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Title: Wild Oats - or, The Strolling Gentlemen
Author: O'Keeffe, John, 1747-1833
Language: English
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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 "Wild Oats - or, The Strolling Gentlemen" ***

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With a double respect for talents, and for misfortune, these remarks
are begun.

The present comedy is written by O'Keeffe, who saw not the traces of
his pen as he marked the paper; whose days pass away, uncheered by the
sun or any visible object; but whose mind supports with resignation
his bitter calamity, and is enlightened by imagination, whilst his
eyes are shut in utter darkness.

Were each close imitator of an author's style punishable by law, like
the perpetrator of other wrongs, Mr. O'Keeffe might have been an
independent, though not a happy man; for that source of a new kind of
mirth, termed by some exquisite nonsense, of which he was the first
discoverer, made the town so merry, that, like good wine, he might
have sold it at any price; but this rich juice of hilarity, polluted
by the false spirit of imitation, at length gave a stupor to those,
whom the beverage had before revived; and the pure and the adulterated
became distasteful together.

This comedy is the only attempt of the author to produce a drama above
opera and farce. His productions, in the latter species of writing,
are perfect compositions: nothing of the kind can be superior to his
"Agreeable Surprise," and his "Son-in-Law." He has a number of other
farces of little less attraction; such as "Peeping Tom."--Another class
after that, and each possessing infinite fancy, whim, and novelty.
Still success did not follow all his productions: a few years past he
wrote very frequently, and sometimes too hastily.

On the first night of representing any of those whimsical dramas,
amidst loud peals of laughter at the comic dialogue or incidents,
there was generally a most affecting spectacle behind the curtain.
O'Keeffe, stone-blind, (not an affliction of birth, but of late years)
led by his little son, as a guide, down to the stage-door--to the
lock of which he would anxiously place his ear to catch the quickest
information how his work was received--and when, unhappily hisses from
the audience would sound louder than applause--in strong agitation he
would press his hands to each side of his head, as if he had yet one
sense too much. Thus he would remain, without sight or hearing, till
some unexpected sally of humour in his drama once more put the house
in good temper, and they would begin to laugh and applaud;--on which,
his son, rapid as lightning, would pull him by the elbow, and cry out,
"Now, father, listen again."

"Wild Oats," would not disgrace an author of much higher pretensions
in dramatic writing than Mr. O'Keeffe. There is great pleasantry
throughout the play, many natural touches of simplicity, and some
well-written dialogues and sentiments. The plot is interesting, the
characters new, or at least in new situations, and the whole forms an
evening's entertainment for an auditor of taste--such a one having at
the same time in his memory, certain popular sentences from certain
well-known comedies and tragedies: for without intimate acquaintance
with all the quotations made use of by the hero of the piece, it must
totally lose its effect, and this hero appear like a madman.

Perhaps, no comedy, on a first night, was ever more fortunate in a
list of excellent comic actors to represent the characters.

Lewis, in Rover, fervid as usual, seemed so enamoured of his stage
exploits, that every spectator forgave him his folly, for the
bewitching ardour with which he pursued it.

In Ephraim, the quaker, the spirit moved Munden--as it always does--to
act just as he should do.

Quick was on the London stage when this play was first performed, and
though Sir George Thunder was by no means a part best suited to his
abilities--yet Quick gave comic importance to all he undertook.

Mr. Thomas Blanchard, since dead, played the little part of Sim with
wond'rous skill.

Mrs. Pope (once Miss Young) was excellent in Lady Amaranth.

And the silly Jane can never have so good a representative as Mrs.


  SIR GEORGE THUNDER    _Mr. Quick._
  ROVER                 _Mr. Lewis._
  HARRY                 _Mr. Holman._
  BANKS                 _Mr. Hull._
  JOHN DORY             _Mr. Wilson._
  FARMER GAMMON         _Mr. Cubit._
  LAMP                  _Mr. C. Powell._
  EPHRAIM SMOOTH        _Mr. Munden._
  SIM                   _Mr. Blanchard._
  ZACHARIAH             _Mr. Rees._
  MIDGE                 _Mr. Macready._
  TRAP                  _Mr. Evatt._
  TWITCH                _Mr. Rock._
  LANDLORD              _Mr. Powell._

  LADY AMARANTH         _Mrs. Pope._
  AMELIA                _Miss Chapman._
  JANE                  _Mrs. Wells._

  _SCENE,--Part of Hampshire._




_A Parlour in_ LADY AMARANTH'S _House_.

_Enter_ JOHN DORY.

_John._ Fine cruizing this! without flip or biscuit! don't know who's
the Governor of this here fort; but if he can victual us a few--how
hollow my bread room sounds! [_Striking his sides._] I'm as empty as a
stoved keg, and as tired as an old Dutchman--my obstinate master, Sir
George, to tow my old hulk--aboard the house, ha, hoy!

_Sir Geo._ [_Without._] John! John Dory!

_John._ [_Sits._] I'm at anchor.


_Sir Geo._ I don't know who's house we've got into here, John; but
I think, when he knows me, we may hope for some refreshment--Eh!
[_Looking at_ JOHN.] was not I your captain?

_John._ Yes; and I was your boatswain. And what of all that?

_Sir Geo._ Then how dare you sit in my presence, you bluff head?

_John._ Why, for the matter of that, I don't mind; but had I been
your captain, and you my boatswain, the man, that stood by me at sea,
should be welcome to sit before me at land.

_Sir Geo._ That's true, my dear John; offer to stand up, and, damme,
if I don't knock you down--zounds! I am as dry as a powder match--to
sail at the rate of ten knots an hour, over fallow and stubble, from
my own house, but half a league on this side of Gosport, and not catch
these deserters!

_John._ In this here chase you wanted the ballast of wisdom.

_Sir Geo._ How, sirrah! hasn't my dear old friend, Dick Broadside, got
the command of the ship I so often fought myself--to man it for him
with expedition, didn't I (out of my own pocket) offer two guineas
over the king's bounty to every seaman that would enter on board her?
Hav'n't these three scoundrels fingered the shot, then ran, and didn't
I do right to run after them? Damn the money! I no more mind that than
a piece of clinker; but 'twas the pride of my heart to see my beloved
ship (the Eagle) well mann'd, when my old friend is the commander.

_John._ But since you've laid yourself up in ordinary, retired to live
in quiet, on your estate, and had done with all sea affairs--

_Sir Geo._ John, John, a man should forget his own convenience for his
country's good.--Though Broadside's letter said these fellows were
lurking about this part of Hampshire, yet still it's all hide and

_John._ Your ill luck.

_Sir Geo._ Mine, you swab?

_John._ Ay, you've money and gold; but grace and good fortune have
shook hands with you these nineteen years, for that rogue's trick you
play'd poor Miss Amelia, by deceiving her with a sham marriage, when
you passed yourself for Captain Seymour, and then putting off to sea,
leaving her to break her poor heart, and since marrying another lady.

_Sir Geo._ Wasn't I forc'd to it by my father?

_John._--Ay; because she had a great fortin, her death too was a
judgment upon you.

_Sir Geo._ Why, you impudent dog-fish!--upbraid me for running into
false bay, when you were my pilot? Wasn't it you, even brought me the
false clergyman that performed the sham marriage with Amelia?

_John._ Yes, you think so; but I took care to bring you a real

_Sir Geo._ But is this a time or place for your lectures? At home,
abroad, sea, or land, you will still badger me! mention my Wild Oats
again and--you scoundrel, since the night my bedcurtains took fire,
when you were my boatswain aboard the Eagle, you've got me quite into
leading strings--you snatched me upon deck, and tossed me into the
sea,--to save me from being burnt, I was almost drowned.

_John._ You would but for me--

_Sir Geo._ Yes, you dragged me out by the ear, like a waterdog--last
week, 'cause you found the tenth bottle uncorked, you rushed in
among my friends, and ran away with me; and, next morning Captain
O'Shanaghan sends me a challenge for quitting the company, when he was
in the chair! so, to save me from a headach, you'd like to've got my
brains blown out.

_John._ Oh, very well; be burnt in your bed, and tumble in the water,
by jumping into boats, like a tight fellow as you are, and poison
yourself with sloe juice; see if John cares a piece of mouldy biscuit
about it. But I wish you hadn't made me your valet de shamber. No
sooner was I got on shore, after five years dashing among rocks, shoals,
and breakers, than you sets me on a high-trotting cart horse, which
knockt me up and down like an old bomb-boat in the Bay of Biscay, and
here's nothing to drink after all! Because at home you keep open
house, you think every body else does the same.

_Sir Geo._ Why, by sailing into this strange port, we may be more free
than welcome.

_John._ Holla! I'll never cease piping, 'till it calls up a drop to
wet my whistle. [_Exit._

_Sir Geo._ Yes, (as John Dory remarks) I fear my trip through life
will be attended with heavy squalls and foul weather. When my conduct
to poor Amelia comes athwart my mind, it's a hurricane for that day,
and turn in at night, the ballad of "Margaret and William," rings in
my ear. [_Sings._] "In glided Margaret's grimly ghost." Oh, zounds!
the dismals are coming upon me, and can't get a cheering glass

     _Enter_ EPHRAIM SMOOTH.

_Eph._ Friend, what would'st thou have?

_Sir Geo._ Grog.

_Eph._ Neither man nor woman of that name abideth here.

_Sir Geo._ Ha, ha, ha! man and woman! then if you'll bring me Mr.
Brandy and Mrs. Water, we'll couple them, and the first child probably
will be Master Grog.

_Eph._ Thou dost speak in parables, which I understand not.

_Sir Geo._ Sheer off with your sanctified poop, and send the gentleman
of the house.

_Eph._ The owner of this mansion is a maiden, and she approacheth.

     _Enter_ LADY AMARANTH.

_Lady Am._ Do I behold?--It is! how dost thou uncle?

_Sir Geo._ Is it possible you can be my niece, Lady Maria Amaranth

_Lady Am._ I am the daughter of thy deceased brother Loftus, called
Earl Thunder, but no lady, my name is Mary.

_Sir Geo._ But, zounds! how is all this? Eh! unexpectedly find you in
a strange house, of which old Sly here tells me you're the mistress;
turned quaker, and disclaim your title!

_Lady Am._ Thou know'st the relation to whose care my father left me?

_Sir Geo._ Well! I know our cousin, old Dovehouse, was a quaker! but I
didn't suspect he would have made you one.

_Lady Am._ Being now gathered to his fathers, he did bequeath unto me
his worldly goods; amongst them this mansion, and the lands around it.

_Eph._ So thou becom'st and continue one of the faithful. I am
executor of his will, and by it, I cannot give thee, Mary, possession
of these goods, but on those conditions.

_Sir Geo._ Tell me of your thee's and thou's, quaker's wills and
mansions! I say, girl, though on the death of your father, my eldest
brother, Loftus, Earl Thunder, from your being a female, his title
devolved to his next brother, Robert; though, as a woman, you can't be
an earl, nor as a woman, you can't make laws for your sex and our sex,
yet, as the daughter of a peer, you are, and, by Heaven, shall be
called Lady Maria Amaranth Thunder.

_Eph._ Thou makest too much noise, friend.

_Sir Geo._ Call me friend, and I'll bump your block against the

_Eph._ Yea, this is a man of danger, and I will leave Mary to abide
it. [_Exit._

_Sir G._ 'Sfire, my lady--

_Lady Am._ Title is vanity.

     _Enter_ ZACHARIAH.

_Zach._ Shall thy cook, this day, roast certain birds of the air,
call'd woodcocks, and ribs of the oxen likewise?

_Lady Am._ All. My uncle sojourneth with me peradventure, and my meal
shall be a feast, friend Zachariah.

_Zach._ My tongue shall say so, friend Mary.

_Sir Geo._ [_Strikes him._] Sir George Thunder bids thee remember to
call your mistress, Lady Amaranth.

_Zach._ Verily, George.

_Sir Geo._ George! sirrah, though a younger brother, the honour of
knighthood was my reward for placing the glorious British flag over
that of a daring enemy--therefore address me with respect.

_Zach._ Yea, I do, good George. [_Exit._

_Sir Geo._ George and Mary! here's levelling, here's abolition of
title with a vengeance!

_Lady Am._ Kinsman, be patient; thou, and thy son, my cousin Henry,
whom I have not beheld, I think, these twelve years, shall be welcome
to my dwelling. Where now abideth the youth?

_Sir Geo._ At the Naval Academy, at Portsmouth.

_Lady Am._ May I not see the young man?

_Sir Geo._ What, to make a quaker of him?--No, no. But, hold, as she's
now a wealthy heiress, her marrying my son Harry, will keep up and
preserve her title in our own family too. [_Aside._] Would'st thou
really be glad to see him? thou shalt, Mary. Ha, ha, ha! John Dory!
[_Calling._] Here comes my valet de chambre.

     _Enter_ JOHN DORY.

_John._ Why, sir--such a breeze sprung up!

_Sir Geo._ Avast, old man of war; you must instantly convoy my son
from Portsmouth.

_John._ Then I must first convoy him to Portsmouth, for he happens to
be out of the dock already.

_Sir Geo._ What wind now?

_John._ You know, on our quitting harbour--

_Sir Geo._ Damn your sea jaw, you marvellous dolphin, give the contents
of your logbook in plain English.

_John._ The young squire has cut and run.

_Sir Geo._ What?

_John._ Got leave to come to you: and master didn't find out before
yesterday, that, instead of making for home, he had sheer'd off towards
London; directly sent notice to you, and Sam has traced us all the way
here to bring you the news.

_Sir Geo._ What, a boy of mine quit his guns? I'll grapple him.--Come,

_Lady Am._ Order the carriage for mine uncle.

_Sir Geo._ No, thank ye, my lady. Let your equipage keep up your own
dignity. I have horses here; but I won't knock 'em up; next village is
the channel for the stage--My lady, I'll bring the dog to you by the
bowsprit.--Weigh anchor! crowd sail! and after him! [_Exit._

     _Enter_ EPHRAIM. [_Peeping in._]

_Eph._ The man of noise doth not tarry, then my spirit is glad.

_Lady Am._ Let Sarah prepare chambers for my kinsman, and hire the
maiden for me that thou didst mention.

_Eph._ I will; for this damsel is passing fair, and hath found grace
in mine eyes. Mary, as thou art yet a stranger in this land, and just
taken possession of this estate, the laws of society command thee to
be on terms of amity with thy wealthy neighbours.

_Lady Am._ Yea; but while I entertain the rich, the hearts of the
poor shall also rejoice; I myself will now go forth into the adjacent
hamlet, and invite all that cometh, to hearty cheer.

_Eph._ Yea, I will distribute among the poor good books.

_Lady Am._ And meat and drink too, friend Ephraim. In the fulness of
plenty, they shall join in thanksgiving for those gifts of which I am
so unworthy. [_Exeunt._


_A Road._

_Enter_ HARRY THUNDER, _and_ MIDGE _follows, calling_.

_Midge._ I say, Dick Buskin! harkye, my lad!

_Harry._ What keeps Rover?

_Midge._ I'm sure I don't know. As you desired, I paid for our
breakfast. But the devil's in that fellow; every inn we stop at, he
will always hang behind, chattering to the bar-maid, or chambermaid.

_Harry._ Or any, or no maid. But he's a worthy lad; and I love him
better, I think, than my own brother, had I one.

_Midge._ Oh! but, Dick, mind, my boy.

_Harry._ Stop, Midge. Though 'twas my orders, when I set out on this
scamper with the players, (the better to conceal my quality,) for you,
before people, to treat me as your companion; yet, at the same time,
you should have had discretion enough to remember, when we're alone,
that I am still your master, and son to Sir George Thunder.

_Midge._ Sir, I ask your pardon; but by making yourself my equal, I've
got so used to familiarity, that I find it curst hard to shake it off.

_Harry._ Well, sir, pray mind, that familiarity is all over now. My
frolic's out, I now throw off the player, and shall directly return.
My father must by this time, have heard of my departure from the
academy at Portsmouth; and, though I was deluded away by my rage for
a little acting, yet 'twas wrong of me to give the gay old fellow any
cause of uneasiness.

_Midge._ And, sir, shall you and I never act another scene together?
Shall I never again play Colonel Standard for my own benefit? Never
again have the pleasure of caning your honour in the character of Tom

_Harry._ In future, act the part of a smart hat and coat brusher; or
I shall have the honour of kicking you in the character of an idle
puppy. You were a good servant; but I find, by letting you crack your
jokes, and sit in my company, you're grown quite a rascal.

_Midge._ Yes, sir, I was a modest, well behaved lad; but evil
communication corrupts good manners.

_Harry._ Begone, sirrah, 'till I call for you. [_Exit_ MIDGE, _grumbling_.

_Harry._ Well, if my father but forgives me.--This three month's
excursion has shewn me some life, and a devilish deal of fun. For one
circumstance, I shall ever remember it with delight. Its bringing me
acquainted with Jack Rover. How long he stays! Jack! In this forlorn
stroller, I have discovered qualities that honour human nature, and
accomplishments that might grace a prince. I don't know a pleasanter
fellow, except when he gets to his abominable habit of quotation. I
hope he will not find the purse I've hid in his coat pocket, before
we part. I dread the moment, but it's come.

_Rover._ [_Without._] "The brisk li-li-lightening I."

_Harry._ Ay, here's the rattle. Hurried on by the impetuous flow of
his own volatile spirits, his life is a rapid stream of extravagant
whim; and while the serious voice of humanity prompts his heart to the
best of actions, his features shine in laugh and levity. Studying
Bays, eh, Jack?

     _Enter_ ROVER.

_Rover._ "I am the bold Thunder."

_Harry._ [_Aside._] I am, if he knew but all.--Keep one standing in
the road.

_Rover._ Beg your pardon, my dear Dick; but all the fault of--Plague
on't, that a man can't sleep and breakfast at an inn, then return up
to his bedchamber for his gloves that he'd forgot, but there he must
find chambermaids, thumping feathers and knocking pillows about, and
keep one when one has affairs and business. 'Pon my soul, these girls'
conduct to us is intolerable. The very thought brings the blood into
my face, and whenever they attempt to serve, provoke me so, damme but
I will, I will--An't I right, Dick?

_Harry._ No; "all in the wrong."

_Rover._ No matter, Dick; that's the universal play "all round the
wrekin:" but you are so conceited, because, by this company you're
going to join at Winchester, you are engaged for high tragedy.

_Harry._ And you for Rangers, Plumes, and Foppingtons.

_Rover._ Our first play is Lear. I was devilish imperfect in Edgar,
t'other night at Lymington. I must look it over. [_Takes out a book._]
"Away, the foul fiend follows me!" Hollo! stop a moment, we shall have
the whole county after us. [_Going._

_Harry._ What now?

_Rover._ That rosy faced chambermaid put me in such a passion, that,
by Heaven, I walked out of the house, and forgot to pay our bill.

_Harry._ Never mind, Rover, it's paid.

_Rover._ Paid! why, neither you nor Midge had money enough. No, really!

_Harry._ Ha, ha, ha! I tell you 'tis.

_Rover._ You paid? Oh, very well. Every honest fellow should be a
stock purse. Come then, let's push on now. Ten miles to Winchester; we
shall be there by eleven.

_Harry._ Our trunks are booked at the inn for the Winchester coach.

_Rover._ "Ay, to foreign climates my old trunk I bear." But I prefer
walking to the car of Thespis.

_Harry._ Which is the way?

_Rover._ Here.

_Harry._ Then, I go there. [_Pointing opposite._]

_Rover._ Eh!

_Harry._ My dear boy, on this spot, and at this moment, we must part.

_Rover._ Part!

_Harry._ Rover, you wish me well.

_Rover._ Well, and suppose so. Part, eh! What mystery and grand?
What are you at? Do you forget,--you, Midge, and I, are engaged to
Truncheon, the manager, and that the bills are already up with our
names to-night to play at Winchester?

_Harry._ Jack, you and I have often met on a stage in assumed
characters; if it's your wish we should ever meet again in our real
ones, of sincere friends, without asking whither I go, or my motives
for leaving you, when I walk up this road, do you turn down that.

_Rover._ Joke!

_Harry._ I'm serious. Good b'ye!

_Rover._ If you repent your engagement with Truncheon, I'll break off
too, and go with you wherever--[_Takes him under the arm._]

_Harry._ Attempt to follow me, and even our acquaintance ends.

_Rover._ Eh!

_Harry._ Don't think of my reasons, only that it must be.

_Rover._ Have I done any thing to Dick Buskin? leave me! [_Turns and
puts his handkerchief to his eyes._]

_Harry._ I am as much concerned as you to--Good b'ye!

_Rover._ I can't even bid him--I won't neither--If any cause could
have given--Farewell.

_Harry._ Bless my poor fellow! Adieu. [_Silently weeps._]

[_Exeunt several ways._



_A Village, a Farm House, and near it, a Cottage._


_F. Gam._ Well, Master Ephraim, I may depend on thee, as you quakers
never break your words.

_Eph._ I have spoken to Mary, and she, at my request, consenteth to
take thy daughter, Jane, as her handmaid.

_F. Gam._ Very good of you.

_Eph._ Goodness I do like, and also--comely Jane. [_Aside._] The
maiden I will prefer, for the sake of--myself. [_Aside._]

_F. Gam._ I intended to make a present to the person that does me such
a piece of service; but I shan't affront you with it.

_Eph._ I am meek and humble, and must take affronts.

_F. Gam._ Then here's a guinea, master Ephraim.

_Eph._ I expected not this; but there is no harm in a guinea. [_Exit._

_F. Gam._ So I shall get my children off my hands. My son, Sim, is
robbing me day and night,--giving away my corn and what not among
the poor.--My daughter Jane--when girls have nought to do, this
love-mischief creeps into their minds, and then hey! they're for
kicking up their heels.--Sim! [_Calling._]

     _Enter_ SIM.

_Sim._ Yes, feyther.

_F. Gam._ Call your sister.

_Sim._ Jane, feyther wants you.

     _Enter_ JANE, _from the house, with linen she had been working_.

_Jane._ Did you call me?

_F. Gam._ I often told you both, (but it's now settled) you must go
out into the world, and work for your bread.

_Sim._ Well, feyther, whatever you think right, must be so, and I'm

_Jane._ And I'm sure, feyther, I'm willing to do as you'd have me.

_F. Gam._ There's ingratitude for you! When my wife died, I brought
you both up from the shell, and now you want to fly off and forsake

_Sim._ Why no; I'm willing to live with you all my days.

_Jane._ And I'm sure, feyther, if it's your desire I'll never part
from you.

_F. Gam._ What, you want to hang upon me like a couple of leeches, ay,
to strip my branches, and leave me a wither'd hawthorn! See who's yon.
[_Exit_ SIM.

Jane, Ephraim Smooth has hired you for Lady Amaranth.

_Jane._ O lack! then I shall live in the great house.

_F. Gam._ She has sent us all presents of good books, [_Gives her
one._] to read a chapter in. That, when one's in a passion, gives a
mon patience.

_Jane._ Thank her good ladyship.

_F. Gam._ My being incumbred with you both is the cause why old Banks
won't give me his sister.

_Jane._ That's a pity. If we must have a step-mother, Madam Amelia
would make us a very good one. But I wonder how she can refuse you,
feyther, for I'm sure she must think you a very portly man in your
scarlet vest and new scratch. You can't think how parsonable you'd
look, if you'd only shave twice a week, and put sixpence in the
poor-box. [_Retires reading._]

_F. Gam._ However, if Banks still refuses, I have him in my power.
I'll turn them both out of their cottage yonder, and the bailiff shall
provide them with a lodging.

     _Enter_ BANKS.

Well, neighbour Banks, once for all, am I to marry your sister?

_Banks._ That she best knows.

_F. Gam._ Ay, but she says she won't.

_Banks._ Then I dare say she won't, for though a woman, I never knew
her to speak what she didn't think.

_F. Gam._ Then she won't have me? A fine thing this, that you and she,
who are little better than paupers, dare be so damn'd saucy!

_Banks._ Why, farmer, I confess we're poor: but while that's the worst
our enemies can say of us, we're content.

_F. Gam._ Od, dom it! I wish I had now a good, fair occasion to
quarrel with him; I'd make him content with a devil to him; I'd
knock'en down, send him to jail and--But I'll be up with him!

     _Enter_ SIM.

_Sim._ Oh, feyther, here's one Mr. Lamp, a ring-leader of showfolks
come from Andover to act in our village. He wants a barn to play in,
if you'll hire him yourn.

_F. Gam._ Surely, boy. I'll never refuse money. But, lest he should
engage the great room in the inn, run thou and tell him--Stop, I'll go
myself--A short cut through that garden.--

_Banks._ Why you, or any neighbour is welcome to walk in it, or to
partake of what it produces, but making it a common thoroughfare is--

_F. Gam._ Here, Sim, kick open that garden gate.

_Banks._ What?

_F. Gam._ Does the lad hear?

_Sim._ Why yes, yes.

_F. Gam._ Does the fool understand.

_Sim._ Dang it, I'm as yet but young; but if understanding teaches
me how to wrong my neighbour, I hope I may never live to years of

_F. Gam._ What, you cur, do you disobey your feyther? Burst open the
garden gate, as I command you.

_Sim._ Feyther, he, that made both you and the garden, commands me not
to injure the unfortunate.

_F. Gam._ Here's an ungracious rogue! Then I must do it myself.

_Banks._ [_Stands before it._] Hold, neighbour. Small as this spot is,
it's now my only possession: and the man shall first take my life, who
sets a foot in it against my will.

_F. Gam._ I'm in such a passion.--

_Jane._ [_Comes forward._] Feyther, if you're in a passion, read the
good book you gave me.

_F. Gam._ Plague of the wench! But, you hussey, I'll--and you, you
unlucky bird! [_Exit_ SIM _and_ JANE.

     [_A shower of rain._]--_Enter_ ROVER _hastily_.

_Rover._ Zounds! here's a pelting shower, and no shelter! "Poor Tom's
a-cold;" I'm wet through--Oh, here's a fair promising house. [_Going
to Gammon's._]

_F. Gam._ [_Stops him._] Hold, my lad. Can't let folks in, till I know
who are they. There's a public house not above a mile on.

_Banks._ Step in here, young man; my fire is small, but it shall cheer
you with a hearty welcome.

_Rover._ [_To_ BANKS.] The poor cottager! [_To_ GAMMON.] And the
substantial farmer! [_Kneels._] "Hear, Nature, dear goddess, hear!
If ever you designed to make his corn-fields fruitful, change thy
purpose; that, from the blighted ear no grain may fall to fat his
_stubble goose_--and, when to town he drives his hogs, so like himself,
oh, let him feel the soaking rain; then may he curse his crime too
late, and know how sharper than a serpent's tooth 'tis"--Damme, but
I'm spouting in the rain all this time. [_Jumps up, and runs into_

_F. Gam._ Ay, neighbour, you'll soon scratch a beggar's head, if you
harbour every mad vagrant. This may be one of the footpads, that, it
seems, have got about the country; but I'll have an execution, and
seize on thy goods, this day, my charitable neighbour! Eh, the sun
strikes out, quite cleared up.

     _Enter_ JANE.

_Jane._ La, feyther, if there is'nt coming down the village--

_F. Gam._ Ah, thou hussey!

_Jane._ Bless me, feyther! No time for anger now. Here's Lady
Amaranth's chariot, drawn by her new grand long-tailed horses.--La! it

_F. Gam._ Her ladyship is coming out, and walks this way.--She may
wish to rest herself in my house. Jane, we must always make rich folks

_Jane._ Dear me, I'll run in and set things to rights. But, feyther,
your cravat and wig are all got so rumplified with your cross-grained
tantarums.--I'll tie your neck in a big beau, and for your wig, if
there is any flour in the drudging box--[_Adjusts them, and runs into
the house._]

_F. Gam._ Oh! the bailiff too that I engaged.

     _Enter_ TWITCH.

_Twitch._ Well, Master Gammon, as you desir'd, I'm come to serve this
here warrant of yours, and arrest Master Banks; where is he?

_F. Gam._ Yes, now I be's determined on't--he's--zounds! stand aside,
I'll speak to you anon. [_Looking out._]

     _Enter_ LADY AMARANTH, ZACHARIAH _following_.

_Lady Am._ Friend, Jane, whom I have taken to be my handmaid, is thy

_F. Gam._ Ay, so her mother said, an't please your ladyship.

_Lady Am._ Ephraim Smooth acquainteth me thou art a wealthy yeoman.

_F. Gam._ Why, my lady, I pay my rent.

_Lady Am._ Being yet a stranger on my estate around here, I have
passed through thy hamlet to behold with mine own eye the distresses
of my poor tenants. I wish to relieve their wants.

_F. Gam._ Right, your ladyship: for charity hides a deal of sins.
How good of you to think of the poor! that's so like me; I'm always
contriving how to relieve my neighbours--you must lay Banks in jail
to-night. [_Apart to_ TWITCH.]

     _Enter_ JANE.

_Jane._ A'nt please you, will your ladyship enter our humble dwelling,
and rest your ladyship in feyther's great cane bottom'd elbow chair
with a high back. [_Curtsies._]

_F. Gam._ Do, my lady. To receive so great a body from her own chariot
is an honour I dreamt not of; though, for the hungry and weary foot
traveller, my doors are always open, and my morsel ready. Knock; when
he comes out, touch him. [_Aside to_ TWITCH.]

_Lady Am._ Thou art benevolent, and I will enter thy dwelling with

_Jane._ O precious! This way, my lady. [_Exeunt all but_ TWITCH.

_Twitch._ Eh, where's the warrant? [_Feels his pocket, and knocks at_
BANKS'S _door_.]

     _Enter_ BANKS.

_Banks._ Master Twitch! What's your business with me?

_Twitch._ Only a little affair here against you.

_Banks._ Me!

_Twitch._ Yes; Farmer Gammon has bought a thirty pound note of hand of

_Banks._ Indeed! Well, I didn't think his malice could have stretched
so far--I thought the love, he professed for my sister, might--why, it
is true, Master Twitch, to lend our indigent cottagers small sums when
they've been unable to pay their rents, I got lawyer Quirk to procure
me this money, and hoped their industry would have put it in my power
to take up my note before now. However, I'll go round and try what
they can do, then call on you and settle it.

_Twitch._ You must go with me.

_Rover._ [_Without._] Old gentleman, come quick, or I'll draw another
bottle of your currant wine.

_Twitch._ You'd best not make a noise, but come. [_To_ BANKS.]

     _Enter_ ROVER.

_Rover._ Oh, you're here? Rain over--quite fine--I'll take a sniff of
the open air too--Eh, what's the matter?

_Twitch._ What's that to you?

_Rover._ What's that to me? Why, you're a very unmannerly--

_Twitch._ Oh, here's a rescue!

_Banks._ Nay, my dear sir, I'd wish you not to bring yourself into
trouble about me.

_Twitch._ Now, since you don't know what's civil, if the debt's not
paid directly, to jail you go.

_Rover._ My kind, hospitable good old man to jail! What's the amount,
you scoundrel.

_Twitch._ Better words, or I'll--

_Rover._ Stop; utter you a word good or bad, except to tell me what's
your demand upon this gentleman, and I'll give you the greatest
beating you ever got since the hour you commenced rascal. [_In a low

_Twitch._ Why, master, I don't want to quarrel with you, because--

_Rover._ You'll get nothing by it. Do you know, you villain, that I am
this moment the greatest man living?

_Twitch._ Who, pray?

_Rover._ "I am the bold Thunder!" Sirrah, know that I carry my purse
of gold in my coat-pocket. Though damme if I know how a purse came
there. [_Aside, and takes it out._] There's twenty pictures of his
majesty; therefore, in the king's name, I free his liege subject;
[_Takes Banks away._] and now who am I? Ah, ah!

_Twitch._ Ten pieces short, my master; but if you're a housekeeper
I'll take this and your bail.

_Rover._ Then for bail you must have a housekeeper? What's to be done!

     _Enter_ GAMMON.

Ah, here's old hospitality! I know you've a house, though your fire
side was too warm for me. Lookye, here's some rapacious, griping
rascal, has had this worthy gentleman arrested. Now a certain,
good-for-nothing, rattling fellow has paid twenty guineas; you pass
your word for the other nine, we'll step back into the old gentleman's
friendly house, and over his currant wine, our first toast shall be,
liberty to the honest debtor, and confusion to the hard hearted

_Gam._ I shan't.

_Rover._ Shan't! What's your name?

_F. Gam._ Gammon.

_Rover._ Gammon! Dem'me, you're the Hampshire hog. [_Exit_ F. GAMMON.
'Sdeath! How shall I do to extricate--? I wish I had another purse in
my waistcoat pocket.

     _Enter_ LADY AMARANTH, _from_ GAMMON'S, ZACHARIAH _following_.

_Lady Am._ What tumult's this?

_Rover._ A lady! Ma'am, your most obedient humble servant. [_Bows._] A
quaker too! They are generally kind and humane, and that face is the
prologue to a play of a thousand good acts--may be she'd help us here.
[_Aside._] Ma'am, you must know that--that I--no--this gentleman--I
mean this gentleman and I--He got a little behind hand, as every honest,
well principled man often may, from--bad harvests and rains--lodging
corn--and his cattle--from murrain, and--rot the murrain! you know
this is the way all this affair happened, [_To Banks._] and then up
steps this gentleman, [_To Twitch._] with a--a tip in his way--madam,
you understand? And then in steps I--with my a--In short, madam, I am
the worst story teller in the world, where myself is the hero of the

_Twitch._ Mr. Banks has been arrested for thirty pounds, and this
gentleman has paid twenty guineas of the debt.

_Banks._ My litigious neighbour to expose me thus!

_Lady Am._ The young man and maiden within, have spoken well of thy
sister, and pictured thee as a man of irreproachable morals, though

_Rover._ Madam, he's the honestest fellow--I've known him above forty
years, he has the best hand at stirring a fire--If you was only to
taste his currant wine.

_Banks._ Madam, I never aspired to an enviable rank in life: but
hitherto pride and prudence kept me above the reach of pity: but
obligations from a stranger--

_Lady Am._ He really a stranger, and attempt to free thee? But,
friend, [_To Rover._] thou hast assumed a right which here belongeth
alone to me. As I enjoy the blessings which these lands produce, I own
also the heart delighting privilege of dispensing those blessings to
the wretched. Thou mad'st thyself my worldly banker, and no cash of
mine in thine hands, [_Takes a note from a pocket book._] but thus I
balance our account. [_Offers it._]

_Rover._ "Madam, my master pays me, nor can I take money from another
hand, without injuring his honour, and disobeying his commands."

  "Run, run, Orlando, carve on every tree,
  The fair, the chaste, the unexpressive she."
                                            [_Runs off._

_Banks._ But, sir, I insist you'll return him his money. [_To
Twitch._] Stop! [_Going._]

_Twitch._ Aye, stop! [_Holds the skirt of his coat._]

_Lady Am._ Where dwelleth he?

_Banks._ I fancy, where he can, madam. I understand, from his
discourse, that he was on his way to join a company of actors in the
next town.

_Lady Am._ A profane stage-player with such a gentle, generous heart!
Yet so whimsically wild, like the unconscious rose, modestly shrinking
from the recollection of its own grace and sweetness.

     _Enter_ JANE, _from the house, more dressed_.

_Jane._ Now, my lady, I'm fit to attend your ladyship. I look so
genteelish, mayhap her ladyship may take me home with her.

_Lady Am._ This maiden may find out for me whither he goeth.
[_Aside._] Call on my steward, and thy legal demands shall be
satisfied. [_To Twitch._]

_Jane._ Here, coachman, drive up my lady's chariot, nearer to our
door. [_Calls off._] Charott! If she'd take me with her, la! how all
the folks will stare. [_Aside._] Madam, though the roads are so very
dusty, I'll walk all the way on foot to your ladyship's house--ay,
though I should spoil my bran new petticoat.

_Lady Am._ Rather than sully thy garment, thou shalt be seated by me.
Friend, be cheerful; thine and thy sister's sorrows shall be but an
April shower.

_Jane._ Oh, your ladyship!--Ecod, if I didn't think so--[_Aside._]

     _Enter_ SIM.

Here, you Sim, order the charott for us.

_Sim._ Us! Come, come, Jane, I've the little tilt cart to carry you.

_Jane._ Cart! [_Exeunt severally._


_Before an Inn._

_Enter_ ROVER _and_ WAITER.

_Rover._ Hillo! friend, when does the coach set out for London?

_Waiter._ In about an hour, sir.

_Rover._ Has the Winchester coach passed?

_Waiter._ No, sir. [_Exit._

_Rover._ That's lucky! Then my trunk is here still. Go I will not.
Since I've lost the fellowship of my friend Dick, I'll travel no more,
I'll try a London audience, who knows but I may get an engagement.
This celestial lady quaker! She must be rich, and ridiculous for such
a poor dog as I am, even to think of her. How Dick would laugh at me
if he knew--I dare say by this she has released my kind host from the
gripe--I should like to be certain, though.

     _Enter_ LANDLORD.

_Land._ You'll dine here, sir? I'm honest Bob Johnstone; kept the Sun
these twenty years. Excellent dinner on table at two.

_Rover._ "Yet my love indeed is appetite; I'm as hungry as the sea,
and can digest as much."

_Land._ Then you won't do for my shilling ordinary, sir; there's a
very good ordinary at the Saracen's head, at the end of the town.
Shou'dn't have thought indeed, hungry foot travellers to eat
like----coming, sir. [_Exit._

_Rover._ I'll not join this company at Winchester. I will take a touch
at a London theatre. The public there are candid and generous, and
before my merit can have time to create enemies, I'll save money,
and,--"a fig for the Sultan and Sophy."

     _Enter_ JANE, _at the back, and_ SIM, _watching her_.

_Jane._ Ay, that's he!

_Rover._ But if I fail, by Heaven I'll overwhelm the manager, his
empire, and--"himself in one prodigious ruin."

_Jane._ Ruin! Oh Lord! [_Runs back._]

_Sim._ What can you expect, when you follow young men? I've dodg'd you
all the way.

_Jane._ Well! wasn't I sent?

_Sim._ Oh yes, you were sent--very likely. Who sent you?

_Jane._ It was--I won't tell it's my lady, 'cause she bid me not.

_Sim._ I'll keep you from sheame--a fine life I should have in the
parish, rare fleering, if a sister of moine should stand some Sunday
at church in a white sheet, and to all their flouts what could I say?

_Rover._ Thus, "I say my sister's wrong'd, my sister _Blowsabella_,
born as high and noble as the _attorney_--do her justice, or by the
gods I'll lay a scene of blood, shall make this _haymow_ horrible to
Beebles."--"Say that, Chamont."

_Sim._ I believe it's full moon. You go hoame to your place, and moind
your business.

_Jane._ My lady will be so pleas'd I found him! I don't wonder at it,
he's such a fine spoken man.

_Sim._ Dang it! Will you stand here grinning at the wild bucks.

_Jane._ Perhaps the gentleman might wish to send her ladyship a
compliment. An't please you, sir, if it's even a kiss between us two,
it shall go safe; for, though you should give it me, brother Sim then
can take it to my lady.

_Rover._ "I kiss'd thee e'er I kill'd thee."

_Jane._ Kill me!

_Rover._ "No way but this, killing myself to die upon a kiss!"

_Sim._ Go! [_To Jane--puts her out._]

_Rover._ "Ay; to a nunnery go to." I'm cursedly out of spirits; but
hang sorrow, I may as well divert myself.--"'Tis meat and drink for
me to see a clown."--"Shepherd, was't ever at Court?"

_Sim._ Not I.

_Rover._ "Then thou art damn'd."

_Sim._ Eh!

_Rover._ Ay, "thou art damn'd like an ill roasted egg--all on one
side."--Little Hospitality. [_Looking out._

     _Enter_ FARMER GAMMON.

_F. Gam._ Eh, where's the showman, that wants to hire my barn? So,
Madam Jane, I place her out to sarvice, and instead of attending her
mistress, she gets gallopping all about the village.--How's this, son?

_Rover._ "Your son? Young Clodpate, take him to your wheat stack, and
there teach him manners."

_F. Gam._ Ah, thou'rt the fellow that would bolt out of the dirty
roads into people's houses. Ho, ho, ho! Sim's schooling is mightily
thrown away if he hasn't more manners than thou.

_Sim._ Why, feyther, it is! Gadzooks, he be one of the play! Acted Tom
Fool, in King Larry, at Lymington, t'other night--I thought I know'd
the face, thof he had a straw cap, and a blanket about'n--Ho, ho! how
comical that was when you said--

_Rover._ "Pillicock sat upon Pillicock hill, pil--i--loo, loo!"

_Sim._ That's it! He's at it! [_Claps._] Laugh, feyther.

_F. Gam._ Hold your tongue, boy! I believe he's no better than he
should be. The moment I saw him, says I to myself, _you are a rogue_.

_Rover._ There you spoke truth for once in your life.

_F. Gam._ I'm glad to hear you confess it. But her ladyship shall have
the vagrants whipp'd out of the country.

_Rover._ Vagrant! "Thou wretch! despite o'erwhelm thee!" "Only squint,
and, by Heaven, I'll beat thy blown body till it rebounds like a
tennis ball."

_Sim._ Beat my feyther! No, no. Thou must first beat me. [_Puts
himself in a posture of defence._]

_Rover._ [_Aside, with great feeling._] "Though love cool, friendship
fall off, brothers divide, subjects rebel, oh! never let the sacred
bond be crack'd 'twixt son and father!"--I never knew a father's
protection, never had a father to protect. [_Puts his handkerchief to
his eyes._]

_Sim._ Ecod! he's not acting now!

     _Enter_ LANDLORD, _with a book, pen, and ink_.

_F. Gam._ Landlord, is this Mr. Lamp here?

_Land._ I've just opened a bottle for him and t'other in the parlour.

_Rover._ "Go, father, with thy son; give him a livery more guarded
than his fellows."

_Sim._ Livery! Why, I be no sarvant man, though sister Jane is. Gi's
thy hand. [_To Rover._] I don't know how 'tis; but I think I could
lose my life for him; but mustn't let feyther be lickt though--No,
no! [_Going, turns and looks at Rover._] Ecod, I ne'er shall forget
Pillicock! [_Exeunt_ FARMER GAMMON _and_ SIM.

_Rover._ Thou art an honest reptile, I'll make my entrée on the London
boards in Bayes, yes, I shall have no comparison against me. "Egad,
it's very hard that a gentleman and an author can't come to teach
them, but he must break his nose, and--and--all that--but--so the
players are gone to dinner."

_Land._ No such people frequent the Sun, I assure you.

_Rover._ "Sun, moon, and stars!"--Now mind the eclipse, Mr. Johnson.

_Land._ I heard nothing of it, sir.

_Rover._ "There's the sun between the earth and moon--there's the moon
between the earth and the sun, tol, lol, lol! dance the hay! Luna
means to show her tail."

     _Enter_ WAITER.

_Waiter._ Two gentlemen in the parlour would speak with you.

_Rover._ "I attend them, were they twenty times our mother."

_Waiter._ Your mother, sir! why it is two gentlemen.

_Rover._ Say I attend them with all respect and duty. [_Exit Waiter._

_Land._ Sir, you go in the stage; as we book the passengers, what

_Rover._ "I am the bold Thunder." [_Exit._

_Land._ [_Writing._] Mr. Thunder.

     _Enter_ JOHN DORY.

_John._ I want two places in the stage coach, because I and another
gentleman are going a voyage.

_Land._ Just two vacant; what name?

_John._ Avast! I go aloft. But let's see who'll be my master's
messmates in the cabin: [_Reads._] Captain Muccolah, Counsellor
Fazacherly, Miss Gosling, Mr. Thunder. What's this? speak, man! is
there one of that name going?

_Land._ Booked him this minute.

_John._ If our voyage should now be at an end before we begin it?--If
this Mr. Thunder should be my master's son!--What rate is this vessel?

_Land._ Rate!

_John._ What sort of a gentleman is he?

_Land._ Oh; a rum sort of a gentleman; I suspect he's one of the

_John._ True; Sam said it was some player's people coaxed him away
from Portsmouth school. It must be the 'squire--show me where he's
moored, my old purser. [_Exit, singing, and_ LANDLORD _following_.


_A Room in the Inn._

LAMP _and_ TRAP [_discovered drinking._]

_Trap._ This same Farmer Gammon seems a surly spark.

_Lamp._ No matter. His barn will hold a good thirty pounds, and if I
can but engage this young fellow, this Rover, he'll cram it every
night he plays. He's certainly a devilish good actor. Now, Trap, you
must enquire out a carpenter, and be brisk about the building. I think
we shall have smart business, as we stand so well for pretty women,
too. Oh, here he is!

_Trap._ Snap him at any terms.

     _Enter_ ROVER.

_Rover._ Gentlemen, your most obedient--The waiter told me--

_Lamp._ Sir, to our better acquaintance. [_Fills._]

_Rover._ I don't recollect I have the honour of knowing--

_Lamp._ Mr. Rover, though I am a stranger to you, your merit is none
to me.

_Rover._ Sir. [_Bows._]

_Lamp._ Yes, sir, my name is Lamp: I am manager of the company of
comedians that's come down here, and Mr. Trap is my treasurer, engages
performers, sticks bills, finds properties, keeps box-books, prompts
play, and takes the town.

_Trap._ The most reputable company, and charming money getting
circuit. [_Apart to Rover._]

_Rover._ Hav'n't a doubt, sir.

_Lamp._ Only suffer me to put up your name to play with us six nights,
and twelve guineas are yours.

_Rover._ Sir, I thank you, and must confess your offer is liberal; but
my friends have flattered me into a sort of opinion that encourages me
to take a touch at the capital.

_Lamp._ Ah, my dear Mr. Rover, a London theatre is dangerous ground.

_Rover._ Why, I may fail, and gods may groan, and ladies drawl, "La,
what an awkward creature!" But should I top my part, then shall gods
applaud, and ladies sigh, "The charming fellow!" and treasurers smile
upon me, as they count the shining guineas!

_Lamp._ But, suppose--

_Rover._ Ay, suppose the contrary, I have a certain friend here, in my
coat pocket [_Puts his hand in his pocket._] Eh! zounds! where is--oh,
the devil! I gave it to discharge my kind host--going for London, and
not master of five shillings! [_Aside._] "Sir, to return to the twenty

_Lamp._ Twenty pounds. Well, let it be so.

_Rover._ Sir, I engage with you, call a rehearsal when and where you
please, I'll attend.

_Lamp._ Sir, I'll step for the cast book, and you shall chuse your

_Trap._ And, sir, I'll write out the play-bills directly. [_Exeunt_
LAMP _and_ TRAP.

_Rover._ Since I must remain here some time, and I've not the most
distant hope of ever speaking to this goddess again, I wish I had
inquired her name, that I might know how to keep out of her way.

     _Enter_ JOHN DORY _and_ LANDLORD.

_Landl._ There's the gentleman.

_John._ Very well. [_Exit_ LANDLORD.] What cheer, ho, master squire?

_Rover._ Cheer, ho! my hearty!

_John._ The very face of his father! And an't you asham'd of yourself?

_Rover._ Why, yes, I am sometimes.

_John._ Do you know, if I had you at the gangways, I'd give you a
neater dozen than ever you got from your schoolmaster's cat-a-nine

_Rover._ You woudn't sure?

_John._ I would sure.

_Rover._ Indeed?--Pleasant enough! who is this genius?

_John._ I've dispatch'd a shallop to tell Lady Amaranth you're here.

_Rover._ You havn't?

_John._ I have.

_Rover._ Now, who the devil's Lady Amaranth?

_John._ I expect her chariot every moment, and when it comes, you'll
get into it, and I'll get into it, and I'll set you down genteely at
her house; then I'll have obeyed my orders, and I hope your father
will be satisfied.

_Rover._ My father! who's he pray?

_John._ Pshaw! leave off your fun, and prepare to ask his pardon.

_Rover._ Ha, ha, ha! Why, my worthy friend, you are totally wrong in
this affair. Upon my word I'm not the person you take me for. [_Going._]

_John._ You don't go, though they've got your name down in the stage
coach book, Mr. Thunder.

_Rover._ Mr. Thunder! stage coach book! [_Pauses._] ha, ha, ha! This
must be some curious blunder.

_John._ Oh! my lad, your father, Sir George, will change your note.

_Rover._ He must give me one first. Sir George! then my father is a
knight, it seems; ha, ha, ha! very good, faith! 'pon my honour, I am
not the gentleman that you think me.

_John._ I ought not to think you any gentleman for giving your honour
in a falsehood. Oh! them play actors you went amongst have quite
spoiled you. I wish only one of 'em would come in my way. I'd teach
'em to bring a gentleman's son tramboozing about the country.

     _Enter_ WAITER.

_Waiter._ Her ladyship's chariot's at the door, and I fancy it's you,
sir, the coachman wants.

_John._ Yes, it's me. I attend your honour.

_Rover._ Then you insist on it that I am--

_John._ I insist on nothing, only you shall come.

_Rover._ Indeed! Shall! Shall is a word don't sound over agreeable to
my ears.

_John._ Does a pretty girl sound well to your ear?

_Rover._ "More music in the clink of her horses' hoofs than twenty
hautboys." Why, is this Lady Thing-o-me pretty?

_John._ Beautiful as a mermaid, and stately as a ship under sail.

_Rover._ Egad! I've a mind to humour the frolic--Well, well, I'll see
your mermaid. But then on the instant of my appearance the mistake
must be discovered. [_Aside._] Harkye, is this father of mine you talk
of at this lady's?

_John._ No: your father's in chase of the deserters. I find he's
afraid to face the old one, so, if I tell him, he won't go with me.
[_Aside._] No, no, we shan't see him in a hurry.

_Rover._ Then I'll venture. Has the lady ever seen me?

_John._ Psha! none of your jokes, man; you know, that her ladyship, no
more than myself, has set eyes upon you since you was the bigness of a
rumbo canakin.

_Rover._ The choice is made. I have my Ranger's dress in my trunk:
"Cousin of Buckingham, thou sage grave man!"

_John._ What?

_Rover._ "Since you will buckle fortune on my back, to bear her
burden, whether I will or no, I must have patience to endure the load;
but if black scandal, or foul faced"----

_John._ Black! my foul face was as fair as yours before I went to sea.

_Rover._ "Your mere enforcement shall acquittance me."

_John._ Man, don't stand preaching parson Sacks--come to the chariot.

_Rover._ Ay, to the chariot! "Bear me, Bucephalus, among the
billows,--hey! for the Tygris!" [_Exeunt._





_Lady Am._ Though thou hast settled that distressed gentleman's debt,
let his sister come unto me; and remit a quarter's rent unto all my

_Eph._ As thou bid'st I have discharged from the pound the widow's
cattle; but shall I let the lawsuit drop against the farmer's son who
did shoot the pheasant?

_Lady Am._ Yea; but instantly turn from my service the gamekeeper's
man that did kill the fawn, while it was eating from his hand. We
should hate guile, though we may love venison.

_Eph._ I love a young doe.--[_Aside._] Since the death of friend
Dovehouse, who, (though one of the faithful) was an active magistrate,
this part of the country is infested with covetous men, called robbers,
and I have, in thy name, said unto the people, whoever apprehendeth
one of these, I will reward him, yea with thirty pieces of gold.
[_A loud knocking without._] That beating of one brass against another
at thy door, proclaimeth the approach of vanity, whose pride of heart
swelleth at an empty sound. [_Exit._

_Lady Am._ But my heart is possessed with the idea of that wandering
youth, whose benevolence induced him to part with, perhaps, his
all, to free the unhappy debtor. His person is amiable, his address
(according to worldly modes) formed to please, to delight. But he's
poor; is that a crime? Perhaps meanly born: but one good action is an
illustrious pedigree. I feel I love him, and in that word are birth,
fame, and riches.

     _Enter_ JANE.

_Jane._ Madam, my lady, an't please you--

_Lady Am._ Didst thou find the young man, that I may return him the
money he paid for my tenant?

_Jane._ I found him, ma'am, and--I found him, and he talked of--what
he said.

_Lady Am._ What did he say?

_Jane._ He saw me, ma'am--and call'd me Blowsabella, and said he
would--I'll be hang'd, ma'am, if he didn't say he would--Now, think
of that;--but if he hadn't gone to London in the stage coach--

_Lady Am._ Is he gone? [_With emotion._

     _Enter_ JOHN DORY.

_John._ Oh, my lady, mayhap John Dory is not the man to be sent after
young gentlemen that scamper from school, and run about the country
play acting! Pray walk up stairs, Master Thunder: [_Calls off._]

_Lady Am._ Hast thou brought my kinsman hither?

_John._ Well, I havn't then.

_Jane._ If you havn't, what do you make a talk about it?

_John._ Well, don't give me your palaver, young Miss Slip Slop.--Will
you only walk up, if you please, Master Harry?

_Jane._ Will you walk up, if you please, Master Harry?

_Lady Am._ Friendship requireth, yet I am not disposed to commune with

_Jane._ Oh, bless me, ma'am! if it isn't--

     _Enter_ ROVER, _dressed_.

_Rover._ "'Tis I, Hamlet the Dane!"--"Thus far into the bowels of the
land, have we marched on."--"John, that bloody and devouring boar!"

_John._ He called me bull in the coach.

_Jane._ I don't know what brought such a bull in the coach.

_Rover._ This the Lady Amaranth! By Heavens, the very angel quaker!

_Lady Am._ [_Turns._] The dear, generous youth, my cousin Harry!

_John._ There he's for you, my lady, and make the most of him.

_Jane._ Oh, how happy my lady is! he looks so charming now he's fine.

_John._ Harkye! she's as rich as a Spanish Indiaman; and I tell you,
your father wishes you'd grapple her by the heart--court her, you mad
devil. [_Apart to_ ROVER.] There's an engagement to be between these
two vessels: but little Cupid's the only man that's to take minutes,
so come. [_To_ JANE.]

_Jane._ Ma'am, an't I to wait on you?

_John._ No, my lass, you're to wait on me.

_Jane._ Wait on this great sea-bull! lack-a-daisy! am I--am--

_John._ By this, Sir George is come to the inn. Without letting the
younker know, I'll go bring him here, and smuggle both father and son
into a joyful meeting. [_Aside._]--[_To_ JANE.] Come now, usher me
down like a lady.

_Jane._ This way, Mr. Sailor Gentleman. [_Exeunt_ JOHN _and_ JANE.

_Rover._ By Heavens, a most delectable woman! [_Aside._

_Lady Am._ Cousin, when I saw thee in the village free the sheep from
the wolf, why didst not tell me then thou wert son to my uncle, Sir

_Rover._ Because, my lady, then I--did'nt know it myself--[_Aside._

_Lady Am._ Why wouldst vex thy father, and quit thy school.

_Rover._ "A truant disposition, good my lady, brought me from

_Lady Am._ Thy father designs thee for his dangerous profession; but
is thy inclination turned to the voice of trumpets, and smites of
mighty slaughter?

_Rover._ "Why, ma'am, as for old Boreas, my dad, when the blast of war
blows in his ears, he's a tyger in his fierce resentment."--But for
me, "I think it a pity, so it is, that villainous saltpetre should be
digg'd out of the bowels of the harmless earth, which many a good tall
fellow has destroyed, with wounds and guns, and drums, Heav'n save the

_Lady Am._ Indeed thou art tall, my cousin, and grown of comely stature.
Our families have long been separated.

_Rover._ They have--Since Adam, I believe--[_Aside._] "Then, lady, let
that sweet bud of love now ripen to a beauteous flower?"

_Lady Am._ Love!

_Rover._ "Excellent wench! perdition catch my soul, but I do love
thee, and when I love thee not, chaos is come again."

_Lady Am._ Thou art of an happy disposition.

_Rover._ "If I were now to die, 'twere now to be most happy." "Let our
senses dance in concert to the joyful minutes, and this, and this, the
only discord make." [_Embracing._

     _Enter_ JANE, _with cake and wine_.

_Jane._ Ma'am, an't please you, Mr. Zachariah bid me----

_Rover._ "Why, you fancy yourself Cardinal Wolsey in this family."

_Jane._ No, sir, I'm not Cardinal Wolsey, I'm only my lady's maid
here--Jenny Gammon, at your service.

_Rover._ "A bowl of cream for your Catholic majesty."

_Jane._ Cream! No, sir, it's wine and water.

_Rover._ "You get no water, take the wine, great potentate."--
[_Gives Lady_ AMARANTH _a glass, then drinks_.]

_Jane._ Madam, my father begs leave--

_Rover._ "Go, go, thou shallow Pomona."--[_Puts her out._] Eh! Zounds,
here's my manager.

     _Enter_ FARMER GAMMON _and_ LAMP.

_F. Gam._ I hope her ladyship hasn't found out 'twas I had Banks
arrested. [_Aside._]--Would your ladyship give leave for this here
honest man and his comrades to act a few plays in the town, 'cause
I've let'n my barn. 'Twill be some little help to me, my lady.

_Rover._ My lady, I understand these affairs. Leave me to settle 'em.

_Lady Am._ True; these are delusions, as a woman, I understand not.
But by my cousin's advice I will abide; ask his permission.

_Gam._ So; I must pay my respects to the young squire. [_Aside._] An't
please your honour, if a poor man like me [_Bows._] durst offer my
humble duty.--

_Rover._ Canst thou bow to a vagrant. Eh, Little Hospitality?

     [FARMER GAMMON _looks in his face, and sneaks off_.

_Lamp._ Please your honour, if I may presume to hope you'll be
graciously pleased to take our little squad under your honour's

_Rover._ Ha!

_Lady Am._ What say'st thou, Henry?

_Rover._ Ay, where's Henry? Gadso! True, that's me. Strange I should
already forget my name, and not half an hour since I was christened!
[_Aside._] Harkye! do you play yourself? Eh! Ha! Hem! [_Vapouring._]

_Lamp._ Yes, sir; and sir, I have just now engaged a new actor, Mr.
Rover. Such an actor!

_Rover._ Eh! What! you've engaged that--what's his name, Rover? If
such is your best actor, you shan't have my permission. My dear madam,
the worst fellow in the world. Get along out of town, or I'll have all
of you, man, woman, child, stick, rag, and fiddlestick, clapt into the

_Lady Am._ Good man, abide not here.

_Rover._ Eh! What, my friend? Now, indeed, if this new actor you brag
of, this crack of your company, was any thing like a gentleman--

_Lamp._ [_Stares._] It isn't!

_Rover._ It is. My good friend, if I was really the unfortunate poor
strolling dog you thought me, I should tread your four boards, and
crow the cock of your barn-door fowl; but as fate has ordained that
I'm a gentleman, and son to Sir,--Sir,--what the devil's my father's
name? [_Aside._] you must be content to murder Shakspeare without
making me an accomplice.

_Lamp._ But, my most gentle sir, I, and my treasurer, Trap, have
trumpeted your fame ten miles round the country:--the bills are
posted, the stage built, the candles booked, fiddles engaged; all
on the tip-top of expectation. We should have to-morrow night an
overflow, ay, thirty pounds. Dear, worthy sir, you wou'dn't go to
ruin a whole community and their families that now depend only on
the exertion of your brilliant talents.

_Rover._ Eh! I never was uniform but in one maxim, that is, though I
do little good, to hurt nobody but myself.

_Lady Am._ Since thou hast promised, much as I prize my adherence to
those customs in which I was brought up, thou shalt not sully thy
honour by a breach of thy word. Play, if it can bring good to these

_Rover._ Shall I?

_Lady Am._ This falleth out well; for I have bidden all the gentry
round unto my house warming, and these pleasantries may afford them a
cheerful and innocent entertainment.

_Rover._ True, my lady; your guests ar'n't quakers though you are,
and when we ask people to our house, we study to please them, not
ourselves. But if we do furbish a play or two, the muses sha'n't
honour that churlish fellow's barn. No; the god, that illumines the
soul of genius, should never visit the iron door of inhumanity. No
Gammon's barn for me!--

_Lady Am._ Barn! no; that gallery shall be thy theatre; and, in spite
of the grave doctrines of Ephraim Smooth, my friends and I will behold
and rejoice in thy pranks, my pleasant cousin.

_Rover._ My kind, my charming lady! Hey, brighten up, bully Lamp,
carpenters, tailor, manager, distribute your box tickets for my lady's
gallery.--"Come, gentle coz,"

  "The actors are at hand, and by their show
   You shall know all
   That you are like to know."         [_Exeunt._


_The Inn._

_Enter_ HARRY, _and_ MIDGE.

_Harry._ Though I went back to Portsmouth academy with a contrite
heart, to continue my studies, yet, from my father's angry letter, I
dread a woeful storm at our first meeting. I fancy the people at this
inn don't recollect me; it reminds me of my pleasant friend, poor Jack
Rover, I wonder where he is now.

_Midge._ And brings to my memory a certain stray vaguing acquaintance
of mine, poor Dick Buskin.

_Harry._ Ha, ha, ha! Then I desire, sir, you'll turn Dick Buskin again
out of your memory.

_Midge._ Can't, sir. The dear, good-natur'd, wicked son of a----beg
your honour's pardon.

_Harry._ Oh, but Midge, you must, as soon as I'm dressed, step out and
enquire whose house is this my father's at; I did not think he had any
acquaintance in this part of the country. Sound what humour he's in,
and how the land lies, before I venture in his presence. [_Exeunt._

     _Enter_ SIR GEORGE THUNDER, _agitated, and_ LANDLORD.

_Sir Geo._ I can hear nothing of these deserters; yet, by my first
intelligence, they'll not venture up to London. They must still be
lurking about the country. Landlord, have any suspicious persons ever
put in at your house?

_Land._ Yes, sir; now and then.

_Sir Geo._ Zounds! what do you do with them?

_Land._ Why, sir, when a man calls for liquor that I think has no
money, I make him pay beforehand.

_Sir Geo._ Damn your liquor, you self-interested porpoise! Chatter
your own private concerns, when the public good, or fear of general
calamity, should be the only compass! These fellows, that I'm in
pursuit of, have run from their ships; if our navy's unmann'd, what
becomes of you and your house, you dunghill cormorant?

_Land._ This is a very abusive sort of a gentleman; but he has a full
pocket, or he wouldn't be so saucy. [_Aside._] [_Exit._

_Sir Geo._ This rascal, I believe, doesn't know I'm Sir George
Thunder. Winds, still variable, blow my affairs right athwart each
other.--To know what's become of my runagate son Harry,--and there my
rich lady niece, pressing and squeezing up the noble plumage of our
illustrious family in her little mean quaker bonnet. But I must up to
town after--'Sblood, when I catch my son Harry!--Oh, here's John Dory.

     _Enter_ JOHN DORY.

Have you taken the places in the London coach for me?

_John._ Hahoy! your honour, is that yourself?

_Sir Geo._ No, I'm beside myself--heard any thing of my son?--

_John._ What's o'clock?

_Sir Geo._ What do you talk of clocks or timepieces--All glasses,
reck'ning, and log-line, are run mad with me.

_John._ If it's two, your son is at this moment walking with Lady
Amaranth in her garden.

_Sir Geo._ With Lady Amaranth!

_John._ If half after, they're cast anchor to rest themselves amongst
the posies; if three, they're got up again; if four, they're picking a
bit of cramm'd fowl; and, if half after, they're picking their teeth,
and cracking walnuts over a bottle of Calcavella.

_Sir Geo._ My son! my dear friend, where did you find him?

_John._ Why, I found him where he was, and I left him where he is.

_Sir Geo._ What, and he came to Lady Amaranth's?

_John._ No; but I brought him there from this house, in her ladyship's
chariot. I won't tell him Master Harry went amongst the players, or
he'd never forgive him. [_Aside._] Oh! such a merry, civil, crazy,
crack-brain! the very picture of your honour.

_Sir Geo._ Ha, ha, ha! What, he's in high spirits? ha, ha, ha! the
dog! [_Joyfully._] But I hope he's had discretion enough to throw a
little gravity over his mad humour, before his prudent cousin.

_John._ He threw himself on his knees before her, and that did quite
as well.

_Sir Geo._ Ha, ha, ha! made love to her already! Oh, the impudent, the
cunning villain! What, and may be he--[_With great glee._]

_John._ Indeed he did give her a smack.

_Sir Geo._ Me; ha, ha, ha!

_John._ Oh, he's yours! a chip of the old block.

_Sir Geo._ He is! he is! ha, ha, ha!

_John._ Oh, he threw his arms around her as eager as I would to catch
a falling decanter of Madeira.

_Sir Geo._ Huzza! victoria! Here will be a junction of bouncing
estates! but, confound the money. John, you shall have a bowl for a
jolly boat to swim in; roll in here a puncheon of rum, a hogshead of
sugar, shake an orchard of oranges, and let the Landlord drain his
fish-pond yonder. [_Sings._] "A bumper! a bumper of good liquor," &c.

_John._ Then, my good master, Sir George, I'll order a bowl in, since
you are in the humour for it--"We'll dance a little, and sing a
little." [_Singing._] [_Exit._

_Sir Geo._ And so the wild rogue is this instant rattling up her prim
ladyship. Eh, isn't this he? Left her already!

     _Enter_ HARRY.

_Harry._ I must have forgot my cane in this room--My father! Eh!

_Sir Geo._ [_Looks at his watch._] Just half after four! Why, Harry,
you've made great haste in cracking your walnuts.

_Harry._ Yes; he's heard of my frolics with the players. [_Aside._]
Dear father, if you'll but forgive--

_Sir Geo._ Why, indeed, Harry, you've acted very bad.

_Harry._ Sir, it should be considered I was but a novice.

_Sir Geo._ However, I shall think of nothing now but your benefit.

_Harry._ Very odd, his approving of--[_Aside._] I thank you, sir, but,
if agreeable to you, I've done with benefits.

_Sir Geo._ If I wasn't the best of fathers, you might indeed hope none
from me; but no matter, if you can but get the _fair quaker_.

_Harry._ _Or the humours of the navy_, sir?

_Sir Geo._ What, how dare you reflect on the humours of the navy? The
navy has very good humours, or I'd never see your dog's face again,
you villain! But I'm cool. What, eh, boy, a snug, easy chariot?

_Harry._ I'll order it. Waiter, desire my father's carriage to draw
up. [_Calls._

_Sir Geo._ Mine, you rogue! I've none here. I mean Lady Amaranth's.

_Harry._ Yes, sir; Lady Amaranth's chariot! [_Calling._]

_Sir Geo._ What are you at? I mean that which you left this house in.

_Harry._ Chariot! sir, I left this house on foot.

_Sir Geo._ What, with John Dory?

_Harry._ No, sir, with Jack Rover.

_Sir Geo._ Why, John has been a rover to be sure; but now he's
settled, since I've made him my valet de chambre.

_Harry._ Make him your valet! Why, sir, where did you meet him?

_Sir Geo._ Zounds! I met him on board, and I met him on shore, and the
cabin, steerage, gallery, and forecastle. He sailed round the world
with me.

_Harry._ Strange this, sir! certainly I understood he had been in the
East Indies; but he never told me he even knew you; but, indeed, he
knew me only by the name of Dick Buskin.

_Sir Geo._ Then how came he to bring you to Lady Amaranth's?

_Harry._ Bring me where?

_Sir Geo._ Answer me. Ar'n't you now come from her ladyship's.

_Harry._ [_Stares._] Me? Not I.

_Sir Geo._ Ha! this is a lie of John's, to enhance his own services.
Then you have not been there?

_Harry._ There! I don't know where you mean, sir.

_Sir Geo._ Yes; 'tis all a brag of John's, but I'll--

     _Enter_ JOHN DORY.

_John._ The rum and sugar is ready; but as for the fish-pond--

_Sir Geo._ I'll kick you into it, you thirsty old grampus.

_John._ Will you? Then I'll make a comical roasted orange.

_Sir Geo._ How dare you say you brought my son to Lady Amaranth's?

_John._ And who says I did not?

_Sir Geo._ He that best should know; only Dick Buskin here.

_John._ Then Dick Buskin might find some other amusement than shooting
off his guns here.

_Sir Geo._ Did you bring my son to Lady Amaranth's in her chariot?

_John._ And to be sure I did.

_Sir Geo._ There, what do you say to that?

_Harry._ I say it's false.

_John._ False! Shiver my hulk, Mr. Buskin, if you wore a lion's skin,
I'd curry you for this. [_Exit, in a rage._

_Sir Geo._ No, no, John's honest; I see through it now. The puppy has
seen her, perhaps he has the impudence not to like her, and so blows
up this confusion and perplexity only to break off a marriage that
I've set my heart on.

_Harry._ What does he mean? Sir, I'll assure you--

_Sir Geo._ Damn your assurance, you disobedient, ungrateful--I'll not
part with you till I confront you with Lady Amaranth herself, face to
face, and if I prove you've been deceiving me, I'll launch you into
the wide ocean of life without rudder, compass, grog, or tobacco.




_Enter_ LADY AMARANTH, _reading_.

_Lady Am._ The fanciful flights of my pleasant cousin enchant my
senses. This book he gave me to read containeth good moral. The man
Shakspeare, that did write it, they call immortal; he must indeed
have been filled with a divine spirit. I understand, from my cousin,
the origin of plays were religious mysteries; that, freed from the
superstition of early, and the grossness of latter, ages, the stage is
now the vehicle of delight and morality. If so, to hear a good play,
is taking the wholesome draught of precept from a golden cup, embossed
with gems; yet, my giving countenance to have one in my house, and
even to act in it myself, prove the ascendancy, that my dear Harry
hath over my heart--Ephraim Smooth is much scandalized at these

     _Enter_ EPHRAIM.

_Eph._ This mansion is now the tabernacle of Baal.

_Lady Am._ Then abide not in it.

_Eph._ 'Tis full of the wicked ones.

_Lady Am._ Stay not amongst the wicked ones. [_Loud laughing without._

_Eph._ I must shut mine ears.

_Lady Am._ And thy mouth also, good Ephraim. I have bidden my cousin
Henry to my house, and I will not set bounds to his mirth to gratify
thy spleen, and show mine own inhospitality.

_Eph._ Why dost thou suffer him to put into the hands of thy servants
books of tragedies, and books of comedies, prelude, interlude, yea,
all lewd. My spirit doth wax wrath. I say unto thee a playhouse is the
school for the old dragon, and a playbook the primer of Belzebub.

_Lady Am._ This is one; mark! [_Reads._] "Not the king's crown, nor
the deputed sword, the marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe,
become them with one half so good a grace as mercy doth. Oh, think
on that, and mercy then will breathe within your lips like man new
made!"--Doth Belzebub speak such words?

_Eph._ Thy kinsman has made all the servants actors.

_Lady Am._ To act well is good service.

_Eph._ Here cometh the damsel for whom my heart yearneth.

     _Enter_ JANE, _reading a paper joyfully_.

_Jane._ Oh, ma'am, his honour the 'squire says the play's to be "As
you like it."

_Eph._ I like it not.

_Jane._ He's given me my character. I'm to be Miss Audrey, and brother
Sim's to be William of the forest, as it were. But how am I to get my
part by heart?

_Lady Am._ By often reading it.

_Jane._ Well, I don't know but that's as good as any other. But I must
study my part. "The gods give us joy." [_Exit._

_Eph._ Thy maidens skip like young kids.

_Lady Am._ Then do thou go skip with them.

_Eph._ Mary, thou shou'd'st be obey'd in thine own house, and I will
do thy bidding.

_Lady Am._ Ah, thou hypocrite! To obey is easy when the heart commands.

     _Enter_ ROVER, _pushing by_ EPHRAIM.

_Rover._ Oh, my charming cousin, how agree you and Rosalind? Are you
almost perfect? "Eh, what, all a-mort, old Clytus?" "Why, you're like
an angry fiend broke in among the laughing gods."--Come, come, I'll
have nothing here, but "Quips and cranks, and wreathed smiles, such as
dwell on Hebe's cheek." [_Looking at_ LADY AMARANTH.

_Lady Am._ He says we mustn't have this amusement.

_Rover._ "But I'm a voice potential, double as the Duke's, and I say
we must."

_Eph._ Nay.

_Rover._ Yea: "By Jupiter, I swear, aye." [_Music without._

_Eph._ I must shut my ears. The man of sin rubbeth the hair of the
horse to the bowels of the cat.

     _Enter_ LAMP, _with a Violin_.

_Lamp._ Now, if agreeable to your ladyship, we'll go over your song.

_Eph._ I will go over it.

     [_Snatches the book from_ LADY AMARANTH, _throws it on the
       ground, and steps on it_.

_Rover._ Trample on Shakspeare! "You sacrilegious thief, that, from a
shelf the precious diadem stole, and put it in thy pocket!" [_Takes up
the book and presents it again to_ LADY AMARANTH.] Silence, "thou owl
of Crete," and hear the "Cuckoo's song."

_Lady Am._ To practise it I'm content.

    [LAMP _begins to play_. EPHRAIM _jostles him, and puts him
     out of tune_.

_Lamp._ Why, what's that for, my dear sir?

_Eph._ Friend, this is a land of freedom, and I've as much right to
move my elbow as thou hast to move thine. [ROVER _pushes him_.] Why
dost thou so friend?

_Rover._ Friend, this is a land of freedom, and I have as much right
to move my elbow, as thou hast to move thine. [_Mimicking, shoves_
EPHRAIM _out_.

_Lady Am._ But, Harry, do your people of fashion act these follies

_Rover._ Ay, and scramble for the top parts as eager as for star,
ribband, place, or pension. Lamp, decorate the seats out smart and
theatrical, and drill the servants that I've given the small parts
to--[_Exit_ LAMP.

_Lady Am._ I wished for some entertainment, (in which gay people now
take delight,) to please those I have invited; but we'll convert these
follies into a charitable purpose. Tickets for this day shall be
delivered unto my friends gratis; but money to their amount, I will,
from my own purse (after rewarding our assistants) distribute amongst
the indigent of the village. Thus, whilst we please ourselves, and
perhaps amuse our friends, we shall make the poor happy. [_Exit._

_Rover._ An angel! If Sir George doesn't soon arrive, to blow me, I
may, I think, marry her angelic ladyship; but will that be honest?
She's nobly born, though I suspect I had ancestors too, if I knew
who they were. I certainly entered this house the poorest wight in
England, and what must she imagine when I am discovered? That I am a
scoundrel; and, consequently, though I should possess her hand and
fortune, instead of loving, she'll despise me----[_Sits down._] I want
a friend now, to consult--deceive her I will not. Poor Dick Buskin
wants money more than myself, yet this is a measure I'm sure he'd
scorn. No, no, I must not.--

     _Enter_ HARRY.

_Harry._ Now I hope my passionate father will be convinced that this
is the first time I ever was under this roof. Eh, what beau is here?
Astonishing! My old strolling friend! [_Unperceived, sits by_ ROVER.

_Rover._ Heigho! I don't know what to do.

_Harry._ [_In the same tone._] "Nor what to say."

_Rover._ [_Turns_] Dick Buskin! My dear fellow! Ha! ha! ha! Talk of
the devil, and--I was just thinking of you--'Pon my soul, Dick, I'm so
happy to see you! [_Shakes hands cordially._

_Harry._ But, Jack, eh, perhaps you found me out?

_Rover._ Found you! I'm sure I wonder how the deuce you found me out.
Ah, the news of my intended play has brought you.

_Harry._ He does'nt know as yet who I am; so I'll carry it on.
[_Aside._] Then you too have broke your engagement with Truncheon, at
Winchester; figuring it away in your stage clothes too. Really, tell
us what you are at here, Jack?

_Rover._ Will you be quiet with your Jacking? I'm now 'Squire Harry.

_Harry._ What?

_Rover._ I've been pressed into this service by an old man of war, who
found me at the inn, and, insisting I am son to a Sir George Thunder,
here, in that character, I flatter myself I have won the heart of the
charming lady of this house.

_Harry._ Now the mystery's out. Then it's my friend Jack has been
brought here for me! [_Aside._] Do you know the young gentleman they
take you for?

_Rover._ No: but I flatter myself he is honoured in his representative.

_Harry._ Upon my soul, Jack, you're a very high fellow.

_Rover._ I am, now I can put some pounds in your pockets; you shall
be employed--we're getting up "_As you like it._" Let's see, in the
cast have I a part for you?--I'll take Touchstone from Lamp, you shall
have it, my boy; I'd resign Orlando to you with any other Rosalind;
but the lady of the mansion plays it herself, you rogue.

_Harry._ The very lady my father intended for me. [_Aside._] Do you
love her, Jack?

_Rover._ To distraction; but I'll not have her.

_Harry._ No! Why?

_Rover._ She thinks me a gentleman, and I'll not convince her I am a
rascal. I'll go on with our play, as the produce is appropriated to
a good purpose, and then lay down my 'squireship, bid adieu to my
heavenly Rosalind, and exit for ever from her house, poor Jack Rover.

_Harry._ The generous fellow I ever thought him! and he sha'n't lose
by it. If I could make him believe--[_Aside._] Well, this is the most
whimsical affair! You've anticipated, superseded me, ha! ha! ha! You'll
scarce believe that I'm come here too (purposely though) to pass
myself for this young Henry.

_Rover._ No!

_Harry._ I am.

_Sir Geo._ [_Without._] Harry, where are you?

_Rover._ Eh! who's that?

_Harry._ Ah! ah! ah! I'll try it; my father will be cursedly vexed;
but no other way. [_Aside._

_Rover._ Somebody called Harry--Zounds! "if the real Simon Pure"
should be arrived, I'm in a fine way!

_Harry._ Be quiet--that's my confederate.

_Rover._ Eh!

_Harry._ He's to personate the father, Sir George. He started the
scheme, having heard that a union was intended, and Sir George not
immediately expected--our plan is, if I can, before his arrival,
flourish myself into the lady's good graces, and whip her up, as
she's an heiress.

_Rover._ But who is this comrade?

_Harry._ One of our company, a devilish good actor in the old man.

_Rover._ So you're turned fortune-hunter! Oh, oh! then 'twas on this
plan that you parted with me on the road, standing like a finger post,
"you walk up that way, and I must walk down this." [_Mimicks._] Why,
Dick, I did'nt know you were half so capital a rogue.

_Harry._ I did'nt know my forte lay that way, till persuaded by this
experienced stager.

_Rover._ He must be an impudent old scoundrel; who is he? Do I not
know him?

_Harry._ Why, no--I hope not. [_Aside._

_Rover._ I'll step down stairs, and have the honour of--I'll kick him.

_Harry._ Stop! No, I wou'dn't have him hurt neither.

_Rover._ What's his name?

_Harry._ His name is--is--Abrawang.

_Rover._ Abrawang! Abrawang! I never heard of him; but, Dick, why would
you let him persuade you to such a scandalous affair?

_Harry._ Why faith, I would have been off it; but when once he takes a
project into his head, the devil himself can't drive him out of it.

_Rover._ Yes; but the constable may drive him into Winchester gaol.

_Harry._ Eh! your opinion of our intended exploit has made me ashamed
of myself--Ha! ha! ha! Harkey, Jack, to frighten and punish my adviser,
do you still keep on your character of young 'Squire Thunder--you can
easily do that, as he, no more than myself, has ever seen the young

_Rover._ But by Heavens I'll--"Quoit him down, Bardolph."

_Harry._ Yes; but, Jack, if you can marry her, her fortune is a snug
thing: besides, if you love each other--I tell you--

_Rover._ Hang, her fortune! "My love, more noble than the world, prizes
not quantity of dirty lands." Oh, Dick, she's the most lovely--she is
female beauty in its genuine decoration! [_Exit._

_Harry._ Ha! ha! ha! this is the drollest--Rover little suspects that
I am the identical Squire Thunder that he personates--I'll lend him
my character a little longer. Yes, this offers a most excellent
opportunity of making my poor friend's fortune, without injuring any
body; if possible, he shall have her. I can't regret the loss of
charms I never knew; and, as for an estate, my father's is competent
to all my wishes. Lady Amaranth, by marrying Jack Rover, will gain a
man of honour, which she might miss in an earl--it may tease my father
a little at first, but he's a good old fellow in the main; and, I
think, when he comes to know my motive--Eh! this must be she--an
elegant woman, faith! Now for a spanking lie, to continue her in the
belief that Jack is the man she thinks him.

     _Enter_ LADY AMARANTH.

_Lady Am._ Who art thou, friend?

_Harry._ Madam, I've scarce time to warn you against the danger you
are in, of being imposed upon by your uncle, Sir George.

_Lady Am._ How?

_Harry._ He has heard of your ladyship's partiality for his son; but
is so incensed at the irregularity of his conduct, he intends, if
possible, to disinherit him; and, to prevent your honouring him with
your hand, had engaged, and brought me hither, to pass me on you for
him, designing to treat the poor young gentleman himself as an impostor,
in hopes you'll banish him your heart and house.

_Lady Am._ Is Sir George such a parent? I thank thee for thy
caution.--What is thy name?

_Harry._ Richard Buskin, ma'am; the stage is my profession. In the
young 'squire's late excursion, we contracted an intimacy, and I
saw so many good qualities in him, that I could not think of being
the instrument of his ruin, nor deprive your ladyship of so good a
husband, as I am certain he'll make you.

_Lady Am._ Then Sir George intends to disown him?

_Harry._ Yes, ma'am; I've this moment told the young gentleman of it;
and he's determined, for a jest, to return the compliment, by seeming
to treat Sir George himself as an impostor.

_Lady Am._ Ha, ha, ha! 'twill be a just retaliation, and, indeed, what
my uncle deserveth for his cruel intentions both to his son and me.

_Sir Geo._ [_Without._] What, has he run away again?

_Lady Am._ That's mine uncle.

_Harry._ Yes; here is my father; and my standing out that I am not his
son, will rouse him into the heat of battle, ha, ha, ha! [_Aside._]
Here he is, madam, now mind how he will dub me 'squire.

_Lady Am._ It's well I'm prepared, or I might have believed him.

     _Enter_ SIR GEORGE.

_Sir Geo._ Well, my lady, wasn't it my wild rogue set you to all the
Calcavella capers you've been cutting in the garden? You see here I
have brought him into the line of battle again--you villain, why do
you drop astern there? Throw a salute shot, buss her bob-stays, bring
to, and come down straight as a mast, you dog.

_Lady Am._ Uncle, who is this?

_Sir Geo._ Who is he! Ha, ha, ha! Gad, that's an odd question to the
fellow that has been cracking your walnuts.

_Lady Am._ He is bad at his lesson.

_Sir Geo._ Certainly, when he ran from school--why don't you speak,
you lubber? you're curst modest now, but before I came, 'twas all done
amongst the posies--Here, my lady, take from a father's hand, Harry

_Lady Am._ That is what I may not.

_Sir Geo._ There, I thought you'd disgust her, you flat fish!

     _Enter_ ROVER.

_Lady Am._ [_Taking_ ROVER'S _hand_.] Here, take from my hand, Harry

_Sir Geo._ Eh! [_Staring at_ ROVER.]

_Rover._ Eh! Oh! this is your sham Sir George? [_Apart._

_Harry._ Yes; I've been telling the lady, and she'll seem to humour

_Rover._ I shan't though. [_To Harry._] How do you do, Abrawang?

_Sir Geo._ Abrawang!

_Rover._ You look like a good actor.--Ay, that's very well, indeed--never
lose sight of your character--you know, Sir George is a noisy, turbulent,
wicked old seaman.--Angry! bravo!--pout your under lip, purse your
brows--very well! But, dem it, Abrawang, you should have put a little
red upon your nose--mind a rule, ever play an angry old man, with a
red nose.

_Sir Geo._ Nose! [_Walks about in a passion._

_Rover._ Very well! that's right! strut about on your little pegs.

_Sir Geo._ I'm in such a fury.

_Rover._ We know that. Your figure is the most happy comedy squab I
ever saw; why only show yourself, and you set the audience in a roar.

_Sir Geo._ 'Sblood and fire!

_Rover._ "Keep it up, I like fun."

_Lady Am._ Who is this? [_To_ SIR GEORGE, _pointing at_ ROVER.

_Sir Geo._ Some puppy unknown.

_Lady Am._ And you don't know this gentleman? [_To_ ROVER, _points to_

_Rover._ Excellently well; "He's a fishmonger."

_Sir Geo._ A what?

_Lady Am._ Yes, father and son are determined not to know each other.
You know this youth? [_To_ ROVER.

_Rover._ [_To_ HARRY.] "My friend, Horatio"--"I wear him in my heart's
core, yea, in my heart of heart, as I do thee." [_Embracing._

_Sir Geo._ Such freedom with my niece before my face! Do you know that
lady, do you know my son, sir?

_Rover._ Be quiet. "Jaffier has discovered the plot, and you can't
deceive the senate."

_Harry._ Yes, my conscience wou'dn't let me carry it through.

_Rover._ "Ay, his conscience hanging about the neck of his heart,
says, good Launcelot, and good Gobbo, as aforesaid, good Launcelot
Gobbo, take to thy heels and run."

_Sir Geo._ Why, my lady! explain, scoundrel, and puppy unknown.

_Lady Am._ Uncle, I've heard thy father was kind to thee, return that
kindness to thy child. If the lamb in wanton play doth fall among the
waters, the shepherd taketh him out, instead of plunging him deeper
till he dieth. Though thy hairs now be grey, I'm told they were once
flaxen; in short, he is too old in folly, who cannot excuse it in
youth. [_Exit._

_Sir Geo._ I'm an old fool! Well, that's damn'd civil of you, madam
niece, and I'm a grey shepherd--with her visions and her vines, and
her lambs in a ditch; but as for you, young Mr. Goat, I'll butt

_Rover._ My dear Abrawang, give up the game--her ladyship, in seeming
to take you for her uncle, has been only humming you! What the devil,
don't you think the fine creature knows her own true born uncle?

_Sir Geo._ Certainly; to be sure she knows me.

_Rover._ Will you have done? Zounds, man, my honoured father was here
himself to-day--Her ladyship knows his person.

_Sir Geo._ Your honoured father! and who's your honoured self?

_Rover._ "Now by my father's son, and that's myself, it shall be sun,
moon, or a Cheshire cheese--before I budge--still crossed and crossed."

_Sir Geo._ What do you bawl out to me of a Cheshire cheese, I say--

_Rover._ "And I say, as the saying is"--your friend Dick, has told me
all; but to convince you of my forgiveness, in our play, as you're
rough and tough, I'll cast you Charles the Wrestler, I do Orlando;
I'll kick up your heels before the whole court.

_Sir Geo._ Why, dam'me, I'll--And you, you undutiful chick of an old
pelican--[_Lifting up his cane, to strike_ HARRY.

     _Enter_ JOHN, _who receives the blow_.

_John._ What are you at here? cudgelling the people about? But, Mr.
Buckskin, I've a word to say to you in private.

_Sir Geo._ Buckskin! take that. [_Beats him._

     _Enter_ LAMP, TRAPP, _and two female_ SERVANTS.

_Lamp._ "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women"----

_Sir Geo._ The men are rogues, and the women hussies--I'll make a
clear stage.

     [_Beats them off--amongst the rest, strikes_ ROVER.

_Rover._ "A blow! Essex, a blow"--An old rascally impostor
stigmatizing me with a blow--no, I must not put up with it.--Zounds!
I shall be tweaked by the nose all round the country--I'll follow
him.--"Strike me! so may this arm dash him to the earth, like a dead
dog despised--blindness and leprosy, lameness and lunacy, pride,
shame, and the name of villain light on me, if I don't" bang--Mr.
Abrawang. [_Exit._


_Another Apartment._

 _Enter_ LADY AMARANTH, _and_ BANKS.

_Banks._ Madam, I could have paid the rent of my little cottage; but
I dare say 'twas without your ladyship's knowledge, that your steward
has turned me out, and put my neighbour in possession.

_Lady Am._ My steward oppress the poor! I did not know it indeed.

_Banks._ The pangs of adversity I could bear; but the innocent partner
of my misfortunes, my unhappy sister--

_Lady Am._ I did desire Ephraim to send for thy sister--Did she dwell
with thee, and both now without a home? Let her come to mine.

_Banks._ The hand of misery hath struck us beneath your notice.

_Lady Am._ Thou dost mistake--To need my assistance is the highest
claim to my attention; let me see her. [_Exit_ BANKS.] I could chide
myself that these pastimes have turned my eye from the house of woe.
Ah! think, ye proud and happy affluent, how many, in your dancing
moments, pine in want, drink the salt tear; their morsel, the bread of
misery, and shrinking from the cold blast into their cheerless hovels.

     _Enter_ BANKS, _leading in_ AMELIA.

_Banks_. Madam, my sister. [_Bows and retires._

_Lady Am._ Thou art welcome--I feel myself interested in thy concerns.

_Amelia._ Madam!

_Lady Am._ I judge, thou wert not always unhappy.--Tell me thy
condition, then I shall better know how to serve thee. Is thy brother
thy sole kindred?

_Amelia._ I had a husband, and a son.

_Lady Am._ A widow! If it recall not images thou wouldst forget,
impart to me thy story--'Tis rumoured in the village, thy brother is a
clergyman--tell me.

_Amelia._ Madam, he was; but he has lost his early patron, and is now
poor and unbeneficed.

_Lady Am._ But thy husband--

_Amelia._ By this brother's advice, now twenty years since, I was
prevailed on to listen to the addresses of a young sea officer, (for
my brother has been a chaplain in the navy) but to our surprise and
mortification, we discovered by the honesty of a sailor, in whom he
put confidence, that the captain's design was only to decoy me into a
seeming marriage; he ordered him to procure a counterfeit clergyman;
our humble friend, instead of us, put the deceit upon his master, by
concealing from him that my brother was in orders; he, flattered with
the hopes of procuring me an establishment, gave in to the supposed
imposture, and performed the ceremony.

_Lady Am._ Duplicity, even with a good intent, is ill.

_Amelia._ Madam, the event has justified your censure; for my husband,
not knowing himself really bound by any legal tie, abandoned me--I
followed him to the Indies, distracted, still seeking him--I left my
infant at one of our settlements; but, after a fruitless pursuit, on
my return, I found the friend, to whose care I had committed my child,
was compelled to retire from the ravages of war, but where I could
not learn. Rent with agonizing pangs, now without child or husband,
I again saw England, and my brother; who, wounded with remorse, for
being the cause of my misfortunes, secluded himself from the joys of
social life, and invited me to partake the comforts of solitude in
that humble asylum, from whence we've both just now been driven.

_Lady Am._ My pity can do thee no good, yet I pity thee; but as
resignation to what must be, may restore peace, if my means can
procure thee comfort, they are at thy pleasure. Come, let thy griefs
subside, instead of thy cottage, accept, thou and thy brother, every
convenience that my mansion can afford.

_Amelia._ Madam, I can only thank you with----[_Weeps._

_Lady Am._ My thanks are here--Come, thou shalt be cheerful. I will
introduce thee to my sprightly cousin Harry, and his father, my
humourous uncle; we have delights going forward that may amuse thee.

_Amelia._ Kind lady!

_Lady Am._ Come, smile--though a quaker, thou seest I am merry--the
sweetest joy of wealth and power is to cheer another's drooping heart,
and wipe from the pallid cheek the tear of sorrow. [_Exeunt._



_A Road._

_Enter three_ RUFFIANS, _dressed as Sailors_.

_1st Ruff._ Well, now, what's to be done?

_2d Ruff._ Why, we've been long upon our shifts, and after all our
tricks, twists, and turns, as London was then too hot for us, our
tramp to Portsmouth was a hit.

_3d Ruff._ Ay; but since the cash we touched, upon pretending to be
able bodied seamen, is now come to the last shilling, as we have
deserted, means of a fresh supply to take us back to London, must be
thought on.

_2d Ruff._ Ay, how to recruit the pocket without hazarding the neck.

_1st Ruff._ By an advertisement posted on the stocks yonder, there are
collectors upon this road; thirty guineas are offered by the quaker
lady, owner of the estate round here; I wish we could snap any straggler
to bring before her. A quaker will only require a yea for an oath--we
might sack these thirty guineas.

_2d Ruff._ Yes; but we must take care, if we fall into the hands of
this gentleman that's in pursuit of us----'Sdeath, isn't that his man,
the old boatswain?

_1st Ruff._ Don't run, I think we three are a match for him.

_2d Ruff._ Instantly put on your characters of sailors; we may get
something out of him: a pitiful story makes such an impression on the
soft heart of a true tar, that he'll open his hard hand, and drop you
his last guinea--If we can but make him believe we were pressed, we
have him; only mind me.

     _Enter_ JOHN DORY.

_John._ To rattle my lantern, Sir George's temper now always blows a

_2d Ruff._ What cheer? [_To_ JOHN.

_John._ Ha hoy!

_3d Ruff._ Bob, up with your speaking trumpet.

_2d Ruff._ Do you see, brother, this is the thing--

     _Enter_ SIR GEORGE, _at the back, unperceived_.

_Sir Geo._ If these should be my deserters. [_Aside._

_1st Ruff._ We three hands, just come home after a long voyage, were
pressed in the river, and without letting us see our friends, brought
round to Portsmouth, and there we entered freely, cause why? We had no
choice, then we run. We hear some gentleman is in chace of us, so as
the shot are all out, we'll surrender.

_John._ Surrender! Oh then you've no shot left indeed--let's see.
[_Feels his pocket._] I hav'nt the loading of a gun about me now, and
this same monsieur poverty is a bitter bad enemy.

_Sir Geo._ They are the deserters that I've been after. [_Aside._

_John._ Meet me in an hour's time in the little wood yonder; I'll
raise a wind to blow you into safe latitude--keep out to sea, my
master's the rock you'll certainly split upon.

_2d Ruff._ This is the first time we ever saw you; but we'll steer
by your chart, for I never knew one seaman to betray another.
[_Exeunt_ RUFFIANS.

_Sir Geo._ Then they have been pressed--I can't blame them so much for
running away.

_John._ Yes, Sir George would certainly hang them.

_Sir Geo._ I wouldn't, they shall eat beef, and drink the king's
health, run and tell them so--stop, I'll tell them myself.

_John._ Why, now you are yourself, and a kind, good gentleman, as you
used to be.

_Sir Geo._ Since these idle rogues are inclined to return to their
duty, they shan't want sea store--take them this money--but hold--I'll
meet them myself, and advise them as I would my children. [_Exeunt


_A Wood._

_Enter_ ROVER, _in his first clothes, greatly agitated, with pistols_.

_Rover._ Which way did Mr. Abrawang take? Dick Buskin, I think, has no
suspicion of my intentions:--such a choleric spark will fight, I dare
say. If I fall, or even survive this affair, I leave the field of
love, and the fair prize, to the young gentleman I've personated, for
I'm determined to see Lady Amaranth no more--Oh, here comes Abrawang.

     _Enter_ SIR GEORGE.

_Sir Geo._ Now to relieve these foolish seagulls--they must be hovering
about this coast--Ha! puppy unknown!--

_Rover._ You're the very man I was seeking.--You are not ignorant, Mr.

_Sir Geo._ Mr. what?

_Rover._ You will not resign your title, ha, ha, ha! Oh, very well,
I'll indulge you,--_Sir George Thunder_, you honoured me with a blow.

_Sir Geo._ Did it hurt you?

_Rover._ 'Sdeath! but let me proceed like a gentleman; as it's my
pride to reject even favours, no man shall offer me an injury.

_Sir Geo._ Eh!

_Rover._ In rank we're equal.

_Sir Geo._ Are we faith? [_Smiling._] The English of all this is,
we're to fight.

_Rover._ Sir, you have marked on me an indelible stain, only to be
washed out by blood.

_Sir Geo._ Why, I've only one objection to fighting you.

_Rover._ What's that, sir?

_Sir Geo._ That you're too brave a lad to be killed.

_Rover._ Brave! No, sir; at present I wear the stigma of a coward.

_Sir Geo._ Zounds! I like a bit of fighting--hav'n't had a morsel a
long time--don't know when I've smelt gunpowder--but to bring down a

_Rover._ Take your ground.

_Sir Geo._ But what are we to do for weapons?

_Rover._ Here are weapons.

_Sir Geo._ Well, this is bold work, for a privateer to give battle to
a king's ship.

_Rover._ Try your charge, sir, and take your ground.

_Sir Geo._ I would not wish to sink, burn, or destroy, what I think
was built for good service; but, damme, if I don't wing you, to teach
you better manners.

     _Enter the three_ RUFFIANS, _not perceiving_ ROVER.

_3d Ruff._ Ay, here's the honest fellow has brought us some cash.
[_Looking at_ SIR GEORGE.

_2d Ruff._ We're betrayed, it's the very gentleman, that's in pursuit
of us, and this promise was only a decoy to throw us into his power--The

     [_Apart, and pointing to it._ SIR GEORGE _ramming the charge_.

     [_2d_ RUFFIAN _seizes and wrenches the piece from_ SIR GEORGE.

_Sir Geor._ Ah, boys!

_2d Ruff._ You'd have our lives, now we'll have yours.

    [_Presents the piece at_ SIR GEORGE; ROVER _advances quick,
      and knocks it out of his hand_.
                                             [_They run off._

_Rover._ Rascals! [_Pursues them._

_Sir Geor._ [_Takes up the other piece._] My brave lad! I'll--[_Going._

     _Enter_ JOHN DORY.

_John._ No, you shan't. [_Holding him._

_Sir Geor._ The rogues will--

_John._ Never mind the rogues--

     [_Noise of fighting without, a piece let off._

_Sir Geor._ S'blood! Must I see my preserver perish. [_Struggling._

_John._ Well, I know I'm your preserver, and I will perish, but I'll
bring you out of harm's way. [_Still holding him._

_Sir Geor._ Though he'd fight me himself--

_John._ Sure we all know you'd fight the devil.

_Sir Geor._ He saved my life.

_John._ I'll save your life [_Whips him up in his arms._] So hey! haul
up, my noble little crab walk! [_Exit._


_A Room in_ BANKS'S _Cottage_.

_Enter_ FARMER GAMMON, BANKS, _and_ SIM.--SIM _writing, and crying_.

_F. Gam._ Boy, go on with the inventory.

_Sim._ How unlucky! Feyther to lay hold of me when I wanted to
practise my part. [_Aside._

_Banks._ This proceeding is very severe, to lay an execution on my
wretched trifling goods when I thought--

_F. Gam._ Ay, you know you've gone up to the big house with your
complaint--her ladyship's steward, to be sure, has made me give back
your cottage and farm; but your goods I seize for my rent.

_Banks._ Only leave me a very few necessaries--by the goodness of my
neighbours, I may soon redeem what the law has put into your hands.

_F. Gam._ The affair is now in my lawyer's hands, and plaintiff and
defendant chattering about it, is all smoke.

_Sim._ Feyther, don't be so cruel to Mr. Banks.

_F. Gam._ I'll mark what I may want to keep for myself. Stay here, and
see that not a pin's worth be removed without my knowledge. [_To_ SIM.

_Sim._ I'll be domm'd if I'll be your watch dog, to bite the poor,
that I won't. Mr. Banks, as feyther intends to put up your goods at
auction, if you could but get a friend to buy the choice of them for
you again. Sister Jane has got steward to advance her a quarter's
wages, and when I've gone to sell corn for feyther, besides presents,
I've made a market penny now and then. Here--it's not much! but every
little helps.

     [_Takes out a small leather purse, and offers it to_ BANKS.

_Banks._ I thank you, my good natured boy; but keep your money.

_Sim._ Last summer, you saved me from being drowned in black pool, if
you'll not take this, ecod, in there I'll directly fling it, and let
old nick save it from being drowned, an'he can. [_Going._

_Banks._ My kind lad, then I'll not hurt your feeling, by opposing
your liberality. [_Takes it._

_Sim._ He, he, he! you've now given my heart such a pleasure as I
never felt, nor I'm sure feyther afore me.

_Banks._ But, Sim, whatever may be his opinion of worldly prudence,
still remember he's your parent.

_Sim._ I will--"One elbow chair, one claw table." [_Exit, writing, and_

     _Enter_ AMELIA.

_Amelia._ The confusion into which Lady Amaranth's family is thrown by
the sudden departure, and apprehended danger of her young cousin, must
have prevented her ladyship from giving that attention to our affairs,
that I'm sure was her inclination. If I can but prevail on my brother
too, to accept her protection--I can't enjoy the delights of her
ladyship's hospitable mansion, and leave him here still subject to the
insults of his churlish neighbour--Heavens! who's this? [_Retires._

     _Enter_ ROVER _hastily, his hair and dress much disordered_.

_Rover._ What a race [_Panting._] I've at last got from the blood
hounds! Ah, if old Abrawang had but followed and backed me, we'd have
tickled their catastrophes; but when they got me alone, three upon
me were odds, so, safe's the word--who's house is this I've dash'd
into?--Eh! the friendly cottage of my old gentleman! Are you at home?
[_Calls._] Gadso! I had a hard struggle for it; yes, murder was their
intent, so it was well for me that I was born without brains, I'm
quite weak, faint! [_Leans against the wall._]

_Amelia._ [_Advancing._] Sir, an't you well? [_With concern._]

_Rover._ Madam, I ask pardon,--hem, yes, ma'am, very well, I thank
you--now exceeding well--got into a fray there, in a kind of a hobble
with some worthy gentlemen; only simple, honest farmers. I fancy
mistook me for a sheaf of barley, for they down with me, and then
thresh'd so heartily, gad, their flails flew merrily about my ears,
but I up, and when I could no longer fight like a mastiff, why, I--run
like a greyhound--But, dear ma'am, pray excuse me. Egad, this is very
rude, faith.

_Amelia._ You seem disturbed, [_With emotion._] will you take any

_Rover._ Madam, you're very good.--Only a little of your currant wine,
if you please; if I don't forget, it stands--just--[_Points_--AMELIA
_brings some from a beaufet._] Madam, I've the honour of drinking your
health. [_Drinks._]

_Amelia._ I hope you're not hurt, sir.

_Rover._ "A little better, but very weak still"--I had a sample of
this before, and liked it so much, that, madam--"Won't you take

_Amelia._ Sir!

_Rover._ Madam, if you'd been fighting, as I have, you'd--well, well,
[_Fills and drinks._] now I'm as well as any man--"In Illyria," got a
few hard knocks though.

_Amelia._ You'd better repose a little, you seem'd much disorder'd
coming in.

_Rover._ [_Places a chair, and both sit._] Why, ma'am, you must know
thus it was--


_Off._ Come, ma'am, Mr. Gammon says this chair is wanted to make up
the half dozen above. [_Lays hold of_ AMELIA'S _chair, she rises

_Rover._ What, what's all this?

_Off._ Why the furniture's seized on execution, and a man must do his

_Rover._ Then, scoundrel, know, that a man's first duty is civility
and tenderness to a woman.

_Amelia._ Heavens! where's my brother? This gentleman will bring
himself into trouble.

_Off._ Master, d'ye see, I'm representative for his honour the High

_Rover._ Every High Sheriff should be a gentleman, and when he's
represented by a rascal, he's dishonour'd.--Dem it, I might as well
live about Covent Garden, and every night get beating the watch; for
here, among groves and meadows, I'm always squabbling with constables.
[_Whips up a stick from a corner of the room, and holds it behind

_Off._ Come, come, I must--

_Rover._ "As you say, sir, last Wednesday, so it was"--Sir, your most
obedient, humble servant--[_Bows respectfully._] Pray, sir, may I take
the liberty to know, have you ever been astonished? [_With great

_Off._ What?

_Rover._ Because, sir, I intend to astonish you; my dear fellow, give
me your hand. [_Takes his hand, and beats him_--] Now, sir, you are

_Off._ Yes; but see if I don't suit you with an action.

_Rover._ "Right, suit the action to the word, the word to the action;"
"See if the gentlewoman be not affrighted"--"Michael, I'll make thee
an example."

_Off._ Yes, fine example, when goods are seized here by the law, and--

_Rover._ "Thou worm and maggot of the law!" "Hop me over every kennel,
or you shall hop without my custom."

_Off._ I don't value your custom.

_Rover._ You are astonished, now I'll amaze you.

_Off._ No, sir, I won't be amazed--but only see if I don't--

_Rover._ Hop!

     [_Exit_ OFFICER _muttering and bullying, yet frightened_.

Stop, ma'am, these sort of gentry are monstrous bad company for a
lady--So I'll just see him to the door, and then I'll see him outside
the door.--Ma'am, I'm your most obedient humble servant. [_Bows
respectfully, and exit hastily_.]

_Amelia._ I feel a strange curiosity to know who this young gentleman
is. I find my heart interested, I can't account for--he must have
known the house by the freedom--but then his gaiety, (without familiar
rudeness) native elegance of manners, and good breeding, seem to make
him at home any where.--My brother, I think, must know--

     _Enter_ BANKS _hastily, and agitated_.

_Banks._ Amelia, did you see the young gentleman that was here? Some
ruffian fellows, and a posse of the country people have bound and
dragged him from the door, on the allegation of three men, who mean to
swear he has robbed them; and they have taken him to Lady Amaranth's.

_Amelia._ How! He did enter here in confusion as if pursued; but I'll
stake my life on his innocence. I'll speak to Lady Amaranth, and in
spite of calumny, he shall have justice--he would not let me be
insulted, because he saw me an unprotected woman, without a husband
or a son, and shall he want an advocate? Brother, come. [_Exeunt._



_Enter_ JANE, _with a light_.

_Jane._ I believe there's not a soul in the house but myself; my lady
has sent all the folks round the country to search after the young
'squire, she'll certainly break her heart if any thing happens to him;
I don't wonder, for surely he's a dear, sweet gentleman: the pity of
it is, his going spoils all our fine play, and I had just got my part
quite by heart; however, I must do the room up for Mr. Banks's sister,
that my lady has invited here. [_Adjusts her toilet._

     _Enter_ EPHRAIM SMOOTH.

_Eph._ The man John Dory has carried the man George hither in his
arms, and has locked him up. Coming into the house, they did look to
me like a blue lobster with a shrimp in his claws--Oh, here is the
damsel I love, and alone.

_Jane._ They say when folks look in the glass, at night, they see the
black gentleman.

    [_As she is looking in a glass_, EPHRAIM _goes and peeps over
      her shoulders; she screams_.

_Eph._ Thou art employed in vanity.

_Jane._ Well, who wants you?

_Eph._ It is natural for woman to love man.

_Jane._ Yes; but not such ugly men as you are. Why would you come in
to frighten me, when you know there's nobody here but ourselves.

_Eph._ I am glad of that. I am the elm and thou the honey suckle; let
thy arms entwine me.

_Jane._ Oh, what a rogue is here! but yonder comes my lady, and I'll
show him off to her in his true colours. [_Aside._

_Eph._ Clasp me around.

_Jane._ Well, I will, if you'll take off your hat, and make me a fine
low bow.

_Eph._ I cannot bend my knee, nor take off my beaver.

_Jane._ Then you're very impudent--go along.

_Eph._ But to win thy favour. [_Takes off his hat, and bows._

_Jane._ Now kneel down to me.

_Eph._ I cannot, but one lovely smile may smile me down. [_She smiles,
he kneels._

_Jane._ Well, now, read me a speech out of that fine play-book.

_Eph._ I read a play! a-bo-mi-na-ti-on!--But, Jane, wilt thou kiss me?

_Jane._ I kiss a man! a-bo-mi-na-ti-on! [_Mimicking._] but you may
take my hand--

_Eph._ Oh! 'tis a comfort to the lip of the faithful. [_Kisses her

     _Enter_ LADY AMARANTH.

_Lady Am._ How! [_Taps him gently on the shoulder, he looks up
confounded._] Ah, thou sly and deceitful hypocrite!

_Eph._ Verily, Mary, I was buffetted by Satan, in the shape of a

_Lady Am._ Begone!

_Eph._ My spirit is sad, though my feet move so nimble. [_Exit very

_Lady Am._ But, Oh, Heavens, no tidings of my dearest Henry! Jane, let
them renew their search.

_Jane._ Here's Madam Amelia, you see I've got her room ready; but I'll
go make brother Sim look for the young 'squire. [_Exit._

     _Enter_ AMELIA.

_Amelia._ Oh, madam, might I implore your influence with--

_Lady Am._ Thou art ill accommodated here; but I hope thou wilt
excuse--My mind is a sea of trouble, my peace shipwrecked--Oh, friend,
hadst thou seen my cousin Harry, thou too, all who knew him, must be
anxious for his safety.

_John._ [_Without._] Heave a-head.

     _Enters with_ SIR GEORGE.

_Sir Geo._ Rascal! whip me up like a pound of tea, dance me about
like a young bear, make me quit the preserver of my life! yes, puppy
unknown will think me a poltroon, and that I was afraid to follow, and
second him.

_John._ Well, you may as well turn into your hammock; for out to-night
you shall not budge--[_Sees Amelia._] Oh! marcy of Heaven! isn't it--Eh,
master? Only give one look.

_Amelia._ [_Seeing_ SIR GEORGE.] My husband!

     [_Swoons_; LADY AMARANTH _supports her_.

_Sir Geo._ 'Tis my Amelia!

_John._ [_Stopping_ SIR GEORGE, _and looking attentively at_ AMELIA.]
Reef the foresail! first, you cracked her heart by sheering off, and
now you'll overset her by bringing to.

_Lady Am._ Hold--soft!

_Amelia._ Are you at length returned to me, my Seymour?

_Lady Am._ Seymour! her mind is disturbed, this is mine uncle, Sir
George Thunder.

_John._ No, no, my lady, she knows what she's saying very well.

_Sir Geo._ Niece, I have been a villain to this lady, I confess. But,
my dear Amelia, Providence has done you justice in part. From the
first month I quitted you, I have never entered one happy hour on my
journal; hearing that you foundered, and considering myself the cause,
the worm of remorse has gnawed my timbers.

_Amelia._ You're not still offended with me?

_Sir Geo._ Me! can you forgive my offence, and condescend to take my
hand as an atonement?

_Amelia._ Your hand! Do you forget that we are already married?

_Sir Geo._ Ay, there was my rascality.

_John._ You may say that.

_Sir Geo._ Hold your tongue, you impudent crimp, you pander, you
bad adviser--I'll strike my false colours--I'll now acknowledge the
chaplain you provided was--

_John._ Was a good man, and a greater honour to his black, than your
honour has been to your blue cloth--Eh, by the word of a seaman, here
he is himself.

     _Enter_ BANKS.

_Sir Geo._ Your brother!

_Banks._ Captain Seymour! have I found you, sir?

_Sir Geo._ My dear Banks, I'll make every reparation.--Amelia shall
really be my wife.

_Banks._ That, sir, my sister is already; for when I performed the
marriage ceremony, which you took only as the cloak of your deception,
I was actually in orders.

_John._ Now, who's the crimp, and the pander? I never told you
this since; because I thought a man's own reflections were the best
punishment for betraying an innocent woman.

_Lady Am._ Madam, my inmost soul partaketh of thy gladness, and joy
for thy reformation. [_To_ SIR GEORGE.] But thy prior marriage to this
lady, annuls the subsequent, and my cousin Harry is not now thy heir.

_Sir Geo._ So much the better; he's an unnatural cub; but, Amelia, I
flatter myself I have an heir, my infant boy.--

_Amelia._ Ah, husband, you had; but--

_Sir Geo._ Gone! well, well, I see I have been a miserable scoundrel
--Eh, I will, yes, I'll adopt that brave kind lad, that wou'dn't let
any body kill me but himself. He shall have my estate, that's my
own acquisition--My lady, marry him, puppy unknown's a fine fellow!
Amelia, only for him, you'd never have found your husband Captain
Seymour in Sir George Thunder.

_Amelia._ What?

_Banks._ Are you Sir George Thunder?

     _Enter_ LANDLORD, _followed by_ EPHRAIM.

_Land._ Please you, madam, they've got a footpad in custody.

_Eph._ I am come to sit in judgment, for there is a bad man in thy
house, Mary. Bring him before me.

_Sir Geo._ Before you, old squintabus? And perhaps you don't know I'm
a magistrate?

_Eph._ I'll examine him.

_Sir Geo._ You be damn'd--I'll examine him myself, [_Shoves_ EPHRAIM.]
Tow him in here. I'll give him a passport to Winchester bilboes.

_Amelia._ [_Kneels to_ SIR GEORGE.] Oh, sir, as you hope for mercy,
extend it to this youth; but even should he be guilty, which, from
our knowledge of his benevolent and noble nature, I think next to an
impossibility, let the services he has rendered to us--he protected,
relieved your forsaken wife, and her unhappy brother, in the hour of
want and sorrow.

_Sir Geo._ What, Amelia, plead for a robber! Consider, my love,
justice is above bias or partiality. If my son violated the laws of
his country, I'd deliver him up a public victim to disgrace and

_Lady Am._ Oh, my impartial uncle! Had thy country any laws to punish
him, who instead of paltry gold, would rob the artless virgin of her
dearest treasure, in the rigid judge I should now behold the trembling

     _Enter_ TWITCH, _with_ ROVER _bound, who keeps his face
      averted, and Two_ RUFFIANS.

_Eph._ [_Advances._] Speak thou.

_Sir Geo._ Hold thy clapper thou--Who are the prosecutors?

_Eph._ Call in--

_Sir Geo._ Will nobody stop his mouth? [JOHN DORY _pushes him up
against the wall_.] Where are the prosecutors?

_Twitch._ There, tell his worship, the justice.

_2d Ruffian._ A justice--Oh! the devil! I thought we should have
nothing but quakers to deal with. [_Aside._] Why, your honour, I'll
swear--[_In a feigned country voice._

_Sir Geo._ [_Looking at them._] Oh, ho! Clap down the hatches, secure
these sharks.

_Rover._ I thought I should find you here, Abrawang, and that you had
some knowledge of these fellows.

_Lady Am._ Heavens! my cousin Harry--[_Aside._]

_Sir Geo._ The devil! isn't this my spear and shield?

_John._ [_Advances._] My young master--Oh! what have you been at here?
[_Unbinds_ ROVER.]

     _Enter_ HARRY.

_Harry._ My dear fellow, are you safe.

_Rover._ Yes, Dick, I was brought in here very safe, I assure you.

_Harry._ A confederate in custody below has made a confession of their
villainy, that they concerted this plan to accuse him of a robbery;
first for revenge, then, in hope to share the reward for apprehending
him: he also owns they are not sailors, but depredators on the public.

_Sir Geo._ Keep them safe in limbo. [_Ruffians taken off._]--Not
knowing that the justice of peace, whom they've brought the lad now
here before, is the very man they attacked, ha, ha, ha! The rogues
have fallen into their own snare.

_Rover._ What, now, you're a justice of peace; well said, Abrawang!

_Amelia._ Then, Sir George, you know him too?

_Sir Geo._ Know puppy unknown! to be sure.

_Rover._ Madam, I am happy to see you again. [_To_ AMELIA.]--Ah, how
do you do, my kind host? [_Shakes hands with_ BANKS.

_Lady Am._ I rejoice at thy safety--Be reconciled to him. [_To_ SIR

_Sir Geo._ Reconciled!--If I don't love, respect, and honour him, I
should be unworthy of the life he rescued. But who is he?

_Harry._ Sir, he is--

_Rover._ Dick, I thank you for your good wishes; but I am still
determined not to impose on this lady--Madam, as I at first told this
well meaning tar, when he forced me to your house, I am not the son of
Sir George Thunder.

_John._ No! Then I wish you were the son of an admiral, and I your

_Harry._ You refuse the lady? To punish you, I've a mind to take her
myself.--My dear cousin--

_Rover._ Stop, Dick.--If I, who adore her, won't, you shall not.
No, no; madam, never mind what this fellow says, he's as poor as
myself--Isn't he, Abrawang.

_Harry._ Then, my dear Rover, since you are so obstinately disinterested,
I'll no longer teize my father, whom you here see, and in your strolling
friend, his very truant Harry, that ran from Portsmouth school, and
joined you and fellow comedians.

_Rover._ Indeed!

_Harry._ Dear cousin, forgive me, if, through my zeal for the happiness
of my friend, I endeavoured to promote yours, by giving you a husband
more worthy than myself. [_To_ LADY AMARANTH.

_Rover._ Am I to believe! Madam, is your uncle, Sir George Thunder, in
this room?

_Lady Am._ He is.--[_Looking at_ SIR GEORGE.

_Rover._ 'Tis so! You, in reality, what I've had the impudence to
assume! and have perplexed your father with my ridiculous effrontery.
--[_Turns to_ JOHN DORY, _angry_.] I told you, I insisted I wasn't the
person you took me for, but you must bring your damned chariot! I am
ashamed and mortified. Madam, I beg to take my leave.

_Eph._ Thou art welcome to go.

_Rover._ [_Bows._] Sir George, as the father of my friend, I cannot
lift my hand against you; but I hope, sir, you'll apologize to me.

_Sir Geo._ Ay, with pleasure, my noble splinter--now tell me from what
dock you were launched, my heart of oak?

_Rover._ I've heard, in England, sir; but from my earliest knowledge,
till within a very few years, I've been in the East Indies.

_Sir Geo._ Beyond seas? Well, and how?

_Rover._ It seems I was committed an infant to the care of a lady, who
was herself obliged by the _gentle_ Hyder Ally, to strike her toilet,
and decamp without beat of drum, leaving me a chubby little fellow
squatted on a carpet. A serjeant's wife alone returned, and snatched
me off triumphant, through fire, smoke, cannon, cries, and carnage.

_Lady Am._ Dost thou mark? [_To_ AMELIA.

_Amelia._ Sir, can you recollect the name of the town, where--

_Rover._ Yes, ma'am, the town was Negapatnam.

_Amelia._ I thank you, sir.

     [_Gazes with delight and earnestness on_ ROVER.

_Rover._ An officer, who'd much rather act Hotspur on the stage,
than in the field, brought me up behind the scenes at the Calcutta
theatre--I was rolled on the boards, acted myself into the favour
of a colonel,--promised a pair of colours; but, impatient to find my
parents, hid myself in the steerage of an homeward bound ship; assumed
the name of Rover, from the uncertainty of my fate, and, having murdered
more poets than Rajahs, stept on English ground, unincumbered with
rupees or pagodas. Ha, ha! Wou'dst thou come home so, little Ephraim?

_Eph._ I would bring myself home with some money.

_Amelia._ Excuse my curiosity, sir; what was the lady's name in whose
care you were left?

_Rover._ Oh, ma'am, she was the lady of a Major Linstock: but I heard
my mother's name was Seymour.

_Sir Geo._ Why, Amelia!

_Amelia._ My son!

_Rover._ Madam!

_Amelia._ It is my Charles! [_Embraces him._

_Sir Geo._ Eh!

_John._ [_Sings and capers, claps_ EPHRAIM _on the shoulders_.] Tol,
lol, lol, though I never heard it before, my heart told me he was a
chip of the old block.

_Amelia._ Your father!--[_To_ ROVER, _pointing to_ SIR GEORGE.

_Rover._ Can it?--Heaven! then have I attempted to raise my impious
hand against a parent's life!

_Sir Geo._ My dear brave boy! Then have I a son with spirit to fight
me as a stranger, yet defend me as a father.

_Lady Am._ [_Takes him by the hand._] Uncle, you'll recollect 'twas I,
who first introduced a son to thee.

_Sir Geo._ And I hope you will next introduce a grandson to me, young
slyboots. Harry, you've lost your fortune.

_Harry._ Yes, sir, but I've gained a brother, whose friendship (before
I knew him to be such,) I prized above the first fortune in England.

_Rover._ My generous friend--My dearest Rosalind!

_Amelia._ Then, will you take our Charles? [_To_ L. AMARANTH.

_Lady Am._ Yea; but only on condition thou bestowest thy fortune on
his friend and brother, mine is sufficient for us, is it not?

_Rover._ Angelic creature!--to think of my generous friend--But now
for "As you like it." Where's Lamp and Trap--I shall ever love a
play--a spark from Shakspeare's Muse of Fire, was the star that guided
me through my desolate and bewildered maze of life, and brought me to
these unexpected blessings.

  To merit friends so good, so sweet a wife,
  The Tender Husband be my part for life;
  My Wild Oats sown, let candid Thespian laws
  Decree that glorious harvest,--your applause.



Contemporary spellings have been retained, even where inconsistent. In
a very few instances, missing punctuation has been added.

Two corrections were made to the text:

     In Act I, Scene 1, "Ill" was changed to "I'll" in Jane's
     sentence: "I'll tie your neck in a big beau".

     In ACT I, Scene 2, a second, superfluous instance of the
     word "my" was deleted from Rover's exclamation: "'Pon my

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