Drawing Rooms, Second Floor, and Attics: A Farce, in One Act by Morton, John Maddison
by the University of California, Davis, and with special thanks to the Victorian Plays Project.
DRAWING ROOMS, SECOND FLOOR, AND ATTICS.
IN ONE ACT.
BY JOHN MADDISON MORTON, ESQ.,
(_Member of the Dramatic Authors' Society_),
Lend me Five Shillings, Three Cuckoos, Catch a Weazel, Where there's a Will there's a Way, John Dobbs, A Most Unwarrantable Intrusion, Going to the Derby, Your Life's in Danger, Midnight Watch, Box and Cox, Trumpeter's Wedding, Done on Both Sides, Poor Pillicoddy, Old Honesty, Young England, King and I, My Wife's Second Floor, Who do they take me for? The Thumping Legacy, Milliners' Holiday, Wedding Breakfast, Irish Tiger, Attic Story, Who's the Composer? Who's my Husband? Slasher and Crasher, Prince for an Hour, Away with Melancholy, Waiting for an Omnibus, Betsy Baker, Who Stole the Pocket-Book? Two Bonnycastles, From Village to Court, Grimshaw, Bagshaw, and Bradshaw, Rights and Wrongs of Women, Sent to the Tower, Our Wife, Brother Ben, Take Care of Dowb--, Wooing One's Wife, Margery Daw, The Double-Bedded Room, the "Alabama," &c. &c.
THOMAS HAILES LACY, 89, STRAND, LONDON, _W.C._
DRAWING ROOMS, &c.
_First performed at the Royal Princess's Theatre, (under the management of Mr. George Vining), on Easter Monday, the_ 28_th of March,_ 1864.
TRIPTOLEMUS BROWN Mr. DAVID FISHER.
MR. BUNNY (_a retired Furrier_) Mr. H. MELLON.
MR. COCKLETOP Mr. C. SEYTON.
CAPTAIN HARDAPORT Mr. H. FORRESTER.
LUKE SHARP (_a Pastrycook's Assistant_) Mr. R. CATHCART.
JONATHAN (_Servant to Mr. Bunny_) Mr. CHAPMAN.
CAROLINE BUNNY Miss EMMA BARNETT.
ARABELLA HARDAPORT (_a Miliner_) Miss REBECCA POWELL.
PHOEBE FURBELOW (_niece to Jonathan_) Miss HELEN HOWARD.
_Time in Performance_--45 _minutes._
COSTUMES OF THE DAY.
DRAWING ROOMS, SECOND FLOOR, AND ATTICS.
SCENE FIRST.--_Interior of an Attic. Small door at L. flat; small attic window at C., shewing the slanting roof of a house beyond, with two large chimney pots, &c._
_At the rising of the curtain, PHOEBE is discovered on chair, R., taking down linen, which is hanging up on a line, and depositing it in a clothes basket at her side._
PHOEBE. (_singing_) I'm off to Charlestown early in the morning; I'm off to Charlestown, and little time to stay; Then give my respects to all the pretty yellar girls; I'm off to Charlestown before the break of day.
_The small door, L. C., opens, and JONATHAN appears--he has a house broom in one hand._
JONATHAN. Ah! there's my pretty, merry-hearted little bird, chirruping away as usual.
PHOEBE. Yes, uncle Jonathan, and now that you _are_ here, you'll help your "little bird" to take down her clothes line, won't you? (_gets down_)
JONATH. Very well; only we must look sharp about it; our drawing rooms and second floor give a party to-night. Dear, dear! only to think of the swaps and changes of this mortal life! I recollect our drawing rooms and second floor, Mr. Bunny, going about the streets of London, crying, "Hare skins--rabbit skins!"
PHOEBE. And now he's a retired furrier, with no end of money! I only wish I was rich!
JONATH. Phoebe, allow me to remind you, that when your parents sent you up from Cambridge--celebrated for its university and its sausages--it was in order to cure you of your nonsensical notions of finery and grandeur. (_on L._)
PHOEBE. No such thing!
JONATH. No such thing! when you were actually trying to entrap the affections of a young man, considerably higher up the social ladder than yourself!
PHOEBE. What, Triptolemus Brown! he was only assistant to a chemist and druggist, after all. Poor dear Trip, many's the cake of soap and box of hair pins he's given me. Mark my words, uncle Jonathan, I know he'll come up to London and find me out--I'm sure of it, and then----
BUNNY. (_without_) Jonathan!
JONATH. (_paying no attention_) And then--only let me catch him coming after you, and if I don't give him one for his nob---- (_flourishing his broom_)
_The little door, L. C., opens, and as BUNNY enters, JONATHAN'S broom falls on his hat, and bonnets him._
BUNNY. (_shouting_) Help! murder!
JONATH. (_raising up BUNNY'S hat_) Mr. Bunny!
BUNNY. Jonathan! How is it, sir, that I find myself obliged to scramble up in the dark to the top of my own house--to the very attics, after my own servant? and when I find my own servant, my own servant breaks my own broom handle over my own head?
PHOEBE. It's my fault, Mr. Bunny; I asked uncle, as a particular favour, to come up here.
BUNNY. But I presume you didn't ask uncle, as a particular favour, to demolish my new hat! (_shewing his hat smashed_)
JONATH. Oh! if that's all, I can pay for it; about five and ninepence, I suppose. (_putting his hand into his breeches pocket_)
BUNNY. Jonathan, my ball opens at eight o'clock--it is now half-past six. Is it your intention, sir, to illuminate my drawing rooms, by lighting the gas, or must I perform that office myself.
JONATH. I'm going, sir.
PHOEBE. Oh, Mr. Bunny, if you would only let me have a peep at the fine ladies and gentlemen; besides, I might, perhaps, make myself useful.
BUNNY. Very true! I will therefore entrust you, Miss Phoebe, with the custody of the negus.
JONATH. (_aside_) Negus! a pint of South African Port to a gallon of water.
BUNNY. You, Jonathan, will respond to the double-knocks, and announce the respective guests as they enter the drawing room--thus, (_announcing_) Mr. and Mrs. So-and-so; rather slow and very plain.
JONATH. (_imitating_) "Mr. and Mrs. So-and-so; rather slow and very plain." All right, sir. (_going_)
BUNNY. Stop; precede me with your lantern. (_JONATHAN goes rapidly out at door, C., and disappears_) Holloa, stop for me, sir! (_about to go out through door--turns to PHOEBE_) Remember, Miss Phoebe, I depend on you. (_he goes out, and immediately a noise is heard as of a person falling down stairs_)
PHOEBE. Ha, ha, ha! uncle little suspects that I've written to my dear Triptolemus at Cambridge! but I wasn't so imprudent as to tell him where I lived--no, no, I only sent him the address of our establishment in Cranbourne Alley, and----
VOICE. (_outside_) Phoebe, Phoebe!
PHOEBE. That's our third floor's voice. Is that you, Miss Arabella? Come in.
_ARABELLA HARDAPORT enters at door, L. C._
ARABELLA. I've got three orders for the theatre to-night, will you come? My cousin, Mr. Luke Sharp, has volunteered to escort us.
PHOEBE. (_aside_) Another cousin! that makes the thirty-seventh that _I_ know of. (_aloud_) Much obliged, but I'm engaged--I'm going to Mr. Bunny's ball.
ARABEL. Well, if you won't come with us, I'll say good-bye--Oh, stop! do step down a minute, there's a good girl, and tell me if my new pork pie suits me.
PHOEBE. Pork pie?
ARABEL. Yes--my hat; it's a present from Cousin Benjamin.
PHOEBE. (_aside_) Thirty-eight!
ARABEL. Do oblige me, there's a dear. And, Phoebe----
ARABEL. I _am_ so puzzled which gown to put on; I know I look best in my peach blossom silk that cousin George gave me; and yet I ought to wear my light blue satin, for cousin Frederick's sake.
PHOEBE. (_aside_) Forty! (_aloud_) Well, I'll step down with you; but I can't stop long.
_They both go out at L. C._
_Here TRIPTOLEMUS BROWN is seen to get out of one of the chimney pots, and then to clamber in at the window in a very excited and exhausted state--his dress, face and hands, covered with patches of soot--he is without his hat._
TRIPT. Wheugh! I've done it! I don't know how, but done it I have. Talk of exploring the interior of Africa! pooh! that's a joke to the inside of a chimney! (_wiping his face with his handkerchief--shaking his coat, &c._) Well, if this is the hospitality that the Metropolis offers to a youthful and inoffensive chemist and druggist, I shan't avail myself of it again in a hurry. I left Cambridge for London this morning, in consequence of a telegraphic message I received from my uncle, Cockletop, grocer and cheesemonger--to catch the train, I lost my breakfast; the only available refreshment was a cigar and box of lozenges; under the influence of these exhilirating sweetmeats, I soon found myself at the abode of my aforesaid uncle Cockletop, who, on my taking a chair on a Cheshire cheese, at once informed me that his motive in telegraphing for me, was to unite me in the bonds of wedlock with a certain Miss Caroline Bunny; his words literally transfixed me to my chair--my cheese I mean. I was about to tell him that the object of my unalterable affection was Phoebe Furbelow, when he cut me short by directing me to betake myself and carpet bag to No. 17, Compton-street, Soho--there it is-- (_pointing out of the window_) where he had secured me a small but airy back room, immediately under the tiles; telling me to make myself as smart as possible, in order that he might take me with him to a ball, which, it seems, the father of my _intended intended_ is to give this evening. I promised implicit obedience, and proved it, by starting off in the opposite direction for Cranbourne-alley, where Phoebe told me she pursued the art of bonnet-making. I found the shop, and was endeavouring to catch a glimpse of her beloved profile, when I suddenly received a terrific blow--from a foot--behind--which almost sent me head-first through the shop window. I turned round and found myself face to face with a ferocious looking individual, almost as tall as the lamp-post, and considerably stouter. (_mechanically wiping his face with the linen he takes out of the clothes basket, and blackening it_) Well, my first impulse was to come Tom Sayers over him, but it suddenly occurred to me that the brawny ruffian before me might be a husband and a father, I therefore spared him, and walked slowly away--as fast as my legs could carry me! but he overtook me at the door of my lodgings. How I got up three flights of stairs, I don't know; but I'd no sooner precipitated myself into my attic, and bolted the door, then a voice demanded instant admission. Instinctively I seized the poker, the poker reminded me of the fireplace, the fireplace of the chimney--away I flew--up the flue, and I was saved! (_wiping his face again with the clean linen, and blackening it_) I wonder if the bulky miscreant is still there? (_looking out at window_) I do declare he's actually lighted the fire! I see the smoke coming out of the chimney! Ecod! then I'm well out of it! Goodness gracious! (_wipes his face with the clean linen_) what can I have done to this sanguinary vampire? The only thing I can think of, is that he may have been poorly at Cambridge, and that I may have sent him pills that made him poorlier!
PHOEBE. (_without_) Now, uncle, I never can carry down that large basket of clothes by myself--do come and help me! (_comes in at little door, L. C._)
TRIPTOLE. That voice!
PHOEBE. (_stumbling over the linen which TRIPTOLEMUS has thrown about stage_) Heyday! who can have been tumbling all the nice clean linen about? One of those horrid cats, I'll be bound!
TRIPTOLE. (_imitating the mewing of a cat_) Miow, miow!
PHOEBE. There he is. (_turning and seeing TRIPTOLEMUS_) No--mercy on us! it isn't a cat--it's a man! Help! thieves! police, police! (_screaming_)
TRIPTOLE. Hush! don't make a noise! Phoebe, don't you know me? I'm Triptolemus--your own Triptolemus, just arrived from Cambridge to see you, by the flue--I mean the train.
PHOEBE. Triptolemus! how did you get here?
TRIPTOLE. I'll tell you another time. Phoebe, if you love me, tell me the address of the nearest magistrate, or show me his chimney pot, that'll do as well.
PHOEBE. What do you mean?
TRIPTOLE. That my life is in jeopardy--that I'm in danger of being torn to pieces, or swallowed whole--one or the other, perhaps both, if you don't save me.--Ah, a door! (_about to run to small door, L. C._)
PHOEBE. No, no! you'll be sure to meet uncle Jonathan, and he has sworn to murder you if he catches you here.
TRIPTOLE. Goodness gracious! I've only spoken to three of the male population of London since I've been in it, and two of them seem bent on my immediate destruction!
PHOEBE. (_running to door_) Ah! uncle has heard my cries for help, and he's coming up; and I declare he's got a policeman with him!--hide, hide yourself!
TRIPTOLE. Where--where? here's a clothes basket, but it isn't big enough.
JONATH. (_without_) This way, policeman.
(_noise of steps up staircase heard--TRIPTOLEMUS dreadfully frightened begins getting out of window_)
PHOEBE. Mind what you're about! you'll slip off the slanting roof and be smashed to bits! (_by this time TRIPTOLEMUS has got out of the window_) Where are you going?
TRIPTOLE. I don't know. (_begins getting into the other chimney pot_)
PHOEBE. (_looking out after him_) Mercy on me! what is he about? he's getting legs first into a chimney pot! Stop, stop, you'll drop into our third floor!
TRIPTOLE. (_without_) I don't care! (_disappears--then suddenly shouting_) Holloa! I'm stuck fast!--help!
_At this moment JONATHAN runs on at door, L. C., followed by a POLICEMAN--PHOEBE hastily draws curtain before the window_--(_this will give time to strike the slanting roof_)
JONATH. Now, then, what's the matter?
PHOEBE. (_pretending to be very busy picking up the linen_) Only the wind been and blown the linen about--that's all, uncle.
POLICEMAN. Ugh! Well, as I don't suppose you mean to give the wind in charge, and as I don't see how I could take it into custody if you did, I shall be off.
_Exit at door, L. C._
JONATH. Come along, Phoebe, come along, I say.
PHOEBE. (_looking anxiously towards window_) Yes, but let me finish picking up the clothes first.
JONATH. I'll help you--there. (_they put linen into basket_) And now come along. (_takes hold of one end of the basket and PHOEBE of the other_)
PHOEBE. (_aside_) Poor dear Triptolemus! what will become of him?
JONATH. Now, come along, will you?
_Exit with PHOEBE, door L. C._
SCENE SECOND.--_Third Floor--A small comfortably furnished Apartment--table and chairs. On the table are implements of the bonnet making business, work, &c., &c.--door, L. 3 E.--another door, R. 2 E.--at R. C., a fireplace, practicable--at L. C., a window--candles on table. Loud rapping heard from without at door, L. 3 E._
ARABEL. (_from door R. 2 E._) I'm coming!
(_she enters in a fashionable evening dress, very much exaggerated, which she is in the act of fastening behind--knocking repeated_)
ARABEL. Don't be in such a hurry; I can't let anybody in till I've hook-and-eyed myself. (_going to door L._) Who's there?
PHOEBE. (_without_) It's only I--Phoebe.
ARABEL. (_opening door, L. 3 E.--PHOEBE enters hurriedly_) How you frightened me, to be sure! But--(_seeing PHOEBE who is fidgetting, and looking anxiously towards the fireplace_) What's the matter, Phoebe?
PHOEBE. No-thing; you haven't heard anything drop, have you? I mean----
ARABELLA. Drop? not I! What do you mean?
PHOEBE. Why--I---- (_aside_) Then he's still sticking in the chimney? Poor, dear Trip! he must be a regular nigger by this time!
ARABELLA. Well, I must go and finish dressing!
(_goes out again, at door, R. 2 E.--PHOEBE watches her anxiously out, then runs to fireplace, and calls up the chimney_)
PHOEBE. Triptolemus! Triptolemus! are you still there?
TRIPTOLE. (_from chimney_) Yes! Whoever takes this house will have to take me as one of the fixtures.
PHOEBE. There's nobody here. You can come down! Make haste-- (_impatiently_) make haste! (_here one or both of TRIPTOLEMUS'S legs appear hanging down, and swaying about, as if trying to find a resting place, at the same moment, a knocking is heard at the door, L. 3 E.--alarmed_) There's somebody coming! You must get up again--make haste!
TRIPTOLE. Oh, bother! (_kicking his legs violently about--knocks down the fire irons, which are standing on each side of the fire place--the legs are then suddenly drawn up, and disappear_)
_ARABELLA enters suddenly, R. 2 E., sideways as before._
ARABEL. What a dreadful noise! (_she has her pork-pie hat on, and carries her shawl over her arm--here the knocking is repeated louder_) Ah! there he is, at last! (_calling_) Come in, Mr. Sharp, come in.
_Enter LUKE SHARP, L. 3 E.--he is dressed in a black dress coat, nankeen trousers, very short, white stockings, and shoes, a white waistcoat, and white cravat, with large full bows--his hair very shortly cut, or else very elaborately frizzed._
ARABEL. (_reproachfully_) At last, Mr. Sharp! Well, sir, I must say you haven't hurried yourself.
PHOEBE. Never mind. Now the sooner you start, the sooner you'll be at the theatre. (_aside_) And the sooner poor dear Trip will be liberated. (_hurrying ARABELLA on with her shawl_) There, now you're ready.
ARABEL. Yes, now I'm ready.
(_LUKE who has been looking on in a very dejected manner, utters a deep sigh, then goes up to ARABELLA, takes her shawl, and places it on a chair, then uttering another deep sigh is about to take off ARABELLA'S hat_)
Goodness me, Mr. Sharp, what are you doing?
SHARP. (_in a sepulchral tone_) My _dooty_--my melancholy _dooty,_ Miss Arabella. In a word, the theatre is no go--the orders is wasted, and we are disap_point_ed in our hopes.
ARABEL. What! after the trouble of this elaborate toilette! No, I will not be disap_point_ed, as you call it!
PHOEBE. (_aside to her_) That's right.
ARABEL. I _will_ go!
PHOEBE. (_aside to her_) Stick to that.
SHARP. Impossible! inclination points one way--dooty another.
ARABEL. (_very impatiently_) Explain yourself, sir!
(_here TRIPTOLEMUS'S legs again appear, swaying about--kick the fire irons down again, and then are suddenly drawn up_)
What can be the matter with the fire irons? Again, Mr. Sharp, are you going to explain?
SHARP. I am; the particulars is this ways: my employer, Mr. Cheesecake, has got the purviding of the eatables for Mr. Bunny's supper this evening; and being, as you know, of a asthmatic constitution, _I_ am obligated to do _dooty_ for him.
(_here TRIPTOLEMUS'S legs again appear dangling down, they kick about violently, and one of his shoes is kicked off and falls on the stage, PHOEBE hastily picks it up and pockets it_)
ARABEL. What's that?
ARABEL. (_taking off her hat_) Well, I suppose it can't be helped.
SHARP. And now, Miss Arabella, I've an agreeable surprise for you. The particklers is this ways--my govenor, Mr. Cheesecake, is about to retire himself into the bosom of private life; and then, Miss Arabella, I step into the business, and _you_ walk into the Bath buns, apple tarts, ices, acidulated drops, and kisses! (_tenderly_)
ARABEL. I'm sure I feel highly flattered, Mr. Sharp; but I cannot dispose of my hand without the consent of my family.
SHARP. Family! I understood you were a horphan.
ARABEL. So I am; when I say my family, I allude to my gallant brother, Captain Hardaport, who is now actively engaged in his country's service.
ARABEL. On the coast of Devonshire, in the herring fishery. (_here the legs appear, as before, kicking violently, and trying to find a resting place_)
SHARP. And now Miss Arabella, I've another agreeable surprise for you.
SHARP. I've _a_ppropriated a pie--_w_eal and _h_am, which is now in a '_a_mper _o_utside, along with all the ingredients for a bowl of punch, except the hot water.
ARABEL. Oh, I can soon manage that, by lighting the fire.
PHOEBE. (_starting--aside_) Oh, lud! Poor Trip will be roasted alive! (_aloud and very quickly_) You needn't light the fire; I'll run for some hot water, and be back immediately. Don't light the fire on any account.
_Hastily runs out L. door._
ARABEL. The water ought to be quite hot--oughtn't it, Mr. Sharp?
ARABEL. Then perhaps you'll put a light to the fire; it's all ready laid. Where have I put the lucifer matches? (_looking on the table, and tossing the things about_) Perhaps they're in my bed room.
_Goes out at R. 2 E._
SHARP. (_finding the box of matches on the table_) Here they are, Miss Arabella! (_goes to fireplace, kneels down, strikes a light, and applies it--the fire suddenly lights--immediately a loud shouting, &c., heard from chimney, and TRIPTOLEMUS comes down with a run into the grate_) Help! thieves! murder! (_roaring with fright, and rushing wildly off at L. 3 E._)
_At the same moment, ARABELLA runs in alarmed from R. 2 E._
ARABEL. Mercy on me! what is the matter?
(_TRIPTOLEMUS scrambles out of the grate, staggers forward, and falls helplessly on a chair, which is covered with white or light coloured chintz--ARABELLA runs behind the table, exclaiming "Ah!"--TRIPTOLEMUS'S face and hands are still blackened, and his coat is ripped up to the collar behind_)
Who are you?--why don't you speak? Who let you up here, sir?
TRIPTOLE. (_in a plaintive tone_) Nobody let me up; I let myself down.
ARABEL. What do you want, sir?
TRIPTOLE. A basin of water, a cake of soap, and a clean towel. (_rising, and approaching her--the chair appears all blackened_)
ARABEL. Leave this room this moment.
TRIPTOLE. (_aside_) With a sanguinary vampire and an infuriated uncle ready to pounce upon me; not if I know it. (_aside_) Leave this room--and this room _a_ room with _you_ in it. (_aside_) I'll flatter her a bit. (_aloud_) You--you that for three long years I have enshrined in the very innermost interstices of this heart! Leave you--you!--pooh, pooh!
ARABEL. Your face is not familiar to me!
TRIPTOLE. How can you possibly tell till I've washed it?
ARABEL. Once more, young man, I beg you'll beat a retreat.
TRIPTOLE. (_pretending great emotion_) It's too much--it's too much! (_feeling for his handkerchief in both his coat pockets, one after the other_) Allow me. (_taking ARABELLA'S handkerchief out of her hand--wipes his eyes, and then his face with it, and returns it, all smudged with black, to ARABELLA_) Thank you!
ARABEL. Sir, when I tell you that I am every moment expecting an arrival----
TRIPTOLE. A rival?
ARABEL. An arrival.
TRIPTOLE. Ann who?
TRIPTOLE. I don't know her.
CAPT. H. (_without, in a loud voice_) Don't tell me! I know she's aloft; so clear the gangway, you lubber!
TRIPTOLE. } } (_together_) That voice! ARABEL. }
TRIPTOLE. It's he! my vampire! my brawny ruffian!
ARABEL. My brother! and I, who thought he was catching herrings!
TRIPTOLE. Not he; he was trying to catch _me_!
CAPT. H. (_outside_) Now, Arabella, my girl, shew us a light, will you?
(_the handle of the door is heard to turn, and as the door slightly opens, TRIPTOLEMUS precipitates himself against it, shuts it, and draws the bolt_)
ARABEL. What's to be done? if he comes in, you're a dead man!
TRIPTOLE. And if I go out, I'm _another_ dead man!
(_here the door is violently shaken_)
CAPTAIN HARDAPORT. (_in a thundering voice_) Now then, look alive!
TRIPTOLE. (_in a loud whisper to ARABELLA_) Say you're ill in bed--with the measles--or the nettle rash.
CAPT. H. (_with another bang at the door_) I can't stop here all day, shiver my timbers if I can--so open the door.
TRIPTOLE. Don't!--let him shiver his timbers. You can form but a faint idea of the exquisite delight I should feel at his shivering his timbers.
CAPT. H. (_without_) You won't let me in. Then here goes!
(_a tremendous shaking and knocking at the door--TRIPTOLEMUS, in an agony of fear, rushes to the window, throws it open, puts out one leg, then looks down, and hurriedly draws it back again--here other and more violent blows against the door, which is burst open at the very moment that TRIPTOLEMUS rushes frantically into ARABELLA'S room, at R. 2 E.--CAPTAIN HARDAPORT, in a rough pea jacket, tarpaulin coat, and the other peculiarities of a sailor's costume, comes in, looks about the room, then walks up to ARABELLA, looks her full in the face, then looks again about the room--ARABELLA, who has thrown herself on her chair, has snatched up some worsted work, and pretends to be very busy over it_)
CAPT. H. You were talking to somebody.
ARABEL. (_looking up from her work, and pretending great unconcern_) Did you speak?
CAPT. H. Yes; I said you were talking to somebody.
ARABEL. I was.
CAPT. H. Who?
ARABEL. Myself; 'tis a habit I've got when I'm alone and want a little conversation.
CAPT. H. Umph! it sounded to _me_ like a man's voice. (_with intention, and looking intently at her_) Umph! (_suspiciously_) Now listen to me, sister Bella. (_taking a chair and sitting down_) You must know---- (_here a noise is heard in room, R. 2 E._) What's that?
ARABEL. (_striving to conceal her alarm_) What?
CAPT. H. That noise.
CAPT. H. (_looking suspiciously at ARABELLA, and then pointing to room, R. 2 E._) There.
ARABEL. (_quickly_) Oh! it's only Mrs. Sheepshanks, the charwoman, putting my room to rights; she always comes on Mondays.
CAPT. H. This is _Friday!_
ARABEL. Mondays and Fridays. (_aside_) I'm more dead than alive!
CAPT. H. Well, as I was going to say--about two months ago I put into Plymouth with my first cargo of herrings, and there I got into company with an old gentleman with a bald head, green spectacles, and an only daughter--the smartest-looking craft I ever clapped eyes on! Well, finding I couldn't forget her, I determined to follow her to London, got here this morning, called on the old gentleman, made an offer of my hand and my herrings, when, muskets and marlinspikes, what d'ye think he told me? That the young woman I was sweet upon was already engaged to be spliced to some loblolly lubber or other at Cambridge, that she'd never even clapped her precious eyes on!
ARABEL. Rather unfortunate, I must confess.
CAPT. H. Yes, especially as, in my opinion, it's all owing to _you_ that I've been cut adrift!
ARABEL. To _me?_
CAPT. H. Yes, they must have found out that I, Captain Bellerophon Hardaport, had got a sister in the fancy chip and straw bonnet line, who isn't _quite_ so particular as to the number of her admirers as she might be.
ARABEL. That's my business.
CAPT. H. Never mind; now I _am_ here, I'll soon clear the decks of the whole crew of 'em. I began with an impertinent young jackanapes just now, that I found squinting at you through your shop window, in Cranbourne-alley. I haven't done with that fellow yet; I know the cut of his jib, and if I ever do come alongside of him again, if I don't blow him clean out of the water, at the first broadside, my name ain't Hardaport.
ARABEL. You may blow him wherever you may think proper. I know nothing of the young man.
CAPT. H. (_satirically_) Of course not! (_here a loud noise as of furniture falling and smashing of glass heard from room, R. 2 E.--looking at ARABELLA, who starts violently and looks alarmed_) Well, if Mrs. Longshanks, or Strongshanks, or whatever her name is, don't pay for what she breaks, you'll have the worst of the bargain all to nothing. I'll have the old woman out! (_making a movement towards door_)
ARABEL. (_trying to stop him_) No, no!
CAPT. H. I tell you I will!
(_the CAPTAIN breaks from her, runs into room, and immediately returns, dragging on TRIPTOLEMUS, who is dressed in one of ARABELLA'S gowns, with shawl and bonnet, and veil drawn over his face_)
TRIPTOLE. (_assuming a woman's voice, and turning his head away_) I'm a married woman, sir, with a husband, sir, and ten children.
CAPT. H. Hold your stupid old tongue, do! and let me have a look at your figure head. (_trying to pull him round_)
TRIPTOLE. Is this the way you treat a poor lone widow with fourteen children?
CAPT. H. Fourteen! just now you said ten! In a word, old lady----
TRIPTOLE. Good morning! (_making for door_)
CAPT. H. Pshaw! (_pulling him back_)
_Enter PHOEBE, hurriedly._
PHOEBE. (_to ARABELLA_) Here's your charwoman, Mrs. Sheepshanks, wants to know if she can come up? (_not noticing ARABELLA, who, by signs, tells her to hold her tongue_)
CAPT. H. What's that?--two Mrs. Longshanks! (_pulling back TRIPTOLEMUS, who makes a sudden rush towards door_) Then who the devil are you? (_tears off his bonnet veil, discovering TRIPTOLEMUS, who has washed his face, and is now as pale as a sheet_) Ah! (_in a voice of thunder--TRIPTOLEMUS staggers, and falls into his arms_)
CAPT. H. My young jackanapes again, and sailing under false colours.
_TRIPTOLEMUS here makes a sudden bolt, but is stopped by the CAPTAIN--in the struggle, TRIPTOLEMUS slips out of his gown, which remains in CAPTAIN'S hands, and leaves TRIPTOLEMUS in his trousers and waistcoat, with a very ample crinoline over them--he then makes a rush to the door, meeting LUKE SHARP as he enters, carrying a tray, on which are a pie, plates, and glasses, upsets him and the contents of the tray--the CAPTAIN again seizes TRIPTOLEMUS, who retreats backwards struggling with the CAPTAIN, when close to the window, TRIPTOLEMUS loses his balance, and falls backwards through the window, with great smash of glass--ARABELLA and PHOEBE each scream with all their might, and fall into different chairs--LUKE SHARP shouts "Police," &c., &c.--the scene is shut in with a pair of flats representing_
SCENE THIRD.--_A Landing Place on Second Floor. Door at C.; landing place window at R._
_PHOEBE runs in, L. door in flat, with candle, throws open the window, and looks downwards._
PHOEBE. I don't see anything of him.--Why, what's that huddled up in a lump in the corner of the balcony?--it's he! (_calling_) Hist, hist, Triptolemus! are you dead or alive?
TRIPTOLE. (_outside, in a plaintive voice_) I won't be positive; I think I'm rather more alive of the two.
PHOEBE. Very well then, Mr. Triptolemus Brown, perhaps you'll condescend to explain why you thought proper to dress yourself up in Miss Arabella Hardaport's clothes.
TRIPTOLE. I'll explain everything, if you'll only help me out of this infernal balcony; I don't care how--a ladder, a fire escape, a balloon, a pair of stilts--anything! or call a cab, and I'll jump into it through the roof.
PHOEBE. Nonsense! you'd better stop where you are.--Hark! some one's corning; lie down again and don't move!
_LUKE SHARP, his hair dishevelled, his cravat awry, and with TRIPTOLEMUS'S hat and coat in his hand, enters hurriedly, followed by ARABELLA, L. door in flat._
ARABEL. Don't make a disturbance, Mr. Sharp, and I'll explain everything.
SHARP. Then begin with these here articles of male attire--this coat, this hat--how did they come for to be in your apartment? they can't be your aunt's, and you ain't got a uncle! then whose is 'em?--why don't you answer--whose is 'em?
ARABEL. I shall not condescend to answer you, sir.
SHARP. You won't! then nothing remains for me but to precipitate myself _h_eadlong into the _a_rea below! (_rushing to window_)
ARABEL. (_pulling him back_) Don't be a fool!
PHOEBE. (_ditto_) Don't be ridiculous!
SHARP. (_looking down, and seeing TRIPTOLEMUS on the balcony_) What's that?--a _i_ndividual without a coat and hat--it's he! (_shouting down to TRIPTOLEMUS_) Holloa, you sir, below! I'm only sorry that I'm _u_p _h_ere, and you're down there!
TRIPTOLE. (_without_) Are you? we'll change, if you like; you come down here, and I'll go up there--ha, ha!
SHARP. (_in a fury, rolls TRIPTOLEMUS'S coat up in a lump and flings it down to him_) Take that!
TRIPTOLE. (_without_) Thank you.
SHARP. (_still more furious_) And that! (_crushing the hat, and flinging it at TRIPTOLEMUS_)
TRIPTOLE. (_without_) Thank you again. Anything more?
SHARP. (_furiously_) You want something more, eh? Then you shall have it.
_Runs out at L. side._
ARABEL. What is the man about? (_following SHARP, L._)
PHOEBE. There'll be murder to a certainty. Help--help!--police!
_Runs out after ARABELLA, L._
_CAROLINE enters from door L. flat, in ball dress._
CARO. Mercy on me! what can be the matter?
_Enter CAPTAIN HARDAPORT, at the side, hurriedly, R._
CAPT. H. (_advancing towards CAROLINE_) Beg pardon, miss, but if I can be of any service----
CARO. (_who has started, and turned round towards the CAPTAIN_) Captain Hardaport!
CAPT. H. Beg pardon, I'm sure, miss; but hearing you, as I thought, holding out signals of distress----
CARO. No such thing! Me!--oh, dear, no; no such thing.
CAPT. H. Well, miss, I've a little matter to overhaul with you. Ever since I saw you at Plymouth, I've been thinking that you are just the sort of craft that I should like to sail in company with.
CARO. (_modestly_) Oh, Captain!
CAPT. H. Yes, miss; so I bore up for London, and the first thing I hear is that you're going to be spliced to some other lubber from Cambridge.
CARO. Really, sir, I know very little about the matter; everything has been arranged by my pa and Mr. Cockletop.
CAPT. H. Who's Cocklepot?
CARO. (_modestly_) He is the uncle of--the young man.
CAPT. H. And you love him?
CARO. I've never seen him yet.
CAPT. H. Then perhaps you wouldn't break your heart if I was to send him to Davy Jones? (_savagely_)
CARO. Not I, indeed!
CAPT. H. That's enough. (_taking her hand, and kissing it repeatedly_)
CARO. Papa gives a ball this evening--I'm sure he'll be very happy to see you.
CAPT. H. And you?
CARO. Oh, _I'm_ always happy when _papa_ is.
BUNNY. (_heard within the apartment_) Now then, Caroline--how much longer are you going to be?
CARO. Papa's voice!
_Enter BUNNY, at door L. flat, in evening costume, very elaborated, and exaggerated._
BUNNY. (_before entering_) Not in her room? (_enters_) Oh! here you are, and dressed at last! and high time too, considering that our guests have all arrived--except Cockletop, and Cockletop's nephew, from Cambridge--and what makes Cockletop, and Cockletop's nephew from Cambridge, so late, I can't imagine. (_seeing CAPTAIN_) Eh? Yes! Captain Hardaport, I declare, that we had the pleasure of meeting, three months ago at Plymouth! this is an unexpected pleasure--isn't it, Carry?
CARO. Yes, papa.
_Enter ARABELLA and PHOEBE, at side, L._
ARABEL. (_aside_) I can't see anything of Mr. Sharp in the street
BUNNY. Perhaps you and your charming sister, Miss Arabella, will join our little party below?
CAPT. H. } } Delighted! I'm sure! ARABEL. }
BUNNY. That's right! Miss Phoebe, as you have undertaken the refreshment department, I presume, I need not remind you that the cakes are totally incapable of handing themselves about; neither can the negus ladle itself out.
PHOEBE. (_aside_) I must speak to poor Triptolemus. (_aloud_) I'll just shut the window first.
BUNNY. Nonsense! I'll do that. (_rain_) Holloa! it's pouring with rain. (_closes the shutters and bolts them_) There! Now then! (_he offers his arm to ARABELLA--the CAPTAIN gives his to CAROLINE--exeunt--PHOEBE following, and still looking anxiously at the window as she goes out_)
PHOEBE. Oh! how I should enjoy myself, if I wasn't so uneasy about my poor, dear Triptolemus! (_rain heard_) Oh, dear! oh, dear! he'll be _drownded!_ I'm sure he will.
(_Exit door in flat--scene draws and discovers_)
SCENE FOURTH.--_Drawing Rooms; loud double knocks, bells, &c., as scene opens; an apartment, with large folding doors in C., thrown open, and shewing a corridor beyond, lighted with a candelabra or two attached to the wall, and supposed to lead to the ball room at R.; the apartment itself consists of a high window, with hanging curtains at R. 2 E.; before and close to the window is a table, covered with pastry, cakes, decanters, wine glasses, &c.; at L. are two small doors close to each other; chairs, sofas, &c.; a card table in centre of stage; two other card tables near wings, R. and L._
_At rising of curtain, CAROLINE is seen in the corridor at back, receiving the GUESTS, who pass across towards C.; she accompanies them; JONATHAN is standing before the sideboard, loading a large tray with cakes and glasses of negus; he is dressed in an old-fashioned long-tailed brown coat, a pair of blue plush breeches, white stockings, and ankle boots, very high shirt collars above his ears; as he fills the tray, he occasionally eats a cake and drinks a glass of negus--Enter BUNNY (with a light flaxen wig) at C., followed by PHOEBE, carrying cloaks, shawls, hats, &c., &c._
BUNNY. Now, Phoebe, take those articles of apparel into my study--make haste. (_PHOEBE goes to one of the two small doors at back, L._) Not there; don't you know that little door leads to the back staircase?
PHOEBE. Yes, sir, I forgot--I-- (_aside_) I don't know what I'm about! (_enters at door, L._)
BUNNY. (_turning and seeing JONATHAN_) What's that? (_using his eye glass and looking JONATHAN from head to foot_) Jonathan, step this way, if you please, sir. (_JONATHAN advances, carrying the loaded tray--turns JONATHAN'S shirt collars down_) Now go into the ball room, and present the tray to each lady, at the end of the polka.
JONATH. Present the tray at the end of a poker.
BUNNY. Polka! In this way. (_taking the tray, and presenting it in a graceful attitude_)
JONATH. Well, I don't mind if I do. (_taking a glass of negus, and drinking it off_)
BUNNY. What the devil are you at? Now go along; (_giving JONATHAN the tray_) and mind what you're about, or else I shall be under the painful necessity of discharging you from my establishment.
_Exit JONATHAN, C. towards R._
_At the same moment, COCKLETOP enters at C. from L. carrying his hat and black paletot over his arm--he is in evening costume, but very red in the face, and looks slightly tipsy, he has a red worsted comforter hanging loose round his neck, which he takes off as he enters, and throws over his paletot._
BUNNY. (_L., seeing him_) Ah, Cockletop! better late than never! Well, where's "our dear nephew?" our young Adonis from Cambridge, eh?
COCKLE. (_R., very loud_) Hush! (_then swaying about, and smiling stupidly at BUNNY_)
BUNNY. Why, what's the matter?
COCKLE. Hush! (_same play repeated_)
BUNNY. I ask you again, where is "our dear----?"
COCKLE. Hush! (_same play repeated, then making two or three attempts to seize BUNNY'S hand, and missing it_)
BUNNY. (_aside_) He's been at the negus.
COCKLE. I love you, Bunny--dearly, Bunny! do I love you, Bunny? (_looking pathetic, then smiling stupidly as before, and making another failure in seizing BUNNY'S hand_)
BUNNY. Once for all, Cockletop, if you don't instantly explain, I'll have you put to bed! Where is your nephew, Mr. Triptolemus Brown?
COCKLE. (_smiling stupidly_) I don't know.
BUNNY. Haven't you seen him?
COCKLE. Distinctly, about an hour ago, running up Compton Street like a madman towards his lodging. I ran after him, shouting all the time--followed him into the house, then up three flights of stairs--found the door slammed in my face--burst it open--rushed into the room--empty!--nothing in it!
BUNNY. Pshaw! it must have been somebody else you saw.
COCKLE. I came to that conclusion myself; so I determined to wait; ordered a fire, and a bottle of Sherry; fell asleep--woke again--ordered another----
BUNNY. Another fire?
COCKLE. Another bottle of Sherry.
BUNNY. No wonder you're so red in the face. Well?
COCKLE. At last, I remembered telling him to buy himself a pair of white kid gloves--so off I set to all the hosier's shops in the neighbourhood, bought a pair of gloves at each--sixteen of them; here they are; (_tapping the pocket of his paletot_) but all in vain! (_turns up to C. door--polka heard off at back_)
BUNNY. Nonsense! Find him you must! (_here PHOEBE re-enters at little front door, L._) or else the marriage of Caroline Bunny, spinster, and Triptolemus Brown, bachelor, cannot take place!
COCKLE. (_suddenly, and looking of at C. towards L._) Ah! I think I see him in the ball room--look there--dancing the polka! Here, young woman. (_giving hat and paletot to PHOEBE--PHOEBE goes into small room, L. with things_)
COCKLE. Come along, Bunny, come along! (_puts his arm within BUNNY'S and drags him off, C. towards R._)
_Here one of the window curtains is drawn aside, and TRIPTOLEMUS peeps in._
TRIPTOLE. The coast seems clear! (_looks cautiously round, and then comes forward--he has his pocket handkerchief tied round his head, his coat still ripped up to the collar, looks quite wet through, and the picture of wretchedness_) I shan't forget my visit to the metropolis of civilized England in a hurry. (_seeing the sideboard_) What's that? something in the refreshment line! I'm not addicted to picking and stealing, but a man can't be expected to go all day long, on half an ounce of lozenges! (_goes to the sideboard and begins helping himself, drinking the negus out of the decanters_)
_Enter PHOEBE at L._
PHOEBE. (_seeing TRIPTOLEMUS_) Ah! somebody helping himself to the negus! Holloa, sir!
TRIPTOLE. (_turning round, his mouth stuffed full of cakes and each hand crammed with them--seeing PHOEBE_) What's the matter? Ah, Phoebe!
PHOEBE. Trip! Dear--dear, how wet you look!
TRIPTOLE. Do you expect a man to stand under a waterspout and not get wet? Look there. (_squeezing a quantity of water out of his coat tail_)
PHOEBE. I don't wish to alarm you, but that dreadful captain, who threw you out of the window----
PHOEBE. He's here!
TRIPTOLE. (_jumping round frightened_) Where?
PHOEBE. There, in the ball room. Just now I heard him grinding his teeth, and muttering to himself, "This ball is given in honour of him, is it? then he shall have balls enough, for I'll give him a brace through his body." So make your escape at once.
TRIPTOLE. How? no more chimneys--no more windows! I should prefer a staircase this time, just for the novelty of the thing.
PHOEBE. You'll find one there. (_pointing to one of the small doors at L._) Make haste!
TRIPTOLE. Wait a minute. (_runs to the sideboard, and takes a decanter in one hand, and a plate of cakes in the other_)
PHOEBE. (_looking off at C._) Here's some one coming. (_quadrille music heard at back R., and continued through this_)
_TRIPTOLEMUS runs to L., and mistaking the door, enters that leading to the study--this is unseen by PHOEBE._
_Enter BUNNY at C._
PHOEBE. Yes, sir. (_looking round and not seeing TRIPTOLEMUS_) It's all right--he's gone!
BUNNY. Run over to Mr. Cheesecake's, and enquire why that confounded waiter he promised to send hasn't made his appearance yet.
PHOEBE. Yes, sir. (_aside_) And at the same time, I'll see poor dear Triptolemus safe off the premises!
_Runs out at little door, L. back._
TRIPTOLE. (_peeping out at little door_) Deuce a bit of a staircase can I see. (_seeing BUNNY_) Holloa! (_quietly closing the door again_)
BUNNY. Ah! here's Cockletop again! (_seeing COCKLETOP, who comes in at C. from L._) Well? (_going to him_) Any news of your nephew?
COCKLE. (_still very red in the face, and making another ineffectual grasp at BUNNY'S hand_) I've been round to his lodgings again--had another fire lighted, and another bottle of Sherry--no news. Suppose we say the poor boy is ill in bed?
BUNNY. (L.) Better say he's dead!--that'll settle the matter at once!
COCKLE. (_suddenly, and looking off at C._) Ah! I think I see him!--look, there!--come along!
(_seizes BUNNY by the arm, drags him up the stage, and off at C. towards R., BUNNY struggling violently--TRIPTOLEMUS quietly opens the door, peeps in, then comes cautiously out--he is dressed in COCKLETOP'S black paletot, and has got on a light flaxen wig, exactly like the one that BUNNY wears_)
TRIPTOLE. I don't know whose garment this is that I've got into, but from the extensive assortment of gloves in the pockets, I should say he must be a hosier on a large scale. (_pulling out a handful of gloves from each pocket of the paletot, of various colours_) Now then for another attempt to escape.
(_he makes his way towards C., and is just going to sneak out--finds himself face to face with CAPTAIN HARDAPORT, who enters L. C.--TRIPTOLEMUS utters a sort of a scream, and staggers back, grasping the back of a chair to keep himself from falling_)
CAPT. H. Holloa, messmate, ain't you well?
TRIPTOLE. (_pulling his wig over his face, and in a faltering voice, R._) N-ot particularly.
CAPT. H. (L.) The heat of the room, I suppose? Been dancing and skipping about, eh?
TRIPTOLE. (_faintly, and wiping his face with a handful of gloves, which he takes out of his pocket_) Yes; I've had a good deal of skipping about lately.
CAPT. H. (_looking cautiously about--then mysteriously to TRIPTOLEMUS, who, in order to appear collected is pulling on a pair of gloves of different colours_) Hark ye, messmate: you can do me a good turn! I'm looking out for a young chap here--a rival! (_in a voice of thunder--TRIPTOLEMUS gives a violent start_) whose brains, if he's got any, I mean to blow out--all fair and above board, of course! Now, what d'ye think I'd better do, to put his monkey up--pull his nose or kick him round the room?
_Enter BUNNY, COCKLETOP, CAROLINE, ARABELLA, and other GUESTS, C.--the music ceases--some of the GUESTS seat themselves at card tables and begin to play, others take refreshments, handed about by JONATHAN, R. and L._
TRIPTOLE. The monkey?
CAPT. H. Pshaw!--hush! (_TRIPTOLEMUS attempts to escape_)
COCKLE. (_in a maudlin pathetic tone to CAROLINE_) He's very poorly indeed, miss. (_TRIPTOLEMUS seems struck by the voice_)
CARO. (_with indifference_) Who, sir?
COCKLE. My nephew, Triptolemus.
TRIPTOLE. (_aside_) Uncle Cockletop! if he recognizes me, up goes the donkey--I mean the monkey! (_pulling his wig more over his eyes_)
COCKLE. (_to HARDAPORT_) Very hard, ain't it, sir, after coming up all the way from Cambridge on the wings of love.
TRIPTOLE. (_aside, in an agony_) There are circumstances under which a nephew ought to be allowed to strangle his uncle.
COCKLE. I repeat, very hard; ain't it, sir?
CAPT. H. (_sharply_) Very indeed!
COCKLE. Bless you! (_making an ineffectual attempt to grasp the CAPTAIN'S hand_) Bless you again!
BUNNY. (_to COCKLETOP_) Be quiet, do! Sit down and have a quiet game of cards--that gentleman will play with you, I'm sure! (_meaning TRIPTOLEMUS--pushes COCKLETOP into other chair of card table_)
COCKLE. (_shuffling the cards and addressing TRIPTOLEMUS, who pulls his wig still more over his eyes_) What shall we play at, sir?
TRIPTOLE. (_bewildered_) Sir! (_finding a red worsted comforter in the paletot wipes his face with it_)
COCKLE. What say you to picquet? I'm rather partial to casino!
TRIPTOLE. Well, I went to one _once;_ but I didn't much like it.
CAPT. H. Ha, ha, ha! (_laughing_) Not bad. (_TRIPTOLEMUS rises from his chair, and makes him a low bow_)
COCKLE. (_to TRIPTOLEMUS_) Once more, sir, what shall it be?
TRIPTOLE. Don't you think "Beat my neighbour out of doors," rather a pretty game?
COCKLE. No, no; perhaps you won't object to say cribbage?
TRIPTOLE. Certainly not, sir, if it will gratify you. Cribbage--I'll say it again--cribbage!
CAPT. H. Ha, ha, ha! good again! (_TRIPTOLEMUS rises and makes another bow to the CAPTAIN_)
COCKLE. Now, then, to see who deals. (_cuts the cards_) I wish you'd cut, sir.
TRIPTOLE. (_aside_) I wish I could.
COCKLE. Perhaps you'll deal, sir. Ah, me! I only wish I was sitting down to cribbage now with my poor dear Triptolemus!
CAPT. H. (_savagely_) So do I!
(_TRIPTOLEMUS during this has gone on dealing nearly all the cards in the pack in one heap on the table_)
COCKLE. Holloa, that's wrong! I'll deal for you. (_to TRIPTOLEMUS, as he deals the cards_) Do you know, sir, you are something like my poor nephew.
(_the CAPTAIN looks intently in TRIPTOLEMUS'S face, who nervously wipes his face with a handful of gloves, which he lets fall on the stage, instead of returning them to the pocket of his paletot_)
COCKLE. (_aside_) He's got a paletot uncommonly like mine. (_throwing out two cards for the crib--TRIPTOLEMUS, who watches him, does the same--COCKLETOP then cuts the cards_) Now, sir, it's for you to turn up.
TRIPTOLE. (_bothered_) Turn up! Suppose you turn up first, sir, and let me see how you do it.
CAPT. H. Ha, ha! good again. (_another rise and bow from TRIPTOLEMUS_)
COCKLE. (_turning up the trump card_) Knave!
CAPT. H. (_aside to TRIPTOLEMUS_) Two for his nob!
TRIPTOLE. (_to CAPTAIN_) You mean to say it's the rule of the game that I'm to give him two for his nob?
COCKLE. (_playing his card_) Ten! (_TRIPTOLEMUS takes no notice_) I repeat ten!
TRIPTOLE. I didn't say it wasn't.
CAPT. H. (_to TRIPTOLEMUS_) Play fifteen.
TRIPTOLE. (_playing out his four cards_) One, two, three, four. (_then taking the pack, and going on_) Five, six, seven, eight, nine----
COCKLE. What are you at, sir?
TRIPTOLE. (_still going on_) Ten, twelve, thirteen----
COCKLE. No, no!
TRIPTOLE. (_still going on_) Fourteen, fifteen--there!
COCKLE. Take up your cards again, do! You really seem to be in such a state of confusion----
TRIPTOLE. (_trying to assume confidence_) No, not at all! (_wiping his face with another handful of gloves, and letting them fall on stage, then taking a large silver snuff box out of his pocket, and mechanically opening and shutting it_)
COCKLE. (_aside_) That's uncommonly like my snuff box! (_aloud_) Let's begin again. (_aside_) It's the very image of my snuff box! (_begins playing_) Ten. (_throwing down his card--TRIPTOLEMUS throws down one_) My dear sir, when you play a card, you ought to call the game.
TRIPTOLE. I beg your pardon. (_taking up his card and throwing it down on table again_) Cribbage!
COCKLE. Nonsense, that's twenty! (_playing another card_) Twenty-five.
TRIPTOLE. (_playing another card_) Cribbage!
COCKLE. Pshaw! that makes thirty.
TRIPTOLE. (_playing another_) Cribbage!
COCKLE. Nonsense! (_looking at his cards_) Go.
TRIPTOLE. What, sir?
COCKLE. I can't come in, and therefore I say, go.
TRIPTOLE. Very well, sir; I wish you a very good evening. (_getting up from table_)
COCKLE. (_suddenly_) Stop a bit, sir! (_takes up the snuff box, takes a pinch, looks at it, puts it down, then suddenly to the CAPTAIN_) Oblige me by taking my cards for a moment.
(_gets up, the CAPTAIN takes his place, leans with his elbows on the table, shuffling the cards and looking intently at TRIPTOLEMUS, who again takes the red worsted comforter out of his pocket, and nervously wipes his face with it, then lets it fall on the stage among the gloves--during this COCKLETOP has run to the card table where BUNNY is playing, grasps him suddenly by the arm and drags him forward_)
BUNNY. What's the matter now?
COCKLE. Hush! Who is he--who is he?--that individual there? (_pointing to TRIPTOLEMUS_)
BUNNY. Playing at cribbage?
COCKLE. Yes; you _may_ well called it _cribbage!_ he's cribbed my paletot, my snuff box, my comforter, my sixteen pairs of gloves! (_pointing to gloves on the floor_)
BUNNY. (_suddenly_) _And_ my wig!
COCKLE. Hush, no noise; everything must be done quietly. (_beckons the GUESTS mysteriously, who advance, wondering, points to TRIPTOLEMUS, then in a low tone_) Take care of your pockets! (_astonishment among the GUESTS_)
CAPT. H. (_who has finished shuffling the cards, slamming the pack violently on the table_) Now, sir!
(_TRIPTOLEMUS who has been nervously watching the whispering between BUNNY and COCKLETOP gives a violent start, and his wig, which is very much pulled over his eyes, falls forward on the table_)
CAPT. H. (_recognizing him, and in a voice of thunder_) Mrs. Longshanks!
(_TRIPTOLEMUS jumps up from the table, flings the wig in the CAPTAIN'S face and bolts, pursued by the CAPTAIN--cries of "Police! stop him! &c., &c." from BUNNY and the GUESTS--TRIPTOLEMUS rushes towards C., is met by LUKE, JONATHAN, and PHOEBE--turns, sees the window, tries to get over the table to it, is caught and pulled back by the CAPTAIN--TRIPTOLEMUS grasping the table cloth, it is pulled off and the contents scattered about--general confusion, &c., &c._)
BUNNY. _That_ your nephew from Cambridge!--_that_ my daughter's husband--never!
CAPT. H. Never!
TRIPTOLE. Never! Uncle Cockletop, Bunny, male and female company, I've found a wife for myself, and here she is. My own dear Phoebe! (_taking her hand_) It was for her that I left Cambridge; it was to see _her_ that I went to Cranbourne-alley, when I was suddenly singled out for destruction by that infuriated hippopotamus there! (_to CAPTAIN_)
CAPT. H. Because I thought you were giving chase to sister Arabella.
TRIPTOLE. Then that's why you gave me chase through Leicester Square, up Compton Street?
CAPT. H. Not I!
COCKLE. No--that was me.
TRIPTOLE. Miss Bunny, I've a notion you won't break your heart about me--ha, ha! take your hippopotamus; take care he don't shiver his timbers! Bunny, your hand. Phoebe, yours! (_to audience_) May I venture to ask for _yours?_
Printed by Thomas Scott, 1, Warwick Court, Holborn.
This transcription is based on images digitized from a microform copy made available by the University of California, Davis. These images have been posted on the Internet Archive at:
Because of the quality of the images, this transcription has been compared with the text posted by the Victorian Plays Project at:
In general, this transcription attempts to retain the formatting, punctuation and spelling of the source text, including variant spellings such as "miliner," "exhilirating," and "govenor." No attempt was made to make the character titles consistent. A few errors have been corrected.
The following changes are noted:
-- p. 6: under the inflluence of these exhilirating sweetmeats--Changed "inflluence" to "influence".
-- p. 13: I'll atter her a bit.--Changed "atter" to "flatter".
-- p. 22: BUNNY. I ask you again, where is "our dear---- Added a question mark and close quotation mark to the end of the line.
-- p. 23: (_goes to th sideboard and begins helping himself_--Changed "th" to "the".
-- p. 25: I should say he must be a hosier on a a large scale.--Deleted the second "a" after "on".
-- p. 26: COCKLE. I repeat, very hard; ain't it. sir?--Changed the period after "it" to a comma.