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Lady T. Well, if it had not been for this venged of her; for I will do her the greatest last piece of sobriety, I was just going to call friendship in the world-against her will. for some surfeit-water. Lord T. What an uncommon philosophy Lady G. Why, don't you think, with the art thou master of, to make even thy malice further aid of breakfasting, dining, and taking a virtue!
the air, supping, sleeping, not to say a word Man. Yet, my lord, I assure you there is of devotion, the four-and-twenty hours might no one action of my life gives me more plearoll over in a tolerable manner? sure than your approbation of it. Lord T. Dear Charles! my heart's impatient
Lady T. Tolerable! deplorable! Why, child, you propose want to enjoy it.
Enter MRS. TRUSTY.
is but to endure life; now I till thou art nearer to me; and, as a proof
Mrs. T. Ma'am, your ladyship's chair is ready.
Lady T. You will call on me at lady Revel's?
Lady T. But I am so afraid it will break into your scheme, my dear!
Lady G. When it does, I will - soberly break from you.
Lord T. I'm glad you think it flattery, but she herself shall prove it none; she dines with us alone:-when the servants are withdrawn, I'll open a conversation that shall excuse my leaving you together-Oh, Charles! had I, like thee, been cautious in my choice, what melancholy hours had this heart avoided!
Man. No more of that, I beg, my lord.
Lady T. Why then, till we meet again, to my anxiety, however barren of content the dear sister, I wish you all tolerable happiness. state has been to me, to see so near a friend [Exeunt. and sister happy in it. Your harmony of life will be an instance, how much the choice of temper is preferable to beauty.
Enter LORD TOWNLY and MANLY. Lord T. I did not think my lady Wronghead had such a notable brain; though I can't say she was so very wise, in trusting this silly girl, you call Myrtilla, with the secret.
Man. No, my lord, you mistake me; had the girl been in the secret, perhaps I had never come at it myself,
Lord T. Why, I thought you said the girl writ this letter to you, and that my lady Wronghead sent it enclosed to my sister.
While your soft hours in mutual kindness
SCENE I.-MRS. MOTHERLY'S House.
Man. Sir Francis, your servant.
Man. If you please to give me leave, my
Man. I am come to see how the family goes on here.
she seals it up, as a letter of business, just Man. By your early hour, then, I suppose written by herself to me; and pretending to you have been making your court to some be in a hurry, gets this innocent girl to write of the great men.
the direction for her. Sir F. Why, faith, you have hit it, sir! Lord T. Oh, then the girl did not know I was advised to loose no time: so I e'en went she was superscribing a billet-doux of her own, straight forward to one great man I had neto you? ver seen in my life before.
Man. As how, pray?
Man. No, my lord; for when I first ques- Man. Right! that was doing business: but tioned her about the direction, she owned it who had you got to introduce you? immediately; but when I showed her that her Sir F. Why, nobody--I remember I had letter to the count was within it, and told her heard a wise man say-My son, be boldhow it came into my hands, the poor crea- so, troth, I introduced myself. ture was amazed, and thought herself betrayed, both by the count and my lady-in short, Sir F. Why, thus-Lookye-"Please your upon this discovery, the girl and I grew so lordship," says I, "I am sir Francis Wronggracious, that she has let me into some trans- head, of Bumper-hall, and member of parlia actions in my lady Wronghead's family, ment for the borough of Guzzledown."—"Sir, which, with my having a careful eye over your humble servant," says my lord; "tho'f Í them, may prevent the ruin of it. have not the honour to know your person, I Lord T. You are very generous, to be so have heard you are a very honest gentleman, solicitous for a lady that has given you so and I am glad your borough has made choice much uneasiness. of so worthy a representative; and so," says Man. But I will be most unmercifully re- he, "sir Francis, have you any service to
command me?" Naw, cousin, those last words, Sir F. Why, troth, I cant well tell you you may be sure, gave me no small encou- what they have done; but I can tell you what ragement. And tho'f I know, sir, you have I did: and, I think, pretty well in the main; no extraordinary opinion of my parts, yet, I only I happened to make a little mistake at believe, you won't say I mist it naw. last, indeed. Man. How was that?
Man. have no cause. Sir F. So, when I found him so courteous Sir F. Why, they were all got there into -"My lord," says I, "I did not think to ha' a sort of a puzzling debate, about the good troubled your lordship with business upon my of the nation and I were always for that, first visit: but, since your lordship is pleased you know-but, in short, the arguments were not to stand upon ceremony,-why, truly," so long winded o'both sides, that, waunds! says I, "I think naw is as good as another I did not well understand 'um: hawsomever, time."
Man. Right! there you pushed him home. Sir F. Ay, ay, I had a mind to let him see that I was none of your mealy-mouthed ones. Man. Very good.
I was convinced, and so resolved to vote right, according to my conscience-so, when they came to put the question, as they call it-1 don't know how it 'twas-but I doubt I cried, ay! when I should ha' cried, no!
Man. How came that about?
Sir F. "So, in short, my lord," says I, "I have a good estate-but-a-it's a little awt Sir F. Why, by a mistake, as I tell youat elbows:1) and, as I desire to serve my king for there was a good-humoured sort of a genas well as my country, I shall be very willing tleman, one Mr. Totherside, I think they call to accept of a place at court."
Man. So, this was making short on't. Sir F. Icod, I shot him flying, cousin! some of you hawf-witted ones naw, would ha' hunimed and hawed, and dangled a month or two after him, before they durst open their mouths about a place, and mayhap not ha' got it at last neither.
him, that sat next me, as soon as I had cried, ay! gives me a hearty shake by the hand"Sir," says he, "you are a man of honour and a true Englishman! and I should be proud to be better acquainted with you"and so with that he takes me by the sleeve, along with the crowd, into the lobby-so l knew nowght-but, odds flesh! I was got o'the wrong side the post-for I were told, afterwards, I should have staid where I was.
Man. Oh, I'm glad you're so sure on'tSir F. You shall hear, cousin-"Sir Francis," says my lord, "pray what sort of a place Man. And so, if you had not quite made may you ha' turned your thoughts upon?". your fortune before, you have clinched it now! "My lord," says I, "beggars must not be-Ah, thou head of the Wrongheads! [Aside. choosers; but ony place," says I, "about a Lady W. Without] Very well, very well. thousand a year, will be well enough to be Sir F. Odso! here's my lady come home doing with till something better falls in"-for at last! I thowght it would not look well to stond haggling with him at first.
Man. No, no, your business was to get footing any way.
Sir F. Right! there's it! ay, cousin, I see you know the world.
Enter LADY WRONGHEAD, COUNT BASSET, and MISS JENNY.
Lady W. Cousin, your servant: I hope you will pardon my rudeness; but we have really been in such a continual hurry here, that we have not had a leisure moment to return your last visit.
Man. Yes, yes, one sees more of it every day-Well, but what said my lord to all this? Sir F. "Sir Francis," says he, "I shall.be Man. Oh, madam, I am a man of no ceglad to serve you any way that lies in my remony; you see that has not hindered my power;" so he gave me a squeeze by the coming again. hand, as much as to say, give yourself no trouble-I'll do your business; with that he turned him abawt to somebody with a coloured ribbon across here, that looked in my thowghts, as if he came for a place too.
Man. Ha! so upon these hopes you are to make your fortune?
Sir F. Why, do you think there's any doubt of it, sir?
Man. Oh, no, I have not the least doubt about it-for, just as you have done, I made my fortune ten years ago.
Sir F. Why, I never knew you had a place, cousin.
Man. Nor I neither, upon my faith, cousin. But you perhaps may have better fortune; for I suppose my lord has heard of what importance you were in the debate to-day-You have been since down at the house, I presume? Sir F. Oh, yes; I would not neglect the house for ever so much.
Man. Well; and pray what have they done there?
1) A coat out at elbows wants mending-an estate
Lady W. You are infinitely obliging; but I'll redeem my credit with you.
Man. At your own time, madam.
Count B. I must say that for Mr. Manly, madam-if making people easy is the rule of good breeding, he is certainly the best bred man in the world.
Man. Soh! I am not to drop my acquaintance, I find. [Aside]-I am afraid, sir, I shall grow vain upon your good opinion.
Count B. I don't know that, sir; but I am sure what you are pleased to say makes me so. Man. The most impudent modesty that ever I met with!
Lady W. Lard, how ready his wit is!
Sir F. Don't you think, sir, the count's a very fine gentleman? [Apart.
Man. Oh, among the ladies, certainly. [Apart Sir F. And yet he's as stout as a lion. Waunds, he'll storm any thing! [Apart. Man. Will he so? Why then, sir, take care of your citadel.
Sir F. Ah, you are a wag, cousin! [Apart
Man. I hope, ladies, the town air continues of a thing before company, it always make to agree with you? me worse, you know.
Jenny. Oh, perfectly well, sir! We have Man. If I have any skill in the fair sex, been abroad, in our new coach, all day long miss and her mamma have only quarrelled --and we have bought an ocean of fine things. because they are both of a mind. This faceAnd to-morrow we go to the masquerade; tious count seems to have made a very genand on Friday to the play; and on Saturday teel step into the family!
to the opera; and on Sunday we are to be
at the what d'ye call it-assembly, and see Enter MYRTILLA. MANLY talk's apart with her." the ladies play at quadrille, and piquet, and Lady W. Well, sir Francis, and what ombre, and hazard, and basset; and on Mon- news have you brought us from Westminster day we are to see the king; and so on Tues-to-day?
Sir F. News, madam! 'Ecod, I have some Lady W. Hold, hold, miss! you must not and such as does not come every day, I let your tongue run so fast, child-you forget; can tell you. A word in your ear-I have you know I brought you hither to learn mo- got a promise of a place at court of a thoudesty. sand pawnd a year already. Man. Yes, yes, and she is improved with a Lady W. Have you so, sir? And, pray, vengeance! [Aside. who may you thank for't? Now, who is in Jenny. Lawrd, mamma! I am sure I did the right? Is not this better than throwing not say any harm: and, if one must not so much away after a stinking pack of foxspeak in one's turn, one may be kept under hounds in the country? Now your family as long as one lives, for aught I see. may be the better for it.
Lady W. O'my conscience, this girl grows so headstrong
Sir F. Ay, ay, there's your fine growing spirit for you! Now tack it dawn, an' you can. Jenny. All I said, papa, was only to entertain my cousin Manly.
Man. My pretty dear, I am mightily obliged to you..
Šir F. Nay, that's what persuaded me to come up, my dove.
Lady W. Mighty well! Come-let me have another hundred pound then.
Sir F. Another, child! Waunds! you have had one hundred this morning; pray, what's become of that, my dear?
Lady W. What's become of it! Why, I'll show you, my love. Jenny, have you the bills about you?
Jenny. Yes, mamma.
Jenny. Look you there now, madam. Lady W. Hold your tongue, I say. Jenny [Turning away, and pouting] 1 declare won't bear it: she is always snub- Lady W. What's become of it? Why, bing me before you, sir!-I know why she laid out, my dear, with fifty more to it, that does it, well enough- [Aside to the Count. I was forced to borrow of the count here.. Count B. Hush, hush, my dear! don't be uneasy at that; she'll suspect us. [Aside. hardly do neither-There's the account. Jenny. Let her suspect! what do I care? Sir F. [Turning over the Bills] Let's see! -I don't know but I have as much reason let's see! what the devil have we got here? to suspect as she-though perhaps I am not so afraid of her.
Count B. 'Egad, if I don't keep a tight hand on my tit, here, she'll run away with my project, before I can bring it to bear!
Jenny. Yes, indeed, papa, and that would
Man. Then you have sounded your aunt, you say, and she readily comes in to all Í proposed to you? [Apart.
Myr. Sir, I'll answer with my life, she is most thankfully yours in every article. She [Aside. mightily desires to see you, sir. [Apart. Lady W. The young harlot is certainly in Man. I am going home directly; bring her love with him; but I must not let them see I to my house in half an hour; and if she think so and yet I can't bear it.—[Aside]- makes good what you tell me, you shall both Upon my life, count, you'll spoil that forward find your account in it. [Apart. girl-you should not encourage her so. Myr. Sir, she shall not fail you. Count B. Pardon me, madam, I was only [Apart. Exit. advising her to observe what your ladyship Sir F. Odds life, madam! here's nothing said to her.-In one word, madam, she has a but toys and trinkets, and fans and clock jealousy of your ladyship, and I am forced to stockings, by wholesale. encourage her, to blind'it: 'twill be better to take no notice of her behaviour to me.
Lady W. There's nothing but what's proper, and for your credit, sir Francis - Nay, [Apart. you see I am so good a housewife, that, in Lady W. You are right; I will be more necessaries for myself, I have scarce laid out [Apart. a shilling.
Count B. To-morrow at the masquerade Sir F. No, by my troth, so it seems; for we may lose her. Aside. the devil o'one thing's here that I can see you
Lady W. We shall be observed; I'll send have any occasion for.
you a note, and settle that affair-go on Lady W. My dear, do you think I came with the girl, and don't mind me. [Apart. hither to live out of the fashion? why, the Count B. I have been taking your part, my greatest distinction of a fine lady, in this town, little angel, is in the variety of pretty things that she has Lady W. Jenny! come hither, child-you no occasion for. must not be so hasty, my dear-I only ad
Jenny. Sure, papa, could you imagine, that you for your good. women of quality wanted nothing but stays Jenny. Yes, mamma; but when I am told and petticoats?
Lady W. Now, that is so like him! Lady W. No doubt on't! Think of your Man. So, the family comes on finely! [Aside. thousand a year, and who got it you; go, Sir F. An hundred pound in the morning, eat your dinner, and be thankful, go! [Drieand want another afore night! Waunds and ing him to the Door] Come, Mrs. Motherly. fire! the lord mayor of London could not [Exit Lady Wronghead and Mrs. Motherly hold it at this rate. Sir F. Very fine! so here I mun fast, till Man. Oh, do you feel it, sir? [Aside. I am almost famished, for the good of my Lady W. My dear, you seem uneasy; let country, while madam is laying me out an me have the hundred pound, and compose hundred pound a day, in lace as fine as a yourself. cobweb, for the honour of my family! Odds flesh! things had need go well at this rate! Squire, R. Nay, nay-come, feyther.
Sir F. Compose the devil, madam! why, do you consider what a hundred pound a day comes to in a year?
Lady W. My life, if I account with you from one day to another, that's really all my head is able to bear at a time-But I'll tell you what I consider-I consider that my advice has got you a thousand pound a year this morning-That now, methinks, you might consider, sir.
Sir F. A thousand pound! Yes; but mayhap I mayn't receive the first quarter on't this half
Enter SQUIRE RICHARD.
Squire R. Feyther, an you doan't come quickly, the meat will be coaled: and I'd fain pick a bit with you.
Lady W. Bless me, sir Francis! you are not going to sup by yourself?
[Exeunt Sir Francis and Squire Richard.
Myr. Madam, my lady desires you and the count will please to come, and assist her fancy in some of the new laces.
Count B. We'll wait upon herJenny. So, I told you how it was; you see she can't bear to leave us together.
Count B. No matter, my dear: you know she has asked me to stay supper: so, when your papa and she are a-bed, Mrs. Myrtilla will let me into the house again; then you may steal into her chamber, and we'll have a pretty sneaker of punch together.
Myr. Ay, ay, madam, you may command me in any thing.
Jenny. Well, that will be pure! Sir F. No, but I'm going to dine by my- Count B. But you had best go to her alone, self, and that's pretty near the matter, madam. my life; it will look better if I come after you. Lady W. Had not you as good stay a little, Jenny. Ay, so it will: and to-morrow you my dear? We shall all eat in half an hour; know at the masquerade: O dear, dear! I and I was thinking to ask my cousin Manly wish the time were come. to take a family morsel with us.
Sir F. Nay, for my cousin's good company, I don't care if I ride a day's journey without baiting.
Man. By no means, sir Francis. I am going upon a little business.
Sir F. Well, sir, I know you don't love compliments.
Man. You'll excuse me, madam-
Myr. So, sir, am not I very commode to you?
Count B. Well, child, and don't you find your account in it? Did I not tell you we might still be of use to one another?
Myr. Well, but how stands your affair with miss in the main?
Count B. Oh, she's mad for the masquerade! It drives like a nail; we want nothing now but a parson to clinch it. Did not your aunt say she could get one at a short warning? Myr. Yes, yes; my lord Townly's chaplain is her cousin, you know; he'll do your busiOh, Mrs. Motherly! you were saying this mor-ness and mine at the same, time. ning, you had some very fine lace to show
Enter MRS. MOTHERLY.
Count B. Oh, it's true! but where shall we
me-can't I see it now? [Sir Francis stares. appoint him?
Mrs. M. Why really, madam, I had made Myr. Why you know my lady Townly's a sort of a promise to let the countess of Nicely house is always open to the masks upon a have the first sight of it, for the birth-day; ball night, before they go to the Haymarket. but your ladyship
Lady W. Oh, I die if I don't see it before her.
Squire R. Woant you goa, feyther? Sir F. Waunds, lad, I shall ha' no stomach at this rate!
Mrs. M. Well, madam, though I say it, 'tis the sweetest pattern that ever came over -and, for fineness-no cobweb comes up to it. Sir F. Odds guts and gizzard, madam! Lace as fine as a cobweb! why, what the devil's that to cost, now?
Mrs. M. Nay, if sir Francis does not like
Lady W. He like it! Dear Mrs. Motherly, he is not to wear it.
Sir F. Flesh, madam! but I suppose I am to pay for it!
Count B. Good.
Myr. Now the doctor proposes we should all come thither in our habits, and when the rooms are full, we may steal up into his chamber, he says, and there-crack-he'll give us all canonical commission to go to bed together.
Count B. Admirable! Well, the devil fetch me, if I shall not be heartily glad to see thee well settled, child.
Myr. And may he tuck me under his arm at the same time, if I shall not think myself obliged to you as long as I live-But I must run to my squire.
Count B. And I to the ladies—so, your humble servant, sweet Mrs. Wronghead! Myr. Yours, as in duty bound, most noble count Basset! [Exit Count B. Why, ay! Count! That title has
been of some use to me, indeed: not that I have any more pretence to it, than I have to a blue riband. Yet I have made a pretty considerable figure in life with it. I have lolled of this. in my own chariot, dealt at assemblies, dined Sir F. Why, ay, it's true, you did so: but with ambassadors, and made one at quadrille the devil himself could not have believed she with the first women of quality-But-tempora would have rid post to him.
Sir. F. Every shilling-among a parcel of pigtail puppies, and pale-faced women of quality. Man. If you remember I gave you a hint
mutantur-since that damned squadron at Man. Sir, if you stay but a fortnight in this White's have left me out of their last secret, town, you will every day see hundreds as I am reduced to trade upon my own stock of fast upon the gallop as she is. industry, and make my last push upon a wife. Sir F. Ah, this London is a base place inIf I can snap up miss Jenny and her eight deed!-Waunds, if things should happen to thousand pounds, I shall once more cut a fi- go wrong with me at Westminster, at this gure, and cock my hat in the face of the best rate, how the devil shall I keep out of a of them: for, since our modern men of for- Man. Why, truly, there seems to me but tune are grown wise enough to be sharpers, one way to avoid it. I think sharpers are fools that don't take up the airs of men of quality.
SCENE I.-LORD TOWNLY's House. Enter WILLIAMS and MR. MANLY. Wil. Sir Francis Wronghead, sir, desires to see you. Man. Desire sir Francis to walk in. [Exit Williams-I suppose by this time his wise worship begins to find that the balance of his journey to London is on the wrong side.
Enter SIR FRANCIS WRonghead.
Sir Francis, your servant. How came I by
Man. Why that sorrowful face, man?
Sir F. I have played the fool by this ney, I see now-for my bitter wife— Man. What of her?
Sir F. Ah, would you could tell me that,
Man. The way lies plain before you, sir; the same road that brought you hither, will carry you safe home again.
Sir F. Odds flesh, cousin! what! and leave a thousand pounds a year behind me?
Man. Pooh, pooh! leave any thing behind you, but your family and you are a saver by it.
Sir F. Ay, but consider, cousin, what a scurvy figure I shall make in the country, if I come dawn withawt it.
Man. You will make a much more lamentable figure in a gaol without it.
Sir F. Mayhap, 'at you have no great opinion of my journey to London then, cousin?
Man. Sir Francis, to do you the service of a real friend, I must speak very plainly to you; you don't yet see half the ruin that's before you.
Sir F. Good lack! how may you mean,
Man. In one word, your whole affairs stand thus-In a week you'll lose your seat at WestSir F. Is playing the devil. minster; in a fortnight my lady will run you Man. Why, truly, that's a part that most into gaol, by keeping the best company; in of your fine ladies begin with, as soon as they four-and-twenty hours your daughter will run get to London. away with a sharper, because she han't been used to better company; and your son will steal into marriage with a cast mistress, because he has not been used to any company at all.
Sir F. If I'm a living man, cousin, she has made away with above two hundred and fifty pounds since yesterday morning. But there's one hundred on't goes more to my heart than all the rest.
Man. And how might that be disposed of?
Sir F. Why, she has been at an assembly. Man. What, since I saw you? I thought you had all supped at home last night.
Sir F. I'the name o'goodness, why should you think all this?
Man. Because I have proof of it; in short, I know so much of their secrets, that if all this is not prevented to-night, it will be out of your power to do it to-morrow morning.
Sir F. Waunds! if what you tell me be true, I'll stuff my whole family into a stagecoach, and trundle them into the country again on Monday morning.
Sir F. Why, so we did-and all as merry as grigs. I'cod, my heart was so open, that I tossed another hundred into her apron, to go out early this morning with-But the cloth Man. Stick to that, sir, and we may yet was no sooner taken away, than in comes find a way to redeem all. I hear company my lady Townly here, with another rantipole entering-You know they see masks here todame of quality, and out they must have her, day-conceal yourself in this room, and for they said, to introduce her at my lady Noble's the truth of what I have told you, take the assembly, forsooth- A few words, you may evidence of your own senses: but be sure you be sure, made the bargain-so, bawnce! and keep close till I give you the signal. away they drive, as if the devil had got into Sir F. Sir, I'll warrant you-Ah, my lady! the coach-box-so, about four or five in the my lady Wronghead! what a bitter business morning-home comes madam, with her eyes have you drawn me into!
a foot deep in her head-and my poor hun- Man. Hush! to your post; here comes one dred pounds left behind her at the hazard-table. couple already. [Sir F. and Man. retire through Man. All lost at dice!
the centre Door.