Изображения страниц

Mr. Attorney-come, bring chairs-read quick, never mind stops-busy day! [Exit Servant, L. Cau. Miss Clementina, how do you do? These are rather gay habiliments for mourning.

Cle. Mr. Caustic, no observations. As pa says, read. Cau. With all my heart-except the colour, gay as a bride.

Cle. Don't be impertinent, man.

Cau. And the head, too-heigho! Well, here is the will, and thus I break the seal-now for it.

All. Ay, now for it! [They all seat themselves. Cau. [Reads.] "I, Sarah Sapless, spinster, being of sound and disposing mind, do make this my last will and testament. Imprimis, I bequeath to my worthy brotherin-law, Toby Allspice

All. Oh, she was an excellent old woman!
[Pretends to weep.
Cau. "Toby Allspice, the sum of five pounds—”
All. What?

Cau. "The sum of five pounds, to purchase a ring."
All. A what?

Cau. A ring.

All. Fiddlededee! superannuated old fool!

Cau. Silence! "And whereas my wayward fate has deprived me of the comforts of wedlock, and, as I sincerely believe that nothing can tend more to the benefit of society than promoting the happiness of faithful lovers"-Very extraordinary, this!"I do hereby bequeath to Walter Caustic, Esquire, all my estates, personal and real”— Cle. What!

Cau. [Eagerly.] "I bequeath to Walter Caustic, Esquire, all my estates, personal and real,-in trust”—

Cle. Oh, in trust.

Cau. I hate trusts.

Cle. Silence, sir!

Go on.

[Dejectedly. [Nodding and smiling.

Cau. "In trust, to settle and convey the same as a marriage portion upon any young woman he may think worthy, who may be about to become a bride, within the space of one month after my decease."

All. Ecod, it's a queer one!

Cau. "And whereas"

M'Que. That's all material, except a bit of a codicil. Cle. Mr. Attorney, is not my name in the will? M'Que. No, miss.


Cle. Pa!

All. Cleme!


Cle. Do you know, pa, that being disappointed of thirty thousand pounds is extremely disagreeable?

All. Very, Cleme.

Cau. All that's material! What's tnis, and this? [Turning over sheets. M'Que. That, you know, is description and specification; and saying it over and over again, to make the thing look plump and decent.

Cau. Now for the codicil!" I, the within-named Sarah Sapless, do make this codicil, which I do order and direct may be taken as part of my said will, and by which I do hereby bequeath to Phelim M'Query, my attorney, in lieu of his bill, one thousand pounds”—Very moderate recompense!

M'Que. Very moderate! But 'tis enough-Oh! tis enough. [Rises. Cau. This certainly is the most extraordinary; ha, ha, ha! To select me for the high priest of Hymen, to make me a wither'd Cupid, ha, ha, ha!

Enter Shopman, L.

[All rise.

Sho. The cavalcade is ready to move, and only waits for your honour.

All. Then get my gown and wig, and my white wand. 'Tis very awful.

Cau. You look alarmed-I've seen you before a judge without being frightened.

All. Ay; but that was when I was a greater man than the judge, foreman of the jury; and then I'm not afraid of the devil.

M'Que. If you don't think my diffidence may increase your's, I'll attend.

Cau. Oh, no danger?

All. Well, now I commence the perfect gemman. Damn it, stand back [To M'Query.] I must go first. Dick, fill this box with backy. Roger, yoke the coach. [Exeunt Allspice and M'Query, L-Caustic is going, when Clementina courtesies, and stops him.

Cle. [Sobbing, R.] Mr. Caustic, you were polite enough to find fault with my dress. I'll alter my gown any way you please, sir.

Cau. (c.) So, here's a change! [Aside.] By no means,


Cle. But you have discernment, sir.

Cau. I have a little, ma'am. [Sarcastically.] Good morning.

Cle. When may we expect the honour of seeing you again, sir?

Cau. Well remembered: Tangent will be here. Miss Clementina, I intend to introduce to you my nephew, Mr. Tangent. Should he come before I return, I hope you'll welcome him.

Cle. [With vivacity.] Dear sir! Oh, oh! Mr. Tan gent and I then are to be the happy pair! [Aside.] Dear Mr. Caustic, I hope you have quite abandoned your gout. I declare and vow I was horrified at hearing you were ill. Cau. Indeed, madam, I expected death.

Cle. Do you know that's extremely disagreeable. I hope you will make it a point to keep well, Mr. Caustic. Pray take care of the steps-if you should slip, I should scream in such a style, you have no idea. I must attend you.

Cau. You are too good. No.

Cle. I shall expire if I don't. Take care, dear Mr. Caustic! [Exeunt, L. SCENE II.-Allspice's Shop.-Two Shop Chairs at Door in the C. F.

Shopman and Woman discovered.

Sho. I'm afraid, ma'am, heavy-I'll send it home.

you'll find the parcel rather There's your change, ma'am. [Exit Womun, C. D. F.

Enter TANGENT, C. D. F.-Sits down in a chair, L.

Tan. Shopman, is Mr. Caustic here?

Sho. He's gone, sir, but will return presently.
Tan. Very well; I'll wait for him.

Sho. You'd better walk into the house, sir ;-the shopTan. [Sits and eats raisins.] I like the shop. Is your mistress, Miss Clementina, within-Oh!

Sho. Yes, sir.

Tun. I don't much relish this affair. However, it humours old Caustic, so-d'ye hear? tell her Mr. Tangent wishes to pay his respects. What are you about?

[Rises. Sho. Oh! I dare not go before miss with my apron on-she says it's vulgar.

[Exit, after having put his apron on the chair, R.

Tan. Ignorant prejudice! [Putting the apron round him.] By heavens! 'tis as honest an appendage,—ay, and of as much benefit to society, too, as many long robes I've seen! [Sits.] Tired to death of the courtseither as dull as a country church, or as vulgar as Billingsgate.


Jul. I presume, sir, you belong here.

Tan. [With surprise.] I, ma'am! heavens, what an angel! Ma'am-no-[Looking at himself.] Oh, yes— yes, ma'am-I belong to the shop. [Throwing away his hat.] What a lovely creature!

Jul. Is Mr. Richard at home?

Tan. No, ma'am, Dicky has just stepp'd out, ma'am.Interesting beyond description!

Jul. Then I must trouble you for these articles.

Tan. [Runs behind the counter.] Proud to serve you, ma'am just take down the day-book-now I shall know my angel's name and abode. To be sent, ma'am, to— [Writing in the day-book. Jul. There's something very extraordinary in this young man-sir, I'll send for them-good morning.

Tan. 'Sdeath! I shall lose her. Stop, ma'am-I beg pardon-but here are exactly the articles you want, ready packed, and I shall be happy in attending you home with them, ma'am, exceedingly happy.

Jul. His deportment and dress seem much above his situation. Sir, I can't think of troubling you.

Tan. Trouble, ma'am! Never above my business. I'll attend you.

Jul. But there is none to attend the- [Exit, C. D. F. Tan. Oh, ma'am, Dicky is only in the house. What shall I do for a hat! [Sees a small one harging up, puts it on.] Ma'am, I'll follow you. Dicky, mind the shop, Dicky. Oh, an angel! What the devil have I got here? 'tis infernally heavy! I'll follow you, ma'am. Dicky, take care of the shop. [Exit, following Julia, M. D.

Enter CLEMENTINA, R., her eyes fixed on the ground— and SHOPMAN.

Cle. (c.) Mr. Tangent, your most obedient-I declare and vow-[Looks up, then at the Shopman.] Where's Mr. Tangent, fellow?

Sho. I left him here, ma'am, with my apron.
Cle. Then he's gone.

Sho. Ecod and so is my apron.

Cle. Now whether this is shockingly vulgar, or extremely stylish, I've not the minutest atom of an idea. I dare say 'tis genteel.

Sho. [Grumbling aside.] Not to take my apron.

Cle. Oh! I'm sure 'tis fine breeding, for there's a certain brutality in high life that's enchanting. [Huzza without.] What horrid yell is that?

Sho. (L.) 'Tis my master, the sheriff, miss, come from the show, huzza!

Cle. Silence, brute!

Voices without. "Room for the sheriff!"

Enter ALLSPICE, with Sheriff's gown, wig, and wand, wiping his face, C. D.

All. (c.) Thank God, 'tis over! I'd rather throw a hundred sugar-loaves into a cart than go through it again. Well, Cleme, how goes on the shop?

Cle. You know, papa, I hate the shop.

All. Oh, fie, Cleme! don't let me hear you say that again. You dog, is that the way to tie up a parcel? [To Shopman, and gives, a box on the ear. Confound these trappings! Get me my apron, Cleme, will you?

Cle. I declare and vow, pa, your vulgarity horrifies me. Suppose you were to go to court with an address, and be knighted, would not your manners

All. Me knighted! Fiddlestick's end! When such chaps as I go to get dubb'd, if, instead of a sword, his majesty would but order one of his beef-eaters to lay a stick across our shoulders, it would be a hundred per cent. the better. [A loud knocking at the door, L.

Enter Sheriff's Servant, dressed in the absurdity of lace, large hat, &c., L.

Ser. (R.) Maister!

Cle. (c.) Mr. Sheriff, brute!

Ser. You see I bes dizen'd out in new livery, he, he ! Cle. Take off your hat, savage!

Ser. I canna, miss-man has stuck'n on so fast, he winna come off-he, he!

All. Geoffry, 'tis hard to tell whether you or I look most ridiculous.

Ser. Ecod! maister, I think you have it.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »