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ness at once. I knew if he had once seen my cousin, he would recognize me. [Aside.] I am extremely obliged by your kindness, sir-I regret that I should be the
Ak. Make no apology, my dear boy, I beg.
Ald. I won't hear auother word, till you've taken some refreshmens.
Nic. The uncertainty of
Ald. True, true, I must cut you short now; for supper is just ready—and you must needs want something, travelling so far.
Nic. Nay, my dear sir, but you must prepare yourself for
Ald. Take no care about that; I have prepared every thing.
Nic. But, my dear sir,-my late-lamented
Ald. "Better late than never--you're here, and that's sufficient. I did lament you hadn't come sooner, certainly Georgiana is dying with impatience to see you—I'll call her here. Why, Georgiana ! Georgiana ! I say
Nic. Zounds, he won't let me edge in a word any way; [Aside.) but, my dear "ir, allow me a few serious words
Ald. Not another word, till you've supp'd-we'll have no serious words together, if I know it. To-morrow is time enough for business-to-night we'll devote to mirth and love, you dog-Oh, here Georgiana conies.
Nic. What shall I do now? I can't mention my cousin's death before the young lady; she'd be going into hystericks. I must let the old gentleman have his way, and get him to let me relate the particulars bye-and-bye
Enter GEORGIANA, D. F. A fine girl, faith.
Geo. Did you want me, Papa ?
Ald. No, hussey ; but Mr. Nicodemus does--Mr. Nico, demus, my daughter Georgiana!
Geo. (R.) [Aside.)-What a solemn-looking fright! I'm sure I can never bring myself to love him.
Ald. Country bred, Mr. Nicodemus—unformed at present so much the better, you can mould her to your liking; she's bashful, but sincere. Come, Georgiana, why don't you say something inspiring to Mr. Nicodemus, hussey, after his long journey ?
Geo. Something inspiring, after a long journey, Pa!-Well, then, if I must say something, perhaps I can't say better than
Ald. Aye, aye, come, out with it.
Ald. Psha!-- but egad it's a propos enough ; a wag, Mr. Nicodemusza wag-takes after me.
Nic. I am as much at a loss what to say as the young lady can be ; supper 's a timely relief, faith—[ Aside.)-allow me to offer my arm, madam. Geo. You are very polite, sir-this way, if you please.
(Exeunt Nicodemus and Georgiana, B. Ald. I'll follow you the moment I have given some orders to the butler. I'm so rejoiced that
Enter SERVANT, L. Well, sirrah, what do you want?
Ser. I don't want any thing, your honor — but here's Dickory—he's come back, and wants to see you in private,
Ald. Wants to see me in private!- what can the blockhead want with me in private ? - Well, let him come in. [Exit Servant.) I suppose he had idled his time away so, that Mr. Nicodemus was gone before he arrived, and now he's coming, with some cock and a bull story, to excuse himself.
Enter Dickory, crying, L.
Dic. Oh, master !-oh, Mr. Aldwinkle, such a misfortune! Oh! Oh!
Ald. What! I suppose, when you got to the half-way-housc, you found Mr. Nicodemus had just departed ?
Dic. Yeas, poor gentleman, he'd been quite gone above an hour afore I'd got there. I help'd to lay him out, when I found how things were.
Ald. Lay him out-Zounds, I hope you didn't speak any thing ill of him.
Dic. Oh no, master, we never do speak ill of those who are gone.
Ald. Gone !-well, but he's come.
Ald. His supper-yes, blockhead-his supper ; he's just sat down with my daughter.
Dic. Dang it, this be the first time I ever heard of dead men sitting down to supper wi' young ladies--he be quite nad-how his eyes do roll! surely
[Aside. Ald. Zounds, scoundrel, Dickory, what are you talking about? Though I did give you five shillings to drink, I didn't tell you to make a beast of yourself-he's quite drunk!-Go, rascal, and wait on Mr. Nicodemus, directly. Dic. He be quite crack'd.
[ Aside. Ald. Dreadfully drunk—will you do what I tell you, villain ? Will you go in and see that Mr. Nicodemus wants for nothing ? Take care that he has plenty of the turtle soup.
Dic. Turtle soup—what be the good of turtle soup when a man be dead? Tothink, now, that he should die just when he were going to be married !
Ald. Why, you sottish brazen rascal, you havn't the consummate impudence to pronounce an honest gentleman dead, who is at this moment eating and drinking, and making love to my daughter, in the very next room; but your own eyes shall convince yon how richly you deserve a ducking ;-you say you saw the gentleman?
Dic. E'es, sure; I were wi' his poor body above an hour and a half.
Ald. Then you'd know him again, if you see him?
Ald. Then, see him you shall, and that this very moment; the sight of him may bring you to your sober senses again. Please just to walk this way, sir,—that is, if you are able to walk.
Dic. He's as mad as a March bare ;- but I mun humour the old man, or he may do me a mischief. Poor fellow, how mad he be! [Asidv.] I'm coming, sir.
[Ēxeunt Aldwinkle and Dickory, L. SCENE K.-Handsome Apartment in Aldwinkle Hüll.
NICODEMUS, R., GEORGIANA, L., and LAVINIA, C., discovered sitting at supper.
Nic. (Aside.] Methinks, that I cut but a very foolish figure here; I neither know what to do or say; I believe, my best refuge is in silence --Heigho! would I were at home, contivuing iny treatise on Vampires.
Lav. Your Papa does not seem to be coming, coz; had we not better proceed to supper?
Geo. Any thing, to enliven us a little. We have been as dull and as silent, for the last half hour, as a Quaker's meeting. Will you allow me to assist you, sir ?
Nic. [Solemnly.] I thank you, but I have no appetite.
Geo. I hope it isn't love that disturbs the gentleman ;shall I help you to some cold pudding, sir ?
Nic. I never eat cold pudding ;-[He starts from his seat.] but my time is come: I have to set off at daybreak, and must retire at once-a solemn duty impels me to be absent. To-morrow night I shall return again :-present my regards to your worthy father; an important secret remains to be revealed to him, in which you are all deeply interested. I am trio wandering and disturbed for the task now-but tomorrow night! Heigho! life is very uncertain. Vale! Vale!
(Exit Nicodemus, R. Lav. Bless me! what an amazingly odd man! I should as soon think of linking myself to the parish pump as such a Don Saltero.
Geo. There is certaidly something very mysterious in his mauner. Vale! Vale!
[Mocking him. Lav. Hush! here's your father.
Enter ALDWINKLE, dragging in DICKORY, L. Ald. (c.) Now, villain, Dickory-look-convince yourself that why, the gentleman's gone!
Dic. E'es, to be sure he be- didn't I tell you he were departed ? but you wouldn't believe me;-his madness be going away-he ha' got a losing interval.
[Aside. Geo. (R.) Is it Mr. Nicodemus you want, Pa? He has retired to his apartment, and
Ald. Eh? gone to bed, has he ? and without his supper! how is he to find out the room? Run, Dickory, and light
him-take him my night-cap and slippers—make haste, rogue.
Geo. Aye, do, Dickory, or the poormgentleman may break his neck over the bannisters.
Dic. They all humour him, I see; well, I musn't be particular. I'll go, sir—[Takes a candle from the table.) but if Mr. Nicodemus be there, dany me if I don't first eat him, and then gi' you leave to eat me afterwards.
[Exit Dickory, L. Ald. I am sorry, Dickory's drunken folly, in persisting that Mr. Nicodemus was dead, prevented my paying my respects to him before he retired. Poor fellow, I forgot how far he had travelled to-day!
Enter DICKORY, hastily, with a candle, L. Dic. [Trembling violently.] Oh Lord! Oh Lord! Oh Lord!
Ald. Eh! why, Dickory! Zounds, blockhead, what's the matter with you ? you look as scared as if you had seen a ghost ?
Dic. That he it, you've hit it, 'squire, hy gosh. - It be he! I'll swear to un-I knows up by the turn o' his nose. Oh dear! oh dear! that ever I should ha' lived to see a ghost!
Ald. See a ghost, dolt!—he's at it again-he's breaking out in fresh places- have you seen Mr. Nicodemus, sirrah?
Dic Na, but I ha' seen his apparition. It be quite inde cent and unnatural in un not to rest quiet, now he's dead, like a proper Christian gentleman.
Ald. Can the fellow really be serious ? I am confounded.
Geo. A ghost! is the gentleman a ghost? Oh dear, I'm sure I can never bring myself to marry a ghost, Pa.
Lav. I may profit by this. [dside.] Well, I declare I thought he was something he shouldn't be, by his mysterious ways; didu't you remark, coz, that, all the time he sat with us, he never opened his mouth till we forced him to it?
Dic. Nå, ghosts neyer do speak but when they be forced to speak.
Lav. And then, didn't you remark, Georgy, dear, that he would neither eat por drink ?
Ald. Ghosts never do—I don't know what to think. Stop, Dickory, what's that on the side of the candle ?
Dic. Why, a large lump of tallow, to be sure; what should it be?
[He knocks a piece off the candle.