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Title: John Bull - The Englishman's Fireside: A Comedy, in Five Acts
Author: Colman, George, 1762-1836
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "John Bull - The Englishman's Fireside: A Comedy, in Five Acts" ***

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Transcriber's note:

      Typographical errors in the original 1807 edition
      have been left uncorrected.



JOHN BULL;

Or,

The Englishman's Fireside:
A Comedy, in Five Acts;

by

GEORGE COLMAN, THE YOUNGER.

As Performed at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden.

Printed Under the Authority of the Managers
from the Prompt Book.

With Remarks by Mrs. Inchbald.



[Illustration: JOHN BULL

JOB THORNBERRY.--THERE--'TIS FIT IT SHOULD BE FILLED BY SOMEBODY.

ACT V, SCENE II.

PAINTED BY SINGLETON
PUBLISHED BY LONGMAN & CO.
ENGRAVED BY FITTLER]



London:
Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme,
Paternoster Row.

William Savage, Printer,
London.



REMARKS.


    "Yet be not blindly guided by the throng;
    "The multitude is always in the wrong."

Roscommon surely meets with a bold contradiction in this comedy--for
it was not only admired by the multitude, but the discerning few
approved of that admiration.

The irresistible broad humour, which is the predominant quality of
this drama, is so exquisitely interspersed with touches of nature
more refined, with occasional flashes of wit, and with events so
interesting, that, if the production is not of that perfect kind
which the most rigid critic demands, he must still acknowledge it as
a bond, given under the author's own hand, that he can, if he
pleases, produce, in all its various branches, a complete comedy.

The introduction of farces into the entertainments of the theatre
has been one cause of destroying that legitimate comedy, which such
critics require. The eye, which has been accustomed to delight in
paintings of caricature, regards a picture from real life as an
insipid work. The extravagance of farce has given to the Town a
taste for the pleasant convulsion of hearty laughter, and smiles are
contemned, as the tokens of insipid amusement.

To know the temper of the times with accuracy, is one of the first
talents requisite to a dramatic author. The works of other authors
may be reconsidered a week, a month, or a year after a first
perusal, and regain their credit by an increase of judgment bestowed
upon their reader; but the dramatist, once brought before the
public, must please at first sight, or never be seen more. There is
no reconsideration in _his_ case--no judgment to expect beyond the
decree of the moment: and he must direct his force against the
weakness, as well as the strength, of his jury. He must address
their habits, passions, and prejudices, as the only means to gain
this sudden conquest of their minds and hearts. Such was the
author's success on the representation of "John Bull." The hearts
and minds of his auditors were captivated, and proved, to
demonstration, his skilful insight into human kind.

Were other witnesses necessary to confirm this truth, the whole
dramatis personæ might be summoned as evidence, in whose characters
human nature is powerfully described; and if, at times, too boldly
for a reader's sober fancy, most judiciously adapted to that spirit
which guides an audience.

It would be tedious to enumerate the beauties of this play, for it
abounds with them. Its faults, in a moment, are numbered.

The prudence and good sense of Job Thornberry are so palpably
deficient, in his having given to a little run-away, story-telling
boy (as it is proved, and he might have suspected) ten guineas, the
first earnings of his industry--that no one can wonder he becomes a
bankrupt, or pity him when he does. In the common course of
occurrences, ten guineas would redeem many a father of a family from
bitter misery, and plunge many a youth into utter ruin. Yet nothing
pleases an audience so much as a gift, let who will be the receiver.
They should be broken of this vague propensity to give; and be
taught, that charity without discrimination is a sensual enjoyment,
and, like all sensuality, ought to be restrained: but that charity
with discretion, is foremost amongst the virtues, and must not be
contaminated with heedless profusion.--Still the author has shown
such ingenuity in the event which arises from this incident, that
those persons, who despise the silly generosity of Thornberry, are
yet highly affected by the gratitude of Peregrine.

This comedy would read much better, but not act half so well, if it
were all written in good English. It seems unreasonable to forbid an
author to take advantage of any actor's peculiar abilities that may
suit his convenience; and both Johnstone and Emery displayed
abilities of the very first rate in the two characters they
represented in "John Bull."--But to the author of "John Bull," whose
genius may be animated to still higher exertions in the pursuit of
fame, it may be said--Leave the distortion of language to men who
cannot embellish it like yourself--and to women.



DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.


PEREGRINE                _Mr. Cooke._
SIR SIMON ROCHDALE]      _Mr. Blanchard._
FRANK ROCHDALE           _Mr. H. Johnston._
WILLIAMS                 _Mr. Klanert._
LORD FITZ-BALAAM         _Mr. Waddy._
HON. TOM SHUFFLETON      _Mr. Lewis_
JOB THORNBERRY           _Mr. Fawcett._
JOHN BUR                 _Mr. Atkins._
DENNIS BRULGRUDDERY      _Mr. Johnstone._
DAN                      _Mr. Emery._
MR. PENNYMAN             _Mr. Davenport._
JOHN                     _Mr. Abbot._
ROBERT                   _Mr. Truman._
SIMON                    _Mr. Beverly._

LADY CAROLINE BRAYMORE   _Mrs. H. Johnston._
MRS. BRULGRUDDERY        _Mrs. Davenport._
MARY THORNBERRY          _Mrs. Gibbs._

     _SCENE,--Cornwall._



JOHN BULL.

ACT THE FIRST.

SCENE I.


     _A Public House on a Heath: over the Door the Sign of the Red
     Cow;----and the Name of "DENNIS BRULGRUDDERY."_

     _Enter DENNIS BRULGRUDDERY and DAN, from the House. DAN opening
     the outward Shutters of the House._

_Dennis._ A pretty blustratious night we have had! and the sun peeps
through the fog this morning, like the copper pot in my
kitchen.--Devil a traveller do I see coming to the Red Cow.

_Dan._ Na, measter!--nowt do pass by here, I do think, but the
carrion crows.

_Dennis._ Dan;--think you, will I be ruin'd?

_Dan._ Ees; past all condemption. We be the undonestest family in
all Cornwall. Your ale be as dead as my grandmother; mistress do set
by the fire, and sputter like an apple a-roasting; the pigs ha'
gotten the measles; I be grown thinner nor an old sixpence; and thee
hast drank up all the spirity liquors.

_Dennis._ By my soul, I believe my setting up the Red Cow, a week
ago, was a bit of a Bull!--but that's no odds. Haven't I been
married these three months?--and who did I marry?

_Dan._ Why, a waddling woman, wi' a mulberry feace.

_Dennis._ Have done with your blarney, Mr. Dan. Think of the high
blood in her veins, you bog trotter.

_Dan._ Ees; I always do, when I do look at her nose.

_Dennis._ Never you mind Mrs. Brulgruddery's nose. Was'nt she fat
widow to Mr. Skinnygauge, the lean exciseman of Lestweithel? and
did'nt her uncle, who is fifteenth cousin to a Cornish Baronet, say
he'd leave her no money, if he ever happen'd to have any, because
she had disgraced her parentage, by marrying herself to a taxman?
Bathershan, man, and don't you think he'll help us out of the mud,
now her second husband is an Irish jontleman, bred and born?

_Dan._ He, he! Thee be'st a rum gentleman.

_Dennis._ Troth, and myself, Mr. Dennis Brulgruddery, was brought up
to the church.

_Dan._ Why, zure!

_Dennis._ You may say that, I open'd the pew doors, in Belfast.

_Dan._ And what made 'em to turn thee out o'the treade?

_Dennis._ I snored in sermon time. Dr. Snufflebags, the preacher,
said I woke the rest of the congregation. Arrah, Dan, don't I see a
tall customer stretching out his arms in the fog?

_Dan._ Na; that be the road-post.

_Dennis._ 'Faith, and so it is. Och! when I was turn'd out of my
snug birth at Belfast, the tears ran down my eighteen year old
cheeks, like buttermilk.

_Dan._ Pshaw, man! nonsense! Thee'dst never get another livelihood
by crying.

_Dennis._ Yes, I did; I cried oysters. Then I pluck'd up----what's
that? a customer!

_Dan._ [_Looking out._] Na, a donkey.

_Dennis._ Well, then I pluck'd up a parcel of my courage, and I
carried arms.

_Dan._ Waunds! what, a musket?

_Dennis._ No; a reaping hook. I cut my way half through England:
till a German learn'd me physic, at a fair in Devonshire.

_Dan._ What, poticary's stuff?

_Dennis._ I studied it in Doctor Von Quolchigronck's booth, at
Plympton. He cured the yellow glanders, and restored prolification
to families who wanted an heir. I was of mighty use to him as an
assistant.

_Dan._ Were you indeed!

_Dennis._ But, somehow, the doctor and I had a quarrel; so I gave
him something, and parted.

_Dan._ And what didst thee give him, pray?

_Dennis._ I gave him a black-eye; and set up for myself at
Lestweithel; where Mr. Skinnygauge, the exciseman, was in his
honeymoon.--Poor soul! he was my patient, and died one day: but his
widow had such a neat notion of my subscriptions, that in three
weeks, she was Mrs. Brulgruddery.

_Dan._ He, he! so you jumped into the old man's money?

_Dennis._ Only a dirty hundred pounds. Then her brother-in-law, bad
luck to him! kept the Red Cow, upon Muckslush Heath, till his teeth
chatter'd him out of the world, in an ague.

_Dan._ Why, that be this very house.

_Dennis._ Ould Nick fly away with the roof of it! I took the
remainder of the lease, per advice of my bride, Mrs. Brulgruddery:
laid out her goodlooking hundred pound for the furniture, and the
goodwill; bought three pigs, that are going into a consumption;
took a sarvingman----

_Dan._ That's I.--I be a going into a consumption too, sin you hired
me.

_Dennis._ And devil a soul has darken'd my doors for a pot of beer
since I have been a publican.

_Dan._ See!--See, mun, see! yon's a traveller, sure as eggs!--and a
coming this road.

_Dennis._ Och, hubbaboo! a customer, at last! St. Patrick send he
may be a pure dry one! Be alive, Dan, be alive! run and tell him
there's elegant refreshment at the Red Cow.

_Dan._ I will--Oh, dang it, I doesn't mind a bit of a lie.

_Dennis._ And harkye:--say there's an accomplish'd landlord.

_Dan._ Ees--and a genteel waiter; but he'll see that.

_Dennis._ And, Dan;--sink that little bit of a thunder storm, that
has sour'd all the beer, you know.

_Dan._ What, dost take me for an oaf? Dang me, if he han't been used
to drink vinegar, he'll find it out fast enow of himsel, Ise warrant
un!                                                         [_Exit._

_Dennis._ Wife!--I must tell her the joyful news--Mrs. Brulgruddery!
my dear!--Devil choak my dear!--she's as deaf as a trunk-maker--Mrs.
Brulgruddery!

     _Enter MRS. BRULGRUDDERY._

_Mrs. Brul._ And what do you want, now, with Mrs. Brulgruddery?
What's to become of us? tell me that. How are we going on, I shou'd
like to know?

_Dennis._ Mighty like a mile-stone--standing still, at this present
writing.

_Mrs. Brul._ A pretty situation we are in truly!

_Dennis._ Yes;--upon Muckslush Heath, and be damn'd to it.

_Mrs. Brul._ And, where is the fortune I brought you?

_Dennis._ All swallow'd up by the Red Cow.

_Mrs. Brul._ Ah! had you follow'd my advice, we shou'd never have
been in such a quandary.

_Dennis._ Tunder and turf! didn't yourself advise me to take this
public house?

_Mrs. Brul._ No matter for that. I had a relation who always kept
it. But, who advised you to drink out all the brandy?

_Dennis._ No matter for that. I had a relation who always drank it.

_Mrs. Brul._ Ah! my poor dear Mr. Skinnygauge never brought tears
into my eyes, as you do!                                  [_Crying._

_Dennis._ I know that--I saw you at his funeral.

_Mrs. Brul._ You're a monster!

_Dennis._ Am I?--Keep it to yourself, then, my lambkin.

_Mrs. Brul._ You'll be the death of me; you know you will.

_Dennis._ Look up, my sweet Mrs. Brulgruddery! while I give you a
small morsel of consolation.

_Mrs. Brul._ Consolation indeed!

_Dennis._ Yes--There's a customer coming.

_Mrs. Brul._ [_Brightening._] What!

_Dennis._ A customer. Turn your neat jolly face over the Heath,
yonder. Look at Dan, towing him along, as snug as a cock salmon into
a fish basket.

_Mrs. Brul._ Jimminy, and so there is! Oh, my dear Dennis! But I
knew how it would be, if you had but a little patience. Remember, it
was all by my advice you took the Red Cow.

_Dennis._ Och ho! it was, was it?

_Mrs. Brul._ I'll run, and spruce myself up a bit. Aye, aye, I
hav'n't prophesied a customer to-day for nothing.
                                             [_Goes into the House._

_Dennis._ Troth, and it's prophesying on the sure side, to foretell
a thing when it has happen'd.

     _Enter DAN, conducting PEREGRINE--PEREGRINE carrying a small
     Trunk under his Arm._

_Pereg._ I am indifferent about accommodations.

_Dan._ Our'n be a comfortable parlour, zur: you'll find it clean:
for I wash'd un down mysen, wringing wet, five minutes ago.

_Pereg._ You have told me so, twenty times.

_Dan._ This be the Red Cow, zur, as you may see by the pictur; and
here be measter--he'll treat ye in a hospital manner, zur, and show
you a deal o' contention.

_Dennis._ I'll be bound, sir, you'll get good entertainment, whether
you are a man or a horse.

_Pereg._ You may lodge me as either, friend. I can sleep as well in
a stable as a bedchamber; for travel has season'd me.--Since I have
preserved this [_Half aside, and pointing to the Trunk under his
Arm_], I can lay my head upon it with tranquility, and repose any
where.

_Dennis._ 'Faith, it seems a mighty decent, hard bolster. What is it
stuff'd with, I wonder?

_Pereg._ That which keeps the miser awake--money.

_Dan._ Wauns! all that money!

_Dennis._ I'd be proud, sir, to know your upholsterer--he should
make me a feather bed gratis of the same pretty materials. If that
was all my own, I'd sleep like a pig, though I'm married to Mrs.
Brulgruddery.

_Pereg._ I shall sleep better, because it is not my own.

_Dennis._ Your own's in a snugger place, then? safe from the sharks
of this dirty world, and be hang'd to 'em!

_Pereg._ Except the purse in my pocket, 'tis, now, I fancy, in a
place most frequented by the sharks of this world.

_Dennis._ London, I suppose?

_Pereg._ The bottom of the sea.

_Dennis._ By my soul, that's a watering place--and you'll find
sharks there, sure enough in all conscience.

     _Enter MRS. BRULGRUDDERY._

_Mrs. Brul._ What would you chuse to take, sir, after your walk this
raw morning? We have any thing you desire.

_Dennis._ Yes, we have any thing. Any thing's nothing, they say.
                                                           [_Aside._

_Mrs. Brul._ Dan, bustle about; and see the room ready, and all
tidy; do you hear?

_Dan._ I wull.

_Mrs. Brul._ What would you like to drink, sir?

_Pereg._ O, mine is an accommodating palate, hostess. I have
swallowed burgundy with the French, hollands with the Dutch, sherbet
with a Turk, sloe juice with an Englishman, and water with a simple
Gentoo.

_Dan._ [_Going._] Dang me, but he's a rum customer! It's my opinion,
he'll take a fancy to our sour beer.          [_Exit into the House_

_Pereg._ Is your house far from the sea-shore?

_Mrs. Brul._ About three miles, sir.

_Pereg._ So!--And I have wandered upon the heath four hours, before
day-break.

_Mrs. Brul._ Lackaday! has any thing happened to you, sir?

_Pereg._ Shipwreck--that's all.

_Mrs. Brul._ Mercy on us! cast away?

_Pereg._ On your coast, here.

_Dennis._ Then, compliment apart, sir, you take a ducking as if you
had been used to it.

_Pereg._ Life's a lottery, friend; and man should make up his mind
to the blanks. On what part of Cornwall am I thrown?

_Mrs. Brul._ We are two miles from Penzance, sir.

_Pereg._ Ha!--from Penzance!--that's lucky!

_Mrs. Brul_ [_Aside to DENNIS._] Lucky!--Then he'll go on, without
drinking at our house.

_Dennis._ A hem!--Sir, there has been a great big thunder storm at
Penzance, and all the beer in the town's as thick as mustard.

_Pereg._ I feel chill'd--get me a glass of brandy.

_Dennis._ Och, the devil! [_Aside._] Bring the brandy bottle for the
jontleman, my jewel.                           [_Aloud to his Wife._

_Mrs. Brul._ [_Apart._] Dont you know you've emptied it, you sot,
you!

_Dennis._ [_Apart._] Draw a mug of beer--I'll palaver him.

_Mrs. Brul._ [_Apart, and going._] Ah! if you would but follow my
advice!                                      [_Exit into the House._

_Dennis._ You see that woman that's gone sir,--she's my wife, poor
soul! She has but one misfortune, and that's a wapper.

_Pereg._ What's that?

_Dennis._ We had as a neat a big bottle of brandy, a week ago--and
damn the drop's left. But I say nothing--she's my wife, poor
creature! and she can tell who drank it. Would'nt you like a sup of
sour--I mean, of our strong beer?

_Pereg._ Pshaw! no matter what. Tell me, is a person of the name of
Thornberry still living in Penzance?

_Dennis._ Is it one Mr. Thornberry you are asking after?

_Pereg._ Yes. When I first saw him (indeed, it was the first time
and the last), he had just begun to adventure humbly in trade. His
stock was very slender, but his neighbours accounted him a kindly
man--and I know they spoke the truth. Thirty years ago, after half
an hour's intercourse, which proved to me his benevolent nature, I
squeezed his hand, and parted.

_Dennis._ Thirty years! 'Faith, after half an hour's dish of talk,
that's a reasonable long time to remember!

_Pereg._ Not at all; for he did me a genuine service; and gratitude
writes the records in the heart, that, till it ceases to beat, they
may live in the memory.

     _Enter MRS. BRULGRUDDERY, with a Mug of Beer._

_Mrs. Brul._ [_Apart to DENNIS._] What have you said about the
brandy bottle?

_Dennis._ [_Apart._] I told him you broke it, one day.

_Mrs. Brul._ [_Apart._] Ah! I am always the shelter for your sins.

_Dennis._ Hush!--[_To PERG._] You know, sir, I--hem!--I mention'd to
you poor Mrs. Brulgruddery's misfortune.

_Pereg._ Ha, ha! you did indeed, friend.

_Mrs. Brul._ I am very sorry, sir, but--

_Dennis._ Be asy, my lambkin! the jontleman excuses it. You are not
the first that has crack'd a bottle, you know.--Here's your beer,
sir. [_Taking it from his Wife._] I'm not of a blushing nation, or
I'd be shame-faced to give it him.--[_Aside._] My jewel, the
jontleman was asking after one Mr. Thornberry.
                                       [_Delaying to give the Beer._

_Mrs. Brul._ What! old Job Thornberry of Penzance, sir?

_Pereg._ The very same. You know him, then?

_Mrs. Brul._ Very well, by hearsay, sir. He has lived there upwards
of thirty years. A very thriving man now, and well to do in the
world;--as others might be, too, if they would but follow my advice.
                                                       [_To DENNIS._

_Pereg._ I rejoice to hear it. Give me the beer, Landlord; I'll
drink his health in humble malt, then hasten to visit him.

_Dennis. [Aside._] By St. Patrick, then, you'll make wry faces on
the road.                                      [_Gives him the mug._

                          [_As PEREGRINE is about to drink, a Shriek
                             is heard at a small Distance._

_Pereg._ Ha! the voice of a female in distress? Then 'tis a man's
business to fly to her protection.
                              [_Dashes the Mug on the Ground. Exit._

_Mrs. Brul._ Wheugh! what a whirligigg! Why, Dennis, the man's mad!

_Dennis._ I think that thing.

_Mrs. Brul._ He has thrown down all the beer, before he tasted a
drop.

_Dennis._ That's it: if he had chuck'd it away afterwards, I
shou'dn't have wonder'd.

_Mrs. Brul._ Here he comes again;--and, I declare, with a young
woman leaning on his shoulder.

_Dennis._ A young woman! let me have a bit of a peep. [_Looking
out._] Och, the crater! Och, the--

_Mrs. Brul._ Heyday! I should'n't have thought of your peeping after
a young woman, indeed!

_Dennis._ Be asy, Mrs. Brulgruddery! it's a way we have in
Ireland.--There's a face!

_Mrs. Brul._ Well, and hav'n't I a face, pray?

_Dennis._ That you have, my lambkin! You have had one these fifty
years, I'll bound for you.

_Mrs. Brul._ Fifty years! you are the greatest brute that ever dug
potatoes.

     _Re-enter PEREGRINE, supporting MARY._

_Pereg._ This way. Cheer your spirits; the ruffian with whom I saw
you struggling, has fled across the Heath; but his speed prevented
my saving your property. Was your money, too, in the parcel with
your clothes?

_Mary._ All I possessed in the world, sir;--and he has so
frighten'd me!--Indeed. I thank you, sir; indeed I do!

_Pereg._ Come, come, compose yourself. Whither are you going, pretty
one?

_Mary._ I must not tell, sir.

_Pereg._ Then whither do you come from?

_Mary._ No body must know, sir.

_Pereg._ Umph! Then your proceedings, child, are a secret?

_Mary._ Yes, sir.

_Pereg._ Yet you appear to need a friend to direct them. A heath is
a rare place to find one: in the absence of a better, confide in me.

_Mary._ You forget that you are a stranger, sir.

_Pereg._ I always do--when the defenceless want my assistance.

_Mary._ But, perhaps you might betray me, sir.

_Pereg._ Never--by the honour of a man!

_Mary._ Pray don't swear by that, sir! for, then, you'll betray me,
I'm certain.

_Pereg._ Have you ever suffered from treachery, then, poor
innocence?

_Mary._ Yes, sir.

_Pereg._ And may not one of your own sex have been treacherous to
you?

_Mary._ No, sir; I'm very sure he was a man.

_Dennis._ Oh, the blackguard!

_Mrs. Brul._ Hold your tongue, do!

_Pereg._ Listen to me, child. I would proffer you friendship, for
your own sake--for the sake of benevolence. When ages, indeed, are
nearly equal, nature is prone to breathe so warmly on the blossoms
of a friendship between the sexes, that the fruit is desire; but
time, fair one, is scattering snow on my temples, while Hebe waves
her freshest ringlets over yours. Rely, then, on one who has
numbered years sufficient to correct his passions; who has
encountered difficulties enough to teach him sympathy; and who would
stretch forth his hand to a wandering female, and shelter her like a
father.

_Mary._ Oh, sir! I do want protection sadly indeed! I am very
miserable!                                               [_Weeping._

_Pereg._ Come, do not droop. The cause of your distress, perhaps, is
trifling; but, light gales of adversity will make women weep. A
woman's tear falls like the dew that zephyrs shake from roses.--Nay,
confide in me.

_Mary._ I will, sir; but----                       [_Looking round._

_Pereg._ Leave us a little, honest friends.

_Dennis._ A hem!--Come, Mrs. Brulgruddery! let you and I pair off,
my lambkin!

_Mrs. Brul._ [_Going._] Ah! she's no better than she should be, I'll
warrant her.

_Dennis._ By the powers, she's well enough though, for all that.
                     [_Exeunt DENNIS and MRS. BRUL. into the House._

_Pereg._ Now, sweet one, your name?

_Mary._ Mary, sir.

_Pereg._ What else?

_Mary._ Don't ask me that, sir: my poor father might be sorry it was
mentioned, now.

_Pereg._ Have you quitted your father, then?

_Mary._ I left his house at day-break, this morning, sir.

_Pereg._ What is he?

_Mary._ A tradesman in the neighbouring town, sir.

_Pereg._ Is he aware of your departure?

_Mary._ No, sir,

_Pereg._ And your mother--?

_Mary._ I was very little, when she died, sir.

_Pereg._ Has your father, since her death, treated you with cruelty?

_Mary._ He? Oh, bless him! no! he is the kindest father that ever
breathed, sir.

_Pereg._ How must such a father be agonized by the loss of his
child!

_Mary._ Pray, sir, don't talk of that!

_Pereg._ Why did you fly from him?

_Mary._ Sir, I----I----but that's my story, sir.

_Pereg._ Relate it, then.

_Mary._ Yes, sir.--You must know, then, sir, that--there was a young
gentleman in this neighbourhood, that--O dear, sir, I'm quite
ashamed!

_Pereg._ Come, child, I will relieve you from the embarrassment of
narration, and sum up your history in one word;--love.

_Mary._ That's the beginning of it, sir; but a great deal happen'd
afterwards.

_Pereg._ And who is the hero of your story, my poor girl?

_Mary._ The hero of----? O, I understand--he is much above me in
fortune, sir. To be sure, I should have thought of that, before he
got such power over my heart, to make me so wretched, now he has
deserted me.

_Pereg._ He would have thought of that, had his own heart been
generous.

_Mary._ He is reckon'd very generous, sir; he can afford to be so.
When the old gentleman dies, he will have all the great family
estate. I am going to the house, now, sir.

_Pereg._ For what purpose?

_Mary._ To try if I can see him for the last time, sir: to tell him
I shall always pray for his happiness, when I am far away from a
place which he has made it misery for me to abide in;--and to beg
him to give me a little supply of money, now I am pennyless, and
from home, to help me to London; where I may get into service, and
nobody will know me.

_Pereg._ And what are his reasons, child, for thus deserting you?

_Mary._ He sent me his reasons, by letter, yesterday, sir. He is to
be married next week, to a lady of high fortune. His father, he
says, insists upon it. I know I am born below him; but after the
oaths we plighted, Heaven knows, the news was a sad, sad shock to
me! I did not close my eyes last night; my poor brain was burning;
and, as soon as day broke, I left the house of my dear father, whom
I should tremble to look at, when he discover'd my story;--which I
could not long conceal from him.

_Pereg._ Poor, lovely, heart-bruised wanderer! O wealthy despoilers
of humble innocence! splendid murderers of virtue; who make your
vice your boast, and fancy female ruin a feather in your caps of
vanity--single out a victim you have abandoned, and, in your hours
of death, contemplate her!--view her, care-worn, friendless,
pennyless;--hear her tale of sorrows, fraught with her remorse,--her
want,--a hard world's scoffs, her parents' anguish;--then, if ye
dare, look inward upon your own bosoms; and if they be not
conscience proof what must be your compunctions!--Who is his father,
child?

_Mary._ Sir Simon Rochdale, sir, of the Manor-house, hard by.

_Pereg._ [_Surprised._] Indeed!

_Mary._ Perhaps you know him, sir?

_Pereg._ I have heard of him;--and, on your account, shall visit
him.

_Mary._ Oh, pray, sir, take care what you do! if you should bring
his son into trouble, by mentioning me, I should never, never
forgive myself.

_Pereg._ Trust to my caution.--Promise only to remain at this house,
till I return from a business which calls me, immediately, two miles
hence; I will hurry back to pursue measures for your welfare, with
more hope of success, than your own weak means, poor simplicity,
are likely to effect. What say you?

_Mary._ I hardly know what to say, sir--you seem good,--and I am
little able to help myself.

_Pereg._ You consent, then?

_Mary._ Yes, sir.

_Pereg._ [_Calling._] Landlord!

     _Enter DENNIS, from the Door of the House--MRS.
     BRULGRUDDERY following._

_Dennis._ Did you call, sir?--Arrah, now, Mrs. Brulgruddery, you are
peeping after the young woman yourself.

_Mrs. Brul._ I chuse it.

_Pereg._ Prepare your room, good folks; and get the best
accommodation you can for this young person.

_Dennis._ That I will, with all my heart and soul, sir.

_Mrs. Brul._ [_Sulkily._] I don't know that we have any room at all,
for my part.

_Dennis._ Whew! She's in her tantrums.

_Mrs. Brul._ People of repute can't let in young women (found upon a
heath, forsooth), without knowing who's who. I have learn'd the ways
of the world, sir.

_Pereg._ So it seems:--which too often teach you to over-rate the
little good you can do in it: and to shut the door when the
distressed entreat you to throw it open. But I have learnt the ways
of the world too. [_Taking out his Purse._] I shall return in a few
hours. Provide all the comforts you can; and here are a couple of
guineas, to send for any refreshments you have not in the house.
                                                    [_Giving Money._

_Dennis._ Mighty pretty handsel for the Red Cow, my lambkin!

_Mrs. Brul._ A couple of guineas! Lord, sir! if I thought you had
been such a gentleman!--Pray, miss, walk in! your poor dear, little
feet must be quite wet with our nasty roads. I beg pardon, sir; but
character's every thing in our business; and I never lose sight of
my own credit.

_Dennis._ That you don't--till you see other people's ready money.

_Pereg._ Go in, child. I shall soon be with you again.

_Mary._ You _will_ return, then, sir?

_Pereg._ Speedily. Rely on me.

_Mary._ I shall, sir;--I am sure I may. Heaven bless you, sir!

_Mrs. Brul._ This way, miss; this way!               [_Courtesying._
                        [_Exeunt MARY and LANDLADY, into the House._

_Dennis._ Long life to your honour, for protecting the petticoats!
sweet creatures! I'd like to protect them myself, by bushels.

_Pereg._ Can you get me a guide, friend, to conduct me to Penzance?

_Dennis._ Get you a guide! There's Dan, my servant, shall skip
before you over the bogs, like a grasshopper. Oh, by the powers! my
heart's full to see your generosity, and I owe you a favour in
return:--never you call for any of my beer, till I get a fresh tap.
                                             [_Exit into the House._

_Pereg._ Now for my friend, Thornberry; then hither again, to
interest myself in the cause of this unfortunate: for which many
would call me Quixote; many would cant out "shame!" but I care not
for the stoics, nor the puritans. Genuine nature and unsophisticated
morality, that turn disgusted from the rooted adepts in vice, have
ever a reclaiming tear to shed on the children of error. Then, let
the sterner virtues, that allow no plea for human frailty, stalk on
to paradise without me! The mild associate of my journey thither
shall be charity:--and my pilgrimage to the shrine of mercy will
not, I trust, be worse performed for having aided the weak, on my
way, who have stumbled in their progress.

     _Enter DAN, from the House._

_Dan._ I be ready, zur.

_Pereg._ For what, friend?

_Dan._ Measter says you be a-going to Penzance; if you be agreeable,
I'll keep you company.

_Pereg._ Oh--the guide. You belong to the house?

_Dan._ Ees, zur; Ise enow to do: I be head waiter and hostler:--only
we never have no horses, nor customers.

_Pereg._ The path I fancy, is difficult to find. Do you never
deviate?

_Dan._ Na, zur,--I always whistles.

_Pereg._ Come on, friend.--It seems a dreary rout: but how cheerily
the eye glances over a sterile tract, when the habitation of a
benefactor, whom we are approaching to requite, lies in the
perspective!                                              [_Exeunt._


       *       *       *       *       *


ACT THE SECOND.

SCENE I.


     _A Library in the House of SIR SIMON ROCHDALE; Books
     scattered on a Writing Table._

     _Enter TOM SHUFFLETON._

_Shuff._ No body up yet? I thought so.

     _Enter SERVANT._

Ah, John, is it you? How d'ye do, John?

_John._ Thank your honour, I----

_Shuff._ Yes, you look so. Sir Simon Rochdale in bed? Mr. Rochdale
not risen? Well! no matter; I have travelled all night, though, to
be with them. How are they?

_John._ Sir, they are both----

_Shuff._ I'm glad to hear it. Pay the postboy for me.

_John._ Yes, sir. I beg pardon, sir; but when your honour last left
us----

_Shuff._ Owed you three pound five. I remember: have you down in my
memorandums--Honourable Tom Shuffleton debtor to---- What's your
name?

_John._ My christian name, sir, is----

_Shuff._ Muggins--I recollect. Pay the postboy, Muggins. And,
harkye, take particular care of the chaise: I borrowed it of my
friend, Bobby Fungus, who sprang up a peer, in the last bundle of
Barons: if a single knob is knocked out of his new coronets, he'll
make me a sharper speech than ever he'll produce in parliament. And,
John!

_John._ Sir!

_Shuff._ What was I going to say?

_John._ Indeed, sir, I can't tell.

_Shuff._ No more can I. 'Tis the fashion to be absent--that's the
way I forgot your little bill. There, run along. [_Exit JOHN._] I've
the whirl of Bobby's chaise in my head still. Cursed fatiguing,
posting all night, through Cornish roads, to obey the summons of
friendship! Convenient, in some respects, for all that. If all
loungers, of slender revenues, like mine, could command a constant
succession of invitations, from men of estates in the country, how
amazingly it would tend to the thinning of Bond Street! [_Throws
himself into a Chair near the Writing Table._] Let me see--what has
Sir Simon been reading?--"Burn's Justice"--true; the old man's
reckoned the ablest magistrate in the county. he hasn't cut open the
leaves, I see. "Chesterfield's Letters"--pooh! his system of
education is extinct: Belcher and the Butcher have superseded it.
"Clarendon's History of----."

     _Enter SIR SIMON ROCHDALE._

_Sir Simon._ Ah, my dear Tom Shuffleton!

_Shuff._ Baronet! how are you?

_Sir Simon._ Such expedition is kind now! You got my letter at Bath,
and----

_Shuff._ Saw it was pressing:--here I am. Cut all my engagements for
you, and came off like a shot.

_Sir Simon._ Thank you: thank you, heartily!

_Shuff._ Left every thing at sixes and sevens.

_Sir Simon._ Gad, I'm sorry if----

_Shuff._ Don't apologize;--nobody does, now. Left all my bills, in
the place, unpaid.

_Sir Simon._ Bless me! I've made it monstrous inconvenient!

_Shuff._ Not a bit--I give you my honour, I did'nt find it
inconvenient at all. How is Frank Rochdale?

_Sir Simon._ Why, my son is'nt up yet; and before he's stirring, do
let me talk to you, my dear Tom Shuffleton! I have something near my
heart, that--

_Shuff._ Don't talk about your heart, Baronet;--feeling's quite out
of fashion.

_Sir Simon._ Well, then, I'm interested in----

_Shuff._ Aye, stick to that. We make a joke of the heart,
now-a-days; but when a man mentions his interest, we know he's in
earnest.

_Sir Simon._ Zounds! I am in earnest. Let me speak, and call my
motives what you will.

_Shuff._ Speak--but don't be in a passion. We are always cool at the
clubs: the constant habit of ruining one another, teaches us temper.
Explain.

_Sir Simon._ Well, I will. You know, my dear Tom, how much I admire
your proficiency in the New school of breeding;--you are, what I
call, one of the highest finished fellows of the present day.

_Shuff._ Psha! Baronet; you flatter.

_Sir Simon._ No, I don't; only in extolling the merits of the newest
fashion'd manners and morals, I am sometimes puzzled, by the plain
gentlemen, who listen to me, here in the country, most consumedly.

_Shuff._ I don't doubt it.

_Sir Simon._ Why, 'twas but t'other morning, I was haranguing old
Sir Noah Starchington, in my library, and explaining to him the
shining qualities of a dasher, of the year eighteen hundred and
three; and what do you think he did?

_Shuff._ Fell asleep.

_Sir Simon._ No; he pull'd down an English dictionary; when (if
you'll believe me! he found my definition of stylish living, under
the word "insolvency;" a fighting crop turn'd out a "dock'd bull
dog;" and modern gallantry, "adultery and seduction."

_Shuff._ Noah Starchington is a damn'd old twaddler.--But the fact
is, Baronet, we improve. We have voted many qualities to be virtues,
now, that they never thought of calling virtues formerly. The rising
generation wants a new dictionary, damnably.

_Sir Simon._ Deplorably, indeed! You can't think, my dear Tom, what
a scurvy figure you, and the dashing fellows of your kidney, make in
the old ones. But you have great influence over my son Frank; and
want you to exert it. You are his intimate--you come here, and pass
two or three months at a time, you know.

_Shuff._ Yes--this is a pleasant house.

_Sir Simon._ You ride his horses, as if they were your own.

_Shuff._ Yes--he keeps a good stable.

_Sir Simon._ You drink our claret with him, till his head aches.

_Shuff._ Your's is famous claret, Baronet.

_Sir Simon._ You worm out his secrets: you win his money; you----.
In short, you are----

_Shuff._ His friend, according to the next new dictionary. That's
what you mean, Sir Simon.

_Sir Simon._ Exactly.--But, let me explain. Frank, if he doesn't
play the fool, and spoil all, is going to be married.

_Shuff._ To how much?

_Sir Simon._ Damn it, now, how like a modern man of the world that
is! Formerly they would have asked to who.

_Shuff._ We never do, now;--fortune's every thing. We say, "a good
match," at the west end of the town, as they say "a good man," in
the city;--the phrase refers merely to money. Is she rich?

_Sir Simon._ Four thousand a-year.

_Shuff._ What a devilish desirable woman! Frank's a happy dog!

_Sir Simon._ He's a miserable puppy. He has no more notion, my dear
Tom, of a modern "good match," than Eve had of pin money.

_Shuff._ What are his objections to it?

_Sir Simon._ I have smoked him; but he doesn't know that;--a silly,
sly amour, in another quarter.

_Shuff._ An amour! That's a very unfashionable reason for declining
matrimony.

_Sir Simon._ You know his romantic flights. The blockhead, I
believe, is so attach'd, I shou'dn't wonder if he flew off at a
tangent, and married the girl that has bewitch'd him.

_Shuff._ Who is she?

_Sir Simon._ She--hem!--she lives with her father, in Penzance.

_Shuff._ And who is he?

_Sir Simon._ He----upon my soul I'm asham'd to tell you.

_Shuff._ Don't be asham'd; we never blush at any thing, in the New
School.

_Sir Simon._ Damn me, my dear Tom, if he isn't a brazier!

_Shuff._ The devil!

_Sir Simon._ A dealer in kitchen candlesticks, coal skuttles,
coppers, and cauldrons.

_Shuff._ And is the girl pretty?

_Sir Simon._ So they tell me;--a plump little devil, as round as a
tea kettle.

_Shuff._ I'll be after the brazier's daughter, to-morrow.

_Sir Simon._ But you have weight with him. Talk to him, my dear
Tom--reason with him; try your power, Tom, do!

_Shuff._ I don't much like plotting with the father against the
son--that's reversing the New School, Baronet.

_Sir Simon._ But it will serve Frank: it will serve me, who wish to
serve you. And to prove that I do wish it, I have been keeping
something in embryo for you, my dear Tom Shuffleton, against your
arrival.

_Shuff._ For me?

_Sir Simon._ When you were last leaving us, if you recollect, you
mention'd, in a kind of a way, a--a sort of an intention of a loan,
of an odd five hundred pounds.

_Shuff._ Did I? I believe I might.--When I intend to raise money, I
always give my friends the preference.

_Sir Simon._ I told you I was out of cash then, I remember.

_Shuff._ Yes: that's just what I told you, I remember.

_Sir Simon._ I have the sum floating by me, now, and much at your
service.                                           [_Presenting it._

_Shuff._ Why, as it's lying idle, Baronet, I--I--don't much care if
I employ it.                                           [_Taking it._

_Sir Simon._ Use your interest with Frank, now.

_Shuff._ Rely on me.--Shall I give you my note?

_Sir Simon._ No, my dear Tom, that's an unnecessary trouble.

_Shuff._ Why that's true--with one who knows me so well as you.

_Sir Simon._ Your verbal promise to pay, is quite as good.

_Shuff._ I'll see if Frank's stirring.                     [_Going._

_Sir Simon._ And I must talk to my steward.                [_Going._

_Shuff._ Baronet!

_Sir Simon._ [_Returning._] Eh?

_Shuff._ Pray, do you employ the phrase, "verbal promise to pay,"
according to the reading of old dictionaries, or as it's the fashion
to use it at present.

_Sir Simon._ Oh, damn it, chuse your own reading, and I'm content.
                                                [_Exeunt severally._



SCENE II.


     _A Dressing Room._

     _FRANK ROCHDALE writing; WILLIAMS attending._

_Frank._ [_Throwing down the Pen._] It don't signify--I cannot
write. I blot, and tear; and tear, and blot; and----. Come here,
Williams. Do let me hear you, once more. Why the devil don't you
come here?

_Williams._ I am here, sir.

_Frank._ Well, well; my good fellow, tell me. You found means to
deliver her the letter yesterday?

_Williams._ Yes, sir.

_Frank._ And, she read it----and----did you say, she--she was very
much affected, when she read it?

_Williams._ I told you last night, sir;--she look'd quite death
struck, as I may say.

_Frank._ [_Much affected._] Did----did she weep, Williams?

_Williams._ No, sir; but I did afterwards--I don't know what ail'd
me; but, when I got out of the house, into the street, I'll be
hang'd if I did'nt cry like a child.

_Frank._ You are an honest fellow, Williams. [_A Knock at the Door
of the Room._] See who is at the door.   [_WILLIAMS opens the Door._

     _Enter JOHN._

_Williams._ Well, what's the matter?

_John._ There's a man in the porter's lodge, says he won't go away
without speaking to Mr. Francis.

_Frank._ See who it is, Williams. Send him to me, if necessary; but
don't let me be teased, without occasion.

_Williams._ I'll take care, sir.        [_Exeunt WILLIAMS and JOHN._

_Frank._ Must I marry this woman, whom my father has chosen for me;
whom I expect here to-morrow? And must I, then, be told 'tis
criminal to love my poor, deserted Mary, because our hearts are
illicitly attach'd? Illicit for the heart? fine phraseology! Nature
disowns the restriction; I cannot smother her dictates with the
polity of governments, and fall in, or out of love, as the law
directs.

     _Enter DENNIS BRULGRUDDERY._

Well, friend, who do you come from?

_Dennis._ I come from the Red Cow, sir.

_Frank._ The Red Cow?

_Dennis._ Yes, sir!--upon Muckslush Heath--hard by your honour's
father's house, here. I'd be proud of your custom, sir, and all the
good looking family's.

_Frank._ [_Impatiently._] Well, well, your business?

_Dennis._ That's what the porter ax'd me, "Tell me your business,
honest man," says he--"I'll see you damn'd first, sir," says
I:--"I'll tell it your betters;--and that's Mr. Francis Rochdale,
Esquire."

_Frank._ Zounds! then, why don't you tell it? I am Mr. Francis
Rochdale.--Who the devil sent you here?

_Dennis._ Troth, sir, it was good nature whisper'd me to come to
your honour: but I believe I've disremembered her directions, for
damn the bit do you seem acquainted with her.

_Frank._ Well, my good friend, I don't mean to be violent; only be
so good as to explain your business.

_Dennis._ Oh, with all the pleasure in life.--Give me good words,
and I'm as aisy as an ould glove: but bite my nose off with mustard,
and have at you with pepper,--that's my way.--There's a little
crature at my house;--she's crying her eyes out;--and she won't get
such another pair at the Red Cow; for I've left nobody with her but
Mrs. Brulgruddery.

_Frank._ With her? with who? Who are you talking off?

_Dennis._ I'd like to know her name myself, sir;--but I have heard
but half of it;--and that's Mary.

_Frank._ Mary!--Can it be she?--Wandering on a heath! seeking refuge
in a wretched hovel!

_Dennis._ A hovel! O fie for shame of yourself, to misbecall a
genteel tavern! I'd have you to know my parlour is clean sanded once
a week.

_Frank._ Tell me, directly--what brought her to your house?

_Dennis._ By my soul, it was Adam's own carriage: a ten-toed machine
the haymakers keep in Ireland.

_Frank._ Damn it, fellow, don't trifle, but tell your story; and, if
you can, intelligibly.

_Dennis._ Don't be bothering my brains, then, or you'll get it as
clear as mud. Sure the young crature can't fly away from the Red
Cow, while I'm explaining to you the rights on't--Didn't she
promise the gentleman to stay till he came back?

_Frank._ Promised a gentleman!--Who?--who is the gentleman?

_Dennis._ Arrah, now, where did you larn manners? Would you ax a
customer his birth, parentage, and education? "Heaven bless you,
sir, you'll come back again?" says she--"That's what I will, before
you can say, parsnips, my darling," says he.

_Frank._ Damnation! what does this mean?--explain your errand,
clearly, you scoundrel, or--

_Dennis._ Scoundrel!--Don't be after affronting a housekeeper.
Havn't I a sign at my door, three pigs, a wife, and a man sarvant?

_Frank._ Well, go on.

_Dennis._ Damn the word more will I tell you.

_Frank._ Why, you infernal----

_Dennis._ Oh, be asy!--see what you get, now, by affronting Mr.
Dennis Brulgruddery. [_Searching his Pockets._] I'd have talk'd for
an hour, if you had kept a civil tongue in your head!--but now, you
may read the letter.                                   [_Giving it._

_Frank._ A letter!--stupid booby!--why didn't you give it to me at
first?--Yes, it is her hand.                    [_Opens the Letter._

_Dennis._ Stupid!--If you're so fond of letters, you might larn to
behave yourself to the postman.

_Frank._ [_Reading and agitated._]--_Not going to upbraid
you--Couldn't rest at my father's--Trifling assistance_--Oh, Heaven!
does she then want assistance?--_The gentleman who has befriended
me_--damnation!--the gentleman!--_Your unhappy Mary._--Scoundrel
that I am!--what is she suffering!--but who, who is this
gentleman?--no matter--she is distress'd, heart breaking! and I, who
have been the cause;--I, who----here----[_Running to a Writing
Table, and opening a Drawer_] Run--fly--despatch!--

_Dennis._ He's mad!

_Frank._ Say, I will be at your house, myself--remember, positively
come, or send, in the course of the day.--In the mean time, take
this, and give it to the person who sent you.

     _Giving a Purse, which he has taken from the Drawer._

_Dennis._ A purse!--'faith, and I'll take it.--Do you know how much
is in the inside?

_Frank._ Psha! no.--No matter.

_Dennis._ Troth, now, if I'd trusted a great big purse to a
stranger, they'd have call'd it a bit of a bull:--but let you and I
count it out between us, [_Pouring the Money on the Table._] for,
damn him, say I, who would cheat a poor girl in distress, of the
value of a rap.--One, two, three, &c.                   [_Counting._

_Frank._ Worthy, honest fellow!

_Dennis._ Eleven, twelve, thirteen--

_Frank._ I'll be the making of your house, my good fellow.

_Dennis._ Damn the Red Cow, sir,--you put me out.--Seventeen,
eighteen, nineteen.--Nineteen fat yellow boys, and a seven shilling
piece.--Tell them yourself, sir; then chalk them up over the
chimney-piece, else you'll forget, you know.

_Frank._ O, friend, when honesty, so palpably natural as yours,
keeps the account, I care not for my arithmetic.--Fly now,--bid the
servants give you any refreshment you chuse; then hasten to execute
your commission.

_Dennis._ Thank your honour!--good luck to you! I'll taste the
beer;--but, by my soul, if the butler comes the Red Cow over me,
I'll tell him, I know sweet from sour.                _Exit DENNIS._

_Frank._ Let me read her letter once more.                 [_Reads._

_I am not going to upbraid you; but after I got your letter, I could
not rest at my father's, where I once knew happiness and
innocence.--I wish'd to have taken a last leave of you, and to beg a
trifling assistance;--but the gentleman who has befriended me in my
wanderings, would not suffer me to do so; yet I could not help
writing, to tell you, I am quitting this neighbourhood for
ever!--That you may never know a moment's sorrow, will always be the
prayer of_
                                        _Your unhappy_
                                                               MARY.

My mind is hell to me! love, sorrow, remorse, and--yes--and
jealousy, all distract me:--and no counsellor to advise with; no
friend to whom I may--

     _Enter TOM SHUFFLETON._

_Frank._ Tom Shuffleton! you never arrived more apropos in your
life.

_Shuff._ That's what the women always say to me. I've rumbled on the
road, all night, Frank. My bones ache, my head's muzzy--and we'll
drink two bottles of claret a-piece, after dinner, to enliven us.

_Frank._ You seem in spirits, Tom, I think, now.

_Shuff._ Yes;--I have had a windfall--Five hundred pounds.

_Frank._ A legacy?

_Shuff._ No.--The patient survives who was sick of his money. 'Tis a
loan from a friend.

_Frank._ 'Twould be a pity, then, Tom, if the patient experienced
improper treatment.

_Shuff._ Why, that's true:--but his case is so rare, that it isn't
well understood, I believe. Curse me, my dear Frank, if the disease
of lending is epidemic.

_Frank._ But the disease of trying to borrow, my dear Tom, I am
afraid, is.

_Shuff._ Very prevalent, indeed, at the west end of the town.

_Frank._ And as dangerous, Tom, as the small-pox. They should
inoculate for it.

_Shuff._ That wouldn't be a bad scheme; but I took it naturally.
Psha! damn it, don't shake your head. Mine's but a mere _façon de
parler_: just as we talk to one another about our coats:--we never
say, "Who's your tailor?" We always ask, "Who suffers?" Your father
tells me you are going to be married; I give you joy.

_Frank._ Joy! I have known nothing but torment, and misery, since
this cursed marriage has been in agitation.

_Shuff._ Umph! Marriage was a weighty affair, formerly; so was a
family coach;--but domestic duties, now, are like town
chariots;--they must be made light, to be fashionable.

_Frank._ Oh, do not trifle. By acceding to this match, in obedience
to my father, I leave to all the pangs of remorse, and disappointed
love, a helpless, humble girl, and rend the fibres of a generous,
but too credulous heart, by cancelling like a villain, the oaths
with which I won it.

_Shuff._ I understand:--A snug thing in the country.--Your wife,
they tell me, will have four thousand a year.

_Frank._ What has that to do with sentiment?

_Shuff._ I don't know what you may think; but, if a man said to me,
plump, "Sir, I am very fond of four thousand a year;" I should
say,--"Sir, I applaud your sentiment very highly."

_Frank._ But how does he act, who offers his hand to one woman, at
the very moment his heart is engaged to another?

_Shuff._ He offers a great sacrifice.

_Frank._ And where is the reparation to the unfortunate he has
deserted?

_Shuff._ An annuity.--A great many unfortunates sport a stylish
carriage, up and down St. James's street, upon such a provision.

_Frank._ An annuity, flowing from the fortune, I suppose, of the
woman I marry! is that delicate?

_Shuff._ 'Tis convenient. We liquidate debts of play, and usury,
from the same resources.

_Frank._ And call a crowd of jews and gentlemen gamesters together,
to be settled with, during the debtor's honeymoon!

_Shuff._ No, damn it, it wouldn't be fair to jumble the jews into
the same room with our gaming acquaintance.

_Frank._ Why so?

_Shuff._ Because, twenty to one, the first half of the creditors
would begin dunning the other.

_Frank._ Nay, far once in your life be serious. Read this, which has
wrung my heart, and repose it, as a secret, in your own.
                                               [_Giving the Letter._

_Shuff._ [_Glancing over it._] A pretty, little, crowquill kind of a
hand.--_"Happiness,--innocence,--trifling assistance--gentleman
befriended me--unhappy Mary."_--Yes, I see--[_Returning it._]--She
wants money, but has got a new friend.--The style's neat, but the
subject isn't original.

_Frank._ Will you serve me at this crisis?

_Shuff._ Certainly.

_Frank._ I wish you to see my poor Mary in the course of the day.
Will you talk to her?

_Shuff._ O yes--I'll talk to her. Where is she to be seen?

_Frank._ She writes, you see, that she has abruptly left her
father--and I learn, by the messenger, that she is now in a
miserable, retired house, on the neighbouring heath.--That mustn't
deter you from going.

_Shuff._ Me? Oh, dear no--I'm used to it. I don't care how retired
the house is.

_Frank._ Come down to my father to breakfast. I will tell you
afterwards all I wish you to execute.--Oh, Tom! this business has
unhinged me for society. Rigid morality, after all, is the best coat
of mail for the conscience.

_Shuff._ Our ancestors, who wore mail, admired it amazingly; but to
mix in the gay world, with their rigid morality, would be as
singular as stalking into a drawing-room in their armour:--for
dissipation is now the fashionable habit, with which, like a brown
coat, a man goes into company, to avoid being stared at.  [_Exeunt._



SCENE III.


     _An Apartment in JOB THORNBERRY'S House._

     _Enter JOB THORNBERRY, in a Night Gown, and BUR._

_Bur._ Don't take on so--don't you, now! pray, listen to reason.

_Job._ I won't.

_Bur._ Pray do!

_Job._ I won't. Reason bid me love my child, and help my
friend:--what's the consequence? my friend has run one way, and
broke up my trade; my daughter has run another, and broke my----No,
she shall never have it to say she broke my heart. If I hang myself
for grief, she shan't know she made me.

_Bur._ Well, but, master--

_Job._ And reason told me to take you into my shop, when the fat
church wardens starved you at the workhouse,--damn their want of
feeling for it!--and you were thump'd about, a poor, unoffending,
ragged-rump'd boy, as you were--I wonder you hav'n't run away from
me too.

_Bur._ That's the first real unkind word you ever said to me. I've
sprinkled your shop two-and-twenty years, and never miss'd a
morning.

_Job._ The bailiffs are below, clearing the goods: you won't have
the trouble any longer.

_Bur._ Trouble! Lookye, old Job Thornberry--

_Job._ Well! What, you are going to be saucy to me, now I'm ruin'd?

_Bur._ Don't say one cutting thing after another.--You have been as
noted, all round our town, for being a kind man, as being a blunt
one.

_Job._ Blunt or sharp, I've been honest. Let them look at my
ledger--they'll find it right. I began upon a little; I made that
little great, by industry; I never cringed to a customer, to get him
into my books, that I might hamper him with an overcharged bill, for
long credit; I earn'd my fair profits; I paid my fair way; I break
by the treachery of a friend, and my first dividend will be
seventeen shillings in the pound. I wish every tradesman in England
may clap his hand on his heart, and say as much, when he asks a
creditor to sign his certificate.

_Bur._ 'Twas I kept your ledger, all the time.

_Job._ I know you did.

_Bur._ From the time you took me out of the workhouse.

_Job._ Psha! rot the workhouse!

_Bur._ You never mention'd it to me yourself till to-day.

_Job._ I said it in a hurry.

_Bur._ And I've always remember'd it at leisure. I don't want to
brag, but I hope I've been found faithful. It's rather hard to tell
poor John Bur, the workhouse boy, after clothing, feeding, and
making him your man of trust, for two and twenty years, that you
wonder he don't run away from you, now you're in trouble.

_Job._ [_Affected._] John--I beg your pardon.
                                         [_Stretching out his Hand._

_Bur._ [_Taking his Hand._] Don't say a word more about it.

_Job._ I--

_Bur._ Pray, now, master, don't say any more!--Come, be a man! get
on your things; and face the bailiffs that are rummaging the goods.

_Job._ I can't, John; I can't. My heart's heavier than all the iron
and brass in my shop.

_Bur._ Nay, consider what confusion!--pluck up a courage; do, now!

_Job._ Well, I'll try.

_Bur._ Aye, that's right: here's your clothes. [_Taking them from
the Back of a Chair._] They'll play the devil with all the pots and
pans, if you aren't by.--Why, I warrant you'll do! Bless you, what
should ail you?

_Job._ Ail me? do you go and get a daughter, John Bur; then let her
run away from you, and you'll know what ails me.

_Bur._ Come, here's your coat and waistcoat. [_Going to help him on
with his Clothes_] This is the waistcoat young mistress work'd with
her own hands, for your birth-day, five years ago. Come, get into
it, as quick as you can.

_Job._ [_Throwing it on the Floor violently._] I'd as lieve get into
my coffin. She'll have me there soon. Psha! rot it! I'm going to
snivel. Bur, go, and get me another.

_Bur._ Are you sure you won't put it on?

_Job._ No, I won't. [_BUR pauses._] No, I tell you.--   [_Exit BUR._

How proud I was of that waistcoat five years ago!--I little thought
what would happen now, when I sat in it, at the top of my table,
with all my neighbours to celebrate the day;--there was Collop on
one side of me, and his wife on the other; and my daughter Mary sat
at the farther end;--smiling so sweetly;--like an artful, good for
nothing----I shou'dn't like to throw away a waistcoat neither.--I
may as well put it on.--Yes--it would be poor spite not to put it
on. [_Putting his Arms into it._]--She's breaking my heart; but,
I'll wear it, I'll wear it. [_Buttoning it as he speaks, and crying
involuntarily._] It's my child's--She's undutiful,--ungrateful,
--barbarous,--but she's my child,--and she'll never work me another.

     _Enter BUR._

_Bur._ Here's another waistcoat, but it has laid by so long, I think
it's damp.

_Job._ I was thinking so myself, Bur; and so----

_Bur._ Eh--what, you've got on the old one? Well, now, I declare,
I'm glad of that. Here's your coat. [_Putting it on him._]--'Sbobs!
this waistcoat feels a little damp, about the top of the bosom.

_Job._ [_Confused._] Never mind, Bur, never mind.--A little water
has dropt on it; but it won't give me cold, I believe.
                                                 [_A noise without._

_Bur._ Heigh! they are playing up old Harry below! I'll run, and see
what's the matter. Make haste after me, do, now!        [_Exit BUR._

_Job._ I don't care for the bankruptcy now. I can face my creditors,
like an honest man; and I can crawl to my grave, afterwards, as poor
as a church-mouse. What does it signify? Job Thornberry has no
reason now to wish himself worth a groat:--the old ironmonger and
brazier has nobody to board his money for now! I was only saving for
my daughter; and she has run away from her doating, foolish
father,--and struck down my heart--flat--flat.--

     _Enter PEREGRINE._

Well, who are you?

_Pereg._ A friend.

_Job._ Then, I'm sorry to see you. I have just been ruin'd by a
friend; and never wish to have another friend again, as long as I
live.--No, nor any ungrateful, undutiful--Poh!--I don't recollect
your face.

_Pereg._ Climate, and years, have been at work on it. While
Europeans are scorching under an Indian sun, Time is doubly busy in
fanning their features with his wings. But, do you remember no trace
of me?

_Job._ No, I tell you. If you have any thing to say, say it. I have
something to settle below with my daughter--I mean, with the people
in the shop;--they are impatient; and the morning has half run away,
before she knew I should be up--I mean, before I have had time to
get on my coat and waistcoat, she gave me--I mean--I mean, if you
have any business, tell it, at once.

_Pereg._ I _will_ tell it at once. You seem agitated. The harpies,
whom I pass'd in your shop, inform'd me of your sudden misfortune,
but do not despair yet.

_Job._ Aye, I'm going to be a bankrupt--but that don't signify. Go
on: it isn't that;--they'll find all fair;--but, go on.

_Pereg._ I will. 'Tis just thirty years ago, since I left England.

_Job._ That's a little after the time I set up in the hardware
business.

_Pereg._ About that time, a lad of fifteen years entered your shop:
he had the appearance of a gentleman's son; and told you he had
heard, by accident, as he was wandering through the streets of
Penzance, some of your neighbours speak of Job Thornberry's goodness
to persons in distress.

_Job._ I believe he told a lie there.

_Pereg._ Not in that instance, though he did in another.

_Job._ I remember him. He was a fine, bluff, boy!

_Pereg._ He had lost his parents, he said; and, destitute of
friends, money, and food, was making his way to the next port, to
offer himself to any vessel that would take him on board, that he
might work his way abroad, and seek a livelihood.

_Job._ Yes, yes; he did. I remember it.

_Pereg._ You may remember, too, when the boy had finished his tale
of distress, you put ten guineas in his hand. They were the first
earnings of your trade, you told him, and could not be laid out to
better advantage than in relieving a helpless orphan;--and, giving
him a letter of recommendation to a sea captain at Falmouth, you
wished him good spirits, and prosperity. He left you with a promise,
that, if fortune ever smil'd upon him, you should, one day, hear
news of Peregrine.

_Job._ Ah, poor fellow! poor Peregrine! he was a pretty boy. I
should like to hear news of him, I own.

_Pereg._ I am that Peregrine.

_Job._ Eh? what--you are--? No: let me look at you again. Are you
the pretty boy, that------bless us, how you are alter'd!

_Pereg._ I have endur'd many hardships since I saw you; many turns
of fortune;--but I deceived you (it was the cunning of a truant lad)
when I told you I had lost my parents. From a romantic folly, the
growth of boyish brains, I had fix'd my fancy on being a sailor, and
had run away from my father.

_Job._ [_With great Emotion._] Run away from your father! If I had
known that, I'd have horse-whipp'd you, within an inch of your life!

_Pereg._ Had you known it, you had done right, perhaps.

_Job._ Right? Ah! you don't know what it is for a child to run away
from a father! Rot me, if I wou'dn't have sent you back to him,
tied, neck and heels, in the basket of the stage coach.

_Pereg._ I have had my compunctions;--have express'd them by letter
to my father: but I fear my penitence had no effect.

_Job._ Served you right.

_Pereg._ Having no answers from him, he died, I fear, without
forgiving me.                                            [_Sighing._

_Job._ [_Starting._] What! died! without forgiving his child!--Come,
that's too much. I cou'dn't have done that, neither.--But, go on: I
hope you've been prosperous. But you shou'dn't--you shou'dn't have
quitted your father.

_Pereg._ I acknowledge it;--yet, I have seen prosperity; though I
traversed many countries, on my outset, in pain and poverty. Chance,
at length, raised me a friend in India; by whose interest, and my
own industry, I amass'd considerable wealth, in the Factory at
Calcutta.

_Job._ And have just landed it, I suppose, in England.

_Pereg._ I landed one hundred pounds, last night, in my purse, as I
swam from the Indiaman, which was splitting on a rock, half a league
from the neighbouring shore. As for the rest of my property--bills,
bonds, cash, jewels--the whole amount of my toil and application,
are, by this time, I doubt not, gone to the bottom; and Peregrine is
returned, after thirty years, to pay his debt to you, almost as poor
as he left you.

_Job._ I won't touch a penny of your hundred pounds--not a penny.

_Pereg._ I do not desire you: I only desire you to take your own.

_Job._ My own?

_Pereg._ Yes; I plunged with this box, last night, into the waves.
You see, it has your name on it.

_Job._ "Job Thornberry," sure enough. And what's in it?

_Pereg._ The harvest of a kind man's charity!--the produce of your
bounty to one, whom you thought an orphan. I have traded, these
twenty years, on ten guineas (which, from the first, I had set apart
as yours), till they have become ten thousand: take it; it could
not, I find, come more opportunely. Your honest heart gratified
itself in administering to my need; and I experience that burst of
pleasure, a grateful man enjoys, in relieving my reliever.
                                              [_Giving him the Box._

_Job._ [_Squeezes PEREGRINE'S Hand, returns the Box, and seems
almost unable to utter._] Take it again.

_Pereg._ Why do you reject it?

_Job._ I'll tell you, as soon as I'm able. T'other day, I lent a
friend----Pshaw, rot it! I'm an old fool! [_Wiping his Eyes._]--I
lent a friend, t'other day, the whole profits of my trade, to save
him from sinking. He walk'd off with them, and made me a bankrupt.
Don't you think he is a rascal?

_Pereg._ Decidedly so.

_Job._ And what should I be, if I took all you have saved in the
world, and left you to shift for yourself?

_Pereg._ But the case is different. This money is, in fact, your
own. I am inur'd to hardships; better able to bear them, and am
younger than you. Perhaps, too, I still have prospects of----

_Job._ I won't take it. I'm as thankful to you, as if I left you to
starve: but I won't take it.

_Pereg._ Remember, too, you have claims upon you, which I have not.
My guide, as I came hither, said, you had married in my absence:
'tis true, he told me you were now a widower; but, it seems, you
have a daughter to provide for.

_Job._ I have no daughter to provide for now!

_Pereg._ Then he misinform'd me.

_Job._ No, he didn't. I had one last night; but she's gone.

_Pereg._ Gone!

_Job._ Yes; gone to sea, for what I know, as you did. Run away from
a good father, as you did.--This is a morning to remember;--my
daughter has run out, and the bailiffs have run in;--I shan't soon
forget the day of the month.

_Pereg._ This morning, did you say?

_Job._ Aye, before day-break;--a hard-hearted, base----

_Pereg._ And could she leave you, during the derangement of your
affairs?

_Job._ She did'nt know what was going to happen, poor soul! I wish
she had now. I don't think my Mary would have left her old father in
the midst of his misfortunes.

_Pereg._ [_Aside._] Mary! it must be she! What is the amount of the
demands upon you?

_Job._ Six thousand. But I don't mind that: the goods can nearly
cover it--let 'em take 'em--damn the gridirons and warming-pans!--I
could begin again--but, now, my Mary's gone, I hav'n't the heart;
but I shall hit upon something.

_Pereg._ Let me make a proposal to you, my old friend. Permit me to
settle with the officers, and to clear all demands upon you. Make it
a debt, if you please. I will have a hold, if it must be so, on your
future profits in trade; but do this, and I promise to restore your
daughter to you.

_Job._ What? bring back my child! Do you know where she is? Is she
safe? Is she far off? Is----

_Pereg._ Will you receive the money?

_Job._ Yes, yes; on those terms--on those conditions. But where is
Mary?

_Pereg._ Patience. I must not tell you yet; but, in four-and-twenty
hours, I pledge myself to bring her back to you.

_Job._ What, here? to her father's house? and safe? Oh, 'sbud! when
I see her safe, what a thundering passion I'll be in with her! But
you are not deceiving me? You know, the first time you came into my
shop, what a bouncer you told me, when you were a boy.

_Pereg._ Believe me, I would not trifle with you now. Come, come
down to your shop, that we may rid it of its present visitants.

_Job._ I believe you dropt from the clouds, all on a sudden, to
comfort an old, broken-hearted brazier.

_Pereg._ I rejoice, my honest friend, that I arrived at so critical
a juncture; and, if the hand of Providence be in it, 'tis because
Heaven ordains, that benevolent actions, like yours, sooner or
later, must ever meet their recompense.                   [_Exeunt._


       *       *       *       *       *


ACT THE THIRD.

SCENE I.


     _SIR SIMON ROCHDALE'S Library._

     _Enter SIR SIMON ROCHDALE and the EARL OF FITZ BALAAM._

_Sir Simon._ Believe me, my lord, the man I wish'd most to meet in
my library this morning, was the Earl of Fitz Balaam.

_Lord Fitz._ Thank you, Sir Simon.

_Sir Simon._ Your arrival, a day before your promise, gives us such
convenient leisure to talk over the arrangements, relative to the
marriage of Lady Caroline Braymore, your lordship's daughter, with
my son.

_Lord Fitz._ True, Sir Simon.

_Sir Simon._ Then, while Lady Caroline is at her toilet, we'll dash
into business at once; for I know your lordship is a man of few
words. They tell me, my lord, you have sat in the Upper House, and
said nothing but aye and no, there, for these thirty years.

_Lord Fitz._ I spoke, for more than a minute, in the year of the
influenza.

_Sir Simon._ Bless me! the epidemic, perhaps, raging among the
members, at the moment.

_Lord Fitz._ Yes;--they cough'd so loud, I left off in the middle.

_Sir Simon._ And you never attempted again.

_Lord Fitz._ I hate to talk much, Sir Simon;--'tis my way; though
several don't like it.

_Sir Simon._ I do. I consider it as a mark of your lordship's
discretion. The less you say, my lord, in my mind, the wiser you
are; and I have often thought it a pity, that some noble orators
hav'n't follow'd your lordship's example.--But, here are the
writings. [_Sitting down with LORD FITZ BALAAM, and taking them
from the Table._] We must wave ceremony now, my lord; for all this
pile of parchment is built on the independent four thousand a year
of your daughter, Lady Caroline, on one hand, and your lordship's
incumbrances, on the other.

_Lord Fitz._ I have saddles on my property, Sir Simon.

_Sir. Simon._ Which saddles, your lordship's property being
uncommonly small, look something like sixteen stone upon a poney.
The Fitz Balaam estate, for an earl, is deplorably narrow.

_Lord Fitz._ Yet, it has given security for a large debt.

_Sir Simon._ Large, indeed! I can't think how you have contriv'd it.
'Tis the Archbishop of Brobdignag, squeez'd into Tom Thumb's
pantaloons.

_Lord Fitz._ Mine is the oldest estate in England, Sir Simon.

_Sir Simon._ If we may judge of age by decay, my lord, it must be
very ancient, indeed!--But this goes to something in the shape of
supplies. [_Untying the Papers._] "Covenant between Augustus Julius
Braymore, Earl of Fitz Balaam, of Cullender Castle, in the county of
Cumberland, and Simon Rochdale, Baronet, of Hollyhock House, in the
county of Cornwall."----By the by, my lord, considering what an
expense attends that castle, which is at your own disposal, and
that, if the auctioneer don't soon knock it down, the weather will,
I wonder what has prevented your lordship's bringing it to the
hammer.

_Lord Fitz._ The dignity of my ancestors. I have blood in my family,
Sir Simon----                                            [_Proudly._

_Sir Simon._ A deal of excellent blood, my lord; but from the butler
down to the house-dog, curse me if ever I saw so little flesh in a
family before--But by this covenant----

_Lord Fitz._ You clear off the largest mortgage.

_Sir Simon._ Right;--for which purpose, on the day of the young
folks' marriage----

_Lord Fitz._ You must pay me forty thousand pounds.

_Sir Simon._ Right, again. Your lordship says little; but 'tis
terribly plump to the point, indeed, my lord. Here is the
covenant;--and, now, will your lordship look over the marriage
articles?

_Lord Fitz._ My attorney will be here to-morrow, Sir Simon. I prefer
reading by deputy.                                     [_Both rise._

_Sir Simon._ Many people of rank read in the same way, my lord. And
your lordship will receive the forty thousand pounds, I am to pay
you, by deputy also, I suppose.

_Lord Fitz._ I seldom swear, Sir Simon; but, damn me if I will.

_Sir Simon._ I believe you are right. Yet there are but two reasons
for not trusting an attorney with your money:--one is, when you
don't know him very well; and the other is, when you do.--And now,
since the marriage is concluded, as I may say, in the families, may
I take the liberty to ask, my lord, what sort of a wife my son
Frank may expect in Lady Caroline? Frank is rather of a grave,
domestic turn: Lady Caroline, it seems, has passed the three last
winters in London. Did her ladyship enter into _all_ the spirit of
the first circles?

_Lord Fitz._ She was as gay as a lark, Sir Simon.

_Sir Simon._ Was she like the lark in her hours, my lord?

_Lord Fitz._ A great deal more like the owl, Sir Simon.

_Sir Simon._ I thought so. Frank's mornings in London will begin
where her ladyship's nights finish. But his case won't be very
singular. Many couples make the marriage bed a kind of cold
matrimonial well; and the two family buckets dip into it
alternately.

     _Enter LADY CAROLINE BRAYMORE._

_Lady Car._ Do I interrupt business?

_Sir Simon._ Not in the least. Pray, Lady Caroline, come in. His
lordship and I have just concluded.

_Lord Fitz._ And I must go and walk my three miles, this morning.

_Sir Simon._ Must you, my lord?

_Lord Fitz._ My physician prescribed it, when I told him I was apt
to be dull, after dinner.

_Sir Simon._ I would attend your lordship;--but since Lady Caroline
favours me with--

_Lady Car._ No, no--don't mind me. I assure you, I had much rather
you would go.

_Sir Simon._ Had you?--hum!--but the petticoats have their new
school of good breeding, too, they tell me. [_Aside._] Well, we are
gone--we have been glancing over the writings, Lady Caroline, that
form the basis of my son's happiness:--though his lordship isn't
much inclined to read.

_Lady Car._ But I am.--I came here to study very deeply, before
dinner.

_Sir Simon._ What, would your ladyship, then, wish to--
                                            [_Showing the Writings._

_Lady Car._ To read that? My dear Sir Simon! all that Hebrew, upon
parchment as thick as a board!--I came to see if you had any of the
last novels in your book room.

_Sir Simon._ The last novels!--most of the female new school are
ghost bitten, they tell me. [_Aside._] There's Fielding's Works; and
you'll find Tom Jones, you know.

_Lady Car._ Psha! that's such a hack!

_Sir Simon._ A hack, Lady Caroline, that the knowing ones have
warranted sound.

_Lady Car._ But what do you think of those that have had such a run
lately?

_Sir Simon._ Why, I think most of them have run too much, and want
firing.
                          [_Exeunt SIR SIMON, and LORD FITZ BALAAM._

_Lady Car._ I shall die of ennui, in this moping manor house!--Shall
I read to-day?--no, I'll walk.--No, I'll----Yes, I'll read first,
and walk afterwards. [_Rings the Bell, and takes a
Book._]--Pope.--Come, as there are no novels, this may be tolerable.
This is the most triste house I ever saw!    [_Sits down and reads._

    "In these deep solitudes, and awful cells,
    Where heavenly-pensive--"

     _Enter ROBERT._


_Rob._ Did you ring, my lady?

_Lady Car._ ----"Contemplation dwells--" Sir? Oh, yes;--I should
like to walk. Is it damp under foot, sir?--"And ever musing--"

_Rob._ There has been a good deal of rain to-day my lady.

_Lady Car._ "Melancholy reigns--"

_Rob._ My lady--

_Lady Car._ Pray, sir, look out, and bring me word if it is clean
or dirty.

_Rob._ Yes, my lady.                                        [_Exit._

_Lady Car._ This settling a marriage is a strange business!--"What
means this tumult in a vestal's veins?--"

_Shuff._ [_Without._] Bid the groom lead the horse into the avenue,
and I'll come to him.

_Lady Car._ Company in the house?--some Cornish squire, I suppose.
                                             [_Resumes her reading._

     _Enter TOM SHUFFLETON, speaking while entering, JOHN
     following._

_Lady Car._ [_Still reading, and seated with her Back to
SHUFFLETON._]----"Soon as thy letters, trembling, I unclose----"

_John._ What horse will you have saddled, sir?

_Shuff._ Slyboots.                                     [_Exit JOHN._

_Lady Car._ ----"That well known name awakens all my woes--"

_Shuff._ Lady Caroline Braymore!

_Lady Car._ Mr. Shuffleton! Lard! what can bring you into Cornwall?

_Shuff._ Sympathy:--which has generally brought me near your
ladyship, in London at least, for these three winters.

_Lady Car._ Psha! but seriously?

_Shuff._ I was summoned by friendship. I am consulted on all
essential points, in this family;--and Frank Rochdale is going to be
married.

_Lady Car._ Then, you know to whom?

_Shuff._ No;--not thinking that an essential point, I forgot to ask.
He kneels at the pedestal of a rich shrine, and I didn't inquire
about the statue. But, dear Lady Caroline, what has brought you into
Cornwall?

_Lady Car._ Me? I'm the statue.

_Shuff._ You!

_Lady Car._ Yes; I've walk'd off my pedestal, to be worshipp'd at
the Land's End.

_Shuff._ You to be married to Frank Rochdale! O, Lady Caroline! what
then is to become of _me_?

_Lady Car._ Oh, Mr. Shuffleton! not thinking that an essential
point, I forgot to ask.

_Shuff._ Psha! now you're laughing at me! but upon my soul, I shall
turn traitor; take advantage of the confidence reposed in me, by my
friend, and endeavour to supplant him.

_Lady Car._ What do you think the world would call such duplicity of
conduct?

     _Enter ROBERT._

_Rob._ Very dirty, indeed, my lady.                         [_Exit._

_Shuff._ That infernal footman has been listening!--I'll kick him
round his master's park.

_Lady Car._ 'Tis lucky, then, you are booted; for, you hear, he says
it is very dirty there.

_Shuff._ Was that the meaning of----Pooh!--but, you see, the--the
surprise--the--the agitation has made me ridiculous.

_Lady Car._ I see something has made you ridiculous; but you never
told me what it was before.

_Shuff._ Lady Caroline; this is a crisis, that--my attentions,--that
is, the----In short, the world, you know, my dear Lady Caroline, has
given me to you.

_Lady Car._ Why, what a shabby world it is!

_Shuff._ How so?

_Lady Car._ To make me a present of something, it sets no value on
itself.

_Shuff._ I flattered myself I might not be altogether invaluable to
your ladyship.

_Lady Car._ To me! Now, I can't conceive any use I could make of
you. No, positively, you are neither useful nor ornamental.

_Shuff._ Yet, you were never at an opera, without me at your
elbow;--never in Kensington Gardens, that my horse--the crop, by
the bye, given me by Lord Collarbone,--wasn't constantly in leading
at the gate:--hav'n't you danc'd with me at every ball?--And hav'nt
I, unkind, forgetful, Lady Caroline, even cut the Newmarket
meetings, when you were in London?

_Lady Car._ Bless me!--these charges are brought in like a bill. "To
attending your ladyship at such a time; to dancing down twenty
couple with your ladyship, at another,"--and, pray, to what do they
all amount?

_Shuff._ The fullest declaration.

_Lady Car._ Lard, Mr. Shuffleton! why, it has, to be sure, looked
a--a--a little foolish--but you--you never spoke any thing
to----that is--to justify such a----

_Shuff._ That's as much as to say, speak now. [_Aside._]--To be
plain, Lady Caroline, my friend does not know your value. He has an
excellent heart--but that heart is--[_Coughs._] damn the word, it's
so out of fashion, it chokes me! [_Aside._] is irrevocably given to
another.--But mine--by this sweet hand, I swear----
                                   [_Kneeling and kissing her Hand._

     _Enter JOHN._

Well, sir?--                                      [_Rising hastily._

_John._ Slyboots, sir, has been down on his knees;--and the groom
says he can't go out.

_Shuff._ Let him saddle another.

_John._ What horse, sir, will you----

_Shuff._ Psha!--any.--What do you call Mr. Rochdale's favourite,
now.

_John._ Traitor, sir.

_Shuff._ When Traitor's in the avenue, I shall be there.
                                                       [_Exit JOHN._

_Lady Car._ Answer me one question, candidly, and, perhaps, I may
entrust you with a secret.--Is Mr. Rochdale seriously attached?

_Shuff._ Very seriously.

_Lady Car._ Then I won't marry him.

_Shuff._ That's spirited.--Now, your secret.

_Lady Car._ Why--perhaps you may have heard, that my father, Lord
Fitz Balaam, is, somehow, so--so much in debt, that--but, no matter.

_Shuff._ Oh, not at all;--the case is fashionable, with both lords
and commoners.

_Lady Car._ But an old maiden aunt, whom, rest her soul! I never
saw, for family pride's sake, bequeathed me an independence. To
obviate his lordship's difficulties, I mean to--to marry into this
humdrum Cornish family.

_Shuff._ I see--a sacrifice!--filial piety, and all that--to
disembarrass his lordship. But hadn't your ladyship better--

_Lady Car._ Marry to disembarrass you?

_Shuff._ By my honour, I'm disinterested.

_Lady Car._ By my honour, I'm monstrously piqued--and so vex'd, that
I can't read this morning,--nor talk,--nor----I'll walk.

_Shuff._ Shall I attend you?

_Lady Car._ No;--don't fidget at my elbow, as you do at the opera.
But you shall tell me more of this by and by.

_Shuff._ When?--Where?                           [_Taking her Hand._

_Lady Car._ Don't torment me.--This evening, or--to-morrow,
perhaps;--in the park,--or----psha! we shall meet at dinner.--Do,
let me go now, for I shall be very bad company.

_Shuff._ [_Kissing her Hand._] Adieu, Lady Caroline!--

_Lady Car._ Adieu!                                          [_Exit._

_Shuff._ My friend Frank, here, I think, is very much obliged to
me!--I am putting matters pretty well _en train_ to disencumber him
of a wife;--and now I'll canter over the heath, and see what I can
do for him with the brazier's daughter.                     [_Exit._



SCENE II.


     _A mean Parlour at the Red Cow._

     _A Table--Pen, Ink, and Paper on it.--Chairs._

     _MARY and MRS. BRULGRUDDERY discovered._

_Mrs. Brul._ Aye, he might have been there, and back, over and over
again;--but my husband's slow enough in his motions, as I tell him,
till I'm tir'd on't.

_Mary._ I hope he'll be here soon.

_Mrs. Brul._ Ods, my little heart! Miss, why so impatient? Hav'n't
you as genteel a parlour as any lady in the land could wish to sit
down in?--The bed's turn'd up in a chest of drawers that's stain'd
to look like mahogany:--there's two poets, and a poll parrot, the
best images the jew had on his head, over the mantlepiece; and was I
to leave you all alone by yourself, isn't there an eight day clock
in the corner, that when one's waiting, lonesome like, for any body,
keeps going tick-tack, and is quite company?

_Mary._ Indeed, I did not mean to complain.

_Mrs. Brul._ Complain?--No, I think not, indeed!--When, besides
having a handsome house over your head, the strange gentleman has
left two guineas--though one seems light, and t'other looks a little
brummish--to be laid out for you, as I see occasion. I don't say it
for the lucre of any thing I'm to make out of the money, but, I'm
sure you can't want to eat yet.

_Mary._ Not if it gives any trouble;--but I was up before sunrise,
and have tasted nothing to-day.

_Mrs. Brul._ Eh! why, bless me, young woman! ar'n't you well?

_Mary._ I feel very faint.

_Mrs. Brul._ Aye, this is a faintish time o'year; but I must give
you a little something, I suppose:--I'll open the window, and give
you a little air.          [_DENNIS BRULGRUDDERY, singing, without._

    _They handed the whiskey about,_
      _'Till it smoked thro' the jaws of the piper;_
    _The bride got a fine copper snout,_
      _And the clergyman's pimples grew riper._
          _Whack doodlety bob,_
            _Sing pip._

_Mary._ There's your husband!

_Mrs. Brul._ There's a hog;--for he's as drunk as one, I know, by
his beastly bawling.

     _Enter DENNIS BRULGRUDDERY, singing._

          _Whack doodlety bob,_
            _Sing pip._

_Mrs. Brul._ "Sing pip," indeed! sing sot! and that's to your old
tune.

_Mary._ Hav'n't you got an answer?

_Mrs. Brul._ Hav'n't you got drunk?

_Dennis._ Be aisy, and you'll see what I've got in a minute.
                                  [_Pulls a Bottle from his Pocket._

_Mrs. Brul._ What's that?

_Dennis._ Good Madeira, it was, when the butler at the big house
gave it me. It jolts so over the heath, if I hadn't held it to my
mouth, I'd have wasted half. [_Puts it on the Table._]--There, Miss,
I brought it for you; and I'll get a glass from the cupboard, and a
plate for this paper of sweet cakes, that the gentlefolks eat, after
dinner in the desert.

_Mary._ But, tell me if--

_Dennis._ [_Running to the Cupboard._] Eat and drink, my jewel; and
my discourse shall serve for the seasoning. Drink now, my pretty
one! [_Fills a Glass._] for you have had nothing, I'll be
bound.--Och, by the powers! I know the ways of ould mother
Brulgruddery.

_Mrs. Brul._ Old mother Brulgruddery!

_Dennis._ Don't mind her;--take your prog;--she'd starve a saint.

_Mrs. Brul._ I starve a saint!

_Dennis._ Let him stop at the Red Cow, as plump as a porker, and
you'd send him away, in a week, like a weasel.--Bite maccaroony, my
darling!                              [_Offering the Plate to MARY._

_Mary._ I thank you.

_Dennis._ 'Faith, no merit of mine; 'twas the butler that stole
it:--take some. [_Lets the Plate fall._] Slips by St. Patrick!

_Mrs. Brul._ [_Screaming._] Our best china plate broke all to
shivers!

_Dennis._ Delf, you deceiver; delf. The cat's dining dish, rivetted.

_Mary._ Pray now, let me hear your news.

_Dennis._ That I will.--Mrs. Brulgruddery, I take the small liberty
of begging you to get out, my lambkin.

_Mrs. Brul._ I shan't budge an inch. She needn't be asham'd of any
thing that's to be told, if she's what she should be.

_Mary._ I know what I should be, if I were in your place.

_Mrs. Brul._ Marry come up! And what should you be then?

_Mary._ More compassionate to one of my own sex, or to any one in
misfortune. Had you come to me, almost broken hearted, and not
looking like one quite abandoned to wickedness, I should have
thought on your misery, and forgot that it might have been brought
on by your faults.

_Dennis._ At her, my little crature! By my soul, she'll bother the
ould one!--'Faith, the Madeira has done her a deal of service!

_Mrs. Brul._ What's to be said, is said before _me_; and that's
flat.

_Mary._ Do tell it, then, [_To DENNIS._] but, for others' sakes,
don't mention names. I wish to hide nothing now, on my own account;
though the money that was put down for me, before you would afford
me shelter, I thought might have given me a little more title to
hear a private message.

_Mrs. Brul._ I've a character, for virtue, to lose, young woman.

_Dennis._ When that's gone, you'll get another--that's of a damn'd
impertinent landlady. Sure, she has a right to her parlour; and
hav'n't I brought her cash enough to swallow up the Red Cow's rent
for these two years?

_Mrs. Brul._ Have you!--Well, though the young lady misunderstands
me, it's always my endeavour to be respectful to gentlefolks.

_Dennis._ Och, botheration to the respect that's bought, by knocking
one shilling against another, at an inn! Let the heart keep open
house, I say; and if charity is not seated inside of it, like a
beautiful barmaid, it's all a humbug to stick up the sign of the
christian.

_Mrs. Brul._ I'm sure Miss shall have any thing she likes, poor dear
thing! There's one chicken--

_Dennis._ A chicken!--Fie on your double barbarity! Would you murder
the tough dunghill cock, to choke a customer?--A certain person,
that shall be nameless, will come to you in the course of this day,
either by himself, or by friend, or by handwriting.

_Mary._ And not one word--not one, by letter, now?

_Dennis._ Be asey--won't he be here soon? In the mean time, here's
nineteen guineas, and a seven shilling piece, as a bit of a
postscript.

_Mrs. Brul._ Nineteen guineas and----

_Dennis._ Hold your gab, woman.--Count them, darling!--
                [_Putting them on the Table--MARY counts the Money._

_Mrs. Brul._ [_Drawing DENNIS aside._] What have you done with the
rest?

_Dennis._ The rest!

_Mrs. Brul._ Why, have you given her all?

_Dennis._ I'll tell you what, Mrs. Brulgruddery; it's my notion, in
summing up your last accounts, that, when you begin to dot, ould
Nick will carry one; and that's yourself, my lambkin.

_Shuff._ [_Without._] Holo? Red Cow!

_Dennis._ You are call'd, Mrs. Brulgruddery.

_Mrs. Brul._ I, you Irish bear!--Go, and [_Looking towards the
window._]--Jimminy! a traveller on horseback! and the handsomest
gentleman I ever saw in my life.                        [_Runs out._

_Mary._ Oh, then it must be he!

_Dennis._ No, 'faith, it isn't the young squire.

_Mary._ [_Mournfully._] No!

_Dennis._ There--he's got off the outside of his horse: it's that
flashy spark I saw crossing the court yard, at the big house.--Here
he is.

     _Enter TOM SHUFFLETON._

_Shuff._ [_Looking at MARY._] Devilish good-looking girl, upon my
soul! [_Sees DENNIS._] Who's that fellow?

_Dennis._ Welcome to Muckslush Heath, sir.

_Shuff._ Pray, sir, have you any business, here?

_Dennis._ Very little this last week, your honour.

_Shuff._ O, the landlord. Leave the room.

_Dennis._ [_Aside._] Manners! but he's my customer. If he don't
behave himself to the young cratur, I'll bounce in, and thump him
blue.                                                       [_Exit._

_Shuff._ [_Looking at MARY._] Shy, but stylish--much elegance, and
no brass: the most extraordinary article that ever belonged to a
brazier.--[_Addressing her._] Don't be alarmed, my dear. Perhaps you
didn't expect a stranger?

_Mary._ No, sir.

_Shuff._ But you expected somebody, I believe, didn't you?

_Mary._ Yes, sir.

_Shuff._ I come from him: here are my credentials. Read that, my
dear little girl, and you'll see how far I am authorized.
                                              [_Gives her a Letter._

_Mary._ 'Tis his hand.                [_Kissing the Superscription._

_Shuff._ [_As she is opening the Letter._] Fine blue eyes, faith,
and very like my Fanny's. Yes, I see how it will end;--she'll be the
fifteenth Mrs. Shuffleton.

_Mary._ [Reading.] _When the conflicts of my mind have subsided, and
opportunity will permit, I will write to you fully. My friend is
instructed from me to make every arrangement for your welfare. With
heartfelt grief I add, family circumstances have torn me from you
for ever!----_
                      [_Drops the Letter, and is falling, SHUFFLETON
                          supports her._

_Shuff._ Ha! damn it, this looks like earnest! They do it very
differently in London.

_Mary._ [_Recovering._] I beg pardon, sir--I expected this; but
I----I----                                     [_Bursts into Tears._

_Shuff._ [_Aside._] O, come, we are getting into the old train;
after the shower, it will clear.--My dear girl, don't flurry
yourself;--these are things of course, you know. To be sure, you
must feel a little resentment at first, but----

_Mary._ Resentment! When I am never, never to see him again!
Morning and night, my voice will be raised to Heaven, in anguish,
for his prosperity!--And tell him,--pray, sir, tell him, I think the
many, many bitter tears I shall shed, will atone for my faults; then
you know, as it isn't himself, but his station, that sunders us, if
news should reach him that I have died, it can't bring any trouble
to his conscience.

_Shuff._ Mr. Rochdale, my love, you'll find will be very handsome.

_Mary._ I always found him so, sir.

_Shuff._ He has sent you a hundred pound bank note [_Giving it to
her._] till matters can be arranged, just to set you a-going.

_Mary._ I was going, sir, out of this country, for ever. Sure he
couldn't think it necessary to send me this, for fear I should
trouble him!

_Shuff._ Pshaw! my love, you mistake: the intention is to give you a
settlement.

_Mary._ I intended to get one for myself, sir.

_Shuff._ Did you?

_Mary._ Yes, sir, in London. I shall take a place in the coach
to-morrow morning; and I hope the people of the inn where it puts
up, at the end of the journey, will have the charity to recommend me
to an honest service.

_Shuff._ Service? Nonsense! You----you must think differently. I'll
put you into a situation in town.

_Mary._ Will you be so humane, sir?

_Shuff._ Should you like Marybone parish, my love?

_Mary._ All parishes are the same to me, now I must quit my own,
sir.

_Shuff._ I'll write a line for you, to a lady in that quarter,
and--Oh, here's pen and ink. [_Writes, and talks as he is writing._]
I shall be in London myself, in about ten days, and then I'll visit
you, to see how you go on.

_Mary._ O sir! you are, indeed a friend!

_Shuff._ I mean to be your friend, my love. There, [_Giving her the
Letter._] Mrs. Brown, Howland-Street; an old acquaintance of mine; a
very goodnatured, discreet, elderly lady, I assure you.

_Mary._ You are very good, sir, but I shall be ashamed to look such
a discreet person in the face, if she hears my story.

_Shuff._ No, you needn't;--she has a large stock of charity for the
indiscretions of others, believe me.

_Mary._ I don't know how to thank you, sir. The unfortunate must
look up to such a lady, sure, as a mother.

_Shuff._ She has acquired that appellation.----You'll be very
comfortable;--and, when I arrive in town, I'll--

     _Enter PEREGRINE._

Who have we here?--Oh!--ha!--ha!--This must be the gentleman she
mentioned to Frank in her letter.--rather an ancient ami.  [_Aside._

_Pereg._ So! I suspected this might be the case. [_Aside._] You are
Mr. Rochdale, I presume sir?

_Shuff._ Yes, sir, you do presume;--but I am not Mr. Rochdale.

_Pereg._ I beg your pardon, sir, for mistaking you for so bad a
person.

_Shuff._ Mr. Rochdale, sir, is my intimate friend. If you mean to
recommend yourself in this quarter, [_Pointing to Mary._] good
breeding will suggest to you, that it mustn't be done by abusing
him, before me.

_Pereg._ I have not acquired that sort of good breeding, sir, which
isn't founded on good sense;--and when I call the betrayer of female
innocence a bad character, the term, I think, is too true to be
abusive.

_Shuff._ 'Tis a pity, then, you hav'n't been taught a little better,
what is due to polished society.

_Pereg._ I am always willing to improve.

_Shuff._ I hope, sir, you won't urge me to become your instructor.

_Pereg._ You are unequal to the task: if you quarrel with me in the
cause of a seducer, you are unfit to teach me the duties of a
citizen.

_Shuff._ You may make, sir, a very good citizen; but, curse me, if
you'll do for the west end of the town.

_Pereg._ I make no distinctions in the ends of towns, sir:--the ends
of integrity are always uniform: and 'tis only where those ends are
most promoted, that the inhabitants of a town, let them live east or
west, most preponderate in rational estimation.

_Shuff._ Pray, sir, are you a methodist preacher, in want of a
congregation?

_Pereg._ Perhaps I'm a quack doctor, in want of a Jack
Pudding.--Will you engage with me?

_Shuff._ Damn me if this is to be borne.--Sir, the correction I must
give you, will--

_Pereg._ [_With Coolness._] Desist, young man, in time, or you may
repent your petulance.

_Mary._ [_Coming between them._] Oh, gentlemen! pray, pray don't--I
am so frightened! Indeed, sir, you mistake. [_To PEREGRINE._] This
gentleman has been so good to me!         [_Pointing to SHUFFLETON._

_Pereg._ Prove it, child, and I shall honour him.

_Mary._ Indeed, indeed he has.--Pray, pray don't quarrel! when two
such generous people meet, it would be a sad pity. See, sir, [_To
PEREGRINE._] he has recommended me to a place in London;--here's the
letter to the good lady, an elderly lady, in Marybone parish! and so
kind, sir, every body, that knows her, calls her mother.

_Pereg._ [_Looking at the superscription._] Infamous! sit down, and
compose yourself, my love;--the gentleman and I shall soon come to
an understanding. One word, sir: [_Mary sits at the back of the
Scene, the Men advance._] I have lived long in India;--but the
flies, who gad thither, buzz in our ears, till we learn what they
have blown upon in England. I have heard of the wretch, in whose
house you meant to place that unfortunate.

_Shuff._ Well! and you meant to place her in snugger lodgings, I
suppose?

_Pereg._ I mean to place her where----

_Shuff._ No, my dear fellow, you don't;----unless you answer it to
me.

_Pereg._ I understand you.--In an hour, then, I shall be at the
Manor-house, whence I suppose, you come. Here we are both unarmed;
and there is one waiting at the door, who, perhaps, might interrupt
us.

_Shuff._ Who is he?

_Pereg._ Her father;--her agonized father;----to whose entreaties I
have yielded; and brought him here, prematurely.--He is a
tradesman;--beneath your notice:--a vulgar brazier;--but he has some
sort of feeling for his child! whom, now your friend has lured her
to the precipice of despair, you would hurry down the gulf of
infamy.--For your own convenience, sir, I would advise you to avoid
him.

_Shuff._ Your advice, now, begins to be a little sensible; and if
you turn out a gentleman, though I suspect you to be one of the
brazier's company, I shall talk to you at Sir Simon's.      [_Exit._

_Mary._ Is the gentleman gone, sir?

_Pereg._ Let him go, child; and be thankful that you have escaped
from a villain.

_Mary._ A villain, sir!

_Pereg._ The basest; for nothing can be baser than manly strength,
in the specious form of protection, injuring an unhappy woman. When
we should be props to the lily in the storm, 'tis damnable to spring
up like vigorous weeds, and twine about the drooping flower, till
we destroy it.

_Mary._ Then, where are friends to be found, sir? He seemed honest;
so do you; but, perhaps, you may be as bad.

_Pereg._ Do not trust me. I have brought you a friend, child, in
whom, Nature tells us, we ever should confide.

_Mary._ What, here, sir?

_Pereg._ Yes;--when he hurts you, he must wound himself;--and so
suspicious is the human heart become, from the treachery of society,
that it wants that security. I will send him to you.        [_Exit._

_Mary._ Who can he mean? I know nobody but Mr. Rochdale, that, I
think, would come to me. For my poor dear father, when he knows all
my crime, will abandon me, as I deserve.

     _Enter JOB THORNBERRY, at the Door PEREGRINE has gone out at._

_Job._ Mary! [_MARY shrieks and falls, her Father runs to her._] My
dear Mary!--Speak to me!

_Mary._ [_Recovering._] Don't look kindly on me, my dear father!
Leave me; I left you:--but I was almost mad.

_Job._ I'll never leave you, till I drop down dead by your side. How
could you run away from me, Mary? [_She shrieks._] Come, come, kiss
me, and we'll talk of that another time.

_Mary._ You hav'n't heard half the story, or I'm sure you'd never
forgive me.

_Job._ Never mind the story now, Mary;--'tis a true story that
you're my child, and that's enough for the present. I hear you have
met with a rascal. I hav'n't been told who, yet. Some folks don't
always forgive; braziers do. Kiss me again, and we'll talk on't by
and by. But, why would you run away, Mary?

_Mary._ I could'nt stay and be deceitful; and it has often cut me
to the heart, to see you show me that affection, which I knew I
didn't deserve.

_Job._ Ah! you jade! I ought to be angry; but I can't. Look
here--don't you remember this waistcoat? you worked it for me, you
know.

_Mary._ I know I did.                                [_Kissing him._

_Job._ I had a hard struggle to put it on, this morning; but I
squeezed myself into it, a few hours after you ran away.--If I could
do that, you might have told me the worst, without much fear of my
anger. How have they behaved to you, Mary?

_Mary._ The landlord is very humane, but the landlady------

_Job._ Cruel to you? I'll blow her up like gunpowder in a copper. We
must stay here to-night;--for there's Peregrine, that king of good
fellows, we must stay here till he comes back, from a little way
off, he says.

_Mary._ He that brought you here?

_Job._ Ay, he. I don't know what he intends--but I trust all to
him;--and when he returns, we'll have such a merry-making! Hollo!
house! Oh, damn it, I'll be good to the landlord; but I'll play hell
with his wife! Come with me, and let us call about us a bit.
Hollo!--house! Come, Mary! odsbobs, I'm so happy to have you again!
House!--Come, Mary,                                       [_Exeunt._


       *       *       *       *       *


ACT THE FOURTH.


SCENE I.


     _The Outside of the Red Cow._

     _DENNIS BRULGRUDDERY before the Door._

_Dennis._ I've stretched my neck half a yard longer, looking out
after that rapscallion, Dan. Och! and is it yourself I see, at last?
There he comes, in a snail's trot, with a basket behind him, like a
stage coach.

     _Enter DAN, with a Basket at his Back._

Dan, you devil! aren't you a beast of a waiter?

_Dan._ What for?

_Dennis._ To stay out so, the first day of company.

_Dan._ Come, that be a good un! I ha' waited for the company a week,
and I defy you to say I ever left the house till they comed.

_Dennis._ Well, and that's true. Pacify me with a good reason, and
you'll find me a dutiful master. Arrah, Dan, what's that hump grown
out at your back, on the road?

_Dan._ Plenty o' meat and drink. I ha'n't had such a hump o' late,
at my stomach.                     [_Puts the Basket on the Ground._

_Dennis._ And who harnessed you, Dan, with all that kitchen stuff?

_Dan._ He as ware rack'd, and took I wi' un to Penzance, for a
companion. He order'd I, as I said things were a little famish'd
like, here, to buy this for the young woman, and the old man he ha'
brought back wi' un.

_Dennis._ Then you have been gabbling your ill looking stories
about my larder, you stone eater!

_Dan._ Larder! I told un you had three live pigs as ware dying.

_Dennis._ Oh fie! Think you, won't any master discharge a man
sarvant that shames him? Thank your luck, I can't blush. But is the
old fellow, our customer has brought, his intimate friend, he never
saw but once, thirty years ago?

_Dan._ Ees; that be old Job Thornberry, the brazier; and, as sure as
you stand there, when we got to his shop, they were going to make
him a banker.

_Dennis._ A banker! I never saw one made. How do they do it?

_Dan._ Why, the bum baileys do come into his house, and claw away
all his goods and furniture.

_Dennis._ By the powers, but that's one way of setting a man going
in business!

_Dan._ When we got into the shop, there they were, as grum as
thunder.--You ha' seen a bum bailey?

_Dennis._ I'm not curious that way. I might have seen one, once or
twice; but I was walking mighty fast, and had no time to look behind
me.

_Dan._ My companion--our customer--he went up stairs, and I bided
below;--and then they began a knocking about the goods and
chapels.--That ware no business o' mine.

_Dennis._ Sure it was not.

_Dan._ Na, for sartin; so I ax'd 'em what they were a doing;--and
they told I, wi' a broad grin, taking an invention of the
misfortunate man's defects.

_Dennis._ Choke their grinning! The law of the land's a good doctor;
but, bad luck to those that gorge upon such a fine physician's poor
patients! Sure, we know, now and then, it's mighty wholesome to
bleed; but nobody falls in love with the leech.

_Dan._ They comed down stairs--our customer and the brazier; and
the head baily he began a bullocking at the old man, in my mind,
just as one christian shou'dn't do to another. I had nothing to do
wi' that.

_Dennis._ Damn the bit.

_Dan._ No, nothing at all; and so my blood began to rise. He made
the poor old man almost fit to cry.

_Dennis._ That wasn't your concern, you know.

_Dan._ Bless you, mun! 'twould ha' look'd busy like, in me, to say a
word; so I took up a warming pan, and I bang'd bum bailey, wi' the
broad end on't, 'till he fell o' the floor as fat as twopence.

_Dennis._ Oh, hubaboo! lodge in my heart, and I'll never ax you for
rent--you're a friend in need. Remember, I've a warmingpan--you know
where it hangs, and that's enough.

_Dan._ They had like to ha' warm'd I, finely, I do know. I ware nigh
being haul'd to prison; 'cause, as well as I could make out their
cant, it do seem I had rescued myself, and broke a statue.

_Dennis._ Och, the Philistines!

_Dan._ But our traveller--I do think he be the devil--he settled all
in a jiffy; for he paid the old man's debts, and the bailey's broken
head ware chuck'd into the bargain.

_Dennis._ And what did he pay?

_Dan._ Guess now.

_Dennis._ A hundred pounds?

_Dan._ Six thousand, by gum!

_Dennis._ What! on the nail?

_Dan._ Na; on the counter.

_Dennis._ Whew!--six thousand pou----! Oh, by the powers, this man
must be the philosopher's stone! Dan----

_Dan._ Hush! here he be.

     _Enter PEREGRINE, from the House._

_Per._ [_To DAN._] So, friend, you have brought provision, I
perceive.

_Dan._ Ees, sir;--three boil'd fowls, three roast, two chicken
pies, and a capon.

_Per._ You have considered abundance, more than variety. And the
wine?

_Dan._ A dozen o' capital red port, sir: I ax'd for the newest they
had i' the cellar.

_Dennis._ [_To himself._] Six thousand pounds upon a counter!

_Per._ [_To DAN._] Carry the hamper in doors; then return to me
instantly. You must accompany me in another excursion.

_Dan._ What, now?

_Per._ Yes; to Sir Simon Rochdale's. You are not tired, my honest
fellow?

_Dan._ Na, not a walking wi' you;--but, dang me, when you die, if
all the shoemakers shouldn't go into mourning.
                             [_DAN takes the Hamper into the House._

_Dennis._ [_Ruminating._] Six thousand pounds! by St. Patrick, it's
a sum!

_Per._ How many miles from here to the Manor house?

_Dennis._ Six thousand!

_Per._ Six thousand!--yards you mean, I suppose, friend.

_Dennis._ Sir!--Eh? Yes, sir, I--I mean yards--all upon a counter!

_Per._ Six thousand yards upon a counter! Mine host, here, seems a
little bewildered;--but he has been anxious, I find, for poor Mary,
and 'tis national in him to blend eccentricity with kindness. John
Bull exhibits a plain, undecorated dish of solid benevolence; but
Pat has a gay garnish of whim around his good nature; and if, now
and then, 'tis sprinkled in a little confusion, they must have
vitiated stomachs, who are not pleased with the embellishment.

     _Enter DAN, booted._

_Dan._ Now, sir, you and I'll stump it.

_Per._ Is the way we are to go now, so much worse, that you have
cased yourself in those boots?

_Dan._ Quite clean--that's why I put 'em on: I should ha' dirted 'em
in t' other job.

_Per._ Set forward, then.

_Dan._ Na, sir, axing your pardon; I be but the guide, and 'tisn't
for I to go first.

_Per._ Ha! ha! Then we must march abreast, boy, like lusty soldiers,
and I shall be side by side with honesty: 'tis the best way of
travelling through life's journey, and why not over a heath? Come,
my lad.

_Dan._ Cheek by jowl, by gum!           [_Exeunt PEREGRINE and DAN._

_Dennis._ That walking philosopher--perhaps he'll give me a big bag
of money. Then, to be sure, I won't lay out some of it to make me
easy for life: for I'll settle a separate maintenance upon ould
mother Brulgruddery.

     _JOB THORNBERRY peeps out of the Door of the Public House._

_Job._ Landlord!

_Dennis._ Coming, your honour.

_Job._ [_Coming forward._] Hush! don't bawl;--Mary has fallen
asleep. You have behaved like an emperor to her, she says. Give me
your hand, landlord.

_Dennis._ Behaved!--Arrah, now, get away with your blarney.
                                               [_Refusing his Hand._

_Job._ Well, let it alone. I'm an old fool, perhaps; but, as you
comforted my poor girl in her trouble, I thought a squeeze from her
father's hand--as much as to say, "Thank you, for my child."--might
not have come amiss to you.

_Dennis._ And is it yourself who are that creature's father?

_Job._ Her mother said so, and I always believed her. You have heard
some'at of what has happen'd, I suppose. It's all over our town, I
take it, by this time. Scandal is an ugly, trumpeting devil. Let
'em talk;--a man loses little by parting with a herd of neighbours,
who are busiest in publishing his family misfortunes; for they are
just the sort of cattle who would never stir over the threshold to
prevent 'em.

_Dennis._ Troth, and that's true;--and some will only sarve you,
because you're convenient to 'em, for the time present; just as my
customers come to the Red Cow.

_Job._ I'll come to the Red Cow, hail, rain, or shine, to help the
house, as long as you are Landlord. Though I must say that your
wife----

_Dennis._ [_Putting his Hand before JOB'S Mouth._] Decency!
Remember your own honour, and my feelings. I mustn't hear any thing
bad, you know, of Mrs. Brulgruddery; and you'll say nothing good of
her, without telling damn'd lies; so be asy.

_Job._ Well, I've done;--but we mustn't be speaking ill of all the
world, neither: there are always some sound hearts to be found among
the hollow ones. Now he that is just gone over the heath----

_Dennis._ What, the walking philosopher?

_Job._ I don't know any thing of his philosophy; but, if I live
these thousand years, I shall never forget his goodness. Then,
there's another;--I was thinking, just now, if I had tried him, I
might have found a friend in my need, this morning.

_Dennis._ Who is he?

_Job._ A monstrous good young man; and as modest and affable, as if
he had been bred up a 'prentice, instead of a gentleman.

_Dennis._ And what's his name?

_Job._ Oh, every body knows him, in this neighbourhood; he lives
hard by--Mr. Francis Rochdale, the young 'squire, at the
Manor-house.

_Dennis._ Mr. Francis Rochdale!

_Job._ Yes!--he's as condescending! and took quite a friendship for
me, and mine. He told me, t'other day, he'd recommend me in trade to
all the great families twenty miles round;--and said he'd do, I
don't know what all, for my Mary.

_Dennis._ He did!--Well, 'faith, you may'nt know what; but, by my
soul, he has kept his word!

_Job._ Kept his word!--What do you mean?

_Dennis._ Harkye--If Scandal is blowing about your little fireside
accident, 'twas Mr. Francis Rochdale recommended him to your shop,
to buy his brass trumpet.

_Job._ Eh! What? no!--yes--I see it at once!--young Rochdale's a
rascal!--Mary!                                           [_Bawling._

_Dennis._ Hush--you'll wake her, you know.

_Job._ I intend it. I'll--a glossy, oily, smooth rascal!--warming me
in his favour, like an unwholesome February sun! shining upon my
poor cottage, and drawing forth my child,--my tender blossom,--to
suffer blight, and mildew!--Mary! I'll go directly to the
Manor-house--his father's in the commission.--I may'nt find justice,
but I shall find a justice of peace.

_Dennis._ Fie, now! and can't you listen to reason?

_Job._ Reason!----tell me a reason why a father shouldn't be almost
mad, when his patron has ruin'd his child.--Damn his
protection!--tell me a reason why a man of birth's seducing my
daughter doesn't almost double the rascality? yes, double it: for my
fine gentleman, at the very time he is laying his plans to make her
infamous, would think himself disgraced in making her the honest
reparation she might find from one of her equals.

_Dennis._ Arrah, be asy, now, Mr. Thornberry.

_Job._ And, this spark, forsooth, is now canvassing the
county!--but, if I don't give him his own at the hustings!--How dare
a man set himself up for a guardian of his neighbour's rights, who
has robbed his neighbour of his dearest comforts? How dare a
seducer come into freeholders' houses, and have the impudence to
say, send me up to London as your representative? Mary!  [_Calling._

_Dennis._ That's all very true.--But if the voters are under
petticoat government, he has a mighty good chance of his election.

     _Enter MARY._

_Mary._ Did you call, my dear father?

_Job._ Yes, I did call.                             [_Passionately._

_Dennis._ Don't you frighten that poor young crature!

_Mary._ Oh, dear! what has happened?--You are angry; very angry. I
hope it isn't with me!--if it is, I have no reason to complain.

_Job._ [_Softened, and folding her in his Arms._] My poor, dear
child! I forgive you twenty times more, now, than I did before.

_Mary._ Do you, my dear father?

_Job._ Yes; for there's twenty times more excuse for you, when rank
and education have helped a scoundrel to dazzle you. Come!
                                                 [_Taking her Hand._

_Mary._ Come! where?

_Job._ [_Impatiently._] To the Manor-house with me, directly.

_Mary._ To the Manor-house! Oh, my dear father, think of what you
are doing! think of me!

_Job._ Of you!--I think of nothing else. I'll see you righted. Don't
be terrified, child--damn it, you know I doat on you: but we are all
equals in the eye of the law; and rot me, if I won't make a
baronet's son shake in his shoes, for betraying a brazier's
daughter. Come, love, come!                   _Exeunt JOB and MARY._

_Dennis._ There'll be a big boderation at the Manor-house! My
customers are all gone, that I was to entertain:--nobody's left but
my lambkin, who don't entertain me: Sir Simon's butler gives good
Madeira:--so, I'm off, after the rest; and the Red Cow and mother
Brulgruddery may take care of one another.                  [_Exit._



SCENE II.


     _Enter FRANK ROCHDALE._

_Frank._ Shuffleton's intelligence astonishes me!--So soon to throw
herself into the arms of another!----and what could effect, even if
time for perseverance had favoured him, such a person's success with
her!

     _Enter SIR SIMON ROCHDALE._

_Sir Simon._ Why, Frank! I thought you were walking with Lady
Caroline.

_Frank._ No, sir.

_Sir Simon._ Ha! I wish you would learn some of the gallantries of
the present day from your friend, Tom Shuffleton:--but from being
careless of coming up to the fashion, damn it, you go beyond it? for
you neglect a woman three days before marriage, as much as half the
Tom Shuffletons three months after it.

_Frank._ As by entering into this marriage, sir, I shall perform the
duties of a son, I hope you will do me the justice to suppose I
shall not be basely negligent as a husband,

_Sir Simon._ Frank, you're a fool; and----

     _Enter a SERVANT._

Well, sir?

_Serv._ A person, Sir Simon, says he wishes to see you on very
urgent business.

_Sir Simon._ And I have very urgent business, just now, with my
steward. Who is the person? How did he come?

_Serv._ On foot, Sir Simon.

_Sir Simon._ Oh, let him wait.                      [_Exit SERVANT._

At all events, I can't see this person for these two hours.--I wish
you would see him for me.

_Frank._ Certainly, sir,--any thing is refuge to me, now, from the
subject of matrimony.                           [_Aside, and going._

_Sir Simon._ But a word before you go. Damn it, my dear lad, why
can't you perceive I am labouring this marriage for your good? We
shall ennoble the Rochdales:--for, though my father,--your
grandfather,--did some service in elections (_that_ made him a
baronet), amassed property, and bought lands, and so on, yet, your
great grandfather--Come here----your great grandfather was a miller.
                                                 [_Half whispering._

_Frank._ [_Smiling._] I shall not respect his memory less, sir, for
knowing his occupation.

_Sir Simon._ But the world will, you blockhead: and, for your sake,
for the sake of our posterity, I would cross the cart breed, as much
as possible, by blood.

_Frank._ Is that of consequence, sir?

_Sir Simon._ Isn't it the common policy? and the necessities of your
boasters of pedigree produce a thousand intermarriages with people
of no pedigree at all;--till, at last, we so jumble a genealogy,
that, if the devil himself would pluck knowledge from the family
tree, he could hardly find out the original fruit.
                                                [_Exeunt severally._

     _Enter TOM SHUFFLETON, from the Park, following LADY CAROLINE
     BRAYMORE._

_Shuff._  "The time is come for Iphigene to find,
          "The miracle she wrought upon my mind;"

_Lady Car._ Don't talk to me.

_Shuff._  "For, now, by love, by force she shall be mine,
          "Or death, if force should fail, shall finish my design."

_Lady Car._ I wish you would finish your nonsense.

_Shuff._ Nonsense:--'tis poetry; somebody told me 'twas written by
Dryden.

_Lady Car._ Perhaps so;----but all poetry is nonsense.

_Shuff._ Hear me, then, in prose.

_Lady Car._ Psha!--that's worse.

_Shuff._ Then I must express my meaning in pantomime. Shall I ogle
you?

_Lady Car._ You are a teasing wretch;--I have subjected myself, I
find, to very ill treatment, in this petty family;--and begin to
perceive I am a very weak woman.

_Shuff._ [_Aside._] Pretty well for that matter.

_Lady Car._ To find myself absolutely avoided by the gentleman I
meant to honour with my hand,--so pointedly neglected!----

_Shuff._ I must confess it looks a little like a complete cut.

_Lady Car._ And what you told me of the low attachment that----

_Shuff._ Nay, my dear Lady Caroline, don't say that I told you more
than----

_Lady Car._ I won't have it denied:--and I'm sure 'tis all true. See
here--here's an odious parchment Lord Fitz Balaam put into my hand
in the park.--A marriage license, I think he calls it--but if I
don't scatter it in a thousand pieces----

_Shuff._ [_Preventing her._] Softly, my dear Lady Caroline; that's a
license of marriage, you know. The names are inserted of
course.--Some of them may be rubbed a little in the carriage; but
they may be filled up at pleasure, you know.----Frank's my
friend,----and if he has been negligent, I say nothing; but the
parson of the parish is as blind as a beetle.

_Lady Car._ Now, don't you think, Mr. Shuffleton, I am a very ill
used person?

_Shuff._ I feel inwardly for you, Lady Caroline; but my friend makes
the subject delicate. Let us change it. Did you observe the steeple
upon the hill, at the end of the park pales?

_Lady Car._ Psha?--No.

_Shuff._ It belongs to one of the prettiest little village churches
you ever saw in your life. Let me show you the inside of the church,
Lady Caroline.

_Lady Car._ I am almost afraid: for, if I should make a rash vow
there, what is to become of my Lord Fitz Balaam?

_Shuff._ Oh, that's true; I had forgot his lordship:--but as the
exigencies of the times demand it, let us hurry the question through
the Commons, and when it has passed, with such strong independent
interest on our sides, it will hardly be thrown out by the Peerage.
                                                          [_Exeunt._



SCENE III.


     _Another Apartment in SIR SIMON ROCHDALE'S House._

     _Enter PEREGRINE._

_Pereg._ Sir Simon does not hurry himself; but 'tis a custom with
the great, to make the little, and the unknown, dance attendance.
When I left Cornwall, as a boy, this house, I remember, was tenanted
by strangers, and the Rochdales inhabited another on the estate,
seven miles off.--I have lived to see some changes in the family,
and may live, perhaps, to see more.

     _Enter FRANK ROCHDALE._

_Frank._ You expected, I believe, Sir Simon Rochdale, sir;--but he
will be occupied with particular business, for some time. Can I
receive your commands, sir?

_Pereg._ Are you Sir Simon Rochdale's son, sir?

_Frank._ I am.

_Pereg._ It was my wish, sir, to have seen your father. I come
unintroduced, and scurvily enough accoutred; but, as I have urgent
matters to communicate, and have suffered shipwreck, upon your
coast, this morning, business will excuse my obtrusion, and the sea
must apologize for my wardrobe.

_Frank._ Shipwreck! That calamity is a sufficient introduction to
every roof, I trust, in a civilized country. What can we do
immediately to serve you?

_Pereg._ Nothing, sir--I am here to perform service, not to require
it. I come from a wretched hut on the heath, within the ken of this
affluent mansion, where I have witnessed calamity in the extreme.

_Frank._ I do not understand you.

_Pereg._ Mary!--

_Frank._ Ha.!--Now you _have_ made me understand you. I perceive,
now, on what object you have presented yourself here, to harangue.
'Tis a subject on which my own remorse would have taught me to bend
to a just man's castigation; but the reproof retorts on the
reprover, when he is known to be a hypocrite. My friend, sir, has
taught me to know you.

_Pereg._ He, whom I encountered at the house on the heath?

_Frank._ The same.

_Pereg._ And what may he have taught you?

_Frank._ To discover, that your aim is to torture me, for
relinquishing a beloved object, whom you are, at this moment,
attaching to yourself;--to know, that a diabolical disposition, for
which I cannot account, prompts you to come here, without the
probability of benefiting any party, to injure me, and throw a
whole family into confusion, on the eve of a marriage. But, in
tearing myself from the poor, wronged, Mary, I almost tear my very
heart by its fibres from the seat;----but 'tis a sacrifice to a
father's repose; and--

_Pereg._ Hold, sir! When you betrayed the poor, wronged, Mary, how
came you to forget, that every father's repose may be broken for
ever by his child's conduct?

_Frank._ By my honour! by my soul! it was my intention to have
placed her far, far above the reach of want; but you, my hollow
monitor, are frustrating that intention. You, who come here to
preach virtue, are tempting her to be a confirmed votary of vice,
whom I in penitence would rescue, as the victim of unguarded
sensibility.

_Pereg._ Are you, then, jealous of me?

_Frank._ Jealous!

_Pereg._ Aye: if so, I can give you ease. Return with me, to the
injured innocent on the heath: marry her, and I will give her away.

_Frank._ Marry her! I am bound in honour to another.

_Pereg._ Modern honour is a coercive argument; but when you have
seduced virtue, whose injuries you will not solidly repair, you must
be slightly bound in old-fashion'd honesty.

_Frank._ I------I know not what to say to you. Your manner almost
awes me; and there is a mystery in----

_Pereg._ I am mysterious, sir. I may have other business, perhaps,
with your father; and, I will tell you, the very fate of your family
may hang on my conference with him. Come, come, Mr. Rochdale, bring
me to Sir Simon.

_Frank._ My father cannot be seen yet. Will you, for a short time,
remain in my apartment?

_Pereg._ Willingly;--and depend on this, sir--I have seen enough of
the world's weakness, to forgive the casual faults of youthful
indiscretion;--but I have a detestation for systematic vice; and
though, as a general censor, my lash may be feeble, circumstances
have put a scourge in my hand, which may fall heavily on this
family, should any of its branches force me to wield it.--I attend
you.                                                      [_Exeunt._


       *       *       *       *       *


ACT THE FIFTH.


SCENE I.


     _A Hall in the Manor-house._

     _Voices wrangling without._

_Job._ I will see Sir Simon.

_Simon._ You can't see Sir Simon, &c. &c. &c.

     _Enter JOB THORNBERRY, MARY, and SIMON._

_Job._ Don't tell me;--I come upon justice business.

_Simon._ Sir Simon be a gentleman justice.

_Job._ If the justice allows all his servants to be as saucy as you,
I can't say much for the gentleman.

_Simon._ But these ben't his hours.

_Job._ Hours for justice! I thought one of the blessings of an
Englishman, was to find justice at any time.

_Mary._ Pray don't be so----

_Job._ Hold your tongue, child. What _are_ his hours?

_Simon._ Why, from twelve to two.

_Job._ Two hours out of four and twenty! I hope all that belong to
law, are a little quicker than his worship; if not, when a case
wants immediate remedy, it's just eleven to one against us. Don't
you know me?

_Simon._ Na.

_Job._ I'm sure I have seen you in Penzance.

_Simon._ My wife has got a chandler's shop there.

_Job._ Haven't you heard we've a fire engine in the church?

_Simon._ What o' that?

_Job._ Suppose your wife's shop was in flames, and all her bacon and
farthing candles frying?

_Simon._ And what then?

_Job._ Why then, while the house was burning, you'd run to the
church for the engine. Shou'dn't you think it plaguy hard if the
sexton said, "Call for it to-morrow, between twelve and two?"

_Simon._ That be neither here nor there.

_Job._ Isn't it! Then, do you see this stick?           [_Menacing._

_Simon._ Pshaw! you be a foolish old fellow.

_Job._ Why, that's true. Every now and then a jack-in-office, like
you, provokes a man to forget his years. The cudgel is a stout one,
and som'at like your master's justice;--'tis a good weapon in weak
hands; and that's the way many a rogue escapes a dressing.--What!
you are laughing at it?

_Simon._ Ees.

_Job._ Ees! you Cornish baboon, in a laced livery!--Here's something
to make you grin more--here's half a crown.
                      [_Holding it up between his Finger and Thumb._

_Simon._ Hee! hee!

_Job._ Hee, hee!--Damn your Land'send chops! 'tis to get me to your
master:--but, before you have it, though he keeps a
gentleman-justice-shop, I shall make free to ring it on his counter.
[_Throws it on the Floor._] There! pick it up. [_SIMON picks up the
money._] I am afraid you are not the first underling that has
stoop'd to pocket a bribe, before he'd do his duty.--Now, tell the
gentleman-justice, I want to see him.

_Simon._ I'll try what I can do for you.                    [_Exit._

_Job._ What makes you tremble so, Mary?

_Mary._ I can't help it:--I wish I could persuade you to go back
again.

_Job._ I'll stay till the roof falls, but I'll see some of 'em.

_Mary._ Indeed, you don't know how you terrify me. But, if you go to
Sir Simon, you'll leave me here in the hall;--you won't make me go
with you, father?

_Job._ Not take you with me.--I'll go with my wrongs in my hand, and
make him blush for his son.

_Mary._ I hope you'll think better of it.

_Job._ Why?

_Mary._ Because, when you came to talk, I should sink with shame, if
he said any thing to you that might----that----

_Job._ Might what?

_Mary._ [_Sighing, and hanging down her Head._] Make you blush for
your daughter.

_Job._ I won't have you waiting, like a petitioner, in this hall,
when you come to be righted. No, no!

_Mary._ You wouldn't have refused me any thing once;--but I know I
have lost your esteem, now.

_Job._ Lost!--forgive is forgive, all the world over. You know,
Mary, I have forgiven you: and, making it up by halves, is making
myself a brass teakettle--warm one minute, cold the next; smooth
without, and hollow within.

_Mary._ Then, pray, don't deny me!--I'm sure you wouldn't, if you
knew half I am suffering.

_Job._ Do as you like, Mary; only never tell me again you have lost
my esteem. It looks like suspicion o' both sides.--Never say that,
and I can deny you nothing in reason,--or, perhaps, a little beyond
it.--

     _Enter SIMON._

Well, will the justice do a man the favour to do his duty? Will he
see me?

_Simon._ Come into the room next his libery. A stranger, who's with
young master, ha' been waiting for un, longer nor you; but I'll get
you in first.

_Job._ I don't know, that that's quite fair to the other.

_Simon._ Ees, it be; for t'other didn't give I half a crown.

_Job._ Then, stay till I come back, Mary.--I see, my man, when you
take a bribe, you are scrupulous enough to do your work for it; for
which, I hope, somebody may duck you with one hand, and rub you dry
with the other. Kindness and honesty, for kindness and honesty's
sake, is the true coin; but many a one, like you, is content to be a
passable Birmingham halfpenny.   [_Exeunt JOB THORNBERRY and SIMON._

_Mary._ I wished to come to this house in the morning, and now I
would give the world to be out of it. Hark! here's somebody! Oh,
mercy on me, 'tis he himself! What will become of me!
                           [_Retires towards the Back of the Scene._

     _Enter FRANK ROCHDALE._

_Frank._ My father, then, shall see this visitor, whatever be the
event. I will prepare him for the interview, and---- [_Sees MARY._]
Good Heaven! why--why are you here?

_Mary._ [_Advancing to him eagerly._] I don't come willingly to
trouble you; I don't, indeed!

_Frank._ What motive, Mary, has brought you to this house? and who
is the stranger under whose protection you have placed yourself, at
the house on the heath? Surely you cannot love him!

_Mary._ I hope I do.

_Frank._ You hope you do!

_Mary._ Yes; for I think he saved my life this morning, when I was
struggling with the robber, who threatened to kill me.

_Frank._ And had you taken no guide with you, Mary?--no protector?

_Mary._ I was thinking too much of one, who promised to be my
protector always, to think of any other.

_Frank._ Mary----I----I----'twas I, then, it seems who brought your
life into such hazard.

_Mary._ I hope I haven't said any thing to make you unhappy.

_Frank._ Nothing, my dearest Mary, nothing. I know it is not in your
nature even to whisper a reproof. Yet, I sent a friend, with full
power from me, to give you the amplest protection.

_Mary._ I know you did:--and he gave me a letter, that I might be
protected, when I got to London.

_Frank._ Why, then, commit yourself to the care of a stranger?

_Mary._ Because the stranger read the direction of the letter--here
it is, [_Taking it from her Pocket._] and said your friend was
treacherous.

_Frank._ [_Looking at the Letter._] Villain!

_Mary._ Did he intend to lead me into a snare then?

_Frank._ Let me keep this letter.--I may have been deceived in the
person I sent to you, but--damn his rascality! [_Aside._] But, could
you think me base enough to leave you, unsheltered? I had torn you
from your home,--with anguish I confess it--but I would have
provided you another home, which want should not have assailed.
Would this stranger bring you better comfort?

_Mary._ Oh, yes; he has; he has brought me my father.

_Frank._ Your father!--from whom I made you fly!

_Mary._ Yes; he has brought a father to his child,--that she might
kiss off the tears her disobedience had forced down his aged cheeks,
and restored me to the only home, which could give me any comfort,
now.--And my father is here.

_Frank._ Here!

_Mary._ Indeed, I cou'dn't help his coming; and he made me come with
him.

_Frank._ I--I am almost glad, Mary, that it has happened.

_Mary._ Are you?

_Frank._ Yes--when a weight of concealment is on the mind, remorse
is relieved by the very discovery which it has dreaded. But you must
not be waiting here, Mary. There is one in the house, to whose care
I will entrust you.

_Mary._ I hope it isn't the person you sent to me to-day.

_Frank._ He! I would sooner cradle infancy with serpents.--Yet this
is my friend! I will, now, confide in a stranger:--the stranger,
Mary, who saved your life.

_Mary._ Is he here!

_Frank._ He is:--Oh, Mary, how painful, if, performing the duty of a
son, I must abandon, at last, the expiation of a penitent! but so
dependent on each other are the delicate combinations of probity,
that one broken link perplexes the whole chain, and an abstracted
virtue becomes a relative iniquity.                       [_Exeunt._



SCENE II.


     _The Library._

     _SIR SIMON ROCHDALE and his STEWARD, who appears to be
     quitting the Room. JOB THORNBERRY standing at a little
     Distance from them._

_Sir Simon._ Remember the money must be ready to-morrow, Mr.
Pennyman.

_Steward._ It shall, Sir Simon.                            [_Going._

_Sir Simon._ [_To JOB._] So, friend, your business, you say,
is--and, Mr. Pennyman, [_STEWARD turns back._] give Robin Ruddy
notice to quit his cottage, directly.

_Steward._ I am afraid, Sir Simon, if he's turned out, it will be
his ruin.

_Sir Simon._ He should have recollected that, before he ruin'd his
neighbour's daughter.

_Job._ [_Starting._] Eh!

_Sir Simon._ What's the matter with the man? His offence is attended
with great aggravation.--Why doesn't he marry her?

_Job._ Aye!                                         [_Emphatically._

_Sir Simon._ Pray, friend, be quiet.

_Steward._ He says it would make her more unfortunate still; he's
too necessitous to provide even for the living consequence of his
indiscretion.

_Sir Simon._ That doubles his crime to the girl.--He must quit. I'm
a magistrate, you know, Mr. Pennyman, and 'tis my duty to discourage
all such immorality.

_Steward._ Your orders must be obeyed, Sir Simon.   [_Exit STEWARD._

_Sir Simon._ Now, yours is justice-business, you say. You come at an
irregular time, and I have somebody else waiting for me; so be
quick. What brings you here?

_Job._ My daughter's seduction, Sir Simon;--and it has done my
heart good to hear your worship say, 'tis your duty to discourage
all such immorality.

_Sir Simon._ To be sure it is;--but men, like you, shou'dn't be too
apt to lay hold of every sentiment justice drops, lest you misapply
it. 'Tis like an officious footman snatching up his mistress's
periwig, and clapping it on again, hind part before. What are you?

_Job._ A tradesman, Sir Simon. I have been a freeholder, in this
district, for many a year.

_Sir Simon._ A freeholder!--Zounds! one of Frank's voters, perhaps,
and of consequence at his election. [_Aside._] Won't you, my good
friend, take a chair?

_Job._ Thank you, Sir Simon, I know my proper place. I didn't come
here to sit down with Sir Simon Rochdale, because I am a freeholder;
I come to demand my right, because you are a justice.

_Sir Simon._ A man of respectability, a tradesman, and a freeholder,
in such a serious case as yours, had better have recourse to a court
of law.

_Job._ I am not rich, now, Sir Simon, whatever I may have been.

_Sir Simon._ A magistrate, honest, friend, can't give you
damages:--you must fee counsel.

_Job._ I can't afford an expensive lawsuit, Sir Simon:--and, begging
your pardon, I think the law never intended that an injured man, in
middling circumstances, should either go without redress, or starve
himself to obtain it.

_Sir Simon._ Whatever advice I can give you, you shall have it for
nothing; but I can't jump over justice's hedges and ditches. Courts
of law are broad high roads, made for national convenience; if your
way lie through them, 'tis but fair you should pay the turnpikes.
Who is the offender?

_Job._ He lives on your estate, Sir Simon.

_Sir Simon._ Oho! a tenant!--Then I may carry you through your
journey by a short cut. Let him marry your daughter, my honest
friend.

_Job._ He won't.

_Sir Simon._ Why not?

_Job._ He's going to marry another.

_Sir Simon._ Then he turns out. The rascal sha'n't disgrace my
estate four and twenty hours longer.--Injure a reputable tradesman,
my neighbour!----a freeholder!--and refuse to----did you say he was
poor?

_Job._ No, Sir Simon; and, by and by, if you don't stand in his way,
he may be very rich.

_Sir Simon._ Rich! eh!--Why, zounds! is he a gentleman?

_Job._ I have answer'd that question already, Sir Simon.

_Sir Simon._ Not that I remember.

_Job._ I thought I had been telling you his behaviour.

_Sir Simon._ Umph!

_Job._ I reckon many of my neighbours honest men, though I can't
call them gentlemen;--but I reckon no man a gentleman, that I can't
call honest.

_Sir Simon._ Harkye, neighbour;--if he's a gentleman (and I have
several giddy young tenants, with more money than thought), let him
give you a good round sum, and there's an end.

_Job._ A good round sum!--Damn me, I shall choke! [_Aside._] A
ruffian, with a crape, puts a pistol to my breast, and robs me of
forty shillings;--a scoundrel, with a smiling face, creeps to my
fireside, and robs my daughter of her innocence. The judge can't
allow restitution to spare the highwayman;--then, pray, Sir
Simon,--I wish to speak humbly--pray don't insult the father, by
calling money a reparation from the seducer.

_Sir Simon._ This fellow must be dealt with quietly I see--Justice,
my honest friend, is----justice.--As a magistrate, I make no
distinction of persons.--Seduction is a heinous offence: and,
whatever is in my power, I----

_Job._ The offender is in your power, Sir Simon.

_Sir Simon._ Well, well; don't be hasty, and I'll take cognizance of
him.--We must do things in form:--but you mustn't be passionate.
[_Goes to the Table, and takes up a Pen._] Come, give me his
christian and surname, and I'll see what's to be done for you.--Now,
what name must I write?

_Job._ Francis Rochdale.

_Sir Simon._ [_Drops the Pen, looks at JOB, and starts up._] Damn me!
if it isn't the brazier!

_Job._ Justice is justice, Sir Simon. I am a respectable tradesman,
your neighbour, and a freeholder.--Seduction is a heinous offence; a
magistrate knows no distinction of persons; and a rascal musn't
disgrace your estate four and twenty hours longer.

_Sir Simon._ [_Sheepishly._] I believe your name is Thornberry?

_Job._ It is, Sir Simon. I never blush'd at my name, till your son
made me blush for yours.

_Sir Simon._ Mr. Thornberry--I--I heard something of my
son's--a--little indiscretion, some mornings ago.

_Job._ Did you, Sir Simon? you never sent to me about it; so, I
suppose, the news reach'd you at one of the hours you don't set
apart for justice.

_Sir Simon._ This is a----a very awkward business, Mr. Thornberry.
Something like a hump back;--we can never set it quite straight, so
we must bolster it.

_Job._ How do you mean, Sir Simon?

_Sir Simon._ Why--'tis a--a disagreeable affair, and--we--must hush
it up.

_Job._ Hush it up! a justice compound with a father, to wink at his
child's injuries! if you and I hush it up so, Sir Simon, how shall
we hush it up here? [_Striking his Breast._] In one word, will your
son marry my daughter?

_Sir Simon._ What! my son marry the daughter of a brazier!

_Job._ He has ruined the daughter of a brazier.--If the best lord in
the land degrades himself by a crime, you can't call his atonement
for it a condescension.

_Sir Simon._ Honest friend--I don't know in what quantities you may
sell brass at your shop; but when you come abroad, and ask a baronet
to marry his son to your daughter, damn me, if you ar'n't a
wholesale dealer!

_Job._ And I can't tell, Sir Simon, how you may please to retail
justice; but when a customer comes to deal largely with you, damn me
if you don't shut up the shop windows!

_Sir Simon._ You are growing saucy. Leave the room, or I shall
commit you.

_Job._ Commit me! you will please to observe, Sir Simon, I
remember'd my duty, till you forgot yours. You asked me, at first,
to sit down in your presence. I knew better than to do so, before a
baronet and a justice of peace. But I lose my respect for my
superior in rank, when he's so much below my equals in fair
dealing:--and, since the magistrate has left the chair [_Slams the
Chair into the middle of the Room._] I'll sit down on it. [_Sits
down._] There!--'Tis fit it should be fill'd by somebody--and,
dam'me if I leave the house till you redress my daughter, or I shame
you all over the county!

_Sir Simon._ Why, you impudent mechanic! I shou'dn't wonder if the
scoundrel call'd for my clerk, and sign'd my mittimus. [_Rings the
Bell._] Fellow, get out of that chair.

_Job._ I sha'n't stir. If you want to sit down, take another. This
is the chair of justice: it's the most uneasy for you of any in the
room.

     _Enter SERVANT._

_Sir Simon._ Tell Mr. Rochdale to come to me directly.

_Serv._ Yes, Sir Simon. [_Sees JOB._] Hee! hee!

_Sir Simon._ Don't stand grinning, you booby! but go.

_Serv._ Yes, Sir Simon. Hee! he!                            [_Exit._

_Job._ [_Reaching a Book from the Table._] "Burn's Justice!"

_Sir Simon._ And how dare you take it up?

_Job._ Because you have laid it down. Read it a little better, and,
then, I may respect you more.--There it is.
                                          [_Throws it on the Floor._

     _Enter FRANK ROCHDALE._

_Sir Simon._ So, sir! prettily I am insulted on your account!

_Frank._ Good Heaven, sir! what is the matter?

_Sir Simon._ The matter! [_Points to JOB._] Lug that old bundle of
brass out of my chair, directly.
                          [_FRANK casts his Eyes on THORNBERRY, then
                               on the Ground, and stands abashed._

_Job._ He dare as soon jump into one of your tin-mines.
Brass!--there is no baser metal than hypocrisy: he came with that
false coin to my shop, and it pass'd; but see how conscience nails
him to the spot, now!

_Frank._ [_To SIR SIMON._] Sir, I came to explain all.

_Sir Simon._ Sir, you must be aware that all is explained already.
You provoke a brazier almost to knock me down; and bring me news of
it, when he is fix'd as tight in my study, as a copper in my
kitchen.

_Frank._ [_Advancing to JOB._] Mr. Thornberry, I----

_Job._ Keep your distance! I'm an old fellow; but if my daughter's
seducer comes near me, I'll beat him as flat as a stewpan.

_Frank._ [_Still advancing._] Suffer me to speak, and--

_Job._ [_Rising from the Chair, and holding up his Cane._] Come an
inch nearer, and I'll be as good as my word.

     _Enter PEREGRINE._

_Pereg._ Hold!

_Job._ Eh! you here? then I have some chance, perhaps, of getting
righted, at last.

_Pereg._ Do not permit passion to weaken that chance.

_Job._ Oh, plague! you don't know;--I wasn't violent till----

_Pereg._ Nay, nay; cease to grasp that cane.--While we are so
conspicuously bless'd with laws to chastise a culprit, the mace of
justice is the only proper weapon for the injured.--Let me talk with
you.                                      [_Takes THORNBERRY aside._

_Sir Simon._ [_To FRANK ROCHDALE._] Well, sir; who may this last
person be, whom you have thought proper should visit me?

_Frank._ A stranger in this country, sir, and----

_Sir Simon._ And a friend, I perceive, of that old ruffian.

_Frank._ I have reason to think, sir, he is a friend to Mr.
Thornberry.

_Sir Simon._ Sir, I am very much obliged to you.--You send a brazier
to challenge me, and now, I suppose, you have brought a travelling
tinker for his second. Where does he come from?

_Frank._ India, sir. He leap'd from the vessel that was foundering
on the rocks, this morning, and swam to shore.

_Sir Simon._ Did he? I wish he had taken the jump with the brazier
tied to his neck.
                                  [_PEREGRINE and JOB come forward._

_Pereg._ [_Apart to JOB._] I can discuss it better in your absence.
Be near with Mary: should the issue be favourable, I will call you.

_Job._ [_Apart to PEREG._] Well, well! I will. You have a better
head at it than I.----Justice! Oh, if I was Lord Chancellor, I'd
knock all the family down with the mace, in a minute.       [_Exit._

_Pereg._ Suffer me to say a few words, Sir Simon Rochdale, in behalf
of that unhappy man.          [_Pointing to where JOB was gone out._

_Sir Simon._ And pray, sir, what privilege have you to interfere in
my domestic concerns?

_Pereg._ None, as it appears abstractedly. Old Thornberry has just
deputed me to accommodate his domestic concerns with you: I would,
willingly, not touch upon yours.

_Sir Simon._ Poh! poh! You can't touch upon one, Without being
impertinent about the other.

_Pereg._ Have the candour to suppose, Sir Simon, that I mean no
disrespect to your house. Although I may stickle, lustily, with you,
in the cause of an aggrieved man, believe me, early habits have
taught me to be anxious for the prosperity of the Rochdales.

_Sir Simon._ Early habits!

_Pereg._ I happened to be born on your estate, Sir Simon; and have
obligations to some part of your family.

_Sir Simon._ Then, upon my soul, you have chosen a pretty way to
repay them!

_Pereg._ I know no better way of repaying them, than by consulting
your family honour. In my boyhood, it seem'd as if nature had
dropp'd me a kind of infant subject on your father's Cornish
territory; and the whole pedigree of your house is familiar to me.

_Sir Simon._ Is it? Confound him, he has heard of the miller!
[_Aside._] Sir, you may talk this tolerably well; but 'tis my
hope--my opinion, I mean, you can't tell who was my grandfather.

_Pereg._ Whisper the secret to yourself, Sir Simon; and let reason
also whisper to you, that, when honest industry raises a family to
opulence and honours, its very original lowness sheds lustre on its
elevation;--but all its glory fades, when it has given a wound, and
denies a balsam, to a man, as humble, and as honest, as your own
ancestor.

_Sir Simon._ But I haven't given the wound.--And why, good sir,
won't you be pleased to speak your sentiments!
                       [_To FRANK, who has retired, during the above
                            Conversation, to the Back of the Room._

_Frank._ The first are, obedience to my father, sir; and, if I must
proceed, I own that nothing, in my mind, but the amplest atonement,
can extinguish true remorse for a cruelty.

_Sir Simon._ Ha! in other words, you can't clap an extinguisher upon
your feelings, without a father-in-law who can sell you one. But
Lady Caroline Braymore is your wife, or I am no longer your father.

     _Enter TOM SHUFFLETON and LADY CAROLINE BRAYMORE._

_Shuff._ How d'ye do, good folks? How d'ye do?

_Sir Simon._ Ha! Lady Caroline!--Tom, I have had a little
business.--The last dinner-bell has rung, Lady Caroline; but I'll
attend you directly.

_Shuff._ Baronet, I'm afraid we sha'n't be able to dine with you
to-day.

_Sir Simon._ Not dine with me!

_Lady Car._ No;--we are just married!

_Sir Simon._ Hell and the devil! married!

_Shuff._ Yes; we are married, and can't come.

_Pereg._ [_Aside._] Then 'tis time to speak to old Thornberry.
                                                            [_Exit._

_Sir Simon._ Lady Caroline!

_Lady Car._ I lost my appetite in your family this morning, Sir
Simon; and have no relish for any thing you can have the goodness to
offer me.

_Shuff._ Don't press us, baronet;--that's quite out, in the New
School.

_Sir Simon._ Oh, damn the New School!--who will explain all this
mystery?

_Frank._ Mr. Shuffleton shall explain it, sir; and other mysteries
too.

_Shuff._ My dear Frank, I have something to say to you. But here
comes my papa; I've been talking to him, Sir Simon, and he'll talk
to you. He does very well to explain, for the benefit of a country
gentleman.

     _Enter LORD FITZ BALAAM._

_Sir Simon._ My Lord, it is painful to be referred to you, when so
much is to be said. What is it all?

_Lord Fitz._ You are disappointed, Sir Simon, and I am ruin'd.

_Sir Simon._ But, my lord----               [_They go up the Stage._

                    [_LADY CAROLINE throws herself carelessly into a
                         Chair. SHUFFLETON advances to FRANK._

_Shuff._ My dear Frank, I----I have had a devilish deal of trouble
in getting this business off your hands. But you see, I have done my
best for you.

_Frank._ For yourself, you mean.

_Shuff._ Come, damn it, my good fellow, don't be ungrateful to a
friend.

_Frank._ Take back this letter of recommendation, you wrote for
Mary, as a friend. When you assume that name with me, Mr.
Shuffleton, for myself I laugh; for you I blush; but for sacred
friendship's profanation I grieve.                [_Turns from him._

_Shuff._ That all happens from living so much out of town.

     _Enter PEREGRINE, JOB THORNBERRY, and MARY._

_Pereg._ Now, Sir Simon, as accident seems to have thwarted a
design, which probity could never applaud, you may, perhaps, be
inclined to do justice here.

_Job._ Justice is all I come for--damn their favours! Cheer up,
Mary!

_Sir Simon._ [_To PEREG._] I was in hopes I had got rid of you. You
are an orator from the sea-shore; but you must put more pebbles in
your mouth before you harangue me into a tea-kettle connexion.

_Shuff._ That's my friend at the Red Cow. He is the new-old _cher
ami_ to honest tea-kettle's daughter.

_Frank._ Your insinuation is false, sir.

_Shuff._ False!                                 [_Stepping forward._

_Lady Car._ Hush! don't quarrel;--we are only married to-day.

_Shuff._ That's true; I won't do any thing to make you unhappy for
these three weeks.

_Pereg._ Sir Simon Rochdale, if my oratory fail, and which, indeed,
is weak, may interest prevail with you?

_Sir Simon._ No; rather than consent, I'd give up every acre of my
estate.

_Pereg._ Your conduct proves you unworthy of your estate; and,
unluckily for you, you have roused the indignation of an elder
brother, who now stands before you, and claims it.

_Sir Simon._ Eh!--Zounds!--Peregrine!

_Pereg._ I can make my title too good, in an instant, for you to
dispute it. My agent in London has long had documents on the secret
he has kept; and several old inhabitants here, I know, are prepared
to identify me.

_Sir Simon._ I had a run-away brother--a boy that every body
thought dead. How came he not to claim till now?

_Pereg._ Because, knowing he had given deep cause of offence, he
never would have asserted his abandon'd right, had he not found a
brother neglecting, what no Englishman should neglect--justice and
humanity to his inferiors.

     _Enter DENNIS BRULGRUDDERY._

_Dennis._ Stand asy, all of you; for I've big news for my
half-drown'd customer. Och! bless your mug! and is it there you are?

_Sir Simon._ What's the matter now?

_Dennis._ Hould your tongue, you little man!--There's a great post
just come to your Manor-house, and the Indiaman's work'd into port.

_Job._ What, the vessel with all your property?         [_To PEREG._

_Dennis._ By all that's amazing, they say you have a hundred
thousand pounds in that ship.

_Pereg._ My losses might have been somewhat more without this
recovery. I have entered into a sort of partnership with you, my
friend, this morning. How can we dissolve it?

_Job._ You are an honest man; so am I; so settle that account as you
like.

_Pereg._ Come forth, then, injured simplicity;--of your own cause
you shall be now the arbitress.

_Mary._ Do not make me speak, sir, I am so humbled--so abash'd----

_Job._ Nonsense! we are sticking up for right.

_Pereg._ Will you then speak, Mr. Rochdale?

_Frank._ My father is bereft of a fortune, sir; but I must hesitate
till his fiat is obtained, as much as if he possess'd it.

_Sir Simon._ Nay, nay; follow your own inclinations now

_Frank._ May I, sir? Oh, then, let the libertine now make
reparation, and claim a wife.
                              [_Running to MARY, and embracing her._

_Dennis._ His wife! Och! what a big dinner we'll have at the Red
Cow!

_Pereg._ What am I to say, sir?                     [_To SIR SIMON._

_Sir Simon._ Oh! you are to say what you please.

_Pereg._ Then, bless you both! And, tho' I have passed so much of my
life abroad, brother, English equity is dear to my heart. Respect
the rights of honest John Bull, and our family concerns may be
easily arranged.

_Job._ That's upright. I forgive you, young man, for what has
passed; but no one deserves forgiveness, who refuses to make amends,
when he has disturb'd the happiness of an Englishman's fireside.





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