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Title: A Day Well Spent - A Farce, in One Act
Author: Oxenford, John
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 "A Day Well Spent - A Farce, in One Act" ***

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by the University of California, Davis.



A
DAY WELL SPENT:
_A Farce_,
IN ONE ACT.

BY
JOHN OXENFORD,

MEMBER OF THE "DRAMATIC AUTHOR'S SOCIETY;"

AUTHOR OF
"MY FELLOW CLERK," "I AND MY DOUBLE," "THE DICE OF DEATH,"
"TWICE KILLED," ETC.

FIRST PERFORMED AT THE
THEATRE ROYAL, ENGLISH OPERA HOUSE,
_APRIL_ 4_th_, 1835.

LONDON:
JOHN MILLER, HENRIETTA STREET,
COVENT GARDEN.

1836.



LONDON:
T. C. SAVILL, PRINTER, ST. MARTIN'S LANE,
CHARING CROSS.



TO

B. WRENCH, ESQ.

MY DEAR SIR,

It is with the greatest pleasure, I dedicate to you a Farce, the
success of which is so much to be attributed to your exertions. Accept
my most hearty thanks for your inimitable performance of the principal
character in this piece, as well as for the kind attention you have
paid to my previous productions, and the pains you have taken to
render them acceptable to the public.

I remain, dear Sir,

Yours very truly,

JOHN OXENFORD.

16, John Street, Bedford Row.



DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

Mr. Cotton (_an eminent hosier, and old gentleman_)  MR. BENNETT.

Bolt (_his foreman, quite a gentleman_)              MR. WRENCH.

Mizzle (_his apprentice, wishing to be a gentleman_) MR. OXBERRY.

Mr. Cutaway (_an adventurous gentleman_)             MR. HEMMING.

Sam Newgate (_no gentleman_)                         MR. ROMER.

Peter Prig (_an ex-foreman, likewise no gentleman_)  MR. SANDERS.

Coachman                                             MR. IRELAND.

Waiter                                               MR. LEWIS.


Miss Harriet Cotton (_an adventurous lady_)          MISS SHAW.

Mrs. Stitchley (_an old lady_)                       MRS. EMDEN.

Miss Brown (_her bosom friend--a middle-aged lady_)  MRS. F. MATTHEWS.

Mrs. Chargely (_a beneficent lady_)                  MISS ROBINSON.

Bridget (_a lady's lady_)                            MISS JACKSON.



A DAY WELL SPENT.

SCENE I.

_A Room in COTTON'S house;--an open door in C. flat._

_Enter COTTON, with a letter._

COT. Provoking! to leave my shop all day for the sake of calling on
this old Wealthington!--that I should be required to call on him!--not
but he is a rich relation, and I have great expectations from him; and
my foreman, Bolt, and apprentice Mizzle, are quite fit persons with
whom to entrust my shop. Egad, to make all the naughty apprentices
look on those two young men would be as good a lesson as going to see
George Barnwell on a boxing night!

_Enter CUTAWAY, C. D._

CUT. Hollo! no one in the shop! ha, ha!--(_Aside._) Hum, she's not
here.--Have you anything to sell, old gentleman?

COT. Of course I have; what do you think I keep a shop for?

CUT. Ha, ha! right! to be sure--what the devil else _should_ you keep a
shop for?

COT. (_Aside._) Puppy!

CUT. But, old gentleman! a young lady used to serve in that shop--she
is not ill, I hope?

COT. No, sir; on the contrary, my daughter is quite well.--Can I do
anything for you in the way of business?

CUT. (_Aside._) Oh! this must be the old father she talks about.--Ha!
you are the commander-in-chief of this concern, hey?

COT. Probably I am, Mr. Cutaway.

CUT. Cutaway! you know me, then? What a thing it is to be famous! Know
me, and yet you were never introduced to me, to my knowledge.

COT. Oh dear no; I used to see you through the glass door of my
parlour, and I intercepted certain letters to my daughter. I saw your
name, and I inquired into your connexion,--and saw no reason why I
should not--cut the connexion.

CUT. Very cutting, indeed. He's a sharp blade. Ha, ha! droll! funny!
ha, ha!

COT. Happy to find I can please you, sir; I thus return good for evil,
since you by no means please me.

CUT. Is there any way to please you?

COT. Oh, certainly; the way to please me lies through yonder door: you
can't think how prettily that door is painted on the outside. As for
my daughter, sir,--I keep her present abode a secret.

_Enter BOY, L._

BOY. Please, sir, your sister sent me to say that she, with your
daughter, has been obliged to move to No. 19, Moonlight Street, owing
to circumstances of the most peculiar nature.

CUT. Ha, ha, ha! a most profound secret! Good by, commander-in-chief!
next time you have a secret, mind you don't tell it by proxy.

(_Exit, C. D._)

COT. Stupid jackanapes! you must open your damned mouth so wide as to
let the cat jump out! (_Exit BOY, L._)--A connexion of which I do not
in the least approve;--but--oh, those fellows are at breakfast--Bolt!
Mizzle!

_Enter BOLT and MIZZLE, R._

BOLT. Yes, sir.

COT. Listen!--pressing business obliges me to be absent till late
to-night; I leave the shop to your care.

BOLT. Thank'e, sir.

MIZ. For your confidence, sir.

COT. Which I know is not misplaced. (_BOLT and MIZZLE bow._)--On no
account leave the premises.

BOLT. Now, my dear sir, was not that request superfluous?

MIZ. Of course, sir, without leave, we should never leave the shop.

COT. You will excuse my mentioning it, however. All foremen and
apprentices are--alas! not like you. There are several very wicked
foremen and apprentices in the world.

BOLT. Ah, I have heard so--I have read so--but never met any.

MIZ. No; Bolt and I are very particular with whom we associate: evil
communications, you know, sir----

COT. Right! Very correct, indeed. Robert Mizzle, if you always
associate with such as Charles Bolt, you will doubtless at length
reach an elevated post.

MIZ. (_Aside._) Elevated post! I wonder if he means the gallows?

BOLT. You flatter me, sir--you flatter me. I discharge my duty, sir,
nothing else;--to be sure, taking care of the morals of this young
man----

COT. Is a heavy charge;--I am aware of it. But I must go. Farewell,
Bolt! Good by, Mizzle! Excellent steady creatures! Oh, were all like
them, the tragedy of George Barnwell would never have been written.

(_Exit, L. H._)

BOLT. Ha, ha, ha! why don't you laugh, Mizzle?

MIZ. Because I don't see any joke.

BOLT. Then look at me--I'm a perpetual joke!--I'm all point, like a
porcupine--all fire, like a poet's heart, and light as his breeches
pocket. Old Cotton has gone out all day--ha, ha! don't you take? don't
you twig? A'n't you fly? A'n't you awake?

MIZ. Yes, I'm awake, but I don't see.

BOLT. We are to mind the shop, are we? I say never mind it--let's go
out.

MIZ. Nonsense! you know master and we are like a man and woman in a
weather-house--when one goes out the other stays at home.

BOLT. And so, when the old man's back is turned, we are to shew our
heads are turned, by stopping in the shop all day--selling check'd
neck-handkerchiefs and baby's red stockings? Not we!--we'll go out and
have some fun, Bobby.

MIZ. No, no! it wont do; we must take care of the shop.

BOLT. Now look ye,--how does master take care of his money?

MIZ. By locking it up.

BOLT. Then that's the way we'll take care of the shop--I'll lock the
door, and you shall shut the shutters.

MIZ. Oh, come, come! I sha'n't go, nor you sha'n't, either. It wont
do, Charley; better be boxed here, than get in the wrong box.

BOLT. Well, I've made up my mind; the next job is to make up my body:
I must dress.

MIZ. Well, you may enjoy your own holiday. Pleasant day, and fine
weather to you, and a prosperous return;--I sha'n't go.

BOLT. You have no grandeur of soul--you don't love fun.

MIZ. Come, don't say that; damn it, I live upon fun--he, he!--you know I
do. Give us your hand, Charley. I'll go! Oh dear, a day's pleasure!

BOLT. You'll go, will you?

MIZ. Give us your hand.

BOLT. (_Takes his hand._) Here's off for fun, then!

(_Exeunt, R._)



SCENE II.

_Street--A porch projecting from flat; on the door is a plate
inscribed, "Mrs. Stitchley, dress-maker."_

_Enter CUTAWAY, followed by HARRIET, L.H. 1 E._

CUT. This way, this way, charming Harriet; your aunt has not missed
you yet; but she soon will; she is now so taken up with her ribbons
and beautiful purchases, that she is thinking but little of her
beautiful niece.

HAR. But this step--

CUT. Stands before your prison door--your only step is flight.

HAR. A flight of steps, each one more imprudent than the last. And
what awaits me on my descent?

CUT. Love, who will be your guide?

HAR. A pretty guide--he is blind himself.

CUT. True, but there is no resisting him. Love is a _torrent_--and his
blindness is a _cataract_. Come, come! the banns have been put up for
the last month, at Croydon Church--the ring is in my waistcoat
pocket--I've appointed a father to give you away.

HAR. Father? I haven't seen him.

CUT. Probably not, for though _a father_, he is not yet _apparent_.
All is right;--away! fly! when they say love is blind, they only mean
he closes his eyes to transgressions like ours.

(_Exeunt, R.H._)

_Enter BOLT and MIZZLE, smartly dressed, L.H._

BOLT. Well, here we are--out!

MIZ. Yes, out in our reckoning, may be.

BOLT. And don't I look well? A'n't I the thing? Nothing like the shop,
eh? Nothing against me?--nothing _counter?_

MIZ. No, we have sunk the shop, with a vengeance! Hatchment, the
undertaker, will be calling to know if master's dead.

BOLT. Well, but where shall we go?

MIZ. I'm afraid we've gone too far already.

BOLT. Zounds! man, don't keep watering my spirits in that way; and
don't pull down the corners of your mouth, and make it look like a
horseshoe on its legs. Laugh at our setting out, at least.

MIZ. Ha! ha! ha! I will, for I'm thinking there will be devilish
little chance of laughing when we return. Eh--what's that? (_Looking
off, R.H._)

BOLT. What are you staring at now?

MIZ. Don't you see something like an old man?

BOLT. Lord bless you, Bobby! it's the young women I always look at,
not the old men.

MIZ. That old man may look at you, notwithstanding. Oh! he draws
nearer.--Oh, the devil! it's the old gentleman--master, I mean.

BOLT. Eh, that's the hat;--his castor's an unlucky star;--those are his
unmentionables. We'll turn down the next street.

MIZ. But this damned street has no turning for the next quarter of a
mile! Confound it! you must be so fond of enjoying yourself.

BOLT. We'll run.

MIZ. And attract his attention: a tallish man and a short one.

BOLT. (_Knocking at door, F.L._) Then we'll call on Mrs. Stitchley.
Yes, that's the name on the plate.

MIZ. We don't know her; who the deuce knows Mrs. Stitchley?

BOLT. No matter; he mustn't pass us. Egad, he's just here! (_Knocks
again; door opens; they run in;--just as door is closing, COTTON runs
across from R. to L._)



SCENE III.

_Room at MRS. STITCHLEY'S._

_Enter SERVANT, L. H., followed by BOLT and MIZZLE._

SERV. This way, gentlemen; my mistress will see you in a minute.

(_Exit, R.H._)

BOLT. Well, here is a new feature.

MIZ. Yes, like a broken nose--a very irregular feature. What are we to
say?

BOLT. Our wits will inspire us.

MIZ. Wits! I've no wits, nor you either, or you wouldn't have advised
this blessed expedition.

_Enter MRS. STITCHLEY and SERVANT, R.H. SERVANT exits, L._

MRS. S. Good morning, gentlemen.

BOLT _and_ MIZZLE. Good morning!--Good morning!

MRS. S. May I ask the cause of this visit?

MIZ. (_Aside._) Ah! that's the devil of it.

BOLT. Cause--ah--madam, the cause is the reason, ma'am--Ahem! and the
reason is the cause.--(_Aside._) She must have a customer named Smith.
You doubtless know--Miss Smith?

MRS. S. No, sir! I have not that honour.

MIZ. (_Aside._) Of course not; everything goes wrong to-day.

BOLT. (_Aside._) Smith wont do--I'll try Brown. Miss Brown, madam, you
know?

MRS. S. Oh dear, yes! Miss Brown is one of my best customers.

BOLT. Ha! ha! Bobby, the lady and I understand each other now, don't
we? (_Nudges him._)

MRS. S. (_Aside._) What odd persons!--Yes, sir; but Miss Brown?

BOLT. True, true! about Miss Brown. There is a little account--

MRS. S. Oh! between me and Miss Brown?--(_Aside._) He is a gentlemanly
young fellow, after all.

BOLT. I, madam, will settle that account.

MIZ. (_Aside._) He'll settle himself if he does; he must be flush
to-day.

MRS. S. I'll send my servant for a stamp directly, sir.

BOLT. Don't hurry yourself, ma'am; I'll settle it to-morrow. That's
what I called for,--to tell you I'd settle it to-morrow.

MRS. S. Oh--h--h!--(_Aside._) There's a great vulgarity about him.

BOLT. I've nothing more to say. Good morning,
ma'am--nothing.--(_Aside._) Besides, the old man must be a mile off by
this time.

MIZ. Good by, ma'am.--(_Aside._) I say, Bolt, I vote we go back to the
shop; this may be a prelude to something further.

MRS. S. But one thing more. Miss Brown is an intimate friend of mine,
as well as a customer--now I don't think I ever saw you before!

BOLT. Very likely not, ma'am.

MIZ. It is exceedingly probable.

BOLT. The fact is--ahem!--the facts are these: there is no such person
as Miss Brown; Miss Brown has ceased to be Miss Brown--and I'm a happy
man.

MRS. S. What! do you mean that Miss Brown is married, and that you
are--

BOLT. Precisely; I see she has not disclosed the tender secret.

MIZ. (_Aside._) Ha, ha! it is funny, after all.

BOLT. Miss Brown, you see, is now Mrs. Steele. Yes--my name is Steele,
and this gentleman's name is Addison.

MIZ. Yes, ma'am, my name is Maddison--Ha, ha, ha!

_Enter SERVANT, L. H._

SERV. Miss Brown, ma'am.

(_Exit, L._)

BOLT. The devil! oh! he, he! the tender creature! Confusion!
Petrifaction!

MIZ. (_Whispering._) I say, Charley--how d'ye like that? Bother your
long-winded stories!--Oh!

_Enter MISS BROWN, L. H._

BOLT. (_Aside._) Not remarkably handsome, either.

MRS. S. How d'ye do, Miss Brown?--I beg pardon, Mrs. Steele, I mean.

MISS B. Mrs. Steele! what d'ye mean?

MIZ. (_Aside._) Ah, she wont swallow it--she's not soft steel.

BOLT. Well, anything to get off. Good by, ladies,--good by.

MRS. S. What an ungallant husband!

MISS B. Husband?

MRS. S. Yes, yes, Mrs. Steele; that gentleman, Mr. Steele, has
confessed all. You sly creature.

BOLT. Yes, yes!--good by! You may settle this discussion among
yourselves.

MRS. S. Yes, yes! this gentleman told me he was your husband.

MIZ. True, madam; stick to that. _He_ told you so; mind, I had nothing
to do with it.

MISS B. (_Aside._) It may be an eccentric method of making an offer.
He is not bad looking, and opportunities are--alas!--not too frequent.
I'll humour it.--And so my dear Steele's confess'd?

BOLT. Ha, ha, ha! Yes.--(_Aside._) Dear Steele! She jumps at it.--I'm
magnetic steel. (_Whisper._) I say, what's the meaning of this?

MIZ. Don't ask me; you're the man of talent--I know the meaning of
nothing.

MISS B. Oh, you naughty man; when you so faithfully promised to keep
it a secret.

BOLT. Well, as I said before, we must go. Farewell, my lo--o--ve!

MIZ. Farewell, Mrs. Steele.--(_Aside._) Be divorced as soon as
possible, Charley.

MISS B. But, my dearest, where are you going?

MIZ. (_Aside._) To the devil, and taking me for company.

BOLT. Oh, for a holiday; just to get rid, ha, ha! of a few loose
sovereigns.

MISS B. Are you, indeed? Then I'll accompany you.--Now don't look
sulky, Steele; you know I will--positively I will.

BOLT. Well, my dear, if you will, I--heigho!--suppose you must.

MIZ. (_Aside to BOLT._) I say, Bolt, that lady belongs to you, you
know; if we've any refreshment, you pay the heads--we don't go halves.

(_MISS B. and MRS. S. have been conversing apart._)

MRS. S. Oh, I should be charmed--delighted!

MISS B. Here is my bosom friend, Mrs. Stitchley, says she would like
to be of the party. This little gentleman will be a nice beau for her.

BOLT. (_Whispers._) I say, Bob--we _shall_ go halves.

MISS B. Lend me your arm, sir. _We married_ folks lead the way. Two
_hearts lead_.

MRS. S. Yes, my little gentleman, we can't do better than _follow
suit_.

MIZ. Oh, we're a couple of trumps. I wish I could cut out of this
game.

(_Exeunt, two and two._)



SCENE IV.

(_A Room at an Inn--A window open, with balcony, a little to the R. in
flat--A large screen, folded up and leaning against the flat--The only
entrance is by a door in set wing L. 2 E.--tables and chairs--WAITER
discovered busied about._)

_Enter HARRIET and CUTAWAY, L._

CUT. Most unlucky! Hymen has extinguished his link for the day, and
here we are yet unlinked--too late for the parson.

HAR. Shocking, indeed; to say nothing of the impropriety of my thus
running about with you.

CUT. True; we are like odd gloves--a couple unpaired. No matter;
to-morrow will unite us for ever. This house has a hopeful name--"The
Anchor."

HAR. The anchor! the very house my aunt was to have brought me to, to
send to Mrs. Chargely's. My place is booked here for that purpose.

CUT. No matter; some one else can represent you. The coach is unlike
my heart--it can just admit another. Waiter!--shew us into a private
room.

WAITER. Yes, sir; this way.--James, conduct the lady to the blue
parlour.

CUT. Blue! another omen--emblem of constancy.

HAR. Single, another day! what a misfortune!

(_Exeunt, R._)

WAITER. Hollo, James! James! bustle about; four more on the
stairs!--shew them in here; all the other rooms are full. What a house
we have to-day.

_Enter BOLT, MIZZLE, MISS B., and MRS. S., L. H. D._

BOLT. Sit down, ladies,--sit down.

MISS B. What a charming place!

MRS. S. Yes, but any place would be charming in such company.

(_The ladies sit at table, R._)

MISS B. (_Aside._) If he is only playing tricks I'll be even with
him.--My dear Steele, you have forgotten your gallantry; don't you ask
us to take any refreshments?

MIZ. (_Aside._) There they begin already! I thought they looked like
appetites.--Here, Waiter!

WAITER. Yes, sir.

MIZ. Four bread and cheeses, and a pint of stout.--(_Aside._) Egad,
they sha'n't ruin us.

BOLT. The very thing! I dote upon stout, and so does Mrs. Steele.

MISS B. La, my dear, I like nothing so plebeian; it's taking away
one's character to say so.

MRS. S. And I faint at the smell of cheese.

MIZ. Waiter!

WAITER. Yes, sir.

MIZ. A decanter of water for the ladies, and butter instead of cheese.

BOLT. Exactly!--only a pint of stout.

MISS B. Stay! Have you nothing but bread and butter and cheese in the
house?

BOLT. Have you got any onions?

MISS B. Have you no poultry?

BOLT. (_Aside._) Poultry! what pretty chickens!

WAITER. A couple of fowls are roasting for my master's dinner;
however, he will be most happy to let you have them.

MISS B. Well, send them up instantly, with a bottle of your best
sherry. (_Exit WAITER._)--You know, Steele, your loose sovereigns will
cover all expenses.

BOLT. (_Whispers._) Here, Bobby, how much have you got?

MIZ. Half-a-crown; and you?

BOLT. Eighteen-pence! Oh--h--h! that looks very unlike fowls and sherry.

MIZ. But you must be so d----d bounceable with your loose sovereigns!

MISS B. My dear, wont you sit down?--you must be tired.

BOLT. Not in the least (_aside_) except of you. (_Whispers._) I'll
tell you what we must do, Bobby,--we'll tell the ladies all; they can't
detain us in a public room,--and then we'll----

MIZ. Decamp. The best plan; only you be orator. The ladies look rather
fierce.

BOLT. A--hem!--you see, ladies--that is, you perceive--ahem!--you must be
aware--you cannot be ignorant--ahem!

MISS B. My dear Steele, what is the matter?

BOLT. (_Aside._) There she goes again, with her "dear Steele."--The
fact is----

_Enter WAITER, L. 2 E._

WAITER. I am sorry to intrude, ladies and gentlemen, but have you any
objection to a gentleman dining in this room?

BOLT. Not in the least!--You may give him our dinner, if your larder is
scanty.

MISS B. My dear!

MIZ. Yes, and the bottle of wine into the bargain.

_BOLT and MIZZLE go up._

MRS. S. Hoity toity! Certainly not!--and, Waiter, I hate dining in
public; I insist on that screen being put up.

WAITER. To be sure. (_Putting up screen so as to divide room in two,
then arranging a small table and chair on the side next the
door._)--Your fowls are done brown, ladies.

MIZ. (_Aside._) Done brown? Yes, and so are we done brown--by Miss
Brown, too!

_Enter 2nd WAITER and COTTON, L. 2 E._

2nd WAITER. Here, sir; there is a party the other side of the screen;
our inn is so full, sir.

COT. No matter; this will do. (_Sits at small table._) Bring up some
cold meat directly, and the paper.

(_Exeunt both WAITERS, L. 2 E._)

MIZ. Stay, I've a thought!--there may be an Irish cousin, or naval
officer, there. I'll peep through. (_Looks through crevice of
screen._)--Oh--

BOLT. Ladies, what I have to say is----

MIZ. (_Whispers._) Hold your tongue! you don't know who is on the
other side.

BOLT. No, nor don't care, if it is the devil.

MIZ. But it is worse, it's--oh--h--h!--old master, between us and the
door!

BOLT. Zounds! we are blockaded. Bolt, Bolt, thy courage is out.

MRS. S. What is the matter, gentlemen?

MISS B. You seem uneasy. (_WAITER brings in, L. 2 E., fowls and a
newspaper: he leaves newspaper with COTTON, and then passes on to the
other table, where he places fowls, and exit, L. 2 E._)--Well, I shall
take off my cloak and bonnet. (_Does so, and hangs them on a chair._)

BOLT. Egad, as there is no exit, I must e'en make the best of it.
(_Sits down between ladies._) This wing?--a slice of the breast? &c.

MIZ. (_Aside._) If I could but pass that old curmudgeon! Egad, I have
it--they are all looking at the fowls, far more interesting objects
than myself.

(_Makes signs to BOLT--slips MISS BROWN'S cloak and bonnet off
chair--retires to back and puts them on._)

COT. (_Reading._) "Curious case of stealing clothes"--Um--um--sentence,
transportation.

(_MIZZLE passes back of screen._)

MRS. S. Mr. Addison is invisible.

BOLT. Oh, never mind him.

(_MIZZLE passes in front of COTTON, and exit L. 2 E._)

COT. What an extraordinary woman! "Mysterious disappearance."

BOLT. (_Horn sounds._) That sounds deuced near the window. Help
yourselves to the wings, ladies. Cut off the wings and they can't fly.

(_Retires back--the COACHMAN appears at window, R. F._)

COACH. Any one going?

(_BOLT is in the act of stepping from balcony._)

LADIES. (_Seeing him._) Stop him!

(_BOLT disappears with COACHMAN--the LADIES throw the screen over
COTTON, who gets up and beats the WAITERS--the LADIES scream.--Scene
closes._)



SCENE V.--_Chamber._

_Enter CUTAWAY, R._

CUT. Truly unfortunate and disagreeable!--my fair one torn from me in a
manner most unfair. Miss Harriet missing--all is gone but hope!--and
what does hope say? Something false, as usual? The lady loves the
marvellous.--No, hope reminds me that Harriet is sent to Mrs.
Chargely's, in this neighbourhood; and that if I could enter in a
feigned name--true, I can learn at the door if the old lion be in the
den--if the young dove be in her cage!--'gad, it will do!--What name can
I take?--I have it, Mr. Cotton has a foreman named Bolt--I'll call
myself Bolt; I dare say I'm like him; I never saw him; so don't know
the contrary. A happy exchange of names--The part of Bolt by Mr.
Cutaway.

(_Exit, L.H._)



SCENE VI.

_Room at Mrs. Chargely's. Large Gothic window, opening upon lawn._

_MRS. CHARGELY discovered sitting, and BRIDGET busied about._

MRS. C. Bridget!

BRIDG. Yes, ma'am.

MRS. C. Miss Harriet Cotton, according to the letter I read to you,
must soon be here. Heigho! a persecuted being, like I was at
seventeen.

BRIDG. La, ma'am!

MRS. C. Yes, her love is disapproved of, and she is sent here to be
far from the object of her affections. Heigho! just my case.

BRIDG. Why, ma'am, I thought the object of your affections ran away
from you.

MRS. C. Ahem! It might be so; but, however, Bridget, it came to just
the same thing in the end. My fate teaches _me_ mercy. I am determined
to shew every kindness to this Harriet, though my letter tells me that
Mr. Cutaway is dauntless in pursuing her;--just my case.

BRIDG. On the contrary, ma'am, your admirer seems to have been
dauntless in pursuing the opposite direction.

MRS. C. Well, I will just go and adjust my head-dress. You will shew
the young lady every attention if she should arrive meanwhile. Heigho!
I dare say her delicate heart is in a fine state of palpitation. Just
my case.

(_Exit, R._)

BRIDG. I wish she would come; I should so like to see a _young_ lady
involved in a new adventure, instead of hearing an _old_ lady recount
a _stale_ one. (_A violent ring heard at bell._) Bless me! that is
exceedingly like a coachman's ring.

_Enter, through Gothic window, MIZZLE, in cloak and bonnet, BOLT, and
COACHMAN._

COACH. Yes! yes! we shall settle it right enough, I'll warrant.

MIZ. (_Whispers to BOLT._) Here's a new row! I didn't want to come
here.

BOLT. (_Whispers._) Zounds! there's no avoiding it. Coachee swears he
wont stir without the blunt. You, it seems, are booked here for some
confounded person. We can't pay;--he says, "Walk in, and they'll pay
for you!" So here we are.

COACH. Five shillings the lady, and three and sixpence the
gentleman;--they are rather short; will you pay, my good girl?

BRIDG. Oh! certainly; eight and sixpence; here, Coachman. (_Gives him
money, and exit COACHMAN, C._)--A gentleman, too! It is a new fashion
for ladies to bring their gentlemen with them.

(_Exit, L.H._)

BOLT. Well, what do you think of this?

MIZ. Nothing at all; it's of a piece with the rest. They'll take us to
the station-house soon. We're in limbo here; admire the garden wall
from the window. My eye! what a barricado!

BOLT. Oh! we can't get out, so we must consider our present situation.
You evidently were book'd,--I was only a chance customer; they set
_you_ down here as a matter of course--_I_ might have gone on. Devilish
odd, by-the-by, you crawling into the very coach upon which I jump'd.

_Enter MRS. CHARGELY, R.H._

MRS. C. Oh! my dear, excuse me for keeping you waiting; but I know
young ladies love moonlight.

MIZ. Yes, ma'am, like second-pair lodgers, just before quarter-day.

MRS. C. (_Aside._) Elegant remark!--But this gentleman?

BOLT. Ah, true! (_crosses to C._) I dare say you did not expect me.
How d'ye do?--The fact is--I am this young gent--ahem!--lady's
brother--Yes!

MRS. C. Oh! did you leave all quite well at home?

MIZ. Quite! my mother is particularly well.

MRS. C. Why, my dear, your father has been a widower these--

BOLT. Bless you! he has married again since. One calls one's
mother-in-law "mother" you know.

MIZ. They both send their compliments, Mrs.----ahem!

MRS. C. Indeed! my dear young lady--your name, I believe, is--

BOLT. Precisely!

MRS. C. Harriet?

MIZ. You have hit it to a nicety. Don't you think, ma'am, we might
take a turn about the country?

BOLT. Yes! there is a most picturesque ruin of a pump--

MRS. C. To-morrow!--to-morrow!

_Enter BRIDGET, L._

MRS. C. Oh! Bridget, you must provide accommodations for the young
lady's brother!

BRIDG. (_Whispers._) Madam, you have forgotten a something--the letter
called Miss Harriet an only child.

MRS. C. (_Aside._) Indeed! an impostor! Oh, I see through all!--the
daring Mr. Cutaway has introduced himself.--So, sir, you are the young
lady's brother?

BOLT. Exactly!

MIZ. Did not we tell you so?--(_Aside._) What makes her so d--d
particular?

MRS. C. Now, sir, you know you are nothing of the kind! (_Crosses to
C._) Miss Harriet has no brother.

BOLT. Hey, ma'am?

MIZ. No brother!--(_Aside._) Here's a go!--You'll allow me to know my
own relations?--Oh--h--h!

MRS. C. Indeed! No! I have discovered all.

BOLT. The devil you have? Then we are bowled out. Madam, we throw
ourselves upon your mercy!

MIZ. Yes! don't say anything to old Cotton.

MRS. C. (_Aside._) Old Cotton! what a respectful name to call her
father!--I will not; I am inclined to be friendly. I have some
influence over him;--I'll prevail on him to pardon all.

BOLT. Will you though? Then give us your hand. (_Takes her hand._)

MIZ. (_Takes other hand._) Yes! you are a regular good 'un!

MRS. C. (_Aside._) A good one! Her language is not particularly
romantic.--Nay, more than that, I think I can persuade him to consent
to your union.

MIZ. The lady means a partnership.

MRS. C. A partnership?--to be sure--for life--marriage!

BOLT. I'll be blowed if we understand one another, now!

MRS. C. Yes! we do.--Fie, Miss Cotton; do you think I do not recognise
your clandestine lover, Mr. Cutaway?

MIZ. (_Aside._) Cotton! I old master's daughter?

BOLT. (_Aside._) Zounds! she knows nothing, after all.--Yes, ma'am,
you've hit it. My name is Cutaway.

MRS. C. Ha! ha! you confess. You see I was too sharp for you; I found
out you were Mr. Cutaway.

BOLT. To be sure you did! you are so sharp, ma'am. He! he! you found
out Mr. Cutaway--He! he! ha!

_Enter BRIDGET, L._

BRIDG. Please, ma'am, Mr. Cotton's foreman, Mr. Bolt, is here.

BOLT. He is not! No! no! my name is Cut--Cutaway!

MIZ. Mr. Bolt is not here! no, nor Mizzle either; this gentleman's
name is Cutaway--my name is Miss Harriet.

BRIDG. But Mr. Bolt is at the street door.

BOLT. (_Aside._) Now who the devil can this be?

MIZ. (_Whispers._) I say, Bolt, there a'n't two of you.

MRS. C. Desire Mr. Bolt to walk in.--Don't be frightened, my young
friends, though I guess the cause of your alarm.

MIZ. (_Aside._) I'm bless'd if you do.

_Enter CUTAWAY, L._

CUT. (_Aside._) All right so far!--the young lady here, and the old boy
not here.

MRS. C. Come forward, Mr. Bolt; come forward. Nobody here, except Mr.
Cutaway.

CUT. Mr. Cutaway here, Madam!

MRS. C. You start; I guess the cause of surprise;--yes, and Miss
Harriet.

(_MIZZLE hides his face by letting veil fall._)

CUT. (_Aside._) Hem, she has got a new cloak by the way.

MRS. C. But I have not introduced you. (_Crosses L. C._) Mr. Bolt, Mr.
Cutaway; Mr. Cutaway, Mr. Bolt. (_They both bow._)

CUT. (_Aside._) How queer it is to be introduced to one's self!--I'm
beside myself.

MIZ. (_Whispers._) I say, Bolt, how do you like yourself?

BOLT. Not at all! Curse me if there isn't another incident.

MIZ. A second _me_ will walk in next.

MRS. C. How embarrassed they seem--and I see through all: Miss Harriet
seems afraid of Mr. Bolt seeing her. How well I understand her
feelings.

_Enter BRIDGET, L._

BRIDG. Mr. Cotton, ma'am.

BOLT, MIZZLE, _and_ CUTAWAY. (_Together._) Who?

BRIDG. Mr. Cotton.

(_BOLT and CUTAWAY instantly run off through Gothic window, MIZZLE,
R. H._)

MRS. C. Gentlemen! young lady! what a dispersion! Why, at any rate,
Mr. Bolt should vanish--

_Enter COTTON, HARRIET, MISS BROWN, and MRS. STITCHLEY, L. H._

(_Exit BRIDGET, L._)

COT. Ah, Mrs. Chargely, how d'ye do?--I have brought some ladies with
me.

MRS. C. Happy to see any of your friends, Mr. Cotton; but one little
thing I must say to you, (_draws him apart_,) don't be too severe with
your daughter.

COT. No, no, madam; I don't intend it.

MRS. C. I have promised to be her friend.

COT. Promised, madam; may I ask to whom?

MRS. C. To herself, to be sure.

COT. What! have you seen her before?--Harriet, my dear!

HAR. Yes, papa.

MRS. C. This is not your daughter Harriet?

COT. Yes, but it is though; don't you see the strong likeness?

HAR. Yes, madam; I am Harriet Cotton.

MRS. C. I am petrified! thunderstruck! why, another daughter Harriet
came here just now, and is here still.--Bridget!

_Enter BRIDGET, R. with veil._

BRIDG. Please, ma'am, Miss Harriet has bolted herself in one of the
bed-rooms, and wont open the door. Her veil caught against the
banister, ma'am; here it is.

COT. Some impudent impostor, Mrs. Chargely.

MRS. C. And, I'll confess the truth--(_Aside._) How are my benevolent
designs frustrated--Mr. Cutaway was with her.

COT. Daring scoundrel!

HAR. The faithless wretch! brought a sham me.--Oh papa, papa! (_Sobs._)

COT. I told you what he would turn out.

MISS B. Mrs. Bridget, I think I heard you called.--Allow me to look at
the veil; observe, Mrs. Stitchley!

MRS. S. I do, my dear!

MISS B. The ironmould, and everything! Mrs. Chargely, this veil is
mine; there are thieves in the house!--Had the lady a silk cloak?

MRS. C. Yes.

MRS. S. And a bonnet and feather?

MRS. C. Yes.

MISS B. It is all discovered!--You know we were wronged, Mr. Cotton?

COT. (_Aside._) Yes, and I know I had to pay for it.

MISS B. But we will be righted.--Mrs. Chargely, don't let your house be
a nest of thieves--send for the officers.

MRS. C. I will.--Bridget! Bridget! Lock sham Miss Harriet's door
outside--send for the police!--What a horrid unromantic adventure.

(_Exit, R. H._)

MRS. S. You shall be righted.

MISS B. I will, indeed: I'll recover my cloak--the villainy shall be
uncloaked.

(_Exeunt MISS B. and MRS. S., L. H._)

COT. Come along, Harriet; we'll see the end of this. To a nice house I
seem to have brought you! A pleasant day, we have had,--a day
beautifully spent!

(_Exeunt, L. H._)



SCENE VII.

_MRS. CHARGELY'S Garden.--At the back of stage a high wall; to the
R. 3 E. part of the house, with door and practicable window.--Dark._

_Enter BOLT, from back, R._

BOLT. Egad, I've succeeded in concealing myself among the statues and
the shrubs, &c. I wish that wall was not so devilish high, and that
gate not quite so firmly fastened. I wonder where Bobby is.

MIZ. (_Still in cloak and bonnet, looking out of window, R. 3 E._)
Charley, is that you?

BOLT. Yes; how snug you look, up there!

MIZ. How do you like your day's pleasure?

BOLT. Amazingly! It is a spicy sort of pleasure--keeps one awake. I
told you we should have something to laugh at.

MIZ. Yes, the wrong side of our mouths. If ever I do go out with you
again!

_Enter CUTAWAY, with ladder, L. U. E. BOLT steps back._

CUT. Fortune favours the bold. This is an unexpected prize--found it in
the knife room--and the dear creature at yonder window, she shall
descend: then we'll over the wall.--By-the-by, I wonder what has become
of that inefficient representation of myself.--Harriet!

MIZ. Hilloa! you there!

CUT. There she is, beautiful as ever.

BOLT. (_Aside._) True,--all cats are alike in the dark.

CUT. Come to the arms of your ever-faithful Cutaway.

MIZ. You make me blush.

CUT. I have a ladder, dearest; will you descend it?

MIZ. I believe you, I will;--Come, look alive!--put it up!

CUT. Her every word inspires confidence.

BOLT. (_Aside._) An unconscious auxiliary.

CUTAWAY. (_Puts ladder against window, R. 3 E._) Descend, dearest,
descend; and take care of the water-butt;--do not, star as you are, set
in the ocean. (_MIZZLE descends._)--Now let's away!

MIZ. Stay, my bundle! oh, my bundle!

CUT. What bundle, sweetest?

MIZ. A bundle I have left; so do you bundle up the ladder and get it.

CUT. Your desires are commands, lovely one.--She is hoarse;--caught
cold, poor thing. (_Ascends ladder and goes in at window._)

BOLT. I say, Bob, what did you send him in there for?

MIZ. Why the cursed officers are breaking open the door. I heard them;
so I gave him for a sop--Ha! ha! ha!

BOLT. Ha! ha! ha! poor devil! Now away with the ladder to the garden
wall. (_MIZZLE plants ladder against wall, L._) Now we'll ascend, and
drop on the other side.

CUT. (_At window, R._) Harriet! Harriet, my love! I can find no
bundle.

MIZ. Can't you? then here is one for you. (_Takes off cloak and
bonnet--wraps bonnet in cloak, and throws them in window._)

CUT. A man! duped--cheated!

BOLT. Up the ladder, Bobby, my boy!

MIZ. Yes, we are off!--The devil take the hindmost--Good by, my own
true love.

CUT. (_Feeling about._) The ladder, where is the ladder?

(_A crash is heard in the house, as of a door breaking.--Officers
appear at window.--Exeunt over wall.--The ladies scream.--Scene
closes_)



SCENE VIII.

_Outside of Shop.--Shop shut up, with "Cotton, hosier, &c." written on
it.--The shop door to open.--Stage dark._

_Enter BOLT and MIZZLE._

BOLT. Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!

MIZ. Yes, you may ha! ha! ha!--but I don't see anything to ha! ha!
at--No, nor to ho! ho! at neither. I have done with fun for ever.

BOLT. Oh! don't say so! we are all right, you know. Have not I got
through beautifully? steered through all the windings and intricacies?
Do you suppose a skilful coachman would give a fig for a drive on a
smooth road?--No! it is turning the sharp corners that displays
ingenuity.

MIZ. Ah! but don't let me be on the box with the said ingenious
coachman.

BOLT. To be sure it was lucky we overtook young Rattle, with his
gig;--if he had not given us a lift, we should not have been home till
breakfast time.

MIZ. No!--and master would. A pretty figure we should have cut, if
we'd arrived in time to find him opening the shutters.

BOLT. Well! we'll go in. (_Feels in his pocket._) Here is the key--No!
curse it, there is not!--nor in this pocket!--nor in that!--Bobby, did
I give you the key?

MIZ. No! (_feeling._) No--I have not got it!

BOLT. The deuce! then we have--

MIZ. No! you are not going to say the key is lost? don't say so!

BOLT. It is though, whether I say so or not; and now I remember, I
heard something chink on the ground, when I jumped off the wall.

MIZ. Oh! what a devil of a chink that was!

BOLT. It's confoundedly awkward!

MIZ. _It_ is? I like that! _you_ were confoundedly awkward, you mean.
Why did not you do as I do when I carry money? put it in my breeches
pocket, and tie pack-thread round.

BOLT. Ha! ha! ha! Don't be down-hearted Bobby--here is a third
adventure;--it will have an end. But give me time, my boy, and I'll
get through anything.

MIZ. Then if you could get through that keyhole, it would be the best
exercise for your ingenuity. (_Rain heard._) 'Gad it is coming on to
rain like the very deuce!

BOLT. Here is a shelter; we'll get in here.

MIZ. Yes! and we shall soon have the pleasure of seeing Old Cotton let
himself in. Crikey! what a well-spent day!

(_Retire, 2 L. H._)

_Enter SAM NEWGATE, R.H., followed by PETER PRIG--they are dressed in
large great coats--NEWGATE has a lantern in his hand--the heads of two
pistols are just seen one from each pocket--PRIG has in his hand a
black mask._

NEW. Come along, man; don't crawl!

PRIG. I don't like it a bit.

NEW. Pshaw! you're not half a fellow,--you're a humbug, Peter.

BOLT. What two respectable individuals.

MIZ. Ah! you and I may look like them, if we take many more holidays.

NEW. The streets are clear.--So you were old Cotton's foreman?

PRIG. Yes, sure! I was, some time ago!

MIZ. Ah! Cotton's foremen are always pretty blossoms.

NEW. And you left this same old Cotton?

PRIG. He made me leave, on account of a little exercise of my
ingenuity. But you see I was down upon him.

NEW. What by taking the impression of the street-door key in wax?--But
why the devil did you not go in before?

PRIG. Cos I had not the pluck; when I met with you, I was inspired.

MIZ. I say, a'n't you fly?

BOLT. Oh, yes, I'm awake!

NEW. Don't look so frightened, man; I have a bull-dog in each pocket.
(_Shewing pistols._)

MIZ. Sanguinary wretch! Don't let him see you, Charley--he'll blow out
the few brains we have in no time.

NEW. (_Opening door with key._) Here, the door is open; follow
quick--good examples should always be followed.

(_Exit through door._)

PRIG. I'm bless'd if I like it. Oh--h! I must put on the mask; (_does
so;_) old Cotton knows my good-looking face as well as his own: if he
caught a glimpse of me, I should be caught too.

(_BOLT rushes on him, and throws him down._)

BOLT. So you are, my chicken; think yourself lucky if you don't get
your neck twisted.

MIZ. Bravo, Charley! I'll stand and see fair play.--Take care number
one don't come and fire some Dartford superfine in your face.

PRIG. Oh, sir, I am very unwilling to be hanged.

BOLT. Then, most worthy character, take off that mask, as I have
unmasked you--take off that great coat, as I have dismantled your
villainy--and your hat off, because, because, I want it--and now take
yourself off.

PRIG. Yes, yes! I'll reform!--I feel a moral change already.

(_Runs off, R._)

(_BOLT dressing in PRIG'S clothes._)

MIZ. Why, Charley, what the deuce are you doing now?

BOLT. Disguising myself as a thief.

MIZ. I have not the slightest doubt of your being able to support the
character. But why?

BOLT. To walk in after that respectable gentleman.

MIZ. I shall not follow--better be sent home than shot.

BOLT. There will be two of us.

MIZ. Yes, and he has two pistols--can blow out our brains in
succession!--Highly advantageous.

BOLT. (_Feeling pockets._) There are no weapons in these pockets. You
had better follow.

NEW. (_Within._) Where the devil are you?

MIZ. No I sha'n't.

NEW. (_Comes to door._) Come along, thick-headed snail!

BOLT. Snail, do you call me! Ah, you don't know what I am.

(_Exit through door._)

MIZ. (_Comes forward._) Egad, there's one chance,--when master goes
home, that fellow may shoot him through the head--he can't find me
out--that would be lucky: but one linendraper should never desert
another;--I'll go into the kitchen--get the poker, and surprise the
rascal in the rear.

(_Exit, D. F._)



SCENE IX.

_Chamber, large cupboard in centre.--NEWGATE and BOLT discovered at
back, taking plate, and putting it in bag. NEWGATE has a lighted
lantern.--Dark._

NEW. Come, bustle about, man; you'll see twice as well if you take
that mask off.

BOLT. (_Aside._) My head would follow, I'm thinking.--No, I can see.

NEW. That's right. There go the spoons--there's the salver--there's
the god-papa's mug.

BOLT. Yes, we are in for the plate.

NEW. Ho, ho! you call that a joke?

BOLT. (_Aside._) More than I do anything else. If I am caught with
this fellow, I shall be hanged; and if I move, I shall be shot.

NEW. Don't mumble, but pack, pack!

_Enter CUTAWAY, HARRIET, COTTON, MISS BROWN, and MRS. STITCHLEY,
L. H._

COT. My dear Mr. Cutaway, you should have explained to me you were the
son of the great bobbin-maker, and my ideas on the subject would have
been very different.--Come, ladies, if you can find your way in the
dark. I have just discharged my servants, and am forced to wait on
myself.

(_Goes to closet, R.H. for match-box, &c._)

NEW. There's some one in the room--we are in the wrong box. Put up
that cup!

BOLT. Ah, I think we have taken a cup too much.

NEW. It's all up--we are floored. There they are--damn it, take this
bull-dog--defend yourself.

(_Gives BOLT a pistol._)

BOLT. So I will. (_Holds it at NEWGATE'S head, and throws off mask._)
Hollo! thieves! house! ho!

(_MIZZLE enters L. with candle--stage light._)

COT. What the devil!--Why, Bolt!

BOLT. How d'ye do, sir?

COT. And this gentleman----?

BOLT. Came to lighten you of your odd moveables,--to fork out your
knives, and dish your plates.

COT. Give me your hand, Bolt; you're a fine fellow!

NEW. Bolt, they call him; I wish that Bolt was shot.

(_They put NEWGATE in cupboard, C._)

CUT. I think I have seen your face before, sir?

BOLT. You have; but pray don't mention--don't bear malice.

MISS B. That face, too! oh, horror!

COT. This is my foreman, ladies, Mr. Bolt, whom, for his valuable
services, I intend instantly to take into partnership.

MISS B. (_To COTTON._) Sir! sir!

BOLT. Ahem!--There is one thing I have not confess'd; I mean, sir, my
passion for this lady.

MIZ. Wonderful!

MISS B. How!

BOLT. (_Runs to her, and whispers._) Say nothing, and you shall be my
real wife.--Sir, you will consent to our union?--(_Aside._) It's a
horrid plunge, but I can't help it.

MIZ. (_Aside._) Egad, this is jumping from the frying-pan into the
fire. I hope the old woman won't be looking after me.

COT. (_Takes MRS. STITCHLEY'S hand._) This, Harriet, will be your
mother-in-law.

MIZ. (_Aside._) A lucky escape!

HAR. Then, papa, there will be three weddings.

CUT. Yes, we can give away one another.

MIZ. While Mr. Addison is content with merely being a spectator.

COT. Come, this troublesome day's work is well over. You have some
time had my forgiveness, Harriet; I wish not to say anything
unpleasant--but when I contrast your conduct with that of these two
excellent young men----

BOLT. Oh, sir, we have done but our duty.--Come forward, Bobby.--I
repeat it, our duty: our duty is to amuse these ladies and
gentlemen,--and if anything we have done has contributed to that
desirable end, we certainly think our "Day has been well Spent."

THE END.

Savill, Printer, St. Martin's Lane, Charing Cross.



Transcriber's Note

This transcription is based on images digitized from a microform copy
made available by the University of California, Davis. These images
have been posted on the Internet Archive at:

    archive.org/details/OxenfordDayWellSpent

In general, this transcription attempts to retain the formatting,
punctuation and spelling of the source text, including variant
spellings such as "good by" and "wont" (instead of "won't"). In a few
cases where the quality of the images made a word or a punctuation
mark hard to read, the obvious reading was considered the correct
reading without comment.

The following changes were made:

-- Cover and title page: Changed "Day Well Spent" to "A Day Well
Spent." The original title page gives the title as "Day Well Spent."
On the first page of the text and in the running title throughout, the
title is "A Day Well Spent."

-- p. 5: _COTTON runs across from R. to L._--Added a closing
parenthesis for consistency.

-- p. 8: BOLT. Ha, ha, ha! Yes.--(_Aside_) Dear Steele! She jumps at
it.--I'm magnetic steel. (_Whisper_)--Inserted a period after
"_Aside_" and "_Whisper_".

-- p. 9: _A Room at an Inn--A window open, with balcony, a little to
the R. in flat,--A large screen_--Deleted the comma after "_flat_".

-- p. 10: (_Whispers_) I'll tell you what we must do, Bobby,--Inserted
a period after "_Whispers_".

-- p. 12: _Makes signs to BOLT--slips MISS BROWN'S cloak and bonnet
offchair_--Changed "_offchair_" to "_off chair_".

-- p. 12: I have it, Mr Cotton has a foreman named Bolt--Added a
period after "Mr" for consistency.

-- p. 18: (_Exeunt MISS B. and MRS. S. L. H._)--Inserted a comma after





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search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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