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He never intended to be punctual, and I’ll wait no longer. What do I see : It is he, and perhaps with news of my Constance. Enter to NY, booted and spattered. My honest squire! I now find you a man of your word. This looks like friendship. Tony. Ay, I'm your friend, and the best friend you have in the world, if you knew but all. This riding by night, by-the-by, is cursedly tiresome. It has shook me worse than the basket of a stage coach. Hast. But how Where did you leave your fellow travellers 2 Are they in safety Are they housed ? Tony. Five and twenty miles in two hours and a half, is no such bad driving. The poor beasts have smoked for it. Rabbit me, but I'd rather ride forty miles after a fox, than ten with such varment. Hast. Well, but where have you left the ladies? I die with impatience. - Tony. Left them : Why, where should I leave them, but where I found them : Hast. This is a riddle. Tony. Riddle me this, then. What's that goes round the house, and round the house, and never *ouches the house 2 Hast. I'm still astray. Tony. Why, that's it, mon. I have led them astray. By jingo, there's not a pond or slough within five miles of the place, but they can tell the taste of. Hast. Ha! has ha! I understand; you took them in a round, while they supposed themselves going forward, And so you have at last brought them home ...alla. *}, You shall hear. I first took them down - Feather-bed-lane, where we stuck fast in the mud.— I then rattled them crack over the stones of Up-anddown-hill—I then introduced them to the gibbet on Heavy-tree-heath, and from that, with a circumbendibus, I fairly lodg’d them in the horsepond at the bottom of the garden. Hast. But no accident, I hope. . . . Tony. , No, no. Only mother is confoundedly frightened. She thinks herself forty miles off. She's
sick of the journey, and the cattle can scarce crawl. So if your own horses be ready, you may whip wif with cousin, and I'll be bound that no soul here can budge a foot to follow you. Hast. My dear friend, how can I be grateful ? Tony. Ay, now it's dear friend, noble squire. Just now, it was all idiot, cub, and run me through the guts. Damn your way of fighting, I say. After we take a knock in this part of the country, we shake hands and be friends. But if you had run tie through the guts, then I should be dead, and you might go shake hands with the hangman. Hast. The rebuke is just. But I must hasten to
relieve Miss Neville ; if you .# the old lady employed, I promise to take care of the young one. [Erit.
Tony. Never fear me. Here she comes. Vanish! She's got into the pond, and is draggled up to use waist like a mermaid.
Enter M. Its. HARD cast LE.
Mrs. H. Oh, Tony, I'm kill'd : Shook Batters: to death' I shall never survive it. That last joltina laid us against the quickset-hedge has done my basness. Tony. Alack, mamma, it was all your own fault. You would be for running away by night, without knowing one inch of the way. Mrs. H. I wish we were at home again. I never met so , many accidents in so short a journey. Drench'd in the mud, overturn'd in a ditch, stuck fast in a slough, jolted to a jelly, and at last to lose our way. Whereabouts do you think we are, Tony Tony. By my guess we should be upon Crackskull common, about forty miles from home. Mrs. H. Olud! O Ind; the most notorious spot in all the country. We only want a robbery to mae a complete night on't. Tony. Don't be afraid, mamma, don't be afraid. Two of the five that kept here are hanged, and the other three may not find us. Don't be afraid. Is Lai a mau that's galloping behind us? No; it's only a
tree. Don't be afraid.
Mrs. H. The fright will certainly kill me. Zony. Do you see any thing like a black hat moving behind the thicket A/rs. H. O. death ! Tory. No, it's only a cow. manma! don't be afraid. Mrs. H. As I'm alive, Tony, I see a man coming towards us. Ah 1 I'm sure on't. If he perceives us we are undone. Tony. Father-in-law, by all that's unlucky, come to take one of his night walks. [..tside.] Ah, it's a highwayman, with pistols as long as my arm. A dainn'd ill looking fellow. Mrs. H. Good heaven defend us! he approaches. Tony. Do you hide yourself in that thicket, and leave me to manage him. If there be any danger I'll cough and cry hem. When I cough be sure to keep close.
Don't be afraid,
Enter Is A it pcAst LE. Hard. I'm mistaken, or I heard voices of people in want of help. O, Tony, is that you ! I did not expec you so soon back. Are your mother and her charge in safety Tony. Very safe, sir, at my aunt Pedigree's. Hem. Jirs. II. [From behind.] Ah, death ! I find there's danger. Mard. Forty miles in three hours; sure, that's too much, my youngster. Tony. Stout horses and willing minds make short journeys, as they say. Hem. Mrs. II. [From behind.] Sure, he'll do the dear boy no harm. Hard. But I heard a voice here ; I should be glad to know from whence it came 3 Tony. It was I, sir, talking to myself, sir. I was saying that forty miles in three hours was very good going. Hem. As to be sure it was. Hem. I have got a sort of cold by being out in the air. We'll go in, if you please. Hem. Hard. But if you talked to yourself, you did not answer yourself. I am certain I heard two voices,
and am resolved [raising his voice] to find the other out. Mrs. H. [Running forward from behind] O. lud, he'll murder my poor boy, my darling. Here, good gentleman, whet your rage upon me. Take my money, my life, but spare that young gentleman, spare iny child, if you have any mercy. 11ard. My wife as I am a christian. whence can she come, or what does she mean' Mrs. H. [1,nceling] Take compassion on us, good Mr. Highwayman. Take our money, our watches, all we have, but spare our lives. We will never bring you to justice, indeed we won't, good Mr. Highwayman. Hard. I believe the woman's out of her senses. What, Dorothy, don't you know me ! Mrs. H. M. Hardcastle, as I'm alive My fears h'inded me. But who, my dear, could have expected to meet you here, in this frightful place, so far from home —What has brought you to follow us ! Hard. Sure, Dorothy, you have not lost your wits. So far from home, when you are within forty yards of your own door. [To Tony] This is one of your old tricks, you graceless rogue you. [To Mrs. H.] Don't you know the gate and the mulbery-tree; and don't you remember the horsepond, my dear ! Mrs. H. Yes, I shall remember the horsepond as long as I live : I have caught my death in it. [To Tony] And it is to you, you graceless varlet, I owe all this. I'll teach you to abuse your mother, I will. Tony. Ecod, mother, all the parish says you have spoiled me, and so you may take the fruits on't. Mrs. H. I'll spoil you, I will. [13cats him off. Hard. Ha ha has [She Stoops to Conquer.
CAPTAIN BEAU GA R D AND CAT, F.B. QUOTEM.
Quo. Captain, your most obedient.
1}eau. Yours, sir.
Quo. My name, sir, is Caleb Quotem, at your service. My father was well known in this parish, and the country round, as the poet says—sexton and crier here, thirty years and upwards. By trade a plumber and glazier, to which I have added many others; as auctioneer, schoolmaster, engraver, watch-maker, sign-painter, &c. &c. mind of the zodiac.—You must know I am allowed to possess some knowledge of the sciences; globes, terrestrial and celestial, telescopes, and household furniture;—understand all sorts of fixtures, magnets, marble slabs, polar stars, and corner cupboards. Beau. Damn the fellow !—he has travelled over both hemispheres, and now fixed himself in a corner cupboard | But pray, what may your business be with me, sir? ... • Quo. My business is that of my father's, as Shakspeare says; but my reason for attending you is— talking of reason, puts me in mind of the man in Bedlam, who swore all mankind were mad, for they had locked him up, and he could not divine the cause; now this man, as the poet says, had “cool reason on his side.” Talking of side, puts me in mind of myself—I am beside myself—that is, I threw myself beside you, to express how much I am “your humble servant,” as Dryden says. Beau. A mighty expressive sentence, truly, Mr. Quotem. Quo. Captain, I shall be happy to serve you on all occasions—I can nake or mend pumps, or windows, paint o: or carriages, repair watches or weather-glasses—in short, (as a great author says,) “I’m up to every thing.” Talking of every thing, I write ballads and epitaphs; cut tombstones and sell coffin furniture—shall be glad to serve you with any of the last articles at the lowest price, as the poet saw S. - Beau. I hope I sha'nt trouble you for any of the last articles soon, Mr. Quoten;–your town of Windsor is very wholesome. Quo. The air is salubrious, and the fields look green, as Pope says. Yet somehow or other people drop away very speedily. Beau. Why you seem the very picture of health. Quo. That is chiefly owing to a part of my profession—or rather my father's profession, at which I always assist. Beau. What's that 2
a N 11 y Poch ITE's ATTEMPT to septcy. His FRIEND's WIFE. Enter Docton cANTwell. AND LADY LAMBEnt, Pr. C. Here I am, madam, at your ladyship's command; how happy am I that you think me worthy— Lady L. Please to sit, sir. Dr. C. Well but, dear lady, ha! You can't conceive the joyousness I feel at this so much desired interview. Ah! ah! I have a thousand friendly things to say to you : and how stands your precious health is your naughty cold abated yet? I have scarce closed my eyes these two nights with my concern for you. Lady Z. Your charity is too far concerned for me. Dr. C. Ah don't say so; don't say so; you merit more than mortal man can do for you. Lady Z. Indeed you overrate me. Dr. C. I speak it from Iny heart: indeed, indeed, indeed I do. Lady L. O dear! you hurt my hand, sir. Jor. C. Impute it to my zeal, and want of words for expression : precious soul! I would not hurt you or the world: no, it would be the whole business of my life—
Dr. C. Ah! thou heavenly woman : Lady L. Your hand need not be there, sir. Dr. C. I was admiring the softness of this silk. They are indeed come to prodigious perfection in all manufactures ; how wonderful is human art | Here it disputes the prize with nature: that all this soft and gaudy lusture should be wrought from the labours of a poor worm Lady L. But our business, sir, is upon another subject: sir John informs me, that he thinks himself under no obligations to Mr. Darnley, and therefore resolves to give his daughter to you. Dr. C. Such a thing has been mentioned, madam; but, to deal sincerely with you, that is not the happiness I sigh after ; there is a soft and serious excellence for me, very different from what your stepdaughter possesses. Lady. L. Well, sir, pray be sincere and open your heart to me. Dr. C. Open my heart 1 can you then, sweet lady, be yet a stranger to it? Has no action of my life been able to inform you of my real thoughts Lady L. Well, sir, I take all this, as I suppose you intend it, for my good and spiritual welfare. Dr. C. Indeed I mean your cordial service. Lady L. I dare say you do : you are above the low, momentary views of this world. Dr. C. Why, I should be so; and yet, alas! I find this mortal clothing of my soul is made like other mens', of sensual flesh and blood, and has its frailties. Lady I. We all have those, but yours are well corrected by your divine and virtuous contemplations. Dr. C. Alas! madam, my heart is not of stone: I may resist, call all my prayers, my fastings, tears and penance to my aid ; but yet, I am not an angel; I am still but a man; and virtue may strive, but nature will be uppermost. I love, you madam. Lady L. Ah, doctor, what have you done to me? the trouble of my mind is not to be expressed. You have indeed discovered to me what, perhaps, for my own so 'twere better I had never been acquainted with. ut I had not an opportunity to lay my heart open to you.
Lady L. But to the affair I would speak to you about. 2 G 3
Dr. C. Ah! do not endeavour to decoy my foolish heart, too apt to flatter itself. You cannot sure think kindly of me ! Ilady L. Well, well, I would have you imagine
Dr. C. Besides, may I not with reason suspect, that this apparent goodness is but artifice; a shadow of compliance, meant only to persuade me from your daughter. Lady L. Methinks this doubt of me seems rather founded on your settled resolution not to resign her.— I am convinced of it. I can assure you, sir, I should have saved you this trouble, had I known how deeply you were engaged to her. Dr. C. Tears then I must believe you But indeed you wrong me. I have myself pressed sir John to give Charlotte to young Darnley. J.ady L. Mere artifice. You knew that modest resignation would make sir John warmer in your Interest. Dr. C. No, indeed, indeed. I had other motives, which you may hereafter be made acquainted with, and will convince you Zady L. Well, sir, now I'll give you reason to Eless why, at our last meeting, I pressed you so warmly to resign Charlotte. 1)r. C. Ah dear! ah dear ! Lady L. You cannot blame me for having opposed your happiness, when my own, perhaps, depended upon it. Iłr. C. Spare me, spare me; you kill me with this kindness. Lady L. But now that I have discovered my weakness, be secret; for the least imprudence—19,'. C. It is a vain fear. Lady I. Call it not vain ; my reputation is dearer to me than life. Dr. C. Where can it find so sure a guard The grave austerities of my life will dumb-found suspicion, and yours may defy detraction. Lady L. Well, doctor, 'tis you must answer for my foily. Dr. C I take it all upon myself. Lady L. But there's one thing still to be afraid of. Dr. C. Nothing, nothing,
Jady L. My husband, sir John.
Dr. C. Alas, poor man I will answer for him, Between ourselves, madam, your husband is weak; I can lead him by the nose any where.
[Sir John Lambert comes from behind a screen. No, caitiff, I'm to be led no further. 12r. C. Ah woman. Sir J. Is this your sanctity ? this your doctrine ! these your meditations! 19r. C. Is then my brother in a conspiracy against me Sir J. Your brother I have been your friend, indeed, to my shane; your dupe ; but your speil has lost its hold : no more canting; it will not serve your turn any longer. Zady L. Now heaven be praised. Jr. C. It seems you wanted an excuse to part with me. Sir J. Ungrateful wretch but why do I reproach you! Had I not been the weakest of maukind, you never could have proved so great a villain... Get out of my sight, leave my house : of all my follies, which is it tells you, that if you stay much longer, I shalf not be tempted to wrest you out of the hands of the law and punish you as you deserve A p r +. Cori O N A TE Courts in P. BETTY, cri An Ilon re, and I, R. CAN Tw E1.1. det. Doctor Cantwell desires to be admitted, madan. Char. Let him come in. Ponter noci of CANT WILL. Your ir.—Give us chairs Betty, and leave the room. t Betty]—Sir, there's a seat—What can the ugly cur say to me !—he scenis a little puzzled. (Hums a tune. Dr. C. Look ye, young lady, I am afraid, notwithstandino your good father's favour, I am not the man you would desire to be alone with upon this occasiou. Char. Your modesty is pleased to be in the right. Dr. C. I'm afraid too, notwithstanding all my endeavours to the contrary, that you entertain a pretty bad opinion of ine. Char. A worse, sir, of no mortal breathing.