British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview
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SCRUB. Eh! my dear brother, let me kiss thee.

(Kisses ARCHER.)

ARCH. This way -- here --

(ARCHER and SCRUB hide behind the bed.)

Enter GIBBET, with a dark lanthorn in one hand, and a pistol in t'other.

GIB. Ay, ay, this is the chamber, and the 155
lady alone.

MRS. SUL. Who are you, sir? what would you have? d'ye come to rob me?

GIB. Rob you! Alack-a-day, madam, I'm only

a younger brother,1 madam; and so, madam, if 160
you make a noise, I'll shoot you through the head; but don't be afraid, madam. -- (Laying his lanthorn and pistol upon the table.) These rings, madam -- don't be concerned, madam, I have a profound
respect for you, madam; your keys, madam -- 165
don't be frighted, madam, I'm the most of a gentleman. -- (Searching her pockets.) This necklace, madam -- I never was rude to a lady; -- I have a veneration -- for this necklace --

(Here ARCHER, having come round and seized the [pistol], takes GIBBETby the collar, trips up his heels, and claps the pistol to his breast.)

ARCH. Hold, profane villain, and take the 170
reward of thy sacrilege!

GIB. Oh! pray, sir, don't kill me; I an't prepared.

ARCH. How many is there of 'em, Scrub?

SCRUB. Five-and-forty, sir.

ARCH. Then I must kill the villain, to have 175
him out of the way.

GIB. Hold, hold, sir, we are but three, upon my honor.

ARCH. Scrub, will you undertake to secure

him? 180

SCRUB. Not I, sir; kill him, kill him!

ARCH. Run to Gipsey's chamber, there you'll find the doctor; bring him hither presently. -- (Exit SCRUB, running.) Come, rogue, if you have a short

prayer, say it. 185

GIB. Sir, I have no prayer at all; the government has provided a chaplain to say prayers for us on these occasions.

MRS. SUL. Pray, sir, don't kill him. You fright

me as much as him. 190

ARCH. The dog shall die, madam, for being the occasion of my disappointment. -- Sirrah, this moment is your last.

GIB. Sir, I'll give you two hundred pound to spare

my life. 195

ARCH. Have you no more, rascal?

GIB. Yes, sir, I can command four hundred, but I must reserve two of 'em to save my life at the sessions.

Enter SCRUB and FOIGARD.

ARCH. Here, doctor, I suppose Scrub and 200 you between you may manage him. -- Lay hold of him, doctor. (FOIGARD lays hold of GIBBET.)

GIB. What! turned over to the priest already! -- Look ye, doctor, you come before your time; I an't

condemned yet, I thank ye. 205

FOI. Come, my dear joy, I vill secure your body and your shoul too; I vill make you a good Catholic, and give you an absolution.

GIB. Absolution! can you procure me a pardon,

doctor? 210

FOI. No, joy.

GIB. Then you and your absolution may go to the devil!

ARCH. Convey him into the cellar; there bind

him. Take the pistol, and if he offers to resist, 215
shoot him through the head -- and come back to us with all the speed you can.

SCRUB. Ay, ay; come, doctor, do you hold him fast, and I'll guard him.

[Exit FOIGARD and SCRUB with GIBBET.]

MRS. SUL. But how came the doctor -- 220

ARCH. In short, madam -- (shrieking without). 'Sdeath! the rogues are at work with the other ladies. I'm vexed I parted with the pistol; but I must fly to their assistance. Will you stay here, madam, or

venture yourself with me? 225

MRS. SUL. Oh, with you, dear Sir, with you.

Takes him by the arm and exeunt.


[SCENE III]

Scene changes to another apartment in the same house.

Enter HOUNSLOW dragging in LADY BOUNTIFUL, and BAGSHOT hauling in DORINDA; the rogues with swords drawn.

[BAG.] Come, come, your jewels, mistress!

[HOUN.] Your keys, your keys, old gentlewoman!

Enter AIMWELLand CHERRY.

AIM. Turn this way, villains! I durst engage an army in such a cause. (He engages 'em both.)

DOR. O madam, had I but a sword to help 5
the brave man!

LADY BOUN. There's three or four hanging up in the hall; but they won't draw. I'll go fetch one, however. Exit.

____________________
169 s.d.] QIC pistols, takes. SCENE III. I] QIC HOUN.
1
A jesting reference to the fact that under the laws of primogeniture younger brothers had to make their living by any means that offered. Gibbet pretends to the rank of gentleman.
2
] QIC BAG.

-381-

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