« PreviousContinue »
Piper, Fisher, Fletcher, Fowler, Glover ; or a Jew's name, as Solomons, Isaacs, Jacobs; or a personal name, as Foot, Leg, Crookshanks, Heaviside, Sidebottom, Longbottom, Ramsbottom, Winterbottom; or a long name, as Blanchenhagen, or Blanchenhausen; or a short name, as Crib, Crisp, Crips, Tag, Trot, Tub, Phips, Padge, Papps, or Prig, or Wig, or Pip, or Trip; Trip had been something, but Ho (Walks about in great agitation—recovering his calmness a little, sits down.) Farewell the most distant thoughts of marriage; the fingercircling ring, the purity-figuring glove, the envy-pining bridemaids, the wishing parson, and the simpering clerk. Farewell, the ambiguous blush-raising joke, the titter-provoking pun, the morning stirring-drum. No son of mine shall exist, to bear my ill-fated name. No nurse come chuckling to tell me it is a boy. No midwife, leering at me from under the lids of professional gravity. I dreamed of caudle—(sings in a melancholy tone.) Lullaby, lullaby-hush-a-by-baby-how like its papa it is !--(makes motions as if he was nursing.) And then, when grown up, “Is this your son, sir ?" sir, a poor copy of me, a sad young dog-just what his father was at his age--I have four at home." Oh! oh! oh!
Mr. H. Landlord, I must pack up to-night ; you will see all my things got ready.
Landlord. Hope your honour does not intend to quit the Blue Boar—sorry anything has happened.
Mr. H. He has heard it all.
Landlord. Your honour has had some mortification, to be sure, as a man may say ; you have brought your pigs to a fine market.
Mr. H. Pigs !
Landlord. What then ? take old Pry's advice, and never mind it. Don't scorch your crackling for 'em, sir.
Mr. H. Scorch my crackling! a queer phrase ; but I suppose he don't mean to affront me.
Landlord. What is done can't be undone ; you can't make a silken purse out of a sow's ear.
Mr. H. As you say, landlord, thinking of a thing does but augment it.
Landlord. Does but hogment it, indeed, sir.
Landlord. Lord, sir, 'tis not everybody has such gift of fine phrases as your honour, that can lard his discourse,
Mr. H. Lard !
Landlord. Suppose they do smoke you-
Landlord. One of my phrases ; never mind my words, sir, my meaning is good. We all mean the same thing, only you express yourself one way, and I another, that's all. The meaning's the same ; it is all pork.
Mr. H. That's another of your phrases, I presume? (Bell rings, and the landlord called for.)
Landlord. Anon! anon.
[Exeunt several ways. SCENE.—Mclesinda's Apartment.
MELESINDA and Maid. Maid. Lord, madam! before I'd take on as you do about a foolish-what signifies a name? Hogs—Hogs--what is it?is just as good as any other for what I see.
Melesinda. Ignorant creature! yet she is perhaps blessed in the absence of those ideas which, while they add a zest to the few pleasures which fall to the lot of superior natures to enjoy, doubly edge the
Maid. Superior natures ! a fig! If he's hog by name he's not hog by nature, that don't follow his name don't make him anything, does it ? He don't grunt the more for it, nor squeak, that ever I hear; he likes his victuals out of a plate, as other Christians do, you never see him go to the trough
Melesinda. Unfeeling wretch! yet possibly her intentionsMaid. For instance, madam, my name is Finch-Betty Finch. I don't whistle the more for that, nor long after canary-seed while I can get good wholesome mutton-no, nor you can't catch me by throwing salt on my tail
. If you come to that, hadn't I a young man used to come after me, they said courted me-his name was Lion-Francis Lion, a tailor; but though he was fond enough of me, for all that, he never offered to eat me.
Melesinda. How fortunate that the discovery has been made before it was too late. Had I listened to his deceits, and, as the perfidious man had almost persuaded me, precipitated myself into an inextricable engagement before
Maid. No great harm if you had. You'd only have bought a pig in a poke--and what then? Oh, here he comes creeping
Enter Mr. H. abject. Go to her, Mr. Hogs-Hogs-Hogsbristles — what's your
name? Don't be afraid, man-don't give it up—she's not crying -only summat has made her eyes red-she has got a sty in her eye, I believe-(going.)
Mélesinda. You are not going, Betty?
Maid. Oh, madam, never mind me I shall be back in the twinkling of a pig's whisker, as they say.
[Exit. Mr. H. Melesinda, you behold before you a wretch who would have betrayed your confidence, but it was love that prompted him ; who would have tricked you by an unworthy concealment into a participation of that disgrace which a superficial world has agreed to attach to a name—but with it you would have shared a fortune not contemptible, and a heartbut 'tis over now. That name he is content to bear aloneto go where the persecuted syllables shall be no more heard, or excite no meaning—some spot where his native tongue has never penetrated, nor any of his countrymen have landed, to plant their unfeeling satire, their brutal wit, and national ill manners-where no Englishman-(Here Melesinda, who has been pouting during this speech, fetches a deep sigh). Some yet undiscovered Otaheite, where witless, unapprehensive savages shall innocently pronounce the ill-fated sounds, and think them not in harmonious.
Mr. H. Who knows but among the female natives might be found
Melesinda. Sir! (raising her head.)
Mr. H. Or what if I were to seek for proofs of reciprocal esteem among unprejudiced African maids, in Monomotopa.
Servant. Mr. Belvil.
Mr. H. Monomotopa (musing.)
Belvil. Heyday, Jack! what means this mortified face? nothing has happened, I hope, between this lady and you. I beg pardon, madam; but understanding my friend was with you, I took the liberty of seeking him here. Some little difference possibly which a third person can adjust-not a word—will you, madam, as this gentleman's friend, suffer me to be the
arbitrator-strange-hark'ee, Jack, nothing has come out, has there ? you understand me. Oh, I guess how it is—somebody has got at your secret; you haven't blabbed it yourself, have you? ha-ha-ha! I could find in my heart—Jack, what would you give me if I should relieve you.
Mr. H. No power of man can relieve me (sighs)—but it must lie at the root, gnawing at the root-here it will lie.
Belvil. No power of man ? not a common man, I grant you; for instance, a subject—it's out of the power of any subject.
Mr. H. Gnawing at the root—there it will lie.
Belvil. Such a thing has been known as a name to be changed; but not by a subject--(shows a Gazette.)
Mr. H. Gnawing at the root (suddenly snatches the paper out of Belvil's hand)-ha! pish! nonsense ! give it me—what ! (reads) promotions, bankrupts—a great many bankrupts this week—there it will lie (lays it down, takes it up again, and reads)—“ The king has been graciously pleased”—gnawing at the root—" graciously pleased to grant unto John Hogsflesh" the devil—“ Hogsflesh, Esq., of Sty Hall, in the county of Hants, his royal license and authority”-oh Lord! oh Lord" that he and his issue”—me and my issue-“may take and use the surname and arms of Bacon"-Bacon, the surname and arms of Bacon—“in pursuance of an injunction contained in the last will and testament of Nicholas Bacon, Esq., his late uncle, as well as out of grateful respect to his memory”—grateful respect!
old soul-here's more—"and that such arms may be first duly exemplified”—they shall, I will take care of that
according to the laws of arms, and recorded in the Herald's Office."
Belvil. Come, madam, give me leave to put my own interpretation upon your silence, and to plead for my friend, that now that only obstacle which seemed to stand in the
of your union is removed, you will suffer me to complete the happiness which my news seems to have brought him, by introducing him with a new claim to your favour, by the name of Mr. Bacon. (Takes their hands and joins them, which Melesinda seems to give consent to with a smile.)
Mr. H. Generous Melesinda! my dear friend—“he and his issue,” me and my issue—oh Lord !
Belvil. I wish you joy, Jack, with all my heart.
Mr. H. Bacon, Bacon, Bacon-how odd it sounds. I could never be tired of hearing it. There was Lord Chancellor Bacon. Methinks I have some of the Verulam blood in me already-methinks I could look through nature-there was Friar Bacon, a conjurer-I feel as if I could conjure too
Enter a Servant. Servant. Two young ladies and an old lady are at the door, inquiring if you see company, madam.
Mr. H. « Surname and arms"
Melesinda. Show them up. My dear Mr. Bacon, moderate your joy.
Enter three Ladies, being part of those who were at the
Assembly. 1st Lady. My dear Melesinda, how do you do? 2d Lady. How do you do? We have been so concerned
Old Lady. We have been so concerned-(seeing him)-Mr. Hogsflesh
Mr. H. There's no such person—nor there never was-nor 'tis not fit there should be "surname and arms"
Belvil. It is true what my friend would express; we have been all in a mistake, ladies. Very true, the name of this gentleman was what you call it, but it is so no longer. The succession to the long-contested Bacon estate is at length decided, and with it my friend succeeds to the name of his deceased relative.
Mr. H. “ His majesty has been graciously pleased”–
1st Lady. I am sure we all join in hearty congratulation(sighs).
2d Lady. And wish you joy with all our hearts—(heigh
Old Lady. And hope you will enjoy the name and estate many years—(cries.) Belvil
. Ha-ha-ha! mortify them a little, Jack. 1st Lady. Hope you intend to stay2d Lady. With us some timeOld Lady. In these parts
Mr. H. Ladies, for your congratulations I thank you; for the favours you have lavished on me, and in particular for this lady's (turning to the old lady) good opinion, I rest your debt
As to any future favours-(accosts them severally in the order in which he was refused by them at the assembly)-madam, shall always acknowledge your politeness; but at present, you see, I am engaged with a partner. Always be happy to respect you as a friend, but you must not look for anything further. Must beg of you to be less particular in your addresses to me.
Ladies all, with this piece of advice, of Bath