British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview
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that aunt of mine, without one worthy particle in her composition, would, I dare be sworn, as soon set her foot in a pest-house, as in a play-house.

(Going.)

MISS RUSPORTenters to him.

CHARLOTTE. Stop, stay a little, Charles, 210
whither are you going in such haste?

CHARLES. Madam! Miss Rusport! what are your commands?

CHARLOTTE. Why so reserved? We had used

to answer to no other names than those of 215
Charles and Charlotte.

CHARLES. What ails you? you've been weeping.

CHARLOTTE. No no; or if I have -- your eyes are full too; but I have a thousand things to say

to you: before you go, tell me, I conjure you, 220
where you are to be found; here give me your direction; write it upon the back of this visiting- ticket -- Have you a pencil?

CHARLES. I have: but why should you desire to find

us out? 'tis a poor little inconvenient place; 225
my sister has no apartment fit to receive you in.

Servant enters.

SERV. Madam, my lady desires your company directly.

CHARLOTTE. I am coming -- well, have you wrote

it? Give it me. O Charles! either you do 230
not, or you will not, understand me.

Exeunt severally.


ACT II

SCENE I

A room in FULMER'S house.

FULMERand MRS. FULMER.

MRS. FULMER. Why, how you sit, musing and moping, sighing and desponding! I'm ashamed of you, Mr. Fulmer: is this the country you described to me, a second Eldorado, rivers of gold and rocks

of diamonds? You found me in a pretty snug re­ 5
tired way of life at Bo[u]logne, out of the noise and bustle of the world, and wholly at my ease; you, indeed, was upon the wing, with a fiery persecution at your back: but, like a true son of Loyola, you
had then a thousand ingenious devices to repair 10
your fortune; and this your native country was to be the scene of your performances: fool that I was, to be inveigled into it by you; but thank heaven, our partnership is revocable: I am not your wedded
wife, praised be my stars! for what have we got, 15
whom have we gulled but ourselves? which of all your trains has taken fire? even this poor expedient of your bookseller's shop seems abandoned, for if a chance customer drops in, who is there, pray, to
help him to what he wants? 20

FULMER. Patty, you know it is not upon slight grounds that I despair; there had used to be a livelihood to be picked up in this country, both for the honest and dishonest; I have tried each walk,

and am likely to starve at last: there is not a 25
point to which the wit and faculty of man can turn, that I have not set mine to; but in vain, I am beat through every quarter of the compass.

MRS. F. Ah! common efforts all: strike me a

master-stroke, Mr. Fulmer, if you wish to make 30
any figure in this country.

FULMER. But where, how, and what? I have blustered for prerogative; I have bellowed for freedom; I have offered to serve my country; I have

engaged to betray it; a master-stroke, truly; 35
why, I have talked treason, writ treason, and if a man can't live by that he can live by nothing. Here I set up as a bookseller; why, men left off reading; and if I was to turn butcher, I believe o' my con
science they'd leave off eating. 40

CAPTAIN DUDLEYcrosses the stage.

MRS. F. Why there now's your lodger, old Captain Dudley, as he calls himself; there's no flint without fire; something might be struck out of him, if you'd the wit to find the way.

FULMER. Hang him, an old dry-skinned cur­ 45
mudgeon; you may as well think to get truth out of a courtier, or candor out of a critic: I can make nothing of him; besides, he's poor, and therefore not for our purpose.

MRS. F. The more fool he! Would any man 50
be poor that had such a prodigy in his possession?

FULMER. His daughter, you mean; she is indeed uncommonly beautiful.

MRS. F. Beautiful! Why she need only be seen

to have the first men in the kingdom at her 55
feet. Egad, I wish I had the leasing of her beauty; what would some of our young nabobs give -- ?

FULMER. Hush; here comes the Captain; good girl, leave us to ourselves, and let me try what I

can make of him. 60

MRS. F. Captain, truly; i' faith I'd have a regiment, had I such a daughter, before I was three months older. Exit.


SCENE II

CAPTAIN DUDLEYenters to him.

FULMER. Captain Dudley, good morning to you.

DUDLEY. Mr. Fulmer, I have borrowed a book from your shop; 'tis the sixth volume of my de­_ ceased friend Tristram:1 he is a flattering writer to

____________________
ACT II. SCENE I. 6] N Bologne; but Boulogne in IV. i. 16.
1
The sixth volume of Sterne's Tristram Shandy appeared in 1762.

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British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan
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