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THE DEVIL TO PAY:
THE WIVES METAMORPHOSED;
A BALLAD PARCE,
BY CHARLES COFFEY, Esq.
Tas well-known little piece had as many hands concerned in its fabrication, as ever clubbed together in a business of so slight importance. It was originally written in three acts by a performer of the name of Jevon, afterwards altered considerably by Messrs. Coffey and Mottley, and again cut into a single act by Theophilus Cibber. From all the above copies, it was reproduced in its present state in 1731, and published with Mr. Coffey's name as the author. The celebrated Mrs. Clive is said to owe the rise of her great reputation to her success in the part of Nell; and Mr. Harper, the original in Jobson, considerably advanced in rank and salary by his excellent per formance of that character.
In spite of the impossible absurdity whence all the characters derive their origin, this petite piece is tolerated and even seen with pleasure, from the easy humour of the dialogue, and the natural behaviour of the characters
COVENT GARDEN, 1818. SIR JOHN LOVERULE,.......
.......... Mr. Incledon. BUTLER,......
. Mr. Treby. Cook,....
Mr. King. FOOTMAN,
..Mr. Durusel. COACHMAN,
Mr. Atkins. JOBSON, .......
COVENT GARDEN, 1818
SCENE I.-Jobson's House.
Nell. Did ever one hear such stuff? But I pray Enter JOBSON and NELL.
you now, Jobson, don't go to the alehouse to
night. Nell. Prythee, good Jobson, stay with me to Job. Well, I'll humour you for once; but don't night, and for once make merry at home. grow saucy upon't; for I'm invited by Sir John
Job. Peace, peace, you jade, and go spin : for, Loverule's butler, and am to be princely drunk f I lack any thread for my stitching, I will punish with punch at the hall-place: we shall have a bowl you by virtue of my sovereign authority. large enough to swim in.
Nei. Ay, marry, no doubt of that, whilst you Nell. But they say, husband, the new lady will take your swing at the alehouse, spend your sub- not suffer a stranger to enter her doors; she stance, get as drunk as a beast, and then come home grudges even a draught of small beer to her own like a sot, and use one like a dog.
servants; and several of the tenants have come Job. Nounz' do you prate ? Why, how now, home with broken heads from her ladyship's own brazen-face, w you speak ill of the government hands, only for smelling strong beer in the house. Dun't you know, hussy, that I am king in my Job. A plague on her for a fanatical jade! She own house, and that this is treason against my has almost distracted the good knight. But she's majesty ?
now abroad, feasting with her relations, and will
scarce come home to-night; and we are to have Fill up the mighly sparkling bowl. much drink, a fiddle, and merry gambols.
That every true and loyal soul Nell. O, dear husband, let me go with you;
May drink and sing without control, we'll be as merry as the night's long.
To support our pleasure. Job. Why how now, you bold baggage ! would
Thus, mighty Bacchus, shalt thou be you be carried to a company of smooth-faced, Guardian of our pleasure ; ating, drinking, lazy serving-men? No, no, you That under thy protection we jade, I'll not be a cuckold.
May enjoy new pleasure. Nell. I'm sure they would make me welcome:
And as the hours glide away, you promised I should see the house; and the fa We'll in thy name invoke their slay, mily has not been here before, since you married
And sing thy praises, that we may and brought me home.
Live and die with pleasure. Job. Why, thou most audacious strumpet, But. The king and the royal family in a brimdar’st thou dispute with me, thy lord and master ? Get in and spin, or else my strap shall wind about thy ribs most confoundedly.
Here's a good health to the king,
And send him a prosperous reign ;
O'er hills and high mountains
We'll drink dry the fountains,
Until the sun rises again.
Then here's to thee, my boy boon,
And here's to thee my boy boon;
As we've tarried all day Nell. Well, we poor women must always be For to drink down the sun,
[boys, slaves, and never have any joy; but you men run So we'll tarry and drink down the moon, brave and ramble at your pleasure.
So we'll tarry and drink down the moon. Job. Why, you most pestilent baggage, will
Omnes. Huzza ! you be hooped? Be gone. Nell. I must obey.
(Going. Enter Sir John LOVERULE, and Lady LoveJob. Stay; now I think on't, here's sixpence for you; get ale and apples, stretch and puff thy
Lady L. O heaven and earth! what 's here self up with lamb's wool, rejoice and revel by within my doors ? Is hell broke loose? What thyself, be drunk and wallow in thy own sty, like troops of fiends are here ? Sirrah, you impudent a grumbling sow as thou art.
rascal, speak! He that has the best wife, (Sings. Sir J. For shame, my dear.— As this is a time She's the plague of his life, &c. (Exeunt. of mirth and jollity, it has always been the custom
of my house to give my servants liberty in this SCENE II.-SIR JOHN LOVERULE's House. season, and to treat my country neighbours, that Enter Butler, Cook, Footman, COACHMAN,
with innocent sports they may divert themselves. Lucy, LETTICE, foc.
Lady L. I say, meddle with your own affairs, But. I would the blind fiddler and our dancing in an oar.
I will govern my own house without your putting
Shall I ask your leave to correct my neighbours were here, that we might rejoice a
own servants ? little, while our termagant lady is abroad : 'I have
Sir J. I thought, Madam, this had been my made a most sovereign bowl punch.
house, and these my tenants and servants. Lucy. We had need rejoice sometimes, for our devilish new lady will never suffer it in her hear- abused and snubbed before people ? Do you call
Lady L. Did I bring a fortune, to be thus ing
my authority in question, ungrateful man? Look Enter Blind FIDDLER, Joeson, and NEIGHBOURS. to your dogs and horses abroad, but it will be niy
But. Welcome, welcome all; this is our wish. province to govern here; nor will I he controller?
-Honest old acquaintance, goodman Jobson, by e'era hunting, hawking knight in Christendom. how dost thou?
Air.—Sir John LOVERILE. Job. By my troth, I am always sharp-set to
Ye gods, you gave to me a wife, wards punch, and am now come with a firm reso
Out of your grace and favour, lution, though but a poor cobler, to be as richly To be the comfort of my life, drunk as a lord: I am a true English heart, and
And I was glad to have her ; look upon drunkenness as the best part of the
But if your providence divine liberty of the subject.
For greater bliss design her, But. Come, Jobson, we'll bring out our bowl
T' obey your wills at any time, of punch in solemn procession; and then for a
I'm ready to resign her. song to crown our happiness. (Exeunt. This is to be married to a continual tempest: Re-enter JOBSON, BUTLER, fc. with a bowl of
strife and noise, canting and hypocrisy, are eterPunch.
nally afloat.—'Tis impossible to bear it long.
Lady L. Ye filthy scoundrels, and odious jades Air.
I'll teach you to junket it thus, and steal my proCome, jolly Bacchus, god of wine,
visions; I shall be devoured, at this rate. Crown this night with pleasure ;
But.' I thought, Madam, we might be merry Let none at cares of life repine,
once upon a holiday. Todestroy our pleasure :
Lady L. Holiday, you popish cur! is one 10
day more holy than another ? And if it be, you'll go down the lane about a quarter of a mile, and be sure to get drunk upon it, you rogue. [Beats you'll see a cobler's cottage; stay there a little him) You minx, you impudent flirt, are you and I'll send my servant to conduct you to a tejigging it after an abominable fiddle ?
nant's house, where you'll be well entertained. (Lugs Lucy by the ears. Doc. I thank you, Sir; I'm your most humble Lucy. O lud! she has pulled off both my ears. servant-But as for your lady there, she shall this Sir J. Pray, Madam, consider your sex and night feel my resentinent.
(Erit. quality : I blush for your behaviour.
Sir J. Come, Madam, you and I must have Lady L. Consider your incapacity : you shall some conference together. pot instruct me. Who are you, thus muffled, you Lady L. Yes; I will have a conference and buzzard ? (She beats them off ; Jobson steals by. reformation too in this house, or I'll turn it upside Job. I am an honest, plain, psalm-singing cob-down-I will.
(Exeunt. hler, Madam: if your ladyship would but go to church, you might hear me above all the rest there.
SCENE IN.-Jobson's House. Lady L. I'll try thy voice here first, villain.
Enter Nell and the DOCTOR. Job. Nounz! what a plague, what a devil ails Nell. Pray, Sir, mend your draught, if you
please; you are very welcome, Sir. Lady L. O profane wretch! wicked varlet ! Doc. Thank you heartily, good woman; and
Sir J. For shame! your behaviour is mon- to requite your civility, I'll tell you your fortune. strous !
Nell. O, pray do, Sir; I never had my fortune Lady L. Was ever poor lady so miserable in a told me in my life. brutish husband as I am ? I that am so pious and Doc. Let me behold the lines of your face. so religious a woman!
Nell. I am afraid, Sir, 'tis none of the cleanest; Job. (Sings.) He that has the best wife,
I have been about dirty work all this day.
Doc. Come, come, 'tis a good face, be not But for her that will scold and will quarrel. ashamed of it; you shall show it in greater places Lady L. O rogue! scoundrel ! villain!
Nell. O dear, Sir, I shall be mightily ashamed: Sir J. Remember modesty.
I want dacity when I come before great folks. Lady L. I'll rout you all with a vengeance Doc. You must be confident, and fear nothing; I'll spoil your squeaking treble.
there is much happiness attends you. [Beats the fiddle about the blind Man's head.
Nell. Oh me! this is a rare man; heaven be Fid. O murder! murder!
(Aside. Sir J. Here, poor fellow, take your staff and
Doc. To-morrow, before the sun rise, you shall be gone; there's money to buy you two such; be the happiest woman in this country. that's your way
(Exit Fiddler Lady L. Méthinks you are very liberal, Sir
, how can that be
Nell. How, by to-morrow ? alack-a-day, Sir, Must my estate maintain you in your profuseness ?
Doc. No more shall you be troubled with a Sir J. Go up to your closet, pray, and compose surly husband, that rails at, and straps you.
Nell. Lud! how came he to know that ? he Lady L. O wicked man! to bid me pray. Sir I. A man can't be completely cursed, 1 is somewhat rugged, and in his cups will beat me,
must be a conjurer! (Aside.) Indeed my husband see, without marriage: but since there is such a but it is not much : 'he's an honest pains-taking thing as separate maintenance, she shall to-morrow man, and I let him have his way. Pray, Sir, take enjoy the benefit of it. (Knocking at the door.] t'other cup of ale. Her where are my servants? must they be
Doc. I thank you—Believe me, to-morrow you frighted from me ?>Within there-see who shall be the richest woman i'th' hundred, and ride knocks.
in your own coach. Lady L. Within there—Where are my sluts?
Nell. O father! you jeer me. ye drabs, ye queans-Lights there.
Doc. By my art, I do not. But mark my Re-enter BUTLER.
words, be confident, and bear all out, or worse will
follow. But. Sir, it is a doctor that lives ten miles off"; Nell. Never fear, Sir, I warrant youhe practises physic, and is an astrologer ; your mini! a coach. worship knows him very well; he is a cunning man, makes almanacks, and can help people to
Enter JOBSON. their goods again.
Job. Where is this quean? Here, Nell! What
a plague, are you drunk with your lamb's wool ? Enter Doctor.
Nell. O husband! here's the rarest man-he Doc. Sir, I humbly beg your honour's pardon has told me my fortune. for this unseasonable intrusion : but I am benight Job. Has he so ! and planted my fortune too, ed, and 'tis so dark that I can't possibly find my a lusty pair of horns upon my head-Eh!Isi way home; and knowing your worship's hospita- not so? lity, desire the favour to be harboured under your Doc. Thy wife is a virtuous woman, and thou'lt roof to-night.
be happyLaay L. Out of my house, you lewd conjurer, Job. Come out, you hang-dog, you juggler, you you magician.
cheating, bamboozling villain; must I be cuckolded Doc. Here's a turn? Here's a change! Well, by such rogues as you are, mackmaticians, and If I have any art, ye shall smart for this. (Aside. almanack makers ?
Sir J. You see, friend, I am not master of my Nell. Pr’ythee, peace, husband, we shall be own house ; therefore, to avoid any uneasiness, rich, and have a coach of our own.
Job. A coach! a cart, a wheel-barrow, you jade. , servants ? Somebody come and hamstring this By the mass, she's drunk, beastly drunk, most rogue.
(Knocks. confoundedly drunk-Get to bed, you strumpet. Job. Why, how now, you brazen quean! you
[Beats her. must get drunk with the conjurer, must you ? I'll Nell. O mercy on us! is this a taste of my give you money another time to spend in lamb’s good fortune ? Oh, you are the devil of a conjurer, wool, you saucy jade, shall I ? sure enough.
(Exit. Lady L. Monstrous! I can find no bell to Doc. You had better not have touched her, you ring. Where are my servants ? they shall toss surly rogue.
him in a blanket. Job. Out of my house you villain.
Joh. Ay, the jade 's asleep still : the conjurer Doc. Farewell, you paltry slave.
told her she should keep her coach, and she is Joh. Get out you rogue. (Ereunt. dreaming of her equipage.
[Sings. SCENE IV.-An open Country.
I will come in, in spile she said,
Of all such churls as thee ;
Thou art the cause of all our pain,
Our grief and misery.
Thou first broke the commandment,
In honour of thy wife;
When Adam heard her say these words,
He ran away for life.
Lady L. Why, husband ! Sir John! will you
suffer me to be thus insulted ? And all things favour my design.
Job. Ausband! Sir John! what a plague, has Spir. (Within.] Say, master, what is to be done ?
she knighted me ? and my name 's Zekel too; a Doc. My strict commands be sure altend,
good jest, faith.
Lady L. Ha! he's gone, he's not in the bed.
Heaven! where am I? Foh! what loathsome With all your most specific charms,
smells are here ? Canvass sheets, and a filthy Convey each wife to diff'rent arms;
ragged curtain ; a beastly rug, and a fock bed. Am Let the delusion be so strong,
I awake, or is it all a dream ? what rogue is that! That none may know the right from wrong.
Sirrah! where am I? who brought me hither ? Spir. All this we' will with care perform
what rascal are you? In tkunder, lightning, and in storm.
Job. This is amazing--I never heard such (Thunder. Fxil Doctor. words from her before ? if I take my strap to you, SCENE V.—Jobson's House.— The bed in viero. better manners, you saucy drab.
l'll make you know your husband, I'll teach you Jobson discovered at work.
Lady L. Oh, astonishing impudence! you my Job. What devil has been abroad to-night? 1 husband, Sirrah? I'll have you hanged, you rogue; never heard such claps of thunder in my life; i l'm a lady, Let me know who has given ne a thought my little hovel would have flown away: dirty varlet?
sleeping draught, and conveyed me Kither, you but now all is clear again, and a fine star-light morning it is. I'll settle myself to work. They
Job. A sleeping draught! yes, you drunken jade, say, winter's thunder is summer's wonder.
you had a sleeping draught, with a plague to ye.
What, has not your lamb's wool done working
Lady L. Where am I? where has my villanous
husband put me? Lucy! Lettice! where are my Is like in time to prove the best, Which every day is mending.
Job. Ha, ha, ha! what;does she call her maids How great his praise, who can amend too? the conjurer has made her mad as well as The soles of all his neighbours ;
drunk. Nor is unmindful of his end,
Lady L. He talks of conjurers; sure I am beBut to his last still labours.
witched ! ha! what clothes are here? a linseyLady L. (In bed.] Hey-day! what impudent woolsey gown, a calico hood, a red baize petticoat ; hallad-singing rogue is that, who dares wake me I am removed from my own house by witchcraft
. out of my sleep ? I'll have you flayed, you rascal. What must I do? What will become of me? Job. What a plague, does she talk in her sleep?
(Horns wind without. ut is she drunk still?
Job. Hark! the hunters and the merry horns
are abroad. Why, Nell, you lazy jade, 'tis break AIR.
of day; to work, to work; come, and spin, you In Bath a wanton wife did dwell,
drab, or I'll tan your hide for you.
What a As Chaucer he did write,
plague, must I be at work two hours before you Who wantonly did spend her time
in the morning? In many a fond delight.
Lady L. Why, Sirrah, thou impudent villain, All on a time so sick she was,
dost thou not know me, you rogue ?
Job. Know you, yes I know you well enough,
and I'll make you know me before ' have done Lady L. Why, villain, rascal, screech-owl, who Lady L. I am Sir John Loverule's 'ady. how makest a worse noise than a dog hung in the came I here? peles, or a hog in a high wind,—where are all my Job. Sir John Loverule's lady! no Nell, not
quite go bad neither; she plagues every one that Lucy. Oh, no, I'm overjoyed: she's in the comes near her—the whole country curses her. kindest humour !-Go to the bed, and speak to
Lady L. Nay, then I'll hold no longer-you her-Now is your time. (Apart to LETTICE rogue, you insolent villain, I'll teach you better Let. Now's my time! what, to have another manners.
tooth beat out ? (Apart.] Madam! (Flings the bedstaf' and other things at him. Nell. What dost say, my dear?–0 father Job. This is more than ever I saw by her. I What would she have? never had an ill word from her before. Come, Let. What work will your ladyship please to strap, I'll try your mettle; I'll sober you, I war- i have done to-day? rant you, quean.
Nell. Work, child ! 'tis holiday; no work to (He straps her; she flies at him. day. Lady L. I'll pull your throat out; I'll tear out Let. Oh, mercy! Am I or thee awake? or do your eyes; I am a lady, Sirrah. O murder ! we both dream ? Here's a blessed change ? murder! Sir John Loverule will hang you for
[Apart to Locs. this. Murder! murder !
Lucy. If it continues, we shall be a happy Job. Come, hussy, leave fooling, and come to family.
(Apart to LETTICE. your spinning, or else I'll lamb you, you never Let. Your ladyship's chocolate is ready. were so lambed since you were an inch long. Nell. Mercy on me! what 's that? Some garTake it up you jade.
ment, I suppose. (Aside.) Put it on then, sweet She flings it down. He straps her. heart. Lady L. Hold, hold! I'll do any thing. Let. Put it on, Madam? I have taken it ofi;
Job. O! I thought I should bring you to your-'tis ready to drink. self again.
Nell. I mean, put it by ; I don't care for drinkLady L. What shall I do? I can't spin. ing now.
(Aside. Job. I'll into my stall; 'tis broad day now.
Enter Cook. [Works and sings.) Hey-day, I think the jade's brain is turned. What, have you forgot to spin, know her scurvy ladyship’s commands about din;
Cook. Now I go, like a bear to the stake, to hussy?
Lady L. But I have not forgot to run. I'll ner. How many rascally names must I be called? e'en try my feet. I shall find somebody in the
Let. Oh, John Cook! you'll be out of your town, sure, that will succour me. [She runs out. Job. What! does she run for it? I'll after her. wits to find my lady in so sweet a temper. (He runs out.
[Apart to Cook
Cook. What a devil, are they all mad ? SCENE VI.—Sir John LOVERULE's House.
(Apart to LETTICE. Nell discovered in Bed.
Lucy. Madam, here's the cook come about Nell. What pleasant dreams I have had to- dinner. night! Methought I was in Paradise, upon a bed
Nell. Oh! there's a fine cook! He looks like of violets and roses, and the sweetest husband by one of your gentlefolks. (Aside.)—Indeed, bomy side! Ha, bless me! where am I now? nest man, I'm very hungry now, pray get me a What sweets are these ? No garden in the spring, rasher upon the coals, a piece of milk cheese, and can equal them.-Am I on a bed ?— The sheets some white bread. are sarcenet, sure; no linen ever was so fine.- Cook. Hey! what 's to do here ? my head turns What a gay silken robe have I got- heaven! round. Honest man! I looked for rogue and I dream! – Yet if this be a dream, I would not rascal, at least. She's strangely changed in her wish to wake again. Sure I died last night and diet, as well as her humour. (Aside. ]—I'm afraid, went to heaven, and this is it.
Madam, cheese and bacon will sit very heavy on Enter Lucy.
your ladyship's stomach in a morning. If you
please, Madam, I'll toss you up a white fricassee Lucy. Now, must I awake an alarum that will of chickens, in a trice, Madam; or what does not lie still again till midnight at soonest; the first your ladyship think of a real sweetbread ? greeting I suppose will be jade, or slut. [Aside.) Nell. Even what you will, good cook. -Madam! madam!
Cook. Good cook! good cook! Ah! 'tis a Vill. O gemini ! who's this ? What dost say, sweet lady.
(Apari. sweetheart? Licy. Sweetheart ! O lud, sweetheart! The
Enter BUTLER. best names 1 have had these three months from Oh! kiss me, chip, I am out of my wits We her, have been slut or jade. (Aside.}-What gown have the kindest, sweetest lady, und ruffles will your ladyship wear to-day? Nell. What does she mean? Ladyship! gown
(Apart to BUTLER and ruffles !-Sure I am awake!-Oh! I remem
But. You shamming rogue, i think you are ber the cunning man, now.
out of your wits, all of ye; the maids look mer Lucy. Did your ladyship speak ?
[Apart to COOK Nell. Ay, child; I'll wear the same I did
Lucy. Here's the butler, Madam, to know
your ladyship's orders. Lucy. Mercy upon me!-Child !-Here's a small beer when my breakfast comes in.
Nell. "Oh! pray, Mr. Butler, let me have some iniracle !
But. Mr. Butler! Mr. Butler! I shall be Enter LETTICE,
turned into stone with amazement. (Aside. Let. Is my lady awake ?-Have you had her Would not your ladyship rather have a glass of ahine or her slipper at your head yet ?
Frontiniac, or Montepulchiano. [Apart to Lucy. Nell. O dear! what hard names are there;