Page images
PDF

peat them ?—No, Sir,—the day of prejudice is past —in public life, let there be private virtue, and the poor player will be more respected, than those who censure and despise her!

Enter Henry Sapling.

Henry. So she is—and every body should respect actors—because they always pay such handsome compliments to us British sailors.

Lauretta. Heavens, Mr. Henry!

Sir Edtv. Aye, Sir—what brings you here?

Henry. I came to claim your promile, Sir Edward .—as visitor at your house, by my uncle's introduction, you bade me ask for what I like—now I don't ask such serious favours of you, as shooting or fishing on the best part of the manor—because, I've heard, it only puts you country gentlemen to the trouble of whispering your game-keeper, to take one to your neighbour's grounds—no—in the way of spoit, I simply beg leave to carry off this bird of passage! {Taking Lauretta's band.)

Sir Edw. 'Sdeath, Sir—I insist—(going to fart them).

Henry. And 1 insist, Sir,—I knew her in a country where there are some savages; but none bad enough to wish her to convict her father—or if there were, do you think I'd suffer it ?—no—I'm afraid of only one human being, and as she's at an agreeable distance, I wish you good night, Sir Edward.

Sir Edw. Hold, Sir,—desist !—(Noise os stamping with feet without, Sir Edward looks round.) Ha! I defy you now—for here comes one vested with legal power to secure her!—Dare you contend against the law?

Henry. No—but I dare run from it—and I'm sure you ought to thank me, Sir Edward: for now

you

you may enjoy your evening's fete—but if I hadn't relicv'd you from this little burthen, (pointing so Lauretta,) all the music of the spheres cou'dn'd havecheer'd you—come, Lauretta, this is the first time I ever fled from an enemy; but if by my retreating you escape, 'twill be the proudest victory I ever gajn'd I [Exit with Lauretta.

Enter immediately from the Park Gate Paul Postpone, the MS. Muficin his Hand.

Sir Edw. Now, sir—are you completely ready?

Paul. Quite, sir,-^-" To arms, to arms," t (Humming tune, and then recollecting himself.)—Oh, i beg pardon, I thought it was Mr. ■ but I

perceive now, you want the subpœna—here it is— . all prepar'd you fee.

Sir Edw. I dos-and look, yonder goes Lau* retta—follow her—make spre of her; and, lest her champion should molest you, and my appearance may be thought vindictive, I'll seek and send assistance. Away—lose not a moment—my happiness, my reputation—-nay, my life depends on your success. [Exit..

Paul.. I'll do it—I'll serve the process in spite of her and all her champions.—(As he is goings a, flourish of grand martial music is beard.)—Bless my foul! it's beginning! the music is beginning! and now at the moment, when 1 should have cut such a figure.——Was there ever such an infernal laborious profession? (looks out.)—Yes: there they are all seated—all the sweet beautiful ladies, waiting to applaud my vocal and instrumental powers—dear! dear! Wou'dn't it be time enough to serve the subpœna early to-morrow morning? I've often put it off till the last moment; and no man living has ever lost—I mean, gain'd, more causes than I have done.—But then, Sir Edward and his reputation !—Oh-—I must go after her.

p Enter

Enter Sapling through the Park Gates, hastily.

Sapling. Oh, Lord! I'm so glad I've found you. Come along—(taking bis arm.) The sweet creatures are all on the tip-toe of expectation.

Paul. I know it. So am I—but look, look at that tormenting witness. "Sapling. Witness !—Where ?—I fee nobody. ( Paul. Don't you !—faith I—no more do I.

Sapling. No: whoever they are, they're safely out of fight for this night.—So—nonsense! stuff! put it off till day-light -, and now it's the assizes, recollect you've a right to enjoy yourself !—Isn't it a part of the business to have balls—concerts—

Paul. So it is; and if barristers partake of them, why not attornies ?—damme, I won't be the flave I have been!—I'll let my genius take its bent j and if it ordains me musical, it's a better trade than mine—more profit—less trouble—

Sapling. Aye: and as a reward for your labours, applause and repetition j but in law !—now I only ask, Who ever claps a declaration?

Paul. No: or who ever encores, a bill in Chancery ?—come along.—" To arms! to arms! we heroes cry.—Huzza! to victory !" {Exeuntsinging to grand martial music, which continues after the dropping of the curtain.

END OF THE SECOND ACT.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

SCENE.—An Apartment in Delauny House.
Enter Mrs. Sapling and Honoria.

Mrs. Sapling. Positively, Honoria, I will not listen to you. You really must marry Mr. Privilege—and soon—very soon !—for my own wedding is gone by, and I begin to want something new dreadfully.

Honoria. Nay, Madam: when I've told you that from early life, my heart has been another's

Mrs. Sapling. Simple thing !—(he don't know that hearts have been out, ever since pin-money and separate establishments came in. And surely you don't compare the elegant Mr. Privilege with this barbarous sailor gentleman ?—In the first place, the man has no voice.

Honoria. No, Ma'am: no more has Mr. Sapling.

Mrs. Sapling. No voice !—my husband! ■

Oh, I understand—yqu mean that I play the first instrument?—Vastly well!—and so you shall find, Ma'am—though a widow—though not quite so young and striking as Miss Honoria—there is now-a-days this consolation—old women never go by—and whilst my voice lasts, neither hi* nor vours shall be heard, I promise you.

Honoria. No, Madam: and till my guardian c 2 shall shall assert his rights, I have no hope of happiness or Henry. [Exit.

^Mrs. Sapling. Nftne— if 'twere only for his insolent insinuations.——Brute!— monster! —to speak such home truths—to fay I dreaded seeing my husband on horseback, because his fortune was in annuity, when every body knows my love for poor little Sappy is so violent—so-*—*•

Enter Paul Postpone and Sapling.

Paul. I fay the fault's yours-—and so I'll tell my client again and again.

Sapling. Then I fay you are a base slanderous person.

Mrs. Sapling. Mercy!—What's the matter, gentlemen?

Paul. The matter, Ma'am !—Why the assizes have began j and owing to this seducing deceiver, our only witneis has efcap'd.—You know it, fir. You bade me put it off till day-light i and now, for the first time, I shall be set down as an idle, dissipated———

Sapling. And so you ought—for the music didn't content you—no—youtnust dance also—and play billiards also—and ber against time also.

Paul. Don't you talk of betting against time! Didn't you offer to trot on your own feet against post horses, and draw chaises with your own hands against dray horses?—In fact, didn't you so completely prove yourself a four-legg'd animal, that at iupper, when you ask'd for ham and fowl, the com* pany begg'd you'd stand on no ceremony, but call for hay and corn as if you were atone?

Enter Servant.

Servant. Sir, we have traced young Mr, Sap* 11 ling

« PreviousContinue »