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voice of an indignant four-and-twenty pounder, exclaim“I'll tell father-see if I don't !!!
Sal. Alas! I've got no father!
Sal. Do you hear? There go the bells; and, lookhere come the guests.
[Two Men pass over stage R., and enter shop L. -Those ugly Gimps and Bobbins.
Smith. Oh! that's Gimps and Bobbins, is it? It strikes me I'll be a match for Gimp and Bobbins. (to her) I've just come three thousand miles for the express pur; pose of matching Gimp and Bobbins. Fear not. I'll stand by you.
Farewell. Sal. Farewell! Is that the way you mean to stand by
Smith. I'm at hand, though invisible. In your extremity, call extremely loud, "Gotobed, Once! Gotobed, Twice! Gotobed, Three times !” Call with a voice of thunder, and like a flash of lightning I'll appear !
[Exit v. R. E Sal. (c.) Gotobed with a voice of thunder I-Gotobed, with a flash of lightning! I declare I'm half afraid. O my! and suppose the old gentleman was the real old gentleman! Well-so much the better-he'll be a match for mother.
Bells. -Enter Mrs. SMITH arm in arm with the reluc
tant Larry, and followed by Mr. and Mrs. GIMP, and Mr. and Mrs. BOBBINS, all in bridal array.
Mrs. G. (L.) Well, I do declare you look charming, Mrs. Smith.
Mrs. S. You're very good, Gimp, I'm sure. (sees Sally) Ah, Sally; you're just come in time, child. Where's my new cap?
Sal. (pouting) Milliner says it won't be ready 'fore to
She told me to tell you she didn't know you was so pressed.
Mrs. S. (R.) Provoking! Then we must go without it.
Sal. (aside) Must you? Then it's high time to call the old gentleman, (very loud) Gotobed, Once !
Mrs. S. Go to bed at once! What does the girl mean? How dare you use such language, hussy ?
Lar. (on the other side) Sally, sweet Sally, tell mewhat shall I do?
Sal. (thundering) Gotobed Two !
Mrs. S. The slut's mad! Mr. O’Lugger, I'll thank you to drop her hand and take my arm. You, minx, fol. low with Mr. Cockletop, when you know how to behave. Now, neighbors, as nobody sees just cause or impediment, come along
Sal. (thundering) This is the last time of asking-Gotobed, Three times ?
SMITH advances, R. and meets the wedding party. Smith. Ladies and Gentlemen in general, and Sarah Smith in particular-you've made a slight mistake—there is a small cause and impediment.
Sal. (exulting) The old gentleman, I declare !
Mrs. S. (turning her back with dignity) Who is this person? What do you want, man?
Smith. What does man want ? Man demands his wife! Man forbids this bigamacious marriage!
Mrs. S. Big what? (crosses to c.) Sir, my indignation only allows me to say, pooh, pooh! Go along.
Smith. Madam, Madam, I am not to be pooh-pooh'd: still less am I to be go-along'd. My simple expression was, this bigamacious marriage; and as Dr. Johnson defines bigamy to be, substantive, the crime of marrying a second wife or husband, the first being alive, I am prepared to make deliberate oath that your first husband is not deadand, what's more, never was dead at any moment of his existence !
Mrs. S. My husband alive! This is growing no joke.
You want to frighten me; but it won't do, Sir. Where's your proof? Let me hear some ocular proof, Sir!
Smith. So you shall. Know, then, false, fleeting woman, your beloved Smith stands before you !
Omnes. Mr. Smith!
Lar. That's what I call sharp on both sides. (aside) Here's a bit of luck!
Mrs. S. (turning to LADIES) Ladies, ladies—this is the common cause of every woman. If a dead husband's to come to life again like this, where's the use of being a widow ? Take no more notice of the fellow. (crossing to R.) Begone, amphibious impostor? Mr. O'Lugger-my dear friends—let's walk.
Sal. (aside) I'll have a try now. (aloud) Stop, mother, stop! Let me have a look at him. Something tells me 'tain't the first time I've seen that face.
Mrs. S. (crosses to C., and gets between Smith and SALLY) Stuff and nonsense ! You would be a clever child if you knew
father. It's as much as ever she was born when the monster absconded. (to LARRY) Why do you stand there, Mr. O’Lugger, like a great do-nothing-atall? Why don't you take my arm, and knock him down?
Lar. My dear Mrs. Smith-my very dear Mrs. Smith -if the Home Establishment is full, there's no vacancy for me;
and so, my worthy womanMrs. S. Worthy woman ?-me? I shall go lunatic !
Enter COCKLETOP from shop L.
Cockle. (L. c.) All right! Signatum, sigillatum, et de. liberatum! Heyday! Why, how's this, Mrs. Smith ? You ought to have been at church this half-hour !
Mrs. S. (crossing to l.) Oh, Mr. Cockletop! you're just come in time. Here's all seven of us, including a cutlass, have been waylaid, stopped, and assaulted by a single wretched footpad.
Cockle. Indeed! Where is he? I'll trounce him, or my name's not Christopher Cockletop!
Smith. (starting, and coming down c.) Christopher Cockletop! That name—that unpleasant voice—that ordinary countenance! I can't be mistaken! (hitting him hard) This is my man!
Cockle. He's assaulting me now! Help, Preventive!
Smith. What! does the friend of my bosom pretend he doesn't know my face ?
Cockle. Sir, I beg you won't agitate a family man in this way. If I do know you, please to give me the slightest idea of who the devil
you are. Smith. Why, my old schoolfellow, don't you recollect Tom Smith ? Gotobed Smith, at Dr. Birch's seminary?
Cockle. What! Gotobed Tom ?-recollect Gotobed Tom ? (hand on heart) I do! Recollect Birch ? (putting hand behind and checking himself) Don't I! But hold, if you are the real Gotobed Tom, do you recollect one day(whispers, when both burst out laughing)
Smith. So we did! And do you remember one night -(whispers, when both burst out laughing)
Cockle. So she did ! (opens his arms) Tom !
Smith. But I say, old boy, so you've turned lawyereh? Well
. I did think you'd have turned out better than that—however, old friends meeting mustn't talk of disagreeables.
Cockle. No more they should—the associations should be pleasant. And so you ran away from your wife and child and died in America, did you ?
Smith. (L. C.) No, Christopher, think better of your friend. In the first place, I didn't die at all—in the next place, I ran away from what would frighten the devil himself—the Lord Chief Justice of England, a writ of capias, and the uncomfortable connexion subsisting between the smuggling laws, French brandy, and Botany Bay—and one very fine morning, hearing from my authentic friend, Docket, that warrants were out against Thomas Smith, I slipped on board a Yankee merchantman in the Downs, cleared the Channel next day, reached New York in six weeks, and in three months set up my walking-stick on the banks of the Ohio.
Cockle. And when you set up your walking-stick what followed ?
Smith. Why, there my stick stuck for nearly a quarter of a century—but at last I had the satisfaction of hearing that my beloved uncle and godfather, Gotobed, was dead, and had had the masculine good sense to leave me the whole of his little fortune.
Mrs. S. (L. C., relaxing) A little fortune? What, Sir? -is poor dear Mr. Gotobed dead ?
Smith. Yes, a sudden and premature end at ninetythree-poor man! A generous impulse immediately prompted me to revisit the land of my fathers, and pocket iny uncle's two thousand sterling pounds—and here I am, with that firm determination !
Mrs. S. (R.) Good Heavens! Two thousand pounds! Let me look twice at this interesting stranger-don't restrain me, Mr. Cockletop. (knocks COCKLETOP out of the way, L. c.) Now I gaze again
Smith. Well !
Mrs. S. 'Tis he ! — tis my Gotobed ! (rushes to his arms) To think I should ever forget such a cast of features as that! (parting his hair violently-Smith makes grimaces)
Sal. (L.) Mamma, mamma, is it really papa ?
Cockle. (crossing behind Sally) Hush, Miss Sallyyou mustn't ask that sort of question.
Mrs. S. To be sure it is your papa. Heartless child, how you stand! Why don't you smother him with kisses ?
Sal. (embracing SMITH.) O my! how happy I am! Bless his dear, dear, dear, old face ! (slapping his cheeks with both hands. Smith repeats grimaces)
Lar. Larry, my darling, you're saved! It's very af: fecting, ain't it, Mrs Smith ? (Mrs. Smith waves handkerchief, unable to speak.), Ain't it, Mr. Cockletop? (COCKLETOP the same.) Ain't it, Gimp and Bobbins ? (GIMP and BOBBINS the same.)
Smith. By the bye, Gimp and Bobbins, my old friends, my new old friends, it seems you have been asked here to a jolly good dinner. Your friendly sympathy sha'nt be disappointed. Dinner will be on at three; till when, please to be off. Mrs. Smith and I haven't had a chat very lately. Do as you would be done by. You understand
Guests. At three; we'll be punctual, never fear.