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to a striking scene at the opening; that's a rule. And the case is, that two great men are coming to this very spot to begin the piece : now, it is not to be supposed they would open their lips, if these fellows were watching them ; so, egad, I must either have sent them off their posts, or set them asleep.
Sneer. Oh, that accounts for it.—But tell us, who are these coming ?
Puff. These are they—Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Christopher Hatton. You ’ll know Sir Christopher by his turning out his toes—famous, you know, for his dancing. I like to preserve all the little traits of character.—Now attend.
“Enter SIR WALTER RALEIGH and SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON. Sir Christ. True, gallant Raleigh !"
Dang. What, they had been talking before ?
Puff. Oh yes ; all the way as they came along.–[To the actors.) I beg pardon, gentlemen, but these are particular friends of mine, whose remarks may be of great service to us. To SNEER and DANGLE. Don't mind interrupting them whenever anything strikes you.
“Sir Christ. True, gallant Raleigh!
But oh, thou champion of thy country's fame,
Sneer. Pray, Mr. Puff, how came Sir Christopher Hatton never to ask that question before ?
Puff. What, before the play began ?-how the plague could he ?
Dang. That's true, i' faith!
"Sir Christ. Alas ! my noble friend, when I behold
Yon tented plains in martial symmetry
When, briefly, all I hear or see bear stamp
Sneer. A very cautious conjecture that.
Puff. Yes, that 's his character; not to give an opinion but on secure grounds.--Now then.
“Sir Walt. O most accomplished Christopher !”—
Puff. He calls him by his Christian name, to show that they are on the most familiar terms.
“Sir Walt. O most accomplished Christopher! I find
Thy staunch sagacity still tracks the future
Puff. Figurative !
“ Sir Walt. Thy fears are just.
The danger is,-methinks I fain would learn.
And three revolving moons, have closed their course,
With hostile hand hath struck at England's trade.
His subjects in base bigotry.
You know, the Protestant persuasion hold.
The famed Armada, by the Pope baptised,
With purpose to invade these realms-
His darling son
Ferolo Whiskerandos hightSir Walt. The same-by chance a prisoner hath been ta'en,
And in this fort of Tilbury-
Unconquer'd, though in chains.
You also know.”
Dang. Mr. Puff, as he knows all this, why does Sir Walter go on telling him ?
Puff. But the audience are not supposed to know any thing of the matter, are they ?
Sneer. True; but I think you manage ill : for there certainly appears no reason why Sir Walter should be so communicative.
Puff. 'Fore Gad, now, that is one of the most ungrateful observations I ever heard for the less inducement he has to tell all this, the more, I think, you ought to be obliged to him ; for I am sure you'd know nothing of the matter without it.
Dang. That's very true, upon my word.
“Sir Christ. Enough, enough—'tis plain-and I no more
Am in amazement lost !"
Puff. Here, now, you see, Sir Christopher did not in fact ask any one question for his own information.
Sneer. No, indeed: his has been a most disinterested curiosity !
Dang. Really, I find, we are very much obliged to them both.
Puff. To be sure you are. Now then for the commanderin-chief, the Earl of Leicester, who, you know, was no favourite but of the queen's.-We left off-in amazement lost !
Am in amazement lost.
In honours and command.
And yet methinks,
That staff might well become an abler grasp.
Puff. Ay, they envy him!
Puff. Oh! very valiant knights : one is the governor of the fort, the other the master of the horse. I think, you shall hear some better language : I was obliged to be plain and intelligible in the first scene, because there was so much matter of fact in it; but now, i' faith, you have trope, figure, and metaphor, as plenty as nounsubstantives.
“ Enter EARL OF LEICESTER, GOVERNOR, MASTER OF THE HORSE,
And plumèd valour moulds in roosted sloth
Puff. There it is—followed up!
“Sir Walt. No more the freshening breath of thy rebuke
Hath Alld the swelling canvas of our souls !
. (All take hands
We'll fall in glory's wake!
Then, are we all resolved ?
Dang. Nem. con. egad! · Puff. O yes 1-—where they do agree on the stage, their unanimity is wonderful !
“ Leic. Then let's embrace—and now [Kneels”. Sneer. What the plague ! is he going to pray ?
Puff. Yes ; hush k-in great emergencies, there is nothing like a prayer.
“ Leic. O mighty Mars !"
If in thy homage bred,
Nor but by due promotion, and the right
Have risen; assist thy votary now!
Yet do not rise-hear me!
[Kneels [Kneels [Kneels [Kneels [Kneels
Puff. Now pray altogether.
“ All Behold thy votaries submissive beg;
That thou wilt deign to grant them all they ask;
Sneer. A very orthodox quintetto !
Puff. Vastly well, gentlemen - Is that well managed or not? Have you such a prayer as that on the stage ?
Sneer. Not exactly.
Leic. [To PUFF.) But, sir, you haven't settled how we are to get off here.
Puff. You could not go off kneeling, could you ?
Puff. It would have a good effect, i' faith, if you could exeunt praying 1-Yes, and would vary the established mode of springing off with a glance at the pit.
Sneer. Oh, never mind, so as you get them off 1-I'll answer for it, the audience won't care how.
Puff. Well then, repeat the last line standing, and go off the old way.
“ All And sanctify whatever means we use
“ The SENTINELS get up
[Exeunt" Dang. Hey lwhy, I thought those fellows had been asleep?
Puff. Only a pretence; there 's the art of it: they were spies of Lord Burleigh's.