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Major S. Why, what has been the matter, Sir Jacob?
Major S. There has, major, been here an impudent pillmonger, who has dared to scandalize the whole body of the bench.
Major S. Insolent companion! had I been here, I would have mittimused the rascal at once.
Sir J. No, no; he wanted the major more than the magistrate: a few smart strokes from your cane would have fully answered the purpose. Well, Major, our wars are done; the rattling drum and squeaking fife now wound our ears no more.
Major S. True, Sir Jacob; our corps is disembodied; so the French may sleep in security.
Sir J. But, Major, was it not rather late in life for you to enter upon the profession of arms? Major S. A little awkward in the beginning, Sir Jacob: the great difficulty they had was, to get me to turn out my toes; but use, use reconciles all them kind of things: why, after my first campaign, I no more minded the noise of the guns than a fleabite.
Major S. Oh, such marchings and counter marchings, from Brentford to Ealing, from Ealing to Acton, from Acton to Uxbridge; the dust flying, sun scorching, men sweating.-Why, there was our last expedition to Hounslow; that day's work carried off Major Molossas. Bunhill-fields never saw a braver commander. He was an irreparable loss to the service.
Sir J. How came that about?
Major S. Why, it was partly the major's own fault; I advised him to pull off his spurs before he went upon action; but he was resolute, and would not be ruled.
Sir J. Spirit; zeal for the service.
Major S. Doubtless. But to proceed: in order to get our men in good spirits, we were quartered at Thistleworth, the evening before. At day-break, our regiment formed at Hounslow, town's end, as it might be about here. The major made a fine disposition: on we marched, the men all in high spirits, to attack the gibbet where Gardel is hanging; but turning down a narrow lane to the left, as it might be about there, in order to possess a pig-sty, that we might take the gallows in flank, and, at all events secure a retreat, who should come by but a drove of fat oxen from Smithfield. The drums beat in the front, the dogs barked in the rear, the oxen set up a gallop; on they came thundering upon us, broke through our ranks in an instant, and threw the whole corps in confusion. Sir J. Terrible.
Major S. The major's horse took to his heels; away he scoured o'er the heath. That gallant commander stuck both his spurs into his flank, and for some time, held by his mane; but in crossing a ditch, the horse threw up his head, gave the major a douse in the chaps, and plumped him into a gravel-pit, just by the powder-mills.
Sir J. Dreadful!
to town in the Turnham-green stage, we were stopped near the Hammersmith turnpike, and robbed and stripped by a single footpad. Sir J. An unfortunate day, indeed.
Major S. But, in some measure, to make me amends, I got the Major's commission. Sir J. You did?
Major S. O, yes. I was the only one of the corps that could ride; otherwise we always succeeded of course: no jumping over heads, no underhand work among us; all men of honour; and I must do the regiment the justice to say, there never was a set of more amiable officers.
Sir J. Quiet and peaceable.
Major S. As lambs, Sir Jacob. Excepting one boxing-bout at the Three Compasses, in Acton, between captain Sheers and the colonel, concerning a game at all-fours, I don't remember a single dispute.
Sir J. Why, that was mere mutiny; the captain ought to have been broke.
Major S. He was; for the colonel not only took away his cockade, but his custom; and I don't think poor captain Sheers has done a stitch for him since."
Sir J. But you soon supplied the loss of Molossas? Major S. In part only: no, Sir Jacob, he had great experience; he was trained up to arms from his youth. At sixteen, he trailed a pike in the Artillery-ground; at eighteen, got a company in the Smithfield pioneers; and by the time he was twenty was made aid-de-camp to Sir Jeffry Grub, knight, alderman, and colonel of the yellow. Sir J. A rapid rise!
Major S. Yes, he had a genius for war; but what I wanted in practice, I made up by doubling my diligence. Our porter at home had been a serjeant of marines: so after shop was shut up at night, he used to teach me my exercise; and he had not to deal with a dunce, Sir Jacob.
Sir J. Your progress was great.
Major S. Amazing. In a week, I could shoulder, and rest, and poise, and turn to the right, and wheel to the left; and in less than a month, I could fire without winking or blinking.
Sir J. A perfect Hannibal!
Major S. Ah, and then I learned to form lines, and hollows, and squares, and evolutions, and revolutions. Let me tell you, Sir Jacob, it was lucky that monsieur kept his myrmidons at home, or we should have peppered his flat-bottomed boats.
Sir J. Ay, marry, he had a marvellous escape. Major S. We would a taught him what & Briton can do,' who is fighting pro arvis and focus. Sir J. Pray, now, Major, which do you look upon as the best disciplined troops, the London regiments, or the Middlesex militia?
Major S. Why, Sir Jacob, it does not become me to say; but, lack-a-day! they have never seen any service. Holiday soldiers! Why, I don't believe, unless indeed upon a lord mayor's-day, and that mere matter of accident, that they were ever wet to the skin in their lives.
Sir J. Indeed!
Major S. No! soldiers for sunshine-cockneys; they have not the appearance, the air, the freedom the jenny sequoi, that-oh, could you but see me salute. You have never a spontoon in the house? Sir J. No; but we could get you a shove-pike.
Major S. No matter. Well, Sir Jacob, and how are your fair daughters, sweet Mrs. Sneak, and the lovely Mrs. Bruin; is she as lively and as brilliant as ever?
Sir J. Oh, ho, now the murder is out; this visit
Sir J. None, provided the rascal can keep himself sober. Is he there?
Roger. Yes, Sir Jacob. Make way there; stand further off from the gate: here is madam Sneak in a chaise along with her husband.
Majors. Gadso, you will permit me to convoy her in. (Exit. Sir J. Now, here is one of the evils of war. This Sturgeon was as pains taking a Billingsgatebroker as any in the bills of mortality. But the fish is got out of its element; the soldier has quite demolished the citizen.
Re-enter MAJOR STURGEON, leading in MRS.
Sir J. Lookye, Molly, I have married you to a man; take care you don't make him a monster.
Mrs. S. Monster! Why, Major, the fellow has no more heart than a mouse. Had my kind stars indeed allotted me a military man, I should, doubtless, have deported myself in a beseemingly manner.
Major S. Unquestionably, madam.
Mrs. S. Nor would the Major have found, had it been my fortune to intermarry with him, that Molly Jollup would have dishonoured his cloth. Major S. I should have been too happy.
Mrs. S. Indeed, sir, I reverence the army; they are all so brave, so polite, so every thing a woman can wish.
Major S. Oh, madam
Mrs. S. So elegant, so genteel, so obliging: and then the rank; why, who would dare to affront the wife of a major?
Major S. No man with impunity; that I take the freedom to say, madam.
Mrs. S. I know it, good sir: oh! I am no stranger to what I have missed.
Major S. Oh, madam!-Let me die but she has infinite merit. (Aside.)
Mrs. S. Then to be joined to a sneaking, slovenly cit: a paltry, prying, pitiful pin-maker! Major S. Melancholy!
Mrs. S. To be jostled and crammed with the crowd; no respect, no place, no precedence; to be choked with the smoke of the city; no country jaunts but to Islington; no balls but to Pewterer'shall.
Maior S. Intolerable!
Mrs. S. I see, sir, you have a proper sense of my sufferings.
Major S. And would shed my best blood to re
Mrs. S. Gallant gentleman!
Mrs. S. Dear Major, I demand a million of par-lieve them. dons. I have given you a profusion of trouble; but my husband is such a goose-cap, that I can't get no good out of him at home or abroad.-Jerry, Jerry Sneak.-Your blessing, Sir Jacob.
Sir J. Daughter, you are welcome to Garratt.
Enter JERRY SNEAK, with a band-box and bundle
Sneak. Here, lovy.
Mrs S. Here, looby: there, lay these things in the hall, and then go and look after the horse. Are you sure you have got all the things out of the chaise?
Sneak. Yes, chuck.
Mrs. S. Then give me my fan. (Jerry drops the things in searching his pocket for the fan,)
Mrs. S. Did ever mortal see such-I declare, I am quite ashamed to be seen with him abroad: go, get you gone out of my sight.
Sneak. I go, lovy.-Good day to my father-inlaw.
Sir J. I am glad to see you, son Sneak: but where is your brother Bruin and his wife?
Sneak. He will be here anon, father, Sir Jacob; he did but just step into the Alley to gather how tickets vere sold.
Sir J. Very well, son sneak. [Exit Sneak. Mrs. S. Son; yes, and a pretty son you have provided.
Sir J. I hope all for the best: why, what terrible work there would have been, had you married such a one as your sister; one house could never have contained you. Now, I thought this meek mate
Mrs, S, Meek! a mushroom! a milksop!
Major S. The brave must favour the fair.
Major S. Divine Mrs. Sneak!
Major S. Might I be permitted the honour-
Major S. Just to ravish a kiss from your hand?
Re-enter JERRY SNEAK. Sneak. Chuck, my brother and sister Bruin are just turning the corner; the Clapham-stage vas quite full, and so they came by vater.
Mrs. S. I wish they had all been soused in the Thames.-A prying, impertinent puppy! (Aside to Major.)
Major S. Next time I will clap a sentinel to secure the door. (Aside to Mrs. S.)
Mrs. S. Major Sturgeon, permit me to withdraw for a moment; my dress demands a little repair.
Major S. Your ladyship's most entirely devoted. Mrs. S. Ladyship! he is the very broglio and bellisle of the army!
Sneak. Shall I vait upon you, dove?
Mrs. S. No, dolt; what, would you leave the Major alone? Is that your manners, you mongrel? Major S. Oh. madam, I can never be alone; your sweet idera will be my constant companion. Mrs. S. Mark that. Sneak. Yes.
Mrs. S. I am sorry, sir, I am obligated to leave Major S. Madam[you.
Mrs. S. Especially with such a wretched comMajor S. Oh, madam[panion.
Mrs. S. But as soon as my dress is restored, I shall fly to relieve your distress.
Major S. For that moment I shall wait with the greatest impatience.
Mrs. S. Courteous commander!
Maior S. Paragon of women!
Mrs. S. Adieu!
Major. S. Adieu! Tol, lol.
[Exit Mrs. Sneak. Sneak. Notwithstanding, sir, all my chicken has said, I am special company vhen she is not by. Major S. I doubt not, master Sneak.
Sneak. If you vould but come one Thursday night to our club, at the Nag's-head in the Poultry, you vould meet some roaring, rare boys, i'faith there's Jemmy Perkins, the packer; little Tom Simkins, the grocer; honest master Muzzle, the midvife.
Major S. A goodly company!
Sneak. Ay, and then sometimes ve have the choice spirits from Comus's-court, and ve crack jokes, and are so jolly and funny. I have learnt myself to sing, but I durst not sing out loud, because my vife vould overhear me; and she says as how I bawl vorser than the broom-man.
Perhaps you've read in a book, of a voyage he took, And how the whirwind blew so,
That the ship with a shock, drove plump on a rock, Near drowning poor Robinson Crusoe.
Chorus. O poor Robinson, &c.
Poor soul, none but he remain'd on sea,
Till ashore he was thrown, on an island unknown,
Chorus. O poor Robinson, &c.
He wanted to eat, and he sought for some meat,
Chorus. O poor Robinson, &c.
But he'd saved from aboard an old gun and a sword,
That, by dint of his thrift, he manag'd to shift;
Chorus. O poor Robinson, &c.
And he happen'd to save from the merciless wave,
Chorus. O poor Robinson, &c.
He got all the wood that ever he could,
And stuck it together with glue, so,
Chorus, O poor Robinson, &c.
He us'd to wear a cap, and a coat with long nap.
That by all that is civil! he look'd like a devil,
Chorus. O Poor Robinson, &c.
And then his man Friday kept his hut neat and tidy,
And, friendly together, less like servant than brother,
Chorus. O poor Robinson, &c.
At last, an English sail come near within hail,
That on reaching the ship. they gave him a trip,
Chorus. O poor Robinson, &c.
Major S. You must not think of disobliging your lady. [not I. Sneak. I never does: I never contradicts her, Major S. That's right: she is a woman of infinite [wery pretty vithal?
merit. Sneak. O, a power! And don't you think she is Major S. A Venus!
Sneak. Yes, wery like Wenus. Mayhap you have known her some time?
Major S. Long.
Sneak. Belike before she was married?
Major S. I did, master Sneak.
Sneak. Ay, vhen she was a wirgin. I thought you was an old acquaintance, by your kissing her hand; for ve ben't quite so familiar as that. But then, indeed, ve ha'n't been married a year. Major S. The mere honeymoon.
Sneak. Ay, ay, I suppose ve shall come to it by degrees. [are pursy and lazy, you jade? Bruin. (Without.) Come along, Jane; why you Enter BRUIN and MRS. BRUIN, with his great coat and fishing-rod.
Bruin. Come along. Master Sneak, a good morning to you. Sir, I am your humble servant unknown. (To Major.)
Roger. Mrs. Sneak begs to speak with the Major. Major S. I will wait on the lady immediately. Sneak. Don't tarry an instant; you can't think how impatient she is. [Exit Major.] A good morrow to you, brother Bruin; you have had a varm valk across the fields.
Mrs B. Good lord, I am all over dirt.
Bruin. And who may you thank for it, hussy? If you had got up time enough, you might have secured the stage; but you are a lazy lie-a-bedMrs. B. There's Mr. Sneak keeps my sister a chay.
Bruin. And so he may; but I know better what to do with my money.
Mrs. B. For the matter of that, we can afford it well enough as it is.
Bruin. And how do you know that? Who told you as much, Mrs. Mixen? I hope I know the world better than to trust my concerns with a wife: no, no, thank you for that, Mrs. Jane.
Mrs. B. And pray who is more fitterer to be trusted?
Bruin. Heyday! Why, the wench is bewitched: come, come, let's have none of your palaver here: take twelve-pence and pay the waterman. But first see if he has broke none of the pipes; and, d'ye hear, Jane? be sure to lay the fishing-rod safe. [Exit Mrs. Bruin. Sneak. Odds me, how finely she's managed! vhat vould I give to have my vife as much under!
Bruin. The devil!
Heel. Chosen by yourselves, and approved of by
Heel. Well, then, be silent and civil; stand back
Sneak. No; she always helps me herself to the Heel. Let him come forward; we appoint him tough drum-sticks of the turkeys, and the d-d our secretary: for Simon is a scollard, and can read fat flaps of shoulders of mutton. I don't think I written hand; and so let him be respected accordhave eat a bit of under-crust since ve have been 3 Mob. Room for master Snuffle. [ingly. married. You see, brother Bruin, I am almost as thin as a lath.
Bruin. An absolute skeleton!
Sneak. Now, if you think I could carry my point,
Bruin. By the lord Harry, she richly deserves it.
Heel. Here, stand by me: and let us, neighbours, proceed to open the premunire of the thing: but first, your reverence to the lord of the manor: a long life and a merry one to our landlord, Sir Mob. Huzza! [Jacob! Huzza!
Sneak. How fares it, honest Crispin? Heel. Servant, master Sneak. Let us now open the premunire of the thing, which I shall do briefly, with all the loquacity possible; that is, in a medium
Sneak. Vhy, then, I vill werily pluck up a spirit! way: which, that we may the better do it, let the and the first time she offers to
Mrs S. (Without.) Jerry, Jerry Sneak.
Sneak. Gads my life, sure as a gun that's her woice: lookye, brother, I don't choose to breed a disturbance in another body's house; but as soon as ever I get home
Bruin. Now is your time.
Sneak. No, no; it vould not be decent.
Sneak. I come, lovy. But you vill be sure to stand
Enter SIR JACOB.
Sir. J. Come, son Bruin, we are all seated at table, man; we have but just time for a snack; the candidates are near upon coming.
Bruin. A poor, paltry, mean-spirited-D― it, before I would submit to such a
Sir J. Come, come, man; don't be so crusty. Bruin. I follow Sir Jacob. De, when once a man gives up his prerogative, he might as well give up-But, however, it is no bread and butter of mine. Jerry! Jerry!-Zounds, I would Jerry and jerk her [Exeunt.
SCENE I-SIR JACOB JOLLUP, MAJOR STUR-
Enter Mob with HEELTAP at their head; some cry-
secretary read the names of the candidates, and what they say for themselves; and then we shall know what to say of them. Master Snuffle, begin.
Snuffle. (Reads.) "To the worthy inhabitants of the ancient corporation of Garratt:-Gentlemen, your votes and interest are humbly requested in favour of Timothy Goose, to succeed your late worthy mayor, Mr. Richard Dripping, in the said office, he being" Heel. This goose is but a kind of gosling, a sort of sneaking scoundrel. Who is he?
Snuffle. A journeyman tailor from Putney. Heel. A journeyman tailor! a rascal! Has he the impudence to transpire to be mayor? D'ye consider, neighbours, the weight of this office? Why, it is a burden for the back of a porter; and can you think that this cross-legged cabbage-eating son of a cucumber, this whey-faced ninny, who is but the ninth part of a man, has strength to sup1 Mob. No goose! no goose! [port it?
2 Mob. A goose!
1 Mob. A mug! a mug!
2 Mob. Hear him; hear master Heeltap.
Heel. Harkye, you fellow with your mouth full of Mug, let me ask you a question: bring him forward. Pray is not this Matthew Mug a victualler? 3 Mob. I believe he may.
Heel. And lives at the sign of the Adam and Eve? 3 Mob. I believe he may.
Heel. Now answer, upon your honour, and as you are a gentleman, what is the present price of a quart of home-brewed at the Adam and Eve?