페이지 이미지

Cor. No, yours !
Bor. Yours !
Together. Yours !

[ Ten o'clock strikes-noise of an omnibus. Box, Ha! What's that ? A cab’s drawn up at the door! (Running to window.] No—it's a twopenny omnibus!

Cox. | Leuning over Box's shoulder.) A lady's got out

Bor. There's no mistaking that majestic person-it's Penelope Ann!

Cox. Your intended !
Box. Yours !
Cox. | Both run to door, L. C., and eagerly listen.
Box. Hark-she's coming up stairs !
Cox. Shut the door!
[They slam the door, and both lean up against it with

their backs.
Mrs. B. (Without, and knocking.) Mr. Cox! Mr. Cox!
Cox. [Shouting.) I've just stepped out !
Box. So have I!

Mrs. B. Mr. Cox ! [Pushing at the doorCox and Box redouble their efforts to keep the door shut.] Open the door! It's only me-Mrs. Bouncer!

Cox. Only you? Then where's the lady?
Mrs. B. Gone!
Cox. Upon your honour ?
Box. As a gentleman ?
Mrs. B. Yes, and she's lefi a note for Mr. Cox.
Cox. Give it to me!
Mrs. B. Then open the door!

Cox. Put it under! [A letter is put under the door ; Cox picks up the letter, and opens it.] Goodness Gracious!

Box. (Snatching letter.] Gracious Goodness! [Cox snatches the letter, and runs forward, followed by Box.

Cox. [Reading. "Dear Mr. Cox, pardon my candor"

Box. [Looking over, and reading.] “ But being convinced that our feelings, like our ages, do not reciprocate"

Cox. “ I hasten to apprise you of my immediate union”.
Box. “With Mr. Knox.
Cox. Huzza!
Box Three cheers for Knox! Ha, ha, ha!


Box. Besides, it was all Mrs. Bouncer's fault, sir.
Cox. Entirely, sir. (Gradually approaching chairs.]
Box. Very well, sir !
Cox. Very well, sir ! (Pause.]
Box. Take a bit of roll, sir ?
Cox. Thank ye, sir. (Breaking a bit off Pause.]
Box. Do you sing, sir ?
Cox. I sometimes join in a chorus.

Box. Then give us a chorus. [Pause.] Have you seen the Bosjemans, sir ?

Cox. No, sir-my wife wouldn't let me. Box. Your wife ! Cox. That is—my intended wife. Box. Well, that's the same thing ! I congratulate you ! [Shaking hands.]

Cox: ( With a deep sigh.] Thank ye. (Seeing Box about to get up. You needn't disturb yourself, sir. She won't come here. Box. Oh ! I understand. You've got a snug

little tablishment of your own hereon the sly—cunning dog -[Nudging Cox.]

Cox. [Drawing himself up.] No such thing, sir--I repeat, sir—no such thing, sir, but my wife-I mean, my intended wife-happens to be the proprietor of a considerable number of bathing machines-

Box. (Suddenly.] Ha! Where ? [Grasping Cox's arm.) Cox. At a favorite watering-place. How curious you are ! Box. Not at all. Well ?

Cox. Consequently, in the bathing season-which luckily is rather a long one-we see but little of each other ; but as that is now over, I am daily indulging in the expectation of being blessed with the sight of my beloved. (Very seriously.) Are you married ?

Box. Me ? Why-not exactly !
Cox. Ah-a happy bachelor ?
Box. Why-not-precisely !
Cox. Oh ! a-widower ?
Box. No-not absolutely!

Cox. You'll excuse me, sir-but, at present, I don't exactly understand how you can help being one of the three.

Box. Not help it ?
Cox. No, sir-not you, nor any other man alive !

Box. Ah, that may be—but I'm not alive!

Cox. [Pushing back his chair.] You'll excuse me, sirbut I don't like joking upon such subjects.

Box. I'm perfectly serious, sir. I've been defunct for the last three years !

Cox. [Shouting.] Will you be quiet, sir ?

Box. If you won't believe me, I'll refer you to a very large, numerous, and respectable circle of disconsolate friends.

Cor. My dear sir-my very dear sir-if there does exist any ingenious contrivance whereby a man on the eve of committing matrimony can leave this world, and yet stop in it, I shouldn't be sorry to know it.

Box. Oh! then I presume I'm not to set you down as being frantically attached to your intended ?

Cox. Why, not exactly; and yet, at present, I'm only aware of one obstacle to my doating upon her, and that is, that I can't abide her !

Box. Then there's nothing more easy. Do as I did.
Cox. (Eagerly.) I will! What was it ?
Box. Drown yourself!
Cox. (Shouting again.) Will you be quiet, sir ?
Box. Listen to me. Three years ago it was my

misfortune to captivate the affections of a still blooming, though somewhat middle-aged widow, at Ramsgate.

Cox. [Aside.] Singular enough! Just my case three months ago at Margate.

Box. Well, sir, to escape her'importunities, I came to the determination of enlisting into the Blues, or Life Guards. Cox. [Aside.) So did I. How


odd ! Box. But they wouldn't have me—they actually had the effrontery to say that I was too short

Cox. (Aside.] And I wasn't tall enough!

Box. So I was obliged to content myself with a marching regiment, I enlisted !

Cox. (Aside. So did I. Singular coincidence !
Box. I'd no sooner done so, than I was sorry for it.
Cox. (Aside. So was I.

Box. My infatuated widow offered to purchase my discharge, on condition that I'd lead her to the altar.

Cox. [Aside.] Just my case !
Box. Í hesitated-at last I consented.
Cox. Aside.] I consented at once !


Box. Well, sir—the day fixed for the happy ceremony at length drew near-in fact, too near to be pleasant-so 1 suddenly discovered that I wasn't worthy to possess lrer, and I told her so—W

-when, instead of being flattered by the compliment, she flew upon me like a tiger of the fentale gender-I rejoined--when suddenly something whizzed past me, within an inch of my ear, and shivered into a thousand fragments against the mantel-piece-it was the slop-basin. 1 retaliated with a tea-cup-we parted, and the next morning I was served with a notice of action for breach of promise.

Cox. Well, sir ?

Box. Well, sir-ruin stared me in the face—the action proceeded against me with gigantic strides--I took a desperate resolution-I left my home early one morning, with one suit of clothes on my back, and another tied


in bundle, under my arm—I arrived on the cliffs-opened my bundle—deposited the suit of clothes on the very verge of the precipice-took one look down into the yawning gulph beneath me, and walked off in the opposite direction.

Cox. Dear me! I think I begin to have some slight perception of your meaning. Ingenious creature! disappeared—the suit of clothes were found

Box. Exactly—and in one of the pockets of the coat, or the waistcoat, or the pantaloons-I forget whichthere was also found a piece of paper, with these affecting farewell words : “ This is thy work, oh, Penelope Ann !”

Cox. Penelope Ann! (Starts up, takes Box by the arm, and leads him slowly to front of stage.) Penelope Ann?

Box. Penelope Ann!
Cox. Originally widow of William Wiggins ?
Box. Widow of William Wiggins !
Cox. Proprietor of bathing machines ?
Bor. Proprietor of bathing machines !
Cox. At Margate ?
Bor. And Ramsgate!

Cox. It must be she! And you, sir-you are Boxthe lamented, long lost Box !

Box. I am!

Cox. And I was about to marry the interesting crcatura you so cruelly deceived.

Bux. Ha! then you are Cox?
Cox. I am!


Box. I heard of it. I congratulate you-I give you joy! And now, I think I'll go and take a stroll. Going.

Cox. No you don't ! [Stopping him.] l'll not lose sight of you till I've restored you to the arms of your intended.

Bot. My intended? You mean your intended.
Cox. No, sir-yours !

Box. How can she be my inte ded, now that I'm drowned ?

Cox. You're no such thing, sir ! and I prefer presenting you to Penelope Ann.

Box. I've no wish to be introduced to your intended.

Cox. My intended ? How can that be, sir ? You proposed to her first !

Box. What of that, sir ? I came to an untimely end, and you popped the question afterwards.

Cox. Very well, sir !
Box. Very well, sir !

Cox. You are much more worthy of her than I am, sir. Permit me, then, to follow the generous impulse of my nature-I give her up to you.

Box. Benevolent being! I wouldn't rob you for the world! [Going.) Good morning, sir !

Cox. Seizing him.] Stop !

Box. Unhand me, hatter! or I shall cast off the lamb and assume the lion !

Cox. Pouh! (Snapping his fingers close to Box's face.
Box. An insult ! to my very

my very nose

! (Rubbing it.] You know the consequences, sir—instant satisfaction, sir!

Cox. With all my heart, sir ! [They go to fire-place, R., and begin ringing bells violently, and pull down bell-pulls. Both. Mrs. Bouncer ! Mrs. Bouncer !

Mrs. Bouncer runs in, L. C.
Mrs. B. What is it, gentlemen ?
Box. Pistols for two!
Mrs. B. Yes, sir.

Going. Cox. Stop! You don't mean to say, thoughtless and imprudent woman,

that you keep loaded fire-arms in the house?

Mrs. B. Oh, northey're not loaded.
Cor. Then produce the murderous weapons instantly!

(Exit Mrs. Bouncer, L. C.

« 이전계속 »