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Sir E. Upon my honour, I was not acquainted with your virtues. [Bowing. Crack. No, sir, few are; [Bows.] or I should not blush so often as I do, by blowing the trumpet of my own. praise.
Sir E. And pray, sir, how do you get your living?
Crack. Sometimes one way-sometimes another: I am first ringer of the bells, and second huntsman to old Tantivy; and, though it's not in my power to improve the weak heads of my neighbours, yet I often mend their faulty understandings. [Pointing to his shoes.] Ecce signum. [Showing his apron.
Sir E. Anything rather than work, eh?
Crack. Any work, sir, to get an honest penny. Twice a week I turn pack-horse; I fetch and carry all the letters, packets, and parcels, to and from the next markettown; and t'other day I stood candidate for clerk of the parish, but
Sir E. The badness of your character prevented your election?
Crack. No, sir, it was the goodness of my voice-you hear how musical it is, when I only speak. What would it have been at an amen! [Whispering.] The parson didn't like to be outdone.-Envy often deprives a good man of a place, as well as perquisites. [A pause.
[Crack laughs, and then nods. Sir E. What's that familiar nod for Crack. It's a way I have when I give consent. Sir E. Consent! to what?
Crack. That you may give me what you please above half-a crown. [They laugh-a pause.] Oh! I'm a man of my word, I'll take care to exercise the curricle and horses.
Sir E. You will?-You had better take my riding-coat, and whip too, and go in style.
[Ironically. Crack. Had I, Sir?-Well; I'm going to market, and can bring back your honour's letters and parcels at the same time; and in the evening we'll all be jolly. [Going.
Enter SMART, from the Public-House, R. S. E. Sir E. Who is that familiar gentleman, Smart? Sma. He's a sort of jack-of-all trades, but chiefly a cobbler.
Crack. Well; don't sneer at the cobbler; many betters have made their fortunes by cobbling.
thank you; I'm glad to find you more of a gentleman than your servant, which is not always the case. look to the curricle and horses, Sir, before I drink your health; I love business, and I hate a guzzler. [Exit, R.
Sir E. Give this letter to my steward, and tell him, if Old Maythorn can't pay his arrears, he must arrest him. [Exit Smart, R.] The old fellow in confinement, his daughter Mary will gladly pay the price of his release.
Enter HENRY BLUNT, from the Public-House, R. S. E. Have you your character yet, Blunt, from your last place?
Hen. (R.) No, Sir Edward;
expect it to-day. Go to the hill opposite the lodge; should you spring any birds, don't shoot, but mark them; and, d'ye hear?-I have a little love-affair upon my hands; keep at a distance; I shall be near the copse; when I need you, I'll fire.
Hen. Oh, Sir, I know my duty.
ROBERT returns, R.
Sir E. You, sir, direct my keeper to Barrow Hill, and don't let me hear of your firing a gun again upon my manors, or you'll-visit the county gaol.
Rob. Shall I? No, but I don't think I shall visit the [Exit sulkily after Blunt, L. Enter PEGGY, R. S. E., from Public-House, in a bonnet, with a little basket.
Sir E. Ah! my bonny lass in a bonnet! -W hat, you're going a-nutting, I see. The clusters hang remarkably thick in lower by-field, beneath the copse; in the hedge, joining the cut hay-stack.
Peg. Ah! that's the way you're going to shoot; if I had known that, now, I'd have chose another place. [Mary appears at the door of the turnpike-house, L. U. E. Hush! there's Miss Maythorn ;-she's always on the watch [Crosses c-smiles.]-How do, Miss Mary? I'm sorry to see you distressed [Aside.]-Conceited moppet! [Exit Peggy, L.
Sir E. My dear Mary, you seem dejected. Mary. Misfortune, Sir Edward, has pressed hard upon us of late.
Sir E. (R.) The fault, my love, is your's. I wish to
be more the friend of you and your family, than ever the late admiral was.
Mary. (L.) Do you, Sir Edward?
[Eagerly. Sir E. Certainly. I wish your father to be rent-free. I long to give you an annuity and a coach, take you to town, and make you happy.
Mary. I doubt, sir, if that would make me so; and if there are fathers whose necessities press them to seek subsistence by the sale of a daughter's virtue, how noble were it in the wealthy to pity and relieve them!
[Exit hastily to turnpike-house.
Sir E. Stubborn and proud still; but resistance makes victory glorious. Since soothing won't do, we'll try a little severity. She's a sweet girl, and I must have her.
Lovely woman, 'tis thou
Thy charms to sweet rapture give birth;
Lends life to the whole,
And a blank, without thee, were this earth.
Ev'ry day-ev'ry hour,
With my heart honour, worship, adore :
Winter, when thou'rt away;—
In a dream, oft I've seen
But, sweet Mary, 'twas you
Rich fancy then drew;
Thou'rt the vision which sleeping she wrought.
Lovely woman's soft power,
Ev'ry day-ev'ry hour,
Let my heart honour, worship, adore:
Thou present, 'tis May;
Winter, when thou'rt away;
Can a man, I would ask, wish for more? [Exit, L.
SCENE II.-A Room in the Public-House. Enter CRACK, R., with Sir Edward's box-coat, whip, and hat, LANDLADY following.
Lan. (R.) Don't tell me I'll not believe Sir Edward ordered any such thing.
Crack. (L.) I say he did-" My dear Crack," says he, shaking my hand, "you had better take my riding-coat and whip, and go in style." And let me see the man or woman who dare dispute it [Struts.]-Now I'm a kind of Bond-Street man of fashion.
Lan. You a Bond-Street man of fashion! Crack. Yes, I am-I'm all outside. Where are those idle scoundrels? Oh! I see; they are getting the curricle and horses ready.
Lan. By my faith, and so they are.-Well, 'tis in vain for me to talk, and so I'll leave you. Peggy! [Calling.] Where can this girl of mine be? Why, Peggy! [Exit, R.
Crack. I have often wondered why they drive two big horses in so small a carriage! Now, I find, one's to draw the gentleman, and t'other his great coat! [Shrugs. Enter JOE STANDFAST, R.
Joe. (R.) They tell me, Crack, that you are under sailing orders for town. I'm bound so far, d'ye see, on business for Master Blunt, the new keeper; mayhap, you'll give a body a berth on board the curricle?
Crack. (L.) Yes, I'll give your body a berth on board; and Heaven send it a safe deliverance!
Joe. Are you steady at the helm?
Crack. Unless your treat should make me tipsy; in that Crack, Lord help your head! We drivers of curricles case, you must steer.
Joe. Me? Damme, I'd rather weather the Cape in a cock-boat, than drive such a gingerbread jimcumbob three miles; but for this stiff knee of mine, I'd rather walk. Oh! I see they're weighing anchor yonder[Pointing to the stable.] but what need of this, friend? [Taking his coat.] The sun shines, and no fear of a squall. wear these to keep off the wind, the sun, and the dust. Joe. Damme! but I think your main-sheet is more for show than service.
Crack. Oh fie! we could not bear the inclemencies of the summer if we wer'n't well clothed. But come, let's mount; and if we don't ride in our own carriage, we're
better off than many who do; we pay no tax, and the coach-maker can't arrest us.
DIALOGUE DUET-CRACK and JOE.
Crack. When off in curricle we go
Mind, I'm a dashing buck, friend Joe-
Avast! prithee, how!
Crack. In paper, at six months' credit, or nearly.
Oh! that's mal-apropos
We bucks pay in paper, and that is merely—
Both. Fal lal lal la, &c. &c.
Crack. When mounted, I, in style to be,
Two footmen, in fine clothes array'd.
Fal lal lal.
Have ways of your own.
Crack. Plead privilege to lead our tradesmen a dance, sir:
i' th' hall;
And two hours after send them for answer
Both. Fal lal lal, &c.
Joe. If this be ton, friend Crack, d'ye see,
Crack. Because no one will trust us, Joe.
Fal lal, &c.
Crack. To us, for a carriage, with justice can bring in.
Crack. Leave old Care behind.
Both. Or, should he o'ertake us, we'll fall a-singing
Fal lal lal, &c.
Fal lal la, &c.
END OF ACT I.