GRIEF À-LA-MODE

“Ut qui conducti plorant in funere, dicunt,
Et faciunt propè plura dolentibus ex animo, sic
Derisor vero plus laudatore movetur.”[9]
HORACE, _Ars. Poet._ 431-3.

_The Funeral: or, Grief à-la-Mode_, a Comedy, was written in the summer
of 1701, and given to Christopher Rich, of the Theatre Royal, Drury
Lane, in October. Soon afterwards it was acted, and it was published
by Jacob Tonson between December 18 and 20, with the date 1702 on
the title-page. The music to the songs, by William Croft, appeared
between December 16 and 18. The original cast included Cibber (Lord
Hardy), Wilks (Campley), Mills (Trusty), Pinkethman (Trim), Norris
(Mrs. Fardingale), and Bullock (Kate Matchlock); with Mrs. Verbruggen
(Lady Brumpton), Mrs. Rogers (Lady Harriot), and Mrs. Oldfield (Lady
Sharlot). The play was revived occasionally in most of the years
between 1703 and 1734, and from time to time during the following
half-century, the last date, apparently, being April 17, 1799. The plot
is entirely original.

_To the Right Honourable the_

COUNTESS OF ALBEMARLE.[10]

MADAM,

Among the many novelties with which your ladyship, a stranger in our
nation, is daily entertained, you have not yet been made acquainted
with the poetical English liberty, the right of dedication; which
entitles us to a privilege of celebrating whatever for its native
excellence is the just object of praise, and is an ancient charter,
by which the Muses have always a free access to the habitation of the
Graces.

Hence it is that this Comedy waits on your Ladyship, and presumes to
welcome you amongst us; though indeed, madam, we are surprised to see
you bring with you, what we thought was of our own growth only, an
agreeable beauty; nay, we must assure you, that we cannot give up so
dear an article of our glory, but assert it by our right in you: for
if ’tis a maxim founded on the noblest human law, that of hospitality,
that every soil is a brave man’s country, England has a very just
pretence of claiming as a native a daughter of Mr. Scravenmore.

But your Ladyship is not only endeared to us by the great services of
your father, but also by the kind offices of your husband, whose frank
carriage falls in with our genius, which is free, open, and unreserved.
In this the generosity of your tempers makes you both excel in so
peculiar a manner, that your good actions are their own reward; nor can
they be returned with ingratitude, for none can forget the benefits you
confer so soon as you do yourselves.

But ye have a more indisputable title to a dramatic performance than
all these advantages; for you are yourselves, in a degenerate low
age, the noblest characters which that fine passion that supports the
stage has inspired; and as you have practised as generous a fidelity
as the fancies of poets have ever drawn in their expecting lovers, so
may you enjoy as high a prosperity as ever they have bestowed on their
rewarded. This you may possess in an happy security, for your fortunes
cannot move so much envy as your persons love.

I am, Madam,

Your Ladyship’s most devoted

Humble Servant,

RICHARD STEELE.

PREFACE.

The rehearsal of this Comedy was honoured with the presence of the Duke
of Devonshire,[11] who is as distinguished by his fine understanding
as high quality. The innocence of it moved him to the humanity of
expressing himself in its favour. ‘Tis his manner to be pleased where
he is not offended; a condescension which delicate spirits are obliged
to for their own ease, for they would have but a very ill time of it
if they suffered themselves to be diverted with nothing but what could
bear their judgment.

That elegant and illustrious person will, I hope, pardon my gratitude
to the town, which obliges me to report so substantial a reason for
their approbation of this play, as that he permitted it. But I know not
in what words to thank my fellow-soldiers for their warmth and zeal in
my behalf, nor to what to attribute their undeserved favour, except it
be that ’tis habitual to ’em to run to the succour of those they see in
danger.

The subject of the drama ’tis hoped will be acceptable to all lovers of
mankind, since ridicule is partly levelled at a set of people who live
in impatient hopes to see us out of the world, a flock of ravens that
attend this numerous city for their carcases; but, indeed, ’tis not
in the power of any pen to speak ’em better than they do themselves.
As, for example, on a door I just now passed by, a great artist thus
informs us of his cures upon the dead:–

W. W., known and approved for his art of embalming, having preserved
the corpse of a gentlewoman, sweet and entire, thirteen years, without
embowelling, and has reduced the bodies of several persons of quality
to sweetness, in Flanders and Ireland, after nine months’ putrefaction
in the ground, and they were known by their friends in England. No man
performeth the like.

He must needs be strangely in love with this life who is not touched
with this kind invitation to be pickled; and the noble operator must
be allowed a very useful person for bringing old friends together; nor
would it be unworthy his labour to give us an account at large of the
sweet conversation that arose upon meeting such an entire friend as he
mentions.

But to be serious: Is there anything, but its being downright fact,
could make a rational creature believe ’twere possible to arrive at
this fantastic posthumous folly? Not at the same time but that it were
buffoonery rather than satire to explode all funeral honours; but then
it is certainly necessary to make ’em such that the mourners should be
in earnest, and the lamented worthy of our sorrow. But this purpose is
so far from being served, that it is utterly destroyed by the manner
of proceeding among us, where the obsequies, which are due only to the
best and highest of human race (to admonish their short survivors that
neither wit, nor valour, nor wisdom, nor glory can suspend our fate),
are prostituted and bestowed upon such as have nothing in common with
men but their mortality.

But the dead man is not to pass off so easily, for his last thoughts
are also to suffer dissection, and it seems there is an art to be
earned to speak our own sense in other men’s words, and a man in a
gown that never saw his face shall tell you immediately the design of
the deceased, better than all his old acquaintance; which is so perfect
an hocus-pocus that, without you can repeat such and such words, you
cannot convey what is in your hands into another’s; but far be it from
any man’s thought to say there are not men of strict integrity of the
long robe, though it is not everybody’s good fortune to meet with ’em.

However, the daily legal villanies we see committed will also be
esteemed things proper to be prosecuted by satire, nor could our
ensuing Legislative do their country a more seasonable office than to
look into the distresses of an unhappy people, who groan perhaps in as
much misery under entangled as they could do under broken laws; nor
could there be a reward high enough assigned for a great genius, if
such may be found, who has capacity sufficient to glance through the
false colours that are put upon us, and propose to the English world
a method of making justice flow in an uninterrupted stream; there is
so clear a mind in being, whom we will name in words that of all men
breathing can be only said of him; ’tis he[12] that is excellent–

“Seu linguam causis acuit, seu civica jura
Responsare parat, seu condit amabile carmen.”[13]

Other enemies that may arise against this poor play are indeed less
terrible, but much more powerful than these, and they are the ladies;
but if there is anything that argues a soured man, who lashes all for
Lady Brumpton, we may hope there will be seen also a devoted heart that
esteems all for Lady Sharlot.

PROLOGUE.

_Spoken_ by MR. WILKS.[14]

Nature’s deserted, and dramatic art,
To dazzle now the eye, has left the heart;[15]
Gay lights and dresses, long extended scenes,
Demons and angels moving in machines,
All that can now, or please, or fright the fair,
May be performed without a writer’s care,
And is the skill of carpenter, not player.
Old Shakespeare’s days could not thus far advance;
But what’s his buskin to our ladder dance?[16]
In the mid region a silk youth to stand,
With that unwieldly engine at command!
Gorged with intemperate meals while here you sit,
Well may you take activity for wit:
Fie, let confusion on such dulness seize;
Blush, you’re so pleased, as we that so we please.
But we, still kind to your inverted sense,
Do most unnatural things once more dispense.
For since you’re still preposterous in delight,
Our Author made, a full house to invite,
A funeral a Comedy to-night.
Nor does he fear that you will take the hint,
And let the funeral his own be meant;
No, in old England nothing can be won
Without a faction, good or ill be done;
To own this our frank Author does not fear;
But hopes for a prevailing party here;
He knows he’s numerous friends; nay, knows they’ll show it,
And for the fellow-soldier, save the poet.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

LORD BRUMPTON.

LORD HARDY, Son to LORD BRUMPTON, in love with LADY SHARLOT.

Mr. CAMPLEY, in love with LADY HARRIOT.

Mr. TRUSTY, Steward to LORD BRUMPTON.

CABINET.

Mr. SABLE, an Undertaker.

PUZZLE, a Lawyer.

TRIM, Servant to LORD HARDY.

TOM, the Lawyer’s Clerk.

LADY BRUMPTON.

LADY SHARLOT,
LADY HARRIOT,
Orphan Sisters, left in ward to LORD BRUMPTON.

Mademoiselle D’EPINGLE.

TATTLEAID, LADY BRUMPTON’S Woman.

Mrs. FARDINGALE.

KATE MATCHLOCK.

Visitant Ladies, SABLE’S Servants, Recruits, &c.

SCENE.–COVENT GARDEN.

_THE FUNERAL: OR, GRIEF À-LA-MODE._

ACT THE FIRST.

SCENE–_Covent Garden._

_Enter_ CABINET, SABLE, _and_ CAMPLEY.

_Cab._ I burst into laughter, I can’t bear to see writ over an
undertaker’s door, “Dresses for the Dead, and Necessaries for
Funerals!” Ha! ha! ha!

_Sab._ Well, gentlemen, ’tis very well; I know you are of the
laughers, the wits that take the liberty to deride all things that are
magnificent and solemn.

_Cam._ Nay, but after all, I can’t but admire Sable’s nice discerning
on the superfluous cares of mankind, that could lead them to the
thought of raising an estate by providing horses, equipage, and
furniture, for those that no longer need ’em.

_Cab._ But is it not strangely contradictory, that men can come to so
open, so apparent an hypocrisy, as in the face of all the world, to
hire professed mourners to grieve, lament, and follow in their stead
their nearest relations, and suborn others to do by art what they
themselves should be prompted to by nature?

_Sab._ That’s reasonably enough said, but they regard themselves only
in all they act for the deceased, and the poor dead are delivered to
my custody, to be embalmed, slashed, cut, and dragged about, not to do
them honour, but to satisfy the vanity or interest of their survivors.

_Cam._ This fellow’s every way an undertaker! How well and luckily he
talks! His prating so aptly has methinks something more ridiculous in
it than if he were absurd. [_Aside to_ CABINET.

_Cab._ But, as Mr. Campley says, how could you dream of making a
fortune from so chimerical a foundation as the provision of things
wholly needless and insignificant?

_Sab._ Alas, gentlemen, the value of all things under the sun is merely
fantastic. We run, we strive, and purchase things with our blood and
money, quite foreign to our intrinsic real happiness, and which have
a being in imagination only, as you may see by the pudder[17] that
is made about precedence, titles, court favour, maidenheads, and
china-ware.

_Cam._ Ay, Mr. Sable, but all those are objects that promote our
joy, are bright to the eye, or stamp upon our minds pleasure and
self-satisfaction.

_Sab._ You are extremely mistaken, sir; for one would wonder to
consider that after all our outcries against self-interested men,
there are few, very few, in the whole world that live to themselves,
but sacrifice their bosom-bliss to enjoy a vain show, and appearance
of prosperity in the eyes of others; and there is often nothing more
inwardly distressed than a young bride in her glittering retinue, or
deeply joyful than a young widow in her weeds and black train; of both
which, the lady of this house may be an instance, for she has been the
one, and is, I’ll be sworn, the other.

_Cab._ You talk, Mr. Sable, most learnedly!

_Sab._ I have the deepest learning, sir, experience. Remember your
widow cousin that married last month.

_Cab._ Ay! But how could you imagine she was in all that grief an
hypocrite? Could all those shrieks, those swoonings, that rising,
falling bosom be constrained? You’re uncharitable, Sable, to believe
it—-What colour, what reason had you for it?

_Sab._ First, sir, her carriage in her concerns with me, for I never
yet could meet with a sorrowful relict, but was herself enough to make
an hard bargain with me.[18]–Yet I must confess they have frequent
interruptions of grief and sorrow when they read my bill–but as for
her, nothing, she resolved, that looked bright or joyous should after
her love’s death approach her. All her servants that were not coal
black must turn out; a fair complexion made her eyes and heart ache,
she’d none but downright jet, and to exceed all example she hired my
mourning furniture by the year, and in case of my mortality tied my
son to the same article; so in six weeks’ time ran away with a young
fellow—-Prithee push on briskly, Mr. Cabinet, now is your time to
have this widow, for Tattleaid tells me she always said she’d never
marry—-

_Cab._ As you say, that’s generally the most hopeful sign.

_Sab._ I tell you, sir, ’tis an infallible one; you know those
professions are only to introduce discourse of matrimony and young
fellows.

_Cab._ But I swear I could not have confidence even after all our long
acquaintance, and the mutual love which his lordship (who indeed has
now been so kind as to leave us) has so long interrupted, to mention a
thing of such a nature so unseasonably—-

_Sab._ Unseasonably! Why, I tell you ’tis the only season (granting her
sorrow unfeigned): When would you speak of passion, but in the midst
of passions? There’s a what d’ye call, a crisis[19]–the lucky minute
that’s so talked of, is a moment between joy and grief, which you must
take hold of and push your fortune—-But get you in, and you’ll best
read your fate in the reception Mrs. Tattleaid gives you. All she says,
and all she does, nay, her very love and hatred are mere repetition of
her ladyship’s passions. I’ll say that for her, she’s a true lady’s
woman, and is herself as much a second-hand thing as her clothes. But I
must beg your pardon, gentlemen, my people are come I see—-[_Exeunt_
CAB. _and_ CAMP.

_Enter_ SABLE’S _Men._

Where in the name of goodness have you all been? Have you brought the
sawdust and tar for embalming? Have you the hangings and the sixpenny
nails, and my lord’s coat-of-arms?

_Enter_ SERVANT.

_Ser._ Yes, sir, and had come sooner, but I went to the Herald’s for a
coat for Alderman Gathergrease that died last night—-He has promised
to invent one against to-morrow.

_Sab._ Ah! Pox take some of our cits, the first thing after their
death is to take care of their birth—-Pox, let him bear a pair of
stockings, he’s the first of his family that ever wore one. Well, come
you that are to be mourners in this house, put on your sad looks,
and walk by me that I may sort you. Ha, you! a little more upon the
dismal [_forming their countenances_]; this fellow has a good mortal
look–place him near the corpse. That wainscot face must be o’ top of
the stairs; that fellow’s almost in a fright (that looks as if he were
full of some strange misery) at the entrance of the hall–so–but I’ll
fix you all myself—-Let’s have no laughing now on any provocation
[_makes faces_]. Look yonder, that hale, well-looking puppy! You
ungrateful scoundrel, did not I pity you, take you out of a great man’s
service, and show you the pleasure of receiving wages? Did not I give
you ten, then fifteen, now twenty shillings a week, to be sorrowful?
and the more I give you, I think, the gladder you are.

_Enter a_ BOY.

_Boy._ Sir, the gravedigger of St. Timothy’s-in-the-Fields would speak
with you.

_Sab._ Let him come in.

_Enter_ GRAVEDIGGER.

_Grav._ I carried home to your house the shroud the gentleman was
buried in last night. I could not get his ring off very easily,
therefore I brought the finger and all; and sir, the sexton gives his
service to you, and desires to know whether you’d have any bodies
removed or not. If not, he’ll let ’em lie in their graves a week longer.

_Sab._ Give him my service, I can’t tell readily; but our friend, tell
him, Dr. Passeport, with the powder, has promised me six or seven
funerals this week. I’ll send to our country-farm at Kensington Gravel
Pits, and our City-house in Warwick Lane for news; you shall know time
enough. Harkee, be sure there’s care taken to give my Lady Languishe’s
woman a fee to keep out that young fellow came last from Oxford; he’ll
ruin us all.

_Enter_ GOODY TRASH.

I wonder, Goody Trash, you could not be more punctual, when I told you
I wanted you, and your two daughters, to be three virgins to-night to
stand in white about my Lady Katherine Grissel’s body; and you know
you were privately to bring her home from the man-midwife’s, where she
died in childbirth, to be buried like a maid; but there is nothing
minded. Well, I have put off that till to-morrow; go and get your
bag of brick-dust and your whiting. Go and sell to the cook-maids;
know who has surfeited about town. Bring me no bad news, none of your
recoveries again. And you, Mr. Blockhead, I warrant you have not called
at Mr. Pestle’s, the apothecary: Will that fellow never pay me? I stand
bound for all the poison in that starving murderer’s shop. He serves
me just as Dr. Quibus did, who promised to write a treatise against
water-gruel, a damned healthy slop, that has done me more injury than
all the faculty. Look you now, you are all upon the sneer; let me have
none but downright stupid countenances—-I’ve a good mind to turn you
all off, and take people out of the play-house; but, hang ’em, they are
as ignorant of their parts as you are of yours, they never act but when
they speak; when the chief indication of the mind is in the gesture,
or indeed in case of sorrow in no gesture, except you were to act a
widow, or so—-But yours, you dolts, is all in dumb show; dumb show? I
mean expressive eloquent show: As who can see such an horrid ugly phiz
as that fellow’s and not be shocked, offended, and killed of all joy
while he beholds it? But we must not loiter—-Ye stupid rogues, whom I
have picked out of all the rubbish of mankind, and fed for your eminent
worthlessness, attend, and know that I speak you this moment stiff and
immutable to all sense of noise, mirth, or laughter [_Makes mouths at
them as they pass by him to bring them to a constant countenance_]. So,
they are pretty well–pretty well—-

_Enter_ TRUSTY _and_ LORD BRUMPTON.

_Tru._ ‘Twas fondness, sir, and tender duty to you, who have been so
worthy and so just a master to me, made me stay near you; they left me
so, and there I found you wake from your lethargic slumber; on which I
will assume an authority to beseech you, sir, to make just use of your
revived life, in seeing who are your true friends, and knowing her who
has so wrought upon your noble nature as to make it act against itself
in disinheriting your brave son.

_Ld. B._ Sure ’tis impossible she should be such a creature as you
tell me—-My mind reflects upon ten thousand endearments that plead
unanswerably for her. Her chaste reluctant love, her easy observance of
all my wayward humours, to which she would accommodate herself with so
much ease, I could scarce observe it was a virtue in her; she hid her
very patience.

_Tru._ It was all art, sir, or indifference to you, for what I say is
downright matter of fact.

_Ld. B._ Why didst thou ever tell me it? or why not in my lifetime, for
I must call it so, nor can I date a minute mine, after her being false;
all past that moment is death and darkness: Why didst thou not tell me
then, I say?

_Tru._ Because you were too much in love with her to be informed;
nor did I ever know a man that touched on conjugal affairs could
ever reconcile the jarring humours but in a common hatred of the
intermeddler. But on this most extraordinary occasion, which seems
pointed out by Heaven itself to disengage you from your cruelty and
banishment of an innocent child, I must, I will conjure you to be
concealed, and but contain yourself, in hearing one discourse with that
cursed instrument of all her secrets, that Tattleaid, and you’ll see
what I tell you; you’ll call me then your guardian and good genius.

_Ld. B._ Well, you shall govern me, but would I had died in earnest
ere I’d known it; my head swims, as it did when I fell into my fit, at
the thoughts of it—-How dizzy a place is this world you live in! All
human life’s a mere vertigo!

_Tru._ Ay, ay, my lord, fine reflections–fine reflections,–but that
does no business. Thus, sir, we’ll stand concealed, and hear, I doubt
not, a much sincerer dialogue than usual between vicious persons; for
a late accident has given a little jealousy, which makes ’em over-act
their love and confidence in each other. [_They retire._

_Enter_ WIDOW _and_ TATTLEAID _meeting, and running to each other._

_Wid._ O, Tattleaid! His and our hour is come!

_Tat._ I always said, by his churchyard cough, you’d bury him, but
still you were impatient—-

_Wid._ Nay, thou hast ever been my comfort, my confidant, my friend,
and my servant; and now I’ll reward thy pains; for though I scorn the
whole sex of fellows, I’ll give ’em hopes for thy sake; every smile,
every frown, every gesture, humour, caprice and whimsey of mine shall
be gold to thee, girl; thou shalt feel all the sweet and wealth of
being a fine rich widow’s woman. Oh! how my head runs my first year
out, and jumps to all the joys of widowhood! If thirteen months hence a
friend should haul one to a play one has a mind to see, what pleasure
’twill be when my Lady Brumpton’s footman’s called (who kept a place
for that very purpose) to make a sudden insurrection of fine wigs in
the pit and side-boxes. Then, with a pretty sorrow in one’s face and
a willing blush for being stared at, one ventures to look round and
bow to one of one’s own quality. Thus [_very directly_] to a smug
pretending fellow of no fortune: Thus [_as scarce seeing him_] to one
that writes lampoons: Thus [_fearfully_] to one one really loves: Thus
[_looking down_] to one’s woman-acquaintance; from box to box thus
[_with looks differently familiar_]: And when one has done one’s part,
observe the actors do their’s, but with my mind fixed not on those I
look at, but those that look at me—-Then the serenades! The lovers!

_Tat._ O, madam, you make my heart bound within me. I’ll warrant you,
madam, I’ll manage ’em all; and indeed, madam, the men are really
very silly creatures, ’tis no such hard matter—-They rulers! They
governors! I warrant you indeed!

_Wid._ Ay, Tattleaid, they imagine themselves mighty things, but
government founded on force only is a brutal power. We rule them by
their affections, which blinds them into belief that they rule us,
or at least are in the government with us—-But in this nation our
power is absolute. Thus, thus, we sway–[_playing her fan_]. A fan is
both the standard and the flag of England. I laugh to see the men go
on our errands; strut in great offices; live in cares, hazards, and
scandals; to come home and be fools to us in brags of their dispatches,
negotiations, and their wisdom–as my good, dear deceased used to
entertain me; which I, to relieve myself from, would lisp some silly
request, pat him on the face—-He shakes his head at my pretty folly,
calls me simpleton, gives me a jewel, then goes to bed so wise, so
satisfied, and so deceived!

_Tat._ But I protest, madam, I’ve always wondered how you could
accomplish my young lord’s being disinherited.

_Wid._ Why, Tatty, you must know my late lord–how prettily that
sounds, my late lord! But I say, my late Lord Frible was generosity–I
pressed him there, and whenever you, by my order, had told him
stories to my son-in-law’s disadvantage, in his rage and resentment I
(whose interest lay otherwise) always fell on my knees to implore his
pardon, and with tears, sighs, and importunities for him, prevailed
against him; besides this, you know, I had, when I pleased, fits–fits
are a mighty help in the government of a good-natured man; but in an
ill-natured fellow have a care of ’em–he’ll hate you for natural
infirmities, will remember your face in its distortion, and not value
your return of beauty.

_Tat._ O rare madam! your ladyship’s a great headpiece; but now, dear
madam, is the hard task, if I may take the liberty to say it–to enjoy
all freedoms, and seem to abstain, to manage the number of pretenders,
and keep the disobliged from prating—-

_Wid._ Never fear, Tattleaid; while you have riches, if you affront one
to abuse, you can give hopes to another to defend you. These maxims I
have been laying up all my husband’s life-time, for we must provide
against calamities.

_Tat._ But now, madam, a fine young gentleman with a red coat, that
dances—-

_Wid._ You may be sure the happy man (if it be in fate that there is
an happy man to make me an unhappy woman) shall not be an old one
again. Age and youth married, is the cruelty in Dryden’s _Virgil_,
where Mezentius ties the dead and living together. I’m sure I was tied
to a dead man many a long day before I durst bury him—-But the day
is now my own. Yet now I think on’t, Tattleaid, be sure to keep an
obstinate shyness to all our old acquaintance. Let ’em talk of favours
if they please; if we grant ’em, still they’ll grow tyrants to us; if
we discard ’em, the chaste and innocent will not believe we could have
confidence to do it, were it so; and the wise, if they believe it, will
applaud our prudence.

_Tat._ Ay, madam–I believe, madam–I speak, madam, but my humble
sense–Mr. Cabinet would marry you.

_Wid._ Marry me! No, Tattleaid. He that is so mean as to marry a woman
after an affair with her, will be so base as to upbraid that very
weakness. He that marries his wench will use her like his wench.–Such
a pair must sure live in a secret mutual scorn of each other; and
wedlock is hell if at least one side does not love, as it would be
Heaven if both did; and I believe it so much Heaven, as to think it was
never enjoyed in this world.

_Enter a_ WOMAN.

_Wom._ A gentleman to Mrs. Tattleaid—-[_Exit_ TATTLEAID.

_Wid._ Go to him.–Bless me, how careless and open have I been to
this subtle creature in the case of Cabinet; she’s certainly in his
interests—-We people of condition are never guarded enough against
those about us. They watch when our minds boil over with joy or grief,
to come in upon us. How miserable it is to have one one hates always
about one, and when one can’t endure one’s own reflection upon some
actions, who can bear the thoughts of another upon ’em? But she has
me by deep, deep secrets.–The Italians, they say, can readily remove
the too much intrusted—-Oh! their pretty scented gloves! This wench
I know has played me false and horned me in my gallants. O Italy, I
could resign all my female English liberty to thee, for thy much dearer
female pleasure, revenge!

_Enter_ TATTLEAID.

Well, what’s the matter, dear Tatty?

_Tat._ The matter, madam? why, madam, Counsellor Puzzle is come to wait
on your ladyship about the will, and the conveyance of the estate.
There must, it seems, be no time lost for fear of things. Fie, fie,
madam, you a widow these three hours and not looked on a parchment
yet—-Oh, impious, to neglect the will of the dead!

_Wid._ As you say, indeed, there is no will of an husband’s so
willingly obeyed as his last. But I must go in and receive him in my
formalities, leaning on a couch, as necessary a posture as his going
behind his desk when he speaks to a client—-But do you bring him in
hither till I am ready. [_Exit._

_Tat._ Mr. Counsellor, Mr. Counsellor—-[_Calling._

_Enter_ PUZZLE _and_ CLERK.

_Puz._ ‘Servant, good madam Tattleaid; my ancient friend is gone, but
business must be minded—-

_Tat._ I told my lady twice or thrice, as she lies in dumb grief on the
couch within, that you were here, but she regarded me not; however,
since you say ’tis of such moment, I’ll venture to introduce you.
Please but to repose here a little while I step in; for methinks I
would a little prepare her.

_Puz._ Alas! alas! Poor lady! [_Exit_ TATTLEAID. Damned hypocrites!
Well, this noble’s death is a little sudden. Therefore, pray, let me
recollect. Open the bag, good Tom. Now, Tom, thou art my nephew, my
dear sister Kate’s only son and my heir, therefore I will conceal from
thee on no occasion anything, for I would enter thee into business as
soon as possible. Know then, child, that the lord of this house was
one of your men of honour and sense who lose the latter in the former,
and are apt to take all men to be like themselves. Now this gentleman
entirely trusted me, and I made the only use a man of business can of
a trust–I cheated him. For I, imperceptibly, before his face, made
his whole estate liable to an hundred per annum for myself, for good
services, &c. As for legacies, they are good or not as I please; for,
let me tell you, a man must take pen, ink, and paper, sit down by an
old fellow, and pretend to take directions; but a true lawyer never
makes any man’s will but his own; and as the priest of old among us got
near the dying man and gave all to the church, so now the lawyer gives
all to the law.

_Clerk._ Ay, sir; but priests then cheated the nation by doing their
offices in an unknown language.

_Puz._ True; but ours is a way much surer, for we cheat in no language
at all, but loll in our own coaches, eloquent in gibberish, and
learned in juggle—-Pull out the parchment; there’s the deed, I made
it as long as I could. Well, I hope to see the day when the indenture
shall be the exact measure of the land that passes by it; for ’tis a
discouragement to the gown that every ignorant rogue of an heir should,
in a word or two, understand his father’s meaning, and hold ten acres
of land by half-an-acre of parchment. Nay, I hope to see the time
when that there is, indeed, some progress made in, shall be wholly
effected, and by the improvement of the noble art of tautology every
inn in Holborn an inn of court. Let others think of logic, rhetoric
and I know not what impertinence, but mind thou tautology. What’s the
first excellence in a lawyer? Tautology. What the second? Tautology.
What the third? Tautology–as an old pleader said of action. But turn
to the deed [_pulls out an immeasurable parchment_], for the will is of
no force if I please, for he was not capable of making one after the
former–as I managed it; upon which account I now wait upon my lady. By
the way, do you know the true meaning of the word, a deed?

_Clerk._ Ay, sir; a deed is as if a man should say the deed.

_Puz._ Right. ‘Tis emphatically so-called because after it all deeds
and actions are of no effect, and you have nothing to do but hang
yourself, the only obliging thing you can then do—-But I was telling
you the use of tautology. Read toward the middle of that instrument.

_Clerk_ [_reads_]. “I, the said Earl of Brumpton, do give, bestow,
grant, and bequeath, over and above the said premises, all the site
and capital messuage called by the name of Oatham, and all out-houses,
barns, stables, and other edifices and buildings, yards, orchards,
gardens, fields, arbours, trees, lands, earths, meadows, greens,
pastures, feedings, woods, underwoods, ways, waters, watercourses,
fishings, ponds, pools, commons, common of pasture, paths,
heath-thickets, profits, commodities and emoluments, with their and
every of their appurtenances [PUZZLE _nods and sneers as the synonimous
words are repeating, whom_ LORD B. _scornfully mimics_] whatsoever,
to the said capital messuage and site belonging, or in any wise
appertaining, or with the same heretofore used, occupied or enjoyed,
accepted, executed, known, or taken as part, parcel, or member of
the same; containing in the whole, by estimation, four hundred acres
of the large measure, or thereabouts, be the same more or less; all
and singular, which the said site, capital messuage, and other the
premises, with their and every of their appurtenances are situate,
lying, and being—-”

_Puz._ Hold, hold, good Tom; you do come on indeed in business,
but don’t use your nose enough in reading. [_Reads in a ridiculous
law-tone until out of breath._] Why, you’re quite out–You read
to be understood. Let me see it.–“I, the said Earl.”–Now again,
suppose this were to be in Latin. [_Runs into Latin terminations._]
Making Latin is only making it no English–“_Ego predict–Comes de
Brumpton–totas meas barnos–outhousas et stabulas–yardos_”–But there
needs no further perusal–I now recollect the whole. My lord, by this
instrument, disinherits his son utterly, gives all to my lady, and
moreover, grants the wards of two fortune-wards to her–_id est_, to
be sold by her, which is the subject of my business to her ladyship,
who, methinks, a little overdoes the affair of grief, in letting me
wait thus long on such welcome articles. But here—-

_Enter_ TATTLEAID, _wiping her eyes._

_Tat._ I have in vain done all I can to make her regard me. Pray, Mr.
Puzzle–you’re a man of sense–come in yourself, and speak reason, to
bring her to some consideration of herself, if possible.

_Puz._ Tom, I’ll come down to the hall to you; dear madam, lead on.

[_Ex._ CLERK _one way_, PUZZLE _and_ TATTLEAID _another._ LORD
BRUMPTON _and_ TRUSTY _advance from their concealment, after a long
pause, and staring at each other._

_Ld. B._ Trusty, on thy sincerity, on thy fidelity to me, thy friend,
thy patron, and thy master, answer me directly to one question: am I
really alive? Am I that identical, that numerical, that very same Lord
Brumpton, that—-

_Tru._ That very lord–that very Lord Brumpton, the very generous,
honest, and good Lord Brumpton, who spent his strong and riper years
with honour and reputation; but in his age of decay declined from
virtue also. That very Lord Brumpton, who buried a fine lady who
brought him a fine son, who is a fine gentleman; but in his age, that
very man, unreasonably captivated with youth and beauty, married a very
fine young lady, who has dishonoured his bed, disinherited his brave
son, and dances o’er his grave.

_Ld. B._ Oh! that damned tautologist, too–that Puzzle and his
irrevocable deed! [_Pausing._] Well, I know I do not really live, but
wander o’er the place where once I had a treasure. I’ll haunt her,
Trusty, gaze in that false beauteous face, till she trembles–till she
looks pale–nay, till she blushes—-

_Tru._ Ay, ay, my lord, you speak a ghost very much; there’s flesh and
blood in that expression, that false beauteous face!

_Ld. B._ Then since you see my weakness, be a friend, and arm me with
all your care and all your reason—-

_Tru._ If you’ll condescend to let me direct you–you shall cut off
this rotten limb, your false disloyal wife, and save your noble parts,
your son, your family, your honour.

Short is the date in which ill acts prevail,
But honesty’s a rock can never fail.

ACT THE SECOND.

SCENE I.–LORD HARDY’S _Lodgings._

_Enter_ LORD HARDY.

_Ld. H._ Now, indeed, I am utterly undone; but to expect an evil
softens the weight of it when it happens, and pain no more than
pleasure is in reality so great as in expectation. But what will become
of me? How shall I keep myself even above worldly want? Shall I live
at home a stiff, melancholy, poor man of quality, grow uneasy to my
acquaintance as well as myself, by fancying I’m slighted where I am
not; with all the thousand particularities which attend those whom low
fortune and high spirit make malcontents? No! We’ve a brave prince on
the throne, whose commission I bear, and a glorious war in an honest
cause approaching [_clapping his hand on his sword_], in which this
shall cut bread for me, and may perhaps equal that estate to which
my birth entitled me. But what to do in present pressures–Ha! Trim.
[_Calling._

_Enter_ TRIM.

_Trim._ My lord.

_Ld. H._ How do the poor rogues that are to recruit my Company?

_Trim._ Do, sir! They’ve ate you to your last guinea.

_Ld. H._ Were you at the agent’s?

_Trim._ Yes.

_Ld. H._ Well? And how?

_Trim._ Why, sir, for your arrears, you may have eleven shillings in
the pound; but he’ll not touch your growing subsistence under three
shillings in the pound interest; besides which you must let his
clerk, Jonathan Item, swear the peace against you to keep you from
duelling–or insure your life, which you may do for eight per cent. On
these terms he’ll oblige you, which he would not do for anybody else in
the regiment; but he has a friendship for you.

_Ld. H._ Oh, I’m his humble servant; but he must have his own terms.
We can’t starve, nor must my fellows want. But methinks this is a calm
midnight, I’ve heard no duns to-day—-

_Trim._ Duns, my lord? Why now your father’s dead, and they can’t
arrest you. I shall grow a little less upon the smooth with ’em than
I have been. Why, friend, says I, how often must I tell you my lord
is not stirring: His lordship has not slept well, you must come some
other time; your lordship will send for him when you are at leisure to
look upon money-affairs; or if they are so saucy, so impertinent as to
press to a man of your quality for their own–there are canes, there’s
Bridewell, there’s the stocks for your ordinary tradesmen. But to an
haughty, thriving Covent Garden mercer, silk or laceman, your lordship
gives your most humble service to him, hopes his wife’s well. You have
letters to write, or you’d see him yourself, but you desire he would be
with you punctually such a day, that is to say the day after you are
gone out of town.

_Ld. H._ Go, sirrah, you’re scurrilous; I won’t believe there are
such men of quality. D’ye hear, give my service this afternoon to Mr.
Cutpurse, the agent, and tell him I’m obliged to him for his readiness
to serve me, for I’m resolved to pay my debts forthwith—-

[_A voice without._ I don’t know whether he is within or not. Mr. Trim,
is my lord within?]

_Ld. H._ Trim, see who it is. I ain’t within, you know. [_Exit_ TRIM.

_Trim._ [_Without._] Yes, sir, my lord’s above; pray walk up—-

_Ld. H._ Who can it be? he owns me, too.

_Enter_ CAMPLEY _and_ TRIM.

Dear Tom Campley, this is kind! You are an extraordinary man indeed,
who in the sudden accession of a noble fortune can be still yourself,
and visit your less happy friends.

_Cam._ No; you are, my lord, the extraordinary man, who, on the loss
of an almost princely fortune, can be master of a temper that makes
you the envy, rather than pity, of your more fortunate, not more happy
friends.

_Ld. H._ O, sir, your servant–but let me gaze on thee a little,
I han’t seen thee since I came home into England–most exactly,
negligently, genteelly dressed! I know there’s more than ordinary in
this [_beating_ CAMPLEY’S _breast_]. Come, confess, who shares with me
here? I must have her real and poetical name. Come; she’s in sonnet,
Cynthia; in prose, mistress.

_Cam._ One you little dream of, though she is in a manner of your
placing there.

_Ld. H._ My placing there?

_Cam._ Why, my lord, all the fine things you’ve said to me in the camp
of my Lady Sharlot, your father’s ward, ran in my head so very much,
that I made it my business to become acquainted in that family, which
I did by Mr. Cabinet’s means, and am now in love in the same place with
your lordship.

_Ld. H._ How? in love in the same place with me, Mr. Campley?

_Cam._ Ay, my lord, with t’other sister–with t’other sister.

_Ld. H._ What a dunce was I, not to know which, without your naming
her! Why, thou art the only man breathing fit to deal with her. But my
Lady Sharlot, there’s a woman–so easily virtuous! So agreeably severe!
Her motion so unaffected, yet so composed! Her lips breathe nothing but
truth, good sense, and flowing wit.

_Cam._ Lady Harriot! there’s the woman; such life, such spirit, such
warmth in her eyes; such a lively commanding air in her glances; so
spritely a mien, that carries in it the triumph of conscious beauty;
her lips are made of gum and balm. There’s something in that dear girl
that fires my blood above–above–above—-

_Ld. H._ Above what?

_Cam._ A grenadier’s march.

_Ld. H._ A soft simile, I must confess! but oh that Sharlot! to recline
this aching head, full of care, on that tender, snowy–faithful bosom!

_Cam._ O that Harriot! to embrace that beauteous[20]—-

_Ld. H._ Ay, Tom; but methinks your head runs too much on the
wedding night only, to make your happiness lasting; mine is fixed
on the married state. I expect my felicity from Lady Sharlot, in
her friendship, her constancy, her piety, her household cares, her
maternal tenderness. You think not of any excellence of your mistress
that is more than skin-deep—-

_Cam._ When I know her further than skin-deep I’ll tell you more of my
mind.

_Ld. H._ O fie, Tom, how can you talk so lightly of a woman you love
with honour.–But tell me, I wonder how you make your approaches in
besieging such a sort of creature–she that loves addresses, gallantry,
fiddles; that reigns and delights in a crowd of admirers. If I know
her, she is one of those you may easily have a general acquaintance
with, but hard to make particular.

_Cam._ You understand her very well. You must know I put her out of
all her play by carrying it in a humourous manner. I took care in all
my actions, before I discovered the lover, that she should in general
have a good opinion of me; and have ever since behaved myself with all
the good humour and ease I was able; so that she is now extremely at
a loss how to throw me from the familiarity of an acquaintance into
the distance of a lover; but I laugh her out of it. When she begins
to frown and look grave at my mirth, I mimic her till she bursts out
a-laughing.

_Ld. H._ That’s ridiculous enough.

_Cam._ By Cabinet’s interest over my Lady Brumpton, with gold and
flattery to Mrs. Fardingale, an old maid her ladyship has placed about
the young ladies, I have easy access at all times, and am this very
day to be admitted by her into their apartment. I have found, you must
know, that she is my relation.

_Ld. H._ Her ladyship has chose an odd companion for young ladies.

_Cam._ Oh, my lady’s a politician. She told Tattleaid one day, that an
old maid was the best guard for young ones, for they, like eunuchs in a
seraglio, are vigilant out of envy of enjoyments they cannot themselves
arrive at. But, as I was saying, I’ve sent my cousin Fardingale a
song, which she and I are to practise to the spinet. The young ladies
will be by; and I am to be left alone with Lady Harriot; then I design
to make my grand attack, and to-day win or lose her. I know, sir,
this is an opportunity you want. If you’ll meet me at Tom’s,[21] have
a letter ready, I’ll myself deliver it to your mistress, conduct you
into the house, and tell her you are there–and find means to place you
together. You must march under my command to-day, as I have many a one
under yours.

_Ld. H._ But ‘faith, Tom, I shall not behave myself with half the
resolution you have under mine, for to confess my weakness, though I
know she loves me, though I know she is as steadfastly mine as her
heart can make her; I know not how, I have so sublime an idea of her
high value, and such a melting tenderness dissolves my whole frame when
I am near her, that my tongue falters, my nerves shake, and my heart so
alternately sinks and rises, that my premeditated resolves vanish into
confusion, down-cast eyes, and broken utterance—-

_Cam._ Ha! ha! ha! this in a campaigner too! Why, my lord, that’s the
condition Harriot would have me in, and then she thinks she could
have me; but I, that know her better than she does herself, know
she’d insult me, and lead me a two years’ dance longer, and perhaps
in the end turn me into the herd of the many neglected men of better
sense, who have been ridiculous for her sake. But I shall make her no
such sacrifice. ‘Tis well my Lady Sharlot’s a woman of so solid an
understanding; I don’t know another that would not use you ill for your
high value.

_Ld. H._ But, Tom, I must see your song you’ve sent your cousin
Fardingale, as you call her.

_Cam._ This is lucky enough [_Aside_]. No; hang it, my lord, a man
makes so silly a figure when his verses are reading. Trim–thou hast
not left off thy loving and thy rhyming; Trim’s a critic, I remember
him a servitor at Oxon [_Gives a paper to_ TRIM]. I give myself into
his hands, because you shan’t see ’em till I’m gone. My lord, your
servant, you shan’t stir.

_Ld. H._ Nor you neither then. [_Struggling._]

_Cam._ You will be obeyed. [_Exeunt._ LORD HARDY _waits on him down._

_Trim._ What’s in this song? Ha! don’t my eyes deceive me–a bill of
three hundred pounds—-

“MR. CASH,

“Pray pay to Mr. William Trim, or bearer, the sum of three hundred
pounds, and place it to the account of,

“Sir,

“Your humble servant,

“THOMAS CAMPLEY.”

[_Pulling off his hat and bowing._] Your very humble servant,
good Mr. Campley. Ay, this is poetry–this is a song indeed!
Faith, I’ll set it, and sing it myself. Pray pay to Mr.
William Trim–so far in recitativo–three hundred [_singing
ridiculously_]–hun–dred–hundred–hundred thrice repeated, because
’tis three hundred pounds–I love repetitions in music, when there’s
a good reason for it,–po–unds after the Italian manner. If they’d
bring me such sensible words as these, I’d outstrip all your composers
for the music prize. This was honestly done of Mr. Campley, though I
have carried him many a purse from my master when he was ensign to our
Company in Flanders—-

_Enter_ LORD HARDY.

My lord, I am your lordship’s humble servant.

_Ld. H._ Sir, your humble servant. But pray, my good familiar friend,
how come you to be so very much my humble servant all of a sudden?

_Trim._ I beg pardon, dear sir, my lord, I am not your humble servant.

_Ld. H._ No!

_Trim._ Yes, my lord, I am, but not as you mean; but I am–I am, my
lord–in short, I’m overjoyed.

_Ld. H._ Overjoyed! thou’rt distracted, what ails the fellow? Where’s
Campley’s song?

_Trim._ Oh! my lord, one would not think ’twas in him. Mr. Campley’s
really a very great poet; as for the song, ’tis only as they all end
in rhyme: Ow–woe–isses–kisses–boy–joy. But, my lord, the other in
long heroic blank verse.

[_Reading it with a great tone._

Pray pay to Mr. William Trim, or order, the sum of–How sweetly it
runs! Pactolian guineas chink every line.

_Ld. H._ How very handsomely this was done in Campley! I wondered,
indeed, he was so willing to show his verses. In how careless a manner
that fellow does the greatest actions!

_Trim._ My lord, pray my lord, shan’t I go immediately to Cutpurse’s?

_Ld. H._ No, sirrah, now we have no occasion for it.

_Trim._ No, my lord, only to stare him full in the face after I have
received this money, not say a word, but keep my hat on, and walk
out. Or perhaps not hear, if any I meet with speak to me, but grow
stiff, deaf, and shortsighted to all my old acquaintance, like a
sudden rich man as I am. Or, perhaps, my lord, desire Cutpurse’s clerk
to let me leave fifty pounds at their house, payable to Mr. William
Trim, or order, till I come that way, or, a month or two hence, may
have occasion for it: I don’t know what bills may be drawn upon me.
Then when the clerk begins to stare at me, till he pulls the great
goose-quill from behind his ear [_Pulls a handfull of farthings out_] I
fall a-reckoning the pieces as I do these farthings.

_Ld. H._ Well, sirrah, you may have your humour, but be sure you take
four score pounds, and pay my debts immediately. If you meet any
officer you ever see me in company with, that looks grave at Cutpurse’s
house, tell him I’d speak with him: We must help our friends. But learn
moderation, you rogue, in your good fortune; be at home all the evening
after, while I wait at Tom’s to meet Campley, in order to see Lady
Sharlot.

My good or ill in her alone is found,
And in that thought all other cares are drowned.
[_Exeunt._

SCENE II.–LORD BRUMPTON’S _House._

_Enter_ SABLE, LORD BRUMPTON _and_ TRUSTY.

_Sab._ Why, my lord, you can’t in conscience put me off so. I must do
according to my orders, cut you up, and embalm you, except you’ll come
down a little deeper than you talk of; you don’t consider the charges I
have been at already.

_Ld. B._ Charges! for what?

_Sab._ First, twenty guineas to my lady’s woman for notice of your
death (a fee I’ve, before now, known the widow herself go halves in),
but no matter for that. In the next place, ten pounds for watching you
all your long fit of sickness last winter.

_Ld. B._ Watching me? Why I had none but my own servants by turns.

_Sab._ I mean attending to give notice of your death. I had all your
long fit of sickness last winter, at half-a-crown a day, a fellow
waiting at your gate to bring me intelligence, but you unfortunately
recovered, and I lost my obliging pains for your service.

_Ld. B._ Ha! ha! ha! Sable, thou art a very impudent fellow;
half-a-crown a day to attend my decease, and dost thou reckon it to me?

_Sab._ Look you, gentlemen, don’t stand staring at me. I have a book at
home which I call my Doomsday book, where I have every man of quality’s
age and distemper in town, and know when you should drop. Nay, my
lord, if you had reflected upon your mortality half so much as poor I
have for you, you would not desire to return to life thus; in short,
I cannot keep this a secret, under the whole money I am to have for
burying you.

_Ld. B._ Trusty, if you think it safe in you to obey my orders after
the deed Puzzle told his clerk of, pay it to him.

_Tru._ I should be glad to give it out of my own pocket, rather than be
without the satisfaction of seeing you witness to it.

_Ld. B._ I heartily believe thee, dear Trusty.

_Sab._ Then, my lord, the secret of your being alive, is now safe with
me.

_Tru._ I’ll warrant I’ll be revenged of this unconscionable dog
[_Aside_]–My lord, you must to your closet, I fear somebody’s coming.
[_Exeunt_ SABLE _one way_, LD. B. _and_ TRUSTY _another._]

SCENE III.–LORD BRUMPTON’S _House._

LADY SHARLOT _discovered reading at a table;_ LADY HARRIOT _playing at
a glass to and fro, and viewing herself._

_L. Ha._ Nay, good sage sister, you may as well talk to me [_Looking
at herself as she speaks_], as sit staring at a book, which I know you
can’t attend. Good Dr. Lucas[22] may have writ there what he pleases,
but there’s no putting Francis Lord Hardy, now Earl of Brumpton, out of
your head, or making him absent from your eyes; do but look at me now,
and deny it if you can.

_L. Sh._ You are the maddest girl—-[_Smiling._

_L. Ha._ Look ye, I knew you could not say it and forbear laughing
[_Looking over_ SHARLOT]. Oh, I see his name as plain as you
do–F–r–a–n Fran, c–i–s cis, Francis, ’tis in every line of the
book.

_L. Sh._ [_Rising_] ‘Tis in vain, I see, to mind anything in such
impertinent company, but granting ’twere as you say as to my Lord
Hardy, ’tis more excusable to admire another than one’s self.

_L. Ha._ No, I think not; yes, I grant you than really to be vain at
one’s person, but I don’t admire myself. Pish! I don’t believe my eyes
have that softness [_Looking in the glass_], they ain’t so piercing.
No, ’tis only stuff the men will be talking. Some people are such
admirers of teeth. Lord, what signifies teeth? [_Showing her teeth._] A
very black-a-moor has as white teeth as I. No, sister, I don’t admire
myself, but I’ve a spirit of contradiction in me; I don’t know I’m in
love myself, only to rival the men.

_L. Sh._ Ay, but Mr. Campley will gain ground even of that rival of
his, your dear self.

_L. Ha._ Oh! what have I done to you, that you should name that
insolent intruder, a confident opinionative fop. No indeed, if I am, as
a poetical lover of mine sighed and sung of both sexes–

The public envy, and the public care,

I shan’t be so easily catched–I thank him–I want but to be sure
I should heartily torment him, by banishing him, and then consider
whether he should depart this life, or not.

_L. Sh._ Indeed, sister, to be serious with you, this vanity in your
humour does not at all become you!

_La. H._ Vanity! All the matter is we gay people are more sincere than
you wise folks: All your life’s an art. Speak your soul–look you
there–[_Haling her to the glass_] are not you struck with a secret
pleasure, when you view that bloom in your looks, that harmony in your
shape, that promptitude of your mien?

_L. Sh._ Well, simpleton, if I am at first so silly, as to be a little
taken with myself, I know it a fault, and take pains to correct it.

_L. Ha._ Pshaw! pshaw! talk this musty tale to old Mrs. Fardingale,
’tis too soon for me to think at that rate.

_L. Sh._ They that think it too soon to understand themselves, will
very soon find it too late. But tell me honestly, don’t you like
Campley?

_L. Ha._ The fellow is not to be abhorred, if the forward thing did not
think of getting me so easily. Oh! I hate a heart I can’t break when I
please. What makes the value of dear china, but that ’tis so brittle?
Were it not for that, you might as well have stone mugs in your closet.

_L. Sh._ Hist, hist, here’s Fardingale.

_Enter_ FARDINGALE.

_Far._ Lady Harriot, Lady Sharlot! I’ll entertain you now, I’ve a new
song just come hot out of the poet’s brain. Lady Sharlot, my cousin
Campley writ it, and ’tis set to a pretty air, I warrant you.

_L. Ha._ ‘Tis like to be pretty indeed, of his writing. [_Flings away._

_Far._ Come, come, this is not one of your tringham trangham witty
things, that your poor poets write; no, ’tis well known my cousin
Campley has two thousand pounds a year. But this is all dissimulation
in you.

_L. Sh._ ‘Tis so, indeed, for your cousin’s song is very pretty, Mrs.
Fardingale.

[_Reads._]

Let not love on me bestow
Soft distress and tender woe;
I know none but substantial blisses,
Eager glances, solid kisses;
I know not what the lovers feign,
Of finer pleasure mixed with pain.
Then prithee give me, gentle boy,
None of thy grief, but all thy joy.[23]

But Harriot thinks that a little unreasonable, to expect one without
enduring t’other.

_Enter_ SERVANT.

_Ser._ There’s your cousin Campley to wait on you without.

_Far._ Let him come in, we shall have the song now.

_Enter_ CAMPLEY.

_Cam._ Ladies, your most obedient servant; your servant, Lady
Sharlot–servant Lady Harriot–[HARRIOT _looks grave upon him_] What’s
the matter, dear Lady Harriot, not well? I protest to you I’m mightily
concerned [_Pulls out a bottle_]. This is a most excellent spirit,
snuff it up, madam.

_L. Ha._ Pish–the familiar coxcomb frets me heartily.

_Cam._ ‘Twill over, I hope, immediately.

_L. Sh._ Your cousin Fardingale has shown us some of your poetry;
there’s the spinet, Mr. Campley, I know you’re musical.

_Cam._ She should not have called it my poetry.

_Far._ No–who waits there–pray bring my lute out of the next room.

_Enter_ SERVANT _with a Lute._

You must know I conned this song before I came in, and find it will
go to an excellent air of old Mr. Lawes’s[24], who was my mother’s
intimate acquaintance; my mother’s, what do I talk of? I mean my
grandmother’s. Oh, here’s the lute; cousin Campley, hold the song upon
your hat.–[_Aside to him_] ‘Tis a pretty gallantry to a relation.

[_Sings and Squalls._]

Let not love, &c.

Oh! I have left off these things many a day.

_Cam._ No; I profess, madam, you do it admirably, but are not assured
enough. Take it higher [_in her own squall_]. Thus–I know your voice
will bear it.

_L. Ha._ O hideous! O the gross flatterer–I shall burst. Mrs.
Fardingale, pray go on, the music fits the words most aptly. Take it
higher, as your cousin advises.

_Far._ Oh! dear madam, do you really like it? I do it purely to please
you, for I can’t sing, alas!

_L. Sh._ We know it, good madam, we know it. But pray—-

_Far._ “Let not love,” and “substantial blisses,” is lively enough, and
ran accordingly in the tune. [_Curtsies to the company._] Now I took it
higher.

_L. Ha._ Incomparably done! Nothing can equal it, except your cousin
sang his own poetry.

_Cam._ Madam, from my Lord Hardy. [_Delivers a letter to_ LADY
SHARLOT.]–How do you say, my Lady Harriot, except I sing it myself?
Then I assure you I will—-

_L. Sh._ I han’t patience. I must go read my letter. [_Exit._

_Cam._ [_Sings_] Let not love, &c.

_Far._ Bless me, what’s become of Lady Sharlot? [_Exit._

_L. Ha._ Mrs. Fardingale, Mrs. Fardingale, what, must we lose you?
[_Going after her._

CAMPLEY _runs to the door, takes the key out, and locks her in._

What means this insolence? a plot upon me–Do you know who I am?

_Cam._ Yes, madam, you’re my Lady Harriot Lovely, with ten thousand
pounds in your pocket; and I am Mr. Campley, with two thousand a year,
of quality enough to pretend to you. And I do design, before I leave
this room, to hear you talk like a reasonable woman, as nature has made
you. Nay, ’tis in vain to flounce, and discompose yourself and your
dress.

_L. Ha._ If there are swords, if they are men of honour, and not all
dastards, cowards that pretend to this injured person—-[_Running
round the room._

_Cam._ Ay, ay, madam, let ’em come. That’s putting me in my way,
fighting’s my trade; but you’ve used all mankind too ill to expect so
much service. In short, madam, were you a fool I should not desire to
expostulate with you. [_Seizing her hand._] But—-

_L. Ha._ Unhand me, ravisher. [_Pulls her hand from him, chases round
the room,_ CAMPLEY _after her._

_Cam._ But madam, madam, madam, why madam!

Prithee Cynthia look behind you, [_Sings._
Age and wrinkles will o’ertake you.

_L. Ha._ Age, wrinkles, small-pox, nay, anything that’s most abhorrent
to youth and bloom, were welcome in the place of so detested a creature.

_Cam._ No such matter, Lady Harriot. I would not be a vain coxcomb, but
I know I am not detestable, nay, know where you’ve said as much before
you understood me for your servant. Was I immediately transformed
because I became your lover?

_L. Ha._ My lover, sir! did I ever give you reason to think I admitted
you as such?

_Cam._ Yes, you did in your using me ill; for if you did not assume
upon the score of my pretending to you, how do you answer to yourself
some parts of your behaviour to me as a gentleman? ‘Tis trivial, all
this, in you, and derogates from the good sense I know you mistress of.
Do but consider, madam, I have long loved you, bore with your fantastic
humour through all its mazes. Nay, do not frown, for ’tis no better.
I say I have bore with this humour, but would you have me with an
unmanly servitude feed it? No, I love you with too sincere, too honest
a devotion, and would have your mind as faultless as your person, which
‘twould be, if you’d lay aside this vanity of being pursued with sighs,
with flatteries, with nonsense [_She walks about less violently, but
more confused._]–Oh! my heart aches at the disturbance which I give
her, but she must not see it. [_Aside._]–Had I not better tell you of
it now, than when your are in my power? I should be then too generous
to thwart your inclination.

_L. Ha._ That is indeed very handsomely said. Why should I not obey
reason as soon as I see it? [_Aside._]–Since so, Mr. Campley, I can
as ingenuously as I should then, acknowledge that I have been in an
error. [_Looking down on her fan._

_Cam._ Nay, that’s too great a condescension. Oh! excellence! I repent!
I see ’twas but justice in you to demand my knees [_kneeling_], my
sighs, my constant, tenderest regard and service. And you shall have
’em, since you are above ’em.

_L. Ha._ Nay, Mr. Campley, you won’t recall me to a fault you have so
lately shown me. I will not suffer this–no more ecstasies! But pray,
sir, what was’t you did to get my sister out of the room?

_Cam._ You may know it, and I must desire you to assist my Lord Hardy
there, who writ to her by me; for he is no ravisher, as you called me
just now. He is now in the house, and I would fain gain an interview.

_L. Ha._ That they may have, but they’ll make little use of it; for
the tongue is the instrument of speech to us of a lower form: They
are of that high order of lovers, who know none but eloquent silence,
and can utter themselves only by a gesture that speaks their passion
inexpressible, and what not fine things.

_Cam._ But pray let’s go into your sister’s closet while they are
together.

_L. Ha._ I swear I don’t know how to see my sister–she’ll laugh me to
death to see me out of my pantofles,[25] and you and I thus familiar.
However, I know she’ll approve it.

_Cam._ You may boast yourself an heroine to her, and the first woman
that was ever vanquished by hearing truth, and had sincerity enough
to receive so rough an obligation as being made acquainted with her
faults. Come, madam, stand your ground bravely, we’ll march in to her
thus. [_She leaning on_ CAMPLEY.

_L. Ha._ Who’ll believe a woman’s anger more? I’ve betrayed the whole
sex to you, Mr. Campley. [_Exeunt._

_Re-enter_ LORD HARDY _and_ CAMPLEY.

_Cam._ My lord, her sister, who now is mine, will immediately send her
hither. But be yourself: Charge her bravely. I wish she were a cannon,
an eighteen-pounder, for your sake. Then I know, were there occasion,
you’d be in the mouth of her.

_Ld. H._ I long, yet fear to see her. I know I am unable to utter
myself.

_Cam._ Come, retire here till she appears. [_They go back to the door._

_Enter_ LADY SHARLOT.

_L. Sh._ Now is the tender moment now approaching. [_Aside._] There he
is. [_They approach and salute each other trembling._] Your lordship
will please to sit. [_After a very long pause, stolen glances, and
irresolute gesture._] Your lordship, I think, has travelled those parts
of Italy where the armies are.

_Ld. H._ Yes, madam.

_L. Sh._ I think I have letters from you, dated Mantua.

_Ld. H._ I hope you have, madam, and that their purpose—-

_L. Sh._ My lord? [_Looking serious and confused._

_Ld. H._ Was not your ladyship going to say something?

_L. Sh._ I only attended to what your lordship was going to say–That
is, my lord–But you were, I believe, going to say something of that
garden of the world, Italy. I am very sorry your misfortunes in England
are such as make you justly regret your leaving that place.

_Ld. H._ There is a person in England may make those losses insensible
to me.

_L. Sh._ Indeed, my lord, there have so very few of quality attended
his Majesty in the war, that your birth and merit may well hope for his
favour.

_Ld. H._ I have, indeed, all the zeal in the world for his Majesty’s
service, and most grateful affection for his person, but did not then
mean him.

_L. Sh._ But can you indeed impartially say that our island is really
preferable to the rest of the world, or is it an arrogance only in us
to think so?

_Ld. H._ I profess, madam, that little I have seen has but more
endeared England to me; for that medley of humours which perhaps
distracts our public affairs, does, methinks, improve our private
lives, and makes conversation more various, and consequently
more pleasing. Everywhere else both men and things have the same
countenance. In France you meet much civility and little friendship; in
Holland, deep attention, but little reflection; in Italy, all pleasure,
but no mirth. But here with us, where you have everywhere pretenders or
masters in everything, you can’t fall into company wherein you shall
not be instructed or diverted.

_L. Sh._ I never had an account of anything from you, my lord, but
I mourned the loss of my brother; you would have been so happy a
companion for him, with that right sense of yours. My lord, you need
not bow so obsequiously, for I do you but justice. But you sent me word
of your seeing a lady in Italy very like me. Did you visit her often?

_Ld. H._ Once or twice, but I observed her so loose a creature, that I
could have killed her for having your person.

_L. Sh._ I thank you, sir; but Heaven that preserves me unlike her,
will, I hope, make her more like me. But your fellow traveller–his
relations themselves know not a just account of him.

_Ld. H._ The original cause of his fever was a violent passion for
a fine young woman he had not power to speak to, but I told her his
regard for her as passionately as possible.

_L. Sh._ You were to him what Mr. Campley has been to you–Whither am I
running?–Poor, your friend–poor gentleman—-

_Ld. H._ I hope then as Campley’s eloquence is greater, so has been his
success.

_L. Sh._ My lord?

_Ld. H._ Your ladyship’s—-

_Enter_ LADY HARRIOT.

_L. Ha._ Undone! Undone! Tattleaid has found, by some means or other,
that Campley brought my Lord Hardy hither; we are utterly ruined, my
lady’s coming.

_Ld. H._ I’ll stay and confront her.

_L. Sh._ It must not be; we are too much in her power.

_Enter_ CAMPLEY.

_Cam._ Come, come, my lord, we’re routed horse and foot. Down the back
stairs, and so out.

_Ladies._ Ay, ay. [_Exeunt._

_L. Ha._ I tremble every joint of me.

_L. Sh._ I’m at a stand a little, but rage will recover me; she’s
coming in.

_Enter_ WIDOW.

_Wid._ Ladies, your servant. I fear I interrupt you; have you company?
Lady Harriot, your servant; Lady Sharlot, your servant. What, not a
word? Oh, I beg your ladyship’s pardon. Lady Sharlot, did I say? My
young Lady Brumpton, I wish you joy.

_L. Sh._ Oh, your servant, Lady Dowager Brumpton. That’s an appellation
of much more joy to you.

_Wid._ So smart, madam! but you should, methinks, have made one
acquainted–Yet, madam, your conduct is seen through.

_L. Sh._ My conduct, Lady Brumpton!

_Wid._ Your conduct, Lady Sharlot! [_Coming up to each other._

_L. Sh._ Madam, ’tis you are seen through all your thin disguises.

_Wid._ I seen? By whom?

_L. Sh._ By an all-piercing eye, nay, by what you much more fear,
the eye of the world. The world sees you, or shall see you. It shall
know your secret intemperance, your public fasting–Loose poems in
your closet, an homily on your toilet–Your easy, skilful, practised
hypocrisy, by which you wrought upon your husband, basely to transfer
the trust and ward of us, two helpless virgins, into the hands and care
of–I cannot name it. You’re a wicked woman.

_L. Ha._ [_Aside._] O rare sister! ‘Tis a fine thing to keep one’s
anger in stock by one. We that are angry and pleased every half-hour
have nothing at all of all this high-flown fury! Why, she rages like a
princess in a tragedy! Blessings on her tongue.

_Wid._ Is this the effect of your morning lectures, your
self-examination, all this fury?

_L. Sh._ Yes it is, madam; if I take pains to govern my passions, it
shall not give licence to others to govern them for me.

_Wid._ Well, Lady Sharlot, however you ill deserve it of me, I shall
take care, while there are locks and bars, to keep you from Lord
Hardy–from being a leager lady, from carrying a knapsack.

_L. Sh._ Knapsack! Do you upbraid the poverty your own wicked arts have
brought him to? Knapsack! O grant me patience! Can I hear this of the
man I love? Knapsack! I have not words. [_Stamps about the room._

_Wid._ I leave you to cool upon it; love and anger are very warm
passions. [_Exit._

_L. Ha._ She has locked us in.

_L. Sh._ Knapsack? Well, I will break walls to go to him. I could
sit down and cry my eyes out! Dear sister, what a rage have I been
in? Knapsack! I’ll give vent to my just resentment. Oh, how shall I
avoid this base woman; how meet that excellent man! What an helpless
condition are you and I in now! If we run into the world, that youth
and innocence which should demand assistance does but attract invaders.
Will Providence guard us? How do I see that our sex is naturally
indigent of protection! I hope ’tis in fate to crown our loves; for
’tis only in the protection of men of honour that we are naturally
truly safe–

And woman’s happiness, for all her scorn,
Is only by that side whence she was born.

ACT THE THIRD.

SCENE I.–LORD HARDY’S _Lodgings._

_Enter_ LORD HARDY, CAMPLEY, _and_ TRIM.

_Ld. H._ That jade Tattleaid saw me upon the stairs, for I had not
patience to keep my concealment, but must peep out to see what was
become of you.

_Cam._ But we have advice, however, it seems, from the garrison
already–this mistress of Trim’s is a mighty lucky accident.

_Trim._ Ay, gentlemen, she has free egress and regress, and you know
the French are the best-bred people in the world–she’ll be assistant.
But, ‘faith, I have one scruple that hangs about me; and that is,
look you, my lord, we servants have no masters in their absence. In a
word, when I am with mademoiselle I talk of your lordship as only a
particular acquaintance; that I do business indeed for you sometimes. I
must needs say, cries I, that indeed my Lord Hardy is really a person I
have a great honour for.

_Ld. H._ Pish! is that all? I understand you; your mistress does not
know that you do me the honour to clean my shoes or so, upon occasion.
Pr’ythee, Will, make yourself as considerable as you please.

_Trim._ Well, then, your lesson is this. She, out of respect to me,
and understanding Mr. Campley was an intimate of my friend, my Lord
Hardy, and condescending (though she is of a great house in France) to
make manteaus for the improvement of the English–which gives her easy
admittance–she, I say, moved by these promises,[26] has vouchsafed to
bring a letter from my Lady Harriot to Mr. Campley, and came to me to
bring her to him. You are to understand also that she is dressed in the
latest French cut; her dress is the model of their habit, and herself
of their manners. For she is–but you shall see her. [_Exit._

_Ld. H._ This gives me some life! Cheer up, Tom–but behold the
solemnity. Do you see Trim’s gallantry? I shall laugh out.

_Enter_ TRIM _leading in_ MADEMOISELLE.

_Trim._ My dear Lord Hardy, this is Mademoiselle d’Epingle, whose
name you’ve often heard me sigh. [LORD HARDY _salutes her._] Mr.
Campley–Mademoiselle d’Epingle. [CAMPLEY _salutes her._]

_Mad._ Votre servante, gentlemen, votre servante.

_Cam._ I protest to you I never saw anything so becoming as your dress.
Shall I beg the favour you’d condescend to let Mr. Trim lead you once
round the room, that I may admire the elegance of your habit? [TRIM
_leads her round._

_Ld. H._ How could you ask such a thing?

_Cam._ Pshaw, my lord, you are a bashful English fellow. You see she is
not surprised at it, but thinks me gallant in desiring it. Oh, madam!
your air! the negligence, the disengagement of your manner! Oh how
delicate is your noble nation! I swear there’s none but the clumsy
Dutch and English would oppose such polite conquerors. When shall you
see an Englishwoman so dressed?

_Mad._ De Englise! poor barbarians; poor savages; dey know no more of
de dress but to cover dere nakedness [_Glides along the room_]. Dey be
cloded, but no dressed–But, Monsieur Terim, which Monsieur Campley?

_Trim._ That’s honest Tom Campley.

_Cam._ At your service, mademoiselle.

_Mad._ I fear I incur de censure [_Pulling out the letter, and
recollecting as loth to deliver it_], but Mr. Terim being your
intimate friend, and I designing to honour him in de way of an
husband–so–so–how do I run away in discourse–I never make promise
to Mr. Terim before, and now to do it par accident—-

_Cam._ Dear Will Trim is extremely obliging in having prevailed upon
you to do a thing that the severity of your virtue, and the greatness
of your quality (though a stranger in the country you now honour by
your dwelling in it) would not let you otherwise condescend to—-

_Mad._ Oh, monsieur! oh, monsieur! you speak my very thoughts. Oh! I
don’t know how, pardon me, to give a billet–it so look! O fie! I can
no stay after it. [_Drops it, runs affectedly to the other end of the
room, then quite out; re-enters._] I beg ten tousand pardons for go
away to mal-propos. [_Curtsies as going._

_Ld. H._ Your servant, good madam. Mr. Trim, you know you command here.
Pray, if Madam d’Epingle will honour our cottage with longer stay, wait
on her in and entertain her. Pray, sir, be free.

_Trim._ My lord, you know your power over me; I’m all complaisance.
[_Leads her out._

_Cam._ Now to my dear epistle–

“SIR,

“There is one thing which you were too generous to touch upon in our
last conversation. We have reason to fear the Widow’s practices in
relation to our fortunes, if you are not too quick for her. I ask Lady
Sharlot whether this is not her sense to Lord Hardy. She says nothing,
but lets me write on. These people always have, and will have,
admittance everywhere, therefore we may hear from you.

“I am, sir,

“Your most obedient servant,

“HARRIOT LOVELY.”

My obedient servant! Thy obedience shall ever be as voluntary as
now–ten thousand thousand kisses on thee, thou dear paper. Look you,
my lord, what a pretty hand it is?

_Ld. H._ Why, Tom, thou dost not give me leave to see it. You snatch it
to your mouth so, you’ll stifle the poor lady.

_Cam._ Look you, my lord, all along the lines here went the pen; and
through them white intervals her snowy fingers. Do you see, this is her
name?

_Ld. H._ Nay, there’s Lady Sharlot’s name, too, in the midst of the
letter. Why, you’ll not be so unconscionable; you’re so greedy, you’ll
give me one kiss sure?

_Cam._ Well, you shall; but you’re so eager. Don’t bite me, for you
shan’t have it in your own hands. There, there, there: Let go my hand.

_Ld. H._ What an exquisite pleasure there is in this foolery–but what
shall we do?

_Cam._ I have a thought; pry’thee, my lord, call Trim.

_Ld. H._ Ha, Trim—-

_Cam._ Hold, Mr. Trim. You forget his mistress is there.

_Ld. H._ Gra’mercy! Dear Will Trim, step in hither.

_Cam._ Ay, that’s something—-

_Enter_ TRIM.

Trim, have not I seen a young woman sometimes carry Madam d’Epingle’s
trinkets for her, coming from my Lady Brumpton’s?

_Trim._ Yes, you might have seen such a one; she waits for her now.

_Cam._ Do you think you could not prevail for me to be dressed in that
wench’s clothes, and attend your mistress in her stead thither? They’ll
not dream we should so soon attempt again—-

_Trim._ Yes, I’ll engage it.

_Cam._ Then we’ll trust the rest to our good genius. I’ll about it
instantly–Harriot Lovely—-[_Exit, kissing the letter._

SCENE II.–LADY BRUMPTON’S _Room._

_Enter_ WIDOW _and_ TATTLEAID.

_Wid._ This was well done of you; be sure you take care of their young
ladyships; you shall, I promise you, have a snip in the sale of ’em.

_Tat._ I thank your good ladyship.

_Wid._ Is that the porter’s paper of how d’ye’s?

_Tat._ Yes, madam, he just sent it up. His general answer is, that
you’re as well as can be expected in your condition, but that you see
nobody.

_Wid._ That’s right. [_Reading names._] Lady Riggle, Lady Formal–Oh!
that Riggle, a pert ogler, an indiscreet silly thing, who is really
known by no man, yet for her carriage, justly thought common to all;
and as Formal has only the appearance of virtue, so she has only the
appearance of vice. What chance, I wonder, put these contradictions to
each other into the same coach, as you say they called? Mrs. Frances
and Mrs. Winifred Glebe–who are they?

_Tat._ They are the country great fortunes have been out of town this
whole year; they are those whom your ladyship said upon being very well
born took upon ’em to be very ill bred.

_Wid._ Did I say so? really I think ’twas apt enough, now I remember
’em. Lady Wrinkle–oh, that smug old woman! There’s no enduring her
affectation of youth, but I plague her; I always ask whether her
daughter in Wiltshire has a grandchild yet or not. Lady Worthy–I can’t
bear her company, she has so much of that virtue in her heart which I
have in my mouth only. [_Aside._] Mrs. After-Day–oh that’s she that
was the great beauty, the mighty toast about town–that’s just come out
of the small-pox; she’s horribly pitted they say; I long to see her and
plague her with my condolence. ‘Tis a pure ill-natured satisfaction to
see one that was a beauty unfortunately move with the same languor and
softness of behaviour that once was charming in her–to see, I say, her
mortify that used to kill–ha! ha! ha! The rest are a catalogue of mere
names or titles they were born to, an insipid crowd of neither good nor
bad; but you are sure these other ladies suspect not in the least that
I know of their coming?

_Tat._ No, dear madam, they are to ask for me.

_Wid._ I hear a coach. [_Exit_ TAT.] I’ve now an exquisite pleasure in
the thought of surpassing my Lady Sly, who pretends to have out-grieved
the whole town for her husband. They are certainly coming.–Oh no!
here, let me–thus let me sit and think.

[WIDOW _on her couch; while she is raving as to herself,_ TATTLEAID
_softly brings in the ladies._]

Wretched, disconsolate as I am! Oh welcome, welcome, dear killing
anguish! Oh, that I could lie down and die in my present heaviness–but
what–how? Nay, my dear, dear lord, why do you look so pale, so ghastly
at me? Wottoo, wottoo, fright thy own trembling, shivering wife—-

_Tat._ Nay, good madam, be comforted.

_Wid._ Thou shalt not have me. [_Pushes_ TAT.

_Tat._ Nay, good madam, ’tis I, ’tis I, your ladyship’s own woman–’tis
I, madam, that dress you, and talk to you, and tell you all that’s done
in the house every day; ’tis I—-

_Wid._ Is it, then, possible? Is it, then, possible that I am left?
Speak to me not–hold me not. I’ll break the listening walls with my
complaints. [_Looks surprised at seeing company, then severely at_
TATTLEAID.] Ah! Tattleaid—-

_1st La._ Nay, madam, be not angry at her, we would come in in spite of
her. We are your friends and are as concerned as you—-

_Wid._ Ah! madam, madam, madam, madam, I am an undone woman. Oh me!
Alas! Alas! Oh! Oh! [_All join in her notes._] I swoon–I expire.
[_Faints._

_2nd La._ Pray, Mrs. Tattleaid, bring something that is cordial to her.
[_Exit_ TATTLEAID.

_3rd La._ Indeed, madam, you should have patience. His lordship was
old. To die is but going before in a journey we must all take.

_Enter_ TATTLEAID _loaded with bottles. 3rd Lady takes a bottle from
her and drinks._

_4th La._ Lord, how my Lady Fleer drinks; I’ve heard, indeed, but never
could believe it of her. [_Drinks also._

_1st La._ But, madam,[27] don’t you hear what the town says of the
jilt Flirt the men liked so much in the Park? Hark ye–was seen with
him in an Hackney-coach–and silk stockings–key-hole–his wig–on the
chair—-[_Whispers by interruptions._

_2nd La._ Impudent Flirt, to be found out!

_3rd La._ But I speak it only to you—-

_4th La._ Nor I but to one more—-[_Whispers next woman._

_5th La._ I can’t believe it; nay, I always thought it,
madam—-[_Whispers the_ WIDOW.

_Wid._ Sure, ’tis impossible! the demure, prim thing! Sure all the
world’s hypocrisy. Well, I thank my stars, whatsoever sufferings I
have, I’ve none in reputation. I wonder at the men; I could never think
her handsome. She has really a good shape and complexion, but no mien;
and no woman has the use of her beauty without mien! Her charms are
dumb, they want utterance. But whither does distraction lead me–to
talk of charms?

_1st La._ Charms? A chit’s, a girl’s charms. Come, let us widows be
true to ourselves, keep our countenances and our characters, and a fig
for the maids–I mean for the unmarried.

_2nd La._ Ay, since they will set up for our knowledge, why should not
we for their ignorance?

_3rd La._ But, madam, on Sunday morning at church I curtsied to
you, and looked at a great fuss in a glaring light dress next pew.
That strong masculine thing is a knight’s wife, pretends to all the
tenderness in the world, and would fain put the unwieldy upon us for
the soft, the languid! She has of a sudden left her dairy, and sets up
for a fine town-lady, calls her maid Sisly her woman, speaks to her
by her surname, Mrs. Cherryfist, and her great foot-boy of nineteen,
big enough for a trooper, is striped into a lace coat, now Mr. Page
forsooth.

_4th La._ Oh! I have seen her. Well, I heartily pity some people for
their wealth, they might have been unknown else! You’d die, madam, to
see her and her equipage. I thought the honest fat tits, her horses,
were ashamed of their finery; they dragged on as if they were still at
the plough, and a great bashful-looked booby behind grasped the coach
as if he held one.

_5th La._ Alas! some people think there’s nothing but being fine to be
genteel; but the high prance of the horses, and the brisk insolence of
the servants in an equipage of quality, are inimitable, but to our own
beasts and servants.

_1st La._ Now you talk of equipage, I envy this lady the beauty she’ll
appear in in a mourning coach, ’twill so become her complexion; I
confess I myself mourned two years for no other reason. Take up that
hood there; Oh! that fair face with a veil. [_They take up her hoods._

_Wid._ Fie, fie, ladies. But I’ve been told, indeed, black does become–

_2nd La._ Well, I’ll take the liberty to speak it, there’s young
Nutbrain has long had (I’ll be sworn) a passion for this lady; but I’ll
tell you one thing I fear she’ll dislike, that is, he’s younger than
she is.

_3rd La._ No, that’s no exception; but I’ll tell you one, he’s younger
than his brother.

_Wid._ Ladies, talk not of such affairs. Who could love such an unhappy
relict as I am? But, dear madam, what grounds have you for that idle
story?

_4th La._ Why he toasts you, and trembles when you’re spoke of; it must
be a match.

_Wid._ Nay, nay; you rally, you rally; but I know you mean it kindly.

_1st La._ I swear we do. [TATTLEAID _whispers the_ WIDOW.

_Wid._ But I must beseech you, ladies, since you have been so
compassionate as to visit and accompany my sorrow, to give me the only
comfort I can now know, to see my friends cheerful, and to honour an
entertainment Tattleaid has prepared within for you. If I can find
strength enough I’ll attend you; but I wish you’d excuse me, for I’ve
no relish of food or joy, but will try to get a bit down in my own
chamber.

_All._ No, no, you must go with us.

_1st La._ There’s no pleasure without you.

_Wid._ But, madam, I must beg of your ladyship not to be so importune
to my fresh calamity, as to mention Nutbrain any more; I’m sure there’s
nothing in it. In love with me, quoth a’. [_Is helped off. Exeunt._

_Enter_ MADEMOISELLE, _and_ CAMPLEY _in women’s clothes carrying her
things._

_Mad._ I very glad us be in de ladies’ antichamber; I was shamed of
you. You, you, such an impudent look; besides, me wonder you were not
seized by the constable, when you pushed de man into de kennel.

_Cam._ Why, should I have let him kissed me?

_Mad._ No; but if you had hit him wit fan, and say, why sure saucy-box,
it been enough; beside, what you hitted de gentleman for offer kiss me?

_Cam._ I beg pardon, I did not know you were pleased with it.

_Mad._ Please, no, but me rader be kiss den you, Mr. Terim’s friend, be
found out. Could not you say when he kiss me, sure saucy-box dat’s meat
for your master? Besides, you take such strides when you walk–walk–O
fie; dese littil pette tiny bits a woman steps. [_Showing her step._

_Cam._ But prithee, mademoiselle, why have you lost your English tongue
all of a sudden? Methought when the fellow called us French whores, as
we came along, and said we came to starve their own people, you gave
him pretty plain English; he was a dog, a rascal, you’d send him to the
stocks.

_Mad._ Ha! ha! ha! I was in a passion and betrayed myself, but you’re
my lover’s friend, and a man of honour, therefore know you’ll do
nothing to injure us. Why, Mr. Campley, you must know I can speak as
good English as you, but I don’t for fear of losing my customers. The
English will never give a price for anything they understand. Nay, I’ve
known some of your fools pretend to buy with good breeding, and give
any rate rather than not be thought to have French enough to know what
they were doing; strange and far-fetched things they only like. Don’t
you see how they swallow gallons of the juice of tea, while their own
dock-leaves are trod under foot? But mum; my Lady Harriot.

_Enter_ LADY HARRIOT.

Madam, votre servante, servante—-

_L. Ha._ Well, mademoiselle, did you deliver my letter?

_Mad._ Oui.

_L. Ha._ Well, and how–is that it in your hand?

_Mad._ Oui.

_L. Ha._ Well then, why don’t you give it me?

_Mad._ O fie! lady, dat be so right Englise, de Englise mind only de
words of de lovers, but de words of de lovers are often lie, but de
action no lie.

_L. Ha._ What does the thing mean? Give me my letter.

_Mad._ Me did not deliver your letter.

_L. Ha._ No?

_Mad._ No, me tell you, me did drop it, to see Mr. Campley how cavalier
to take it up. As dese me drop it so monsieur run take it up. [_They
both run to take it up,_ MAD. _takes it._

_L. Ha._ Will you give me my letter or not?

_Mad._ Oui. But dus he do. Dere de letter–very well, very well. O
l’amour! You act de manner Mr. Campley–take it up better den I, do’
you no see it. [_They both run,_ HARRIOT _gets it._

_L. Ha._ [_Reads._]

“MADAM,

“I am glad you mentioned what indeed I did not at that time think of,
nor if I had, should I have known how to have spoken of. But bless me
more than fortune can, by turning those fair eyes upon, madam,

“Your most faithful,

“Most obedient humble servant,

“THO. CAMPLEY.”

What does he mean? “But bless me more–by turning”–Oh, ’tis he himself
[_Looking about observes_ CAM. _smile_]. Oh, the hoyden, the romp, I
did not think anything could add to your native confidence, but you
look so very bold in that dress, and your arms will fall off, and your
petticoats how they hang!

_Cam._ Mademoiselle, voulez vous de Salville l’eau d’Hongrie, chez
Monsieur Marchand de Montpelier–Dis for your teet [_Showing his
trinkets_], de essence, a little book French for teach de elder broders
make compliments. Will you, I say, have anything that I have, will you
have all I have, madam?

_L. Ha._ Yes, and for humour’s sake, will never part with this box,
while I live, ha! ha! ha!

_Cam._ But, Lady Harriot, we must not stand laughing; as you observe
in your letter, delays are dangerous in this wicked woman’s custody
of you; therefore I must, madam, beseech you, and pray stay not on
niceties, but be advised.

_L. Ha._ Mr. Campley, I have no will but yours.

_Cam._ Thou dear creature, but [_Kisses her hand_] harkee then, you
must change dresses with mademoiselle, and go with me instantly.

_L. Ha._ What you please.

_Cam._ Madam d’Epingle, I must desire you to comply with a humour of
gallantry of ours–you may be sure I’ll have an eye over the treatment
you have upon my account–only to change habits with Lady Harriot, and
let her go while you stay.

_Mad._ Wit all my heart.[28] [_Offers to undress herself._

_L. Ha._ What, before Mr. Campley?

_Mad._ Oh, oh–very Anglaise! dat is so Englise, all women of
quality in France are dress and undress by a valet de chambre; de
man chamber-maid help complexion better den de woman. [_Apart to_ L.
HARRIOT.

_L. Ha._ Nay, that’s a secret in dress, mademoiselle, I never knew
before, and am so unpolished an English woman as to resolve never to
learn even to dress before my husband. Oh! Indecency! Mr. Campley, do
you hear what mademoiselle says?

_Mad._ Oh! Hist–bagatelle.

_L. Ha._ Well, we’ll run in and be ready in an instant. [_Exeunt_ L.
HARRIOT _and_ MADEMOISELLE.

_Cam._ Well, I like her every minute better and better. What a delicate
chastity she has! There’s something so gross in the carriage of some
wives (though they’re honest too) that they lose their husbands’ hearts
for faults which, if they had either good nature or good breeding, they
know not how to tell ’em of. But how happy am I in such a friend as
Hardy, such a mistress as Harriot!

Continue Heaven, a grateful heart to bless
With faith in friendship, and in love success.

ACT THE FOURTH.

SCENE I.–LORD BRUMPTON’S _House._

_Enter_ WIDOW _and_ TRUSTY.

_Wid._ Mr. Trusty, you have, I do assure you, the same place and power
in the management of my Lord Brumpton’s estate, as in his life-time. (I
am reduced to a necessity of trusting him) [_aside._] However Tattleaid
dissembles the matter, she must be privy to Lady Harriot’s escape, and
Fardingale’s as deep with ’em both, and I fear will be their ruin,
which ’tis my care and duty to prevent. Be vigilant, and you shall be
rewarded. I shall employ you wholly in Lady Sharlot’s affairs, she is
able to pay services done for her. You’ve sense, and understand me.
[_Exit_ WIDOW.

_Tru._ Yes, I do indeed understand you, and could wish another could
with as much detestation as I do, but my poor old lord is so strangely,
so bewitchedly enamoured of her, that even after this discovery of
her wickedness, I see he could be reconciled to her, and though he
is ashamed to confess to me, I know he longs to speak with her. If I
tell Lord Hardy all to make his fortune, he would not let his father
be dishonoured by a public way of separation. If things are acted
privately, I know she’ll throw us all; there’s no middle-way, I must
expose her to make a reunion impracticable. Alas, how is honest truth
banished the world; when we must watch the seasons and soft avenues to
men’s hearts, to gain it entrance even for their own good and interest!
[_Exit._

SCENE II.–LORD HARDY’S _Lodgings._

_Enter_ LORD HARDY, CAMPLEY, _and_ TRIM.

_Ld. H._ I forget my own misfortunes, dear Campley, when I reflect on
your success.

_Cam._ I assure you, it moderates the swell of joy that I am in, to
think of your difficulties. I hope my felicity is previous to yours; my
Lady Harriot gives her service to you, and we both think it but decent
to suspend our marriage ’till your and Lady Sharlot’s affairs are in
the same posture.

_Ld. H._ Where is my lady?

_Cam._ She’s at my aunt’s, my lord. But, my lord, if you don’t
interpose, I don’t know how I shall adjust matters with Mr. Trim for
leaving his mistress behind me: I fear he’ll demand satisfaction of me.

_Trim._ No, sir, alas, I can know no satisfaction while she is in
jeopardy. Therefore would rather be put in a way to recover her by
storming the castle, or other feat of arms, like a true enamoured swain
as I am.

_Cam._ Since we are all three then expecting lovers, my lord, prithee
let’s have that song of yours which suits our common purpose.

_Ld. H._ Call in the boy.

BOY _sings._[29]

I.
Ye minutes bring the happy hour,
And Chloe blushing to the bower;
Then shall all idle flames be o’er,
Nor eyes or heart e’er wander more;
Both, Chloe, fixed for e’er on thee,
For thou art all thy sex to me.

II.
A guilty is a false embrace,
Corinna’s love’s a fairy-chace;
Begone, thou meteor, fleeting fire,
And all that can’t survive desire.
Chloe my reason moves and awe,
And Cupid shot me when he saw.

_Trim._ Look you, gentlemen, since as you are pleased to say we’re all
lovers, and consequently poets, pray do me the honour to hear a little
air of mine. You must know then, I once had the misfortune to fall in
love below myself, but things went hard with us at that time, so that
my passion, or as I may poetically speak, my fire was in the kitchen;
’twas towards a cook-maid, but before I ever saw Mrs. Deborah.

_Ld. H._ Come on then, Trim, let’s have it.

_Trim._ I must run into next room for a lute. [_Exit._

_Cam._ This must be diverting! can the rogue play?

_Re-enter_ TRIM, _with a pair of Tongs._

_Trim._ Dear Cynderaxa herself very well understood this instrument, I
therefore always sung this song to it, as thus–

I.
Cynderaxa kind and good,
Has all my heart and stomach too;
She makes me love, not hate, my food,
As other peevish wenches do.

II.
When Venus leaves her Vulcan’s cell,
Which all but I a coal-hole call;
Fly, fly, ye that above stairs dwell,
Her face is washed, ye vanish all.

III.
And as she’s fair, she can impart
That beauty, to make all things fine;
Brightens the floor with wondrous art,
And at her touch the dishes shine.

_Ld. H._ I protest, Will, thou art a poet indeed. “And at her touch the
dishes shine”–and you touch your lute as finely.

_Enter_ BOY.

_Boy._ There’s one Mr. Trusty below would speak with my lord.

_Ld. H._ Mr. Trusty? My father’s steward? What can he have to say to me?

_Cam._ He’s very honest, to my knowledge.

_Ld. H._ I remember, indeed, when I was turned out of the house he
followed me to the gate and wept over me, for which I’ve heard he’d
like to have lost his place. But, however, I must advise with you a
little about my behaviour to him; let’s in. Boy, bring him up hither,
tell him I’ll wait on him presently. [_Exit_ BOY.

I shall want you, I believe, here, Trim. [_Exeunt._

_Re-enter_ BOY _and_ TRUSTY.

_Boy._ My lord will wait on you here immediately. [_Exit_ BOY.

_Tru._ ‘Tis very well, these lodgings are but homely for the Earl
of Brumpton. Oh, that damned strumpet–that I should ever know my
master’s wife for such!–How many thousand things does my head run back
to? After my poor father’s death the good lord took me, because he
was a captain in his regiment, and gave me education. I was, I think,
three-and-twenty when this young lord within was christened; what a do
there was about calling him Francis! [_Wipes his eyes._] These are but
poor lodgings for him. I cannot bear the joy, to think that I shall
save the family from which I’ve had my bread.

_Enter_ TRIM.

_Trim._ Sir, my lord will wait you immediately.

_Tru._ Sir, ’tis my duty to wait him–[_As_ TRIM _is going_] but, sir,
are not you the young man that attended him at Christchurch, in Oxford,
and have followed him ever since?

_Trim._ Yes, sir, I am.

_Tru._ Nay, sir, no harm, but you’ll thrive the better for it.

_Trim._ I like this old fellow; I smell more money. [_Aside. Exit._

_Tru._ I think ’tis now eight years since I saw him–he was not then
nineteen–when I followed him to the gate, and gave him fifty guineas,
which I pretended his father sent after him.

_Enter_ LORD HARDY.

_Ld. H._ Mr. Trusty, I’m very glad to see you look very hale and jolly;
you wear well. I’m glad to see it–but your commands to me, Mr. Trusty.

_Tru._ Why, my lord, I presume to wait on your lordship. My lord,
you’re strangely grown; you’re your father’s very picture, you’re he,
my lord; you are the very man that looked so pleased to see me look so
fine in my laced livery, to go to Court. I was his page when he was
just such another as you. He kissed me afore a great many lords, and
said I was a brave man’s son, that taught him to exercise his arms.
I remember he carried me to the great window, and bid me be sure to
keep in your mother’s sight in all my finery. She was the finest young
creature; the maids of honour hated to see her at Court. My lord then
courted my good lady. She was as kind to me on her death-bed; she
said to me, Mr. Trusty, take care of my lord’s second marriage for
that child’s sake. She pointed as well as she could to you. You fell
a-crying, and said she should not die; but she did, my lord. She left
the world, and no one like her in’t. Forgive me, my honoured master.
[_Weeps, runs to my lord, and hugs him._] I’ve often carried you in
these arms that grasp you; they were stronger then, but if I die
to-morrow, you’re worth five thousand pounds by my gift–’tis what I’ve
got in the family, and I return it to you with thanks. But alas! do I
live to see you want it?[30]

_Ld. H._ You confound me with all this tenderness and generosity.

_Tru._ I’ll trouble you no longer, my lord, but—-

_Ld. H._ Call it not a trouble, for—-

_Tru._ My good lord, I will not, I say, indulge myself in talking
fond tales that melt me, and interrupt my story. My business to your
lordship, in one word, is this: I am in good confidence at present
with my lady dowager, and I know she has some fears upon her, which
depend upon the nature of the settlement to your disfavour, and under
the rose–be yourself–I fear your father has not had fair play for
his life–be composed, my lord. What is to be done is this: we’ll not
apply to public justice in this case, ’till we see farther; ’twill make
it noisy, which we must not do, if I might advise. You shall, with
a detachment of your Company, seize the corpse as it goes out of the
house this evening to be interred in the country; ’twill only look like
taking the administration upon yourself, and commencing a suit for the
estate. She has put off the lying in state, and Lady Harriot’s escape
with Mr. Campley makes her fear he will prove a powerful friend, both
to the young ladies and your lordship. She cannot, with decency, be so
busy, as when the corpse is out of the house, therefore hastens it.
I know your whole affair; leave the care of Lady Sharlot to me. I’ll
pre-acquaint her, that she mayn’t be frightened, and dispose of her
safely, to observe the issue.

_Ld. H._ I wholly understand you; it shall be done.

_Tru._ I’m sure I am wanted this moment for your interest at home. This
ring shall be the passport of intelligence for whom you send to assault
us, and the remittance of it sealed with this, shall be authentic from
within the house.

_Ld. H._ ‘Tis very well.

_Tru._ Hope all you can wish, my lord, from a certain secret relating
to the estate, which I’ll acquaint you with next time I see you.
[_Exit._

_Ld. H._ Your servant—-This fellow’s strangely honest—-Ha! Will.

_Enter_ CAMPLEY _and_ TRIM.

Will! don’t the recruits wait for me to see ’em at their parade before
this house?

_Trim._ Yes; and have waited these three hours.

_Ld. H._ Go to ’em; I’ll be there myself immediately. We must attack
with ’em, if the rogues are sturdy, this very evening.

_Trim._ I guess where—-I’m overjoyed at it. I’ll warrant you they do
it, if I command in chief.

_Ld. H._ I design you shall. [TRIM _runs out jumping._

_Cam._ You seem, my lord, to be in deep meditation.

_Ld. H._ I am so, but not on anything that you may not be acquainted
with. [_Exeunt._

SCENE III.–_Covent Garden._

_Enter_ TRIM, _with a company of ragged fellows, with a cane._

_1st Sol._ Why then, I find, Mr. Trim, we shall come to blows before we
see the French.

_Trim._ Harkee, friend, ’tis not your affair to guess or enquire what
you’re going to do; ’tis only for us commanders.

_2nd Sol._ The French? Pox! they are but a Company of scratching civet
cats. They fight!

_Trim._ Harkee, don’t bluster. Were not you a little mistaken in your
facings at Steinkirk?

_2nd Sol._ I grant it; you know I have an antipathy to the French–I
hate to see the dogs. Look you here, gentlemen, I was shot quite
through the body, look you.

_Trim._ Prithee, look where it entered at your back.

_2nd Sol._ Look you, Mr. Trim, you will have your joke, we know you are
a wit–but what’s that to a fighting man?

_Enter_ KATE.

_Kate._ Mr. Trim! Mr. Trim!

_Trim._ Things are not as they have been, Mrs. Kate. I now pay the
Company, and we that pay money expect a little more ceremony.

_Kate._ Will your honour please to taste some right French brandy?

_Trim._ Art thou sure, good woman, ’tis right? [_Drinks._
How–French–pray–nay, if I find you deceive me, who pay the
men—-[_Drinks._

_Kate._ Pray, good master, have you spoken to my lord about me?

_Trim._ I have, but you shall speak to him yourself. Thou hast been a
true campaigner, Kate, and we must not neglect thee. Do you sell grey
pease yet of an evening, Mrs. Matchlock? [_Drinks again._

_Kate._ Anything to turn the penny, but I got more by crying pamphlets
this year, than by anything I have done a great while. Now I am married
into the Company again, I design to cross the seas next year. But,
master, my husband, a Temple porter, and a Parliament man’s footman,
last night by their talk made me think there was danger of a peace;
why, they said, all the prime people were against a war.

_Trim._ No, no, Kate, never fear; you know I keep great company. All
men are for a war, but some would have it abroad, and some would have
it at home in their own country.

_Kate._ Ay, say you so? Drink about, gentlemen, not a farthing to pay;
a war is a war, be it where it will. But pray, Mr. Trim, speak to my
lord, that when these gentlemen have shirts I may wash for ’em.

_Trim._ I tell you, if you behave well to-night, you shall have
a fortnight’s pay each man as a reward; but there’s none of you
industrious. There’s a thousand things you might do to help out about
this town, as to cry, puff, puff pies–have you any knives or scissors
to grind? or, late in an evening, whip from Grub Street, strange and
bloody news from Flanders–votes from the House of Commons–buns, rare
buns–old silver lace, cloaks, suits, or coats–old shoes, boots, or
hats–But here, here, here’s my lord a-coming; here’s the captain. Fall
back into the rank there; move up in the centre.

_Enter_ LORD HARDY _and_ CAMPLEY.

_Ld. H._ Let me see whether my ragged friends are ready and about me.

_Kate._ Ensign Campley, Ensign Campley, I am overjoyed to see your
honour; ha! the world’s surely altered, ha!

_Cam._ ‘Tis so, faith! Kate, why thou art true to the cause, with the
Company still, honest amazon.

_Kate._ Dear soul, not a bit of pride in him; but won’t your honour
help in my business with my lord? Speak for me, noble ensign, do.

_Cam._ Speak to him yourself; I’ll second you.

_Kate._ Noble captain, my lord! I suppose Mr. Trim has told your honour
about my petition. I have been a great sufferer in the service. ‘Tis
hard for a poor woman to lose nine husbands in a war, and no notice
taken; nay, three of ’em, alas, in the same campaign. Here the woman
stands that says it. I never stripped a man ’till I first tried if
he could stand on his legs, and, if not, I think ’twas fair plunder,
except our adjutant, and he was a puppy, that made my eighth husband
run the gauntlet for not turning his toes out.

_Ld. H._ Well, we’ll consider thee, Kate, but fall back into the rear.
A roll of what? Gentlemen soldiers?

_Trim_ [_To_ PUMKIN]. Do you hear that? My lord himself can’t deny but
we are all gentlemen, as much as his honour.

_Ld. H._ [_Reading_]. Gentlemen soldiers quartered in and about Guy
Court in Vinegar Yard, in Russel Court in Drury Lane, belonging to
the honourable Captain Hardy’s Company of Foot–So, answer to your
names, and march off from the left. John Horseem, corporal, march
easy, that I may view you as you pass by me. Drums Simon Ruffle, Darby
Tattoo–there’s a shilling for you–Tattoo be always so tight; how
does he keep himself so clean?

_Trim._ Sir, he is a tragedy drum to one of the playhouses.

_Ld. H._ Private gentlemen: Alexander Cowitch, Humphrey Mundungus,
William Faggot, Nicholas Scab, Timothy Megrim, Philip Scratch, Nehemiah
Dust, Humphrey Garbage, Nathaniel Matchlock.

_Cam._ What! Is Matchlock come back to the Company? That’s the fellow
that brought me off at Steinkirk.

_Ld. H._ No, sir, ’tis I am obliged to him for that. [_Offering to give
him money._] There, friend, you shall want for nothing; I’ll give thee
a halbert too.

_Kate._ O brave me! Shall I be a sergeant’s lady? I’ faith, I’ll make
the drums, and the corporal’s wives, and Company-keepers know their
distance.

_Cam._ How far out of the country did you come to list? Don’t you come
from Cornwall? How did you bear your charges?

_Match._ I was whipped from constable to constable—-

_Trim._ Ay, my lord, that’s due by the courtesy of England to all that
want in red coats; besides, there’s an Act that makes us free of all
corporations, and that’s the ceremony of it.

_Cam._ But what pretence had they for using you so ill? You did not
pilfer?

_Match._ I was found guilty of being poor.

_Cam._ Poor devil!

_Ld. H._ Timothy Ragg! O Ragg! I thought when I gave you your
discharge, just afore the peace, we should never have had you again.
How came you to list now?

_Ragg._ To pull down the French king.

_Ld. H._ Bravely resolved! But pull your shirt into your breeches in the
mean time. Jeoffrey Tatter–What’s become of the skirts and buttons of
your coat?

_Tatter._ In our last clothing in the regiment I served in afore, the
colonel had one skirt before, the agent one behind, and every captain
of the regiment a button.

_Ld. H._ Hush, you rogue, you talk mutiny. [_Smiling._

_Trim._ Ay, sirrah, what have you to do with more knowledge than that
of your right hand from your left? [_Hits him a blow on the head._]

_Ld. H._ Hugh Clump–Clump, thou growest a little too heavy for
marching.

_Trim._ Ay, my lord, but if we don’t allow him the pay he’ll starve,
for he’s too lame to get into the hospital.

_Ld. H._ Richard Bumpkin! Ha! A perfect country hick. How came you,
friend, to be a soldier?

_Bump._ An’t please your honour, I have been crossed in love, and am
willing to seek my fortune.

_Ld. H._ Well, I’ve seen enough of ’em. If you mind your affair, and
act like a wise general, these fellows may do–come, take your orders.
[TRIM _puts his hat on his stick, while my lord is giving him the ring,
and whispers orders._] Well, gentlemen, do your business manfully, and
nothing shall be too good for you.

_All._ Bless your honour. [_Exeunt_ HARDY _and_ CAMPLEY.

_Trim._ Now, my brave friends and fellow-soldiers–[_Aside._] I must
fellow-soldier ’em just afore a battle, like a true officer, though I
cane ’em all the year round beside–[_Strutting about._] Major-General
Trim; no, pox, Trim sounds so very short and priggish–that my name
should be a monosyllable! But the foreign news will write me, I
suppose, Monsieur or Chevalier Trimont. Seigneur Trimoni, or Count
Trimuntz, in the German Army, I shall perhaps be called; ay, that’s
all the plague and comfort of us great men, they do so toss our
names about. But, gentlemen, you are now under my command–huzza!
thrice–faith, this is very pleasing, this grandeur! Why, after all,
’tis upon the neck of such scoundrels as these gentlemen that we great
captains build our renown. A million or two of these fellows make an
Alexander, and as that my predecessor said in the tragedy of him on the
very same occasion, going to storm for his Statira, so do I for my dear
seamstress, Madam d’Epingle–

When I rush on, sure none will dare to stay;
‘Tis beauty calls, and glory leads the way.[31]

ACT THE FIFTH.

SCENE I.–LORD BRUMPTON’S _House._

_Enter_ TRUSTY _and_ LORD BRUMPTON.

_Tru._ She knows no moderation in her good fortune; she has, out of
impatience to see herself in her weeds, ordered her mantua woman to
stitch up anything immediately. You may hear her and Tattleaid laugh
aloud–she is so wantonly merry.

_Ld. B._ But this of Lady Sharlot is the very utmost of all ill. Pray
read–but I must sit; my late fit of the gout makes me act with pain
and constraint. Let me see—-

_Tru._ She writ it by the page, who brought it me, as I had wheedled
him to do all their passages.

_Ld. B._ [_Reads._]

“You must watch the occasion of the servants being gone out of
the house with the corpse; Tattleaid shall conduct you to my Lady
Sharlot’s apartment–away with her–and be sure you bed her—-

“Your affectionate Sister,

“MARY BRUMPTON.”

Brumpton? The creature! She called as Frank’s mother was? Brumpton! The
succuba! What a devil incarnate have I had in my bosom? Why, the common
abandoned town women would scruple such an action as this. Though
they have lost all regard to their own chastity, they would be tender
of another’s. Why, sure she had no infancy. She never had virginity,
to have no compassion through memory of her own former innocence. This
is to forget her very humanity–her very sex. Where is my poor boy?
Where’s Frank? Does not he want? How has he lived all this time? Not a
servant, I warrant, to attend him–what company can he keep? What can
he say of his father?

_Tru._ Though you made him not your heir, he is still your son, and has
all the duty and tenderness in the world for your memory.

_Ld. B._ It is impossible, Trusty; it is impossible. I will not rack
myself with the thought, that one I have injured can be so very
good–keep me in countenance–tell me he hates my very name, would not
assume my title because it descends from me. What’s his company?

_Tru._ Young Tom Campley; they are never asunder.

_Ld. B._ I am glad he has my pretty tattler–the cheerful innocent
Harriot. I hope he’ll be good to her; he’s good-natured and well-bred.

_Tru._ But, my lord, she was very punctual in ordering the funeral. She
bid Sable be sure to lay you deep enough, she had heard such stories
of the wicked sextons taking up people; but I wish, my lord, you would
please to hear her and Tattleaid once more—-

_Ld. B._ I know to what thy zeal tends; but I tell you, since you
cannot be convinced but that I have still a softness for her–I say
though I had so, it should never make me transgress that scrupulous
honour that becomes a peer of England. If I could forget injuries
done myself thus gross, I never will those done my friends. You knew
Sharlot’s worthy father–No, there’s no need of my seeing more of
this woman. I behold her now with the same eyes that you do; there’s
a meanness in all she says or does; she has a great wit but a little
mind–something ever wanting to make her appear my Lady Brumpton.
She has nothing natively great. You see I love her not; I talk with
judgment of her.

_Tru._ I see it, my good lord, with joy I see it, nor care how few
things I see more in this world. My satisfaction is complete. Welcome
old age; welcome decay; ’tis not decay, but growth to a latter being.
[_Exit, leading_ LORD BRUMPTON.

_Re-enter_ TRUSTY, _meeting_ CABINET.

_Tru._ I have your letter, Mr. Cabinet.

_Cab._ I hope, sir, you’ll believe it was not in my nature to be guilty
of so much baseness; but being born a gentleman, and bred out of all
roads of industry in that idle manner too many are, I soon spent a
small patrimony; and being debauched by luxury, I fell into the narrow
mind to dread no infamy like poverty, which made me guilty, as that
paper tells you; and had I not writ to you, I am sure I never could
have told you of it.

_Tru._ It is an ingenious, pious penitence in you; my Lord Hardy (to
whom this secret is inestimable) is a noble-natured man, and you shall
find him such, I give you my word.

_Cab._ I know, sir, your integrity.

_Tru._ But pray be there; all that you have to do is to ask for the
gentlewoman at the house at my Lord Hardy’s; she’ll take care of you.
And pray have patience, where she places you, till you see me. [_Exit_
CAB.] My Lord Hardy’s being a house where they receive lodgers, has
allowed me convenience to place everybody I think necessary to be
by at her discovery. This prodigious welcome secret! I see, however
impracticable honest actions may appear, we may go on with just hope–

All that is ours is to be justly bent,
And Heaven in its own cause will bless the event.
[_Exit._

SCENE II.–_Covent Garden._

_Enter_ TRIM _and his party._

_Trim._ March up, march up. Now we are near the citadel, and halt only
to give the necessary orders for the engagement. Ha! Clump, Clump! When
we come to Lord Brumpton’s door, and you see us conveniently disposed
about the house, you are to wait till you see a corpse brought out
of the house; then to go up to him you observe the director, and ask
importunately for an alms to a poor soldier, for which you may be sure
you shall have a good blow or two; but if you have not, be saucy till
you have. Then when you see a file of men got between the house and the
body–a file of men, Bumpkin, is six men–I say, when you see the file
in such a posture, that half the file may face to the house, half to
the body, you are to fall down, crying murder, that the half file faced
to the body may throw it and themselves over you. I then march to your
rescue. Then, Swagger, you and your party fall in to secure my rear,
while I march off with the body. These are the orders; and this, with
a little improvement of my own, is the same disposition Villeroy and
Catinat made at Chiari. [_Marches off with his party._

SCENE III.–LORD BRUMPTON’S _House._

_Enter_ Widow, _in deep mourning, with a dead squirrel on her arm,
and_ TATTLEAID.

_Wid._ It must be so; it must be your carelessness. What had the page
to do in my bedchamber?

_Tat._ Indeed, madam, I can’t tell. But I came in and catched him
wringing round his neck—-

_Wid._ Tell the rascal from me he shall romp with the footmen no more.
No; I’ll send the rogue in a frock to learn Latin among the dirty boys
that come to good, I will. But ’tis ever so among these creatures
that live on one’s superfluous affections; a lady’s woman, page, and
squirrel are always rivals.

Poor harmless animal–pretty e’en in death:
Death might have overlooked thy little life–
How could’st thou, Robin, leave thy nuts and me?
How was’t importunate, dearest, thou should’st die?
Thou never did’st invade thy neighbour’s soils;
Never mad’st war with specious shows of peace;
Thou never hast depopulated regions,
But cheerfully did’st bear thy little chain,
Content–so I but fed thee with this hand.

_Tat._ Alas, alas! we are all mortal. Consider, madam, my lord’s dead
too. [_Weeps._

_Wid._ Ay, but our animal friends do wholly die; an husband or
relation, after death, is rewarded or tormented; that’s some
consolation–I know her tears are false, for she hated Robin always;
but she’s a well-bred, dishonest servant, that never speaks a painful
truth. [_Aside._]–But I’ll resolve to conquer my affliction–never
speak more of Robin–hide him there. But to my dress: How soberly
magnificent is black–and the train–I wonder how widows came to wear
such long tails?

_Tat._ Why, madam, the stateliest of all creatures has the longest
tail; the peacock, nay, ‘t has of all creatures the finest mien
too–except your ladyship, who are a Phœnix—-

_Wid._ Ho! brave Tattleaid! But did not you observe what a whining my
Lady Sly made when she had drank a little? Did you believe her? Do you
think there are really people sorry for their husbands?

_Tat._ Really, madam, some men do leave their fortunes in such
distraction that I believe it may be—-[_Speaks with pins in her
mouth._

_Wid._ But I swear I wonder how it came up to dress us thus. I protest,
when all my equipage is ready, and I move in full pageantry, I shall
fancy myself an embassadress from the Commonwealth of Women, the
distressed State of Amazonia–to treat for men. But I protest I wonder
how two of us thus clad can meet with a grave face! Methinks they
should laugh out like two fortune-tellers, or two opponent lawyers that
know each other for cheats—-

_Tat._ Ha! ha! ha! I swear to you, madam, your ladyship’s wit will
choke me one time or other. I had like to have swallowed all the pins
in my mouth—-

_Wid._ But, Tatty, to keep house six weeks, that’s another barbarous
custom; but the reason of it, I suppose, was that the base people
should not see people of quality may be as afflicted as themselves.

_Tat._ No, ’tis because they should not see ’em as merry as themselves.

_Wid._ Ha! ha! ha! Hussy, you never said that you spoke last. Why, ’tis
just–’tis satire–I’m sure you saw it in my face, that I was going
to say it: ‘Twas too good for you. Come, lay down that sentence and
the pin-cushion, and pin up my shoulder. Harkee, hussy, if you should,
as I hope you won’t, outlive me, take care I ain’t buried in flannel;
‘twould never become me, I’m sure.[32] That they can be as merry: Well,
I’ll tell my new acquaintance–what’s her name?–she that reads so
much, and writes verses. Her husband was deaf the first quarter of a
year; I forget her name. That expression she’ll like. Well, that woman
does divert me strangely; I’ll be very great with her. She talked very
learnedly of the ridicule till she was ridiculous; then she spoke of
the decent, of the agreeable, of the insensible. She designs to print
the discourse; but of all things, I like her notion of the insensible.

_Tat._ Pray, madam, how was that?

_Wid._ A most useful discourse to be inculcated in our teens. The
purpose of it is to disguise our apprehension in this ill-bred
generation of men, who speak before women what they ought not to hear.
As now, suppose you were a spark in my company, and you spoke some
double entendre, I look thus! But be a fellow, and you shall see how
I’ll use you. The insensible is useful upon any occasion where we
seemingly neglect and secretly approve, which is our ordinary common
case. Now, suppose a coxcomb, dancing, prating, and playing his tricks
before me to move me, without pleasure or distaste in my countenance,
I look at him, just thus; but—-Ha! ha! ha! I have found out a
supplement to this notion of the insensible, for my own use, which is
infallible, and that is to have always in my head all that they can
say or do to me. So never be surprised with laughter, the occasion of
which is always sudden.

_Tat._ Oh! my Lady Brumpton [TATTLEAID _bows and cringes_], my lady,
your most obedient servant.

_Wid._ Look you, wench, you see by the art of insensibility I put you
out of countenance, though you were prepared for an ill-reception.

_Tat._ Oh! madam, how justly are you formed for what is now fallen to
you–the empire of mankind.

_Wid._ Oh! sir, that puts me out of all my insensibility at once; that
was so gallant–Ha! what noise is that; that noise of fighting? Run, I
say. Whither are you going? What, are you mad? Will you leave me alone?
Can’t you stir? What, you can’t take your message with you? Whatever
’tis, I suppose you are not in the plot; not you–Nor that now they’re
breaking open my house for Sharlot–Not you–Go, see what’s the matter,
I say, I have nobody I can trust. [_Exit_ TATTLEAID] One minute I think
this wench honest, and the next false. Whither shall I turn me?

_Tat._ Madam, madam. [_Re-entering._

_Wid._ Madam, madam, will you swallow me gaping?

_Tat._ Pray, good my lady, be not so out of humour; but there is a
company of rogues have set upon our servants and the burial man’s,
while others ran away with the corpse.

_Wid._ How, what can this mean? What can they do with it?–Well, ’twill
save the charge of interment–But to what end?

_Enter_ TRUSTY _and a_ SERVANT, _bloody and dirty, haling in_ CLUMP
_and_ BUMPKIN.

_Ser._ I’ll teach you better manners; I’ll poor soldier you, you dog
you, I will. Madam, here are two of the rascals that were in the gang
of rogues that carried away the corpse.

_Wid._ We’ll examine ’em apart. Well, sirrah, what are you? Whence came
you? What’s your name, sirrah? [CLUMP _makes signs as a dumb man._

_Ser._ Oh, you dog, you could speak loud enough just now, sirrah, when
your brother rogues mauled Mr. Sable. We’ll make you speak, sirrah.

_Wid._ Bring the other fellow hither. I suppose you will own you knew
that man before you saw him at my door?

_Clump._ I think I have seen the gentleman’s face. [_Bowing to_ BUMPKIN.

_Wid._ The gentleman’s! The villain mocks me. But friend, you look like
an honest man–what are you? Whence came you? What are you, friend?

_Bump._ I’se at present but a private gentleman, but I was lifted to be
a sergeant in my Lord Hardy’s Company. I’se not ashamed of my name nor
of my koptin.

_Wid._ Leave the room all. [_Exeunt all but_ TRUSTY _and_ TATTLEAID.]
Mr. Trusty–Lord Hardy! O, that impious young man, thus, with the
sacrilegious hands of ruffians to divert his father’s ashes from their
urn and rest–I suspect this fellow [_Aside._]–Mr. Trusty, I must
desire you to be still near me. I’ll know the bottom of this; and
to Lord Hardy’s lodgings as I am, instantly. ‘Tis but the back side
of this street, I think. Let a coach be called.–Tattleaid, as soon
as I am gone, conduct my brother and his friends to Lady Sharlot.
Away with her. Bring mademoiselle away to me, that she may not be a
witness.–Come, good Mr. Trusty.

SCENE IV.–LORD HARDY’S _Lodgings._

_Enter_ LORD HARDY, _leading_ HARRIOT; CAMPLEY, _and_ TRIM.

_L. Ha._ Why, then I find this Mr. Trim is a perfect general; but I
assure you, sir, I’ll never allow you an hero, who could leave your
mistress behind you. You should have broke the house down, but you
should have mademoiselle with you.

_Trim._ No, really, madam, I have seen such strange fears come into the
men’s heads, and such strange resolutions into the women’s upon the
occasion of ladies following a camp, that I thought it more discreet to
leave her behind me. My success will naturally touch her as much as if
she were here.

_L. Ha._ A good, intelligent, arch fellow this [_Aside._]–But were not
you saying, my lord, you believed Lady Brumpton would follow hither? If
so, pray let me be gone.

_Ld. H._ No, madam, I must beseech your ladyship to stay, for there are
things alleged against her which you, who have lived in the family, may
perhaps give light into, and which I can’t believe even she could be
guilty of.

_L. Ha._ Nay, my lord, that’s generous to a folly, for even for her
usage of you (without regard to myself), I am ready to believe she
would do anything that can come into the head of a close, malicious,
cruel, designing woman.

_Enter_ BOY.

_Boy._ My Lady Brumpton’s below.

_L. Ha._ I’ll run, then.

_Cam._ No, no, stand your ground. You, a soldier’s wife? Come, we’ll
rally her to death.

_Ld. H._ Prithee, entertain her a little, while I go in for a moment’s
thought on this occasion. [_Exit._

_L. Ha._ She has more wit than us both.

_Cam._ Pshaw, no matter for that; be sure, as soon as the sentence
is out of my mouth, to clap in with something else; and laugh at all
I say. I’ll be grateful, and burst myself at my pretty, witty wife.
We’ll fall in slap upon her; she shan’t have time to say a word of the
running away.

_Enter_ LADY BRUMPTON _and_ TRUSTY.

Oh, my Lady Brumpton, your ladyship’s most obedient servant: This is
my Lady Harriot Campley. Why, madam, your ladyship is immediately in
your mourning. Nay, as you have more wit than anybody, so (what seldom
wits have) you have more prudence, too. Other widows have nothing in a
readiness but a second husband; but you, I see, had your very weeds and
dress lying by you.

_L. Ha._ Ay, madam; I see your ladyship is of the Order of Widowhood,
for you have put on the habit.

_Wid._ I see your ladyship is not of the profession of virginity, for
you have lost the look on’t.

_Cam._ You are in the habit–That was so pretty; nay, without flattery,
Lady Harriot, you have a great deal of wit. Ha! ha! ha!

_L. Ha._ No, my Lady Brumpton here is the woman of wit; but, indeed,
she has but little enough, considering how much her ladyship has to
defend. Ha! ha! ha!

_Wid._ I am sorry, madam, your ladyship has not what’s sufficient
for your occasions, or that this pretty gentleman can’t supply
’em—-[CAMPLEY _dancing about and trolling._ Hey, day! I find, sir,
your heels are a great help to your head. They relieve your wit, I see;
and I don’t question but ere now they have been as kind to your valour.
Ha! ha!

_Cam._ Pox, I can say nothing; ’tis always thus with your endeavours
to be witty [_Aside._]–I saw, madam, your mouth go, but there could
be nothing offered in answer to what my Lady Harriot said.–‘Twas
home–‘Twas cutting satire.

_L. Ha._ Oh, Mr. Campley! But pray, madam, has Mr. Cabinet visited your
ladyship since this calamity? How stands that affair now?

_Wid._ Nay, madam, if you already want instructions, I’ll acquaint you
how the world stands, if you are in distress–but I fear Mr. Campley
overhears us.

_Cam._ And all the tune the pipers played was Toll-toll-doroll. I
swear, Lady Harriot, were I not already yours, I could have a tender
for this lady.

_Wid._ Come, good folks, I find we are very free with each other. What
makes you two here? Do you board my lord, or he you? Come, come, ten
shillings a head will go a great way in a family. What do you say,
Mrs. Campley, is it so? Does your ladyship go to market yourself? Nay,
you’re in the right of it. Come, can you imagine what makes my lord
stay? He is not now with his land-steward. Not signing leases, I hope?
Ha! ha! ha!

_Cam._ Hang her, to have more tongue than a man and his wife too.
[_Aside._

_Enter_ LORD HARDY.

_Ld. H._ Because your ladyship is, I know, in very much pain in company
you have injured, I’ll be short–Open those doors–There lies your
husband’s, my father’s body; and by you stands the man accuses you of
poisoning him.

_Wid._ Of poisoning him!

_Tru._ The symptoms will appear upon the corpse.

_Ld. H._ But I am seized by nature–How shall I view, a breathless
lump of clay, him whose high veins conveyed to me this vital force and
motion?
I cannot bear that sight–
I am as fixed and motionless as he–
[_They open the coffin, out of which jumps_ LADY SHARLOT.[33]
Art thou the ghastly shape my mind had formed?
Art thou the cold, inanimate–bright maid?
Thou giv’st new higher life to all around.
Whither does fancy, fired with love, convey me?
Whither transported by my pleasing fury?
The season vanishes at thy approach;
‘Tis morn, ’tis spring–
Daisies and lillies strow thy flowery way.
Why is my fair unmoved–my heavenly fair?
Does she but smile at my exalted rapture?

_L. Sh._ Oh! sense of praise, to me unfelt before,
Speak on, speak on, and charm my attentive ear.
How sweet applause is from an honest tongue!
Thou lov’st my mind–hast well affection placed;
In what, nor time, nor age, nor care, nor want can alter.
Oh, how I joy in thee, my eternal lover;
Immutable as the object of thy flame!
I love, I am proud, I triumph that I love.
Pure, I approach thee; nor did I with empty shows,
Gorgeous attire, or studied negligence,
Or song, or dance, or ball, allure thy soul;
Nor want, or fear, such arts to keep or lose it:
Nor now with fond reluctance doubt to enter
My spacious, bright abode, this gallant heart.[34]
[_Reclines on_ HARDY.

_L. Ha._ Ay, marry, these are high doings indeed; the greatness of the
occasion has burst their passion into speech. Why, Mr Campley, when
we are near these fine folks, you and I are but mere sweethearts. I
protest I’ll never be won so; you shall begin again with me.

_Cam._ Prithee, why dost name us poor animals? They have forgot there
are such creatures as their old acquaintance Tom and Harriot.

_Ld. H._ So we did indeed, but you’ll pardon us.

_Cam._ My lord, I never thought to see the minute wherein I should
rejoice at your forgetting me, but now I do heartily. [_Embracing._

_L. Sh._ Harriot.}
}[_Embracing._]
_L. Ha._ Sharlot.}

_Wid._ Sir, you’re at the bottom of all this; I see you’re skilled
at close conveyances. I’ll know the meaning instantly of these
intricacies. ‘Tis not your seeming honesty and gravity shall save you
from your deserts. My husband’s death was sudden. You and the burial
fellow were observed very familiar. Produce my husband’s body, or I’ll
try you for his murder; which I find you’d put on me, thou hellish
engine!

_Tru._ Look you, madam, I could answer you, but I scorn to reproach
people in misery. You’re undone, madam.

_Wid._ What does the dotard mean? Produce the body, villain, or the law
shall have thine for it. [TRUSTY _exit hastily._]–Do you design to let
the villain escape? How justly did your father judge, that made you
a beggar with that spirit! You meant just now you could not bear the
company of those you’d injured.

_Ld. H._ You are a woman, madam, and my father’s widow. But sure you
think you’ve highly injured me.

[_Here_ LORD BRUMPTON _and_ TRUSTY _half enter and observe._

_Wid._ No, sir, I have not, will not, injure you. I must obey the
will of my deceased lord to a tittle; I must justly pay legacies. Your
father, in consideration that you were his blood, would not wholly
alienate you. He left you, sir, this shilling, with which estate you
now are Earl of Brumpton.

_Ld. H._ Insolent woman! it was not me my good father disinherited;
’twas him you represented. The guilt was thine; he did an act of
justice.

LORD BRUMPTON, _entering with_ TRUSTY.

_Ld. B._ Oh, unparalleled goodness!

TATTLEAID _and_ MADEMOISELLE _at the other door entering._

_Tru._ Oh! Tattleaid, his and our hour is come.

_Wid._ What do I see? My lord, my master, husband, living?

_Ld. B._ [_Turning from her, running to his son._] Oh, my boy, my
son. Mr. Campley, Sharlot, Harriot! [_All kneeling to him._] Oh, my
children! Oh, oh! These passions are too strong for my old frame. Oh,
the sweet torture! my son! my son! I shall expire in the too mighty
pleasure! my boy!

_Ld. H._ A son, an heir, a bridegroom in one hour! Oh! grant me,
Heaven, grant me moderation!

_Wid._ A son, an heir! Am I neglected then?
What? can my lord revive, yet dead to me?
Only to me deceased–to me alone,
Deaf to my sighs, and senseless to my moan?

_Ld. B._ ‘Tis so long since I have seen plays, good madam, that I know
not whence thou dost repeat, nor can I answer.

_Wid._ You can remember, though, a certain settlement, in which I am
thy son and heir. Great noble, that’s I suppose not taken from a play?
That’s as irrevocable as law can make it, that if you scorn me, your
death and life are equal; or I’ll still wear my mourning ’cause you’re
living.

_Tru._ Value her not, my lord; a prior obligation made you incapable of
settling on her, your wife.

_Ld. B._ Thy kindness, Trusty, does distract thee. I would indeed
disengage myself by any honest means, but, alas, I know no prior gift
that avoids this to her–Oh, my child!

_Tru._ Look you, madam, I’ll come again immediately. Be not troubled,
my dear lords—-[_Exit._

_Cam._ Trusty looks very confident; there is some good in that.

_Re-enter_ TRUSTY _with_ CABINET.

_Cab._ What, my Lord Brumpton living? nay then—-

_Tru._ Hold, sir, you must not stir, nor can you, sir, retract this
for your hand-writing.–My lord, this gentleman, since your supposed
death, has lurked about the house to speak with my lady, or Tattleaid,
who upon your decease have shunned him, in hopes, I suppose, to buy him
off for ever. Now, as he was prying about, he peeped into your closet,
where he saw your lordship reading. Struck with horror, and believing
himself (as well he might) the disturber of your ghost for alienation
of your fortune from your family, he writ me this letter, wherein he
acknowledges a private marriage with this lady, half a year before you
ever saw her.

_All._ How? [_All turn upon her disdainfully._

_Wid._ No more a widow then, but still a wife.
[_Recovering from her confusion._
I am thy wife–thou author of my evil
Thou must partake with me an homely board,
An homely board that never shall be cheerful;
But every meal embittered with upbraidings.
Thou that could’st tell me, good and ill were words,
When thou could’st basely let me to another,
Yet could’st see sprights, great unbeliever!
Coward! Bug-beared penitent—-
Stranger henceforth to all my joys, my joys
To thy dishonour; despicable thing,
Dishonour thee? Thou voluntary cuckold.
[CABINET _sneaks off,_ WIDOW _flings after him,_ TATTLEAID _following._

_Ld. B._ I see you’re all confused as well as I. Ye are my children,
I hold you all so; and for your own use will speak plainly to you. I
cannot hate that woman; nor shall she ever want. Though I scorn to bear
her injuries, yet had I ne’er been roused from that low passion to a
worthless creature, but by disdain of her attempt on my friend’s child.
I am glad that scorn’s confirmed by her being that fellow’s, whom, for
my own sake, I only will contemn. Thee, Trusty, how shall we prosecute
with equal praise and thanks for this great revolution in our house?

_Tru._ Never to speak on’t more, my lord.

_Ld. B._ You are now, gentlemen, going into cares at a crisis[35] in
your country.
And on this great occasion, Tom, I’ll mount
Old Campley which thy father gave me,
And attend thee a cheerful gay old man,
Into the field to represent our county.
My rough plebeian Britons, not yet slaves
To France, shall mount thy father’s son
Upon their shoulders. Echo loud their joy,
While I and Trusty follow weeping after:
But be thou honest, firm, impartial,
Let neither love, nor hate, nor faction move thee,[36]
Distinguish words from things, and men from crimes;
Punctual be thou in payments, nor basely
Screen thy faults ‘gainst law, behind the
Laws thou makest
But thou against my death, must learn a supererogatory morality.
[_To_ LORD HARDY.
As he is to be just, be generous thou:
Nor let thy reasonable soul be struck
With sounds and appellations; title is
No more, if not significant
Of something that’s superior in thyself
To other men, of which thou may’st be
Conscious, yet not proud–But if you swerve
From higher virtue than the crowd possess,
Know, they that call thee honourable mock thee.
You are to be a Peer, by birth a judge
Upon your honour, of others’ lives and fortunes;
Because that honour’s dearer than your own.
Be good, my son, and be a worthy lord
For when our shining virtues bless mankind,
We disappoint the livid malcontents,
Who long to call our noble Order useless.
Our all’s in danger, sir, nor shall you dally
Your youth away with your fine wives.
No, in your country’s cause you shall meet death,
While feeble we with minds resigned do wait it.
Not but I intend your nuptials as soon as possible, to draw entails and
settlements. How necessary such things are, I had like to have been a
fatal instance.

_Cam._ But, my lord, here are a couple that need not wait such
ceremonies. Please but to sit; you’ve been extremely moved, and must be
tired. You say we must not spend our time in dalliance; you’ll see, my
lord, the entertainment reminds us also of nobler things, and what I
designed for my own wedding I’ll compliment the general with. The bride
dances finely. Trim, will you dance with her?

_Trim._ I will, but I can’t. There’s a countryman of hers without, by
accident.

_Cam._ Ay, but is he a dancer?

_Trim._ Is a Frenchman a dancer? Is a Welshman a gentleman? I’ll bring
him in.

[_Here a dance and the following songs._

_Set by_ MR. DANIEL PURCELL.[37]

_Sung by_ JEMMIE BOWIN.

I.
On yonder bed supinely laid,
Behold thy loved expecting maid:
In tremor, blushes, half in tears,
Much, much she wishes, more she fears.
Take, take her to thy faithful arms,
Hymen bestows thee all her charms.

II.
Heaven to thee bequeaths the fair,
To raise thy joy, and lull thy care;
Heaven made grief, if mutual, cease,
But joy, divided, to increase:
To mourn with her exceeds delight,
Darkness with her, the joys of light.

_Sung by_ MR. PATE.

I.
Arise, arise, great dead, for arms renowned,
Rise from your urns, and save your dying story,
Your deeds will be in dark oblivion drowned,
For mighty William seizes all your glory.

II.
Again the British trumpet sounds,
Again Britannia bleeds;
To glorious death, or comely wounds,
Her godlike monarch leads.

III.
Pay us, kind fate, the debt you owe,
Celestial minds from clay untie,
Let coward spirits dwell below,
And only give the brave to die.

_Ld. B._ Now, gentlemen, let the miseries which I have but miraculously
escaped, admonish you to have always inclinations proper for the
stage of life you’re in. Don’t follow love when nature seeks but
ease; otherwise you’ll fall into a lethargy of your dishonour, when
warm pursuits of glory are over with you; for fame and rest are utter
opposites.

You who the path of honour make your guide,
Must let your passion with your blood subside;
And no untimed ambition, love, or rage
Employ the moments of declining age;
Else boys will in your presence lose their fear,
And laugh at the grey-head they should revere.


EPILOGUE.

_Spoken by_ LORD HARDY.

Love, hope and fear, desire, aversion, rage,
All that can move the soul, or can assuage,
Are drawn in miniature of life, the stage.
Here you can view yourselves, and here is shown
To what you’re born in sufferings not your own.
The stage to wisdom’s no fantastic way,
Athens herself learned virtue at a play.
Our author me to-night a soldier drew,
But faintly writ, what warmly you pursue:
To his great purpose, had he equal fire,
He’d not aim to please only, but inspire;
He’d sing what hovering fate attends our isle,
And from base pleasure rouse to glorious toil:
Full time the earth to a new decision brings;
While William gives the Roman eagle wings:
With arts and arms shall Britain tamely end,
Which naked Picts so bravely could defend?
The painted heroes on th’ invaders press,
And think their wounds addition to their dress;
In younger years we’ve been with conquest blest,
And Paris has the British yoke confessed;
Is’t then in England, in lost England, known,
Her kings are named from a revolted throne?
But we offend–You no examples need,
In imitation of yourselves proceed;
‘Tis you your country’s honour must secure,
By all your actions worthy of Namur:
With gentle fires your gallantry improve,
Courage is brutal, if untouched with love:
If soon our utmost bravery’s not displayed,
Think that bright circle must be captives made;
Let thoughts of saving them our toils beguile,
And they reward our labours with a smile.