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Lord Fop. Ay; but let my people dispose the glasses so that I may see myself before and behind ; for I love to see myself all round.
[Puts on his clothes. Enter Tom FASHION and Lory. They remain behind,
conversing apart. Fash. Heyday! what the devil have .we here? Sure my gentleman's grown a favourite at court, he has got so many people at his levée.
Lory. Sir, these people come in order to make him a favourite at court—they are to establish him with the ladies.
Fash. Good Heaven! to what an ebb of taste are women fallen, that it should be in the power of a laced coat to recommend a gallant to them!
Lory. Sir, tailors and hair-dressers debauch all the women. Fash. Thou sayest true. But now for my reception.
Lord Fop. [To Tailor.] Death and eternal tortures! Sir-I say
the coat is too wide here by a foot. Tai. My lord, if it had been tighter, 'twould neither have hooked nor buttoned.
Lord Fop. Rat the hooks and buttons, sir! Can anything be worse than this ? As Gad shall jedge me, it hangs on my shoulders like a chairman's surtout.
Tai. 'Tis not for me to dispute your lordship’s fancy.
Fash. Respect ! damn him for a coxcomb !—But let's accost him.- Coming forward.] Brother, I'm your humble servant.
Lord Fop. Lard, Tam! I did not expect you in England. -brother, I'm glad to see you —But what has brought you to Scarborough, Tam?-[To the Tailor.] Look you, sir, Í shall never be reconciled to this nauseous wrapping-gown, therefore pray get me another suit with all possible expedition ; for this is my eternal aversion.—[Exit Tailor.] Well but, Tam, you don't tell me what has driven you to Scarborough.--Mrs. Calico, are not you
mind? Semp. Directly, my lord.--I hope your lordship is pleased with your
ruffles ? Lord Fop. In love with them, stap my vitals !—Bring my bill, you shall be paid to-morrow. Semp. I humbly thank your worship.
[Exit. Lord Fop. Hark thee, shoemaker, these shoes aren't ugly, but they don't fit me.
Shoe. My lord, I think they fit you very well.
Shoe. [Feels his foot.] No, my lord, they don't hurt you there. Lord Fop. I tell thee they pinch me execrably.
Shoe. Why then, my lord, if those shoes pinch you, I'll be damned
Lord Fop. Why, will thou undertake to persuade me I cannot feel ?
Shoe. Your lordship may please to feel what you think fit, but that shoe does not hurt you, I think I understand my trade.
Lord Fop. Now, by all that's good and powerful, thou art an incomprehensive coxcomb I-but thou makest good shoes, and so I'll bear with thee.
Shoe. My lord, I have worked for half the people of quality in this town these twenty years, and 'tis very hard I shouldn't know when a shoe hurts, and when it don't.
Lord Fop. Well, pr’ythee be gone about thy business.-[Exit SHOEMAKER.] Mr. Mendlegs, a word with you.—The calves of these stockings are thickened a little too much; they make my legs look like a porter's.
Mend. My lord, methinks they look mighty well.
Lord Fop. Ay, but you are not so good a judge of those things as I am-I have studied them all
life-therefore pray let the next be the thickness of a crown-piece less.
Mend. Indeed, my lord, they are the same kind I had the honour to furnish your lordship with in town.
Lord Fop. Very possibly, Mr. Mendlegs; but that was in the beginning of the winter, and you should always remember, Mr. Hosier, that if you make a nobleman's spring legs as robust as his autumnal calves, you commit a monstrous impropriety, and make no allowance for the fatigues of the winter.
[Exit MENDLEGS. Jewel. I hope, my lord, these buckles have had the unspeakable satisfaction of being honoured with your lordship’s approbation ?
Lord Fop. Why, they are of a pretty fancy; but don't you think them rather of the smallest ?
Jewel. My lord, they could not well be larger, to keep on your lordship's shoe.
Lord Fop. My good sir, you forget that these matters are not as they used to be; formerly, indeed, the buckle was a sort of machine, intended to keep on the shoe; but the case is now quite reversed, and the shoe is of no earthly use, but to keep on the buckle.--Now give me my watches, (SERVANT fetches the watches,] my chapeau, [SERVANT 'brings à dress hat,] my handkerchief, (SERVANT pouve some scented liquor on a handker
chief and brings it,] my snaff-bax, [SERVANT brings snuff-box.] There, now the business of the morning is pretty well over.
[Exit JEWELLER. Fash. [Aside to LORY.] Well, Lory, what dost think on't? a very friendly reception from a brother, after three years' absence !
Lory. [Aside to Tom Fashion.] Why, sir, 'tis your own fault -here
you have stood ever since you came in, and have not commended any one thing that belongs to him.
[SERVANTS all go off. Fash. [Aside to Lory.] Nor ever shall, while they belong to a coxcomb-[TO LORD FOPPINGTON] Now your people of business are gone, brother, I hope I may obtain a quarter of an hour's audience of you ?
Lord Fop. Faith, Tam, I must beg you'll excuse me at this time, for I have an engagement which I would not break for the salvation of mankind.—Hey!—there is my carriage at the door ?— You'll excuse me, brother.
[Going Fash. Shall you be back to dinner ?
Lord Fop. As Gad shall jedge me, I can't tell; for it is passible I may
dine with some friends at Donner's. Fash. Shall I meet you there? for I must needs talk with you.
Lord Fop. That I'm afraid mayn't be quite so praper ; for those I commonly eat with are people of nice conversation; and you know, Tam, your education has been a little at large.
But there are other ordinaries in town-very good beef ordinaries
- I suppose, Tam, you can eat beef ?— However, dear Tam, I'm glad to see thee in England, stap my vitals !
[Exit, LA VAROLE following. Fash. Hell and furies! is this to be borne ?
Lory. Faith, sir, I could almost have given him a knock o' the pate myself.
Fash. 'Tis enough ; I will now show you the excess of my passion, by being very calm.—Come, Lory, lay your loggerhead to mine, and, in cold blood, let us contrive his destruction.
Lory. Here comes a head, sir, would contrive it better than both our loggerheads, if she would but join in the confederacy.
Fash. By this light, Madam Coupler l she seems dissatisfied at something: let us observe her.
Enter MRS. COUPLER. Mrs. Coup. So ! I am likely to be weli rewarded for my services, truly ; my suspicions, I find, were but too just.– What I refuse to advance me a petty sum, when I am upon
the point of making him master of a galleon! But let him look to the consequences; an ingrateful, narrow-minded coxcomb !
Fash. So he is, upon my soul, old lady; it must be my brother you speak of.
Mrs. Coup. Ha ! stripling, how came you here? What, hast spent all, eh? And art thou come to dun his lordship for assistance ?
Fash. No, I want somebody's assistance to cut his lordship's throat, without the risk of being hanged for him.
Mrs. Coup. Egad, sirrah, I could help thee to do him almost as good a turn, without the danger of being burned in the hand for't.
Fash. How-how, old Mischief?
Mrs. Coup. Why, you must know I have done you the kind. 155 to make up a match for your brother.
fash. I am very much beholden to you, truly !
Asrs. Coup. You may before the wedding-day yet : the lady is a great heiress, the match is concluded, the writings are drawn, and his lordship is come hither to put the finishing hand to the business.
Fash. I understand as much.
Mrs. Coup. Now, you must know, stripling, your brother's a knave.
Mrs. Coup. He has given me a bond of a thousand pounds for helping him to this fortune, and has promised me as much more, in ready money, upon the day of the marriage ; which, understand by a friend, he never designs to pay me; and his just now refusing to pay me a part is a proof of it. If, therefore, you will be a generous young rogue, and secure me five thousand pounds, I'll help you to the lady.
Fash. And how the devil wilt thou do that?
Mrs. Coup. Without the devil's aid, I warrant thee. Thy brother's face not one of the family ever saw; the whole business has been managed by me, and all his letters go through my hands. Sir Tunbelly Clumsy, my relation-for that's the old gentleman's name-is apprised of his lordship's being down here, and expects him to-morrow to receive his daughter's hand; but the peer, I find, means to bait here a few days longer, to recover the fatigue of his journey, I suppose. Now you shall go to Muddymoat Hall in his place.-I'll give you a letter of introduction : and if you don't marry the girl before sunset, you deserve to be hanged before morning.
Fash Agreed ! agreed ! and for thy reward
Mrs. Coup. Well, well ;-though I warrant thou hast not a farthing of money in thy pocket now-no-one may see it in thy face. Fash. Not a sous, by Jupiter !
Mrs. Coup. Must I advance, then? Well, be at my lodgings, next door, this evening, and I'll see what may be done—we'll sign and seal, and when I have given thee some further instructions, thou shalt hoist sail and begone.
[Exit. Fash. So, Lory, Fortune, thou seest, at last takes care of merit ! we are in a fair way to be great people. Lory. Ay, sir, if the devil don't step between the
cup and the lip, as he used to do.
Fash. Why, faith, he has played me many a damned trick to spoil my fortune; and, egad, I am almost afraid he's at work about it again now; but if I should tell thee how, thou’dst wonder at me.
Lory. Indeed, sir, I should not.
Lory. Because, sir, I have wondered at you so often, I can wonder at you no more.
Fash. No! What wouldst thou say, if a qualm of conscience should spoil my design?
Lory. I would eat my words, and wonder more than ever.
Fash. Why faith, Lory, though I have played many a roguish trick, this is so full-grown a cheat, I find I must take pains to come up to't-I have scruples.
Lory. They are strong symptoms of death. If you find they increase, sir, pray make your will.
Fash. No, my conscience shan't starve me neither : but thus far I'll listen to it. Before I execute this project, I'll try my brother to the bottom. If he has yet so much humanity about him as to assist me—though with a moderate aid—I'll drop my project at his feet, and show him how I can do for him much more than what I'd ask he'd do for me. This one conclusive trial of him I resolve to make.
Succeed or fail, still victory is my lot ;
Enter LOVELESS and AMANDA. Love How do you like these lodgings, my dear? For my part, I am so pleased with them, I shall hardly remove whilst we stay here, if you are satisfied.