British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview

from whom I have my intelligence, and send you word whereabouts you may stand to see 'em meet. My friend and I'll watch 'em from another place, and dodge1 'em to their private lodging: but don't you

offer to follow 'em, lest you do it awkwardly, 205
and spoil all. I'll come home to you again, as soon as I have (earthed] 'em, and give you an account in what comer of the house the scene of their lewdness lies.

AMAN. If you can do this, Berinthia, he's a 210
villain.

BER. I can't help that: men will be so.

AMAN. Well! I'll follow your directions, for I shall never rest till I know the worst of this matter.

BER. Pray, go immediately, and get your­ 215
self ready, then. Put on some of your woman's clothes, a great scarf and a mask, and you shall presently receive orders. (Calls within.) Here, who's there? get me a chair quickly.

[Enter Servant.]

SERV. There are chairs at the door, madam. 220
BER. 'Tis well; I'm coming. [Exit Servant.]

AMAN. But pray, Berinthia, before you go, tell me how I may know this filthy thing, if she should be so forward (as I suppose she will) to come to the

rendezvous first; for methinks I would fain 225
view her a little.

BER. Why, she's about my height, and very well shaped.

AMAN. I thought she had been a little crooked?

BER. O no, she's as straight as I am. But 230
we lose time: come away. Exeunt.


[SCENE III]
[YOUNG FASHION'S lodgings.]

Enter YOUNG FASHION, meeting LORY.

Y. FAS. Well, will the doctor come?

LO. Sir, I sent a porter to him as you ordered me. He found him with a pipe of tobacco and a great tankard of ale, which he said he would dispatch while

I could tell2 three, and be here. 5

Y. FAS. He does not suspect 'twas I that sent for him?

LO. Not a jot, sir; he divines as little for himself as he does for other folks.

Y. FAS. Will he bring nurse with him? 10
LO. Yes.

Y. FAS. That's well; where's Coupler?

LO. He's half way up the stairs taking breath; he must play his bellows a little before he can get to the

top. 15

Enter COUPLER.

Y. FAS. Ob, here he is. Well, old phthisic? The doctor's coming.

COUP. Would the pox had the doctor ----- I'm quite out of wind. (To LORY.) Set me a chair,

sirrah. Ah! (Sits down. To YOUNG FASHION.) 20
Why the plague canst not thou lodge upon the ground floor?

Y. FAS. Because I love to lie as near heaven as I can.

COUP. Prithee let heaven alone; ne'er affect 25
tending that way: thy center's downwards.

Y. FAS. That's impossible. I have too much ill luck in this world to be damned in the next.

COUP. Thou art out in thy logic. Thy major is

true, but thy minor is false; for thou art the 30
luckiest fellow in the universe.

Y. FAS. Make out that.

COUP. I'll do't: last night the devil ran away with the parson of Fatgoose living.

Y. FAS. If he had run away with the parish 35
too, what's that to me?

COUP. I'll tell thee what it's to thee. This living is worth five hundred pound a year, and the presentation of it is thine, if thou canst prove [thy]self a

lawful husband to Miss Hoyden. 40

Y. FAS. Say'st thou so, my protector? then i'cad I shall have a brace of evidences here presently.

COUP. The nurse and the doctor?

Y. FAS. The same: the devil himself won't have

interest enough to make 'em withstand it. 45

COUP. That we shall see presently: here they come.

Enter Nurse and Chaplain; they start back, seeing
YOUNG FASHION.

NURSE. Ah goodness, Roger, we are betrayed.

Y. FAS. (laying hold an 'em). Nay, nay, ne'er

flinch for the matter, for I have you safe. Come, 50
to your trials immediately: I have no time to give you copies of your indictment. There sits your judge.

BOTH (kneeling). Pray, Sir, have companion on us.

NURSE. I hope, Sir, my years will move your 55 pity; I am an aged woman.

COUP. That is a moving argument, indeed.

BULL. I hope, sir, my character will be considered; I am heaven's ambassador.

COUP. (to BULL). Are not you a rogue of 60
sanctity?

BULL. Sir, with respect to my function, I do wear a gown.

COUP. Did not you marry this vigorous young

fellow to a plump young buxom wench? 65

____________________
207] Q1 earth; Q2P earthed.
SCENE III. 39] Q1 they; Q2P thy.
45] P them.
49] P them
50, 51] P Come to.
58, 59] Q2P om. this speech of Bull's but attach it to his next speech.
1
Dog, follow.
2
Count.

-299-

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