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The Beaux-Stratagem
by George Farquhar
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THE BEAUX-STRATAGEM

By George Farquhar

'He was a delightful writer, and one to whom I should sooner recur for relaxation and entertainment and without after-cloying and disgust, than any of the school of which he may be said to have been the last The Beaux-Stratagem reads quite as well as it acts: it has life, movement, wit, humour, sweet nature and sweet temper from beginning to end.' CHARLES COWDEN CLARKE



PREFACE

The Author. 'It is surprising,' says Mr. Percy Fitzgerald, 'how much English Comedy owes to Irishmen.' Nearly fifty years ago Calcraft enumerated eighty-seven Irish dramatists in a by no means exhaustive list, including Congreve, Southerne, Steele, Kelly, Macklin, and Farquhar—the really Irish representative amongst the dramatists of the Restoration, the true prototype of Goldsmith and Sheridan. Thoroughly Irish by birth and education, Captain George Farquhar (1677-1707) had delighted the town with a succession of bright, rattling comedies—Love and a Bottle (1698), The Constant Couple (1699), Sir Harry Wildair (1701), The Inconstant (1702), The Twin Rivals (1702), The Recruiting Officer (1706). In an unlucky moment, when hard pressed by his debts, he sold out of the army on the strength of a promise by the Duke of Ormond to gain him some preferment, which never came. In his misery and poverty, with a wife and two helpless girls to support, Farquhar was not forsaken by his one true friend, Robert Wilks. Seeking out the dramatist in his wretched garret in St Martin's Lane, the actor advised him no longer to trust to great men's promises, but to look only to his pen for support, and urged him to write another play. 'Write!' said Farquhar, starting from his chair; 'is it possible that a man can write with common-sense who is heartless and has not a shilling in his pockets?' 'Come, come, George,' said Wilks, 'banish melancholy, draw up your drama, and bring your sketch with you to-morrow, for I expect you to dine with me. But as an empty purse may cramp your genius, I desire you to accept my mite; here is twenty guineas.' Farquhar set to work, and brought the plot of his play to Wilks the next day; the later approved the design, and urged him to proceed without delay. Mostly written in bed, the whole was begun, finished, and acted within six weeks. The author designed to dedicate it to Lord Cadogan, but his lordship, for reasons unknown, declined the honour; he gave the dramatist a handsome present, however. Thus was The Beaux-Stratagem written. Farquhar is said to have felt the approaches of death ere he finished the second act. On the night of the first performance Wilks came to tell him of his great success, but mentioned that Mrs. Oldfield wished that he could have thought of some more legitimate divorce in order to secure the honour of Mrs. Sullen. 'Oh,' said Farquhar, 'I will, if she pleases, solve that immediately, by getting a real divorce; marrying her myself, and giving her my bond that she shall be a widow in less than a fortnight' Subsequent events practically fulfilled this prediction, for Farquhar died during the run of the play: on the day of his extra benefit, Tuesday, 29th April 1707, the plaudits of the audience resounding in his ears, the destitute, broken-hearted dramatist passed to that bourne where stratagems avail not any longer.

Criticism of The Beaux-Stratagem. Each play that Farquhar produced was an improvement on its predecessors, and all critics have been unanimous in pronouncing The Beaux-Stratagem his best, both in the study and on the stage, of which it retained possession much the longest. Except The Recruiting Officer and The Inconstant, revived at Covent Garden in 1825, and also by Daly in America in 1885, non of Farquhar's other plays has been put on the stage for upwards of a century. Hallam says: 'Never has Congreve equalled The Beaux-Stratagem in vivacity, in originality of contrivance, or in clear and rapid development of intrigue'; and Hazlitt considers it 'sprightly lively, bustling, and full of point and interest: the assumed disguise of Archer and Aimwell is a perpetual amusement to the mind.' The action—which commences, remarkably briskly, in the evening and ends about midnight the next day—never flags for an instant. The well-contrived plot is original and simple (all Farquhar's plots are excellent), giving rise to a rapid succession of amusing and sensational incidents; though by no means extravagant or improbable, save possibly the mutual separation of Squire Sullen and his wife in the last scene—the weak point of the whole. Farquhar was a master in stage-effect. Aimwell's stratagem of passing himself off as the wealthy nobleman, his brother (a device previously adopted by Vanbrugh in The Relapse and subsequently by Sheridan in his Trip to Scarborough), may perhaps be a covert allusion to the romantic story of the dramatist's own deception by the penniless lady who gave herself out to be possessed of a large fortune, and who thus induced him to marry her.

The style adopted is highly dramatic, the dialogue being natural and flowing; trenchant and sprightly, but not too witty for a truthful reflex of actual conversation. The humour is genial and unforced; there is no smell of the lamp about it, no premeditated effort at dragging in jests, as in Congreve. As typical examples of Farquhar's vis comica I Would cite the description of Squire Sullen's home-coming, and his 'pot of ale' speech, Aimwell's speech respecting conduct at church, the scene between Cherry and Archer about the L2000, and the final separation scene—which affords a curious view of the marriage tie and on which Leigh Hunt has founded an argument for divorce. This play contains several examples of Farquhar's curious habit of breaking out into a kind of broken blank verse occasionally for a few lines in the more serious passages. Partaking as it does of the elements of both comedy and force, it is the prototype of Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer, which it resembles in many respects. It will be remembered that Miss Hardcastle compares herself to Cherry (Act III.), and young Marlow and Hastings much resemble Archer and Aimwell. Goldsmith was a great admirer of the works of his fellow-countryman, especially The Beaux-Stratagem, and refers to them several times (Citizen of the World, letter 93; History of England, letter 16; Vicar of Wakefield, ch. 18), and in the Literary Magazine for 1758 he drew up a curious poetical scale in which he classes the Restoration dramatists thus:— Congreve—Genius 15, Judgment 16, Learning 14, Versification 14; Vanbrugh—14, 15,14,10; Farquhar—15, 15, 10, io. Unlike Goldsmith, unhappily, Farquhar's moral tone is not high; sensuality is confounded with love, ribaldry mistaken for wit The best that can be said of him that he contrasts favourably with his contemporary dramatists; Virtue is not always uninteresting in his pages. He is free from their heartlessness, malignity, and cruelty. The plot of The Beaux-Stratagem is comparatively inoffensive, and the moral of the whole is healthy. Although a wit rather than a thinker, Farquhar in this play shows himself capable of serious feelings. It is remarkable how much Farquhar repeats himself. Hardly an allusion or idea occurs in this play that is not to be found elsewhere in his works. In the Notes I have pointed out many of these coincidences.

The Characters. This play has added several distinct original personages to our stock of comedy characters, and it affords an excellent and lifelike picture of a peculiar and perishing phase of the manners of the time, especially those obtaining in the country house, and the village inn frequented by highwaymen. The sly, rascally landlord, Boniface (who has given his name to the class), is said to have been drawn from life, and his portrait, we are told, was still to be seen at Lichfield in 1775. The inimitable 'brother Scrub,' that 'indispensable appendage to a country gentleman's kitchen' (Hazlitt), with his ignorance and shrewd eye to the main chance, is likewise said to have been a well-known personage who survived till 1759, one Thomas Bond, servant to Sir Theophilus Biddulph; others say he died at Salisbury in 1744. Although Farquhar, like Goldsmith, undoubtedly drew his incidents and personages from his own daily associations, there is probably no more truth in these surmises than in the assertion (repeatedly made, though denied in his preface to The Inconstant) that Farquhar depicts himself in his young heroes, his rollicking 'men about town,' Roebuck, Mirabel, Wildair, Plume, Archer. Archer (copied by Hoadley in his character of Ranger in The Suspicious Husband) is a decided improvement on his predecessors, and is the best of all Farquhar's creations; he is assuredly the most brilliant footman that ever was, eminently sociable and, with all his easy, rattling volubility, never forgetful of his self-respect and never indifferent to the wishes or welfare of others. As Hunt has pointed out, the characters of Archer and Aimwell improve as the play progresses; they set out as mere intriguers, but prove in the end true gentlemen. They are sad rogues, no doubt, but they have no bitter cynicism, no meanness; Aimwell refuses to marry Dorinda under any deception. They thoroughly good fellows at bottom, manly, accomplished his spirited, eloquent, generous—the forerunners of Charles Surfor. Marriage retrieves them and turns them into respectable and adoring husbands. Though rattle-brained, much given to gallantry, and somewhat lax in morality, they are not knaves or monsters; they do not inspire disgust. Even the lumpish blockhead, Squire Sullen—according to Macaulay a type of the main strength of the Tory party for half a century after the Revolution—contrasts favourably with his prototype Sir John Brute in Vanbrugh's Provoked Wife, He is a sodden sot, who always goes to bed drunk, but he is not a demon; he does not beat his wife in public; he observes common decency somewhat. His wife is a witty, attractive, warm-hearted woman, whose faults are transparent; the chief one being that she has made the fatal mistake of marrying for fortune and position instead of for love. There is something pathetic in her position which claims our sympathy. She is well contrasted with her sister-in-law, the sincere, though somewhat weakly drawn, Dorinda; whilst their mother-in-law, Lady Bountiful, famed for her charity, is an amusing and gracious figure, which has often been copied. Cherry, with her honest heart and her quickness of perception, is also a distinct creation. Strange to say, the only badly drawn character is Foigard, the unscrupulous Irish Jesuit priest. Farquhar is fond of introducing an Irishman into each of his plays, but I cannot say that I think he is generally successful; certainly not in this instance. They are mostly broad caricatures, and speak an outlandish jargon, more like Welsh than Irish, supposed to be the Ulster dialect: anything more unlike it would be difficult to conceive. The early conventional stage Irishman, tracing him from Captain. Macmorris in Henry V.,through Ben Jonson's Irish Masque and New Inn, Dekker's Bryan, Ford's Mayor of Cork, Shadwell's O'Divelly (probably Farquhar's model for Foigard), is truly a wondrous savage, chiefly distinguished by his use of the expletives 'Dear Joy!' and 'By Creesh!' This character naturally rendered the play somewhat unpopular in Ireland, and its repulsiveness is unrelieved (as it is in the case of Teague in The Twin Rivals) by a single touch of humour or native comicality. It is an outrage.

The First Performance. The Beaux-Stratagem was first performed on Saturday, 8th March 1707, at the Theatre Royal (or, as it was sometimes called, the Queen's Theatre), situated in the Haymarket, on the site afterwards occupied by Her Majesty's Theatre. It ran for ten nights only, owing to benefits. The cast on that occasion was a strong one. Robert Wilks (a brother-Irishman), who performed Archer, was the foremost actor of the day. He was Farquhar's lifelong friend, and appeared in all his plays, except Love and a Bottle which was produced in London during Wilks's absence in Dublin. This actor's most famous part was 'Sir Harry Wildair' (The Constant Couple), which our author drew on purpose for him, and which ran for fifty-two nights on its first appearance. Farquhar himself said that when the stage had the misfortune to lose Wilks, 'Sir Harry Wildair' might go to the Jubilee! Peg Woffington is said to have been his only rival in this part. Sullen was the last original character undertaken by Verbruggen, a leading actor of the time. It was from Verbruggen's wife (probably the 'Mrs. V———' of Farquhar's letters) that the famous Mrs. Oldfield received her earliest instructions in acting. The last-named lady was the original Mrs. Sullen. Her connection with Farquhar is very interesting and romantic. She resided with her aunt, Mrs. Voss, who kept the Mitre Tavern in St, James's Market (between Jeryrm Street, Regent Street, and the Haymarket). One day, when she was aged sixteen, Farquhar, a smart young captain of twenty-two, happened to be dining there, and he overheard her reading Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady aloud behind the bar. When Farquhar, much struck by her musical delivery and expression, pressed her to resume her reading, the tall and graceful girl consented with hesitation and bashfulness; although she afterwards confessed, 'I longed to be at it, and only needed a decent entreaty.' The dramatist quickly acquainted Sir John Vanbrugh with the jewel he had thus accidentally found, and she obtained through him an engagement at the Theatre Royal as 'Candiope' in Dryden's Secret Love. She soon became the fine lady of the stage, and was the original representative of no less than sixty-five characters. Pope disliked and satirised her severely; on the other hand, Cibber worshipped her. According to some, Farquhar fell violently in love with her, and she is the 'Penelope' of his letters; but although she often spoke of the happy hours she spent in his company, there appears to be no foundation for this surmise. Bowen, a low comedian of considerable talent, afterwards accidentally killed by Quin the actor, was Foigard; and Scrub—originally written for Colley Cibber, who, however, preferred Gibbet—was represented by Norris, a capital comic actor, universally known as 'Jubilee Dicky' on account of his representation of 'Dicky' in The Constant Couple. He had an odd, formal little figure, and a high squeaking voice; if he came into a coffee-house and merely called 'Waiter!' everybody present felt inclined to laugh. He had previously appeared in Farquhar's four principal plays, as also had Mills, who did Aimwell. Cibber tells us that the play was better received at Drury Lane than at the Haymarket, as, owing to the larger size of the latter house, it was difficult to hear.

Later Stage History. Originally brought out under the title The Stratagem only, which it retained in the playbills till 1787 (though printed with 'Beaux'), this play continued to be very popular with the stage down to the dawn of the present century; and many great actors and actresses appeared from time to time in its characters; In 1721 Quin acted in Lincoln's Inn Fields as Squire Sullen. The part of Mrs. Sullen has been undertaken by Mrs. Pritchard (1740 and 1761), Peg Woffington (1742, along with Garrick as Archer for the first time, and Macklin as Scrub), Mrs. Abington (1774, 1785, 1798), Mrs. Barry (1778), Miss Farren (1779), Mrs. Jordan (1802), Mrs. C. Kemble (1810), Mrs. Davison (1818), and Miss Chester (1823, for Dibdin's benefit, with Liston as Scrub). Garrick's repeated performances of Archer, in light blue and silver livery, were supremely good, more particularly in the scenes with Cherry, the picture scene with Mrs. Sullen, and when he delivers Lady Howd'ye's message. He generally acted with Weston, an inimitable Scrub; but at O'Brien's benefit at Drury Lane, 10th April 1761, Garrick himself played Scrub to O'Brien's Archer. On one occasion Garrick had refused Weston a loan of money, and Weston not appearing at the greenroom, Garrick came forward before the curtain and announced that he would himself play Scrub, as Weston was ill. Weston, who was in the gallery with a sham bailiff, shouted out, 'I am here, but the bailiff won't let me come '; whereupon the audience insisted on Garrick's paying the loan and relieving the debtor so as to enable him to play Scrub! Other famous Scrubs were Shutes (1774), Quick (1778, 1785, 1798), Bannister, junior (1802, will C. Kemble as Aimwell), Dowton (1802), Liston (1810), Johnstone (1821), and Keeley (1828, with C. Kemble as Arches and Miss Foote as Cherry; it ran for twelve nights at Covenl Garden). Goldsmith is said to have expressed a desire to art this part. On the occasion of Mrs. Abington's benefit (Covenl Garden, November 19, 1785), she took the part of Scrub for that night only, for a wager, it is said. Ladies were desired to send their servants to retain seats by four o'clock, and the pit and boxes were laid together. She disgraced herself, acting the part with her hair dressed for 'Lady Racket' in the afterpiece (Three Hours After Marriage). In April 1823 another female impersonator of this part appeared—not very successfully—in Miss Clara Fisher, with Farren as Archer. This was in Dublin (Hawkins' Street), where the play was frequently performed about 1821-1823. It was also the piece chosen for the re-opening of Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, in 1759, when Mrs. Abington made her first appearance on the Irish stage as Mrs. Sullen.

Miss Pope (1774), Mrs. Martyn (1785, 1798), and Mrs. Gibbs (1819) were the principal exponents of Cherry. In 1819 Emery did Gibbet.

About 1810 the play was performed at the Royal Circus under Elliston as a ballet d'action, in order to evade the Patent Act. Otherwise, neither this play nor any other of Farquhar's seems ever to have been 'adapted' for the modern stage. In the present half-century The Beaux-Stratagem has been but seldom performed. It was acted in London in 1856. In February 1878 Mr. Phelps gave it extremely well in the Annexe Theatre at the Westminster Aquarium. Lastly, William Farren, as Archer, revived it at the Imperial Theatre, on Monday, 22nd September 1879, with great success, a new Prologue (spoken by Mrs. Stirling) being written for the occasion. There were several matinees given in succession. The cast included Mr. Kyrle Bellew as Gibbet; Mr. Lionel Brough as Scrub; Miss Marie Litton as Mrs. Sullen; Mrs. Stirling—one of her last appearances—as Lady Bountiful; Dorinda, Miss Meyrick; Cherry, Miss Carlotta Addison; Gipsy, Miss Passinger; Aimwell, Mr. Edgar; Sir Charles Freeman, Mr. Denny; Sullen, Mr. Ryder; Foigard, Mr. Bannister; Boniface, Mr. Everill; Hounslow, Mr. Bunch; Bagshot, Mr. Leitch. The Epilogue for this occasion was written by Mr. Clement Scott. I know not if the play has been acted since that date.

Bibliography. The first edition was published in a small quarto (78 pages) by Bernard Lintott, 'at the Cross-Keys next Nando's Coffeehouse in Fleet Street' between the two Temple gates. The British Museum Catalogue dates it 1707 (the copy in my possession, however, bears no date), but it is supposed not to have been published till 1710, three years after Farquhar's decease; whence some have erroneously dated his death in that year. Lintott, on January 27, 1707, had paid the dramatist L30. in advance for this play, double what he usually gave for a play. The same publisher issued the first complete edition of Farquhar's plays in an octavo volume, dedicated to John Eyre, with a quaint illustration prefixed to each play (we reproduce that prefixed to The Beaux-Stratagem), introducing all the characters of the play, and a frontispiece representing Farquhar being presented to Apollo by Ben Jonson. The general title-page is undated, but the title-pages of the various plays bear the date 1711, and all bear Lintott's name (sometimes alone, sometimes with others) save Sir Harry Wildair, which is said to be printed by James Knapton. Some say this volume did not appear till 1714. In 1760 Rivington published an edition of Farquhar which appears to be slightly 'bowdlerised.' At least two complete editions of his works were published in Dublin; one, described as the seventh, in two volumes small octavo, by Risk and Smith, in 1743 (including a memoir, and Love and Business), in which the title-pages of the various plays bear different dates, ranging from 1727 to 1741, The Beaux-Stratagem being described as the twelfth edition, and dated 1739; the other, charmingly printed by Ewing in three 16mo volumes, dated 1775, with a vignette portrait and other illustrations, and containing a life by Thomas Wilkes. An Edinburgh edition of The Beaux-Stratagem, with life, appeared in 1768, and an edition in German in 1782 by J. Leonhardi, under the title Die Stutzerlist. Separate editions of the play also appeared in 1748, 1778, and 1824 (New York), and it is included in all the various collections of English plays, such as Bell's, Oxberry's, Inchbald's, Dibdin's, Cumberland's, etc., and in the collected editions of Farquhar's works dated 1718, 1728, 1736, 1742, 1760, and 1772. The principal modern editions of Farquhar are Leigh Hunt's (along with Wycherley, Vanbrugh, and Congreve), and Ewald's (1892), in two volumes large octavo.



ADVERTISEMENT

The reader may find some faults in this play, which my illness prevented the amending of; but there is great amends made in the representation, which cannot be matched, no more than the friendly and indefatigable care of Mr. Wilks, to whom I chiefly owe the success of the play. GEORGE FARQUHAR.



DRAMATIS PERSONAE

With names of the original actors and actresses.



S C E N E.—Lichfield.



PROLOGUE

Spoken by Mr. Wilks.

WHEN strife disturbs, or sloth corrupts an age, Keen satire is the business of the stage. When the Plain-Dealer writ, he lash'd those crimes, Which then infested most—the modish times: But now, when faction sleeps, and sloth is fled, And all our youth in active fields are bred; When through Great Britain's fair extensive round, The trumps of fame, the notes of UNION sound; When Anna's sceptre points the laws their course, And her example gives her precepts force: {10} There scarce is room for satire; all our lays Must be, or songs of triumph, or of praise. But as in grounds best cultivated, tares And poppies rise among the golden ears; Our product so, fit for the field or school, Must mix with nature's favourite plant—a fool: A weed that has to twenty summers ran, Shoots up in stalk, and vegetates to man. Simpling our author goes from field to field, And culls such fools as many diversion yield {20} And, thanks to Nature, there's no want of those, For rain or shine, the thriving coxcomb grows. Follies to-night we show ne'er lash'd before, Yet such as nature shows you every hour; Nor can the pictures give a just offence, For fools are made for jests to men of sense.



THE BEAUX-STRATAGEM



ACT I., SCENE I.

A Room in Bonifaces Inn. Enter Boniface running.

Bon. Chamberlain! maid! Cherry! daughter Cherry! all asleep? all dead?

Enter Cherry running.

Cher. Here, here! why d'ye bawl so, father? d'ye think we have no ears?

Bon. You deserve to have none, you young minx! The company of the Warrington coach has stood in the hall this hour, and nobody to show them to their chambers.

Cher. And let 'em wait farther; there's neither red-coat in the coach, nor footman behind it. {10}

Bon. But they threaten to go to another inn to-night.

Cher. That they dare not, for fear the coachman should overturn them to-morrow.—Coming! coming!— Here's the London coach arrived.

Enter several people with trunks, bandboxes, and other luggage, and cross the stage.

Bon. Welcome, ladies!

Cher. Very welcome, gentlemen!—Chamberlain, show the Lion and the Rose. [Exit with the company.

Enter Aimwell in a riding-habit, and Archer as footman, carrying a portmantle.

Bon. This way, this way, gentlemen!

Aim. [To Archer.] Set down the things; go to the stable, and see my horses well rubbed. {20}

Arch. I shall, sir. [Exit.

Aim. You're my landlord, I suppose?

Bon. Yes, sir, I 'm old Will Boniface, pretty well known upon this road, as the saying is.

Aim. O Mr. Boniface, your servant!

Bon. O sir!—What will your honour please to drink, as the saying is?

Aim. I have heard your town of Lichfield much famed for ale; I think I 'll taste that. {29}

Bon. Sir, I have now in my cellar ten tun of the best ale in Staffordshire; 'tis smooth as oil, sweet as milk, clear as amber, and strong as brandy; and will be just fourteen year old the fifth day of next March, old style.

Aim. You're very exact, I find, in the age of your ale.

Bon. As punctual, sir, as I am in the age of my children. I'll show you such ale!—Here, tapster [Enter Tapster] broach number 1706, as the saying is.—Sir, you shall taste my Anno Domini.—I have lived in Lichfield, man and boy, above eight-and-fifty years, and, I believe, have not consumed eight-and-fifty ounces of meat. {42}

Aim. At a meal, you mean, if one may guess your sense by your bulk.

Bon. Not in my life, sir: I have fed purely upon ale; I have eat my ale, drank my ale, and I always sleep upon ale.

Enter Tapster with a bottle and glass, and exit.

Now, sir, you shall see!—[Fitting out a glass.] Your worship's health.—[Drinks.] Ha! delicious, delicious! fancy it burgundy, only fancy it, and 'tis worth ten shillings a quart. {51}

Aim. [Drinks,] 'Tis confounded strong!

Bon. Strong! it must be so, or how should we be strong that drink it?

Aim. And have you lived so long upon this ale, landlord?

Bon. Eight-and-fifty years, upon my credit, sir—but it killed my wife, poor woman, as the saying is.

Aim. How came that to pass?

Bon. I don't know how, sir; she would not let the ale take its natural course, sir; she was for qualifying it every now and then with a dram, as the saying is; and an honest gentleman that came this way from Ireland, made her a present of a dozen bottles of usquebaugh—but the poor woman was never well after: but, howe'er, I was obliged to the gentleman, you know. {66}

Aim. Why, was it the usquebaugh that killed her?

Bon. My Lady Bountiful said so. She, good lady, did what could be done; she cured her of three tympanies, but the fourth carried her off. But she's happy, and I 'm contented, as the saying is.

Aim. Who 's that Lady Bountiful you mentioned?

Bon. 'Ods my life, sir, we'll drink her health.—[Drinks.] My Lady Bountiful is one of the best of women. Her last husband, Sir Charles Bountiful, left her worth a thousand pound, a year; and, I believe, she lays out one-half on't in charitable uses for the good of her neighbours. She cures rheumatisms, ruptures, and broken shins in men; green-sickness, obstructions, and fits of the mother, in women; the king's evil, chincough, and chilblains, in children: in short, she has cured more people in and about Lichfield within ten years than the doctors have killed in twenty; and that's a bold word. {84}

Aim. Has the lady been any other way useful in her generation?

Bon. Yes, sir; she has a daughter by Sir Charles, the finest woman in all our country, and the greatest fortune. She has a son too, by her first husband, Squire Sullen, who married a fine lady from London t' other day; if you please, sir, we 'll drink his health.

Aim. What sort of a man is he? {92}

Bon. Why, sir, the man 's well enough; says little, thinks less, and does—nothing at all, faith. But he's a man of a great estate, and values nobody.

Aim. A sportsman, I suppose?

Bon. Yes, sir, he's a man of pleasure; he plays at whisk and smokes his pipe eight-and-forty hours together sometimes.

Aim. And married, you say? {100}

Bon. Ay, and to a curious woman, sir. But he's a—he wants it here, sir. [Pointing to his forehead.

Aim. He has it there, you mean?

Bon. That's none of my business; he's my landlord, and so a man, you know, would not—But—ecod, he's no better than—Sir, my humble service to you.— [Drinks.] Though I value not a farthing what he can do to me; I pay him his rent at quarter-day; I have a good running-trade; I have but one daughter, and I can give her—but no matter for that. {111}

Aim. You're very happy, Mr. Boniface. Pray, what other company have you in town?

Bon. A power of fine ladies; and then we have the French officers.

Aim. Oh, that's right, you have a good many of those gentlemen: pray, how do you like their company?

Bon. So well, as the saying is, that I could wish we had as many more of'em; they're full of money, and pay double for everything they have. They know, sir, that we paid good round taxes for the taking of 'em, and so they are willing to reimburse us a little. One of 'em lodges in my house. {123}

Re-enter Archer.

Arch. Landlord, there are some French gentlemen below that ask for you.

Bon. I'll wait on 'em.—[Aside to Archer.] Does your master stay long in town, as the saying is?

Arch. I can't tell, as the saying is.

Bon. Come from London?

Arch. No. {130}

Bon. Going to London, mayhap?

Arch. No.

Bon. [Aside.] An odd fellow this.—[To Aimwell.] I beg your worship's pardon, I 'll wait on you in half a minute. [Exit.

Aim. The coast's clear, I see.—Now, my dear Archer, welcome to Lichfield!

Arch. I thank thee, my dear brother in iniquity.

Aim. Iniquity! prithee, leave canting; you need not change your style with your dress. {140}

Arch. Don't mistake me, Aimwell, for 'tis still my maxim, that there is no scandal like rags, nor any crime so shameful as poverty.

Aim. The world confesses it every day in its practice though men won't own it for their opinion. Who did that worthy lord my brother, single out of the side-box to sup with him t' other night?

Arch. Jack Handicraft, a handsome, well-dressed, mannerly, sharping rogue, who keeps the best company in town. {150}

Aim. Right!' And, pray, who married my lady Manslaughter t'other day, the great fortune?

Arch. Why, Nick Marrabone, a professed pickpocket, and a good bowler; but he makes a handsome figure, and rides in his coach, that he formerly used to ride behind.

Aim. But did you observe poor Jack Generous in the Park last week.

Arch. Yes, with his autumnal periwig, shading his melancholy face, his coat older than anything but its fashion, with one hand idle in his pocket, and with the other picking his useless teeth; and, though the Mall was crowded with company, yet was poor Jack as single and solitary as a lion in a desert.

Aim. And as much avoided for no crime upon earth but the want of money. {166}

Arch. And that's enough. Men must not be poor; idleness is the root of all evil; the world's wide enough, let 'em bustle. Fortune has taken the weak under her protection, but men of sense are left to their industry. {171}

Aim. Upon which topic we proceed, and, I think, luckily hitherto. Would not any man swear now, that I am a man of quality, and you my servant, when if our intrinsic value were known—

Arch. Come, come, we are the men of intrinsic value who can strike our fortunes out of ourselves, whose worth is independent of accidents in life, or revolutions in government: we have heads to get money and hearts to spend it. {180}

Aim. As to pur hearts, I grant ye, they are as willing tits as any within twenty degrees: but I can have no great opinion of our heads from the service they have done us hitherto, unless it be that they have brought us from London hither to Lichfield, made me a lord and you my servant.

Arch. That 's more than you could expect already. But what money have we left?

Aim. But two hundred pound. {189}

Arch. And our horses, clothes, rings, etc.—Why, we have very good fortunes now for moderate people; and, let me tell you, that this two hundred pound, with the experience that we are now masters of, is a better estate than the ten we have spent—Our friends, indeed, began to suspect that our pockets were low, but we came off with flying colours, showed no signs of want either in word or deed.

Aim. Ay, and our going to Brussels was a good pretence enough for our sudden disappearing; and, I warrant you, our friends imagine that we are gone a-volunteering. {201}

Arch. Why, faith, if this prospect fails, it must e'en come to that I am for venturing one of the hundreds, if you will, upon this knight-errantry; but, in case it should fail, we 'll reserve t' other to carry us to some counterscarp, where we may die, as we lived, in a blaze.

Aim. With all my heart; and we have lived justly, Archer: we can't say that we have spent our fortunes, but that we have enjoyed 'em. {210}

Arch. Right! so much pleasure for so much money. We have had our pennyworths; and, had I millions, I would go to the same market again.—O London! London!—Well, we have had our share, and let us be thankful: past pleasures, for aught I know, are best, such as we are sure of; those to come may disappoint us. {217}

Aim. It has often grieved the heart of me to see how some inhuman wretches murder their kind fortunes; those that, by sacrificing all to one appetite, shall starve all the rest. You shall have some that live only in their palates, and in their sense of tasting shall drown the other four: others are only epicures in appearances, such who shall starve their nights to make a figure a days, and famish their own to feed the eyes of others: a contrary sort confine their pleasures to the dark, and contract their specious acres to the circuit of a muff-string. {228}

Arch. Right! But they find the Indies in that spot where they consume 'em, and I think your kind keepers have much the best on't: for they indulge the most senses by one expense, there's the seeing, hearing, and feeling, amply gratified; and, some philosophers will tell you, that from such a commerce there arises a sixth sense, that gives infinitely more pleasure than the other five put together, {237}

Aim. And to pass to the other extremity, of all keepers I think those the worst that keep their money.

Arch. Those are the most miserable wights in being, they destroy the rights of nature, and disappoint the blessings of Providence. Give me a man that keeps his five senses keen and bright as his sword, that has 'em always drawn out in their just order and strength, with his reason as commander at the head of 'em, that detaches 'em by turns upon whatever party of pleasure agreeably offers, and commands 'em to retreat upon the least appearance of disadvantage or danger! For my part, I can stick to my bottle while my wine, my company, and my reason, hold good; I can be charmed with Sappho's singing without falling in love with her face: I love hunting, but would not, like Actaeon, be eaten up by my own dogs; I love a fine house, but let another keep it; and just so I love a fine woman. {255}

Aim. In that last particular you have the better of me.

Arch. Ay, you're such an amorous puppy, that I'm afraid you 'll spoil our sport; you can't counterfeit the passion without feeling it.

Aim. Though the whining part be out of doors in town, 'tis still in force with the country ladies: and let me tell you, Frank, the fool in that passion shall-outdo the knave at any time.

Arch. Well, I won't dispute it now; you command for the day, and so I submit: at Nottingham, you know, I am to be master. {266}

Aim. And at Lincoln, I again.

Arch. Then, at Norwich I mount, which, I think, shall be our last stage; for, if we fail there, we'll embark for Holland, bid adieu to Venus, and welcome Mars.

Aim. A match!—Mum!

Re-enter Boniface.

Bon. What will your worship please to have for supper?

Aim. What have you got?

Bon. Sir, we have a delicate piece of beef in the pot, and a pig at the fire.

Aim. Good supper-meat, I must confess. I can't eat beef, landlord. {278}

Arch. And I hate pig.

Aim. Hold your prating, sirrah! do you know who you are?

Bon. Please to bespeak something else; I have everything in the house.

Aim. Have you any veal?

Bon. Veal! sir, we had a delicate loin of veal on Wednesday last.

Aim. Have you got any fish or wildfowl? {287}

Bon. As for fish, truly, sir, we are an inland town, and indifferently provided with fish, that 's the truth on't; and then for wildfowl—we have a delicate couple of rabbits. {291}

Aim. Get me the rabbits fricasseed.

Bon. Fricasseed! Lard, sir, they 'll eat much better smothered with onions.

Arch. Psha! Damn your onions!

Aim. Again, sirrah!—Well, landlord, what you please. But hold, I have a small charge of money, and your house is so full of strangers that I believe it may be safer in your custody than mine; for when this fellow of mine gets drunk he tends to nothing.—Here, sirrah, reach me the strong-box. {301}

Arch. Yes, sir.—[Aside.] This will give us a reputation.

[Brings Aimwell the box.

Aim. Here, landlord; the locks are sealed down both for your security and mine; it holds somewhat above two hundred pound: if you doubt it I'll count it to you after supper; but be sure you lay it where I may have it at a minute's warning; for my affairs are a little dubious at present; perhaps I may be gone in half an hour, perhaps I may be your guest till the best part of that be spent; and pray order your ostler to keep my horses always saddled. But one thing above the rest I must beg, that you would let this fellow have none of your Anno Domini, as you call it; for he's the most insufferable sot—Here, sirrah, light me to my chamber.

[Exit, lighted by Archer.

Bon. Cherry! daughter Cherry! {315}

Re-enter Cherry.

Cher. D'ye call, father?

Bon. Ay, child, you must lay by this box for the gentleman: 'tis full of money.

Cher. Money! all that money! why, sure, father, the gentleman comes to be chosen parliament-man. Who is he? {321}

Bon. I don't know what to make of him; he talks of keeping his horses ready saddled, and of going perhaps at a minute's warning, or of staying perhaps till the best part of this be spent.

Cher. Ay, ten to one, father, he's a highwayman.

Bon. A highwayman! upon my life, girl, you have hit it, and this box is some new-purchased booty. Now, could we find him out, the money were ours.

Cher. He don't belong to our gang. {330}

Bon. What horses have they?

Cher. The master rides upon a black.

Bon. A black! ten to one the man upon the black mare; and since he don't belong to our fraternity, we may betray him with a safe conscience: I don't think it lawful to harbour any rogues but my own. Look'ee, child, as the saying is, we must go cunningly to work, proofs we must have; the gentleman's servant loves drink, I'll ply him that way, and ten to one loves a wench: you must work him t' other way. {341}

Cher. Father, would you have me give my secret for his?

Bon. Consider, child, there's two hundred pound to boot.—[Ringing without.] Coming! coming!—Child, mind your business. [Exit.

Cher. What a rogue is my father! My father! I deny it. My mother was a good, generous, free-hearted woman, and I can't tell how far her good nature might have extended for the good of her children. This landlord of mine, for I think I can call him no more, would betray his guest, and debauch his daughter into the bargain—by a footman too!

Re-enter Archer.

Arch. What footman, pray, mistress, is so happy as to be the subject of your contemplation? {355}

Cher. Whoever he is, friend, he'll be but little the better for't.

Arch. I hope so, for, I 'm sure, you did not think of me.

Cher. Suppose I had?

Arch. Why, then, you 're but even with me; for the minute I came in, I was a-considering in what manner I should make love to you.

Cher. Love to me, friend!

Arch. Yes, child. {364}

Cher. Child! manners!—If you kept a little more distance, friend, it would become you much better.

Arch. Distance! good-night, sauce-box. [Going.

Cher. [Aside.] A pretty fellow! I like his pride.— [Aloud.] Sir, pray, sir, you see, sir [Archer returns] I have the credit to be entrusted with your master's fortune here, which sets me a degree above his footman; I hope, sir, you an't affronted? {372}

Arch. Let me look you full in the face, and I 'll tell you whether you can affront me or no. 'Sdeath, child, you have a pair of delicate eyes, and you don't know what to do with 'em!

Cher. Why, sir, don't I see everybody?

Arch. Ay, but if some women had 'em, they would kill everybody. Prithee, instruct me, I would fain make love to you, but I don't know what to say. {380}

Cher. Why, did you never make love to anybody before?

Arch. Never to a person of your figure I can assure you, madam: my addresses have been always confined to people within my own sphere, I never aspired so high before. [Sings.

But you look so bright, And are dress'd so tight, That a man would swear you 're right, As arm was e'er laid over. {390}

Such an air You freely wear To ensnare, As makes each guest a lover!

Since then, my dear, I 'm your guest, Prithee give me of the best Of what is ready drest: Since then, my dear, etc.

Cher. [Aside.] What can I think of this man?—[Aloud.] Will you give me that song, sir? {400}

Arch. Ay, my dear, take it while 'tis warm.—[Kisses her.] Death and fire! her lips are honeycombs.

Cher. And I wish there had been bees too, to have stung you for your impudence.

Arch. There 's a swarm of Cupids, my little Venus, that has done the business much better.

Cher. [Aside.] This fellow is misbegotten as well as I.— [Aloud.] What's your name, sir?

Arch. [Aside.] Name! egad, I have forgot it.—[Aloud.] Oh! Martin. {410}

Cher. Where were you born?

Arch. In St Martin's parish.

Cher. What was your father?

Arch. St. Martin's parish.

Cher. Then, friend, good-night

Arch. I hope not.

Cher. You may depend upon't

Arch. Upon what?

Cher. That you're very impudent.

Arch. That you 're very handsome. {420}

Cher. That you're a footman.

Arch. That you're an angel.

Cher. I shall be rude.

Arch. So shall I.

Cher. Let go my hand.

Arch. Give me a kiss. [Kisses her.

[Call without.] Cherry! Cherry!

Cher. I'm—my father calls; you plaguy devil, how durst you stop my breath so? Offer to follow me one step, if you dare. [Exit.

Arch. A fair challenge, by this light! this is a pretty fair opening of an adventure; but we are knight-errants, and so Fortune be our guide. [Exit.



ACT II., SCENE I.

A Gallery in Lady Bountifuls House. Enter Mrs. Sullen and Dorinda, meeting.

Dor. Morrow, my dear sister; are you for church this morning?

Mrs. Sul. Anywhere to pray; for Heaven alone can help me. But I think, Dorinda, there's no form of prayer in the liturgy against bad husbands:

Dor. But there's a form of law in Doctors-Common and I swear, sister Sullen, rather than see you this continually discontented, I would advise you apply to that: for besides the part that I bear your vexatious broils, as being sister to the husband and friend to the wife, your example gives me such an impression of matrimony, that I shall be apt condemn my person to a long vacation all its life But supposing, madam, that you brought it to case of separation, what can you urge against your husband? My brother is, first, the most constant man alive.

Mrs. Sul. The most constant husband, I grant ye.

Dor. He never sleeps from you.

Mrs. Sul. No, he always sleeps with me. {20}

Dor. He allows you a maintenance suitable to your quality.

Mrs. Sul. A maintenance! do you take me, madam, for an hospital child, that I must sit down, and bless my benefactors for meat, drink, and clothes? As I take it, madam, I brought your brother ten thousand pounds, out of which I might expect some pretty things, called pleasures.

Dor. You share in all the pleasures that the country affords. {30}

Mrs. Sul. Country pleasures! racks and torments! Dost think, child, that my limbs were made for leaping of ditches, and clambering over stiles? or that my parents, wisely foreseeing my future happiness in country pleasures, had early instructed me in rural accomplishments of drinking fat ale, playing at whisk, and smoking tobacco with my husband? or of spreading of plasters, brewing of diet-drinks, and stilling rosemary-water, with the good old gentlewoman my mother-in-law? {40}

Dor. I'm sorry, madam, that it is not more in our power to divert you; I could wish, indeed, that our entertainments were a little more polite, or your taste a little less refined. But, pray, madam, how came the poets and philosophers, that laboured so much in hunting after pleasure, to place it at last in a country life? {47}

Mrs. Sul. Because they wanted money, child, to find out the pleasures of the town. Did you ever see a poet or philosopher worth ten thousand pounds? if you can show me such a man, I 'll lay you fifty pounds you'll find him somewhere within the weekly bills. Not that I disapprove rural pleasures, as the poets have painted them; in their landscape, every Phillis has her Corydon, every murmuring stream, and every flowery mead, gives fresh alarms to love. Besides, you'll find, that their couples were never married:—but yonder I see my Corydon, and a sweet swain it is, Heaven knows! Come, Dorinda, don't be angry, he's my husband, and your brother; and, between both, is he not a sad brute? {62}

Dor. I have nothing to say to your part of him, you 're the best judge.

Mrs. Sul. O sister, sister! if ever you marry, beware of a sullen, silent sot, one that's always musing, but never thinks. There's some diversion in a talking blockhead; and since a woman must wear chains, I would have the pleasure of hearing 'em rattle a little. Now you shall see, but take this by the way. He came home this morning at his usual hour of four, wakened me out of a sweet dream of something else, by tumbling over the tea-table, which he broke all to pieces; after his man and he had rolled about the room, like sick passengers in a storm, he comes flounce into bed, dead as a salmon into a fishmonger's basket; his feet cold as ice, his breath hot as a furnace, and his hands and his face as greasy as his flannel night-cap. O matrimony! He tosses up the clothes with a barbarous swing over his shoulders, disorders the whole economy of my bed, leaves me half naked, and my whole night's comfort is the tuneable serenade of that wakeful nightingale, his nose! Oh, the pleasure of counting the melancholy clock by a snoring husband! But now, sister, you shall see how handsomely, being a well-bred man, he will beg my pardon. {87}

Enter Squire Sullen.

Squire Sul. My head aches consumedly.

Mrs. Sul. Will you be pleased, my dear, to drink tea with us this morning? it may do your head good.

Squire Sul. No.

Dor. Coffee, brother?

Squire Sul. Psha!

Mrs. Sul. Will you please to dress, and go to church with me? the air may help you.

Squire Sul. Scrub! [Calls.

Enter Scrub.

Scrub. Sir!

Squire Sul. What day o' th' week is this?

Scrub. Sunday, an't please your worship. {99}

Squire Sul. Sunday! bring me a dram; and d'ye hear, set out the venison-pasty, and a tankard of strong beer upon the hall-table, I 'll go to breakfast [Going.

Dor. Stay, stay, brother, you shan't get off so; you were very naught last night, and must make your wife reparation; come, come, brother, won't you ask pardon?

Squire Sul. For what?

Dor. For being drunk last night.

Squire Sul. I can afford it, can't I? {109}

Mrs. Sul. But I can't, sir.

Squire Sul. Then you may let it alone.

Mrs. Sul. But I must tell you, sir, that this is not to be borne.

Squire Sul. I 'm glad on't.

Mrs. Sul. What is the reason, sir, that you use me thus inhumanly?

Squire Sul. Scrub!

Scrub. Sir! {118}

Squire Sul. Get things ready to shave my head. [Exit.

Mrs. Sul. Have a care of coming near his temples, Scrub, for fear you meet something there that may turn the edge of your razor.—[Exit Scrub.] Inveterate stupidity I did you ever know so hard, so obstinate a spleen as his? O sister, sister! I shall never ha' good of the beast till I get him to town; London, dear London, is the place for managing and breaking a husband.

Dor. And has not a husband the same opportunities there for humbling a wife? {129}

Mrs. Sul. No, no, child, 'tis a standing maxim in conjugal discipline, that when a man would enslave his wife, he hurries her into the country; and when a lady would be arbitrary with her husband, she wheedles her booby up to town. A man dare not play the tyrant in London, because there are so many examples to encourage the subject to rebel. O Dorinda! Dorinda! a fine woman may do anything in London: o' my conscience, she may raise an army of forty thousand men. {139}

Dor. I fancy, sister, you have a mind to be trying your power that way here in Lichfield; you have drawn the French count to your colours already.

Mrs. Sul. The French are a people that can't live without their gallantries.

Dor. And some English that I know, sister, are not averse to such amusements.

Mrs. Sul. Well, sister, since the truth must out, it may do as well now as hereafter; I think, one way to rouse my lethargic, sottish husband, is to give him a rival: security begets negligence in all people, and men must be alarmed to make 'em alert-in their duty. Women are like pictures, of no value in the hands of a fool, till he hears men of sense bid high for the purchase.

Dor. This might do, sister, if my brother's understanding were to be convinced into a passion for you; but, I fancy, there's a natural aversion on his side; and I fancy, sister, that you don't come much behind him, if you dealt fairly. {159}

Mrs. Sul. I own it, we are united contradictions, fire and water: but I could be contented, with a great many other wives, to humour the censorious mob, and give the world an appearance of living well with my husband, could I bring him but to dissemble a little kindness to keep me in countenance.

Dor. But how do you know, sister, but that, instead of rousing your husband by this artifice to a counterfeit kindness, he should awake in a real fury?

Mrs. Sul. Let him: if I can't entice him to the one, I would provoke him to the other. {170}

Dor. But how must I behave myself between ye?

Mrs. Sul. You must assist me.

Dor. What, against my own brother?

Mrs. Sul. He's but half a brother, and I 'm your entire friend. If I go a step beyond the bounds of honour, leave me; till then, I expect you should go along with me in everything; while I trust my honour in your hands, you may trust your brother's in mine. The count is to dine here to-day.

Dor. 'Tis a strange thing, sister, that I can't like that man. {181}

Mrs. Sul. You like nothing; your time is not come; Love and Death have their fatalities, and strike home one time or other: you 'll pay for all one day, I warrant ye. But come, my lady's tea is ready, and 'tis almost church time. [Exeunt.



ACT II., SCENE II.

A Room in Boniface's Inn. Enter Aimwell dressed, and Archer.

Aim. And was she the daughter of the house?

Arch. The landlord is so blind as to think so; but I dare swear she has better blood in her veins.

Aim. Why dost think so?

Arch. Because the baggage has a pert je ne sais quoi; she reads plays, keeps a monkey, and is troubled with vapours.

Aim. By which discoveries I guess that you know more of Cher.

Arch. Not yet, faith; the lady gives herself airs; forsooth, nothing under a gentleman!

Aim. Let me take her in hand.

Arch. Say one word more of that, and I'll declare myself, spoil your sport there, and everywhere else; look ye, Aim well, every man in his own sphere.

Aim. Right; and therefore you must pimp for your master.

Arch. In the usual forms, good sir, after I have served myself.—But to our business. You are so well dressed, Tom, and make so handsome a figure, that I fancy you may do execution in a country church; the exterior part strikes first, and you're in the right to make that impression favourable. {23}

Aim. There's something in that which may turn to advantage. The appearance of a stranger in a country church draws as many gazers as a blazing-star; no sooner he comes into the cathedral, but a train of whispers runs buzzing round the congregation in a moment: Who is he? Whence comes he? Do you know him?Then I, sir, tips me the verger with half-a-crown; he pockets the simony, and inducts me into the best pew in the church; I pull out my snuff-box, turn myself round, bow to the bishop, or the dean, if he be the commanding-officer; single out a beauty, rivet both my eyes to hers, set my nose a-bleeding by the strength of imagination, and show the whole church my concern, by my endeavouring to hide it; after the sermon, the whole town gives me to her for a lover, and by persuading the lady that I am a-dying for her, the tables are turned, and she in good earnest falls in love with me. {42}

Arch. There's nothing in this, Tom, without a precedent; but instead of riveting your eyes to a beauty, try to fix 'em upon a fortune; that's our business at present.

Aim. Psha! no woman can be a beauty without a fortune. Let me alone, for I am a marksman.

Arch. Tom!

Aim. Ay. {50}

Arch. When were you at church before, pray?

Aim. Um—I was there at the coronation.

Arch. And how can you expect a blessing by going to church now?

Aim. Blessing! nay, Frank, I ask but for a wife. [Exit.

Arch. Truly, the man is not very unreasonable in his demands. [Exit at the opposite door.

Enter Boniface and Cherry.

Bon. Well, daughter, as the saying is, have you brought Martin to confess? {59}

Cher. Pray, father, don't put me upon getting anything out of a man; I 'm but young, you know, father, and I don't understand wheedling.

Bon. Young! why, you jade, as the saying is, can any woman wheedle that is not young? your mother was useless at five-and-twenty. Not wheedle! would you make your mother a whore, and me a cuckold, as the saying is? I tell you, his silence confesses it, and his master spends his money so freely, and is so much a gentleman every manner of way, that he must be a highwayman. {70}

Enter Gibbet, in a cloak.

Gib. Landlord, landlord, is the coast clear?

Bon. O Mr. Gibbet, what 's the news?

Gib. No matter, ask no questions, all fair and honourable.—Here, my dear Cherry.—[Gives her a bag.] Two hundred sterling pounds, as good as any that ever hanged or saved a rogue; lay 'em by with the rest; and here-three wedding or mourning rings, 'tis much the same you know-here, two silver-hilted swords; I took those from fellows that never show any part of their swords but the hilts-here is a diamond necklace which the lady hid in the privatest place in the coach, but I found it out— this gold watch I took from a pawnbroker's wife; it was left in her hands by a person of quality: there's the arms upon the case.

Cher. But who had you the money from? {86}

Gib. Ah! poor woman! I pitied her;-from a poor lady just eloped from her husband. She had made up her cargo, and was bound for Ireland, as hard as she could drive; she told me of her husband's barbarous usage, and so I left her half-a-crown. But I had almost forgot, my dear Cherry, I have a present for you.

Cher. What is 't?

Gib. A pot of ceruse, my child, that I took out of a lady's under-pocket.

Cher. What, Mr. Gibbet, do you think that I paint?

Gib. Why, you jade, your betters do; I 'm sure the lady that I took it from had a coronet upon her handkerchief. Here, take my cloak, and go, secure the premises. {101}

Cher. I will secure 'em. [Exit.

Bon. But, hark'ee, where's Hounslow and Bagshot?

Gib. They'll be here to-night.

Bon. D' ye know of any other gentlemen o' the pad on this road?

Gib. No.

Bon. I fancy that I have two that lodge in the house just now.

Gib. The devil! how d'ye smoke 'em? {110}

Bon. Why, the one is gone to church.

Gib. That's suspicious, I must confess.

Bon. And the other is now in his master's chamber; he pretends to be servant to the other; we 'll call him out and pump him a little.

Gib. With all my heart.

Bon. Mr. Martin! Mr. Martin! [Calls.

Enter Archer, combing a periwig and singing.

Gib. The roads are consumed deep, I'm as dirty as Old Brentford at Christmas.—A good pretty fellow that; whose servant are you, friend? {120}

Arch. My master's.

Gib. Really!

Arch. Really.

Gib. That 's much.—The fellow has been at the bar by his evasions.—But, pray, sir, what is your master's name?

Arch. Tall, all, dall!—[Sings and combs the periwig.] This is the most obstinate curl—

Gib. I ask you his name?

Arch. Name, sir—tall, all, doll!—I never asked him his name in my life.—Tall, all, doll! {131}

Bon. What think you now? [Aside to Gibbet.

Gib. [Aside to Boniface.] Plain, plain, he talks now as if he were before a judge.—[To Archer.] But pray, friend, which way does your master travel?

Arch. A-horseback.

Gib. [Aside.] Very well again, an old offender, right—

[To Archer.] But, I mean, does he go upwards or downwards?

Arch. Downwards, I fear, sir.—Tall, all! {140}

Gib. I 'm afraid my fate will be a contrary way.

Bon. Ha! ha! ha! Mr. Martin, you 're very arch. This gentleman is only travelling towards Chester, and would be glad of your company, that's all.— Come, captain, you'll stay to-night, I suppose? I'll show you a chamber—come, captain.

Gib. Farewell, friend!

Arch. Captain, your servant.—[Exeunt Boniface and Gibbet.] Captain! a pretty fellow! 'Sdeath, I wonder that the officers of the army don't conspire to beat all scoundrels in red but their own. {151}

Re-enter Cherry.

Cher. [Aside.] Gone, and Martin here! I hope he did not listen; I would have the merit of the discovery all my own, because I would oblige him to love me. —[Aloud] Mr. Martin, who was that man with my father?

Arch. Some recruiting Serjeant, or whipped-out trooper, I suppose.

Cher. All's safe, I find. [Aside

Arch. Come, my dear, have you conned over the catechise I taught you last night? {161}

Cher. Come, question me.

Arch. What is love?

Cher. Love is I know not what, it comes I know not how, and goes I know not when.

Arch. Very well, an apt scholar.—[Chucks her under the chin.] Where does love enter?

Cher. Into the eyes.

Arch. And where go out?

Cher. I won't tell ye. {170}

Arch. What are the objects of that passion?

Cher. Youth, beauty, and clean linen.

Arch. The reason?

Cher. The two first are fashionable in nature, and the third at court.

Arch. That's my dear.—What are the signs and tokens of that passion?

Cher. A stealing look, a stammering tongue, words improbable, designs impossible, and actions impracticable. {180} Arch. That's my good child, kiss me.—-What must a lover do to obtain his mistress?

Cher. He must adore the person that disdains him, he must bribe the chambermaid that betrays him, and court the footman that laughs at him. He must—he must—

Arch. Nay, child, I must whip you if you don't mind your lesson; he must treat his— {188}

Cher. Oh ay!—he must treat his enemies with respect, his friends with indifference, and all the world with contempt; he must suffer much, and fear more; he must desire much, and hope little; in short, he must embrace his ruin, and throw himself away.

Arch. Had ever man so hopeful a pupil as mine!— Come, my dear, why is love called a riddle?

Cher. Because, being blind, he leads those that see, and, though a child, he governs a man.

Arch. Mighty well!—And why is Love pictured blind?

Cher. Because the painters out of the weakness or privilege of their art chose to hide those eyes that they could not draw. {199}

Arch. That's my dear little scholar, kiss me again.— And why should Love, that's a child, govern a man?

Cher. Because that a child is the end of love.

Arch. And so ends Love's catechism.—And now, my dear, we'll go in and make my master's bed.

Cher. Hold, hold, Mr. Martin! You have taken a great deal of pains to instruct me, and what d' ye think I have learned by it?

Arch. What? {209}

Cher. That your discourse and your habit are contradictions, and it would be nonsense in me to believe you a footman any longer.

Arch. 'Oons, what a witch it is!

Cher. Depend upon this, sir, nothing in this garb shall ever tempt me; for, though I was born to servitude, I hate it. Own your condition, swear you love me, and then—

Arch. And then we shall go make my master's bed?

Cher. Yes. {219}

Arch. You must know, then, that I am born a gentleman, my education was liberal; but I went to London a younger brother, fell into the hands of sharpers, who stripped me of my money, my friends disowned me, and now my necessity brings me to what you see.

Cher. Then take my hand—promise to marry me before you sleep, and I'll make you master of two thousand pounds.

Arch. How! {229}

Cher. Two thousand pounds that I have this minute in my own custody; so, throw off your livery this instant, and I 'll go find a parson.

Arch. What said you? a parson!

Cher. What! do you scruple?

Arch. Scruple! no, no, but—Two thousand pounds, you say?

Cher. And better.

Arch. [Aside.] 'Sdeath, what shall I do?—[Aloud.] But hark 'ee, child, what need you make me master of yourself and money, when you may have the same pleasure out of me, and still keep your fortune in your hands?

Cher. Then you won't marry me? {242}

Arch. I would marry you, but—

Cher. O sweet sir, I'm your humble servant, you're fairly caught! Would you persuade me that any gentleman who could bear the scandal of wearing a livery would refuse two thousand pounds, let the condition be what it would? no, no, sir. But I hope you 'll pardon the freedom I have taken, since it was only to inform myself of the respect that I ought to pay you. [Going.

Arch. [Aside.] Fairly bit, by Jupiter!—[Aloud.] Hold! hold!—And have you actually two thousand pounds? {254}

Cher. Sir, I have my secrets as well as you; when you please to be more open I shall be more free, and be assured that I have discoveries that will match yours, be what they will. In the meanwhile, be satisfied that no discovery I make shall ever hurt you, but beware of my father! [Exit.

Arch. So! we're like to have as many adventures in our inn as Don Quixote had in his. Let me see— two thousand pounds—if the wench would promise to die when the money were spent, egad, one would marry her; but the fortune may go off in a year or two, and the wife may live—Lord knows how long. Then an innkeeper's daughter! ay, that's the devil—there my pride brings me off. {268}

For whatsoe'er the sages charge on pride, The angels' fall, and twenty faults beside, On earth, I'm sure, 'mong us of mortal calling, Pride saves man oft, and woman too, from falling.

[Exit.



ACT III., SCENE I

The Gallery in Lady Bountiful's House. Enter Mrs. Sullen and Dorinda.

Mrs. Su., Ha! ha! ha! my dear sister, let me embrace thee! now we are friends indeed; for I shall have a secret of yours as a pledge for mine—now you'll be good for something, I shall have you conversable in the subjects of the sex.

Dor. But do you think that I am so weak as to fall in love with a fellow at first sight?

Mrs. Sul. Psha! now you spoil all; why should not we be as free in our friendships as the men? I warrant you, the gentleman has got to his confidant already, has avowed his passion, toasted your health, called you ten thousand angels, has run over your lips, eyes, neck, shape, air, and everything, in a description that warms their mirth to a second enjoyment.

Dor. Your hand, sister, I an't well.

Mrs. Sul. So—she's breeding already—come, child, up with it—hem a little—so—now tell me, don't you like the gentleman that we saw at church just now?

Dor. The man's well enough.

Mrs. Sul. Well enough! is he not a demigod, a Narcissus, a star, the man i' the moon? {21}

Dor. O sister, I'm extremely ill!

Mrs. Sul. Shall I send to your mother, child, for a little of her cephalic plaster to put to the soles of your feet, or shall I send to the gentleman for something for you? Come, unlace your stays, unbosom yourself. The man is perfectly a pretty fellow; I saw him when he first came into church.

Dor. I saw him too, sister, and with an air that shone, methought, like rays about his person. {30}

Mrs. Sul. Well said, up with it!

Dor. No forward coquette behaviour, no airs to set him off, no studied looks nor artful posture—but Nature did it all—

Mrs. Sul. Better and better!—one touch more—come!

Dor. But then his looks—did you observe his eyes?

Mrs. Sul. Yes, yes, I did.—His eyes, well, what of his eyes? {38}

Dor. Sprightly, but not wandering; they seemed to view, but never gazed on anything but me.—And then his looks so humble were, and yet so noble, that they aimed to tell me that he could with pride die at my feet, though he scorned slavery anywhere else.

Mrs. Sul. The physic works purely!—How d' ye find yourself now, my dear?

Dor. Hem! much better, my dear.—Oh, here comes our Mercury!

Enter Scrub.

Well, Scrub, what news of the gentleman?

Scrub. Madam, I have brought you a packet of news.

Dor. Open it quickly, come. {51}

Scrub. In the first place I inquired who the gentleman was; they told me he was a stranger. Secondly, I asked what the gentleman was; they answered and said, that they never saw him before. Thirdly, I inquired what countryman he was; they replied, 'twas more than they knew. Fourthly, I demanded whence he came; their answer was, they could not tell. And, fifthly, I asked whither he went; and they replied, they knew nothing of the matter,—and this is all I could learn. {61}

Mrs. Sul. But what do the people say? can't they guess?

Scrub. Why, some think he's a spy, some guess he's a mountebank, some say one thing, some another: but, for my own part, I believe he's a Jesuit.

Dor. A Jesuit! why a Jesuit?

Scrub. Because he keeps his horses always ready saddled, and his footman talks French.

Mrs. Sul. His footman! {70}

Scrub. Ay, he and the count's footman were jabbering French like two intriguing ducks in a mill-pond; and I believe they talked of me, for they laughed consumedly.

Dor. What sort of livery has the footman?

Scrub. Livery! Lord, madam, I took him for a captain, he's so bedizzened with lace! And then he has tops to his shoes, up to his mid leg, a silver-headed cane dangling at his knuckles; he carries his hands in his pockets just so—[walks in the French air.—and has a fine long periwig tied up in a bag. —Lord, madam, he's clear another sort of man than I! {83}

Mrs. Sul. That may easily be.—But what shall we do now, sister?

Dor. I have it—this fellow has a world of simplicity, and some cunning, the first hides the latter by abundance.—Scrub!

Scrub. Madam!

Dor. We have a great mind to know who this gentleman is, only for our satisfaction.

Scrub. Yes, madam, it would be a satisfaction, no doubt.

Dor. You must go and get acquainted with his footman, and invite him hither to drink a bottle of your ale because you 're butler to-day. {95}

Scrub. Yes, madam, I am butler every Sunday.

Mrs. Sul. O' brave! sister, o' my conscience, you understand the mathematics already. 'Tis the best plot in the world: your mother, you know, will be gone to church, my spouse will be got to the ale-house with his scoundrels, and the house will be our own—so we drop in by accident, and ask the fellow some questions ourselves. In the country, you know, any stranger is company, and we're glad to take up with the butler in a country-dance, and happy if he 'll do us the favour. {106}

Scrub. O madam, you wrong me! I never refused your ladyship the favour in my life.

Enter Gipsy.

Gip. Ladies, dinner's upon table.

Dor. Scrub, we'll excuse your waiting—go where we ordered you.

Scrub. I shall. [Exeunt.



ACT III., SCENE II

A Room in Bonifaces Inn. Enter Aimwell and Archer.

Arch. Well, Tom, I find you 're a marksman.

Aim. A marksman! who so blind could be, as not discern a swan among the ravens?

Arch. Well, but hark'ee, Aimwell!

Aim. Aimwell! call me Oroondates, Cesario, Amadis, all that romance can in a lover paint, and then I 'll answer. O Archer! I read her thousands in her looks, she looked like Ceres in her harvest: corn, wine and oil, milk and honey, gardens, groves, and purling streams played on her plenteous face. {10}

Arch. Her face! her pocket, you mean; the corn, wine and oil, lies there. In short, she has ten thousand pounds, that's the English on't.

Aim. Her eyes———

Arch. Are demi-cannons, to be sure; so I won't stand their battery. [Going.

Aim.-Pray excuse me, my passion must have vent.

Arch. Passion! what a plague, d' ye think these romantic airs will do our business? Were my temper as extravagant as yours, my adventures have something more romantic by half. {21}

Aim. Your adventures!

Arch. Yes,

The nymph that with her twice ten hundred pounds, With brazen engine hot, and quoif clear-starched, Can fire the guest in warming of the bed——

There's a touch of sublime Milton for you, and the subject but an innkeeper's daughter! I can play with a girl as an angler does with his fish; he keeps it at the end of his line, runs it up the stream, and down the stream, till at last he brings it to hand, tickles the trout, and so whips it into his basket.

Enter Boniface.

Bon. Mr. Martin, as the saying is—yonder's an honest fellow below, my Lady Bountiful's butler, who begs the honour that you would go home with him and see his cellar.

Arch. Do my baise-mains to the gentleman, and tell him I will do myself the honour to wait on him immediately. [Exit Boniface.

Aim. What do I hear? {40} Soft Orpheus play, and fair Toftida sing!

Arch. Psha! damn your raptures; I tell you, here's a pump going to be put into the vessel, and the ship will get into harbour, my life on't. You say, there's another lady very handsome there?

Aim. Yes, faith.

Arch. I 'm in love with her already.

Aim. Can't you give me a bill upon Cherry in the meantime?

Arch. No, no, friend, all her corn, wine and oil, is ingrossed to my market. And once more I warn you, to keep your anchorage clear of mine; for if you fall foul of me, by this light you shall go to the bottom! What! make prize of my little frigate, while I am upon the cruise for you!——

Aim. Well, well, I won't. [Exit Archer.

Re-enter Boniface.

Landlord, have you any tolerable company in the house, I don't care for dining alone?

Bon. Yes, sir, there's a captain below, as the saying is, that arrived about an hour ago. {60}

Aim. Gentlemen of his coat are welcome everywhere; will you make him a compliment from me and tell him I should be glad of his company?

Bon. Who shall I tell him, sir, would—

Aim. [Aside.] Ha! that stroke was well thrown in!—

[Aloud.] I'm only a traveller, like himself, and would be glad of his company, that's all.

Bon. I obey your commands, as the saying is. [Exit.

Re-enter Archer.

Arch. 'Sdeath I I had forgot; what title will you give yourself? {70}

Aim. My brother's, to be sure; he would never give me anything else, so I'll make bold with his honour this bout:—you know the rest of your cue.

Arch. Ay, ay. [Exit.

Enter Gibbet.

Gib. Sir, I 'm yours.

Aim. 'Tis more than I deserve, sir, for I don't know you.

Gib. I don't wonder at that, sir, for you never saw me before—[Aside] I hope.

Aim. And pray, sir, how came I by the honour of seeing you now? {81}

Gib. Sir, I scorn to intrude upon any gentleman—but my landlord—

Aim. O sir, I ask your pardon, you 're the captain he told me of?

Gib. At your service, sir.

Aim. What regiment, may I be so bold?

Gib. A marching regiment, sir, an old corps.

Aim. [Aside.] Very old, if your coat be regimental— [Aloud.] You have served abroad, sir? {90}

Gib. Yes, sir—in the plantations, 'twas my lot to be sent into the worst service; I would have quitted it indeed, but a man of honour, you know—Besides, 'twas for the good of my country that I should be abroad:—anything for the good of one's country— I'm a Roman for that.

Aim. [Aside.] One of the first; I 'll lay my life. [Aloud.] You found the West Indies very hot, sir?

Gib. Ay, sir, too hot for me.

Aim. Pray, sir, han't I seen your face at Will's coffee-house? {101} Gib. Yes, sir, and at White's too.

Aim. And where is your company now, captain?

Gib. They an't come yet.

Aim. Why, d' ye expect 'em here?

Gib. They 'll be here to-night, sir.

Aim. Which way do they march?

Gib. Across the country.—[Aside.] The devil's in 't, if I han't said enough to encourage him to declare! But I'm afraid he's not right; I must tack about {111}

Aim. Is your company to quarter in Lichfield?

Gib. In this house, sir.

Aim. What! all?

Gib. My company's but thin, ha! ha! ha! we are but three, ha! ha! ha!

Aim. You're merry, sir.

Gib. Ay, sir, you must excuse me, sir; I understand the world, especially the art of travelling: I don't care, sir, for answering questions directly upon the road— for I generally ride with a charge about me. {121}

Aim. Three or four, I believe. [Aside.

Gib. I am credibly informed that there are highwaymen upon this quarter; not, sir, that I could suspect a gentleman of your figure—but truly, sir, I have got such a way of evasion upon the road, that I don't care for speaking truth to any man.

Aim. [Aside.] Your caution may be necessary.—[Aloud.] Then I presume you're no captain? {129}

Gib. Not I, sir; captain is a good travelling name, and so I take it; it stops a great many foolish inquiries that are generally made about gentlemen that travel, it gives a man an air of something, and makes the drawers obedient:—and thus far I am a captain, and no farther.

Aim. And pray, sir, what is your true profession?

Gib. O sir, you must excuse me!—upon my word, sir, I don't think it safe to tell ye.

Aim. Ha! ha! ha! upon my word I commend you.

Re-enter Boniface.

Well, Mr. Boniface, what's the news? {140}

Bon. There's another gentleman below, as the saying is, that hearing you were but two, would be glad to make the third man, if you would give him leave.

Aim. What is he?

Bon. A clergyman, as the saying is.

Aim. A clergyman! is he really a clergyman? or is it only his travelling name, as my friend the captain has it?

Bon. O sir, he's a priest, and chaplain to the French officers in town. {150}

Aim. Is he a Frenchman?

Bon. Yes, sir, born at Brussels.

Gib. A Frenchman, and a priest! I won't be seen in his company, sir; I have a value for my reputation, sir.

Aim. Nay, but, captain, since we are by ourselves—can he speak English, landlord?

Bon. Very well, sir; you may know him, as the saying is, to be a foreigner by his accent, and that's all.

Aim. Then he has been in England before?

Bon. Never, sir; but he's a master of languages, as the saying is; he talks Latin—it does me good to hear him talk Latin. {162}

Aim. Then you understand Latin, Mr Boniface?

Bon. Not I, sir, as the saying is; but he talks it so very fast, that I 'm sure it must be good.

Aim. Pray, desire him to walk up.

Bon. Here he is, as the saying is.

Enter Foigard.

Foi. Save you, gentlemens, bote.

Aim. [Aside.] A Frenchman!—[To Foigard.] Sir, your most humble servant. {170}

Foi. Och, dear joy, I am your most faithful shervant, and yours alsho.

Gib. Doctor, you talk very good English, but you have a mighty twang of the foreigner.

Foi. My English is very veil for the vords, but we foreigners, you know, cannot bring our tongues about the pronunciation so soon.

Aim. [Aside.] A foreigner! a downright Teague, by this light!—[Aloud.] Were you born in France, doctor? {180}

Foi. I was educated in France, but I was borned at Brussels; I am a subject of the King of Spain, joy.

Gib. What King of Spain, sir? speak!

Foi. Upon my shoul, joy, I cannot tell you as yet.

Aim. Nay, captain, that was too hard upon the doctor; he's a stranger.

Foi. Oh, let him alone, dear joy; I am of a nation that is not easily put out of countenance.

Aim. Come, gentlemen, I 'll end the dispute.—Here, landlord, is dinner ready? {190}

Bon. Upon the table, as the saying is.

Aim. Gentlemen—pray—that door—

Foi. No, no, fait, the captain must lead.

Aim. No, doctor, the church is our guide.

Gib. Ay, ay, so it is.

[Exit Foigard foremost, the others following.



ACT III., SCENE III.

The Gallery in Lady Bountiful's House.

Enter Archer and Scrub singing, and hugging one another, the latter with a tankard in his hand Gipsy listening at a distance.

Scrub. Tall, all, dall!—Come, my dear boy, let 's have that song once more.

Arch. No, no, we shall disturb the family.—But will you be sure to keep the secret?

Scrub. Pho! upon my honour, as I'm a gentleman.

Arch. 'Tis enough. You must know, then, that my master is the Lord Viscount Aimwell; he fought a duel t' other day in London, wounded his man so dangerously, that he thinks fit to withdraw till he hears whether the gentleman's wounds be mortal or not He never was in this part of England before, so he chose to retire to this place, that's all. {12}

Gip. And that's enough for me. [Exit.

Scrub. And where were you when your master fought?

Arch. We never know of our masters' quarrels.

Scrub. No! if our masters in the country here receive a challenge, the first thing they do is to tell their wives; the wife tells the servants, the servants alarm the tenants, and in half an hour you shall have the whole county in arms. {21}

Arch. To hinder two men from doing what they have no mind for.—But if you should chance to talk now of my business?

Scrub. Talk! ay, sir, had I not learned the knack of holding my tongue, I had never lived so long in a great family.

Arch. Ay, ay, to be sure there are secrets in all families.

Scrub. Secrets! ay;—but I 'll say no more. Come, sit down, we 'll make an end of our tankard: here—

[Gives Archer the tankard.

Arch. With all my heart; who knows but you and I may come to be better acquainted, eh? Here's your ladies' healths; you have three, I think, and to be sure there must be secrets among 'em. [Drinks.

Scrub. Secrets! ay, friend.—I wish I had a friend!

Arch. Am not I your friend? come, you and I will sworn brothers.

Scrub. Shall we?

Arch.. From this minute. Give me a kiss:—and no brother Scrub—

Scrub. And now, brother Martin, I will tell you a secret that will make your hair stand on end. You must know that I am consumedly in love.

Arch. That's a terrible secret, that's the truth on't

Scrub. That jade, Gipsy, that was with us just now in the cellar, is the arrantest whore that ever wore a petticoat; and I 'm dying for love of her.

Arch. Ha! ha! ha!—Are you in love with her person her virtue, brother Scrub?

Scrub. I should like virtue best, because it is more durable than beauty: for virtue holds good with some women long, and many a day after they have lost it.

Arch. In the country, I grant ye, where no woman's virtue is lost, till a bastard be found.

Scrub. Ay, could I bring her to a bastard, I should have her all to myself; but I dare not put it upon, the lay, for fear of being sent for a soldier. Pray brother, how do you gentlemen in London like this same Pressing Act?

Arch. Very ill, brother Scrub; 'tis the worst that ever was made for us. Formerly I remember the good days, when we could dun our masters for our wage and if they refused to pay us, we could have a warrant to carry 'em before a Justice: but now if we talk of eating, they have a warrant for us, and carry us before three Justices.

Scrub. And to be sure we go, if we talk of eating; for the Justices won't give their own servants a bad example. Now this is my misfortune—I dare not speak in the house, while that jade Gipsy dings about like a fury.—-Once I had the better end of the staff.

Arch. And how comes the change now?

Scrub. Why, the mother of all this mischief is a priest.

Arch. A priest!

Scrub. Ay, a damned son of a whore of Babylon, that came over hither to say grace to the French officers, and eat up our provisions. There's not a day goes over his head without a dinner or supper in this house.

Arch. How came he so familiar in the family? {81}

Scrub. Because he speaks English as if he had lived here all his life, and tells lies as if he had been a traveller from his cradle.

Arch. And this priest, I'm afraid, has converted the affections of your Gipsy?

Scrub. Converted! ay, and perverted, my dear friend: for, I 'm afraid, he has made her a whore and a papist! But this is not all; there's the French count and Mrs. Sullen, they 're in the confederacy, and for some private ends of their own, to be sure.

Arch. A very hopeful family yours, brother Scrub! suppose the maiden lady has her lover too?

Scrub. Not that I know: she's the best on 'em, that's the truth on't: but they take care to prevent my curiosity, by giving me so much business, that I'm a perfect slave. What d' ye think is my place in this family?

Arch. Butler, I suppose. 99

Scrub. Ah, Lord help you! I 'll tell you. Of a Monday I drive the coach, of a Tuesday I drive the plough, on Wednesday I follow the hounds, a Thursday I dun the tenants, on Friday I go to market, on Saturday I draw warrants, and a Sunday I draw beer.

Arch. Ha! ha! ha! if variety be a pleasure in life, you have enough on't, my dear brother. But what ladies are those?

Scrub. Ours, ours; that upon the right hand is Mrs. Sullen, and the other is Mrs. Dorinda. Don't mind 'em; sit still, man. {110}

Enter Mrs. Sullen and Dorinda.

Mrs. Sul. I have heard my brother talk of my Lord Aimwell; but they say that his brother is the finer gentleman.

Dor. That's impossible, sister.

Mrs. Sul. He's vastly rich, but very close, they say.

Dor. No matter for that; if I can creep into his heart, I 'll open his breast, I warrant him: I have heard say, that people may be guessed at by the behaviour of their servants; I could wish we might talk to that fellow. {120}

Mrs. Sul. So do I; for I think he 's a very pretty fellow. Come this way, I'll throw out a lure for him presently.

[Dorinda and Mrs. Sullen walk a turn towards the opposite side of the stage.

Arch. [Aside.] Corn, wine, and oil indeed!—But, I think, the wife has the greatest plenty of flesh and blood; she should be my choice.—Ay, ay, say you so!—[Mrs. Sullen drops her glove. Archer runs, takes it up and gives to her.] Madam—your ladyship's glove.

Mrs. Sul. O sir, I thank you!—[To Dorinda.] What a handsome bow the fellow has! {131}

Dor. Bow! why, I have known several footmen come down from London set up here for dancing-masters, and carry off the best fortunes in the country.

Arch. [Aside.] That project, for aught I know, had been better than ours.—[To Scrub.] Brother Scrub, why don't you introduce me?

Scrub. Ladies, this is the strange gentleman's servant that you saw at church to-day; I understood he came from London, and so I invited him to the cellar, that he might show me the newest flourish in whetting my knives. {142}

Dor. And I hope you have made much of him?

Arch. Oh yes, madam, but the strength of your lady ship's liquor is a little too potent for the constitution of your humble servant.

Mrs. Sul. What, then you don't usually drink ale?

Arch. No, madam; my constant drink is tea, or a little wine and water. 'Tis prescribed me by the physician for a remedy against the spleen. {150}

Scrub. Oh la! Oh la! a footman have the spleen!

Mrs. Sul. I thought that distemper had been only proper to people of quality?

Arch. Madam, like all other fashions it wears Out, and so descends to their servants; though in a great many of us, I believe, it proceeds from some melancholy particles in the blood, occasioned by the stagnation of wages.

Dor. [Aside to Mrs. Sullen.] How affectedly the fello* talks!—[To Archer.] How long, pray, have yon served your present master? {161}

Arch. Not long; my life has been mostly spent in the service of the ladies.

Mrs. Sul. And pray, which service do you like best?

Arch. Madam, the ladies pay best; the honour of serving them is sufficient wages; there is a charm in their looks that delivers a pleasure with their commands, and gives our duty the wings of inclination.

Mrs. Sul. [Aside.] That flight was above the pitch of a livery.—[Aloud.] And, sir, would not you be satisfied to serve a lady again? {171}

Arch. As a groom of the chamber, madam, but not as a footman.

Mrs. Sul. I suppose you served as footman before? Arch. For that reason I would not serve in that post again; for my memory is too weak for the load of messages that the ladies lay upon their servants in London. My Lady Howd'ye, the last mistress I served, called me up one morning, and told me, 'Martin, go to my Lady Allnight with my humble service; tell her I was to wait on her ladyship yesterday, and left word with Mrs. Rebecca, that the preliminaries of the affair she knows of, are stopped till we know the concurrence of the person that I know of, for which there are circumstances wanting which we shall accommodate at the old place; but that in the meantime there is a person about her ladyship, that from several hints and surmises, was accessory at a certain time to the disappointments that naturally attend things, that to her knowledge are of more importance—' {191}

Mrs. Sul., Dor. Ha! ha! ha! where are you going, sir?

Arch. Why, I han't half done!—The whole howd'ye was about half an hour long; so I happened to misplace two syllables, and was turned off, and rendered incapable.

Dor. [Aside to Mrs. Sullen.] The pleasantest fellow, sister, I ever saw!—[To Archer.] But, friend, if your master be married, I presume you still serve a lady?

Arch. No, madam, I take care never to come into a married family; the commands of the master and mistress are always so contrary, that 'tis impossible to please both. {203}

Dor. There's a main point gained: my lord is not married, I find. [Aside.

Mrs. Sul. But I wonder, friend, that in so many good services, you had not a better provision made for you.

Arch. I don't know how, madam. I had a lieutenancy offered me three or four times; but that is not bread, madam—I live much better as I do. {211}

Scrub. Madam, he sings rarely! I was thought to do pretty well here in the country till he came; but alack a day, I 'm nothing to my brother Martin!

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