Imatges de pÓgina
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Enter Mr. WOODWARD, dressed in black, and holding a handkerchief to his eyes.

EXCUSE me, Sirs, I pray I can't yet speak I'm crying now and have been all the week.

"'T is not alone this mourning suit," good masters: "I've that within". - for which there are no plasters!

Pray, would you know the reason why I'm crying?
The Comic Muse, long sick, is now a-dying!
And if she goes, my tears will never stop;
For as a player, I can't squeeze out one drop:
I am undone, that's all


shall lose my bread

I'd rather, but that's nothing lose my head.
When the sweet maid is laid upon the bier,
Shuter and I shall be chief mourners here.
To her a mawkish drab of spurious breed,
Who deals in sentimentals, will succeed!
Poor Ned and I are dead to all intents;
We can as soon speak Greek as sentiments!
Both nervous grown, to keep our spirits up,
We now and then take down a hearty cup.

What shall we do? If Comedy forsake us,

They'll turn us out, and no one else will take us.
But, why can't I be moral? Let me try



My heart thus pressing - fix'd my face and eye-
With a sententious look, that nothing means,
(Faces are blocks in sentimental scenes)

Thus I begin

"All is not gold that glitters,

Pleasures seem sweet, but prove a glass of bitters.

When Ignorance enters, Folly is at hand:

Learning is better far than house and land.

Let not your virtue trip; who trips may stumble,
And virtue is not virtue, if she tumble."

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To cheer her heart, and give your muscles motion,
He, in Five Draughts prepar'd, presents a potion:
A kind of magic charm for be assur'd,

If you will swallow it, the maid is cur'd:
But desp❜rate the Doctor, and her case is,
If you reject the dose, and make wry faces!

This truth he boasts, will boast it while he lives,
No pois'nous drugs are mix'd in what he gives.
Should he succeed, you'll give him his degree;
If not, within he will receive no fee!

The college, you, must his pretensions back,
Pronounce him Regular, or dub him Quack.

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Scene. A Chamber in an old-fashioned House.


Mrs. Hard. I vow, Mr. Hardcastle, you 're very particular. Is there a creature in the whole country but ourselves, that does not take a trip to town now and then, to rub off the rust a little?

There's the two Miss Hoggs, and our neighbour Mrs. Grigsby, go to take a month's polishing every winter.

Hard. Ay, and bring back vanity and affectation to last them the whole year. I wonder why London cannot keep its own fools at home! In my time, the follies of the town crept slowly among us, but now they travel faster than a stage-coach. Its fopperies come down not only as inside passengers, but in the very basket. Mrs. Hard. Ay, your times were fine times indeed; you have been telling us of them for many a long year. Here we live in an old rumbling mansion, that looks for all the world like an inn, but that we never see company. Our best visitors are old Mrs. Oddfish, the curate's wife, and little Cripplegate, the lame dancing-master; and all our entertainment your old stories of Prince Eugene and the Duke of Marlborough. I hate such old-fashioned trumpery.

Hard. And I love it. I love every thing that 's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines; and I believe, Dorothy, (taking her hand) you'll own I have been pretty fond of an old wife.

Mrs. Hard. Lord, Mr. Hardcastle, you 're for ever at your Dorothy's and your old wives. You may be a Darby, but I'll be no Joan, I promise you. I'm not so old as you 'd make me, by more than one good year. Add twenty to twenty, and make money of that. Hard. Let me see; twenty added to twenty makes just fifty and seven.

Mrs. Hard. It's false, Mr. Hardcastle; I was but twenty when I was brought to bed of Tony, that I had by Mr. Lumpkin, my first husband; and he's not come to years of discretion yet.

Hard. Nor ever will, I dare answer for him. Ay, you have taught him finely.

Mrs. Hard. No matter. Tony Lumpkin has a good fortune. My son is not to live by his learning. I don't think a boy wants much learning to spend fifteen hundred a-year.

Hard. Learning, quotha! a mere composition of tricks and mischief.

Mrs. Hard. Humour, my dear; nothing but humour. Come, Mr. Hardcastle, you must allow the boy a little humour.

Hard. I'd sooner allow him a horse-pond. If burning the

footman's shoes, frightening the maids, and worrying the kittens be humour, he has it. It was but yesterday he fastened my wig to the back of my chair, and when I went to make a bow, I popt my bald head in Mrs. Frizzle's face.

Mrs. Hard. And am I to blame? The poor boy was always too sickly to do any good. A school would be his death. When he comes to be a little stronger, who knows what a year or two's Latin may do for him?

Hard. Latin for him! A cat and fiddle. No, no; the alehouse and the stable are the only schools he 'll ever go to.

Mrs. Hard. Well, we must not snub the poor boy now, for I believe we shan't have him long among us.

in his face may see he 's consumptive.

Any body that looks

Hard. Ay, if growing too fat be one of the symptoms.

Mrs. Hard. He coughs sometimes.

Hard. Yes, when his liquor goes the wrong way.

Mrs. Hurd. I'm actually afraid of his lungs.

Hard. And truly so am I; for he sometimes whoops like a speaking-trumpet

(TONY hallooing behind the scenes.) — 0,

there he goes - a very consumptive figure, truly.

Enter TONY, crossing the stage.

Mrs. Hard. Tony, where are you going, my charmer? Won't you give papa and I a little of your company, lovee?

Tony. I'm in haste, mother; I cannot stay.

Mrs. Hard. You shan't venture out this raw evening, my dear; you look most shockingly.

Tony. I can't stay, I tell you. The Three Pigeons expects me down every moment. There's some fun going forward. Hard. Ay; the alehouse, the old place; I thought so.

Mrs. Hard. A low, paltry set of fellows.

Tony. Not so low, neither. There's Dick Muggins the exciseman, Jack Slang the horse doctor, little Aminadab that grinds the music-box, and Tom Twist that spins the pewter platter.

Mrs. Hard. Pray, my dear, disappoint them for one night at least.

Tony. As for disappointing them, I should not so much mind; but I can't abide to dissappoint myself.

Mrs. Hard. (Detaining him.) You shan't go.
Tony. I will, I tell you.

Mrs. Hard. I say you shan't.

Tony. We'll see which is strongest, you or I.

[Exit, hauling her out.

Hard. (Solus.) Ay, there goes a pair that only spoil each other. But is not the whole age in a combination to drive sense and discretion out of doors? There's my pretty darling Kate! the fashions of the times have almost infected her too. By living a year or two in town, she 's as fond of gauze and French frippery as the best of them.

Hard. my Kate.


Blessings on my pretty innocence! drest out as usual, Goodness! What a quantity of superfluous silk hast thou got about thee, girl! I could never teach the fools of this age, that the indigent world could be clothed out of the trimmings of the vain.

Miss Hard. You know our agreement, Sir. You allow me the morning to receive and pay visits, and to dress in my own manner; and in the evening I put on my housewife's dress to please you.

Hard. Well, remember, I insist on the terms of our agreement; and, by the bye, I believe I shall have occasion to try your obedience this very evening.

Miss Hard. I protest, Sir, I don't comprehend your meaning. Hard. Then to be plain with you, Kate, I expect the young gentleman I have chosen to be your husband from town this very day. I have his father's letter, in which he informs me his son is set out, and that he intends to follow himself shortly after.

Miss Hard. Indeed! I wish I had known something of this before. Bless me, how shall I behave? It's a thousand to one I shan't like him; our meeting will be so formal, and so like a thing of business, that I shall find no room for friendship or esteem.

Hard. Depend upon it, child, I never will control your choice; but Mr. Marlow, whom I have pitched upon, is the son

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