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Free. Ha, ha, ha!
you-a debauched, drunken, hectoring, lewd, gaJer. Well said, mother! use all suitors thus ming, spend-thrift. for my sake,
Jer. There's for you, bully-rock! Mrs Black. A senseless, impertinent, quib- Mrs Black. A worn-out rake at five-and-twenbling, scribbling, feeble, paralytic, conceited, ri- ty, both in body and estate : a cheating, lying, diculous, pretending, old bellweather!
cozening, impudent fortune-hunter! and would Jer. Hey! brave mother for calling names ! patch up your own broken income with the ruins
Afrs Black. Would you make a caudle-maker, of my jointure. a nurse of me? Can't you be bed-rid without a Jer. Av, and make havock of our estate perbed-fellow? Won't your swan-skins, furs, fan-sonal, and ot'all our gilt plate—I should soon be bels, and the scorched trencher, keep you warm picking up our silver-handled knives and forks, there? Would you make me your Scotch warn- spoons, mugs, and tankards, at most of the pawning pan, with a plague to you!
brokers' between the Hercules pillars and the Jer. Ay, you old fobus, and you would be my boatswain at Wapping. And you would be scourguardian, would you? to take care of my estate, ing among my trees, and making them play at that half of it should never come to me, by let- loggerheads, would you? ting leases at pepper-corn rents ?
Mrs Black. I would have you to know, you Mrs Black. If I would have married an old pitiful, paltry, lath-backed fellow, if I would have man, it is well known I might have married an married a young man, it is well known I might earl. Nay, what's more, a judge, and been co- have had any young heir in Norfolk; nay, the vered the winter nights with the lamb-skins, which hopefullest young man this day at the King's I prefer to the ermines of nobles. And do you Bench bar! 1, that am a relict, and executrix of think I would wrong my poor minor hcre, for known plentiful assets and parts, who understand you?
myself and the law; and would you have me unFree. Your minor is a chopping minor; Hea- der covert baron again? No, sir, no covert baTen bless him!
ron for me. Old. Your minor may be a major of horse or Free. Well; but, dear madamfoot for his bigness : and it seems you will have Mirs Black. Fie, fie! I neglect my business the cheating of your minor yourself.
with this foolish discourse of love !-Jerry, child, Mrs Black. Pray, sir, bear witness : cheat my let me see a list of the jury; I am sure my couminor! I'll bring my action of the case, for the sin Olivia must have some acquaintance among slander.
them: But where is she? Free. Nay, I would bear false witness for you Free. Will you not allow me one word, then? now, widow, since you have done me justice, and Mrs Black. No, no, sir ; have done, pray. thought me the fitter man !
OW. Ay, pray, sir, have done, and don't be Mirs Black. Fair and softly, sir ! 'tis my mi- troublesome; since you see the lady has no occaBor's case more than my own: and now I'must sion for you, though you are a younger brother. do him justice on you. And, first, you are, to Ha, ha, ha!
[Exeunt. my knowledge-for I am not unacquainted with
SCENE I.-A view of St James's Park.
Fide. Sir, have I liberty to speak to you?
Man. What would you say? You see this is How irksome is restraint to a mind naturally no place to talk in; don't trouble me now. averse to hypocrisy! Yet I, who used to give Fide. I shall not detain you long, sir; and you birth to my thoughts as freely as I conceived may bear to hear two or three words from me, them; I, who was wont to speak without reserve though you do hate me, as you have often said. to every body; am now endeavouring even to de- Man. I must confess I hate a natterer : why ceive myself. That ungrateful woman, in whom will you not learn to be a man, and scorn that I placed such unlimited confidence! into whose mean, that sneaking vice? keeping I had given my heart, my judgment, nay, Fide. Perhaps I am to blame, sir; but I do not my very senses! 'Sdeath! had a man treated come to offend you at present—I have something me ill, "resentment would at once have cancelled to tell you, if you will vouchsafe to listen to me. regard, and revenge have prevented vexation ; Who do you think I met on the other side of the but here, I am obliged to side with my enemy, park just now, sir? and increase the injuries she hath done me, by Man. Nay, how should I know? Prithee, kind loving her in spite of them,
impertinence, leave me. You are as hard to
shake off, as that obstinate, effeminate mischief, Man. It concerns more than my life-my holove. Fide. Love, sir !-did you name love?
Fide. Doubt me not, sir. Man. No, no! Prithee away! Begone ! Man. And do not discover it by too much fear had almost discovered my shame, my weakness; of discovering-Do ye mark ? – But, abore all which must draw on me the derision even of this things, take care, that Freeman find it not out. boy.
Fide. I warrant you, sir. Fide. There is something, sir, that makes you Man. Then, know, I love Olivia; doat on her: uneasy : am I not worthy to be acquainted with her ingratitude and disdain, like oil thrown into the cause ?
the flames, have made my passion burn the fierMan. What cause, child ? Nothing makes me uneasy; a little involuntary thoughtfulness, that's Fide. Oh, Heavens ! all. But you say you met somebody in the park Man. You say she met you just now, and wantjust now; who was it?
ed you to go hoine with her, in order to commuFide. Why, really, sir, on second thoughts, Inicate something: who knows what that might don't know how to mention her name to you; be ?—Perhaps she hath repented her behaviour but it was that creature, that wretch, that- this morning-Perhaps it was the result of pas
Man. That who? Who is it you are going to sion, of affectation, or was meant to try me: in speak of now, that you preface your discourse short, I can assign a thousand reasons for it
, bewith all this bitterness of invective?
sides that one of change in her affections; for, I Fide. Why, sir, that monster of ingratitude, am sure, once she loved me. Olivia!
Fide. Hang her, dissembling creature! Love Man, Olivia !
It was only for her interest, then. Fide. Yes, sir.
Man. Well, well, no matter; but, I tell you, Man. Well, and how?
I know better: I am sure once she did love me. Fide. Nay, not much, sir; only she called me Fide. Indeed, sir, she never cared for you. over to her as I was crossing the Mall, and would Man. Will you have done, sir ! feign have had me gone home to her house, where Fide Besides, sir, did she not tell you, she was she had sonicthing to communicate ; but, for my married? part, I could hardly bear to look at her, much Man. Well, well, but that might be artifice, less afford her an opportunity for conversation. - -'Sdeath, sir! will you listen to me, or go Pray, sir, don't you think she has a most forbid- | about your business, and never let me see you ding countenance ?
more? Man. I cannot say I ever observed it.
Fide. I beg pardon, sir. Fide. Then her shape is by no means one of Man. I say you shall go to her house, and hear the best.
what this business is. Man. Indeed !
Fide. I go to her house, sir? I would sooner Fide. But I hope, sir, your eyes are now as open to her deformities, as they must be to her Man. No hesitating, sir! I say you must: she perfidiousness; and that you will never think of lives but in the next street. her any more.- -But why do I mention that?- Fide. Indeed, sir, I cannot go there. You never can think of her without bringing your Man. No, sir ! good sense, nay, your reputation, in question : for Fide. Besides, sir, consider : you scorned her after such unworthy, such infamous usage- this morning.
Man. Confusion! Who told yon, sir, she had Man. I know not what I did this morning : I used me ill ?
dissembled this morning. -What! are you not Fide. Why, sir, was not I witness?
Man. 'Sdeath, sirrah, if ever I hear you mut- Fide. Well, sir, now I think on it, I will go : ter such a word again, I'll shake you into atoms! for, perhaps, this is a sting of conscience; and How am I exposed and rendered contemptible? | she hath a mind to make some recompense for It is enough, that I think I have nothing to com- her ill usage of you, by returning your money plain of. I am perfectly well satisfied with her and jewels: methinks í feign would have them conduct. Do you mark perfectly well satis- out of her hands. fied.
Man. Stay, sir; if she drops the least hint of Fide. Very well, sir, I have done.
any such thing, I charge you, come away immeMan. Oh, the curse of being conscious of a diately, and do not stay even to give her an anweakness one is ashamed to divulge! Hold, sir ! Come hither. Have you resolution enough to en- Fide. Well, but, dear sir, only let me speak dure the torture of a secret; for such to some is one word insupportable.
Man. I will not hear a syllable : you will find Fide. I would keep it as safe as if your dear me in Westminster-ball : begone! precious life depended upon it.
SCENE II.-Westminster-hall-A crowd of peo- Mrs Black. Have you the Lawyer's Maga
ple, serjeants, counsellors, and attorneys, walk-zine ? ing busily about.
Book. We have no law books at all, madam.
Mrs Black. No! you are a pretty bookseller! Enter Mrs BLACKACRE in the middle of half a
Old. Come hither, young man—Has your masdozen laayers, JERRY following, with a green
ter got any of my last pamphlet left? bag.
Book. Yes, sir, we have got ugh of them; Mrs Black. Offer me a reference, you saucy we never had above two or three called for, behlockbead! Do you know who you speak to? sides what you took away yourself. Are you a solicitor in chancery, and offer a refer- Old. May be so, may be so; the thing is not ence? Yr Serjeant Plodden, here is a fellow has sufficiently known yet. Well, let me see a couple. the impudence to offer ine a reference !
(Gets them.] It is entitled, madam, “ A Letter Plod. Who is that has the impudence to offer to a certain great Man on the present Posture of a reference within these walls ?
Affairs;" and if you will please to accept of one Mrs Black. Nay, for a splitter of causes to do ex dono auctorisit!
Jer. Hoh, hoh, hoh! (Laughing at a pamphlet Plod. No, madam; to a lady, learned in the law behind.] as you are, the offer of a reference were to im- Mrs Black. Jerry, what have you got there? pose u pon you.
Jer. Why--nothingMrs Black. No, never fear me for a refer-, Mrs Black. Nothing! Let me look at that ence, Mr Serjeant-But come, have not you for- | book-Rochester's Jests! A very pretty study, got your brief? Are you sure you shall not make truly. Give him the Young Clerk's Guide. the mistake of Hark you
Ond. No, no; give the young gentleman my
Treatise upon Military Discipline. Enter Major OldFox and Bookseller.
Mrs Black. Away with such trash! Do you Come, Mr Splitcause, pray go see, when want to send him to the devil headlong? I should my cause in chancery comes on; and go speak have him teazing me, to-morrow or next day, to with Mr Quillet in the King's Bench, and Mr buy bim an ensign's commission. I would as lief Quirk in the Commop Pleas, and see how mat- he should read a play! ters go there,
Jer. Well, and what if I did! There's very Old. Madam, I have the pleasure to bid you good discourse to be got out of plays, for all you. good-morrow once again; and may all
Mrs Black. Sirrah, sirrah! Don't let me hear go as prosperously as if I myself was to be the such a word out of your mouth. What has spoiljudge of them!
ed most of the attornies' clerks in London, but Mrs Black. Sir, excuse me, I am busy, and turning critics, and running every night to the cannot answer compliments in Westminster-hall
. playhouses at half price? and do you want to folGo, Mr Splitcause, and come to me again at the low their example ?:-Stay, Jerry—Is not that Mr bookseller's.
What d'ye call him goes yonder, he that offered Old. No, sir, come to the lady at the other to sell me a suit in chancery for five hundred bookseller's. If you please, niadam, I'll attend pounds, for an hundred down, and only paying you thither.
the clerk's fees? Mrs Black. And why to the other bookseller's, Jer. Yes, that's he. major?
Mrs Black. It is the cheapest thing I ever Ol. Because, madam, he is my bookseller. heard of-Stay here, and have a care of the bags,
Mrs Black. To sell you lozenges for your while I go and talk with him. Have a care of the cough, or salve for your corns ? What else can bags, I say
(Erit, a major deal with a bookseller for?
Jer. Have a care of the fiddle's end, I say: old. Madam, he publishes for me.
Gad, I am sure I lead a dog's life with you. Mrs Black. Publishes ! ob, that is true, I forgot-you are an author,
Enter FREEMAN. Old. Now and then, madam, now and thenthe good of one's country, you know.
Free. So, here's a limb of my widow, that used Mrs Black. And pray, major, wbat are your to be inseparable from her : she can't be farbooks upon ?
How now, major! Old. Deign you, madam, to peruse one of Old. What do you mean by that, sir! Who them! There is a thing of mine lately come out; are you, sir? What are you, sir? and I'll assure you, a certain great person, whom Free. Nay, my dear Don Choleric, don't snap I presented it to, was pleased to pay me a compliment in the Court of Requests.
Old. Sir, you are a very impertinent fellow, Book. Do you want any thing, madam? We sir !- And, sir—'squire, where's your mother? have all the plays, magazines, and new pam
Jer. Oh, what, you were so intent upon reading phlets
your works, you let her give you the slip, did you?
my nose off.
Well, yonder she is, talking to that weazle-faced Jer. Oh, Lord, Sir! two guineas ! Do you lend man in the big wig-hobble after her.
me this? Is there no trick in it? Well, sir, I'll Old. An unmannerly, insignificant, ignorant- give you my bond for security. I shall take notice of you, Mr Sea-Lieutenant, I Free. No, no, you have given me your face shall take notice of you !
[Erit. for security; any one would swear you do not Jer. Look you, master, I'll tell you what it is look like a cheat: and come to me whenever you --I'll buy that book of choice sayings from you, will, and you shall have what inoney you please if so be you'll take half a crown for it, and stay of me. till lawyer Splitcause comes to lend me the mo- Jer. By my soul he's a curious fine gentleman! ney to pay you.
but, may I depend upon you? Will you stand Free. Lend you! Here, I'll pay him-I am by me sorry, squire, a man of your estate should want Free. Here's
Jer, That's enough. Never stir, but the next Jer. Why, I am not at age yet, you must un- cross word my mother gives me, but I'll leave derstand.
her directly, and come off to you- But now I Free. At age! You are at age already, man, have got money, I'll go pay the man at the gate to have spent a fortune : there are younger than two shillings I owe him, for I believe the poor you, who, to my knowledge, have kept their girls soul wants it; and his wife has been two or three these three years; ruined half a dozen trades- times at chambers to dun me.
[Erit. men, and lost as many thousand pounds at play: Enter Manly, Mrs Blackacre, and Major But what is the reason, 'squire, that you will not
OLDFOX. give your consent to my marrying your mother? Jer. Why you would not be such a fool, would Man. Confound your cause! Can't you lose
it without me? which you are like enough to do, Free. Why I would not be a fool, if I could if it be, as you say, an honest one: I'll suffer help it: but has not she a good jointure? for it no longer,
Jer. A good jointure! If she has, she knows Mrs Black. Nay, but, captain, you are my what to do with it: she will let no body have a chief witness—And Mr Splitcause tells me we finger in the pie but herself, I can tell you that. are pricked down for the next hearing. Lord! Come a little this way-Why, you would not methinks you should take pleasure in walking believe what an old plague my mother is; she'll here, as half you see now do: for they have no never allow me sixpence in my pocket; so that I business here, I assure you. am ashamed to go into company, because I have Man. Yes, but I assure you, then, their businot wherewithal to call for a glass of wine, and ness is to persecute me- - Sdeath! I can't turn do as the rest do. And, for a wench !-I was but one puppy or other has me by the sleeve, but making a little fun with our laundress's with impertinent inquiries or fulsome complidaughter upon the staircase, the other night, and ments : I have been acting the sign of the salushe threatened to send the poor girl to Bridewell. tation this half hour, with a bowed body and my Free. Sure !
hat off, to one of your law serjeants yonder; Jer. Upon my word she did! Oh, you don't while he was loading me with professions of serknow what a woman she is.
vice and friendship, though, in all probability, he Free. Well, but 'squire, methinks this might cared not if I was at the devil; and I was wisheasily be remedied: if I was you, I would go to ing him hanged out of my way. law with her.
Mrs Black. Well, well, sir, compose yourself Jer. Law! Lord help your head! Why she is a little, and every thing shall be made agreeable. as big a lawyer as any in our inn; and would not Jerry, why, Jerry !-Mercy on me, major, did not desire better sport—Besides, I would not care to you leave my son here? do that, for fear she should marry out of spite, Old. Yes, madam, but perhaps the young genand cut down my trees. I should hate to see my tleman is stepped aside. father's wife kissed and slopped by another man Mrs Black. Jerry Blackacre ! --and our trees are the purest, nice, shady, even Free: Your son will be here in a minute, matwigs !
dam; he's only just gone out of the ball about a Free. Come, 'squire, let your mother and your little business. trees fall, as she plcases, rather than go of this Mrs Black. Out of the hall ! Gads my life! fashion all your life-But you shall be able to Out of the hall ! deal with her the right way.
Free. Don't make yourself uneasy, madam; Jer. Nay, if I had any friend to stand by me, I'll answer for it he'll come to no mischief. I would shew her a trick worth two of it, I can Mrs Black. Sir, I don't direct my discourse to tell you that.
you— But I'll so rate this careless jackanapes Free. Suppose I was to be your friend! Look Come along, major, and help me to look for you, 'squire, I don't use to profess much ; how him. ever, there's a trifle for your present occasions.
[Exeunt all but Manly and FREEMAN,
Free. Well, sir, how have you past your time, Man. And pray, sir, what was it you said of since you came here? You have had a great deal the lady? of patience, sure.
Nov. Nothing, nothing !--some story that I heard Man. Patience, indeed! for I have drawn but about her cuckolding her husband; that was all. one quarrel and two law-suits upon me.
Mun. I hope she may trounce you severely; Free. The devil! How could you quarrel here? nay, and I hope what you said of her was true; Man. How could I refrain?
–But let's get off, that you may be made the more glaring example. for I see another quarrel coming upon me.
Nov. Well, but my dear creature ! how can Free. What do you mean?
you be so inhuman to any person, that never did Man. Ask no questions, but walk this way.
you any injury?
Man. Because I would have such mischievous Enter Novel.
triflers as you are punished for your tattling and
effeminacy: I would have you taught the differNoo. Hey! captain ! captain Manly! ence between satire and defamation; and learn Man. What now?
some other topic for your nonsensical conversaNor. I beg pardon; but I thought it was you. tions, besides the character and conduct of the Have you been in the house hearing the debates ? absent: you male members of the tea-table, who What are they upon to-day?
are, if possible, worse enemies to women, than Alan. Considering what passed between you they are to one another. and me at our last interview, sir, I cannot help Nov. Well upon my honour, this is pleasant! being a little astonished at the familiarity of this especially from you, who are remarkable for Xsalutation,
busing all the world. Nov. Pho, pho! a mere trifle. Don't men- Man. Do you hear him, Freeman? Plaintion it-It has been a very fine morning, sir. dealing may well be in disrepute, when 'tis con
Free. Yes, sir, the weather has been tolerable. founded with impudence and scandal : but if I Not. It was very cold yesterday.
stay here any longer, I find I shall be tempted to Free. I believe it might, sir.
beat him. Nor. Captain, what do you think brings me to Free. Nay, prithee don't leave us: Westminster-ball ?
Mun. Yes, yes, I must; I shall bring myself Man. Why, I suppose somebody has thrashed into another scrape else : besides, I see a person you lately for being impertinent, and you are just now come into the hall, that looks for mecome to take the law of them..
Stand out of the way.
[Erit. Nor. No, that's not it. But I suppose you
Nov. This is a sad brutish fellow, sir; I wonhave heard
der you will keep him company; Man, Heard what?
Free. Why, faith, sir, I don't know how it is; Nov. Why, that I am to be played the devil I think I am bewitched to him, for my part-and with; costs and daniages, and the Lord knows yet, hang him! he has some good qualities, too, what.
when one comes to be thoroughly acquainted Man. No, really, I have heard nothing about with him. the matter; but what is it? though I am sure you Nov. Ay, sir ! Pray, what may they be, for I are in the wrong before you tell me.
never could find them out? Nov. Why, you must know, sir-Ha, ha, ha! Free. Why, I think 'tis generally agreed, sir, l'pon my soul it is so ridiculous a circumstance, that he has a tolerable good understanding. that I can hardly think of it without laughing.-- Noo. Why, really, I have heard people say You must know, sir, I was some time ago at the so; and vet, to me, he has always appeared the house of a considerable merchant in the city, stupidest animal breathing. where a certain lady's name was brought up; and, Free. Then as to courage.--It must be allowin the course of the conversation, I happened to ed he is brave. mention some things which I had heard, and Nov. He is quarrelsome, if you please; but which all the world believe to be fact, egad! his bravery, I fancy, will admit of some dispute. However, as you may guess, I did not imagine You have heard, no doubt, of his late affair with the discourse would have gone any further.
the French? Free. But I suppose the lady had a friend in Free. Ay, sir; what of that? company, sir.
Nov. Why, I should not care to have my name Nov. Oh, sir! I know how the matter came mentioned as the author of such a thing; but I about now—Yes, yes, the woman of the house assure you there are some very odd reports fly Was her sister-in-law, which I never dreamt of: about ; and this, I believe, you may depend the intolerable Jezebel went and told her every upon, that he will be brought to a court-martial thing that passed : an attorney came the next for his behaviour on that occasion. morning to serve me with a copy of a writ; and Free. I am glad to hear this, sir, with all my now they have brought me here to make me prove heart; for, you must know, I happened to be a my words, as they call it.
partner in the action you mention.