nearest inn. Their behaviour consequently astonishes and offends Mr. Hardcastle. Constance presently undeceives Hastings, but they resolve to let Marlow remain in his error, lest he should leave the house at once without seeing Miss Hardcastle. Marlow is invincibly shy in the presence of ladies, and when Miss Hardcastle comes in from