페이지 이미지

Cos. Nay, for that matter, I'll spend my penny with the best he that wears a head; that is, begging your pardon, sir, and in a fair way.

Serg. K. Give me your hand then; and pow, gentlemen, I have no more to say than this-here's a purso of gold, and there is a tub of bumming ale at my quarters; 'tis the king's mopey, and the king's drink : he's a generous king, and loves his subjects. I hope, gentlemen, you won't refuse the king's health.

Mob. No, no, no.

Serg. K. Huzza, then! buzza, for the king and the honour of Shropshire.

Mob. Huzza! Serg. K. Beat drum. [Exeunt shouting ; Drum beating a Grenadier's

March. Enter CAPTAIN Plume, in a Riding Habit. Capt. P. By the grenadier's march, that should be my drom; and by that shout it should beat with suc

Let me see-foor o'clock. [Looks at his Watch] At ten yesterday morning I left London--pretty smart riding; but nothing to the fatigue of recruiting.

Re-enter SERGEANT KITE. Serg. K. Welcome to Shrewsbury, noble captain! from the banks of the Danube to the Severn side, noble captain! you're welcome.

Capt. P. A very elegant reception indeed, Mr. Kite. I find you are fairly entered into your recruiting strain -Pray what success?

Serg. K. I've been here a week, and I've recruited five.

Capt. P. Five! Pray what are they?

Serg. K. I have listed the strong man of Kent, the king of the gipsies, a Scotch pedler, a scoundrel astorney, and a Welch parson.

Capt. P. An attorney! wert thou mad? list a lawyer! discharge him, discharge him this minute,



Serg. K. Why, sir?

Cupt. P. Because I will have nobody in my company that can write: say, this minute discharge him.

Serg. K. And what shall I do with the parson?
Capt. P. Can he write?
Serg. K. Hum! he plays rarely upon the fiddle.

Capt. P. Keep him by all means. But how stands the country affected? were the people pleas’d with the news of my coming to town?

Serg. K. Sir, the mob are so pleased with your honour, and the justices and better sort of people are so delighted with me, that we shall soon do your business. But, sir, you have got a recruit bere that you little think of.

Capt. P. Who?

Serg. K. One that you beat up for the last time you were in the country. You remember your old friend Molly, at the Castle.

Capt. P. She's not, I hope-
Serg. K. She was brought to bed yesterday.
Cupt. P. Kite, you must father the child.

Serg. K. And so her friends will oblige me to marry the mother.

Capt. P. If they should, we'll take her with us; she can wash you know, and make a bed upon occasion.

Serg. K. But your honour knows that I am married already.

Capt. P. To how many?

Serg. K. I can't tell readily I have set them down here upon the back of the muster-roll. [Draws it out] Let me seem[Reads] Imprimis, Mrs. Shely Snikereyes, she sells potatoes upon Ormond Key in Dublin-Peggy Guzzle, the brandy woman at the Horse Guards at WhitehallDolly Waggon, the carrier's daughter at Hull-Madamoiselle Van Boltomfiat, at the Buss-then Jenny Oakum, the ship-carpenter's widow at Portsmouth; but I don't reckon upon her, for she was married at the same time to two lieutenants of marines, and a man-ofwar's boatswain.

[ocr errors]

Capt. P. A full company-you have named fiveCome, make them half a dozen. Kite, is the child a boy or a girl?

Serg. K. A chopping boy.

Capt. P. Then set the mother down in your list, and the boy in mine ; and now go comfort the wench in the straw.

Serg. K. I shall, sir.

Capt. P. But hold, bave you made any use of your German doctor's babit since you arrivid?

Serg. K. Yes, yes, sir, and my fame's all aboul the country for the most faithful fortune-teller that ever told a lie. I was obliged to let my landlord into the secret for the convenience of keeping it so ; but he is an honest fellow, and will be faithful to any roguery that is trusted to him. This device, sir, will get you men, and me money, which I think is all we want at present.--But yonder comes your friend, Mr. Wortby. Has yoor honour any further commands?

Capt P. None at present. [Exit Sergeant Kite] 'Tis indeed the picture of Worthy, but the life's departed.

Enter Worthy. What, arms across, Worthy! methinks you should hold them open when a friend's so near. The man has got the vapours in his ears I believe. I must expel ibis melancholy spirit.

Spleen, thou worst of fiends below,
Fly, I conjure thee, by this magic blow.

(Slups Worthy on the Shoulder. Wor. Plame! my dear captain! return'd! safe and sound, I hope.

Capt. P. You see I have lost neither leg nor arm; then, for my inside, 'tis neither troubled with sympathies nor antipathies; and I have an excellent stomach for roast beef.

Wor. Thou art a happy fellow: once I was so.

Capt. P. Wbat ails thee, mau? po inundations nor earthquakes in Wales I hope! Has your father rose from the dead, and reassumed his estate?

Wor. No.
Capt. P. Then you are married, surely?
Wor. No.
Capt. P. Then you are mad, or larning methodist?

Wor. Come, I must oat with it. Your once gay roving friend is dwindled into an obsequious, thoughtful, romantic, constant coxcomb.

Capt. P. And pray what is all this for?
Wor. For a woman.'

Capt. P. Shake bands, brother. If thou go to that, behold me as obsequious, as thoughtful, and as constant a coxcomb as your worship.

Wor. For whom?

Capt. P. For a regiment—but for a woman ! 'Sdeath! I have been constant to fifteeu at a time, but nerer melancholy for one. Pray who is this wonderful Helen?

Wor. A Helen indeed! not to be won under ten years siege ; as great a beauty, and as great a jilt.

Capt. P. But who is she? do I know hier? Wor. Very well. Capt. P. That's impossible. I know no woman that will hold out a ten year's siege.

Wor. What think you of Melinda ?

Capt. P. Melinda! you must not think to surmount her pride by your humility. Would you bring her to better thoughts of you, she must be reduced to a meaner opinion of herself. Let me see, the very first thing thai I would do, should be to make love io ber chambermaid. Suppose we lainpooned all the pretty women in town, and left her out; or, what if we made a ball, and forgot to invite her, with one or lwo of the ugliest.

Wor. These would be mortifications, I must confess; but we live in such a precise dull place, that we can have no balls, no lampoons, no

Capt. P. What! no young ones? and so many recruiting officers in town! | thought 'twas a maxim among them to leave as many recruits in the country as they carried out.

Wor. Nobody doubts your good will, noble caplain!

witness our friend Molly at the Castle ; there have been lears in town about that business, captain.

Capt. Pa I hope Sylvia bas not heard of it.

Wor. Oh, sir! have you thought of her? I began to fancy you bad forgot poor Sylvia.

Capt. P. Your affairs had quite put mine out of my head. 'Tis true, Sylvia and I had once agreed, could we have adjusted preliminaries; but I am resolved never to bind myself to a woman for my whole life, till I know whether I shall like her company for half an hour. If people would but try one another before they engaged, it would prevent all these elopements, divorces, and the devil knows what.

Wor. Nay, for that maller, the town did not stick to

say tbat.

Capt. P. I hate country towns for that reason. If your town bas a dishonograble thought of Sylvia it deserves to be burned to the ground. I love Sylvia, I admire her frank generous disposition; in short, were I once a general, I would marry her.

Wor. Faith, you have reason; for were yon but a corporal, she would marry you.

But my Melinda coquets it with every fellow she sees ; l'il lay fifty pounds she makes love to you.

Capt. P. I'll lay you a hundred that I retorn it if she does.

Re-enter SeRGEANT KITE. Serg. K. Captain, captain! a word in your ear. Capt. P. You may speak out; here are none but friends.

Serg. K. You know, sir, that you sent me to comfort the good woman in the straw, Mrs. Molly; my wife, Mr. Worthy.

Wor. O ho! very well. I wish you joy, Mr. Kite.

Serg. K. Your worship very well may; for I have got both a wife and child in half an hour. But as I was saying, you sent me to comfort Mrs. Molly-my wife, I mean-But what do you think, sir? she was betler uomforted before I came.

« 이전계속 »