The Sham-Lawyer OR THE LUCKY EXTRAVAGANT.
As it was Damnably ACTED at the
Printed for Abel Roper, at the Black Boy over against St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleet-street, 1697.
PUBLISHED FOR Abel Roper
1.1. Dramatis Personae.
- Careless, A Witty, Extravagant Gentleman, that by his Negligence has almost ruin'd his Estate. Mr. Cibber.
- Friendly, A Gentleman of Wit and Honour, but careful of his Affairs, Friend to Careless, and in Love with Florella. Mr. Harland.
- Serj. Wrangle, An Old, Rich, Knavish, Covetous, Jealous Lawyer. Mr. Bullock.
- Homily, A Formal, Affected, Hypocritical, Sottish, Ignorant, Old-fashion'd Curate, of the Lawyer's Parish. Mr. Johnson.
- Spade, A Merry, Drunken, Beggarly Knave, Sexton, and Pot-Companion to Homily. Mr. Hains.
- Famine, A Pleasant, Hungry, Half-starv'd Fellow, Servant to the Serjeant, and Pimp to Friendly. Mr. Pinkeman.
- Affidavit, A Tricking, Raskally Solicitor, and Creature of the Serjeant's.
- Swearhome, Clenchit , Two Knights of the Post, Instruments of the Serjeant, and Affidavit.
- Olympia, A Young Widow of Quality, a Woman of great Honour and Fortune. Mrs. Knight.
- Florella, A Woman of Wit, Beauty, and Honour, Wife to Wrangle, quondam Mistress to Friendly, and yet in Love with him. Mrs. Rogers.
- Mrs. Vernish, A Match-making Bawd. Mrs. Powel.
1.2.1. ACT I. SCENE I.
PRithee dear Careless consider a little, and try to manage the last Stake, I'm no great Friend to plodding business, but thy Extravagance makes me Grave: I'm asham'd to see thee thus varying thy outside continually like a Camelion, a few days will reduce thee to the same Diet too.
Yes, yes, i'm like to edifie by such a Preacher, whose life's a continu'd contradiction to his Doctrine, now art thou 'tis ten to one going to a Whore and a Treat, and recommend'st thrift to me, only to give the better relish to thy own iniquity, like a Pamper'd Chaplain's preaching Abstinence, and surfeiting all the time on the Luxury of his Lords's Table.
A wise Gamster need not absolutely forswear Play; but I'm mad to see you a Bubble to your own Indiscretion; and in a world so full of Sharpers thinking you play upon the Square.
Hang Caution, 'tis the Companion of Fools; I tell thee Friendly, that among all the numerous Follies of Mankind, there's none so ridiculous, and so destructive to our ease as that which they call Discretion, 'tis a Bridle put into the mouths of Asses, by which they are ridden, and manag'd to other Mens Humours; I defie it, and from hence forward Wit be my Wealth, and Pleasure my Business.
Pleasure and Wit are Mistresses that must be treated high, a Poor Lover can no more hope a Favour from either, than from a Town-Jilt, or a Courtier; 'tis never Flood with them, when the Pocket is at low Ebb. If you wou'd preserve their Favour, keep your Estate, when that's gone you'l find they'l soon desert you.
Does true Wealth then consist only in the number of Acres? No let the dull Landed Clods manure the Dirt they sprang from, and when they've worn themselves out in the Slavery, fatten it with a Dung-hill of their own Carcases; I cultivate a more fruitful Soil; my Brains my Estate; my Wit my Plow; Pleasure my Crop; the whole Town my Tenants; the Tavern my Store-house; every Man's Purse my Exchequer; thine or any Friends Wardrobe mine; and your Houses (when I please) my Lodging. Thus I've given a Particular of my Revenue, acquir'd without Purchase; enjoy'd without Settlement; and collected without trouble; My Friends are all my Stewards; for what one brave Spirit enjoys is common to all; Nature and great Souls know no limits; they scorn the mean distinctions of Meum & Tuum.
You've spent your Estate to a fine Purpose, and are in a fair way to make a Philosopher, a Diogenes the second; pray reserve a Tub for a habitation, that you may secure some retreat at last. It vexes me to see you so easie and ca eless, as to hug those that devour you: No raw Squire was ever fonder of the Rooks that made a Cully of him; or thought 'em civiller Gentlemen for supplying him with Money to cheat him of it again.
Faith! He that has any such designs against me may cheat himself; me he can't. When I had my Estate I was plagu'd with a Nursery of Beggars, call'd Footmen; kept Hospitals for Curs and Kites; and Muster'd Regiments of Fools and Knaves every day at my Table; that surfeited on my Folly, and paid with a Country Proverb, God bless the Founder.
That was your Fault, and is so still; must you needs sacrifice to Knaves, or Fools? Cou'd you not avoid the Caterpillars of the Country, that only devour'd the Fruit, but you must harbour worse Vermine here, that will consume the Land, and prey at last, like Lice upon your Body?
'Tis Nature's fault (if it be one) that made me a Lover of Mirth and Pleasure, not Business. I find my self a Sociable Creature with natural Appetites about me; those I gratifie; a Prince can do no more; then why shou'd I by an unnecessary solicitude disturb the quiet enjoyment of 'em.
This you might have secur'd the continuance of by a timely Providence; not suffer'd all to be shar'd thus, like a wreck'd Vessel, by Villains that wou'd knock your Brains out to secure their own titles to the Prize.
What different notions Men have of things! What you call Extravagance was the height of Policy in me. I examin'd all my Nature's demands, and found I had no occasion for 3000l. a year, why then should I be encumber'd with it? A Snail's happier in's Shell, than if he had all Versailles upon his Back. I resolv'd therefore to turn the Tables, and make other Men my Proveditors, as I had been theirs.
Nobly resolv'd truly; but you're a little beside your Natural Philosophy; for your Beasts of P ey never make good Venison, you'l ne're be able to make a Meal of 'em. Besides you've taught 'em wit at your own cost.
Hang 'em Locusts (do you think I mean my Creditors?) If the World were an absolute Wilderness, I wou'd starve e're I wou'd prey upon such Insects. No, I mean those Gentlemen, my Friends, that have been as free with me, and are sensible of their Obligations.
Friends, that are sensible of Obligations! where do those Monsters grow? Has all thy Wit, and thy dear bought Experience taught thee to know [Page 3] the World no better? Don't you know that Friends are a sort of SummerCompanions, that leave you at the first approach of Winter, and that to oblige a Man, is a sure way to make him shun you, when your necessities begin to call for a return?
There he is, let's lay it home to him.
I'le warrant you, a Papermill shall be silence to me.
Sir, an't like your Worship, here be some of your poor Tenants—
'Tis a Lye, and does n't like my Worship, you're no Tenants of mine. Wou'd Yee have an abatement of your Rent for Repairs, or Taxes? March into the City, there are those that love to be troubled with you.
We beseech you, Sir, don't be undone for your own Good.
Sirrah, whistle to your Horses, and let them edifie, and trouble your empty Noddle no more with my Good.
We beseech you, Sir, consider our hard case, We shall be turn'd out of Doors; pity us, as we do you: Say what we must do.
Sow Hemp, and hang your selves with it, Rascals; or go, and fawn upon your new Landlord, flatter his sordid Covetousness, call it thrift, and rail at my Prodigality, and witness his Forgeries. You look like thriving Knaves, he'l find you Employment as Knights of the Post; and that may prefer you to the Pillory; those superfluous Lugs of yours well prun'd may yeild you as great a Crop, and bring you as much Dirt (since you're so fond of it) as my Farms. Or, if you'd rather, take a Purse, and let the Gallows provide for you the shortest way; your Countenances will become a Halter, and a Psalm. There's advice for you: No Replies, but vanish. Am I so low as your pity, Slaves?
Good Sir, have Compassion on Us for our Wives, and poor Children's sakes.
Who bid you get 'em? Ha'n't you Threshing Work enough, but Children must be bang'd out of the Sheaf too? Our Beau's, with all their Strengtheners get nothing but Diseases; But these Rogues, Friendly, upon a Clove of Garlick, a piece of hard Cheese that wou'd starve the Rats, and break a Saw, and a little sowre Milk, can mount like Stallions; and expect I shou'd maintain these Tumblers.
Whatever thou hast for the Children, thou dost n't use to want Compassion for the Women; pray take 'em into Consideration.
D'yee hear Fellows, your Wives I think may be wholesome, send 'em to me, and I'l teach 'em Trades they shall live by; as for the Brats, let the Parish, that club'd to beget 'em, join to maintain 'em.
Sir, your Father's Worship wou'd ha'us'd us better?
My Father's Worship was an Ass for using you at all, else he had ne'r left me the Plague of such an Estate, which I have parted with to get rid of you.
Nay, an' you abuse us thus, you must bear with us, if we tell You your own. Pray, what maintain'd your Whores, and supplied your riotous Extravagance? Who found you Money for the Gaming-Ordinaries, and paid your Tavern, Taylor's and Surgeon's Bills? Our Labour sure. For without it, all you Father's Estate wou'd have afforded you no better Fare, than your Horse has.
Your Father, rest his Soul, kept a noble House, and bid his Friends and Neighbours welcome to good Meat and Drink; kept good Horses, Hounds and Hawks; and cou'd hunt a whole Summer's morning in his own Grounds; and all this he thought himself beholding to our honest Industry for, that brought him in good Rents.
Dogs, do you remonstrate, you sawcy Puppies? You that were necessary to his Estate indeed, but like the Dung, that lay upon it, a necessary Nusance that made it rich and nasty; that were company only for his Dogs, and liv'd like 'em upon the Reversions of his Table.
Those Dogs liv'd better, and at more liberty, than you'l do in a little Time; in the Kings-Bench you'l think that Dung-Civet, and wish for those dirty Acres to take the Air in, and these Dogs to wait upon you.
Rascals, Villains, I'l teach you Manners.
Begone, honest Friends, you've heated him, and the next time let your Zeal be more respectful.
Yes, we'l go, but it shall be like Rams to return with greater force; We'l teize him into Reason.
Is your Mortgage past Redemption, Careless?
Faith, I think not, but 'tis as bad, for I've neither Money nor Inclination to redeem it.
I've both, and you shall n't part with't so: Shall that Rogue insult us both, get my Mistress from me first, and then your Estate?
We may be bound to thank him for both, as we may manage matters, and make him keep a Mistress for you, and gather Rents for me.
That's my present aim, which I miss, if, tho' the Lawyer hold the Plow, the Crop ben't of my Sowing; thither I'm bound this minute.
'Tis a laudable Design; but why in this trim, Thou that usest to outbrave the Spring? A green Bag wou'd become thee better now, than a Billet-Doux; Love's Merchants shou'd all be gay Adventurers.
There's a Mystery in that, a little time will unriddle to you. But here comes the Pilot, that must conduct me into the wish'd Harbour.
Faith, I like thy Fancy, of making the Spirit Pimp for the Flesh, very well; these Spiritual Guides seldom miss the way to the Carnal Part; these Conscience-Brokers, these ScrupleMongers are the best Bellows to blow such Flames with; and this of 'em all the fittest Engine in Europe for your purpose: For he has as little Conscience as Learning, but 'tis as craving as his Stomach, and govern'd by't; a Treat, or a Bribe makes him your Creature.
Hard Times, Spade, very hard Times; we pray, and pray, but to little purpose; formerly, if a good warm Sermon wou'd n't kindle Men's Zeal, it wou'd their Fires, and Men of our Function were sure of two or three good Meals at least in a Week gratis; now, in spight of all we can say, their Kitchins are as cool as their Charities.
Nay, if you complain, Sir, what may we poor Sextons do, that live upon the bare Sound of Prayers? We rise, and ring the Bells, and get good Stomachs, and may eat the Ropes when we've done to satisfie 'em.
We us'd to earn now and then a comfortable Ten Shilings by [Page 5] Preaching an old Sermon, but our Benefic'd-Men are grown so provident, that they buy 'em ready Printed as cheap as we can, and preach 'em themselves. When had we a Christning, Spade?
Not this ten Weeks: they've gi'n o're getting Children: The Taxes, the Seas, and Usury undo us, take off their Edges, and blunt their Ploughshares. There are some poor Labourers, that perhaps once in seven years, by helping one another produce some few puny Butter-Prints, that seldom hold the Christning without shrinking in the wetting.
The young Mad-Caps carry their Diseases into Flanders, there the Pox, or the Enemy dispatches 'em, and there's the profit of their Burials lost.
Ay, and they're grown so hardhearted of late, that they won't die at home; and so cheat the King, and the Parson of their Duties. I've buried but one Man these three Months, and that was an Apothecary that pin'd for want of Business.
'Tis a healthy year, a lamentable healthy year, the Air's too wholsome. What a torment 'tis to have a slender Stipend, and an Immortal Parish.
You're allow'd to pray against all Weathers foul, or fair, as you see fit, Master; why not against all Airs too, good or bad?
'Tis n't i'th' Cannon, Man, I'd give my best Cassock, that it were.
'Tis strange! they're starv'd too, yet they won't die here, they won't Earth. A good Plague now, or half dozen new fantastical Fevers, that wou'd turn up their Heels by whole sale, and take the Doctors in their grave Consultations, that there might be no natural help for Money. How merrily my Bells won'd go then!
Hold there, Boy, Doctors and Apothecaries, are our Friends, let's spare them; For tho they're slow, they're certain. O! for Mr. Bolus, and Mr. Glister, the two great Apothecaries in our Neighbourhood again, they did but give 'em a shake, and they dropt like ripe Fruit from the stalk. Now we must either remove to some muddy air, or wait for a Contagious Season.
Oh! for the Hundreds of Essex here, Master, that Nursery of Agues, Agues that will shake Men's Souls out, and ne'r stay for Drugs, Possets, or Plaisters.
Gouts, Rheumatisms, and dead Palsies.—
I like that word Dead monstrously: But for those Gouts and Rheumatisms, they'l hang an Arse a scurvy while. The Pox, Small Pox, or Epidemical Surfeits are rich Marle, and make a Church-yard fat, and the Sexton merry.
N'er doubt you Levite, he's as true a Tumbler, as e're was play'd at a Coney; I'll warrant he fetches her.
Prithee leave me now, and anon you shall hear further from me.
Farewell, and if you want my assistance, send me your Instructions, and I'll pursue 'em with more Application than ever the Lawyer did a rich Client's Breviate; I'm a very able Councellor in a case of Cuckoldom.
Sir, your most humble Servant, is not your name Homily?
It is, Sir, your Will with me, I pray?
Are not you Curate of the Neighbouring Parish?
I am so, Some Funeral Sermon,
or some secret slip to be Baptiz'd, or some stoln Fortune to be privately married, and conceal'd, Fortune an' be thy will.
Sir, I've a little business with you at your good leisure.
I pray, Sir, be free, if it be matter of Privacy, this Man's my Sexton, and , be trusted.
Sir, O my business is partly with him too, and I am glad to meet you both so opportun ly.
Well, Sir, I partly guess your Business,—you wou'd be Married, I suppose,—and desire secrecy, this may be done,—and with security too,—' tis but antedating the Certificate.
There will be no occasion—
Excuse me, Sir, I say there will be occasion, give me leave to understand these matters,' tis part of my Trade. For without an antedated Certificate, how will you evade the Act of Parliament, which obliges to a discovery?
You say true, Sir, but my Business is of another nature.
Cry you mercy, Sir; Perhaps you've transgrest, and the fruit of it calls for our Assistance; nay, ne're blush for the matter, young Blood is warm, and the offence is veni l, the Lambs of God will play, 'tis best to sow our wild Oats in our Youth, we make the better Christians for't after. Here's my Sexton too, if you've occasion, shall for a small Sum oblige the Parish to take care of it.
Or if you wou'd quit your Hands of the Mother, for Forty Shillings, I'll bring one that shall Marry her, and so rid you at once of both, if she be yet undeliver'd.
I thank you both, Gentlemen, but you're wide of the matter still.
Have you lost any Relation, or Friend, and wou'd have a Funeral Sermon? I shall be very reasonable: For a Father 40s. shall suffice, a Mother, Brother, or Sister 30s. an Uncle, or Aunt 20s. and for a Friend, or more distant Relation 10s. Say your Price, and it shall be done accordingly.
Still you prevent me, Sir; but to be short, my Business is from an Old Friend of your's in New England.
A Friend in New England! Sir, I know no Body there: His Name pray, and Business?
That Letter there will inform you of both.
Have a care of a Trick, Master; He looks like a Sharper, I don't like him.
Ne'r fear, Cantabit Vacuus, all I've to lose is my Learning, and that he may put in a Nutshell.
SINCE my Settling in New EnglandI've sent several Letters to you to desire a Correspondence, and a continuance of our Ancient Friendship; But never receiving any Answer, I have doubted either your Death or Removal from London, or at least the miscarriage of all my Letters. For I cou'd not persuade my self that either length of Time, or distance of Place cou'd discard from the Memory or Affections a Friend so early, and so deeply rooted in 'em: I conjure you therefore by that strict and mutual intimacy contracted in our Youth, and so long continued (till that necessary to my Affairs, but cruel divorce forc'd me from you hither about twenty years since) to take care of this Young Man my Son, the Bearer, and see him plac'd [Page 7] under the Care and instruction of some able, experienc'd, and sober Lawyer; and in so doing you shall not only make amends for your past forgetfulness, but further oblige an acknowledging as well as
Your real and hearty Friend,TRADEWELL.
New England—Several Letters—Ancient Friendship—Tradewell—A very ancient Friend sure! For the Duce a Man of that Name can I remember in New or Old England!
You look, as if you had forgot my Father, Sir.
No, I look as if I wou'd remember; for I can't forget what I never knew.
I've heard my Father say, You were Students, and Chamber-fellows together in Oxford, till he Married.
'Tis impossible, Young Man, I'm a perfect Stranger to the Name, and have no more acquaintance in New England than in Catay.
Look sharp, Master, this Fellow wou'd banter us out of our Wits. D'ye hear Friend, have you no Letters for me?
No Letters, but I was charg'd by my Father to give his Love to honest Old Spade the merry Sexton, if you be he.
Hah! have I unknown Friends too? Hark ye, Young Man, what time o'th' Moon is't? Ha'ye been worm'd since ye came over? If I know your Father, or any of your Kin, hang me in my own Bell-Ropes.
Gentlemen, I thank you, I was told you were the Men; but it may be my Father's Friends are dead, and you of the same Names succeed 'em. You do honestly to undeceive me; For I had a Present of 60 Pistols to deliver to them, as a Token of my Father's Love, but since you are n't the Men.
Pray, Sir, have a little Patience, and let me think, pray stay a little, and let me remember, it vexes me to forget an Old Friend, an intimate Friend.
A kind Friend too, that sends so lovingly, Master.
We hard Students have very slippery Memories; but we must be the Persons: For he and I have been Curate and Sexton in this Parish these 35 Years. I must remember sure.
Pray remember, Master, such Friends are not to be forgotten.
Stay, methinks I have him now, let me see a goodly, proper, strait, well timber'd, grave Gentleman with—
Very right, with a goodly Beard, when he was in England he liv'd next Door to the—
To the Sign of the Holy Lamb hard by this Place.
Alack, alack, what Squire Tradewell, Master? Oh 'twas a Noble Gentleman.
[...]d-a-mercy Letter, now it operates.
See what a Treacherous Knave this Time is; how has he play'd the Wag with me, to make me forget my best, my dearest Friend? He Married, let no [...]
The very same, I Married 'em, I remember your Mother perfectly well, as if it were but Yesterday, a Goodly Lady she was. Oh! the Feasting, the Masks, the Mirth, we had at that Wedding.
How this Money rubs up their Memories! For Ten Pistols more they'd make her the Great Mogul's Daughter.
Your Father and I had both one Soul. Look Spade, whose Eyes are those? Look in's Face, if he ben't the very Picture of Squire Tradewell. I think you was born here.
I was about five Years old, when he carried me over with him.
Your Name is—
That was your ather's Name, I think, Well Gentleman I Baptiz'd you, and a sweet Child you were then; See now, Time, that consumes us, shoots him up still sweeter.
A wondrous sweet Child you were, I've kiss'd ye, and play'd with ye, and dandled ye in my Arms a hundred, and a hundred times, and swung ye in my Bell-Ropes; ye lov'd swinging.
Lying Rascals, now their Memories are whetted, if it were for their purpose, they'd remember Adam's Grand-father.
Well, Young Gentleman, You're welcome to your Native Air. How does the Noble Gentleman, your Father? when will he bless his Country in his Return?
Very shortly, Sir; till which Time he entreats your care of me, and desires you to accept of these fifty Pistols, as a small earnest of his future Gratitude, and acknowledgments of your Services.
Sir, I am bound ever to be his very humble Beadsman, and most assiduous Orator.
Lord, Lord, how Sickness decays our Intellects! This is the very Gentleman, that before your last long Sickness, when I lay so ill at the same time too, Master, about two years ago, we us'd constantly to remember in our private Devotions; that a Fever shou'd have such influence over our Memories!
Well, it shall be so no more; I shall ever hence forward remember him, Good Gentleman.
My Father was us'd to say, that his Neighbour Spade the Sexton was a very honest, but a wondrous Merry Man, and a Goodfellow; and therefore desir'd me to give his Love and these Ten Pistols to him.
Ah! 'tis my noble, generous Master still; and you shall see I can be merry as ever upon so joyful news as of his Health.
Thanks to the Gold, for half the Sum more thou'dst sing a Psalm as merrily at his Execution.
Shall's to the Dog and Duck, Master, or to the Whelp and Bacon? there's a Cup of rare Stingo abroach, such as you love, and as good true Nantz, as e're was tipt o're Tongue.
No, Spade, My Charge has been nicely bred, those Houses are too mean for his high Keeping: We must have something befitting his fine Stomach. Step and provide us something at the Rummer. You see, Sir, we aren't dainty, homely Places and mean Cheer serve us usually; we don't pamper our selves, we mortifie the Carnal Man, but upon such an extraordinary Occasion to remember an old loving Friend, and in respect to you Sir.
I humbly thank you, Sir, but it needs not, I'm not delicate, and have at present no Appetite but to my Study, which must be the Law. I desire you to excuse me.
But, Sir, you may be hungry, you must be hungry, pray do nothing rashly; Study creates Appetite mainly, but ben't too violent, it impairs the Health; Take your refreshment first, 'tis time, and then to your Study. Here's my Master, had n'er been what he is at these years, if he had studied immoderately.
I thank you both for your Care, but I desire you to dispense with me at this time. But, Sir, I suppose my Father in his Letter has made it his request, as I do mine, to place me under the Instructions of some Lawyer of great Business; and for his Pains and Care he shall be gratified with two hundred Guineas, besides his own demand for my Lodging and Diet. I've heard much of Serjeant Wrangle.
What, not eat, nor drink, first; Sure he has n't heard any thing of the Serjeant's House keeping yet. Well, he's an Ass, and so we'l use him.
Young Gentleman you shall be a Lawyer, and surfeit upon Cook and Littleton.
Sir, You've hit happily upon Serjeant Wrangle, he's an able Councellor, and makes more noise in Westminster-Hall, than half the Lawyer's there; he's Master of that Art. He's my near Neighbour and Parishioner, I'll recommend you to him. See yonder he comes, and Mr. Affidavit, the famous Solicitor, with him, and one or two more.
Well, Gentlemen, you've play'd your Parts to a Miracle, I suppose we've gi'n 'em their Bellies full of this Cause; they'l know who they plead (Non est factum) to next time.
When I lose a Cause for want of Witnesses, I'll bid adieu to Practice; as if I cou'd n't prove any Man's Hand when I've a mind to't. Mr. Swearhome I n'er knew you so out in my life, so shamefully outsworn, so baff 'd, by a young Fellow too, that has n't been above five or six years at the Business.
Whose Fault was that? I went according to my Instructions: You knew the merits of the Cause, and shou'd have inform'd me better.
He had the disadvantage indeed of being first sworn, but Mr. Nickit retriev'd all.
Ay, he saw where the Pinch was, he swore last, I've known you Mr. Affidavit, call for the Book ev'n towards the Conclusion of a Cause to no purpose; if I might ha' had the Book agen, the Cause shou'd n't ha' stuck, I warrant ye.
Come, come Gentlemen, you've all done to admiration, and the Cause has succeeded accordingly, 't has paid you nobly. Well, a rich Client's a Blessing: A rich litigious Lord's Cause is an Estate; that's never starv'd: there are those that expect a Man shou'd drudge for a single Fee, but they thrive in proportion.
Hang the Penurious, their Causes like their Purses have poor Issues. Good Fees beget good Causes; the Times are Aguish, and a Plea must be warmly lin'd to keep it in heart.
The Prerogative of Crowns goes far, and those that will spare no cost, need want no Witnesses; experienc'd, fearless Witnesses, that understand their Businesses, and will make no unnecessary Scruples.
Well, Gentlemen, you are all Men of Sagacity in our Business, and never let a Clause run a-ground upon Truth, but you help it off again [Page 10] immediately, and set it afloat. I've known Witnesses sometimes over-set a Cause foully for want of your Discretion: Too much truth is a very bad Ingredient in a Witness, a little now and then sets a Cause off handsomely, but laid on too thick, it obscures the Colours, and instead of giving a gloss, like an ill Varnish it hides all the Beauty. Mr. Swearhome, and Mr, Nickit, did my Lord make good his promise to you?
Very nobly indeed Mr. Serjeant, we're very much oblig'd to you, and whenever you've occasion, we hope you'l command us in your own Affairs gratis.
I'm glad on't, my Lord's a wise Man, and knows how to value your Services. Call upon me anon at my House, I've occasion for your hands to some Writings, and yours Mr. Affidavit.
Mr. Serjeant we're your Servants, and bound to be at your Devotion; command whose Land or Money you please, we'l not shrink from you.
Homily, Spade, and Friendly come up to him.
A good Morrow to your Worship, Mr. Serjeant.
Thank you Master Homily, thank you good Neighbour Spade. Have ye any Business with me? if so, be brief, I'm full of Business, and every minute's precious.
We know your Hours are taken up with full Employ, and therefore have brought this young Gentleman of a considerable Family, and Heir to a great Estate, and of a promising Aspect.
He appears no less; but to what end Neighbours?
To be your Pupil, Sir, and study the Law under your Instructions.
Alas, Sir, I shou'd be glad to serve you, but I'm a private Man, and my House strait not fit to receive a man of your Quality, scarce large enough for my small family, Besides, Sir, you must pardon me, if I be a little scrupulous, these Times make us all so; I mean you no affront, Sir.
To secure my Honesty, I'll deposite two hundred Guinea's, which I wou'd beg you to accept, as a Gratuity for the favour of your Instruction; and for my Diet whate're you please I can agree to with thanks.
That's an Honest Pledge, yet there needs none, your Face and Carriage, Sir, declare an innate honesty.
So strong an Inclination I have to the Law, and hear so great a Character of you, Sir, that the meanest corner in your House will be more acceptable to me than a Palace; Books, and your Direction, are all I covet; I shall have no resort to me, no company; these two are all my acquaintance in this Town.
So much the better; a Student should be retir'd and frugal; to take you wou'd straighten me very much, my Affairs and the straightness of my House consider'd. Cou'd you be contented with a hard Lodging in the Out-parts of my House?
Any thing, Sir, that's dry and wholsome, I'm not wantonly bred.
Wou'd he'd live with me, and learn to dig?
Mark but his mind to Learning.
I do, and like it wondrously. Thanks to his Money.
He'l prove a great Lawyers [...].
But he's so modest, Sir, he's too bashful for a Lawyer.
Not at all, 'tis a good Sign. Come, Sir, with me, but you must keep to your Apartment. Good morrow Neighbours, I thank ye.
Good morrow to your Worship, young Gentleman I'll come sometimes, and crack a Case with you.
My good Friends, I thank you both.
Fare 'em well, let's to the Tavern Spade, and enjoy our selves, and pray for the Fool, the Founder.
And pray for more such fools, more Friends, and fools from New England.
From Lapland, or whatsoe're quarter the Wind blows Money, I'll know 'em, instantly, nay, I'll be a-kin to 'em, I can't miss a man that brings Money.
I'll change my Trade, Master, and live by the living, let the dead stink, 'tis a poor stinking Trade.
If the young fool shou'd chop upon his Wife now, and handle her Case, that's a Law Point that wou'd make the Lawyer start; 'tis a hidden. Point worth the canvasing.
The Woman was n't born to so much happiness; he's too demure; he has no heat; Study consumes his Oyl.
I say, if he shou'd sting her home, I shou'd love him for't; for to say truth, tho' I call him Worshipful, the Lawyer's an arrant Dogbolt, a stingy narrow sour'd Wretch, that starves the very Rats and Mice out of his House, and so jealous, that he starts if but the shadow of a man enter at his Window. I wish him a Cuckold upon Record, and if my Youngster shou'd dub him.—But let's leave that to the will of Fate, and o're a Cup of lusty Canary let's Prophesie.
1.2.2. ACT II. Scene, Wrangle's House.
LET riotous Prodigals lavish away both health and treasure to please their wanton Palates, and gorge intemperate Luxury. Let 'em debauch their Appetites, and consume their Fortunes to purchase Surfeits, and nurse up diseases; Let 'em be serv'd in Gold and Silver, and indulge themselves in rich Soups, and costly Ol o's, in high Ragou's, and nice Fricafsee's till they grow more lusty and salicious than pamper'd Cardinals; where does this end? Their Dishes come to us that are wise and provident to pay for their Sawces, and their Luxurious Carcases either fatten a Church-yard early, or at length encumber an Hospital. These are the fruits of their excess and vanity, which the frugal and industrious reap the benefit and comfort of. The wise take other measures, and know that Nature's content with a little; this Egg to me's a greater Feast, and contains more Dainties, than French Cook ever dress'd, or Glutton thought of. In this are health and content, all that wise Nature asks.
I fancy my Nature's none of the wisest then, Sir; for she wou'd never be satisfied so; yet she knows what's good for her self, and has taught my Stomach to be more craving.
O' my Conscience thou'st a Wolf in thy Belly, thou insatiable Rascal, nothing will suffice thy ravenous Gut, I saw you eat two Apples just now: Prodigious!
'T had been a Prodigy indeed, if I had ow'd 'em to your Liberality.
To feed thee as long as thou'd'st cram, wou'd bring a Dearth upon the Land; had'st thou been one of the five thousand that were fed by Miracle, there had been no Fragments brought away; thy Mind's always on thy Guts, sure thy soul lies there.
I can't tell that; but I'm sure 't had need, otherwise they'd shrink up quite they're so empty; for I get nothing else to put into 'em here.
Ungrateful Rascal, hadn't you the Water I boil'd 'tother Egg in, to make you hearty Broth? are ye never to be satisfied?
Yes, Sir; but I might as soon make the Philosopher's Stone on't. you gave it me in water, and if 'twere n't for good manners, I cou'd give't you again in Wind; 'twas so hearty.
Hold your tongue, Sirrah! and look to my Egg; how does it roast.
It heats apace, Sir.
Turn it then. Where's your Mistress? Why is n't she here?
The very sight of this Egg has made him Cockish; what wou'd a Dozen Butter'd do?
She's within, Sir.
Within, Sir, at what? Is she getting—
At the Window, getting a good Stomack.
I mean, what is she doing, Sirrah?
Praying heartily, Sir, upon her knees, that Heaven wou'd send her a good Dinner, a substantial Dinner, there's no fear of want of Stomachs here, the air of this House is the thinnest and keenest in Europe. They that can live upon our Housekeeping, may surfeit upon the pickings of a Spaniards Teeth. My Mistress, Sir, I doubt is a little of my Constitution, she loves a good Meal.
Nothing but Cluttony and Intemperance goes down with you, Sirrah. Had n't she two Sprats for Supper last night, and Oil to 'em too? Was n't she sick with eating?
Yes, she had Oil, and was sick with eating it, 'twou'd ha' turn'd a Dutchman's Stomach; some Lamp or other furnish'd it.
Well, I'll have that Window stopt up; for I observe there are always swarms of Beast's plying under it; as thick as Pimps, or Persons at Whitehall, or Porters at Billingsgate. Go call your Mistress, Sirrah.
Come, my Dear, I sent for thee from the Window in pure Tenderness, the too harp for thy delicate Constitution; thou shou'dst not come near that Window, 'tis too bleak, and exposes thee too much to the cold Wind; I'll stop it up.
Come, I know your disease; 'tis your Jealousie, not your Affection that makes you thus careful of me. How have I deserv'd to be mew'd thus like [...]?
Retirement, my Florella, is the Pleasure of Life; Oh that I cou'd enjoy what thou dost! that my affairs wou'd suffer me to be always with thee! Privacy and good Housewifery are the best Ornaments of a Wife, a Vertuous Woman, like a Rose, the less she's blown upon is the sweeter. Why shou'd the Windows be open'd to let in Scandal, and Censure, when the wholsomest Air blows inward.
Of what use are the the sweetest Flowers, if none come near enough to be refresh'd by, or perceive their Odours, yet they too only flourish in open air, shut up they wither and die: So my Fame which might shine to the Honour of us both, like a choak'd Lamp, is suffocated by your base Suspicions. No, my Reputation which no malice cou'd ever touch, is tarnish'd by your Jealousie. What occasion must the World imagine I've given for so severe a Confinement?
Well said Mistress, to him agen; He has but little skill in Husbandry I find; for I fancy his own House the fittest Soil in England to sow Horns in; and I'm mistaken in my man, if he has n't brought home, as able a Seeds-man.
Don't misconstrue my Love; thou'rt fair, my Dear, and the fairest Flowers are soonest blasted. 'Tis not that I doubt thy Vertue; but the World is envious, and I wou'd fence thee as well from its malice, as Temptations.
If you believe me just and true, why daren't you trust me to my Liberty? The seeds of Vertue thrive poorly in the shade, set 'em in the warm Sun, and they spring gloriously. Why have n't I my Coach, rich Clothes, Jewels, and Equipage, like other Lawyers Wives? Neither my Fortune, nor my Person are inferiour to any of 'em; your sordid temper makes me vain, and tell you so.
Fye, Florella, don't take example by those foolish extravagant Women, that stick their Husbands wealth upon 'em in trifles, and only mark out a Gaudy Path to their own infamy and ruin.
No such matter, they visit, and enjoy themselves, live plentifully and merrily; and the indulgence of their kind Husbands binds them faster to 'em.
Well argu'd Mistress, keep your hold, Madam.
What is't you can desire, or wish? here's what may satisfie the most covetous eye. Here are Diamonds, Rubies,
as fair as e're came from Ormus, or Bengal, worth Princes Ransomes, and Pearl, as rich and orient, as Cleopatra's Banquet, all Nature's wealth, the Treasures both of Sea and Land. Here's the work too of the most celebrated Artists, Watches, Seals, Lockets, Rings, Crochets, and Neck-laces, that young Extravagants purchase of Christian, and Tampion, at the Price of their undoing; where're they circulate, 'tis here they center, the reward and fruit of honest industry, and good husbandry. All these are thine; what can they show to vie with 'em, that carry all about 'em?
And what am I the happier for all these? what use are they of to me, more than if they were in the Mine? All this is but wealthy Beggary, and I enjoy no more than starv'd Prisoners, Confinement, want and hunger. But my Patience shall no longer bawd to my own misery. Here's a Treat, two Eggs, and a Sallad, that wou'd n't give a single Caterpillar a Dinner.
Nay, his Table's so loaded always, that his Cat's starv'd, and the Mice have taken Sanctuary in the Church to avoid the same fate, and mend their Quarters.
Come, prithee Dear, be satisfied, 'tis only my care of thy health; I shou'd be loth, by our own thri tless folly to become a constant Revenue to Doctors and Apothecaries. Come, come, tho' what we have's but little, 'tis wholsome and 'cleanly. I've been my self both Caterer, and Cook, Sweet.
A Pox o'th' Cook, that can't lick his Fingers.
Can you think a Woman of my Birth and Fortune, can bear such usage patiently? Such Avarice and Inhumanity? Is t not enough that you're incapable of being a Husband, but you must perform the Office of a Jaylor to confine and starve me?
Come be pacified, and I'll add another Course to our Feast, you shall have Milk, and stew'd Prunes for a Collation.
With Sugar to 'em, Sir.
This Rogue wou'd ruin our West India Plantations to fill but the hollow of his sweet Tooth. Come, Florella, let's sit down, and think the Roman Dainties at our Table; 'tis all but fancy.
If that wou'd do, I've as strong a fancy to a good Meal, as the best of them. Let the Devil take those ggshells to equip his Witches for Lapland. Now, in my opinion, 'tis Treason against all good Stomachs to hear a tedious Grace said to no Meat. Well, I've a Rhadish yet, but that's transitory. I'll steal off, and feast with it, upon the smell of the next Cook's Shop.
What Man was that you brought in with you?
A young Man, that is to study the Law under me, I've taken him into the House, my Dear; but he sha'n't disturb thee, he sha'n't come near thee, but at Meals. Did'st see him?
Yes, as you cross'd the yard together.
How dost like him? 'tis a silly, Bookish, Bashful wretch; but he pays nobly, he desires but three Months Instructions, and he has given me 200 Guinea's before hand.
I caren't for that, he sha'n't stay here. What a Life shall I lead betwixt your Jealousie and Covetousness? whenever I see him, I shall be in fear of one, or shame for 'tother.
O' my Conscience, thou need'st not apprehend either. He's such a raw Phlegmatick cold thing, thou might'st wear him in thy Bosom, and n'er warm him; his mind's o'th Law, and not on lewdness.
Do, trust him, and repent it, do. I say he sha'n't stay, I know your Jealous temper too well, I'll ha' no more of those fits.
Thou shalt n't, Dearest, I amn't Jealous of thee for any Man, much less for him. Do but comply, and thou shalt have the profit of his Board to buy thee Pins, which will be considerable; For he's willing to give any rate, and yet so modest, that he's contented with the old Woodroom for a Lodging.
That us'd to hold Fuel, now you've brought Fire into't, but 'tis your own doing, and against my Opinion; Take notice therefore, if your Jealousie, which is arrant Tinder, shou'd catch the Flame, I shall regard it only, as an Ignis fatuus.
Fear nothing, Chicken, there's no danger; I'll call him to thee, and thou sha't agree with him about the Terms thy self.
What, hard at it still? this is too violent to last, all things must have their ; Nature requires it. Come take breath, Sir, and consult your health, as well as study. See how modest he is, speak to him, Wife, and encourage him.
Sir, you're welcome to such poor accommodation as our House can afford.
Thank ye, Madam, I'm not nice, any thing serves my turn; Books, and your good Husband's Instructions are all my ambition.
He's a very Book-worm, and feasts upon old Volumes, I must commit him to your care, Wife; H's so bashful, he'l starve there else, before he'l speak.
Since 'tis your Pleasure, Sir, it shall be mine. And his too, or I mistake my Man.
'Sir, here are three Gentlemen desire to speake with you about earnest business.
I'll wait on 'em immediately.
Wife, make much of my Pupil, and divert him, he's melancholy.
He's the best Client I've had these two Terms, not excepting my Lord Feewell. Encourage him, and manage him smoothly, thou may'st get what thou wilt out of him.
I shall get something for you then, you often dream of, but little think so near you now.
How long have you been destin'd for the Law, Sir? You've too much Gravity for your years, you look wise, and dull enough for a Recorder.
I've lost abundance of precious time, Madam, and wou'd study hard to redeem it, e'ry minute was invaluable, but they're past, and I wou'd employ my utmost care to improve the remaining; 'tis that makes me so thoughtful, not my natural temper.
Come, you overact your Part, I know you Friendly, this Disguise fits as awkardly upon you, as the Hab of a Non-Con Parson wou'd upon a Dancing Master. Your Money has blinded him, he's easily impos'd upon, when he gets by't. Tho' there's nothing more common, than for your Hypocrites in general to cheat one another. But cou'd you imagin, that two years absence, and this Disguise cou'd ide you from my Knowledge.
My dear Florella,
thou art the only Volume in the Lawyer's study, that I covet; let Wrangle tumble o're the rest, and fill his head with Learned Jargon, Law Billingsgate, and scold from Cook and Littleton to justifie his Knavery; let him the Milch Purses of Litigious Fools, I envy him nothing he enjoys, but thee.
Hold Friendly, 'tis too much; I'm now another's right, and must not grant, what I before might give, when 'twas my own; you freely had my heart, my Body was another's purchase, who must alone enjoy it.
Curse on your sordid Uncle, that shew that, and yet with-held the rest. He knew too well the Price, that Beauty yields, and wou'd n't truck for Love or Hearts; but priz'd the Lot beneath my then low Stock, then stept this Muckworm in, out bid my [...]I'd the Man [...] and took Possession; Curse on 'em both. But, Madam [...]has been kinder since, and given [Page 16] me my Elder Brother's Estate; suffer me therefore to resume my right; and since 'twas an unjust Purchase made o're my head, and in my wrong; thus, thus I seize my own.
O Friendly, but too well I love you, therefore as you tender my safety, rake not into the mbers of our disquiet, nor seek to revive a Flame, that will consume us both. I'm bound by Sacred Vows, and what Love prompts me to, Duty forbids.
Let not your Superstition wrong my Love, mistaken Notions, and false Principles, not zeal for real duty, raise these doubts. The Matrimonial Vow's reciprocal, as our Allegiance claims Protection, Conditions unperform'd on either Part, make void the Obligation on 'tother. If you contract with an insolvent Man for an Estate, are you bound to make good your Counter-part, if he regards not his. Marriage is an agreement witness'd only, and ratified by Law on certain terms, of which if he has fail'd, your Bond is cancell'd, the Knot's dissolv'd, and you are mine again, by all the Canons both of Church and Nature.
Urge me no further, Friendly, 'tis a crime in me to hear you plead in such a cause; But you've a Powerful Advocate within, that fain wou'd raise rebellion in my Blood; down, down, thou Trayterous warmth, that swell'st my Veins. How has my Husband fail'd, how forfeited?
As well may Winter boast the Summers Fruits, and chill December vie with scorching July; as he pay down the Hymeneal dues, numb'd with the Frost both of his Age and Temper, no Joy can spring through such an Icebound Clay. This Air's too bleak for Love to wanton in; he seeks the cheerful Sun to prune, and bask in, and keeps his Revels on warm Downy Beds, whose Genial warmth revive, his drooping Joys. These, these, my dear Florella, shall be thine, return but Love for Love at thy Devotion.
Tempt me no more, too well you know your Power, and wou'd despise, and hate me for my Frailty, shou'd you prevail. Why will you urge it then?
Dearest, charming Florella.
Madam, my Master's just at my Heels.
How now Wife? What's the matter, Pupil? Why this disorder in both your countenances? What's the meaning of this confusion? You look angry, Sir; Why Sirrah, Famine, Rascal, what makes you run away?
O! My Dear, I've committed such a Folly, such a Fault, I ne'r was guilty of the like before. But 'tis your Fault, you—
Why, what's the matter? what have ye done? tell me, speak quickly; Have ye—
I'm ruin'd, discover'd, all my hope's lost, I shall be insulted o're by Careless, and whooted at by all the Boys in Town.
Such rudeness, such an Affront I've given this Gentleman, as I doubt he n'er will pardon, and I can make no Apology for.
I'm glad 'tis no worse, I had rather they shou'd quarrel than agree too well,
What have you done, how have you affronted him.
He mentioning New England, and I not dreaming he was of that Country, I told him some Stories of that Place, which I have formerly heard my [Page 17] Cousin Ramble tell; His Colour went, and came, he look'd first Pale, then Red, then Pale, and Red again, which I not thinking him concern'd, ne r minded imputing it only to his excessive Bashfulness till by the extream disorder, and confusion I perceiv'd him under, I found it touch'd him nearer.
'Twas indiscreetly done, but like a Woman, rather than want Tattle, to out with all they know at first sight to any Body. Sir, you must pardon her; you must follow the rule of Law, in like cases, where if any Persons offend without malice, or ill design, they are acquitted; you'l find it in your reading; 'tis call'd Chance-medley. See an' he ben't discompos'd still. Why Wife, ask his Pardon, Wife.
Sir, your Lady's not in fault, 'tis my misfortune, that there's too much truth in what was said, which I had not temper enough to cover my concern for. But I beg to be excus'd the uneasie repetition of Particulars.
Sir, I ask your Pardon, and will hereafter offend you in that manner no more.
Come, come, all's well, we'l drink a Glass to a better understanding, and bid my Pupil welcome; come you'l agree the better hereafter, as Bones once broken knit the closer.
I hope thou'rt a Prophet, Lawyer?
Did you call, Sir?
Fetch the Bottle, and the [...]ass out of my Writing-Desk.
The Ink-Bottle, Sir?
No, the Bottle of Heart-disease, Sirrah, and wash the Glass.
Shall I tye a String to't, Sir? it may be swallow'd unawares else.
Away, Sirrah, and do as I bid you, here's the Key.
Come, fill a Glass, it warms the Stomach, and moderately us'd is Cordial, too much destroys Health, and ruins the strongest Constitution. Come Pupil to ye;—How thou fill'st Villain!—This Rogue's in League with some Apothecary sure to throw us all into Fevers.
A very little, pray;
I'm not us'd to strong Liquors. Madam, to your best Thoughts.
They're at present how to make you reparation, Sir. Come, Dearest, Success to the Gentleman's undertaking, that his Studies may thrive.
'Tis a good wish, he sha'n't want my Assistance.
I thank you both for these undeserv'd favours.
I've been reconciling two Quarrelsome Neighbours, they had no Money, so I e'en advis'd 'em to a Reference; 'tis the best way of ending poor Causes. 'Tis for rich Booties, Golden Birds, we spread the Nets o'th Law.
Ha'ye agree'd on the rate.
He offers more than I can in Conscience take, or you desire.
Phoo, Phoo, Scruples are Bugbears for Children: Be wise, and close with him.
Well, since you advise it, I will.
Come, my Dear, thou canst sing, give my Pupil one Song, and then leave us to discourse of his Studies.
A SONG by a Lady.
Sir, I am very sensible, that the Business of a Lawyer depends not wholly upon Learning, or great reading in the Law, there are other measurably be to introduce a Man to Practice.
You observe very well; For in our Profession, as in all others, 'tis [...] merit, but a little unheeded, artificial management, that recommends us to the world, and gets Business, tho the thoughtless croud impute it to our Skill and Ability. So the City-Divines insinuate themselves into the favour of the People, by Preaching up Popular Doctrines, and declaiming for Liberty and Property, the Contract implied betwixt the King and Subject in the Oaths of Coronation and Allegiance, and the lawfulness of Rebellion upon disgust, and the necessity of curbing the Prerogative; at Court they raise themselves by advancing the Divine Right of Monarchy, and urging the dangerous consequences of disobedience, and making Resistance to the Higher Powers, and enforcing the Religious Obligation to the Civil Authority, and the danger of using our own Eyes, and consulting Carnal Reason in matter of Faith. The circumstances of Time and Place are nicely to be consider'd; For that which is Orthodox at Whitehall, is seldom calculated for the Meridian of Cheapside.
Nay, the Spiritual Compass in that respect is like the Mariners and the Priests, like their Needles, tho' they agree in their main aim, have their several Points at which they certainly vary.
In Physick, the Doctors grow famous by affronting Galen and Hippocrates, and complementing Apothecaries; by writing long Bills fill'd with unnecessary Medicines; by repeating Draughts, Bolus's, and Pearl Cordials, and emptying the Patients Pockets to fill their Windows; by caresling Old Midwives, and bribing Nurses, and Favourite Servants; by making impertinent officious Visits. Philosophical Gossipings, and talking Nonsense liberally to Old Ladies in Cramp Terms; by commending the insipid Receipts they show 'em, and communicating now and then a Dispensatory Water for an Arcanura of their own; by reading in their Coaches what they don't understand in their Studies; by running into Cabals to recommend their own Faction, and decrying the rest of their Profession; by frequenting Conventicles, and Lecture-Sermons to please Knaves, and cheat Fools into an Opinion [Page 19] of their Religion; by talking perpetually of Monstrosities, and unusual Phoenomena, tho' at the same time they can't distinguish betwixt a Chamoelion, and a Dutch Sooterkin. These are the Acts that make 'em famous, 'tis no matter for Learning, they need not cure, if they can but amuse the People; A Collection of Journals, or Transactions equips 'em for Philosophers, a Slaughterhouse for Anatomists, and their Grand-mothers for Chymists.
Well, there are Cheats in all Trades, not excepting ours; and I find 'tis easier much to be a Man of Business, than a Man of Skill. I've lost so much time in New England, that I wou'd fain take the shortest cut to the Knowledge and Practice of the Law. For that end I desir'd to be plac'd under your Instructions; whatever you are pleas'd to communicate, shall be further acknowledg'd.
You say honestly; and I'll deal by you like a Son, I'll let you into all the Mysteries of our Art, and if you can but follow my Directions, I'll make you a Master of it too, one Month in my House shall be worth seven years in your Study.
Sir, you bind me to you, and doubt not but by your good Lectures to prove such a Proficient, as you need not be asham'd on.
Most Gentlemen take a wrong method in breeding their Sons to the Law, they send 'em to the Inns of Court, where, if they prove Students, (which very few do) they drudge away seven years, in making common Place-Books from Reports, and Statute-Books, before they're call'd to the Bar; and many saunter away seven, and seven more, before they be sent to't again with a Fee.
My Father was very sensible of that, which made him take other measures.
He's a wise Man, I warrant him; For with an experienc'd Practiser, you shall learn more thriving Law in a few Months, than in your whole Life in a Study, if he will be free and communicate, which any one will do upon a good consideration.
That sha'nt be wanting, Sir, my Father has taken care for that, and I'll see his Commands perform'd.
You do wisely both. But to be successful in our Profession, there is an aptness of Temper requir'd. Some Men set up for such a scrupulous, inflexible honesty, that they are n't to be mov'd an Inch from what they call their duty upon any consideration, that start, and boggle at the hast oblique Proposition. Have nothing to do with 'em, not one in a hundred of 'em, proves worth a farthing. Do you love Money heartily?
Entirely, I never part with it, but to get more of it, or something more valuable, as I hope to do now.
Very good. Then you need not pore upon Law-Books continually, and cite Cases as some do; a moderate skill in Law-terms, and a complete knowledg of the common Practice of the several Coats will carry you through all, with a little Address, which I'll teach you.
Under so great a Master 'tis impossible to miscarry.
When you're call'd to the Bar, you must make an interest in some Attornies and Solicitors, which you may easily do by letting 'em in go ship in all the Fees, they bring you, and giving 'em Authority to use your [...] [Page 20] when e're they've occasion for a Councel's Hand without a Fee, which they frequently have. These things may seem at first to lessen your profit; but trust me they return with Interest upon Interest.
But how must I behave my self at the Bar, when I come there; for if Law ben't necessary, I suppose, there must be other Qualifications in its stead.
You're young, and seem to have good strong Lungs; are you well breath'd? are you long winded?
Very long winded, when I was a Boy, I cou'd outholloa e're a Hunter in New England.
Tis the best Qualification for the Bar in the World. Then when you're retain'd in any Cause, be sure you talk enough, talk abundance, no matter what; if you can outwind the Antagonist's Councel, your Points gain'd.
But will the Court suffer that? won't the Bench take notice of it.
No matter for that, you must n't be easily snub'd, if the Court give you a Check, go on still; and if at last they force you to desist, sit down sullenly, and say not a word more in the cause, if it oes for you, your Client will hug you, and attribute all his success to your zeal at first; if otherwise he'l impute it to the partiality of the Judge that wou'd n't hear you out. There's Councellor Noisie is one of the best Lawyers for that, that ever tir'd the Court.
I've heard much of your Fame, Sir, for this Politick way of Practice.
Time has been Pupil; but my Lungs are past the best, they won't serve me now as they have done. You'l be of a rare Age for it, when you come to't. When your Adversarie's Witnesses are call'd, be sure to give 'em frequent Interruptions by Questions, sly cunning Questions, there's a great deal of Art in managing an Adversarie's Witness well; by neat address most of 'em may be made Evidences for you; but you must ask 'em cunningly; you may lead 'em whither you please, and draw what answers you will from 'em. But if the adverse Councel discover and countermine you, to cross Purposes with 'em immediately, ask 'em Questions innumerable to the Point or not, 'tis all one, it confounds 'em, confounds the Court, and perplexes the Cause.
But how must we do to defend our own Witnesses from the same Practice o't'other side?
They must be prepar'd before hand; a well-instructed Witness is all in all. 'Twou'd make a Man mad to see what Witnesses are brought out of the Country sometimes, there's no hammering a right impression in their heads. If you wou'd have a Cause go glibly forward, never trouble those thick skull'd Rogues, but take two or three of your own training, or that you've try'd; and I'll warrant your Cause for miscarrying.
But are they so easie to be had?
There are about this Town abundance of very pretty apt fellows, that either through a natural inclination to appear in publick, or their necessities, are very ready to receive any Impression from Money.
Sir, there's Madam Olympia, and Mr. Affidavit without, and desire to speak with you.
Wait on. 'em in. [Exit Famine, Friend offers to go.] Nay, you [Page 21] may stay Pupil, we may have occasion for your Hand. This Mr. Affidavit's the ablest Solicitor in England, he has always his Witnesses, and his Implements in such order, 'twou'd do one's heart good to be of Councel for him.
Madam, I'm your Ladiships most humble Servant, the 10000l. was paid to me yesterday according to your Order; How will your Ladiship be pleas'd to have it dispos'd of?
That's what I'm come about Mr. Serjeant; I've two or three offers, and am in some doubt which to take, they all appear fair.
Does your Ladiship persist in your resolution of accepting an Assignment of Squire Careless's Mortgage, there can be no better Security in the World.
I wish she wou'd, she's a Woman of Honour, and Careless may expect kindness and civil Treatment from her; but I'm afraid these Knaves will trick her; I'll watch 'em.
If Mr. Serjeant will use me well, I'm willing enough; for I don't care to break the Sum, and 'tis too big to lend upon any, but Land-Security.
Madam, I'll ask nothing of you for my Bargain; Pay me my Principal and Interest at seven per Cent. which is the Interest Mr. Careless shou'd have paid, and 'tis your Ladiships.
Take him at's word, Madam; if I had the Money to lay down, as you have, I'd not take 5000l. for my Bargain, as I cou'd manage it. Your Ladiship may afford the Serjeant's Lady a Present of a Noble Piece of Plate.
You might perhaps, but I can't. Whenever Mr. Careless, or his Friends, think fit to redeem it, I shall take no advantage.
'Tis nobly answer'd, and Careless shall know his Obligation to thee.
How foolishly some People throw away these Golden Opportunities, but that I know the Serjeant too well, I cou'd make a shift to raise the Money. But we Sharpers never play with one another.
What's the Sum, Mr. Serjeant?
The Principal, Madam, 17000l. the Interest 3500l. and some odd Pounds, but you shall know to a Farthing.
Well, let the Writings be drawn that they may be perus'd by my Councel, and the rest of your Money shall be ready upon Sealing. Mr. Serjeant where's your Lady, I must see her; why won't she visit me sometimes? I almost take it ill.
She stirs so little abroad, she's not fit to wait upon your Ladiship. Famine, bid your Mistress wait upon her Ladiship immediately.
[Clashing of Swords heard without, and a Shriek.
Ha! what Noise is that?
'Tis the Clashing of Swords sure, keep the Door fast.
What's the matter, Sir? y'are not hurt I hope.
No, thanks to your timely Inter Sir; my worst hurt is, my Regret, for having been the [...] the fair Lady.
If my Fright has conclusion any thing to the safety of a Gentleman 'tis very welcome to me.
I'm a stranger, Madam, to that sweet voice, yet I'm glad to hear it sound a more pleasing Note.
May a Woman be so bold as to ask the occasion of this Quarrel, Sir?
The Serjeant there, Madam, or Mr. Affidavit, can better resolve that Question than I; these were some of their Mirmydons, I suppose, they were Catchpoles, Bayliffs, Madam.
Upon my word. Mr. Careless, 'twas n't at my Suit.
Nor any, that I know of, I do assure you, Sir.
Well then you two ha' got enough by me; will you be my Bail?
Indeed, Sir, you must excuse me, you know you're a great many thousand Pounds in my debt, and pay no Interest, you take no care o'that.
Don't you take care o'that? Don't you receive my Rents. Thou perplexer of Causes, thou tormenter of the Law, the Stomach of an Ostriege is but a Type of thy Conscience, that can digest any thing, tho' never so hard and bulky. Canst thou swallow three thousand Pounds a year, and disgorge nothing? I don't owe you any thing, Sir; do I?
No, Sir, but I've made a solemn resolution never to Bail any Man, tho' he were my Father. Besides, we don't know at whose Suit, nor for what this Action is brought.
I've enquir'd that, 'tis at the Suit of one Mr. Snip, a Taylor, for 70l.
Sir, I'm sorry I can't serve you in this Affair, in any thing else—
Why thou Buckram Bag-Carrier, thou Bastard, Son of Parchment, thou Nit to the Lay, thou Cur that art grown fat upon the scatterings of my Extravagance, dar'st thou bark at me? your Man his scarce worn out the Livery that came off your own Back; and dare you insult? Of all my Follies, or misfortunes this is the worst, that I shou'd want, or expect any kindness from such Grubs, such groveling Muck-worms.
A brave spirited, mettl'd Fellow.
But I'll take care to provide such loine for you, Horse-leeches, as shall make you discharge the Good you swell with, I will ye Blood-suckers, I will.
Here take this Ring and awn it to him, 'tis worth two hundred Pound, to morrow you shall redeem it.
Pray, my Dear, oblige the Gentleman, 'tis in your own power to repay your self.
Mr. Serjeant, you ought not to let the Gentl man suffer, since you withhold his Estate.
So, h'as brought the Women over to his Party already, a handsome, wild young Fellow, [...]'r misses their good word.
Ladies, I'm extremly oblig'd to you both for this Favour; your Beauties ought to command, not sure : But to such a fordid Wretch I've a better Advocate, one that speakes and thinks with those Lustre in his greedy Eyes, than all the Charms you are Mistresses of.
Here, Lawyer; I know you love Security: You understand these Things. Ne'er look askew, Man; 'tis right, and cost Two Hundred Guineas. What dare you nd upon't?
I don't care to meddle with such things; I don't know the Value of 'em.
Lend him 200l. upon't, and place it to my Account, and give me the Ring, and Bail him, and I'll indemnifie you.
Well, Madam; if you'll secure me, it shall be done..
Now, Sir; after all these Provocations and Indignities, you may justly expect I shou'd insult o'er your Necessities: But, to let you see how little those Indecencies your Passion has made you utter, have affected me, I'll lend you 200l. upon your Ring, which shall be yours again whenever you please to redeem it; and will be your Bail to this Action. Mr. Affidavit, pray call in the Officer; but let his Followers keep without.
For the Money, you've a Pledge, I sha'n't part with; and for the rest, you know how to lick your self whole.
Still brave, and like himself: He can't return Thanks for a Service, he does n't think done out of Kindness.
I shall be a Widow suddenly, I hope: This Generosity looks like a Lightning before Death.
Heaven verifie the Omen, Madam.
Enter Affidavit, and Officer.
O, Mr. Trappum! Are you the Man? Pray, What Summ's this Action for? What's the Debt? and at whose Suit?
The Debt's 70l. and at Mr. Snip's Suit.
Well, I'll be th Gentleman's Bail: You'll take my Word till anon, and not molest him?
An't were for 1000l. an't please your Worship.
Well, call two or three Hours hence, and the Business shall be done.
God bless your Worship; 'Servant, Master.
Sir, I'll fetch your Money.
Ladies, this wonderful Conversion's owing to your Charms; your Eyes are the happiest Stars e'er influenced my Fortune.
So they are if you knew all; I cou'd give a more natural Solution of this Miracle, if I durst.
'Tis this Lady has wrought this Miracle; she's Lady of the Ascendant here.
Mine, Madam, have shed their Influence long since: 'Tis for your Ladyship, to work such strange Conversions.
I shall impute it to the happy Conjunction of Both. Had I only such bright Constellations to consult, I should turn Astrologer, and ne'er be out in my Predictions.
I must break off this Parley, that extravagant Fellow will sollicite my Wife before my Face else.
Sir, here's your Money; 'tis all Gold, except a little Silver to make the Samm even.
Mr. Serjeant, You'll take care to dispatch those Writings as fast as you can? But don't let Mr. Careless know a Syllable.
I'll wait upon your Ladyship with'em, in a few Hours.
Mr. Serjeant, your Servant: Madam, your most humble Servant.
Your Ladyship will permit me to wait upon you to your Coach? Madam, your humble Servant: Gentlemen, yours.
Come, let's walk in: Mr. Affidavit, I ha' further Business with you.
For my part, I can't believe this Miracle; there's some deeper laid Knavery, than I can fathom the Bottom of: I'll follow'em, and try what Discovery may be made.
1.2.3. ACT III.
CAN you guess the meaning, Friendly, of the Lawyer's surprizing Change? If ill Language and Railing work so well with him, I'll make my self Master of all the Rhetorick of Billingsgate, to pleasure him; the best Breath'd, loudest Scold there, shall be a civil, modest Person to me.
That's a Groundless Fancy. Quarrelling's his Trade, and Scolding his daily Exercise at the Bar; 'tis as familiar to him as Snuff to an Irishman, and he takes it as unconcernedly. If you had as much Malice as a disappointed She-Saint, as much Scandal as a Secret Historian, with the Lungs and Front of a Scotch Field-Preacher, you'd ne'er be able to rail him out of a single Doit. There's some Roguery a foot, which I'd fain trace.
Why shou'd he send the Ring back without Money? He knows I'm too sensble of his Knavery, for him to trust to my Honour. There's the Ring, Friendly, and my Thanks.
This is none of my Ring; 'tis a fairer, and worth more than mine. Here, take't again, and wear it: We're in a Labyrinth now, and this may prove a Clue to guide us out again.
What! more Miracles? Nay, e'en keep it till I redeem yours. Sure some Qualm of Conscience has o'ertaken this harpy Serjeant; some honest Devil or other has frighted him into a Fit of Repentance, and he begins to refund now with the same Grace that Thieves make Restitution at the Gallows. Oh, for your Spiritual Pimp now, to perfect this good Work of the Devil's beginning.
'm apt to think the Flesh has more to do in this Matter, than the Devil. I fancy I'm Oedipus enough to solve this Riddle. Who brought this King?
I don't know: 'Twas sent to me, at the Rose, seal'd up, and superscrib'd, but nothing written within the Paper: Before I cou'd come out of the Room, the messenger was gone. Friend, Let's see the Seal; something may be made of that perhaps. What's here? A Lady throwing out a Rope to a drowning Cupid! More Mystery still! Do you understand Hieroglyphicks, Careless?
Not very well; but I can guess at this. Faith, Friendly, I'm sorry to be thy Rival: I suppose the Serjeant's Lady has taken a Fancy to my Person, and either rob'd or whead 'd her Husband out of this Ring, and sent it me, as an Earnest of her Inclination. 'Tis as unwelcome as Press-Money to me; [Page 25] I don't like the Service, for your sake: Prithee keep it, and serve for me. Pox on't, this Clerklike Figure thou mak'st, disgusts her.
No, take it again: You're mistaken; 'tis one that can draw surer and deeper than Florella. What think you of the Widow Olympia?
I remember she pleaded for me to the Lawer, indeed.
I can tell you more than that; she has taken your Estate into her Care, and perhaps designs as much for your Person.
If she's any Design, my Body's at her Devotion; an easie Fine shall make her Mistress of it: But I don't care for making a Settlement, or granting too long a Lease.
How can a Lease be too long, where the Consideration is worth more than the Inheritance? Come, don't trifle with your good Fortune; like a foolish Cat, that plays with a Mouse till she loses it.
I'm afraid I'm more likely to be the Mouse; if this Female Pufs shou'd get me into her Clutches, you must rescue me, Friendly; you must be my Deliverer.
Ne'er fear, Man; if she does, she'll use you like a Kitten. What a faint-hearted Soldier art thou, to shrink before the Enemy comes in view!
A prudent General wou'd be cautious of bringing himself under a Necessity of Engaging where the Success is doubtful, and ev'n Victory is certain Loss.
What careful Officer wou'd not quit Quarters that lie waste; and venture something to win a rich Soil, with a great Crop standing, and plentiful Magazins?
But no wise Commander wou'd fight himself into a Nook, tho' never so rich, to be penn'd in there, who'd all the rest of the Country to forage in at liberty. These Women of Honour expect such a deal of Constancy and Sincerity, that I dare not venture on'em. I can't swim, and therefore care no more to Love, than wash out of my Depth; I should be lost if I did.
These raw Lovers are like fearful Boys, that put first one Foot into the Water, then t'other, and so prolong their Pain; when 'tis but plunging boldly to be out on't.
Yes, yes; you that are in, cry 'tis warm, to draw more Fools after you: But we that are dry and warm on Shoar, have no reason to trust to such shivering, chattering Invitations.
Here comes your starv'd Pimp: 'Twou'd puzzle a nice Virtuoso to tell which weighs most, he, or his Shadow. How now, Shotten Herring?
How is't, Famine? What Wind blew thee hither?
Faith, a brisk Wind might blow me like a Feather, Sir: I've ballasted my Stomach well out of your Bounty; otherwise, the least Blast would have overset me: I was afraid to venture into the Sun, forfear of being drawn up among the Motes that play in the Beams.
Well, mind my Business, and thou shalt fare better than my Lord Mayor's Carver; thy Belly shall be all thy Care, and thou shalt out-feed a Catholick Priest at Easter.
Shall I see good Days, Days of Plenty again? Then hang this penurious Master of mine; let him eat his Cheese unpar'd, and eat the Rhind of his Bacon himself; I'll no more of 'em. If you'll but provide for my Belly well, you shall furnish his Head as you please.
Thou shalt be fat and Justy, Sirrah; it shall be Carnival all the Year: Effect but this, thou shalt berich too.
Hang Money, Sir, 'tis mercenary; Give me Meat plenty, and drink in abundance. Oh the delicious flavour, the ravishing Ha tgoust of a Savoury Venison Pasty! the pomp and state of a fat Turky marches up to the Table! in my mind his Entry's a Nobler sight than the Venetian Embassadors. Let Trave'lers pra e of stately Fdifices abroad; to me there's no Structure so magnificent, as a lofty towring Goose-Pye; the Pastry Cook's the noblest Architect; ay, and Engineer too; 'twould do a man's heart good to storm such Out-works: At a Breach in those Walls, I cou'd out-charge a Mareschal of France.
The Rogue will surfeit upon Imagination. Hark ye, Famine; Is there no procuring a Favour of you under all these? A Man might corrupt a whole Polish Dyet, and influence an Election at an easier rate.
O Lord, Sir; I always make my Price according to the Commodity. If you've a Mind to deal with me, you'll find me the most reasonable Man breathing: A Cod's Head, or a Side of Salmon, attended by a Brace of Roasted Congers, slank'd with Stew'd Carps, and a Train of Soles, Tenches, Whitings and Smelts, Sauc'd with Lobsters, Cray-fish and Shrimps shall fetch you a Countess.
This is for a Lenten Sinner, you Rogue. But, suppose my Appetite to stand more to the Flesh; What Pen'worths can you afford?
A Jolly Pheasant, with a Guard of Ducks, Woodcocks, Partridges, Quails, Snipes, Plover, Ruffs, and a Mob of Larks about 'em, shall lay any inferiour Quality as flat as a Flounder before ye.
How if a Man shou'd design against the City?
A Hanch of Venison, and a Pyramid of Sweet-meats, shall procure you a Lady Mayoress; a Couple of Capons and Sawsages, and a good large Marchpane, an Alderman's Consort; a Shoulder of Mutton and Oysters, and two or three Castle-Custards, a Common-Council-Man's or Deputy's Yoke-Fellow: The rest are such kind Turtles, a Glass of Rhenish and Sugar, and a Cheese-cake brings 'em to Billing infallibly.
Well, but I'm ambitious of Luck at Horse-flesh: What say you to the Parson's Help-meet?
Oh, Sir! a Tythe-Pig and Plumb-Sauce does the Business: Or, if she be Non-con, a fat Loin of Veal, and a long Canting Grace, brings her under Hatches effectually.
Thou'rt the reasonablest Pimp in Christendom: If you were half as able, you shou'd to Court for Preferment; and be made Ranger-General of all the Pettycoat-Chaces.
If I were in heart now, I cou'd work Miracles; but the Truth is, my starving Allowance has somewhat enfeebl'd my Talent: But, with your Encouragement, I shall soon recover it.
Give me but the least Glimpse of Success, and ne'er a Zealous, Believing Sister in the City e'er cherish'd Precious, Painful, Mortifying Brother with half the Luxury that I'll treat you.
My Stomach's a tiptoes already: Here comes one that looks like a, dainty Bit; Shall I fetch her to you? Say the Word, and you shall see, there is n't a better Dog for a Duck in England, than I am.
Hold, Sirrah; 'tis the Widow Olympia: Out with your Guns, Careless; and salute her with a Broad-side; she has the Weather-gage of you, she bears down upon you, and gives you Chase, you see. I'll leave you to grapple with, and board her, if you can.
Leave your Setter with me, I've Occasion for him. Famine, you must go with me.
To Dinner, or Supper, Sir?
I've din'd already; but to a good Supper, if you deserve it.
I've a Sister, Sir, that People say is handsom: Shall I fetch her, Sir?
Is your Mistress fond of your Master, Famine?
Fond of him, Sir! A tame She-Bear wou'd n't couple with him: He's so bristly, there's a Warren of Fleas perpetually frisking about him.
Sirrah, be careful, and assistant to my Friend, and thou shalt eat Egg-Broth no more, nor lick the Dust and Flies out of the Dish where Oil has been. Blow up your Mistress, Rogue; poison her with his Praises.
Let him blow her up, Sir, as Butchers blow their Veal; let him poison her; let him infuse the kind Venom; she'll swell notably, no doubt on't.
Madam, I'm happy in this Opportunity of paying my Thanks for the extraordinary Favour conferr'd upon me at the Serjeant's. Acknowledgments are, I confess, but poor Returns to such weighty Obligations: But your Generosity, like the Bounty of Heaven, admits of no other.
I'm a perfect Stranger to these weighty Obligations you speak of Sir: But I shou'd have been very glad it had been in my Power to be serviceable to a Gentleman of Mr. Careless's Merit: But the Serjeant's Generosity took away all Occasion.
His Generosity, Madam, is like the false Compassion of a Crocodile; only shewn to those he's about to devour. But I had rather owe it to your Ladyship's Power over him: Don't rob me of the Satisfaction of being your Debtor.
I wish you were so neither to him, nor me, Sir. But, methinks, a Man of your Interest, and Sense, shou'd not be taken in Snares you're aware of.
'Tis in vain to struggle when we're in the Toil; it only pinches us the harder.
Have no Friends that will help you at this Pinch? You've been so ready to assist others, that I shou'd expect to see Crowds pressing to be the first to other their Service.
For that very Reason you see none of 'em, Madam: For, since they can't make it an Obligation, and lend me Money, they wo'n't pay it, as a Debt due. Yet I have one Friend left, wou'd help me to play the Fool agen, and redeem my Estate.
Why do you refuse his Kindness? Can an Estate be a Burthen to you?
An insupportable one. I'm wise enough now to see my past Folly: Yet I find it in my Nature to play the Fool again, and therefore I wou'd not have it in my power. I like the Bever's Policy; I know what 'tis I'm hunted for, and therefore throw it 'em, to compound for my Quiet all my
What a brave-soul'd Fellow were this, if he cou'd be wrought from this wild Conceit?
But can you tamely suffer your self to be abus'd and cheated by that Brace of Jugglers.
There your Ladiship touches me to the quick. I've as much of the Christian Spirit of Revenge, and could swinge 'em with as little Mercy or Remorse as the Saints Elect (as they think themselves) do those they call Reprobates; I cou'd handle 'em with as much Severity as the late Reforming Scotch Kirk-Apostles did their Episcopal Clergy. No, I shall reach Serjeant Hocus Pocus, and his Tumbler too, I hope, in spight of his Law Legerdemain.
Can you guess at the Occasion of that sudden Turn of Temper to day? I shou'd as soon have expected a Revolution in the State.
I was in hopes your Ladyship cou'd have untied the Knot for me: It was a Miracle of your working. But you, Madam, like the Sun, are alone insensible of your own Influence; and are blind to the Lustre of those Charms, which the rest of the World see, and are govern'd by.
This Ceremony don't become you, Mr. Careless; your merry Freedom sits better by half upon you. I'm too much a Woman, not to be vain, if I could tell for what.
The natural Magick of your Charms has done more than Medaea's were feign'd to do; for 'tis more to make an old Miser honest and generous, than to make an old Cripple youthful and vigorous; the Serjeant has sent me my Ring again.
How's this! Does he take it for his own still?
I must undeceive him. Are you sure 'tis the same, Sir? 'Tis ill trusting to his fair Shew. Is'nt it counterfeit? Your own seem'd to be worth a great deal more than 'twas left for: This looks like a Trick.
Friendly's in the right on't; she has some Design upon me by her Concern. Let him put such Tricks upon me as often has he thinks fit; 'tis not the same indeed, 'tis a richer.
Are you sure it came from him?
So, I see she's concern'd; I'll drive this a little farther.
I did not see the Messenger, Madam; but I was told, 'twas his Man.
Pray, Sir, let me see't; I have a little Skill in such Toys.
The Stone is fair and right, and of a good Water; I thought mine a very good one, but yours far exceed it.
Sure ne'll know his own Ring again.
You say true, Madam; but I'll not be oblig'd to him, Curmudgeon; I'll carry't back, and redeem my own. What your Ladyship hinted just now is very reasonable; we ought as much to suspect the Civilities of such Men, as the Devil's Kindness; there's always a Design for themselves at the Bottom.
O fie! Mr. Careless, you can't be so dull as you'd make your self; this looks more like a Lady's Favour, than an Usurers. If it should be from his Lady, you'd be guilty of an inexcusable Folly. You may remember, she wou'dn't have had him taken the Ring.
Troth, Madam, I can't believe so well of my self; but if it be sol've [Page 29] a Friend will set a greater Value upon't: He'll hug himself, as if he were in Possession of the Indies. He shall ha't.
Stupid and insensible! A Boy, that had but carry'd a Citizen's Wife's Book to Church half a Year, wou'd have been quicker of Apprehension— Do you make so light of the Favours of Ladies, Sir?
I'm not acquainted enough with 'em to know the true Value of 'em. I was always afraid of trading in that way, Madam; for fear of dealing to loss, or making bad Debts.
How can that be in a Trade that's carry'd on purely by Truck? How can the Stock be diminish'd, where an Equivalent is always deposited?
That might be the ancient way of Traflick, Madam; but the Case is very much alter'd in our Times: There's no such thing as Retail Truck now; and your Sex are grown such arrant Brokers, you're for dealing altogether by the Lump, and rate a Man's Stock by the Bulk, not th'intrinsick Value: Nay, you're such very Jews, there's no Credit to be had amongst you; not a Favour without Ready Money, or Church-security for such extravagant Demands, that 'tis the Business of a Man's Life to raise the Interest, without hope of ever discharging the Obligation.
That's because so many of you make your selves wilful Bankrupts, there's no trusting to you; you break on purpose to compound with one at an easie rate, and set up with the remainder for fresh Credit with others.
Can you blame us, or wonder? If, when you make your Service so hard, we make our Escape by running away. They that sell themselves to the Western Plantations, have their Liberty at the Expiration of a certain Term of Years, and may set up for themselves; but nothing but Death sets us free from your Yoke, unless we will be beholding to our Heels for our Liberty.
You ought to be punish'd, as Deserters of the basest kind, that mutiny without Reason, and are'nt content to disparage the Service, but run from your Colours with your Pay in your Pockets before-hand.
'Tis but Justice, when you put us upon harder Duty than we list our selves for; a poor Soldier of yours is never excus'd a Tittle of it; and if he stirs a Foot beyond his Post for a little necessary Provision, a little fresh Provant, you're ready to treat him as a Revolter.
Haven't we reason to keep up strict Discipline among such licentious Free-booters, that have no regard to Civil Quarters, but where you come make all Free Plunder.
How can it be otherwise, when the Allowance from your Magazins is so small, and you give us so little room to forage for our selves in.
Well, we poor Women are in as bad a Condition, as Frontier Towns, that, to secure themselves from the Insults of their Enemies, are forced to take in a Garrison that oppresses them as bad.
Only you not being under the same Apprehensions of your Neighbours, have a Stratagem to keep us low, which they dare not make use of; you oblige us to such frequent, unnecessary Firings, that the Terrour of our Artillery's lost, 'tis grown a meer Scare-crow; you won't trust us with Ammunition enough at a time for any great Enterprize.
Well, I shou'd rejoice heartily to see you in Love: I hope your Mistress will revenge the Quarrel of her Sex upon you.
That makes me stand upon my Guard; for your Ladyship has all the Power of a Conqueror, with the Principles of a Tyrant: For, tho' I'm willing enough to be a Subject, I don't care to be a Slave.
If it shou'd ever be my Fortune to tri mph over you, I shou'd so insult, that your Panishment shou'd make more Proselytes to Love's Church, than e'er the Inquisition did to the Roman. I wish 'twere come to that;
you're an Arch-Heretick, that seduce and debauch Multitudes from the Faith. How can you clear your self?
Here comes one that will save me the Expence of an Apology, she's just the Reverse of your Ladyship: The Knowledge of her justifies the greatest Aversion we can conceive to your Sex; as of you, the greatest Deforence for it. Many a tough old Brood-Hen has she sold to greedy Coxcombs, for Virgin-Pullets. She's Hymen's Press-Mistress General, and has ecoy'd and trepann'd more Fools in one Year into his Wars, than e'er Tooly did to Flanders; and abused those that trust her, worse than e'er the Dutch or Portugueze did the poor ridiculous Indians; and has made more unnatural Couples, than all the Primitive Persecutions: She's the Counterpart of those Persecutors; for, like them, she binds dead Bodies to live ones; and as they us'd to dress Christians in the Skins of Beasts, and set Dogs upon them; so the dresses Beasts in Humane Figures, and sets Christians upon 'em; and by that means has planted Colonies of Monsters in the World. She's the Voucher of Crack'd Maidenheads, the Scourer of Tarnish'd Reputations, the Botcher of Broken Fortunes, the Varnisher of Faded Complexions, the Plaisterer of Roughcast Faces, the—
Mr. Careless, and the Lady Olympia! Does the Wind sit there? No wonder sh'as receiv'd all my Proposals so coldly of late. No Profit blows from that Corner; I must try if my Breath can turn the Stream of her Inclinations, or raise a Storm that may wreck his Hopes. Now help me, Female Malice, and Invention.—Madam, I'm your Ladyship's most humble Servant: Well, I don't know what 'tis; but certainly, you've some Charm about you, that all the World's so fond of ou; I'm sure I've no Comfort the Day I don't see you. I've been, I vow, I can scarce tell you where, since I parted from you: I've made a Visit to my Lady Scruple; from thence, I went to Sir John Finicel's; so to Great Squire Noble's; then to my Lord Treat-Wise's, where I was oblig'd to dine; there was abundance of Company, I had much ado to get away: My Lord, and the young Ladies are so intolerably fond of me, by their Good Wi[...] shou'd never be from 'em. But the Talk of all the Drawingrooms was of you, and Mr. Careless.
Of me, and Mr. Careless. What cou'd they say of me?
Nay, nothing but your due, Madam: They say, you carry all be fore yo , and conquer where you come: The Men praise and admire you, th'e Women all envy, and are jealous of you; they think you the Universal Rival, that rob 'em of all .
They've little reason for either: I've as little Ambition, as Merit, to rob n [...] 'em. But, what do they say of Mr. Careless and me?
Only that ever since Mr. Careless made his Addresses to you, fine Mrs. Washwell has been ready to break her Heart; she sighs and starts, rails at you, scolds at her Woman, beats her Marmouset, and weeps all Day and Night. Well, you're a sad Man, Mr. Careless; I must needs say't to your Face; to abuse such a pretty, tender Creature, as she is, so: For, on my Conscience, before she knew you, she was as Spotless as Innocence it self; and has n't the least Blemish in her Fame, but what her Love for you has brought upon her.
If your Report be true, she deserves no Censure now, but that of a Fool upon my Score: If she had let me know her Mind, I'd ha' laid her Itch effectually e'er this. Pox on't, what an unlucky Rogue am I, if this be true, not to know it sooner!
Really, Sir, I beg your pardon, if I've imprudently blab'd any thing that was a secret to Madam Olympia, but I did n't imagin she cou'd be ignorant of a thing, that all the Town talks so publickly of. Nay, they talk confidently of no less than a contract before you prevail'd. But you do well to take care of a Ladies Reputation, that suffers for you, 'tis like a Gentleman however if you can be her Lover no longer. I'm sorry for my Indiscretion, and do assure you it shall go no further for me; and Madam Olympia's too discreet a Lady too use, what she hears to the prejudice of a young unhappy Creature.
If one part of your Story be no truer, than t'other, the Lady need n't break a moments rest for the matter. I do assure you Mr. Careless has never made the least address of Love to me.
Contracted to one, and in Love with another. Faith, Mistress Vernish, I always took you for an able Woman of Business, but I never was conscious of this wondrous dexterity of yours before; you've had the guidance of my Hand many a time, but never of my Heart, that I know of.
Well, I'm glad to hear you both disown it, I protest I am heartily glad for the poor young Thing's sake; Poor Soul she took the report so heavily, that she was fit for no place but Bedlam, she loves you to distraction; your unkindness wou'd kill her. But I'll go and undeceive her; 'tis an Act of Charity. Poor Wretch!
Nay, if there be any thing in what you say 'twere more Charity to bring her to me, I cou'd comfort her more substantially; But, Madam, how long has this Wooing been betwixt you and I? The next time we meet we shall be married I hope, 'tis pity this Farce shou'd end without a Wedding.
Come, come, leave your Fooling, Sir, and make much of your Lady, her Affection deserves your tenderest care. But, Madam, I was about to tell you (when this Discourse interrupted me) that you are the happiest Lady living; there's my Lord Strutwell, Sir Featherall Peacock, Mr. Janty, and several others are ready to die for you; But my Lord, Oh my Lord's a Man beyond all Competition, without exception; Such a graceful person, and so Noble an Air and Mien! Well, in my Opinion, the rest of our Nobility are Hobby Horses to him, nothing but Tinsel and Trappings. On how I long to see your Train held up, Madam, I've a little Nephew wou'd make your Honour a very pretty Page.
Now have I an itching after this Lady; if't be but to countermine this Pandress, this Match-jobber, this Mummy of Concupiscence; I did n't [Page 32] know the keenness of my own Stomach till she gave me this whet. Love comes upon me like the Small-Pox upon some others, there must be something to drive it from the Heart, before 'twill appear; I find it coming out plentifully, thanks to her Dose;
In my Opinion, your Lord, moves like a Puppet by Wires, I've seen many a better Figure in Gilt Ginger-Bread.
I begin to smell this Plot, 'tis too rank; but I'll know the bottom before I discover my apprehension of it.
Titles, and state the Pageantry of Honour may catch young Giddy Girles; but if my Lord wou'd take me, he must bait his Hook with something more valuable than his Patent, Mistress Vernish.
Madam, you've too much discretion for a Lady of your years; you're just of a fit Age to relish the Pleasures of the Town, and methinks shou'd n't deny your self 'em. A Lady of your Beauty and Fortune may justly expect to appear in the Park with a Coronet behind your Coach, to take place in the DrawingRoom at St. James's amongst the greatest Quality, and sit at the front of my Lord Steward, or my Lord Chamberlain's Seats at all the Balls of Whitchall. Nay, I believe, my Lord, may have a White-Staff, or a Star and Garter when he pleases; and do you count these things nothing?
I despise the low, mean Ambition of those empty shallow Creatures, that amuse themselves with such gaudy Trifles, and place their whole satisfaction in hollow Sounds and Formal Ceremonies of Place and Precedence. Give me the Man—
Nay, for a Man, I think there isn't a finer Gentleman about the Court, than my Lord is. Who Powders, or Essences higher? Who dresses, or dances better? Who Sings, Fences, or Vaults finer than he? Then he's as Proper, a well-set Man as e're you saw, and as fit for a Ladies Service; 'twould do your heart good to see him a Horse-Back, he sits so gracefully in the Saddle.
So! she's given him a recommendation for a Brothel; she thinks no Qualifications requir'd in a good Husband but those of a Stallion.
Mrs. Vernish is a discreet Woman, she knows for what intent, Man and Woman were Originally brought together, and wou'd pro de you a Husband of try'd ability to answer his Maker's purpose, Madam.
Mrs. Vernish, and I take very different measures of Men then; He that wou'd win me, must have a stronger Brain than Back, and a Head better mounted than his Heels; I hate Fellows that like Tumblers are so equally po s'd at both ends, they might (but for the Figure) serve themselves indifferently of either for Basis, or Capital.
Madam, a little experience of my Lord, wou'd convince you, that he's quite another sort of Man, than you take him for; But I can't expect that a nice young Lady shou'd declare at first Proposal infavour of the finest Gentleman in the World, a little time I hope will bring you to a better Opinion of his Lordship.
Mrs. Vernish is so approv'd a Judge of men's [...]es, that 'tis almost Heresie to dispute her Authority, and wou' d undoubtfully recommend no Body to your Ladyship without sufficient evidence of their [...] Qualifications.
I never ail of your good word Mr. Careless; but 'tis no matter for that; her Ladiship shall always find me ready, and zealous to serve her, when [Page 33] ever she pleases to command me. And so shall you too, Sir; for I'll go this Minute to your Mistress, and set her Heart at rest, poor Soul!
The greatest Service you can do me at present, Mrs. Vernish, is to undeceive any body that may have receiv'd any Impression from the Report which, you say, runs about Mr. Careless and me. Sir, your Servant: I hope the Town wo'n't be so uncharitable, as to censure you any longer upon my Account.
I wish your Ladyship fear'd their Censure no more than I do; they shou'd have more Occasion.
Gone together! I must take care of that old Copulation-Broker, sh'as Mischief in heart against me; she's a stalking now, and is too well practis'd a Sportswoman to be suffer'd with Security to pursue her Game. Olympia has Wit enough, 'tis true; but most Women nowadays have such Green-Sickness Appetites, that 'tis ill laying Trash in their way. They must be inter rupted;
— Famine, dog Madam Olympia, and that old Hag; and, if possible, overhear their Discourse, and bring me an exact Account.
I'll do't, ne'er fear, Sir: No Plotter that design'd to turn Evidence, and hang his Brother-Rogues, shall take more particular notice.
Love and Jealousie are Twins, I find; and tread upon one another's Heels: No sooner do I begin to like this Woman, but I wish no body else did. Well, now I begin to feel the Folly of my Extravagance; the Disgrace I suffer'd by it before her to day, at the Serjeant's, had so damp'd me, that, like a Cow'd Cock, I durst not venture one Stroke, not so much as a Sparring Blow, tho' she gave me both Provocation and Encouragement. What a Fool have I been? And now I'm turning Coward too. A Man's Courage, I perceive, ebbs and flows with his Fortune: I must try to recover both; but how, 's a Question I'm not able to answer. Of all those Multitudes I've lavish'd an Estate away upon, not one wou'd assist me with Ten Pound to save me from the Gallows, Friendly excepted; the rest avoid me, as if I were a Dun: Friendly alone acknowledges, like a Man of Honour, my past Services; but I'm afraid of striking him upon the same Rock with my self, and—
—But I must quit the Thoughts of my own Business, to mind my Friend's now.
Don't prate to me; I'll stay no longer among you: Ignorant, lazy Knaves I found ye, and Fools I leave ye. I've preach'd Spoonmeat to ye these Twenty Years, that a Child might swallow; and yet y'are Blockheads still: Y'ave neither Faith nor Money to save ye.
If the Shepherd will suffer the Sheep to be scabby—
No y'are rotten— Spade, Wou'd they were, for my sake.
I've 'nointed ye, and tarr'd ye all over with my Doctrine, yet the Murren sticks to ye; y'are mangy still, in spight of all. Fare ye well.
Nay, pray be n't so passionate in the Heat of your Sack; don't let it elevate you too much. Come, we've been kind Hearers, and you a quiet Teacher, that wou'd not trouble us too often with Sermons; one that, rather than vex your Audience, wou'd sleep with 'em. Come, I know y'are good-natur'd.
Don't grow proud, and let your Wine make you forget the jolly Bowls you've mptied at my House, Neighbours, I shall think my Punch [Page 34] unhallow'd Liquor, if I han't you two to say Grace, with a merry Catch to't, I'd rather drink it without a Toast.
Nay, my Shovel-Board will grow melancholy, if Master Homily ben't there to give the leading Push, and set the rest to work.
Can ye find in your Heart to leave my Nine Pins? Oh! the many fair Tips I've seen you make! and must we lose ye now? Nay, I've laid a dozen of Stout upon your Head, Master, against Neighbour Tipwell the Blacksmith, who tips all Nine oftenest together, and 'tis to be decided to night.
All this won't do; you shall find I can have better Preferment, than to ring all into a rout of Dunces all my Life.
Prithee, Neighbour Spade, speak for us, and next Parish meeting wee'l move the ChurchWardens to mend your Salary.
I speak for you? No, ye shall find the Key under the Church Door, you may go in, and drive away the Daws, I speak for Capons? Not one of ye has got a Child these ten Years.
There you'l find the old Surpless with one Sleeve, and the Cutwork Cope, that hangs by Geometry; Pray turn 'em carefully, they 're very tender. There's the Poor's Box, with the Inscription half rub'd out, for fear of waking your Charities; if you find any thing in't, give't to pious Use, that is, spend it.
There are the remnants of the Books, all that the Church-Wardens Pipes have spar'd, they've smoaky Zeals against hard Places.
N'er let's part thus: Come you've been good Customers to us all, both of you; I've a rare Gammon of Bacon at home, I'l give it ye, and we'l be merry to night.
I'l give a Bowl of Punch to't.
And I Derby, and Stout, their Skins full.
This don't move me; if you'd have us stay; if you'd have the comfort of our Companies—
Hark ye, Neighbour Spade, in your Ear; perswade him but to stay, and we'l all wipe out both your Scores, and you shall have fresh Tick with us for as much, and as long as you please.
Well, since you're old loving Neighbours, I'l try,but—
Let Weddings, Christnings, Churchings, Funerals, and merry Gossipings go about briskly.
They shall, they shall.
Then, if you please Master, we'l try 'em one half Year longer, and see if they'l mend.
Be it so. We'll send your Gammon, and you your Punch to my Neighbour Spiggot's here, and we'l come and tast his Stout.
It shall be done; come let's ha' the old Song, and then let's away, and dust it about.
How the Rogue swells, this Money has made him so merry, he'l not be in's Wits again these three months. H's as Simony in's heart, and looks as big as if Friendly's money had purchas'd a Deanry for him. Now will I dash all his Pride, and good Humour, in a moment.
Begon, Neighbours, I take your Submission graciously, and will meet you. Here comes a Gentleman, that's no Company for you.
Mr. Homily, I'm glad to find you here.
I thank you, Sir; have ye any Letters, any kind Tokens from New England, or any remote Part. You look like a Traveller.
I come to tell you, ye've receiv'd great Summs from one Friendly, a young Merchant, that has rob'd his Master.
This News comes from a Cold Country, it freezes.
Do you shrink, Monsieur Curate? Can you sing a Psalm handsomly at the Gallows, Rascals?
We beseech you, Sir, we've most of the Money left, we'll refund, or do any thing in our Power; Good Sir, be merciful.
Since you're penitent, I take you to Grace, but you must do as I bid you, if ye falter—
Hang us both, we shall deserve it.
Well, follow me—
1.2.4. ACT IV. Friendly's House.
HEre v'are welcome, and must command, Madam; for, all that I call mine, must pay their Homage where I do. How cou'd that Swine, your Husband; keep so sweet a Turtle in so filthy a Sty? A Squirrel's Box is a nobler Apartment; and a Fox's, a sweeter.
'Tis the securer Retreat for Innocence; unguarded Vertue is scarce safe any where. The Negligence of our House frights away Temptation: Pomp and Delicacy only invite Luxury and Wantonness. 'Tis the cleanly Sweetness of the Bees, that invites Drones to their Hives.
True, Madam: But there are infinitely greater Swarms of nasty Flies that infest the rankest Shambles, that not only consume what they immediately prey upon, but taint all they leave behind 'em too. But what's this to thee, who art all Sweetness; and, like a flowring Tube-Rose, may'st be rais'd in a homely Bed; but blown, shou'd be translated to the Apartments, and for the Delight of Princes.
My Fortune's quite the Reverse of this; for I was rais'd first in an Alcove, and thence transplanted to a Dunghill; but there I've taken root, and there must grow. Second Removes are dangerous.
I can't consent to leave so precio s a Plant in a spent, barren, heartless Soil, where not a wholesom Blast can have Access, and nothing thrives but Sapless Avarice, and rank Jealousie, 'mongst heavy Damps that choak the noble Senses, and poys'nous Fogs that almost suffocate the Vital Heat. I must remove you, or find means to open a Way for the sweet Air of Conversation to come freely at you.
That were a Service, indeed. The Plant you speak of has taken too deep root, to be torn rudely up: If you cou'd purge the Soil from those foul Weeds that overrun it, and turn the fresh Streams of Liberty through't— But 'tis in vain to attempt it; 'tis more than a Herculean Labour.
Then I'll do more than Hercules, and effect it.
I'm afraid you'll scarce do half so much in a Night, as he did, if you talk away your Time thus. Is this a Time for Debate, when you shou'd be in Action? What a raw Soldier are you, to be gravely consulting, when you shou'd be mounted, and in Arms? The Enemy's just upon you, Man— Wrangle will be here in a Quarter of an Hour.
Thou'rt such a Hotspur, Careless, thou'rt for engaging at all Adventures, without considering how to bring all safe off again.
Well, for my part I think the suddenest Resolutions are always the briskliest executed; and I observe, that your Men of over cautious Conduct, [Page 37] that are for securing all, generally manage away their fairest Opportunities.
For Heaven's sake, Gentlemen, don't let's be surpriz'd here by my Husband; I'm undone if we be.
Fear nothing, Madam, I've Scouts abroad to observe his motion , that will give us a timely alarm, when he approaches; he's the Common Enemy, and therefore we ought to enter into a Joint Confederacy against him.
You may have reason enough, Mr. Careless, to proclaim open War against him; but what just pretence have Mr. Friendly, and I?
Abundance more than he, Madam; for he has only invaded Careless's Estate, which 'tis ten to one but some Body else wou'd ha' done. From you he has taken your Liberty, and tho' he be in right but your part in Authority, yet in violation of all his Articles h'as depos'd you not only from all Power, but even from the rights of a Freeborn Subject, and like a Tyrant insults over his Equal, as his Slave. Me he has injur'd yet more enormously; for he has rob'd me of you, a Treasure of infinitely more value, than Wealth, Liberty, or Power, a Robbery, that he can never make restitution for, nor I forgive. Unless he cou'd call Time back again, and restore those unvaluable Minutes that are past.
'Tis a sign you know the worth of 'em, you spend those few you have to so much purpose. You're like a formal, old Pedant I once knew, that wou'd declaim nonsensically about the Preciousness of Time, and the sin of mispending a moment for several Hours together.
I thank you for your Correction, 'tis just and kind. My dear Florella let's withdraw, and redeem all we can.
What occasion for withdrawing? since Mr. Careless is enter'd into the League, I declare it no Counsel without his Presence; I'll ha' no private Caballing amongst Confederates; it looks suspicious.
No, Madam, if we do but agree upon the several Quota's to be contributed to the common Cause and Interest: We may take our measures apart without breach of union.
Now is he as impatient to show his zeal, as a newly hir'd Irish Footman his diligence and expedition, that posts away with his Errand, and when he has run himself out of Breath must come back for it again.
Sir, I've endeavour'd to obey your command, but I'd as soon undertake to muster an Army by Rote upon once hearing 'em call'd over, as to repeat what she said. I've heard People talk much of one Fame, for a notable Gossip; but if she has half the Tongue of this Scandal-spreader, or half the Intelligence, I'll hang for her; compar'd with her, I dare swear, she'd appear a Bashful, silent, sober Body.
What can you remember nothing particular?
Yes, abundance more than perhaps you'l have patience to hear. I never took my self for a man of so much isdom before; but I suppose you both saw it in my face, Gentlemen, lse you had n'er employ'd me in such weighty Affairs. Well, Discretion is an admirable thing, 'tis impossible to be a good Pimp without it.
If you've done admiring your own Parts, give us some proof of 'em, [Page 38] and let's hear how like a discreet Pimp, you've manag'd for me. What did you hear?
The Scandal of all the Town, Sir, and a great deal more; besides the secret History of your Life, and of all your Family e'er since the Conquest, and long before, which that Retailer of live flesh, trac'd farther back than Welsh Pedigree, or Hebrew Genealogy e're reach'd.
How did Olympia relish all this Stuff? did she listen with any sort of satisfaction, or disgust?
As a Socinian wou'd to the Athanasian Creed; I'll warrant her.
She seem'd to regard her sometimes with neglect, sometimes with scorn and indignation, but she was extreamly nettled at something she told her you reported of her, and after they parted, order'd one of her Servants to find out where you were immediately, and bring her word. Whereupon I stept to him, ask'd him two or three impertinent Questions, scrapt acquaintance with him, and inform'd him, that I was coming to you at Mr. Friendly's, and desir'd his Company, as far as his business lay my way, he immediately excus'd himself, and turn'd about after his Lady. Have I done well, Sir?
Admirably well. Thy Belly shall be regal'd for this anon, Sirrah. Away to your Post, and Scout against the Serjeant's coming.
'Tis so, Olympia's caught; Love has laid his Limetwigs upon her, now let her flutter, and struggle as much as she will to get loose, it but entangles h r more. What luck's this, Careless, thus with Art to catch the very Bird, that all the skillful Fowlers about the Town have been beating the Bush, and spreading their Nets for so long?—
Madam, this Visit's an Honour, I'm extreamly proud of, but the Obligation is yet the greater for being unexpected, the only Circumstance that cou'd raise it higher.
Unexpected, Sir, how can that be? I thought Mr. Careless had made nothing a secret to you.—
Madam, if this Honour was intended to me, I am yet more obliged, than my Friend, because less deserving; but I was altogether as much a Stranger to the intended Favour.
I've heard it often said indeed, that true Friends were like Fiddle-strings tun'd to an Unison, touch but the one, and t'other wou'd immediately answer in the same Note; but I never met with an instance so exact to the Letter before.
Madam, the Honour done to my House by your Presence is too great to need the Address of a Surprize to heighten it; But your Gallantry in taking it off, raises the Obligation beyond the reach of my Acknowledgments. But—
Come leave this anter, Mr. Friendly; 'tis ungenerous to insult in your own House.
You may well boast your Power over me, Mr. Careless, when you see I follow you thus up and down.
I wish I had merit enough to engage you once to think of me; so far am I from the vanity of assuming this favour to my self.
The vanity of some men, I find, like their courage appears only, when the Subject of it is remov'd. How long have you been thus humble, Sir?
This Question from your Ladiship surprizes me extreamly, because I'm no way conscious of our [...]
Is it so familiar a thing with you to boast of Favours n'er receiv'd, that you wonder it shou'd be taken amiss? Our Sex had need be cautious how they converse; for we can scarce speak civilly to a man, we accidentally meet, but he makes his Brags of Favours and Appointments.
There are such Fellows, 'tis true, Madam, that imagin all the World steers their Course by their vain Blasts; and believe it as easie to cheat others into a great Opinion of their Extraordinary Accomplishments, and irresistible charms, as themselves. But I've always endeavour'd to deserve another Character; and wou'd n't willingly injure any person, much less your Ladiship.
Those that have the baseness to traduce us behind our Backs, seldom have the courage to justifie it to our Faces.
Mr. Careless has always born himself with so much honour; that I must think it impossible, he shou'd be guilty of any thing so base. It must be malice, Madam, that has fixt this Scandal upon him. I'm sure he honours your Ladiship too highly any way to offend you.
I do believe it malice; But 'tis malice with such Demonstration in its mouth, that 'tis impossible to doubt the Truth of the information, tho I am convinc'd of the insincerity of the intention of it.
By this, Madam, I guess my Accuser to be Mrs. Vernish, but as to my particular offence, I am still in the dark, and can't grope my way out, unless your Ladiship be pleas'd to afford me a little light.
Ha' ye been so free with me that you can but guess at the Informer, and are in doubt of the nature of the Affront?
'Tis the knowledg of her inveterate malice, and my own innocence, that guides me to one, and keeps me in a maze for t'other.
To confront your impudence, tho it feeds your Vanity, I will for once produce an Evidence shall confound you. Do you know this Ring?
A Hint's sufficient I suppose to make your Blushes betray your Guilt.
I think I saw it upon your Ladiships Finger just now; but am not conscious what it can accuse me. Pray, Madam, explain your self.
This is gallant impudence; a hiss'd Actor cou'd n't keep the Stage with more unconcern'd confidence; or a bilk'd Poet vindicate his damn'd Play with more Arrogance in his Preface. Sure you think I'm in Love with you for your Assurance, you'd show some more taking Quality, to countenance the Scandal else.
Rather let me be thought guilty, Madam, than offend by an unseasonable Justification. Yet I cou'd wish—
I perceive, Madam, we're in a Labyrinth of Error, which tho I can't absolutely lead you out of, yet, I hope to point you to the Clue, that may Careless, let's see your Ring. Do you know this, Madam?
What's this, a Confederacy to affront me? Yes, I do; since you will have a Triumph, 't shall be a short one. I own I sent it to that unworthy man, out of compassion for his wrongs, or perhaps a concern more tender. For I dare own a weakness I've overcome, and shall blush no more, unless with indignation. Nay more, know that 'twas I that lent the money; to me you [...] your Liberty, not the Serjeant. I sent the Ring, because I scorn a Pledge, and though your own might be a means to betray from whence it came. [Page 40] There it is, return me that; and then insult, 'twill become you, and I can laugh at it.
Madam, I own the Justice of your Anger, and my punishment; but 'tis my dull unapprehensive stupidity, that deserves it; not vanity, or insolence, as you are misinform'd.
Go tell Mrs. Vernish, I thought it not enough to send you one Ring to engage you to meet me, but I must follow you, to give you another.
Madam, I can safely aver, that till this moment he knew not to whose Generouty, he ow'd the ing; so far it was impossible for him to boast any such favour from your Ladiship.
Sir, I can't blame you for endeavouring to bring your Friend off; but 'twill puzzle all your Skill. Was possible for him not to know his own Ring, when he saw it upon my Finger?
'Twas scarce possible he shou'd; for twas not his, but mine, slip'd into his Hand in the Time of his Distress at the Serjeant's, ne'er seen by him before.
How's this! Then my Passion has fool'd me into Confession, I must again blush for;
But how cou'd Mrs. Vernish come by her Information, since I did not so much as trust my own Servant with the Knowledge of what he carry'd?
That part of the Knot remains yet to be disintangl'd. Leave that to me; and as I clear my innocence, let me merit your Pardon, Madam.
While Justice seem'd to be on your side, Madam, I durst not interpose; but since all things are in so fair a way to an Ecclaircisement, let me beg you to suspend your Resentments, and give Mr. Careless time to provide for a fair and equal Trial.
I cou'd not deny you a more unreasonable Request, Madam.
Here comes my Master, and Mr. Homily.
'Tis time for us to withdraw then: Ladies, will you please to honour my House so far, as to accept of a small Collation.
Is't possible he shou'd be so rich? A poor Fellow, that was Sexton to the Ale-houses, rather than Parish; and bury'd the dead Remains of their half-empty'd Pots in his own Belly, or earn'd his Drink by setting up the Nine-Pins for those that play'd; spung'd Tobacco out of the next Man's Box, and sa [...]z'd himself into the Chimney-corner in Winter, gratis.
'Tis true; he was always a very close, scraping Fellow; and that fills , Sir: Tho' his Gains were small, yet he has been many Years raking together. You're learned, Sir; and know the Adage, ex gravis fit Acervus.
But he us'd to be reckon'd a notable Good-fellow, one that wou'd—
Sometimes, Sir; when he hop'st to drink a Man into a Fever, or a Surfeit, and by his Grave.
'Tis very strange. But we see by honest Thrift, and Endeavour, what mighty things may be effected.
Tavern, feret qui v tulum tulit.Milo, Sir, by carrying a silly Calf, (with Submission to your Worship,) come to carry a Bull. From a Penny to a Pound, from one pound to many, is the Progress of the World, Sir.
'Tis so. But he lov'd to eat well too; and that, methinks—
At another Man's Cost, Sir; there he wou'd play the Cormorant, and devour more than the Graves he made. At home he liv'd like a Chamelion, upon Air; grew fat upon the Brewis of an Egg-shell; and surfeited upon the Smell of a Cook's Shop, that a Month scarce fasted it away again.
An Apoplexy, you say; and he desires I wou'd be his Executor. What Relations has he?
None, Sir, that I know of.
His Mind will be the quieter. What D—s has he?
None, Sir: He ne'er esteem'd their Art.
'Tis vain and useless in such Extremities; it but prolongs Men's Miseries. Who has he about him?
Several that flock about him, like Crows about a Carrion; as well Gentlemen, as others, that claim his Friendship, and some his Kindred too: Rich Men can't want Heirs. Some of 'em, under pretence of Care of his Health, have remov'd him hither, and lodg'd him like a Prince, only to insinuate themselves into his Favour at his last Moments.
They do ill to trouble him; very ill. But we shall take care—
Will you walk in, Sir? This is the Door of the Chamber where he lies.
Pray stand further, Gentlemen, and give him Air; you won't suffer him to breath.
How do you, Neighbour Spade? I'm sorry to find you in so weak a Condition.
Ah! Master Serjeant, you're welcome; but I am fleeting.
Methinks he looks fresh and well, and his Eyes lively.
A Glimmering before Death only. Mind how he fumbles with the Sheet.
Pray—sit down—Sir—Ive made—bold—to send for you—to take care of what—I leave.
Pray don't trouble him, he's weak, and his Brain disturb'd.
Don't weep, Friends; I must leave you;—we must all drop in our turns: 'Tis a Debt we owe the Worms, and they won't be cheated.—Give me a Drop or two of Cordial, to raise my Spirits, and exalt my Voice—Sir, I intend to make you Whole and Sole Executor to this my Last Will and Testament; and therefore I desire you wou'd, before these my Friends and Neighbours, solemnly engage to see it executed.
I do; and, before these Gentlemen, give my Oath to perform every thing to a tittle, according to the Tenour of the Will.
Imprimis, I bequeath my Body to the Grave, a Legacy that's rarely unpaid. Item, I give to Mr. Searjeant Wrangle, for his Care and Pains requisite to the just Execution of my Will—
What do you give, Neighbour?
A 1000l. 'tis too little, but I've many to serve. Item, I give to my old Master Homily 300l. to buy Books, and understand 'em. You've a learned [Page 42] Head, stuff it with Libraries; but don't run the Parish mad with Controversies, nor preach Abstinence to Longing Women.—Item, I give 500l. to be laid out in purchasing the Advowsons of Small Livings, to be bestow'd in Dower with stale Maids, and Oat-meal-eating Damsels of this Parish, at the Direction of Master Curate and the Church-wardens, to procure 'em the Benefit of the Clergy.
'Tis a pious, and a meritorious Legacy.
Item, I give 10l. to the Lineing of Mr. Church-wardens Pew, that they may sleep warm at Church.—Item, I give 100l. to enlarge the Church-yard, and to build two new Houses, for Apothecaries to sit Rent-free in, and fill it.
These are mad Legacies.
Item, I give 20l. to purchase some loud, new Stops to the old dumb Organ, to drown the Church-wardens snoring, in lieu of those they have already pip'd out of the Parish.—Item, to all Ringers I bequeath new Ropes, to be apply'd as their own Discretions shall direct.—Item, I give 10l. per Annum for ever, to be laid out in Spirit of Clary, and Candy'd Satyrion, to be distributed, by way of Dole, to the Married Men of this Parish, once every Month, for the Comfort of their Wives, and the Profit of Master Homily and his Successors.—Item, I give 10l. towards repairing of the Pulpit, that Master Homily may sleep in Comfort in't.
This is mere Frenzy; these Legacies are void in Law: He's Non Compos Mentis now: Take notice of it, Mr. Homily.
He's Delirious, and raves a little now; but 'twill soon be over, and he'll be compos'd again.
Item, I give 20l. towards the stopping Leaky Vessels; for I doubt there are few sound Keels in the Parish.
Won't you remember us, that are your Friends, and take care of you in your Sickness.
I do, and will take care of yours; therefore I leave you Mercury and Turpentine, Sarsaparilla and Guajacum in abundance; strong Syringes, and careful Surgeons; warm Tubs to sweat in, and wholesom Diet-drinks: Make good use of 'em, you've Occasion.
Ha'ye done giving?
I'm loth to give more from you, because I' know you'll be a faithful Executor. Yet, to pious-Uses, if you please, a little.
Now he grows temperate again.
To the Re-marrying of poor young Widows—
'Tis a charitable Will; for 'tis pity to see so many tight Vessels moulder in the Dock, for want of Ballast to put out with. What's your Pleasure in that Point?
I give Two Hundred Ells of Lockram, that there may be no strait Doings in their Linen, but the Sails cut according to their respective Burthens.— Item, I give 500 Mark, to build an Hospital for Honest, Wise Men: For Fools and Knaves, crowd 'em out of the Parish. 'Twill be but very small; yet more, I doubt, than will be soon fill'd.
I doubt so too: 'Twou'd puzzle an Oracle to shew a Man that's both wise and honest in the three Kingdoms.
Arn't you weary yet?
Never of Well-doing. But I'll give no more away. Five Hundred Acres of Land, Arable and Pasture, lying and being in the Vale of Fools; Two Ships homeward bound from the Isle of Expectation, call'd the False Hope, and the Banter; with my Stock of Cattle, Oxen, Cows, Sheep, Hogs, &c. with all my Money, Mortgages, Bonds, and other Debts; my Plate, Jewels, and rich Moveables, I leave to discharge these Legacies; the rest, and Residue, to my Executor.
If he be worth all this, he'll be the richest Wind-fall I e'er had;
You make me your Executor?
I do; Whole and Sole Executor. Pray Gentlemen, be Witnesses: I declare this to be my Last Will and Testement; See me sign it.
I wish I had more; but this may suffice an honest, reasonable Mind.
You say true, and make it rich too. Is this House and Furniture yours?
Alas, no Sir; the noble Gentleman that owns it, was pleas'd to accommodate me during my Illness: I must restore it with my last Breath, or my Recovery.
Ha'ye no other than that in Tickle-Trout-Alley? That looks like a deserted Snailshell inhabited by a Spider, hung with Cobweb-Arras: All the Furniture I cou'd e'er see there, was an old Worm-eaten Truckle-bed, two old crippl'd Wooden Chairs, and a broken Joint-stool: These promise no such mighty Treasure. Where shall I find this Estate? Where shall I raise these Sums?
Where you think good. Your Worship's wise, and know Business; know where the Wealth lies—
Think good!—Will that raise Thousands?
Your Worship's an able, and a just Man, and will see my Will faithfully executed; you've sworn it, that's my Comfort. E'n raise 'em where you please.
Where I please! Very well. Where am I? What Time o'th' Year is't? Does the Dog-Star reign, that y'are all mad?
Y'are in Fool's Paradise; and this is the First of April. What will you take for the Profit of this Executorship?
I hope you'll take care that the Legacies be paid out of hand; the Parish is poor, and wants 'em. What will you take to advance the Money?
Make Ensurance upon your Ships, Mr. Serjeant; the Banter's richly laden, and the Seas are dangerous; abundance of Privateers are upon the Coasts.
Give you Joy, Mr. Executor. Will you sell the rich Furniture of Tickle-Trout-Alley? You'll keep the Hangings, I suppose, to your self: You live like a Spider, in Cobwebs, and entangle and devour like Flies, all the Fools that come to you.
I must dissemble my Resentments, they'll teaze me to Madness else.
Give me a little more Cordial, I faint else.
Methinks I begin to feel my Spirits return. Well, a faithful Executor is as good as Frying-pan to an Apoplectick Man's Head.
This is Careless's Doings; these Worms durst not ha' turn'd their Heads against me, tho' I had trod on 'em. I must smother the Fire they have kindled in my Breast, till it may blaze to the Destruction of 'em all.
Well, you're merry, I see, Gentlemen; I hope you mean nothing but Mirth, and will drive the Jest no farther.
I hope 'tis driven Home already.
We mean nothing more than Mirth, harmless Mirth, Sir?
Well, I've lov'd a Jest my self in my time, and therefore can excuse it in others. But 'twas a little hard to make an Old Man the Subject of it, Neighbours; but Mr. Careless has some Reason, and therefore I forgive you all; and that we may be thoroughly reconcil'd, I desire your Companies all at Supper.
We'll wait on you.
And you, Neighbour Spade; your Fit will be over by that time.
I'll endeavour, Sir, as well as a Sick Man may.
We meet anon at the Serjeants, Gentlemen, and Triumph in the Success of the Plot.
1.2.5. ACT V. SCENE Wrangle's House.
A Bus'd, insulted, and made a Fool of!— An April Fool!— To be catch'd with an old stale Boy's Trick; a Trick that Children see through, and School-boys laugh at— Have I been thus long fameas for my Cunning thro' all the Courts of Westminster, the Terrour of Mad Fools, and Wild Extravagants of all Degrees and Qualities; and am I fallen at last so low, as to be practic'd upon like a raw Prentice in his first Year? No, Mad-cap, since you've put me in the Humour, you shall see some of my Frolicks e'er the Sun set yet; I'll show you a Gambol of the Law, a Trick that shall stick by you, and make ye remember the First of April as long as ye live. As for the Curate, I've that shall make him put the Lawyer before the Devil into his Litany. Nor shall my Wealthy Treasurer scape me, I'll be his Executor yet before he dies; he shall wish he had met with the Man he stole the last Shroud from in my stead—What, no Body within? Sure my House is become the Residence of Silence; no Sound to be heard; not a Whisper stirring—My Wife, my Pupil, my Servants all abroad; I wish I been't Metamorphos'd.
—How now, Raskal? How dare you leave my House ungarded?
What need of a Guard? Your Money's so well fortify'd, it may defie a French Army; the biggest Battery in Flanders wou'dn't open a Breach to it: And for any thing else, your House is as secure, as if the Plaguemark were set over the Door; no Body will venture into't,
Why, you Impudent Villain! What Suburb Bawdyhouse do you reel from now, to affront me in the Strength of the Brandy ye pim 'd for? Stand off; you stink of Leeks and Toasted Cheese, worse than a Welsh Company of Foot Soldiers upon St. David's Day.
Leeks and Toasted Cheese compar'd with your Housekeeping, are an Entertainment for a Prince of Wales. A Cameleon would be starv'd in your House, there's not so much as wholsom Air for him.
Are ye so lusty, Sirrah? Do you kick at your keeping, you sawcy Rogue? I'll bring down your high Stomach? ye shall starve for this; you shalln't so much as smell Meat these Six Weeks; no, not so much as feast your Imagination with a Picture of any thing that's earable.
I caren't, there are Services to be had, and Masters too, that know how to value a Man of my Parts, and Abilities for Service. Masters that will make me eat and drink better, and more lustily every day, than you do at a Client's Charge, when he treats his Jury or Witnesses. You may get a Dog, Sir, to lick your Dishes, and see if he'll stay with you. I'm provided.
Are you so, Sirrah? But I've another Place for you in Bridewell, where Hemp shall be both your Task and your Diet.
I thank your Worship; I hope I shall have the Honour to work a Necklace for you there.
You shall ha' Forty Lashes the more for that, Brazenface.
Curs'd Cows ha' short Horns, Sir: I hope to be out of your reach. Yet I thank your Worship for your Bounty.
Pandar, Snarling Dog.
Now for a Law-Tempest; the Codices are broke loose already: How the Sea rises! How it tumbles and foams! Sir, you're Horn-mad; I'll fetch a Doctor to you.
'Tis done, and this Rogue's made drunk to embolden him to abuse me with it. I'm made a Monster, and shall hereafter appear like a Comet, for People from all Quarters to gaze, Fools to wonder, and Boys to point and laugh at. I shall be sung in Ballads, and made a By-word to scoff others by—But here she comes; I must conceal my Grief, till my Revenge has brought it to a Head, and heal.
—So! What sweet Voyage ha' you been making? What Relation ha' you been to visit? Whose Garden did you take the Air in?
At the old Trade again? Your Jealousie pursues me even to Church, and brings a Scandal upon my very Devotions.
Yes, yes; Women Cuckold their Husbands very devoutly nowa days. 'Twas Woman, and the Devil, ruin'd us all Originally; but as if they weren't sufficient, they draw the Priest into the Confederacy too now.
You'd best deny me the Liberty of going to Church, and taking care of my Soul; but, in spite of your Tyranny, my Conscience shall be my Guide.
I wonder where abouts a Woman's Conscience lies, or how far it extends; 'tis more than any man cou'd ever fathom. But I find it has this good property of a Bawd, its pretences are always very fair, let its designs be never so foul; I don't like the spiritual Tumbling, it looks one way and plays another. Who went with you?
This Oaf here, and let every Rascal, justle me so, that he made me almost ridiculous; I was forc'd to drive him along, and push him on, till the People laugh'd and fleer'd—
How! did ye push him on? Was he so stupid?
In the middle of Churchtime, he fell fast asleep, and snor'd so, that the stops of's Nose were louder than the Organ; after that—
Ay, what after that?
Madam, I confess my self unfit to wai on you; yet forgive aed spare me this time, and the next—
No, T'll publish your Moral Vertues: He talk'd in his sleep of Declarations, Ejectments, Warrants and Executions, till he frighted almost all the People out of the Church. Am I to be thus man'd always?
I see through this; but I must pull in my Claws till I can seize and gripe my Prey.
Well Pupil, your over-bashfulness has vext her you see. Forbear her sight a while; and the next time have more Courage.
I wish I may, I'll endeavour all I'm able.
I shall make no further Trial; I'll neither be disgrac'd nor suspected for him another time. Now, Sir, your groundless Jealousie deserves to be punish'd with what you fear; if you continue to suspect my Virtue, you'l provoke me to give you cause.
Well, my Dear, be pacified, and I'll offend thee so no more. I must go about a little Business; but to let thee see I'm resolv'd to reform, and please thee, I've invited Mr. Careless, and the Curate, and some Gentlemen to Supper, if they come before I return, bid 'em welcome.
This Confidence, I'm sure, is counterfeit, and he has mischief in his Heart. But arm'd with innocence, I can dare his malice.
I'm glad to find you keep the Field last, Madam: But Victory's your Slave, and waits your motions; where e're you come, you conquer. Is the Enemy f ed?
Only retreated, I doubt an Ambuscade.
We're aware, and shall easily defeat him. But, Madam, let's lose no more precious moments, 'tis dangerous. Love's an active flame, that unfed will consume us.
And fed, will destroy both our Honour and Repose. 'Tis a Thief, that if he ben't strictly watch'd; where're he's harbour'd steals away the most pr cious Moveables, and if not prevented, is n'er to be brought to Justice.
Madam, you've no reason to complain of his injustice, since, tho he borrows from your Eyes his Power, he lays at your feet the spoil. I'm both a witness and an instance, Madam; does a faithful heart like mine, deserve no return?
Yes, it has as much as my Honour will permit, and more it never shall. I'll not make such a Present of my Heart, as shall lessen the value of it.
Can the Enjoyment of Heaven, lessen our value of Happiness?
No; but I'm not so much a Bigot, as to be deceiv'd with an imaginary view, and lose the real Prospect. I've consider'd it, and am convinc'd, that what I can give, is like the Presents of poor Tenants to their great Landlords, it may ruin me, it can make you n'er the richer.
The value of things above the common way of Traffick is Arbitrary, and depends upon the esteem of those that possess 'em, and you can't prize a Favour higher, than I am ready to bid or it.
Have a care how you advance, if I shou'd take you at your word, you might repent your Bargain.
I shou'd only fear breaking in your Debt; since the Purchase is more than I'm worth.
We need not dispute that. For what you wou'd contract for, I can't make you a good Title to, and am resolv'd to be honest to a Scruple.
Madam, this is my second trespass upon your House to day—
You're welcome, Sir; but I hope you're better pleas'd with the present Occasion, than the last.
In this at least I ought to be, that with this Lady I've brought a better Apology, than the Serjeant's invitation.
She commands her welcome, where e're she comes, but more particularly here.
All Occasions of waiting upon you, Madam, are very acceptable to me; but Mr. Careless has promis'd before you to unfold a Mystery, that at our parting we did not understand, and to clear himself and me.
I'll make good my Promise, Madam, immediately.
Now, Mrs. Vernish, you must to this Company unriddle, you must tell the Truth, the whole Truth; or I shall deliver you over agen to the Tormentors. What was your design? Who set you on? And whence had you the information you pretended to this Afternoon?
I hope your Ladiship, won't let me suffer for my zeal to serve you; Mr. Careless has laid an Action of a Thousand Pound upon me for telling you, what I heard. 'Tis well known I'm a Woman of Reputation and Conscience, and what I said was in pure tenderness of you. For my part I have no malice to any Body, and wou'd n't wrong any man for the World.
I can say nothing to the matter, Mrs. Vernish; if you've injur'd Mr. Careless, 'tis but justice to leave him to his Liberty to seek Reparation, as he thinks fit.
Heaven, that sees my Heart, Madam, knows that I never bore any malice to Mr. Careless.
Every Carted Bawd in Town, can plead more in her own Justification than this.
All this is beside your Text, Mother Sodom; confess ingenuously, who set you to work, and for what End; otherwise you know your Lodging: 'Tis in vain for you to expect mercy, without shewing true signs of your Repentance.
Immediately after Mr. Careless and you were gone from the Serjeants, Madam, he came to me, and told me, that you had just then Bail'd Mr. Careless, and lent him Two hundred Pound upon a Ring, desir'd me to pump out of your Servants how you dispos'd of it; which I effected by one, that I employ'd to trepan your Servant, under pretence of Drinking with him, who saw both the Ring and the Direction.
This is but half satisfaction; there remains a reckoning for the Story of Mrs. Washwell.—
'Tis enough for us, Sir; I'm satisfy'd. You may make up the rest of your Account with her at leisure.
Here, take her away; and set her by till she be call'd to the Bar again.
The Lawyer has been scolding at his sweet Lady this half Hour for going to Church; I suppose to prepare himself for some bawling Cause.
How! for going to Church? What! Does he deny her Liberty of Conscience? We'll have him up in the Spiritual Court for't, there's Law for him, that will make Cook and Littleton sweat.
For my part, all I can do to be further reveng'd on him, is to eat lustily; if that will do't, I'll crucifie him: I wish I cou'd clap a Tire or two more of Teeth into my Head, to grind him.
We've a Design to reduce the Serjeant to Reason, Madam; and procure his Lady for the future the same Liberty that others have, and she ought to have. Will your Ladyship join with us in so good a Work?
I shall be proud to contribute any thing in my power towards it.
Be pleas'd to let one of your Servants fetch the Writings of Mr. Careless's Estate; I shall open such a piece of Villany to you, as you little suspect, Madam.
Waitwell, run, and bid my Woman send the Black Box of Writings in my Closet.
To care such a Canker'd Knave, his Sores must be laid open, they are foul to the Bone.
So, they're all in the Toyl already: Keep back all, only you that are to lay the Cloth.
So, you're welcome, Gentlemen; you're Men of Honour, and punctual to your Appointment. Come, let's be merry.
We intend no less: An Hour of Freedom's worth an Age of Juggling.
I'm come too, to specifie my Stomach: Your Worship's Generosity has wrought a miraculous Cure upon me.
And thou shalt have it fill'd, my merry Lad; my bonny, bounteous Testator: Thou shalt find me the kindest Executor that ever was bilk'd by a Recovery; it shall be fill'd till it groan again.
Let it have fair Play; and if it founder—
Faith, the Trick you put upon me, nettl'd me cruelly at first; but when I consider'd that it was but a Jest, and carry'd off so neatly, it made me extreamly merry: I was so tickl'd with the Mirth!
Harmless Mirth always works so. No , shou'd we have been in earnest, it might ha' sowr'd your Humour, and fill'd your Head with strange Matters. For, Things thrust home in earnest—
Very certain. But you're merry Wags all; and you shall see I can be merry too. Madam,
your Ladyship's an unexpected Guest; I could wish I had Entertainment proper for you; but you'll excuse it, I hope. I don't like her Company; but I must push my Revenge now;
Come, bring in Supper: I've made no great Preparation to make the Room smell; only a Cold Treat: E'ery Man his Dish, if it please your Palates—
Come, fall to, Gentlemen; eat a bit, that we may drink a Glass.
What's this? an Execution?
Much good do you, Sir; 'tis a little tough, but 'tis sound; a good Stomach will digest it easily: 'Tis but 1000l. Nay, ne'er stir; your Sword's gone, and these are Bayliffs.
a Citation, and a Warrant to appear before the Judge of the Arches!
Can you conjure, Mr. Marr-Text? To your Prayers, the Devil's in your Dish; I've rais'd him, now try if you can lay him.
I must go to the Necessary House.
You need not; your Fear will make ye find the way to your Breeches. How do you like your Mess, my wealthy Sexton? What Legacy wou'd you give now? What wou'd you pay down upon the Nail, to scape my Clutches?
Have you betray'd us? and dare you insult?
Invited, you mean! Fall to, you've diligent Men about you, and shall want nothing that may persecute you.
As bold and brave, as like a Lion, as you swagger now, I shall make you hang your Ears like an Ass yet, e'er we part.
O, yes! The Lawyer's a Fool, an April-Fool, a Thick-skull'd Fellow; fit only to be the Sport of such Triumphant Wits. Within this Half Hour you shall have a Second Dish of new Debts from all your Creditors; new Invitations to Whips and Halters for my loving Neighbour Spade; and Excommunications, Suspensions and Sequestrations for the learned Curate. A Masque of all your Furies shall dance to you.
Have a care of being taken in your own Pitfall. Do you think to catch us in a Cobweb? Do you hear, Purse-Gelder? The First of April is n't over yet.
He braves it out nobly; his Courage don't sink in the least. I'm resolv'd once more to redeem him, whate'er comes on't.
If you threaten, you go to Prison directly, without Mercy. I've a better Guard without. Do you know this Man, Curate? He's an Apparitor, that comes to tell you a pleasant Story of an old Whore, and half a dozen Bastards, you've palm'd upon the Parish. You know the Penalty.
Good Sir, be compassionate; and I'll[ whispers the Serjeant in the Ear.] In Verbo Sacerdotis, I will.
No, no Bribery: I'll swinge ye. Thou rash, inconsiderate Fool, canst thou hope for Compassion? And you Lenten-Chaps, that lay sick, and mock'd me; I'll make you s ch at Heart. Yes, you shall die, but not worth a Sheet to wind you in; not so much as that you stole, with the Ring, from the Merchant's Grave. Do you smell me now?
Good Sir, have a little Mercy.
Mercy! yes; as much as a Halter can shew ye: You smell strong of Hemp, Rascal; the Gallows wait for you: 'Tis n't a Penitential Psalm shall save you.
What! Are you treating about a separate Peace, Rogues? Have a Care what you do, we shall turn our Arms upon you; we allow no Neutrality.
Mr. Serjeant, yours: Now I'm no longer your Servant, methinks I've an Inclination to be your Friend; I've brought you some Clients: They are not over-stock'd with Fees, 'tis true; but I know you're a charitable Man, and love Business in Forma Pauperis.
I'm glad to see you; my Revenge had not been compleat without you.
I heard there was Meat in your House, and came to wonder at it; 'tis a Miracle that ne'er happen'd in my days here. The Dishes are lick'd clean, I see, already; according to the ancient Custom of this House, you suffer nothing to go from the Table.
You come a little of the latest; however, there's a Service left for you. Mr. Constable, have this Fellow to Bridewell, and let him be soundly lash'd thrice a Week, and beat Hemp for his Diet.
Sir, I desire you to spare this Ceremony; you treat me like a Stranger: Pray give your self no Trouble; since I'm too late, I can go as I came.
Your Punishment, and yours, I reserve to a further Opportunity, for Reasons best known to my self.
My Punishment!—I've been too tame, too submissive a Wife to your base Usage. But since you dare provoke me—
Be resolute, Madam; I'll stand and fall in your Defence: And he that dares to brand your Fame, or taint your Vertue, is a Rascal, tho' your Husband.
How's this? Who have we here? a New-England Bully?
No; but a Gentleman of Old-England: One, whose Relation to your Lady, put him upon this Stratagem, to prove her Vertue, and your Barbarity and Villany; both which I find far to exceed Belief.
I doubt he'll prove nearer akin to her Issue, if e'er she has any,
Sir, you've taken upon you a troublesome Office; you may repent.
Not easily. I can pronounce her Vertue fix'd as a Rock, ne'er to be mov'd, and unalterable as Fate. But since you are so stubborn, I'll try to reclaim you by Force.
Do you see these forging Instruments of yours? They shall suffer, and you too with 'em, unless you come immediately to Composition, upon such directionary Terms as I shall order. I watch'd your Privacy, and overheard all your Villainy practis'd against this Lady; and took care to lay a Trap for your Under-Vermin.
A while after we came from your House, we were apprehended upon a Warrant from my Lord Chief Justice for Forgery, and have been e'er since in Custody.
Let's see the Writings of Mr. Careless's Estate. In one Week's time these had been all a Blank! See, Madam; some of the Letters are vanish'd already, the Names are almost lost.
Now, Serjeant, what will you give to ensure your Ears?
Well, Gentlemen, you've over-reach'd me, and I am an Ass: But propose your own Conditions, and I submit to 'em.
Mr. Careless, What Reparation do you think fit to demand, for the Injuries he has done you?
Only let him produce the real Writings of my Estate.
Here they are.
These are right. Then here I pay 'em, where they, and more, than I am worth are due.
Now, Madam, what satisfaction can he make you?
Let him obtain his Wife's Pardon, and promise hereafter to be as subject to his Wife, as she has been to him, and I am satisfied.
I thank your Ladiship, for your care of me, let me but live hereafter free, and unsuspected, and that's past shall be forgotten.
You hear, Sir, the Terms of your Indemnity. Allow your Lady, Maintenance suitable to her Quality, and Liberty answerable to her Vertue, and all shall be baried in silence.
You've made me truly sensible of my Folly; and henceforth Wife, you shall be at your own discretion, both in point of Liberty and Expence.
Since there wants a sufficient Guarantee, you must be a while upon good Behaviour.
Gentlemen, you forget your fellow Labourers; must we have no reparation?
What do you desire?
Let him turn his Sham-Treat into a real One.
Mr. Serjeant, as an easie Fine, to ratifie our Articles of Reconciliation; you're condemn'd to treat this good Company to night in reality.
With all my heart; let the Officers be discharg'd on all parts, and you shall see I'll commence my Reformation in good earnest.
Mr. Careless I've found you a Man of so much Honour, that here I make you a Present of your Estate again, and with it of my self, if you think it worth the Acceptance.
Madam, you make me blush for my own want of Merit, but since your Bounty, like that of Heaven outstrips my boldest wishes, with Joy I receive what I durst never presume to ask.
Nay, Gentlemen, before you ratifie the Articles of Peace, let me be comprehended.
You shall; and for this once, I'll try the stretch of your Belly.
I thank your Worship, I've a good Stomach at your Service.
Mr. Serjeant, you've plaid the Jealous Ass, and mistaken your Ears for Horns. Let that mistake be rectified, and henceforth you shall know me as a sincere Friend, that shall never design either against your Lady's Vertue, or your Quiet.