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SCENE FROM THE GRUMBLER
Enter Scamper (Sourby's servant) to Sourby, and his
intended wife's maid Jenny. Scamper. Sir, a gentleman would speak with you.
Jenny. Good ! Here comes Scamper ; he'll manage you, I'll warrant me. (Aside.)
Sourby. Who is it?
-– Sir, I'll go and ask him again.
Sourby. (Pulling him by the ears.) Take that, sirrah, by the way. Scamper. Ahi! Ahi !
[Exit. Jenny. Sir, you have torn off his hair, so that he must now have a wig: you have pulled his ears off ; but there are none of them to be had for money.
Sourby. I'll teach him-'Tis certainly Mr. Rigaut, my notary ; I know who it is, let him come in. Could he find no time but this to bring me money? Plague take the blockhead!
Enter Dancing-Master and his Fiddler. Sourby. This is not my man. Who are you, with your compliments ?
Dancing Master. (Bowing ojten.) I am called Rigaudon, Sir, at your service.
Sourby. (To Jenny.) Have not I seen that face somewhere before ?
Jenny. There are a thousand people like one another. Sourby. Well, Mr. Rigaudon, what is your business? Dancing Master. To give you this letter from Madame Clarissa.
Sourby. Give it to me-I would fain know who taught Clarissa to fold a letter thus. What contains it ?
Jenny. (Aside, while he unfolds the letter.) A lover, I believe, never complained of that before.
Sourby. (Reads.) 'Everybody says I am to marry the most brutal of men. I would disabuse them; and for that reason you and I must begin the ball to-night.' She is mad !
Dancing Master. Go on, pray, Sir.
Sourby. (Reads.) 'You told me you cannot dance ; but I have sent you the first man in the world.' (Sourby looks at him from head to foot.)
Dancing Master. Oh Lord, Sir.
Sourby. (Reads.) Who will teach you in less than an hour enough to serve your purpose.' I learn to dance !
Dancing Master. Finish, if you please.
Sourby. 'And if you love me, you will learn the Allemande.' The Allemande ! I, the Allemande! Mr. the first man in the world, do
you are in some danger here?
Dancing Master. Come, Sir, in a quarter of an hour, you
shall dance to a miracle ! Sourby. Mr. Rigaudon, do you know I will send you out of the window if I call my servants ?
Dancing Master. (Bidding his man play.) Come, brisk, this little prelude will put you in humour; you must be held by the hand; or have you some steps of
your own ?
Sourby. Unless you put up that d-d fiddle, I'll beat it about your ears.
Dancing Master. Zounds, Sir! if you are thereabouts, you shall dance presently-I say presently.
Sourby. Shall I dance, villain ?
Dancing Master. Yes. By the heavens above shall you dance. I have orders from Clarissa to make you dance. She has paid me, and dance you shall; first, let him go out. [He draws his sword, and puts it under
Sourby. Ah! I'm dead. What a madman has this woman sent me !
Jenny. I see I must interpose. Stay you there, Sir; let me speak to him ; Sir, pray do us the favour to go and tell the lady, that it's disagreeable to my master.
Dancing Master. I will have him dance.
Dancing Master. I'll have him dance.
Sourby. (Taking her aside.) Yes, tell him that when he will, without costing him a farthing, I'll bleed and purge him his bellyfull.
Dancing Master. I have nothing to do with that ; I'll have him dance, or have his blood.
Sourby. The rascal ! (muttering.)
Jenny. Sir, I can't work upon him; the madman will not hear reason; some harm will happen-we are alone.
Sourby. 'Tis very true.
Jenny. Aye, you may cry for help; do you know that all your neighbours would be glad to see you robbed and
your throat cut ? Believe me, Sir, two Allemande steps may save your life.
Sourby. But if it should come to be known, I should be taken for a fool.
Jenny. Love excuses all follies; and I have heard say that when Hercules was in love, he spun for Queen Omphale.
Sourby. Yes, Hercules spun, but Hercules did not dance the Allemande.
Jenny. Well, you must tell him so; the gentleman will teach you another.
Dancing Master. Will you have a minuet, Sir ?
Dancing Master. What then ? the trocanny, the tricotez, the rigadon ? Come, choose, choose.
Sourby. No, no, no, I like none of these.
Dancing Master. You would have a grave, serious dance, perhaps ?
Sourby. Yes, a serious one, if there be any—but a very serious dance.
Dancing Master. Well, the courante, the hornpipe, the brocane, the saraband ?
Sourby. No, no, no !
have ? But make haste, or-death !
Sourby. Come on then, since it must be so ; I'll learn a few steps of the—the
Dancing Master. What of the-the-
Dancing Master. You mock me, Sir; you shall dance the Allemande, since Clarissa will have it so, or
[He leads him about, the fiddle playing the Allemande. Sourby. I shall be laughed at by the whole town
if it should be known. I am determined, for this frolic, to deprive Clarissa of that invaluable blessing, the possession of my person.
Dancing Master. Come, come, Sir, move, (Teaching him.)
Sourby. Cockatrice !
Enter Wentworth. Oh ! brother, you are come in good time to free me from this cursed bondage.
Wentworth. How ! for shame, brother, at your age to be thus foolish.
Sourby. As I hope for mercy
Wentworth. For shame, for shame-practising at sixty what should have been finished at six ?
Dancing Master. He's not the only grown gentleman I have had in hand.
Wentworth. Brother, brother, you'll be the mockery of the whole city.
Sourby. Eternal babbler ! hear me ; this curs’d, confounded villain will make me dance perforce.
Wentworth. Perforce !
Sourby. Yes; by order, he says, of Clarissa ; but since I now find she is unworthy, I give her up—renounce her
_ The young
[Prior sums up the rest of the play thus :
couple enter immediately after this declaration, and finding no farther obstruction to their union, the piece finishes with the consent of the Grumbler,“ in the hope,” as he says, “ that they are possessed of mutual requisites to be the plague of each other.” ?—ED.]