Page images

shan't have the letter till he comes down, when I will deliver it, as your French master says " Avec buckkup de pleasure Maddeminsel." [Exit into the cottage, R.

Mary. Discovered!

[Dulcet comes forward, goes to the cottage door, takes out trunk, and the key, then locks the door outside.] Dulc. To prevent your further interference, my learned Theban, I'll just take the liberty to lock this door. Here, my dear Mary, is your trunk-[Shuts the door.]—There!the chaise is close under the garden-wall-and now we decamp boldly by broad day-light, and fortune be our guide,-Nay, my love, do not be downcast-you fly to love and happiness-Come!

"Liberty in every blow :

"Let us do or die."

[Exeunt hastily through the garden gate, L. U. E. Tim. [Within, at door.] Hollo! some Damon of mischief has fastened this door-Well, I can go round to the other. Eld. [Within, at door.] Mary! Mary! Miss Hardacre ! -My goodness!-can't you hear?-are you coming to pour out the tea ?—Mary !-[He goes up the stairs.]—it is very odd

Re-enter TIMKINS from the back, R. S. E.

[ Elderberry appears at the window.] Mary!-Where is she?-Bless my soul! I never was so hungry in my lifeHa! Timkins-Have you seen Miss Hardacre?

Tim. Yes--and when you come down, I have got a letter for you-such a surprise!

Eld. A surprise! My goodness!

[Disappears and shuts window. Tim. Hollo! this door locked outside-must get it opened against master comes-I think of every thing-a clever, good, confidential servant-I declare I am quite a lusus natura!

Enter ELDERBERRY from cottage door, R.

Eld. Hoity toity! where's the letter? In her handwriting, sure enough—[Breaks it open, and reads.]—“Dear Sir, I fear you will never pardon the act I have committed." -My mind misgives me-I've been a little harshish or so lately-"Your unkind conduct,”--My goodness! hope she ha'nt dropp'd into the fish-pond or tan-pits!" Your unkind conduct, in refusing the only wish of my heart, has occasioned my present unhappy absence."-Murder! Murder! Timkins! My goodness!


Tim. Sir?

Eld. Here's a row!-[Reads.]" Prompted alone by ar honorable affection,"-My goodness!" an honorable affection, I have been compelled to"-[To Timkins.]-Saddle Captain!


Tim. [Comes down on L-] Yes, sir.


[Going L.

Eld. Stay. [Reads.] I have been compelled to seek my only resource, and quit your house with"-[To Timkins.]— a pair more horses!" Quit your house with my future husband!"-Husband! my goodness!--" and have been driven "the devil! Put the chaise to; I'll pursue her ! [Exit Timkins, running, L. Goes to the door and knocks loudly.] Here's a sweater-give me a cup of tea, with a thimble full of brandy in it. Hoity toity! why did my old partner, Hardacre, when he quitted business and this world, leave me his daughter to plague my life out? [Runs about in confusion.] Oh dear! My goodness!

Re-enter TIMKINS, L.

Tim. Sir, there's a po-chay druve off like any thing! Eld. Bless my soul! run after it-catch it! [Timkins -Tell 'em to attempts to go off]-No, that won't do!' stop it at the turnpike-No, that won't do!-Go the other road, and break the bridge down.-No, that won't do―My goodness! Zounds and the devil, why don't you tell me what will do?

Tim. If you gets into your gig, I'll drive you-we may get some information of them.

Eld. Fiddlestick's end! No, Timkins, I'll go by myself. Come along-poor unfortunate creter, what will become of her? but only let me overtake her, and she shall catch it. Come along-Oh! my goodness!

[Exeunt into the cottage, R. SCENE II-Bustle's Lodgings.-Doors right and left in flat, leading to different rooms.


Enter GEOFFRY, L. S. E. dragging after him a table, with foils, helmet, horn, chain, whip, and various theatrical articles, books, &c. upon it, which he sets in the middle of the room. Geo. Well! if ever I see any thing like this afore the queerest things-wigs, whistles and walking-sticks-[Takes up horn.]-bugle horns what won't blow,-[Lays down horn, and takes up a pistol.]-and pistols what won't fire off. They say, this here room belongs to the Manager, but I don't know what a Manager be. [Takes a book.] P-iizzard--a-R-R-O-Pizarro-now what's that? French, I

dare say My eye! what a life I have on it! a sarvent of all-work here, and receives no wages. [Fetches from the same place a chair, which he puts R. of table.] I'll sit down a bit, for I'm as tir'd as master's arm, after a hard morning's flogging. Old landlady too, 'cause she had me from the parish-school, fidgets me about like a ferret after a rat -no comfort-and what's worser than that, I don't get enough to fill my belly-gadzooks! here's some more of these things to get-[Goes to the side, L. S. E.]—here's some musical hurdy-gurdy-[Looks at the crash.]—and here's [Takes up a helmet.] here's a goold bonnet-d'rat it, how fine a body would look in it-I'll try him on─[Puts it on.] Lord! if the beadle could but see me now-and this music too. [Turns the handle-a tremendous noise.]

Bus. [Without, L. S. E.] Hallo! there!-who's above? Geo. (R. C.) It is I, sir!-No, sir-nobody-O Lord! [Alarmed.

Bus. [Without.] The parts must be copied and delivered-three pound of spangles will be enough-alter that cloak into a pair of breeches.

Geo. O, how he'll leather me!

Enter BUSTLE, L. S. E.

Bus. Hey! hollo! sirrah! how dare you thrust your ugly-shaped head into the helmet of Alexander the Great? -off with it-and if I catch you at this fun again I'll— What are you doing with my crash?

Geo. (R.) Crash ?

Bus. (L.) Yes, crash-with this machine we knock down towns and towers break bridges, and upset tilburies ! [Turns the handle of it.] What's your name, sirrah ? Geo. Geoffry!

Bus. Geoffry what?

Geo. Geoffry Muffincap-the boys call me Mr. Muffincap, because I'm the oldest in the parish-school, where I have been as long as I remember.

Bus. Who were your parents?

Geo. Never had any!

Bus. O a child of chance

Geo. No, I'm a Horphan! Missus hired me as a servant, for eighteen-pence a week, which the master of the workhouse pockets. I scours the stairs-fetches the beermakes the brass-plate on the door look bright-waits on the lodgers, only they never gives me nothing-but a great deal of trouble

Bus. You grumbling orphan! call that having much to do! Now, if you had half my employments-an't I a manager-principal performer--prompter-painter-and property-maker!

Geo. O! criminy! I'm glad of that—

Bus. Why?

Geo. You must be so rich, as you're a property-maker. Bus. I must let you into a few of my jobs-you shall have the honor to clean russet boots-brush managerial black inexpressibles-deliver calls-warm sise-pots-and lay in flat colours. I dash at scenery!-landscape !-water-fall!-Gothic screen!-light and shade!-breadth !Geo. Yes, but I

Bus. Silence! Our next performance must go off better --[Crosses backward and forward.]-Don't know how we shall get on tho', for at present, we are all backward behind-now, before, we were forward. Lady Thingo❜me there, is not quite the thing-a perfect gentlewoman, but often imperfect. Has Jacks, the smith, seut the thunder? Geo. There be an iron pair of sheets come.

Bus. Well, pack the thunder off in the first cart-but take care it does not rub a hole in the new wind-wrap the elephant in the green curtain, and put the last drop in the water-fall. Has that person been here again with his piece? Geo. Piece!

Bus. Piece, yes-that he wanted to show me.

Geo. [Apart.] I'll show him one I have written-here it is perhaps he'll look at it. Mr. Bustle, I have got a piece of my own writing.

Bus. You write a piece!-Ha! ha!-What-a tragedy, I suppose?

Geo. No, a Christmas piece

Bus. Oh! a Pantomime.

Geo. (R.) [Producing from his pocket.] Yes, here it is— large text, small text, round and running hand-the comet at the top, and a swan all flourished at once at the bottom -signed, Geoffry Muffincap.

Bus. (c.) Psha! your school-piece!

Geo. Yes-gentlemen, when they looks at it, sometimes gives me sixpence.

Bus. Do they? Well, Geoffry, I'll see if I can't keep up the character of a gentleman-there's a shilling.

Geo. Thank'ye, sir-you are a gentleman-now I'll be your friend-you shall look at it whenever you like, for nothing.

Bus. O! I'm on the free list.

Geo. Yes, sir, and I'm at the free school. I must go down stairs now, [Crosses L.] for, if the cross old landlady don't hear me cleaning the knives-winding up the jack— giving the cat some milk-or doing something, I shan't get no dinner by no means. [Exit Geoffry, L.

Bus. That's a comical old boy! But, odso! I forgot the actor I am about to engage-I think he is in that room-I am in momentary expectation, too, of my tragedy heroine from town-for, tho' I have to superintend private theatricals, I am compelled to engage professional persons to assist. Mr. Wing, Mr. Wing! [Knocks at R. D. in flat. Enter WING, shabbily dressed, from R. D. in flat. Wing. [Advancing, R.] "Who calls so loud?"

[In character.

Bus. (L.) "Tis I.-Well! Mr. WingWing. (R.) Sir, I have to thank you, and congratulate myself, for the glowing comfort to my internals, occasioned by a bason of hot tea.

Bus. I am glad to find an old acquaintance with some warmth in him-but to business, Mr. Wing. I shall shortly have the pleasure of introducing you to my employers-liberal patrons, but barbarous murderers, of the Drama. We want a Romeo-you can do it-eh?

Wing. I am universally studied.—I will do the Romeo, tho' you may think I am a better figure for the Apothecary. [Crosses L.

Bus. (R.) At present, you are a better figure for Surgeons' Hall: but I am sure you will be useful. Ha! ha! to be sure, we who know something of the matter, must laugh at private performers. As Garrick observed, one easily sees, when the Amateurs are acting, that there is not an Actor among 'em.

Wing. (L.) Very true, Mr. Bustle; and 'twould be hard, indeed, if the children of Thespis, whose lives have been devoted to the laborious study of their profession, could be suddenly eclipsed by any new-made votary of the buskin, who may chuse "to strut and fret his hour;" [In character.] no-his minute, on the stage, and then, to the great satisfaction of his friends, be heard no more.

Bus. Quite just, Mr. Wing; and that opinion is very well among ourselves-but there we'll keep it, you know— you understand me-mum-Well, well, the gentlemen are novices-'tis like putting young horses in the mail;

« PreviousContinue »