George Farquhar, The Beaux-Stratagem (1707)

Act IV

[The Gallery in Lady Bountiful’s House, Mrs. Sullen discovered alone.]

Act IV, Scene 1

Mrs. Sullen: Were I born an humble Turk, where women have no soul nor property, there I must sit contented. But in England, a country whose women are its glory, must women be abused? where women rule, must women be enslaved? Nay, cheated into slavery, mocked by a promise of comfortable society into a wilderness of solitude! I dare not keep the thought about me. Oh, here comes something to divert me.
[Enter a Countrywoman.]
Woman: I come, an’t please your ladyship - you’re my Lady Bountiful, an’t ye?
Mrs. Sullen: Well, good woman, go on.
Woman: I have come seventeen long mail to have a cure for my husband’s sore leg.
Mrs. Sullen: Your husband! what, woman, cure your husband!
Woman: Ay, poor man, for his sore leg won’t let him stir from home.
Mrs. Sullen: There, I confess, you have given me a reason. Well, good woman, I’ll tell you what you must do. You must lay your husband’s leg upon a table, and with a chopping-knife you must lay it open as broad as you can, then you must takeout the bone, and beat the flesh soundly with a rolling-pin, then take salt, pepper, cloves, mace, and ginger, some sweet-herbs, and season it very well, then roll it up like brawn, and put it into the oven for two hours.
Woman: Heavens reward your ladyship! - I have two little babies too that are piteous bad with the graips, an’t please ye.
Mrs. Sullen: Put a little pepper and salt in their bellies, good woman. [Enter Lady Bountiful.] I beg your ladyship’s pardon for taking your business out of your hands; I have been a-tampering here a little with one of your patients.
Lady Bountiful
:Come, good woman, don’t mind this mad creature; I am the person that you want, I suppose. What would you have, woman?
Mrs. Sullen: She wants something for her husband’s sore leg.
Lady Bountiful:What’s the matter with his leg, goody?
Woman: It come first, as one might say, with a sort of dizziness in his foot, then he had a kind of laziness in his joints, and then his leg broke out, and then it swelled, and then it closed again, and then it broke out again, and then it festered, and then it grew better, and then it grew worse again.
Mrs. Sullen: Ha! ha! ha!
Lady Bountiful:How can you be merry with the misfortunes of other people?
Mrs. Sullen: Because my own make me sad, madam.
Lady Bountiful:The worst reason in the world, daughter; your own misfortunes should teach you to pity others.
Mrs. Sullen: But the woman’s misfortunes and mine are nothing alike; her husband is sick, and mine, alas! is in health.
Lady Bountiful:What! would you wish your husband sick?
Mrs. Sullen: Not of a sore leg, of all things.
Lady Bountiful:Well, good woman, go to the pantry, get your bellyful of victuals, then I’ll give you a receipt of diet-drink for your husband. But d’ye hear, goody, you must not let your husband move too much?
Woman: No, no, madam, the poor man’s inclinable enough to lie still. [Exit.]
Lady Bountiful:Well, daughter Sullen, though you laugh, I have done miracles about the country here with my receipts.
Mrs. Sullen: Miracles indeed, if they have cured anybody; but I believe, madam, the patient’s faith goes. farther toward the miracle than your prescription.
Lady Bountiful:Fancy helps in some cases; but there’s your husband, who has as little fancy as anybody, I brought him from death’s door.
Mrs. Sullen: I suppose, madam, you made him drink plentifully of ass’s milk.
[Enter Dorinda, who runs to Mrs. Sullen.]
Dorinda: News, dear sister! news! news!
[Enter Archer, running.]
Archer: Where, where is my Lady Bountiful? - Pray, which is the old lady of you three? [80]
Lady Bountiful:I am.
Archer: O madam, the fame of your ladyship’s charity, goodness, benevolence, skill and ability, have drawn me hither to implore your ladyship’s help in behalf of my unfortunate master, who is this moment breathing his last.
Lady Bountiful:Your master! where is he?
Archer: At your gate, madam. Drawn by the appearance of your handsome house to view it nearer, and walking up the avenue within five paces of the courtyard, he was taken ill of a sudden with a sort of I know not what, but down he fell, and there he lies.
Lady Bountiful:Here, Scrub! Gipsy! all run, get my easy chair down stairs, put the gentleman in it, and bring him in quickly! quickly!
Archer: Heaven will reward your ladyship for this charitable act.
Lady Bountiful:Is your master used to these fits?
Archer: O yes, madam, frequently: I have known him have five or six of a night.
Lady Bountiful:What’s his name?
Archer: Lord, madam, he’s a-dying! a minute’s care or neglect may save or destroy his life.
Lady Bountiful:Ah, poor gentleman! - Come, friend, show me the way; I’ll see him brought in myself.
[Exit with Archer.]
Dorinda: O sister, my heart flutters about strangely! I can hardly forbear running to his assistance.
Mrs. Sullen: And I’ll lay my life he deserves your assistance more than he wants it. Did not I tell you that my lord would find a way to come at you? Love’s his distemper, and you must be the physician; put on all your charms, summon all your fire into your eyes, plant the whole artillery of your looks against his breast, and down with him.
Dorinda: O sister! I’m but a young gunner; I shall be afraid to shoot, for fear the piece should recoil, and hurt myself.
Mrs. Sullen: Never fear, you shall see me shoot before you, if you will.
Dorinda: No, no, dear sister; you have missed your mark so unfortunately, that I shan’t care for being instructed by you.
[Enter Aimwell in a chair carried by Archer and Scrubs and counterfeiting a swoon; Lady Bountiful and Gipsy following.]
Lady Bountiful:Here, here, let’s see the hartshorn drops. Gipsy, a glass of fair water! His fit’s very strong. Bless me, how his hands are clinched!
Archer: For shame, ladies, what d’ ye do? why don’t you help us? [To Dorinda.] Pray, madam, take his hand, and open it, if you can, whilst I hold his head.
[Dorinda takes his hand.]
Dorinda: Poor gentleman! - Oh! - he has got my hand within his, and squeezes it unmercifully ...
Lady Bountiful: ’Tis the violence of his convulsion, child.
Archer: Oh, madam, he’s perfectly possessed in these cases - he’ll bite if you don’t have a care.
Dorinda: Oh, my hand! my hand!
Lady Bountiful:What’s the matter with the foolish girl? I have got his hand open, you see, with a great deal of ease.
Archer: Ay, but, madam, your daughter’s hand is somewhat warmer than your ladyship’s, and the heat of it draws the force of the spirits that way.
Mrs. Sullen: I find, friend, you’re very learned in these sorts of fits.
Archer: ’Tis no wonder, madam, for I’m often troubled with them myself; I find myself extremely ill at this minute. [Looking hard at Mrs. Sullen.]
Mrs. Sullen: I fancy I could find a way to cure you.
[Aside.]
Lady Bountiful:His fit holds him very long.
Archer: Longer than usual, madam. - Pray, young lady, open his breast and give him air.
Lady Bountiful:Where did his illness take him first, pray?
Archer: To-day at church, madam.
Lady Bountiful:In what manner was he taken?
Archer: Very strangely, my lady. He was of a sudden touched with something in his eyes, which, at the first, he only felt, but could not tell whether ’twas pain or pleasure.
Lady Bountiful:Wind, nothing but wind!
Archer: By soft degrees it grew and mounted to his brain, there his fancy caught it; there formed it so beautiful, and dressed it up in such gay, pleasing colours, that his transported appetite seized the fair idea, and straight conveyed it to his heart That hospitable seat of life sent all its sanguine spirits forth to meet, and opened all its sluicy gates to take the stranger in.
Lady Bountiful:Your master should never go without a bottle to smell to. - Oh - he recovers! The lavender-water - some feathers to burn under his nose - Hungary water to rub his temples. - Oh, he comes to himself! - Hem a little, sir, hem. - Gipsy! bring the cordial-water.
[Aimwell seems to awake in amaze.]
Dorinda: How d’ ye, sir?
Aimwell: Where am I? [Rising.]
Sure I have pass’d the gulf of silent death, And now I land on the Elysian shore! - Behold the goddess of those happy plains, Fair Proserpine - let me adore thy bright divinity.
[Kneels to Dorinda, and kisses her hand.]
Mrs. Sullen: So, so, so! I knew where the fit would end!
Aimwell: Eurydice perhaps -
How could thy Orpheus keep his word,
And not look back upon thee?
No treasure but thyself could sure have bribed him
To look one minute off thee.

Lady Bountiful:Delirious, poor gentleman!
Archer: Very delirious, madam, very delirious.
Aimwell: Martin’s voice, I think.
Archer: Yes, my Lord. - How does your lordship?
Lady Bountiful:Lord! did you mind that, girls?
[A side to Mrs. Sullen and Dorinda.]
Aimwell: Where am I?
Archer: In very good hands, sir. You were taken just now with one of your old fits, under the trees, just by this good lady’s house; her ladyship had you taken in, and has miraculously brought you to yourself, as you see.
Aimwell: I am so confounded with shame, madam, that I can now only beg pardon; and refer my acknowledgments for your ladyship’s care till an opportunity offers of making some amends. I dare be no longer troublesome. - Martin! give two guineas to the servants. [Going.]
Dorinda: Sir, you may catch cold by going so soon into the air; you don’t look, sir, as if you were perfectly recovered.
[Here Archer talks to Lady Bountiful in dumb show.]
Aimwell: That I shall never be, madam; my present illness is so rooted that I must expect to carry it to my grave.
Mrs. Sullen: Don’t despair, sir; I have known several in your distemper shake it off with a fortnight’s physic.
Lady Bountiful:Come, sir, your servant has been telling me that you’re apt to relapse if you go into the air: your good manners shan’t get the better of ours - you shall sit down again, sir. Come, sir, we don’t mind ceremonies in the country - here, sir, my service t’ye. - You shall taste my water; ’tis a cordial I can assure you, and of my own making - drink it off, sir. [Aimwell drinks.] And how d’ye find yourself now, sir?
Aimwell: Somewhat better - though very faint still.
Lady Bountiful: Ay, ay, people are always faint after these fits. - Come, girls, you shall show the gentleman the house. - ’Tis but an old family building, sir; but you had better walk about, and cool by degrees, than venture immediately into the air. You’ll find some tolerable pictures. - Dorinda, show the gentleman the way. I must go to the poor woman below. [Exit.]
Dorinda: This way, sir.
Aimwell: Ladies, shall I beg leave for my servant to wait on you, for he understands pictures very well? [231]
Mrs. Sullen: Sir, we understand originals as well as he does pictures, so he may come along.
[Exeunt all but Scrub, Aimwell leading Dorinda. Enter Foigard.]
Foigard: Save you, Master Scrub!
Scrub: Sir, I won’t be saved your way - I hate a priest, I abhor the French, and I defy the devil. Sir, I’m a bold Briton, and will spill the last drop of my blood to keep out popery and slavery.
Foigard: Master Scrub, you would put me down in politics, and so I would be speaking with Mrs. Shipsy.
Scrub: Good Mr. Priest, you can’t speak with her; she’s sick, sir, she’s gone abroad, sir, she’s - dead two months ago, sir.
[Re-enter Gipsy.]
Gipsy: How now, impudence! how dare you talk so saucily to the doctor? - Pray, sir, don’t take it ill; for the common people of England are not so civil to strangers, as ...
Scrub: You lie! you lie! ’tis the common people that are civilest to strangers.
Gipsy: Sirrah, I have a good mind to - get you out I say.
Scrub: I won’t.
Gipsy: You won’t, sauce-box! - Pray, doctor, what, is the captain’s name that came to your inn last night?
Scrub: [Aside.] The captain! ah, the devil, there she hampers me again; the captain has me on one side, and the priest on t’other: so between the gown and the sword, I have a fine time on’t. - But, Cedunt arma toga. [Going.]
Gipsy: What, sirrah, won’t you march?
Scrub: No, my dear, I won’t march - but I’ll walk. [Aside.] And I’ll make bold to listen a little too.
[Goes behind the side-scene and listens.]
Gipsy: Indeed, doctor, the Count has been barbarously treated, that’s the truth on’t.
Foigard: Ah, Mrs. Gipsy, upon my shoul, now, gra, his complainings would mollify the marrow in your bones, and move the bowels of your commiseration! He veeps, and he dances, and he fistles, and he swears, and he laughs, and he stamps, and he sings; in conclusion, joy, he’s afflicted à-la-Francaise, and a stranger would not know whider to cry or to laugh with him.
Gipsy: What would you have me do, doctor?
Foigard: Noting, joy, but only hide the Count in Mrs. Sullen’s closet when it is dark.
Gipsy: Nothing! is that nothing? it would be both a sin and a shame, doctor.
Foigard: Here is twenty louis-d’ors, joy, for your shame and I will give you an absolution for the shin.
Gipsy: Sut won’t that money look like a bribe?
Foigard: Dat is according as you shall tauk it. If you receive the money beforehand, ’twill be logice, a bribe; but if you stay till afterwards, ’twill be only a gratification.
Gipsy: Well, doctor, I’ll take it logice. But what must I do with my conscience, sir?
Foigard: Leave dat wid me, joy; I am your priest, gra; and your conscience is under my hands.
Gipsy: But should I put the Count into the closet ...
Foigard: Vel, is dere any shin for a man’s being in a closhet? one may go to prayers in a closhet.
Gipsy: But if the lady should come into her chamber, and go to bed?
Foigard: Vel, and is dere any shin in going to bed, joy?
Gipsy: Ay, but if the parties should meet, doctor?
Foigard: Vel den - the parties must be responsible. Do you be gone after putting the Count into the closhet; and leave the shins wid themselves. I will come with the Count to instruct you in your chamber.
Gipsy: Well, doctor, your religion is so pure! Methinks I’m so easy after an absolution, and can sin afresh with so much security, that I’m resolved to die a martyr to’t Here’s the key of the garden door, come in the back way when ’tis late, I’ll be ready to receive you; but don’t so much as whisper, only take hold of my hand; I’ll lead you, and do you lead the Count, and follow me. [Exeunt.]
Scrub: [Coming forward.] What witchcraft now have these two imps of the devil been a-hatching here? ‘There’s twenty louis-d’ors’; I heard that, and saw the purse. - But I must give room to my betters.
[Exit.]
[Re-enter Aimwell, leading Dorinda, and making love in dumb show; Mrs. Sullen and Archer following.]
Mrs. Sullen: [To Archer.] Pray, sir, how d’ye like that piece?
Archer: Oh, ’tis Leda! You find, madam, how Jupiter comes disguised to make love ...
Mrs. Sullen: But what think you there of Alexander’s battles?
Archer: We only want a Le Brun, madam, to draw greater battles, and a greater general of our own. The Danube, madam, would make a greater figure in a picture than the Granicus; and we have our Ramillies to match their Arbela.
Mrs. Sullen: Pray, sir, what head is that in the corner there?
Archer: O madam, ’tis poor Ovid in his exile.
Mrs. Sullen: What was he banished for?
Archer: His ambitious love, madam. [Bowing.] His misfortune touches me.
Mrs. Sullen: Was he successful in his amours?
Archer: There he has left us in, the dark. He was too much a gentleman to tell.
Mrs. Sullen: If he were secret, I pity him.
Archer: And if he were successful, I envy him.
Mrs. Sullen: How d ’ye like that Venus over the chimney?
Archer: Venus! I protest, madam, I took it for your picture; but now I look again, ’tis not handsome enough.
Mrs. Sullen: Oh, what a charm is flattery! If you would see my picture, there it is over that cabinet. How d’ ye like it?
Archer: I must admire anything, madam, that has the least resemblance of you. But, methinks, madam [He looks at the picture and Mrs. Sullen three or four times, by turns.] Pray, madam, who drew it?
Mrs. Sullen: A famous hand, sir.
[Here Aimwell and Dorinda go off.]
Archer: A famous hand, madam! - Your eyes, indeed, are featured there; but where’s the sparking moisture, shining fluid, in which they swim? The picture, indeed, has your dimples; but where’s the swarm of killing Cupids that should ambush there? The lips too are figured out; but where’s the carnation dew, the pouting ripeness that tempts the taste in the original?
Mrs. Sullen: Had it been my lot to have matched with such a man! [Aside.]
Archer: Your breasts too - presumptuous man! what, paint Heaven! - Apropos, madam, in the very next picture is Salmoneus, that was struck dead with lightning, for offering to imitate Jove’s thunder; I hope you served the painter so, madam?
Mrs. Sullen: Had my eyes the power of thunder, they should employ their lightning better.
Archer: There’s the finest bed in that room, madam! I suppose ’tis your ladyship’s bedchamber.
Mrs. Sullen: And what then, sir?
Archer: I think the quilt is the richest that ever I saw. I can’t at this distance, madam, distinguish the figures of the embroidery; will you give me leave, madam?
Mrs. Sullen: [Aside.] The devil take his impudence! - Sure, if I gave him an opportunity, he durst not offer it? - I have a great mind to try. [Going: Returns.] ’Sdeath, what am I doing? - And alone, too! - Sister! sister! [Runs out.]
Archer: I’ll follow her close -

For where a Frenchman durst attempt to storm,
A Briton sure may well the work perform. [Going.]

[Re-enter Scrub.]
Scrub: Martin! brother Martin!
Archer: O brother Scrub, I beg your pardon, I was not a-going: here’s a guinea my master ordered you.
Scrub: A guinea! hi! hi! hi! a guinea! eh - by this light it is a guinea! But I suppose you expect one-and-twenty shillings in change?
Archer: Not at all; I have another for Gipsy.
Scrub: A guinea for her! faggot and fire for the witch! Sir, give me that guinea, and I’ll discover a plot.
Archer: A plot!
Scrub: Ay, sir, a plot, and a horrid plot! First, it must be a plot, because there’s a woman in’t: secondly, it must be a plot, because there’s a priest in’t: thirdly, it must be a plot, because There’s French gold in’t: and fourthly, it must be a plot, because I don’t know what to make on’t.
Archer: Nor anybody else, I’m afraid, brother Scrub.
Scrub: Truly, I’m afraid so too; for where there’s a priest and a woman, there’s always a mystery and a riddle. This I know, that here has been the doctor with a temptation in one hand and an absolution in the other, and Gipsy has sold herself to the devil; I saw the price paid down, my eyes shall take their oath on’t.
Archer: And is all this bustle about Gipsy?
Scrub: That’s not all; I could hear but a word here and there; but I remember they mentioned a Count, a closet, a back-door, and a key.
Archer: The Count! - Did you hear nothing of Mrs. Sullen?
Scrub: I did hear some word that sounded that way; but whether it was Sullen or Dorinda, I could not distinguish.
Archer: You have told this matter to nobody, brother?
Scrub: Told! no, sir, I thank you for that; I’m resolved never to speak one word pro nor con, till we have a peace.
Archer: You’re i’ the right, brother Scrub. Here’s a treaty afoot between the Count and the lady: the priest and the chambermaid are the plenipotentiaries. It shall go hard but I find a way to be included in the treaty. - Where’s the doctor now?
Scrub: He and Gipsy are this moment devouring my lady’s marmalade in the closet.
Aimwell: [From without.] Martin! Martin!
Archer: I come, sir, I come.
Scrub: But you forget the other guinea, brother Martin.
Archer: Here, I give it with all my heart.
Scrub: And I take it with all my soul. [Exit Archer.] Ecod, I’ll spoil your plotting, Mrs. Gipsy! and if you should set the captain upon me, these two guineas will buy me off. [Exit.]
[Re-enter Mrs. Sullen and Dorinda, meeting.]
Mrs. Sullen: Well, sister!
Dorinda: And well, sister!
Mrs. Sullen: What’s become of my lord?
Dorinda: What’s become of his servant?
Mrs. Sullen: Servant! he’s a prettier fellow, and a finer gentleman by fifty degrees, than his master.
Dorinda: O’ my conscience, I fancy you could beg that fellow at the gallows-foot!
Mrs. Sullen: O’ my conscience I could, provided I could put a friend of yours in his room.
Dorinda: You desired me, sister, to leave you, when you transgressed the bounds of honour.
Mrs. Sullen: Thou dear censorious country girl! what dost mean? You can’t think of the man without the bedfellow, I find.
Dorinda: I don’t find anything unnatural in that thought: while the mind is conversant with flesh and blood, it must conform to the humours of the company.
Mrs. Sullen: How a little love and good company improves a woman! Why, child, you begin to live - you never spoke before.
Dorinda: Because I was never spoke to. - My lord has told me that I have more wit and beauty than any of my sex; and truly I begin to think the man is sincere.
Mrs. Sullen: You’re in the right, Dorinda; pride is the life of a woman, and flattery is our daily bread; and she’s a fool that won’t believe a man there, as much as she that believes him in anything else. But I’ll lay you a guinea that I had finer things said to me than you had.
Dorinda: Done! What did your fellow say to ye?
Mrs. Sullen: My fellow took the picture of Venus for mine.
Dorinda: But my lover took me for Venus herself.
Mrs. Sullen: Common cant! Had my spark called me a Venus directly, I should have believed him a footman in good earnest.
Dorinda: But my lover was upon his knees to me.
Mrs. Sullen: And mine was upon his tiptoes to me.
Dorinda: Mine vowed to die for me.
Mrs. Sullen: Mine swore to die with me.
Dorinda: Mine spoke the softest moving things.
Mrs. Sullen: Mine had his moving things too.
Dorinda: Mine kissed my hand ten thousand times,
Mrs. Sullen: Mine has all that pleasure to come.
Dorinda: Mine offered marriage.
Mrs. Sullen: O Lard! d’ ye call that a moving thing?
Dorinda: The sharpest arrow in his quiver, my dear sister! Why, my ten thousand pounds may lie brooding here this seven years, and hatch nothing at last but some ill-natured clown like yours. Whereas if I marry my Lord Aimwell, there will be titled, place, and precedence, the Park, the play, and the drawing-room, splendour, equipage, noise, and flambeaux. - Hey, my Lady Aimwell’s servants there! - Lights, lights to the stairs! - My Lady Aimwell’s coach put forward! - Stand by, make room for her ladyship! - Are not these things moving? - What! melancholy of a sudden?
Mrs. Sullen: Happy, happy sister! your angel has been watchful for your happiness, whilst mine has slept regardless of his charge. Long smiling years of circling joys for you, but not one hour for me! [Weeps.]
Dorinda: Come, my dear, we’ll talk of something else.
Mrs. Sullen: O Dorinda! I own myself a woman, full of my sex, a gentle, generous soul, easy and yielding to soft desires; a spacious heart, where love and all his train might lodge. And must the fair apartment of my breast be made a stable for a brute to lie in?
Dorinda: Meaning your husband, I suppose?
Mrs. Sullen: Husband! no; even husband is too soft a name for him. - But, come, I expect my brother here to-night or to-morrow; he was abroad when my father married me; perhaps he ’ll find a way to make me easy.
Dorinda: Will you promise not to make yourself easy in the meantime with my lord’s friend?
Mrs. Sullen: You mistake me, sister. It happens with us as among the men, the greatest talkers are the greatest cowards? and there’s a reason for it; those spirits evaporate in prattle, which might do more mischief if they took another course. - Though, to confess the truth, I do love that fellow; - and if I met him dressed as he should be, and I undressed as I should be - look ’ee, sister, I have no supernatural gifts - I can’t swear I could resist the temptation; though I can safely promise to avoid it; and that’s as much as the best of us can do.
[Exeunt.]

Act IV, Sc. 2

[A Room in Bonifaces Inn. Enter Aimwell and Archer laughing.]

Archer: And the awkward kindness of the good motherly old gentlewoman ...
Aimwell: And the coming easiness of the young one - ’Sdeath, ’tis pity to deceive her!
Archer: Nay, if you adhere to these principles, stop where you are.
Aimwell: I can’t stop; for I love her to distraction.
Archer: ’Sdeath, if you love her a hair’s-breadth beyond discretion, you must go no further.
Aimwell: Well, well, anything to deliver us from sauntering away our idle evenings at White’s, Tom’s, or Will’s and be stinted to bare looking at our old acquaintance, the cards; because our impotent pockets can’t afford us a guinea for the mercenary drabs.
Archer: Or be obliged to some purse-proud coxcomb for a scandalous bottle, where we must not pretend to our share of the discourse, because we can’t pay our club o’ th’ reckoning. - Damn it, I had rather sponge upon Morris, and sup upon a dish of bones scored behind the door!
Aimwell: And there expose our want of sense by talking criticisms, as we should our want of money by railing at the government.
Archer: Or be obliged to sneak into the side-box, and between both houses steal two acts of a play, and because we han’t money to see the other three, we come away discontented, and damn the whole five.
Aimwell: And ten thousand such rascally tricks - had we outlived our fortunes among our acquaintance. - But now ...
Archer: Ay, now is the time to prevent all this: - strike while the iron is hot. - This priest is the luckiest part of our adventure; he shall marry you, and pimp for me.
Aimwell: But I should not like a woman that can be so fond of a Frenchman.
Archer: Alas, sir! Necessity has no law. The lady may be in distress; perhaps she has a confounded husband, and her revenge may carry her farther than her love. Egad, I have so good an opinion of her, and of myself, that I begin to fancy strange things: and we must say this for the honour of our women, and indeed of ourselves, that they do stick to their men as they do to their Magna Charta, If the plot lies as I suspect, I must put on the gentleman. - But here comes the doctor - I shall be ready. [Exit. Enter Foigard.]
Foigard: Sauve you, noble friend.
Aimwell: O sir, your servant! Pray, doctor, may I crave your name?
Foigard: Fat naam is upon me? My naam is Foigard, joy.
Aimwell: Foigard! a very good name for a clergyman. Pray, Doctor Foigard, were you ever in Ireland?
Foigard: Ireland! no, joy. Fat sort of plaace is dat saam Ireland? Dey say de people are catched dere when dey are young.
Aimwell: And some of ’em when they are old: - as for example. [Takes Foigard by the shoulder.] Sir, I arrest you as a traitor against the government; you’re a subject of England, and this morning showed me a commission, by which you served as chaplain in the French army. This is death by our law, and your reverence must hang for it.
Foigard: Upon my shoul, noble friend, dis is strange news you tell me! Fader Foigard a subject of England! de son of a burgomaster of Brussels, a subject of England! Ubooboo ...
Aimwell: The son of a bog-trotter in Ireland! Sir, your tongue will condemn you before any bench in the kingdom.
Foigard: And is my tongue all your evidensh, joy?
Aimwell: That’s enough.
Foigard: No, no, joy, for I vill never spake English no more.
Aimwell: Sir, I have other evidence. - Here, Martin! [Re-enter Archer.] You know this fellow?
Archer: [In a brogue.] Saave you, my dear cussen, how does your health?
Foigard: [Aside.] Ah! upon my shoul dere is my countryman, and his brogue will hang mine. [To Archer.] Mynheer, Ick wet neat watt hey xacht, Ick universton ewe neaty sacramant!
Aimwell: Altering your language won’t do, sir; this fellow knows your person, and will swear to your face.
Foigard: Faash! fey, is dere a brogue upon my faash too?
Archer: Upon my soulvation dere ish, joy! - But cussen Mackshane, vil you not put a remembrance upon me?
Foigard: Mackshane! by St. Paatrick, dat ish my naam shure enough! [Aside.]
Aimwell: I fancy, Archer, you have it. [Aside to Archer.]
Foigard: The devil hang you, joy! by fat acquaintance are you my cussen? [92]
Archer: Oh, de devil hang yourshelf, joy! you know we were little boys togeder upon de school, and your foster-moder’s son was married upon my nurse’s chister, joy, and so we are Irish cussens.
Foigard: De devil taake de relation! vel, joy, and fat school was it?
Archer: I tinks it vas - aay - ’twas Tipperary.
Foigard: No, no, joy; it vas Kilkenny.
Aimwell: That’s enough for us - self-confession, - come, sir, we must deliver you into the hands of the next magistrate.
Archer: He sends you to jail, you ’re tried next assizes, and away you go swing into purgatory.
Foigard: And is it so wid you, cussen?
Archer: It vil be sho wid you, cussen, if you don’t immediately confess the secret between you and Mrs. Gipsy. Look ’ee, sir, the gallows or the secret, take your choice.
Foigard: The gallows! upon my shoul I hate that saam gallow, for it is a diseash dat is fatal to our family. Vel, den, dere is nothing, shentlemens, but Mrs. Shullen would spaak wid the Count in her chamber at midnight, and dere is no haarm, joy, for I am to conduct the Count to the plash, myshelf.
Archer: As I guessed. - Have you communicated the matter to the Count?
Foigard: I have not sheen him since.
Archer: Right again! Why then, doctor - you shall conduct me to the lady instead of the Count.
Foigard: Fat, my cussen to the lady! upon my shoul, gra, dat is too much upon the brogue.
Archer: Come, come, doctor; consider we have got a rope about your neck, and if you offer to squeak, we’ll stop your windpipe, most certainly: we shall have another job for you in a day or two, I hope.
Aimwell: Here’s company coming this way; let’s into my chamber, and there concert our affairs farther.
Archer: Come, my dear cussen, come along. [Exeunt.]
[Enter Boniface, Hounslow, and Bagshot at one door, Gibbet at the opposite.]
Gibbet: Well, gentlemen, ’tis a fine night for our enterprise.
Hounslow: Dark as hell.
Bagshot: And blows like the devil; our landlord here has showed us the window where we must break in, and tells us the plate stands in the wainscot cupboard in the parlour.
Boniface: Ay, ay, Mr. Bagshot, as the saying is, knives and forks, and cups and cans, and tumblers and tankards. There’s one tankard, as the saying is, that’s near upon as big as me; it was a present to the squire from his godmother, and smells of nutmeg and toast like an East-India ship.
Hounslow: Then you say we must divide at the stairhead?
Boniface: Yes, Mr Hounslow, as the saying is. At one end of that gallery lies my Lady Bountiful and her daughter, and at the other Mrs. Sullen. As for the squire ...
Gibbet: He’s safe enough, I have fairly entered him, and he’s more than half seas over already. But such a parcel of scoundrels are got about him now, that, egad, I was ashamed to be seen in their company.
Boniface: ’Tis now twelve, as the saying is - gentlemen, you must set out at one.
Gibbet: Hounslow, do you and Bagshot see our arms fixed, and I’ll come to you presently.
Hounslow, Bagshot: We will. [Exeunt.]
Gibbet: Well, my dear Bonny, you assure me that Scrub is a coward?
Boniface: A chicken, as the saying is. You’ll have no creature to deal with but the ladies.
Gibbet: And I can assure you, friend, there’s a great deal of address and good manners in robbing a lady; I am the most a gentleman that way that ever travelled the road. - But, my dear Bonny, this prize will be a galleon, a Vigo business. - I warrant you we shall bring off three of four thousand pounds.
Boniface: In plate, jewels, and money, as the saying is, you may.
Gibbet: Why then, Tyburn, I defy thee! I’ll get up to town, sell off my horse and arms, buy myself some pretty employment in the household, and be as snug and as honest as any courtier of ’em all.
Boniface: And what think you then of my daughter Cherry for a wife?
Gibbet: Look ’ee, my dear Bonny - Cherry is the Goddess I adore, as the song goes; but it is a maxim, that man and wife should never have it in their power to hang one another; for if they should, the Lord have mercy on ’em both! [Exeunt.]


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