Page images

keys, how they rattle !-- rattle in one's up the crust,-just to try if it were pigeon pockets—the keys and the half-pence (takes or partridge,—for no other reason in the out a bunch and plays with them). I wonder world. Surely I think my passion for outs if any of these would fit; one might just try was owing to the pleasure of cracking the them, but I wouldn't lift up the lid if they shell to get at something concealed, more did. Oh no, what should I be the richer for than to any delight I took in eating the knowing ? (All this time he tries the keys one kernel. In short, Sir, this appetite has grown by one). What's his name to me? a thousand with my growth. names begin with an H. I hate people that Mr. H. You will certainly be hanged some are always prying, poking and prying into day for peeping into some bureau or other, things,—thrusting their finger into one place just to see what is in it. -a mighty little hole this—and their keys Landlord. That is my fear, Sir. The into another. Oh Lord ! little rusty fits it! thumps and kicks I have had for peering but what is that to me? I wouldn't go to— into parcels, and turning of letters inside no, no, -b it odd

ittle rusty

ould just out, — just for curiosity ! The blankets I happen—(While he is turning up the lid of have been made to dance in for searching the box, Mr. H. enters behind him unperceived.) parish registers for old ladies' ages-just

Mr. H. What are you about, you dog ? for curiosity! Once I was drugged through

Landlord. Oh Lord, Sir! pardon ; no thief, a horse-pond, only for peeping into a closet as I hope to be saved. Little Pry was always that had glass doors to it, while my Lady honest.

Bluegarters was undressing, - just Mr. H. What else could move you to open curiosity ! that box?

Mr. H. A very harmless piece of curiosity, Landlord. Sir, don't kill me, and I will truly; and now, Mr. Pry, first have the confess the whole truth. This box happened goodness to leave that box with me, and to be lying—that is, I happened to be carrying then do me the favour to carry your curiosity this box, and I happened to have my keys so far, as to inquire if my servants are out, and som - little rusty happened to fit within.

Mr. H. So little rusty happened to fit! Landlord. I shall, Sir. Here, David, and would not a rope fit that rogue's neck ? Jonathan,-I think I hear them coming,I see the papers have not been moved : all shall make bold to leave you, Sir. is safe, but it was as well to frighten him a Mr. H. Another tolerable specimen of the little (aside). Come, Landlord, as I think comforts of going anonymous ! you honest, and suspect you only intended to gratify a little foolish curiosity

Enter Two Pootmen. Landlord. That was all, Sir, upon my 1st Footman. You speak first. veracity.

2d Footman. No, you had better speak. Mr. H. For this time I will pass it over. 1st Footman. You promised to begin. Your name is Pry, I think ?

Mr. H. They have something to say to me. Landlord. Yes, Sir, Jeremiah Pry, at your The rascals want their wages raised, I service.

suppose; there is always a favour to be Mr. H. An apt name : you have a prying | asked when they come smiling. Well, poor temper-I mean, some little curiosity-a rogues, service is but a hard bargain at the sort of inquisitiveness about you.

best. I think I must not be close with them. Landlord. A natural thirst after know- Well, David-well, Jonathan. ledge you may call it, Sir. When a boy, I 1st Footman. We have served your honour was never easy but when I was thrusting faithfully, up the lids of some of my school-fellows'

2d Footman. Hope your honour won't take boxes, — not to steal anything, upon my offencehonour, Sir,-only to see what was in them ; Mr. H. The old story, I suppose—wages ? have had pens stuck in my eyes for peeping 1st Footman. That's not it, your honour. through key-holes after knowledge ; could 2d Footman. You speak. never see a cold pie with the legs dangling 1st Footman. But if your honour would out at top, but my fingers were for lifting just be pleased to


or says

2d Footman. Only be pleased to
Mr. H. Be quick with what you have to

ACT II. say, for I am in haste.

1st Footman. Just to-
2d Footman. Let us know who it is-

SCENE.—A handsome Apartment well lighted, Tea, 1st Footman. Who it is we have the honour

Cards, &c. — A large party of Ladies and

Gentlemen ; among them MELESINDA. to serve.

Mr. H. Why me, me, mé; you serve me. 1st Lady. I wonder when the charming

2d Footman. Yes, Sir ; but we do not man will be here. know who you are.

2d Lady. He is a delightful creature ! Mr. H Childish curiosity ! do not you Such a polish

a rich master, a gay master, an 3d Lady. Such an air in all that he does indulgent master ? 1st Footman. Ah, Sir! the figure you make

4th Lady. Yet gifted with a strong underis to us, your poor servants, the principal standingmortification.

5th Lady. But has your ladyship the 2d Footman. When we get over a pot at remotest idea of what his true name is ? the public-house, or in a gentleman's kitchen, 1st Lady. They say, his very servants do or elsewhere, as poor servants must have not know it. His French valet, that has their pleasures when the question goes lived with him these two yearsround, who is your master ? and who do you 2d Lady. There, Madam, I must beg leave serve ? and one says, I serve Lord So-and-so, to set you right: my coachmanand another, I am Squire Such-a-one's 1st Lady. I have it from the very best footman

authority : my

footman1st Footman. We have nothing to say for 2d Lady. Then, Madam, you have set your it, but that we serve Mr. H.

servants on2d Footman. Or Squire H.

1st Lady. No, Madam, I would scorn any Mr. H. Really you are a couple of pretty such little mean ways of coming at a secret. modest, reasonable personages ! but I hope For my part, I don't think any secret of that you will take it as no offence, gentlemen, if, consequence. upon a dispassionate review of all that you 2d Lady. That's just like me; I make a have said, I think fit not to tell you any rule of troubling my head with nobody's more of my name, than I have chosen for business but my own. especial purposes to communicate to the rest Melesinda. But then, 'she takes care to of the world.

make everybody's business her own, and so 1st Footman. Why, then, Sir, you may suit to justify herself that way

(Aside.) yourself.

1st Lady. My dear Melesinda, you look 2d Footman. We tell you plainly, we thoughtful. cannot stay.

Melesinda. Nothing. 1st Footman. We don't choose to serve 2d Lady. Give it a name. Mr. H.

Melesinda. Perhaps it is nameless. 2d Footman. Nor any Mr. or Squire in the 1st Lady. As the object -Come, never alphabet

blush, nor deny it, child. Bless me, what 1st Footman. That lives in Chris-cross Row. great ugly thing is that, that dangles at

Mr. H. Go, for a couple of ungrateful, your bosom ? inquisitive, senseless rascals ! Go hang, Melesinda. This ? it is a cross : how do starve, or drown !- Rogues, to speak thus you like it ? irreverently of the alphabet-I shall live to 2d Lady. A cross ! Well, to me it looks see you glad to serve old Q—to curl the wig for all the world like a great staring H. of great S-adjust the dot of little i-stand

(Here a general laugh.) behind the chair of X, Y, Z- wear the Melesinda. Malicious creatures ! Believe livery of Etcætera — and ride behind the me it is a cross, and nothing but a cross. sulky of And-by-itself-and! [Exit in a rage.

1st Lady. A cross, I believe, you would willingly hang at.

Melesinda. Intolerable spite !

Mr. H. But you shall hear. I was to dine (Mr. H. 18 announced.) the other day at a great Nabob's that must

be nameless, who, between ourselves, is Enter MR. H.

strongly suspected of-being very rich, that's 1st Lady. 0, Mr. H., we are so glad all. John, my valet, who knows my foible, 2d Lady. We have been so dull

cautioned me, while he was dressing me, as 3d Lady. So perfectly lifeless—You owe he usually does where he thinks there's a it to us, to be more than commonly enter- danger of my committing a lapsus, to take taining

care in my conversation how I made any Mr. H. Ladies, this is so obliging

allusion direct or indirect to presents-you 4th Lady. 0, Mr. H., those ranunculas you understand me? I set out double charyed said were dying, pretty things, they have got with my fellow's consideration and my own; up —

and, to do myself justice, behaved with toler5th Lady. I have worked that sprig you able circumspection for the first half-hour or commended-I want you to come

so—till at last a gentleman in company, who Mr. H. Ladies

was indulging a free vein of raillery at the 6th Lady. I have sent for that piece of expense of the ladies, stumbled upon that music from London.

expression of the poet, which calls them Mr. H. The Mozart—(seeing MELESINDA)

"fair defects.” -Melesinda!

1st Lady. It is Pope, I believe, who says it. Several Ladies at once. Nay, positively, Mr. H. No, Madam ; Milton. Where was Melesinda, you shan't engross him all to I? Oh, “fair defects.” This gave occasion to yourself.

a critic in company, to deliver his opinion on [While the Ladies are pressing about Mr. H., the gentle the phrase—that led to an enumeration of men show signs of displeasure.

all the various words which might have been 1st Gent. We shan't be able to edge in a used instead of “defect," as want, absence, word, now this coxcomh is come.

poverty, deficiency, lack. This moment I, 2d Gent. Damn him, I will affront him.

who had not been attending to the progress 1st Gent. Sir, with your leave, I have a of the argument, (as the denouement will word to say to one of these ladies.

show) starting suddenly up out of one of my 2d Gent. If we could be heard

reveries, by some unfortunate connexion of [The Ladies

pay no attention but to Mr. H. ' ideas, which the last fatal word had excited, Mr. H. You see, gentlemen, how the matter the devil put it into my head to turn round stands. (Hums an air.) I am not my own to the Nabob, who was sitting next me, and master: positively I exist and breathe but in a very marked manner (as it seemed to to be agreeable to these-Did you speak? the company) to put the question to him,

1st Gent. And affects absence of mind — Pray, Sir, what may be the exact value of a Puppy!

lack of rupees ? You may guess the confusion Mr. H. Who spoke of absence of mind; did which followed. you, Madam? How do you do, Lady Wear 1st Lady. What a distressing circumstance! well-how do? I did not see your ladyship 2d Lady. To a delicate mindbefore—what was I about to say—0-absence 3d Lady. How embarrassing--of mind. I am the most unhappy dog in 4th Lady. I declare, I quite pity you. that way, sometimes spurt out the strangest 1st Gent. Puppy! things the most mal-à-propos without Mr. H. A Baronet at the table, seeing my meaning to give the least offence, upon dilemma, jogged my elbow; and a goodmy honour-sheer absence of mind-things natured Duchess, who does everything with I would have given the world not to have said. a grace peculiar to herself, trod on my toes

1st Gent. Do you hear the coxcomb ? at that instant : this brought me to myself, 1st Lady. Great wits, they say,

and-covered with blushes, and pitied by all 2d Lady. Your fine geniuses are most the ladies—I withdrew. given

1st Lady. How charmingly he tells a story. 3d Lady. Men of bright parts are com 2d Lady. But how distressing ! monly too vivacious,

Mr. H. Lord Squandercounsel, who is my

particular friend, was pleased to rally me in Old Lady. Must beg you to be less partihis inimitable way upon it next day. I shall cular in your addresses to me. Does he take never forget a sensible thing he said on the me for a Jew, to long after forbidden meats ? occasion-speaking of absence of mind, my Mr. H. I shall go mad !-to be refused by foible-says he, my dear Hogs

old Mother Damnable —she that's so old, Several Ladies. Hogs—what-ha nobody knows whether she was ever married

Mr. H. My dear Hogsflesh-my name or no, but passes for a maid by courtesy ; (here a universal scream)—0 my cursed unfor- her juvenile exploits being beyond the tunate tongue !-H. I mean—where was I ? farthest stretch of tradition !-old Mother 1st Lady. Filthy—abominable !

Damnable ! 2d Ludy. Unutterable !

[Exeunt all, either pitying or seeming to avoid him. 3d Lady. Hogs-foh!

SCENE.The street. 4th Lady. Disgusting! 5th Lady. Vile!

BELVIL and another Gentleman. 6th Lady. Shocking!

Belvil. Poor Jack, I am really sorry for 1st Lady. Odious !

him. The account which you give me of 2d Lady. Hogs—pah !

his mortifying change of reception at the 3d Lady. A smelling bottle-look to Miss assembly, would be highly diverting, if it Melesinda. Poor thing! it is no wonder. gave me less pain to hear it. With all his Yon had better keep off from her, Mr. amusing absurdities, and amongst them not Hogsflesh, and not be pressing about her in the least, a predominant desire to be thought her circumstances.

well of by the fair sex, he has an abundant 1st Gent. Good time of day to you, Mr. share of good-nature, and is a man of Hogsflesh.

honour. Notwithstanding all that has hap2d Gent. The compliments

the season

pened, Melesinda may do worse than take you, Mr. Hogsflesh.

him yet. But did the women resent it so Mr. H. This is too much-flesh and blood deeply as you say ? cannot endure it.

Gent. O, intolerably — they fed him as 1st Gent. What flesh ?-hog's-iesh ? fearfully when 'twas once blown, as a man 2d Gent. How he sets up his bristles ! would be avoided, who was suddenly disMr. H. Bristles !

covered to have marks of the plague, aud as 1st Gent. He looks as fierce as a hog in fast ; when before they had been ready to

devour the foolishest thing he could say. Mr. H. A hog! -Madam !

-(here he

Belvil. Ha ! ha! so frail is the tenure by severally accosts the Ladies, who by turns repel which these women's favourites commonly him.)

hold their envied pre-eminence. Well, I 1st Lady. Extremely obliged to you for must go find him out and comfort him. I your attentions; but don't want a partner. suppose, I shall find him at the inn.

2d Lady. Greatly flattered by your pre Gent. Either there or at Melesinda's ference: but believe I shall remain single. Adieu !

[Exeunt 3d Lady. Shall always acknowledge your politeness ; but have no thoughts of altering

SCENE.—MR. H—'s Apartment. my condition.

Mr. H. (solus.) Was ever anything so 4th Lady. Always be happy to respect you mortifying? to be refused by old Mother as a friend ; but you must not look for Damnable !—with such parts and address, anything further.

and the little squeamish devils, to dislike me 5th Lady. No doubt of your ability to for a name, a sound.—Oh my cursed name ! make any woman happy ; but have no that it was something I could be revenged thoughts of changing my name.

on ! if it were alive, that I might tread upon 6th Lady. Must tell you, Sir, that if, by it, or crush it, or pummel it, or kick it, or spit your insinuations, you think to prevail with it out—for it sticks in my throat, and will me, you have got the wrong sow by the ear. choke me. Does he think any lady would go to pig with My plaguy ancestors ! if they had left me hinn?

but a Van, or a Mac, or an Irish O', it had



been something to qualify it.—Mynheer Van Landlord. Your Honour has had some Hogsflesh,

,-or Sawney Mac Hogsflesh,—or mortification, to be sure, as a man may say ; Sir Phelim O'Hogsflesh,-but downright you have brought your pigs to a fine market. blunt - If it had been any other Mr. H. Pigs ! name in the world, I could have borne it. Landlord. What then ? take old Pry's If it had been the name of a beast, as Bull, advice, and never mind it. Don't scorch Fox, Kid, Lamb, Wolf, Lion; or of a bird, your crackling for 'em, Sir. as Sparrow, Hawk, Buzzard, Daw, Finch, Mr. H. Scorch my crackling ! a queer Nightingale; or of a fish, as Sprat, Herring, phrase ; but I suppose he don't mean to Salmon ; or the name of a thing, as Ginger, affront me. Hay, Wood; or of a colour, as Black, Grey, Landlord. What is done can't be undone ; White, Green ; or of a sound, as Bray ; you can't make a silken purse out of a sow's or the name of a month, as March, May; ear. or of a place, as Barnet, Baldock, Hitchen ; Mr. H. As you say, Landlord, thinking of

the name of a coin, as Farthing, a thing does but augment it. Penny, Twopenny; or of a profession, Landlord. Does but hogment it, indeed, Sir. as Butcher, Baker, Carpenter, Piper, Fisher, Mr. H. Hogment it! damn it, I said Fletcher, Fowler, Glover ; or a Jew's augment it. name, as Solomons, Isaacs, Jacobs ; or a Landlord. Lord, Sir, 'tis not everybody has personal name, as Foot, Leg, Crookshanks, such gift of fine phrases as your Honour, that Heaviside, Sidebottom, Longbottom, Rams- can lard his discoursebottom, Winterbottom ; or a long name, as Mr. H. Lard ! Blanchenhagen, or Blanchenhausen ; or Landlord. Suppose they do smoke youshort name, as Crib, Crisp, Crips, Tag, Trot, Mr. H. Smoke me ! Tub, Phips, Padge, Papps, or Prig, or Wig, Landlord. One of my phrases ; never mind or Pip, or Trip ; Trip had been something, ray words, Sir, my meaning is good. We all but Ho— (Walks about in great agitation mean the same thing, only you express -recovering his calmness a little, sits down.) yourself one way, and I another, that's all.

Farewell the most distant thoughts of The meaning's the same; it is all pork. marriage; the finger-circling ring, the purity Mr. H. That's another of your phrases, I figuring glove, the envy-pining bridemaids, presume. [Bell rings, and the Landlord called for. ) the wishing parson, and the simpering clerk. Landlord. Anon, anon. Farewell the ambiguous blush-raising joke, Mr. H. Oh, I wish I were anonymous. the titter-provoking pun, the morning

[Exeunt sexral ways. stirring drum.-No son of mine shall exist,

SCENE.—Melesinda's Apartment. to bear my ill-fated name. No nurse come chuckling, to tell me it is a boy. No midwife,

MELESINDA and Maid. leering at me from under the lids of pro Maid. Lord, Madam ! before I'd take on fessional gravity. I dreamed of caudle.— as you do about a foolish—what signifies a (Sings in a melancholy tone.) Lullaby, name? Hogs-Hogs—what is it—is just as Lullaby,—hush-a-by-baby—how like its papa good as any other, for what I see. it is !—(Makes motions as if he was nursing.) Melesinda. Ignorant creature! yet she is And then, when grown up, “ Is this your son, perhaps blest in the absence of those ideas, Sir ?” “Yes, Sir, a poor copy of me, a sad which, while they add a zest to the few young dog,—just what his father was at his pleasures which fall to the lot of superior age, -I have four more at home.” Oh! oh! oh! natures to enjoy, doubly edge the

Maid. Superior natures ! a fig! If he's Enter LANDLORD.

hog by name, he's not hog by nature, that Mr. H. Landlord, I must pack up to-don't follow-his name don't make him night; you will see all my things got ready. anything, does it ? He don't grunt the more

Landlord. Hope your Honour does not for it, nor squeak, that ever I hear ; he intend to quit the Blue Boar,--sorry any- likes his victuals out of a plate, as other thing has happened.

Christians do ; you never see him go to the Mr. H. He has heard it all.



« PreviousContinue »