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Puff. O lud, sir ! if people, who want to listen or overhear, were not always connived at in a tragedy, there would be no carrying on any plot in the world.
Dang. That's certain !
Puff. But take care, my dear Dangle ! the morning-gun is going to fire.
Cannon fires. Dang. Well, that will have a fine effect !
Puff. I think so, and helps to realize the scene.—[Cannon lwice.] What the plague ! three morning guns ! there never is but one !-Ay, this is always the way at the theatre : give these fellows a good thing, and they never know when to have done with it.—You have no more cannon to fire ?
Und. Promp. [Within.] No, sir.
Puff. It shows that Tilburina is coming ;-nothing introduces you a heroine like soft music. Here she comes !
Dang. And her confidant, I suppose ?
Puff. To be sure ! Here they are-inconsolable to the minuet in Ariadne !
[Soft musia “ Enter TILBURINA and CONFIDANT. Tilb. Now has the whispering breath of gentle morn
Bid Nature's voice and Nature's beauty rise ;
Linnet, nor all the finches of the grove !"
Puff. O yes, madam, at the finches of the grove, if you please.
Puff. Vastly well, madam!
Dang. Vastly well, indeed !
The lot of wretched Tilburina !"
Be comforted, sweet lady; for who knows,
But Heaven has yet some milk-white day in store ?
Thy tender youth as yet hath never mourn'd
It cannot taste of merriment.”
But see where your stern father comes :
It is not meet that he should find you thus." Puff. Hey, what the plague —what a cut is here! Why, what is become of the description of her first meeting with Don Whiskerandos—his gallant behaviour in the sea-fightand the simile of the canary-bird ?
Tilb. Indeed, sir, you'll find they will not be missed.
It is not meet that he should find you thus.
Like a clipp'd guinea, trembles in the scale ?
Then is the crisis of my fate at hand!
I see the fleets approach-I seePuff. Now, pray, gentlemen, mind. This is one of the most useful figures we tragedy writers have, by which a hero or heroine, in consideration of their being often obliged to overlook things that are on the stage, is allowed to hear and see a number of things that are not.
Sneer. Yes; a kind of poetical second-sight !
I see their decks
I hear the thunder of the guns !
I see—I see—what soon you'll see-
The Spanish fleet thou canst not see-because
- It is not yet in sight !" Dang. Egad, though, the governor seems to make no alloy ance for this poetical figure you talk of. Puff. No, a plain matter-of-fact man ;-that's his character.
But will you then refuse his offer?
Sneer. All who asks, Mr. Puff? Who is
Puff. Egad, sir, I can't tell ! Here has been such cutting and slashing, I don't know where they have got to myself. Tilb. Indeed, sir, you will find it will connect very well. " —And
reward secure.” Puff
. Oh, if they hadn't been so devilish free with their cutting here, you would have found that Don Whiskerandos has been tampering for his liberty, and has persuaded Tilburina to make this proposal to her father. And now, pray observe the conciseness with which the argument is conducted. Egad, the pro and con goes as smart as hits in a fencing-match. It is indeed a sort of small-sword logic, which we have borrowed from the French.
A retreat in Spain !
Puff. There you see-she threw in Tilburina. Quick, parry quarte with England ! Ha! thrust in iierce a title !-parried by honour. Ha ! a pension over the arm !-put by by conscience. Then flankonade with a thousand pounds and a palpable hit, egad!
Reject the suppliant, and the daughter too?
The father softens-but the governor
[Exil." Dang. Ay, that antithesis of persons is a most established figure. • Tilb. 'Tis well,—hence then, fond hopes,-fond passion hence;
Duty, behold I am all over thineWhisk. [Without.] Where is my love-myTilb. Ha!
Enter DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS. Whisk. My beauteous enemy!"
Puff. O dear, ma'am, you must start a great deal more than that! Consider, you had just determined in favour of dutywhen, in a moment, the sound of his voice revives your passion -overthrows your resolution--destroys your obedience. If you don't express all that in your start, you do nothing at all.
Tilb. Well, we'll try again.
We meet ? why are thy looks averse ? what means
But thou art false, and Whiskerandos is undone !
I make you all a present to the winds;
And if the winds reject you—try the waves. Puff. The wind, you know, is the established receiver of all stolen sighs, and cast-off griefs and apprehensions.
Yet must we part !-stern duty seals our doom :
And friend to me !
Well, if-we must-we must-and in that case
The less is said the better." Puff. Heyday! here's a cut !What, are all the mutual proc testations out?
Tilb. Now, pray, sir, don't interrupt us just here : you ruin our feelings.
Puff. Your feelings !-but zounds, my feelings, ma'am!
Sneer. No; pray don't interrupt them.
[Going." Puff. 'Sdeath and fury !-Gad's life !-sir ! madam ! if you go out without the parting look, you might as well dance out. Here, here!
Con. But pray, sir, how am I to get off here?
Puff. You! pshaw! what the devil signifies how you get off! edge away at the top, or where you will—[Pushes the CONFIDANT off.] Now, ma'am, you see-. Tilb. We understand
“ Ay, for ever. Both. . Oh! [Turning back, and exeunt.-Scene closes."
Dang. Oh, charming !
Puff. Hey !-'tis pretty well, I believe : you see I don't attempt to strike out anything new—but I take it I improve on the established modes.
Sneer. You do indeed! But pray is not Queen Elizabeth to appear?
Puff. No, not once—but she is to be talked of for ever; so that, egad, you'll think a hundred times that she is on the point of coming in.
Sncer. Hang it, I think it's a pity to keep her in the green room all the night.
Puff. O no, that always has a fine effect-it keeps up expectation.
Dang. But are we not to have a battle ?
Puff. Yes, yes, you will have a battle at last : but, egad, it's not to be by land, but by sea—and that is the only quite new thing in the piece.
Dang. What, Drake at the Armada, hey ?
Puff. Yes, i'faith-fire-ships and all; then we shall end with the procession. Hey, that will do, I think?
Sneer. No doubt on't.
Fuff. Come, we must not lose time; so now for the underplot.
Sneer. What the plague, have you another plot?
Proff. O Lord, yes ; ever while you live have two plots to your tragedy. The grand point in managing them is only to