Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

SCENE-AN OLD-FASHIONED HOUSE,

servants.

the wheel, and go forward till you come to Farmer Murrain's barn. Coming to the farmer's barn,

ACT II. you are to turn to the right, and then to the left, and then to the right about again, till you find out the old mill.

Enter HARDCASTLE, followed by three or four awkward Marlow. Zounds, man! we could as soon find out the longitude !

Hastings. What's to be done, Marlow? Hardcastle. Well, I hope you are perfect in the

Marlow. This house promises but a poor re-table exercise I have been teaching you these three ception; though perhaps the landlord can accom- days

. You all know your posts and your places, modate us.

and can show that you have been used to good Landlord. Alack, master, we have but one company, without ever stirring from home. spare bed in the whole house.

Omnes. Ay, ay. Tony. And to my knowledge, that's taken Hardcastle. When company comes, you are not up by three lodgers already. [Afler a pause, in to pop out and stare, and then run in again, like which the rest seem disconcerted.] I have hit it. frighted rabbits in a warren. Don't you think, Stingo, our landlady could ac

Omncs. No, no. commodate the gentlemen by the fire-side, with- Hardcastle. You, Diggory, whom I have taken three chairs and a bolster?

from the barn, are to make a show at the side-taHastings. I hate sleeping by the fire-side. ble; and you, Roger, whom I have advanced from

Marlow. And I detest your three chairs and a the plough, are to place yourself behind my chair. bolster.

But you're not to stand so, with your hands in Tony. You do, do you ?—then, let me see your pockets. Take your hands from your pockwhat if you go on a mile farther, to the Buck's ets, Roger; and from your head, you blockhead Head; the old Buck's head on the hill, one of the you. See how Diggory carries his hands. They're best inns in the whole county?

a little too stiff indeed, but that's no great matter. Hastings. O ho! so we have escaped an adven- Diggory. Ay, mind how I hold them. I learned ture for this night, however.

to hold my hands this way, when I was upon drill Landlord (upart to Tony.) Sure, you ben't for the militia. And so being upon drill sending them to your father's as an inn, be you? Hardcastle. You must not be so talkative, Dig.

Tony. Mum, you fool you. Let them find that gory. You must be all attention to the guests. out. (To them.) You have only to keep on You must hear us talk, and not think of talking; straight forward, till you come to a large old house you must see us drink, and not think of drinking; by the road side. You'll see a pair of large horns you must see us eat and not think of eating. over the door. That's the sign. Drive up the Diggory. By the laws, your worship, that's yard, and call stoutly about you.

parfectly unpossible. Whenever Diggory sees Hastings. Sir, we are obliged to you. The yeating going forward, ecod he's always wishing servants can't miss the way?

for a mouthful himself. Tony. No, no: but I tell you, though, the land- Hardcastle. Blockhead! Is not a belly-full in lord is rich, and going to leave off business; so he the kitchen as good as a belly-full in the parlour ? wants to be thought a gentleman, saving your pre- Stay your stomach with that reflection. sence, he! he! he! He'll be for giving you his Diggory. Ecod, I thank your worship, I'll make company; and, ecod, if you mind him, he'll per- a shift to stay my stomach with a slice of cold beef suade you that his mother was an alderman, and in the pantry. bis aunt a justice of peace.

Hardcastle. Diggory, you are too talkative.Landlord. A troublesome old blade, to be sure; Then, if I happen to say a good thing, or tell a but a keeps as good wines and beds as any in the good story at table, you must not all burst out a. whole country.

laughing, as if you made part of the company. Marlow. Well

, if he supplies us with these, we Diggory. Then,ecod your worship must not shall want no further connexion. We are to turn tell the story of ould Grouse in the gun-room: I to the right, did you say?

can't help laughing at that-he! he! he for the Tony. No, no; straight forward. I'll just step soul of me. We have laughed at that these twen. myself, and show you a piece of the way, I To ty years—ha! ha! ha! the Landlord.) Mum!

Hardcastle. Ha! ha! ha! The story is a good Landlord. Ah, bless your heart, for a sweet, one. Well, honest Diggory, you may laugh at Deasant damn'd mischievous son of a whore. that—but still remember to be attentive. Suppose

Erewe. one of the company should call for a glass of wina

bow will you behave ? A glass of wine, sir, if you ; luvely part of the creation that chiefly teach meni please {to Diggory)-eh, why don't you move? confidence. I don't know that I was ever familiarly

Diggory. Ecod, your worship, I never have cou- acquainted with a single modest woman, except rage till I see the eatables and drinkables brought my mother-But among females of another class apo' the table, and then I'm as bauld as a lion.

you knowHardcastle. What, will nobody move?

Hastings. Ay, among them you are impudent First Servant. I'm not to leave this place. enough of all conscience. Second Servant. I'm sure it's no place of mine. Marloo. They are of us, you know. Third Servant. Nor mine, for sartin.

Hastings. But in the company of women of Diggory. Wauns, and I'm sure it canna be reputation I never saw such an idiot, such a tremmine.

bler; you look for all the world as if you wanted an Hardcastle. You numskulls! and so while, like opportunity of stealing out of the room. your betters you are quarreling for places, the Marlow. Why, man, that's because I do want guests must be starved. O you dunces! I find I to steal out of the room. Paith, I have often formmust begin all over again, -But don't I hear a ed a resolution to break the ice, and rattle away at coach drive into the yard? To your posts, you any rate. But I don't know how, a single glancé blockheads. I'll go in the mean time and give my from a pair of fine eyes has totally overset my rescu ald friend's son a hearty reception at the gate.

lution. An impudent fellow may counterfeit mo

(Erit Hardcastle. desty, but I'll be hanged if a modest man cart Diggory. By the etevens, my place is gone quite ever counterfeit impudence. aut of my head.

Hastings. If you could but say half the fine Roger. I know that my place is to be every things to them that I have heard you lavish upon where.

the bar-maid of an inn, or even a college bed-maker. First Sercant. Where the devil is mine? Marlow. Why, George, I can't say fine things

Second Servant. My place is to be nowhere at to them; they freeze, they petrify me. They may all; and so l'ze go about my business. (Exeunt talk of a comet, or a burning mountain, or some Serrants, running about as if frighted, different such bagatelle; but to me, a modest woman, dressways.

ed out in all her finery, is the most tremendous ob

ject of the whole creation. Enter SERVANT with candles, showing in MARLOW and

Hastings. Ha! ha! ha! At this rate, man, how HASTINGS.

can you ever expect to marry ? Serrant. Welcome, gentlemen, very welcome!

Marlow. Never, unless, as among kings and This way.

princes, my bride were to be courted by proxy. If, Hastings. After the disappointments of the day, indeed, like an eastern bridegroom, one were to be welcome once more, Charles, to the comforts of a introduced to a wife he never saw before, it might clean room and a good fire. Upon my word, a be endured. But to go through all the terrors of a very well-looking house; antique but creditable. formal courtship, together with the episode of

Marlow. The usual fate of a large mansion. aunts, grandmothers, and cousins, and at last to Having first ruined the master by good house-keep- blunt out the broad staring question of, Madam; ing, it at last comes to levy contributions as an inn. will you marry me? No, no, that's a strain much Hastings. As you say, we passengers are to be above me, I

assure you. taxed to pay all these fineries. I have often seen Hastings. I pity you. But how do you intend! a good sideboard, or a marblechimney-piece, though behaving to the lady you are come down to visit at not actually put in the bill

, inflame a reckoning the request of your father? confoundedly,

Marlow. As I behave to all other ladiesBow Marlou. Travellers, George, must pay in all very low, answer yes or no to all her demands places; the only difference is, it.ct in good inns you But for the rest, I don't think I shall venture to pay dearly for luxuries, in bad inns you are fleeced look in her face till I see my father's again. and starved.

Hastings. I'm surprised that one who is so warm Hastings. You have lived very much among a friend can be so cool a lover. them. In truth, I have been often surprised, that Marlow. To be explicit, my dear Hastings, my you who have seen so much of the world, with your chief inducement down was to be instrumental in natural good sense, and your many opportunities, forwarding your happiness, not my own. Miss could never yet aequire a requisite share of assur-Neville loves you, the family don't know you! as ance.

my friend you are sure of a reception, and let hos Marlow. The Englishman's malady. But tell our do the rest. me, George, where could I have learned that as- Hastings. My dear Marlow! But I'll suppreus surance you talk of} My life has been chiefly the emotion. Were I a wretch, meanly seeking to spent in a college or an inn, in soclusion from that carry off a fortune, you should be the last man in

the world I would apply to for assistance. But George Brooks—I'll pawn my dukedom, says hes
Miss Neville's person is all I ask, and that is but I take that garrison without spilling a drop of
mine, both from her deceased father's consent, blood. Som
and her own inclination.

Marlow. What, my good friend, if you gave us
Marlow. Happy man! You have talents and a glass of punch in the mean time; it would help us
art to captivate any woman. I'm doomed to adore to carry on the siege with vigour.
the sex, and yet to converse with the only part of it Hardcastle. Punch, sir! (aside.) This is the
I despise. This stammer in my address, and this most unaccountable kind of modesty I ever met
awkward unprepossessing visage of mine can never with.
permit me to soar above the reach of a milliner's Marlow. Yes, sir, punch. A glass of warm
prentice, or one of the duchesses of Drury-lane. punch, after our journey, will be comfortable. This
Pshaw! this fellow here to interrupt us. is Liberty-hall, you know.

Hardcastle. Here's a cup, sir.
Enter HARDCASTLE.

Marlow (aside). So this fellow, in his Liberty-
Hardcastle. Gentlemen, once more you are hall

, will only let us have just what he pleases. heartily welcome. Which is Mr. Marlow ? Sir, you Hardcastle (taking the cup). I hope you'll find are heartily welcome. It's not my way, you see, to it to your mind. I have prepared it with my own receive my friends with my back to the fire. I like hands, and I believe you'll own the ingredients are to give them a hearty reception in the old style at tolerable. Will you be so good as to pledge me. my gate. I like to see their horses and trunks sir? Here, Mr. Marlow, here is to our better actaken care of.

quaintance.

[Drinks. Marlow (aside). He has got our names from Marlow (aside). A very impudent fellow, this! the servants already.To Hardcastle.) We ap- but he's a character, and I'll humour him a little. prove your caution and hospitality, sir.To Has- Sir, my service to you.

(Drinks. tings.] I have been thinking, George, of changing Hastings (aside). I see this fellow wants to our travelling dresses in the morning. I am grown give us his company, and forgets that he's an inn confoundedly ashamed of mine.

keeper before he has learned to be a gentleman. Hardcastle. I beg, Mr. Marlow, you'll use no Marlow. From the excellence of your cup, my ceremony in this house.

old friend, I suppose you have a good deal of busiMarlow. I fancy, Charles, you're right: the first ness in this part of the country. Warm work, blow is half the battle. I intend opening the cam- now and then, at elections, I suppose. paign with the white and gold.

Hardcastle. No, sir, I have long given that work Hardcastle. Mr. Marlow-Mr. Hastings-gen-over. Since our betters have hit upon the expedient tlemen-pray be under no restraint in this house. of electing each other, there is no business" for us This is Liberty-hall, gentlemen. You may do that sell ale." just as you please here.

Hastings. So then you have no turn for politics, Marlow. Yet., George, if we open the campaign I find. too fiercely at first, we may want ammunition be. Hardcastle. Not in the least. There was a fore it is over. I think to reserve the embroidery time, indeed, I fretted myself about the mistakes

of government, like other people; but finding myHardcastle. Your talking of a retreat, Mr. Mar- self every day grow more angry, and the govern. low, puts me in mind of the Duke of Marlborough, ment growing no better, I left it to mend itself. when we went to besiege Denain. He first sum- Since that, I no more trouble my head about Hy. inoned the garrison

der Ally, or Ally Cawn, than about Ally Croaker. Marlow. Don't you think the ventre d'or waist- Sir my seryice to you. coat will do with the plain brown?

Hastings. So that with eating above stairs, and Hardcastle. He first summoned the garrison, drinking below, with receiving your friends withwhich might consist of about five thousand men- in, and amusing them without, you lead a good

Hastings. I think not: brown and yellow mix pleasant bustling life of it. but very poorly.

Hardcastle, I do stir about a great deal, that's Hardcastle. I say, gentlemen, as I was telling certain. Half the differences of the parish are ad you, he summoned the garrison, which might con- justed in this very parlour. sist of about five thousand men

Marlo. (afler drinking) And you have ara Marlow. The girls like finery.

argument in your cup, old gentleman, better than Hardcastle. Which might consist of about five any in Westminster-hall. thousand men, well appointed with stores, ammu- Hardcastle. Ay, young gentleman, that, and a bition, and other implements of war. Now, says little philosophy. the Duke of Marlborough to George Brooks, that Marloosaside). Well, this is the first time lere stood next to him—You must have heard of heard of an inkeeper's philosophy.

2

to secure a retreat.

!

Hostings. So, tben, like an experienced general, Bedford, to eat up such a supper? Two or threo you attack them on every quarter. If you find little things, clean and comfortable, will do. their reason manageable, you attack it with your Hastings. But let's hear it. philosophy; if you find they have no reason, you Mcrlow (reading). For the first course at tbe attack them with this. Here's your health, my top, a pig, and prune sauce." philosopher.

[Drinks. Hastings. Damn your pig, I say. Hardcastle. Good, very good, thank you; ha! Marlow, And damn your prune sauce, say I. ha! ha! Your generalship puts me in mind of Hardcastle. And yet, gentlemen, to men that Prince Eugene, when he fought the Turks at the are hungry, pig with prune sauce is very good battle of Belgrade. You shall hear.

eating. Marino. Instead of the battle of Belgrade, 1 be- Marlou. At the bottom a call's tongue and lieve it's almost time to talk about supper. What brains. has your philosophy got in the house for supper ? Hastings. Let your brains be knocked out, my

Hardcastle. For supper, sir! (Aside) Was ever good sir, I don't like them. such a request to a man in his own house! Marloo. Or you may clap them on a plate by

Marlow. Yes, sir, supper, sir; I hegin to 'feel an themselves. appetite. I shall make devilish work to-night in Hardcastle (aside). Their impudence conthe larder, I promise you.

founds me. (To them.) Gentlemen, you are my Hardcastle (aside). Such a brazen dog sure guests, make what alterations you please. Is there never my eyes beheld. [To him.] Why really, any thing else you wish to retrench or alter, gensir, as for supper, I can't well tell. My Dorothy tlemen ? and the cook-maid settle these things between Marlow. Item. A pork pie, a boiled rabbit and them. I leave these kind of things entirely to them. sausages, a Florentine, a shaking pudding, and a Marlou. You do, do you ?

dish of tiff-taff—taffety cream. Hardcastle. Entirely. By the by, I believe they Hastings. Confound your made dishes; I shall are in actual consultation upon what's for supper be as much at a loss in this house as at a green and this moment in the kitchen.

yellow dinner at the French ambassador's table, Marlow. Then I beg they'll admit me as one of I'm for plain eating. their privy-council. It's a way I have got. When

Hardcastle. I'm sorry, gentlemen, that I have I travel I always choose to regulate my own sup- nothing you like, but if there be any thing you per. Let the cook be called. No offence 1 hope, have a particular fancy tosir ?

Marlow. Why, really, sir, your bill of fare is so Hardcastle. ( no, sir, none in the least ; yet 1 exquisite, that any one part of it is full as good as don't know how; our Bridget, the cook-maid, is another. Send us what you please. So much for not very communicative upon these occasions. supper. And now to see that our beds are aired, Should we send for her, she might scold us all out and properly taken care of. of the house.

Hardcastle. I entreat you'll leave all that to me. Hastings. Let's see your list of the larder then. You shall not stir a step. I ask it as a favour. I always match my appetite Marlour. Leave that to you! I protest, sir, you to my bill of fare.

must excuse me, I always look to these things myMarlow (lo Hardcastle, who looks at them with self. surprise). Sir, he's very right, and it's my way Hardcastle. I must insist, sir, you'll make your. too.

self easy on that head. Hardcas!le. Sir, you have a right to commaud Marlow. You see l’m resolved on it. (Aside.) here. Here, Roger, bring us the bill of fare for to- A very troublesome fellow this, as I ever met with. night's supper: I believe it's drawn out.-Your

Hardcastle. Well, sir, I'm resolved at least to manner, Mr. Hastings, puts me in mind of my attend you. (Aside.) This may be modern mouncle, Colonel Wallop. It was a saying of his, desty, but I never saw any thing look so like oldthat no man was sure of his supper till he had fashioned impudence. eaten it.

(Exeunt Marlow and Hardcastle. Hastings (Aside). All upon the high rope! His Hastings (alone). So I find this fellow's civiliuncle a colonel! we shall soon hear of his mother ties begin to grow troublesome. But who can be being a justice of the peace. But let's hear the angry at those assiduities which are meant to bill of fare.

please him ?-Ha! what do I see? Miss Neville, by Marlow (perusingl. What's here? For the all that's happy! first course; for the second course; for the dessert.

Enter MISS NEVILLE. The devil, sir, do you think we have brought down the whole joiner's company, or the corporation of Miss Neville, My dear Hastings! To what w.expected good fortune, to what accident, am I to through all the rest of the family.—What have v ascribe this happy meeting?

got here? Hastings. Rather let me ask the same question, Histings. My dear Charles ! Let me congratuas I could never have hoped to meet my dearest late you !—The most fortunate accident ?-Who Constance at an inn.

do you think is just alighted ? Miss Neville. An inn! sure you mistake: my Marlow. Can not guess. aunt, my guardian, lives here. What could in- Hastings. Our mistresses, boy, Miss Hardcas. duce you to think this house an inn?

tle and Miss Neville. Give me leave to introduce Hastings. My friend, Mr. Marlow, with whom Miss Constance Neville to your acquaintance. I came down, and I, have been sent here as to an Happening to dine in the neighbourhood, they inn, I assure you. A young fellow, whom we ac- called on their return to take fresh horses here. cidentally met at a house hard by, directed us Miss Hardcastle has just stepped into the next hither.

room, and will be back in an instant. Wasn't it Miss Neville. Certainly it must be one of my lucky? eh! hopeful cousin's tricks, of whom you have heard Marlow (aside.) I have been mortified enough me talk so often; ha! ha! ha!

of all conscience, and here comes something w Hastings. He whom your aunt intends for you? complete my embarrassment. be of whom I have such just apprehensions? Hastings. Well, but wasn't it the most fortu

Miss Neville. You have nothing to fear from nate thing in the world? him, I assure you. You'd adore him if you knew Marlow. Oh! yes. Very fortunate-a most how heartily he despises me. My aunt knows it joyful encounter—But our dresses, George, you too, and has undertaken to court me for him, and know are in disorder-What if we should postactually begins to think she has made a conquest. pone the happiness till to-morrow ?–To-morrow

Hastings. Thou dear dissembler! You must at her own house-It will be every bit as conve. know, my Constance, I have just seized this happy nient—and rather more respectful-To-morrow let opportunity of my friend's visit here to get admit- it be.

(Ofering to go. tance into the family. The horses that carried us Miss Neville. By no means, sir. Your ceredown are now fatigued with their journey, but mony will displease her. The disorder of your they'll soon be refreshed ; and then, if my dearest dress will show the ardour of your impatience. girl will trust in her faithful Hastings, we shall Besides, she knows you are in the house, and will soon be landed in France, where even among permit you to see her. slaves the laws of marriage are respected.

Marlow. O! the devil! how shall I support it! Miss Neville. I have often told you, that though -Hem! hem! Hastings, you must not go. You ready to obey you, I yet should leave my little for- are to assist me, you know. I shall be confound tune behind with reluctance. The greatest partedly ridiculous. Yet, hang it! I'll take courage. of it was left me by my uncle, the India director, Hem! and chiefly consists in jewels. I have been for Hastings. Pshaw, man! it's but the first plunge. some time persuading my aunt to let me wear them. and all's over. She's but a woman, you know. I fancy I'm very near succeeding. The instant Marlow. And of all women, she that I dread They are put into my possession, you shall find me must to encounter. seady to make them and myself yours.

Enter MISS HARDCASTLE, as returned from walking. Hastings. Perish the baubles! Your person is all I desire. In the mean time, my friend Marlow Hastings [introducing them.) Miss Hardcasmust not be let into his mistake. I know the tle. Mr. Marlow. I'm proud of bringing two strange reserve of his temper is such, that if ab- persons of such merit together, that only want to ruptly informed of it, he would instantly quit the know, to esteem each other. house before our plan was ripe for execution. Miss Hardcastle (aside.) Now for meeting my

Miss Neville. But how shall we keep him in modest gentleman with a demure face, and quite the deception? Miss Hardcastle is just returned in his own manner. (After u pause, in which he from walking; what if we still continue to deceive appears tery uncasy and disconcerted.] I'm glad kim? This, this way (They confer. of your safe arrival, sir,—I'm told you had some

accidents by the way. · Enter MARLOW.

Marlo. Only a few, madam. Yes, we had Mar.ow. The assiduities of these good people some. Yes, madam, a good many accidents, but tease me beyond bearing. My host seems to think should be sorry-madam-or rather glad of any it ill manners to leave me alone, and so he claps accidents that are so agreeably concluded. Hem. not only himself but his old-fashioned wife on my Hastings (to him.) You never spoke better in back. They talk of coming to sup with us too; your whole life. Keep it up and I'll insure you and then, I suppose, we are to run the gauntlet the victory.

« AnteriorContinuar »