Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

THE FIRST FLOOR:

A FAROE ,

IN TWO ACTS.

BY JAMES COBB, Esq.

REMARKS. The respectable author of this farce successfully united business with some literary endeavour. The “ Firs Floor" contains many whimsical situations, fairly made out by appropriate dialogue; and the equivoque through jut produces a considerable effect; much more, indeed, than the reader would, probably, imagine.

The cynical caution of Old Whimsey, who describes London as "a mere ocean of knavery," is well contrasted with the careless dissipation of his son; whose follies Tim Tartlett, ungratefully slighting Mrs. Pattypiza, seems too well disposed to imitate.

This piece has lately been revived, with effect, at the Haymarket Theatre; where, assisted by Terry and Lis ton, as Old Whimsey and Tim, fresh laurels were gained for the author and themselves.

[blocks in formation]

ACT I.

harness when he is no longer able to win a sweep

stakes. SCENE I.-An Inn in London.

Mon. Why, look ye, landlord, I don't think Enter LANDLORD and MONFORD.

that twenty years of dissipation will qualify me

the better for a husband : I look on marriage as a Land. Welcome to town, your honour !—a sort of partnership, in which I mean to engage ong while since I saw your honour—was saying whilst I can bring youth, good spirits, and a good but this very morning that it was many months constitution, as my share of the stock in trade: since I saw my worthy master, Squire Monford. but when a pretty girl finds herself entrapped into

Mon. Say so still, landlord—for I am come to a connexion with a bankrupt trader, can he be lown incog, and wish to conceal my arrival here. angry with her for taking measures to dissolve the

Land. Ah! a pair of fine eyes in the case! partnership? you have sprung all the game about the country, Land. Well, your honour, and this intended and now you are coming to poach on some poor fair partner of yoursfellow's manor in London.

Mon. She is coming to town with her father, Mon. No, faith, there is no poaching in the and will be in this house in the course of an hour case; I mean to take out a license for sporting on or two. a certain manor, called Matrimony.

Land. The old story, I suppose—the father Lund. Matrimony! Lord, Sir, 'tis well enough averse to the match. for your dog-trots—we must, to be sure, have cat Mon. Yes, unfortunately for me—but my tle for the high road business of life; but who charmer has consented to a private marriage; the devil would think of running a race-horse in am now going in search of lodgings for us, and a post-chaise ?— tis time enough to put him in shall be with you again presently. (Erk.

Land. Ah! there he goes—as pretty a fellow, Sim. Yes, so must I ; and with the same kind ay, and as good a customer, as an innkeeper would of reception—a good lie, and a smiling a untenwish to live by-never knew him to look at the ance. items of a bill in my life—always paid it the moment he saw the sum total and submitted to be Enter WHIMSEY, CHARLOTTE, and LANDLORD. cheated like a gentleman.

Land. This way, Madam--this way, Sir-I

hope your honour has had a good journey. Enter SIMON.

Whim. No, I have not had a good journey; I Sim. Landlord ! how are you, my boy ? Come, dust from the road-extortion from the inn-keep

have had lame horses, and drunken drivers, let's have a glass, (Sitting down at the table.] ers, and bad half-pence from the turnpikes.- A you are a jolly fellow. Land. And i'faith you seem to be the same from this city of London, to every point of the

blight upon honesty and good manners blows I think it is now three days since you came to town on the Bury-fly, during which time you continual spring-tide, which infects all the streams

compass. It is a mere ocean of knavery, with a have scarcely been sober three hours. Sim. Psha! psha! 'tis only my not being used them brackish up to their very source.

of fresh water round the country, and makes to ride on the roof of the coach that made me giddy—a sudden exaltation may turn better heads is very dear now.

Land. 'Tis very true, your honour, travelling than mine. Land. And pray have you no business in the time when a man could be choaked upon a

Whim. Dear, with a vengeance !-I remember town? Sim. None of my own.

dusty road for sevenpence a mile; but now one

must pay a shilling a mile for the pleasure of beLand. But you have some of your master's ? his son, which I was ordered to deliver directly, watch, have you? Sim. Yes, I have a letter from my master to life. [To Charlotte.) You have not lost your

ing smothered, because it is one of the luxuries of but faith I forgot it; and it don't much signify:

Char. Oh, no, Sir, all is safe about meI hate to be a messenger of ill news.

-[Aside.) Land. You know the contents, then ?

except my heart.

Whim. My pockets were all safe when I got Sim. Yes, yes; my old master is coming to

out of the chaise; I suppose I have hardly lost town to visit his son: ay, here is the letter.-" To Mr. John Whiinsey, junior, at Mrs. Patlypan's,

any thing since I came into the house.

Land. Lord, Sir, what do you mean ?-In my pastry-cook, in Piccadilly."

house! Land. Hey-day! why you are not going to

Whim. Egad, I don't know, friend; but there open your master's letter? Sim. Certainly I will; my master would make where a man may go in with full pockets, and

are much finer houses than yours in this town, no ceremony in opening a letter of mine. (Read

come out with empty ones.—But where is my ing the letter.) “ Dear John, I send you this by

rascal? my man Simon, who will deliver it to you immediately on his arrival in London”

Sim. [Coming forward.] Here am I, Sir.

Whim. Well, sirrah, I suppose my son and Land. And you have been here three days al- you have been laying your heads together to cheat ready.

the old fellow, when he came to town-- what did Sim. Come, landlord, you don't drink-here's

he say when he read my letter? t'ye—{Drinks.) “I am coming to town to complete the purchase of my neighbour Squander's

Sim. He presents his dutiful respects, and estate, and shall take up my quarters at your lodg anxiously expects the pleasure of seeing you

Whim. Go to be buried, I dare say he does-ings for two or three days; I shall bring your sister but I'm resolved to live temperately, out of spite with me, as I hear there is a rakish young dog, of the name of Monford, has taken it in his head to LANDLORD.) And you (To Simon.) go and see

to him. Landlord, see if the coach is come. (Erit fall in love with her, and I don't choose to trust her all the luggage put safely into it-[Erit Simon.) out of my sight.” Land. Zounds! why did not you tell me at don't tell me of having lost your heart-a young

Come, Charlotte, uncloud your countenance first who was your master ?-[Aside.) If I had girl's heart is like a tame pigeon ; let her throw but known it before Monford left the house ! Sim. Why, between you and me, I am half- it away ten times in a month, it will be sure to

come back again. ashamed to own my master-he is as suspicious of every body about him, as if he had been bred a

Enter Simon. rogue himself-A servant has not much credit in the place, I assure you.

Sim. The coach is ready, Sir. Land. Hey-day! here's a post-chaise come to Whim. Very well, be sure then and take the

number; and, d’ye hear, if there is any cordage Sim. With my master and his daughter in it, from the trunks left, save it, Simon-though it as I live.

be ever so little, it may serve to tie up something Whim. (Without.) Mind the portmanteau, or other. sirrah, d'ye hear, and take care none of the bun- Sim. Certainly, Sir, if it is but a yard of rope dles are stolen.

- I think I should know how to apply it properly. Sim. Ay, there, his suspicions are beginning

(Exeunt severally, already-if he has lost but a button from his coat, he'll put the postillion to his oath, and have the SCENE II.-Mrs. PattyPan's Shop. very horses taken before a magistrate. Land. Well, I must run, and prepare to re

MRS. PATTYPAN and YOUNG WHIMSEY. (Erit. Mrs. Pat. Upon my word, Mr. Whimsey

the door.

ceive him.

your behaviour is beyond all bearing—It is a dis. Tim. But then you wont let me be my om
grace to any sober family to have such a rake for master.
a lodger.

Mrs. Pat. Your own master, indeed ben
Y. Whim. Come, come, my dear Mrs. Patty- you would be ruined presently.
pan-thou peerless princess of all pastry-cooks Tim. Vell, and if so be I vas, what then? V:
let us talk over the matter coolly.

there's some of the great folks, that pass in their Mrs. Pat. Talk, indeed! I'm tired of talking, striped coaches and phaetons, and look as fine as Mr. Whimsey.

a king on a twelfth-cake-our Nancy says they Y. Whim. I'm glad of it—I never expected you have been ruined for some years, and yet, iood would have been tired of that.

they seem as gamesome and airy as if nothing Mrs. Pat. What signifies reasoning with you? had happened. you are so thoughtless, so dissipated-keep such Mrs. Pat. Our Nancy, indeed !-there is ancompany, and such hours--you'll shorten your other of your follies; always laughing and haldays.

looing with that trapes in the shop, as if you were Y. Whim. But then, as the old saying is, I mad. lengthen my nights, Mrs. Pattypan, and so it Tim. Vy, I can't help toying with her a little comes pretty nearly to the same end.

now and then, she is such a merry humoursome Mrs. Pal. How often must I beg of you to quit soul. the premises ? l've given you warning every day Mrs. Pat. The trollop shall not stay within for this month past, and you wont take it. my doors--Oh, Tim, Tim! I wish you had

Y. Whim. "T'is a common complaint against pride enough to keep such wretches at a distance. young people, that they wont take warning. Tim. Vy, so I have, sometimes I can be as

Mrs. Pat. I have put up a bill in the shop proud as Old Scratch to our journeymen and the window already-A First Floor to be let fur- shop-boy--but when I looks at a pretty gul, Lord, nished—it will not long remain empty, I dare say mistress, all my pride melts away, like our ice--nay, a gentleman was here just now to view cream in the sunshine. the apartments.

Mrs. Pat. Don't provoke me, Timothy-1 deY. Whim. You take equal care of your lodg-clareings, as of your heart, I perceive, Mrs. Pattypan - you let nothing of yours remain long unoccu

Enter MONFORD. pied- I think your late husband has been dead about two months, and you are now preparing Mon. The card in your shop-window informed for the reception of a second.

me, Madam, that you have a First Floor to let Mrs. Pat. Who do you mean, Sir ?

ready furnished. Y. Whim. I mean your apprentice, Tim Tart Mrs. Pat. Yes, Sir; and as pretty a floor, lett: and a very good choice too, let me tell you, though I say it-will you please to look at the Mrs. Pattypan, he has served his time to his rooms ? master's business-and, I dare say, you will find Mon. I have seen them already. him a very useful partner—But I see him com Mrs. Pal. Oh! you are the gentleman wbo ing, and I wont interrupt a love conversation. called just now, while I was out.

Mrs. Pat. I understand your sneers, Sir. But Mon. I only wish to know, whether I can take I hope, before you quit the house, you mean to possession of the lodgings this afternoon? discharge your debts--you are pretty much in my Mrs. Pat. This hour, Sir, if you please. books.

Mon. I expect my sister from the country this Y. Whim. That is owing to my great respect evening; and as I cannot accommodate her at my for you-I hope I shall never be out of your chambers, am obliged, at this short notice, to take books— Adieu, my dear old girl! If I can't get a lodgings. bed elsewhere-perhaps I may pop in here-s0 Mrs. Pat. Very well, Sir. you'll let your maid Nancy sit up for me. (Erit. Mon. I am now going to the place where she Mrs. Pat. Impudent fellow!

will arrive, to leave a card of your shop, and shall

be back time enough to receive her. (Esit. Enter Tim TARTLETT.

Mrs. Pat. Short and sweet, indeed! Oh, your servant, Sir; ready dressed, I see, for T'im. I wonder vet her his sister is a comely going abroad; you are always gadding, Tim girl ? Tartlett.

Mrs. Pat. What is that to you, Sir?-Do be Tim. Lord, mistress! why, you are always so good as to send your favourite Nancy to the scolding one for taking a little harmless recreation immediately-we must get every thing in order --you know I loves to see life— because vy, 'tis so for the lady. agreeable.

Tim. If she has but black eyes!- I likes black Mrs. Pat. Well, Sir, and is there nothing due eyes monstrously. to me for my attention to you? What do you

Mrs. Pat. Never to ask the price of the lode think made me take you from your poor relations, ings !-1 declare I can't tell what to make of his and place you in my own family?

(Est Tim. I'm sure I can't tell, mistress; you must

Tim. I'cod you'll make a pretty penny of him know best.

before you have done with him, I warrant. (Esit. Mrs. Pat. Haven't I put money in your pocket, and made a gentleman of you ?-have not I'taught SCENE III.A Room in Mrs. PattyFAN'S

House. you breeding? Tim. Wery true.

Mrs. PartyPan discovered. Mrs. Pat. Have not I at length resolved to make you master of my shop, my fortune, and Mrs. Pat. Bless me, what a litter this room ts myself?

in !—I shall be ashamed for the young lady to see it

[ocr errors]

Enter Nancy.

FRANK.) Nothing so pleasant as to be perfectly

at one's ease-ihat 's my opinion. Nancy. Ma'am, here is one of the oddest old

Mon. So I perceive, Sir! gentlemen below; all we can get out of him is, that these are his son's lodgings, and he will come

Re-enter FRANK. up stairs.

Mrs. Pat. His son's lodgings !
Nancy. There is a young lady with him, to tea, Sir?

Whim. I expect my son presently-You'll stay

[Pulls off his boots. Ma'am.

Mon. Ha, ha, ha! I believe I shall, Sir... Mrs. Pat. Oh! the sister of my new lodger, [Aside.] A most impudent old fellow this seems andnubtedly-show them up immediately.

to be. Nancy. They are showing themselves up,

Whim. (Aside.) Believe I shall-he might as Ma'am—here they are.

(Erit. well have said, thank ye.

Frank. [Aside.) A curious acquaintance my Enter Wumsey and CHARLOTTE.

master seems to have picked up- [Erit. Whim. Ma'am, your most obedient-I find my guilty of any rudeness to you—but I apprebend

Mon. Sir, I should be exceedingly sorry to be son has taken lodgings here- presume you are Mrs. Pattypan.

you are not apprized who has taken these lodg

ings. Mrs. Pat. At your service, Sir. Whim. Then we are all right—and so you are

Whim. Oh, yes, I am, Sir.

Mon. In short, I expect my sister from the welcome to your brother's lodgings, CharlotteMrs. Pat. That you are, Madam, I'll be sworn of a third person might not be quite agreeable to

country every moment; and perhaps the presence -Your brother seemed very anxious for your ar

her. rival, he will be home soon.

Whim. Oh, as to that, I expect my daughter Enter SIMON, with a portmanteau.

every moment too, and we may all drink tea to

gether. (Tea brought in by NANCY.] Do tell my Whim. There, sirrah, put the portmanteau in daughter to make haste. [Aside to NANCY.) the corner-one should always have an eye to There can be no harm to invite him, as he is a one's property. (To Mrs. P.) Well, Mrs. Patty- friend of Jack's.—May I ask your name, Sir ? pan, what do you think of my son-how d’ye like

[Exit Nancy. him for a lodger?

Mon. Monford, Sir.
Mrs. Pat. Indeed, Sir, he seems to be a mighty who wants to run away with Charlotte !

Whim. (Aside.) Monford !—the very fellow civil, agreeable, young gentleman-quite the reverse of my late lodger-a dissipated good-fornothing—but give me leave to show you the

Enter FRANK. apartinents, Ma'am. Whim. Mrs. Patty pan, let us have tea as soon

Frank. (Aside to Monford.) Miss Whimsey as you can—I am rather fatigued with my jour- is now in the house, Sir. ney, (Ereunt Mrs. P. and CHARLOTTE ; Wum. Von. In the house! Here, Frank, kick this solus.] l'faith, I like Jack's lodgings mightily- damned portmanteau down stairs. (FRANK offers here are all the pictures I gave him, and the li- to take it

, but Whimsey prevents him.) You brary of books—he has taken great care of them, I must really pardon me, Sir-any other time I I see-all look as good as new; and not a volume shall be glad to see you. displaced-he is a careful reader, I dare say-I

[Attempting to force WHIMSEY out. shall fancy myself quite at home among my old

Whim. Zounds, Sir! what d'ye mean by that? acquaintance. (Looking round.) But who have we here?

Enter CHARLOTTE ; MONFORD catches her in

his arms. Enter MONFORD, speaking as he enters.

Hon. My Charlotte ! am I indeed so blest as Mon. Let me know the moment the lady comes. to hold you in my arms again! [To Whimsey.)

Whim. (Aside.) Some friend of my son's, I Give me leave, Sir, to introduce you to my sister. suppose. (To him.] Sir, your most obedient- Char. (Aside.) Good Heavens! what an advery pretty apartments, Sir.

venture! Mon. Yes, Sir-I don't dislike them.

Whim. A fine girl, Mr. Monford—Pray are Whim. I beg, Sir, you will be seated.

you both by the same father ? Mon. Sir, 1, 1-[Aside ) I see you don't wait

Mon. Sir! for the same invitation.

Whim. I am sure, till this moment, I did not Whim. What d'ye think of those pictures, Sir ? know I could boast of such a hopeful offspring as --they are reckoneil pretty good.

you.

[Exit FRANK. Mon. They seem to be very fine, indeed, Sir. Char. Hear me, my dear father. Whim. Very glad you like 'em-I bought 'em

Mon. (Aside.) His daughter! a curse on my -- Indeed I partly furnished this room.

unlucky stars !

(Rings the bell. Whim. Don't be disappointed, young manMon. Furnished the room!-(Åside. some up- you have had a devilish lucky escape in missing holsterer, egad!

my daughter, I assure you—for not a shilling

would I have given her, had she thrown herself Enter FRANK,

Mon. [Aside.] What the devil shall I say? Whim. Let me have a pair of slippers, my lad, Whim. I suppose you are muttering curses directly—I long to be out of my boots. (Exit against the old fellow, because he wort suffer you

on you.

fore me.

lo hum him-come, use no ceremony- let me hear, Mrs. Pat. I hope, Sir, you like the lodgings, ana what I am

don't think them dear at three guineas a werk. Mon. (Aside.] I have it-You are, Sir, indeed Mon. Certainly not. a friend. Whim. For depriving you of your wife-that

Enter WUMSEY. is indeed the part of a modern friend.

Mon I thank you for your candour -you Mrs. Pat. Ay; I knew we should agree, Sir, have discovered to me my mistake.

ha, ha, ha! Whim. You expected then that the old codger would have whimpered a little, joined your hands, (Aside.) Monford, I perceive you have begun the

Whim. Egad, he has put the question to ber. and have given you half his fortune, for making attack. a fool of him? Mon. I own it-but I see I was in an error. terrupt me in my victory.

Mon. And have conquered too-only don't inMiss Charlotte, I thought you were a woman of for

Whim. Not I-you may say what you will be tune-your father has convinced me that you will no longer be such, if you marry me;

I should therefore be guilty' of the greatest injustice in fore you. Pray now, Sir, leave us to ourselves.

Mon. Ay; but the lady wont care to speak bewishing to sacrifice your happiness to the grati

Mrs. Pat. (To Whim) Your servant, Sir; we fication of my passion.

had come to terms before you came in. Char. Sir-you-you are perfectly in the right

Whim. Oh, you had ! -I feel the delicacy of your conduct--and-you

Mrs. Pat. Yes; we were proceeding to settle may be sure l approve it.

[Erit.

every thing. Whim. Give me your hand, Monford -Egad, vi him. Then I am sure I wont interrupt you; I begin to think you are a devilish sensible fellow. and so good by.-[Aside.) I'll take the liberty of

Mon. Between you and I, Mr. Whimsey, it listening to their conversation, however-nothing wont do for younger brothers, like me, to fall in

but the evidence of my own ears can remove my love.

suspicions.

(Esim. Whim. Certainly not. It may well be called Mion. Don't mind my father, Mrs. Pattypan; falling in love. 'Tis in truth a false step, and many old folks have their peculiarities. a man, who has once met with the accident, has

Mrs. Pat. True, Sir-I dare say it will te the found the ill effects of it ever afterwards.

same with you and I, when we grow old.-[Enter Mon. Right, Sir; suppose now you were to recommend me to a wife-a rich widow, for in-however, to return to business right reckoning

WHMSEY, and retires to the back scene) But, stance.

makes long friends, as I used to tell my first hus Whim. Eh! why, what say you to the lady of

bandthis mansion, Mrs. Pattypan ? My son Jack tells

Mon. Ay, I dare say we shall be very happy me, in his letters, she is worth a round sum.

together. Mon. A good thought, Sir; with your permis

Whim. (Aside.) Happy together! sion. I'll step to Miss Whimsey, and tell her my

Mrs. Pat. I presume, Sir, you generally dine resolution of courting the old lady directly.

out. Whim. Don't trouble yourself I'll step to Miss

Mon. Constantly. Whimsey myself; and return immediately, to have a little more talk with you on the subject. Od’so! not to dine at home, during the honey-moon af

Whim. (Aside.] Zounds, that's odd enough but while I am looking after my daughter, I may least. lose my portmanteau.

[ocr errors]

Mrs. Pat. And you keep good hours, I hope, [Erit Wuim. who drags off his portmanteau. Sir. Enter FRANK

Mon. Oh, yes, you'll always find me in bed by

twelve o'clock. Frank. So, Sir, you are in a fine hobble here;

Whim. (Aside.] That's a material article. this old man is the father of your mistress.

Mon. I think you have no family, Mrs. Pat Mon. Even so, Frank-luckily a thought oc

typan ?

"Mrs. Pal. No, Sir, I never had any yet-bat curred to me, which I flatter myself has put him off his guard—I have pretended to give up his

as I think of altering my situation, it may bacpen

thatdaughter, and pay my addresses to the old pastry

Mon. I understand you—but that will enake na cook below stairs.

sort of difference to me. Frank. Lord, Sir, this scheme is too absurd to

Mrs. Pat. Indeed ! I am very happy to hear it pass on any man, however credulous he may be.

Mon. To be sure—but if I can make him believe --for you know, Sir, some gentlemen have an ob this absurdity but for a few hours, all may yet be jection to children. well-I think I can easily find means to convey in all this it will be a match, I see that-[Com

Whim. (Aside.) Egad, there can be no deut my dear girl out of the reach of her father's powering forward. Aloud.) I wish you both jos with this evening. Go instantly, Frank, and order a

all my soul--don't be confused, Mrs. Paitvanchaise to be at the corner of the street exactly at

you know this is'nt the first bargain of the sort twelve o'clock.

[Exit FRANK.

you have struck. Enter Mrs. PATTYPAN,

Mrs. Pat. Oh dear, no, Sir; nor I hope it will

not be the last. Mrs. Pat. Sir, your most obedient humble Whim. (Aside.) D-d good encouragement

I did not understand that you expected for a man to venture on her! I suppose, she er. your father in town.

pects to bury two or three husbands yet. Mon. Nor I neither, Madam. [ Aside.) So I Mon. [Aside to Wum.) Well, Sir what do must pass for the old fellow's son, I find.

you say to all this?

servant.

« AnteriorContinuar »