Abbildungen der Seite
[blocks in formation]

Pol. Well, then, papa, there came a man into my sister's chamber as I was there; I asked him what he wanted, and he told me he was her Italian master.

Ail. Oh, the matter's out, then!
Pol. My sister came in afterwards.
Ail. Well, and what did your sister say?
Pol. Why, first the man kissed her.
Ail. Did he so ?

Pol. Yes, two or three times, but she was not willing; and then she said to him, go away, go away-and she said, she was frightened out of her wits and she said, she was afraid you would come and catch her.

Ail. Well, and what then?

Pol. Why, he would not go away.
Ail. And-What did he say to her?

my ear that you have not told me all. This b tle finger

Pol. O, that little finger's a story-teller.
Ail. Have a care!

Pol. Don't believe it, papa; it fibs, indee All. Well, get you gone; then, and remembe what I have said to you.

Pol. Yes, papa, yes; I'll remember. Im glad he did not whip me; I was afraid he w have whipped me. [E


Friend. Come now, brother, I must inse upon it, that you will not put yourself in a pas sion; but sit down here, and let me resume t conversation which we just now broke of. Ail. Well, come let it be so.

Friend. You are to be cool now, remembe
Ail. Ay, ay, I'll be cool.

Friend. And to answer me without preva cation.

Ail Good lord, yes! here's a terrible prear ble, sure!

Friend. How comes it, then brother give leave to ask you once more, that, being is d circumstances you are, and having no other cir dren but two daughters, you can entertast strange design of marrying your eldest in ta manner you are going to dispose of her?

Ail. Pray, brother, how comes it, that I m master of my own family, and dispose of = children as I like?

Friend. Your wife no doubt, is glad to get ra of her at any rate.

Ail. Oh! ay, now it comes-and the por wife is to be dragged in! 'tis she does all the mischief, to be sure, and all the world will last it so.

Friend. No, no, brother; we'll leave her out of the question; she's a good woman, that b the best intentions in the world for your family, is free from all manner of self-interest, has a marvellous tenderness for you, and shows an conceivable affection to your children, that's c tain. We'll say no more, therefore, of her, but return to your daughter; but, pray, let me k you with what view would you marry her to the

Pol. Say! He said-I don't know how many Dr. Last? things to her.

[blocks in formation]

Ail. With a view of having so skillfull a physi cian as Dr. Last related to me.

Friend. Heavens, brother! how can you tak so? Skillfull! I never saw the man; but I am told, that of all the quacks in town, numerous ai they are, he is the most ignorant as well as the

Pol. Why, after that, he took her by the most impudent: but it is really shocking to bu hand.

Ail. And after that?

Pol. After that, he kissed her again.

Ail. And after that?

manity to consider to what a head these dange rous cheats are arrived in this great city: and it is not less amazing, that people should confide their health, their most valuable possession, to

Pol. After that-Stay; O, after that, my wretches they would not trust with any th mamma came, and he ran away.

Ail. And you saw no more?

Pol. No; indeed, and indeed, papa.

else. In short, I know no way of putting a stop to their progress, but by an unlimited act agains the vending of poisons, which, I think, would

Ail. There's something, however, whispers in very fair comprehend them.

upon several gentlemen in your way, who, from being sheep, as it were, have become as bold as lions.

Ail. Attend to this, brother, for it is worth listening to.

Ail. Ha! You have made a very fine speech, now. Do you think, if the cures they perform were not wonderful, people would take their medicines so kindly? What has essence of water-dock done for the scurvy? What balsam of honey, in colds and consumptions? The stomach pills for colicky complaints? Then, you senseless idiot you, d'ye think his majesty would give his royal letters patent for pills, essences, electuaries, cordials, tinctures, quintessences, to poison bis subjects? But to strike you dumb at once, is not that blessed medicine, baume de vie, in itself, a remedy for all disorders under Hea-him take his larning, but it would not do: hearven ?

Dr. Last. Then it is one of the beautifullest things upon yearth for the memory-There was a little boy, seven years of age, did not know one of his letters-his papa was angry, his mamma was uneasy- -They bought him the pretty books for children, letters in sweetmeats, gingerbread, ivory, all manner of play-things to make

ing of my secret they applied to me, I gave the Friend. All! child a dose, and, will you believe it, upon the Ail. Look at the list of cures-then the rea-word of an honest man-he could say his crisssoning's good-All disorders spring from the sto- cross-row in a fortnight. mach-beaume de vie is a sovereign remedy for the stomach-and, therefore, cures all disorders.

Friend. If so, why don't you take it, and get rid of yours?

Ail. Why! why! there's no general rule without an exception.

Friend. Come, come, brother, the truth of it is, there's nothing the matter with you at alland I desire no better proof of the excellency of your constitution, than that all the slops you have been taking these ten years have not burst, or otherwise destroyed you.

Ail. Here's Dr. Last! he is so good as to come on purpose to administer his medicine to me himself. Pray now, brother, behave yourself properly.

Enter DR. LAST, with a vial in one hand, and a
glass of water in the other.

Dr. Last. Come, Mr. Ailwould—
Ail. Brother, with your leave.

Ail. Now, that's very amazing! I'll make use of it myself, and begin to read immediately; for I never remember a word after the book is shut; and that's vexatious you know.

Dr. Last. And would you believe, that this fine remedy was invented by my old mother?

Ail. Your mother!

Dr. Last. Why, she knows as much of physic as I do; it is a gift in our family and she has invented things to take spots out of cloaths, and iron moulds out of linen.

Ail. I long to be acquainted with her.
Dr. Last. Well, will you swallow this now?
Ail. Ay, come give it to me.

Friend. You jest sure-Can't you be a moment without some nasty slop or another? put it off to a more convenient time, and give nature a little respite.

Ail. Well, then, this evening, Dr. Last, or tomorrow morning.

Dr. Last. Pray, sir, may I be so bold as to ax if your name aint Groggins?

Friend. No, sir! my name's Friendly.

Dr. Last. Then, sir, I desire to know, sir, what business you have to hinder me in my octocupation? I say, the gentleman shall take it now, and I warrant it will do him good.

Friend. What are you going to do now? Ail. To take some of Dr. Last's cordial; and let me prevail upon you to take a glass, too. Dr. Last. Do, sir, one dose; its as natural a man's constitution as breast-milk: and, if you will take it for a continency, once you are a little manured to it, it will work the most suprisingest difference

Friend. Pray, sir, what is it?

Dr. Last. Sir, I would not tell you, if you were my father; no, nor King George-but I'll show you-You see this glass of New River water-its as transparent as rock crystal-Now, I puts twelve drops of my cordial into it--and there-it's as fine asses milk as ever was tastedI vow to the lord, there's worse sold for a shilling a pint, that comes from the beastis themselves!

Ail. Well, I believe that's very true.

Dr. Last. I presume, by your wig, sir, that you belong to the law; and if you'll put yourself under my care, I'll give you something, for which you will be obliged to me; and yet its nothing but the juice of a simple yerb: but I've tried it

Friend. Pr'ythee, man, what d'ye mean? Dr. Last. I means what I savs. Mr. Ailwould, will take it? If you don t take it, I'll go away directly.

Friend. Well, do go away, sir; we desire it. Dr. Last. O, with all my heart! [Exit DR. LAST. Ail. Brother, you'll be the cause of some mischief here.

Friend. What mischief? No, no, brother, I shall be the cause of no mischief, but a great deal of good; and I wish I could drive away all the physic-mongers that come after you, with their cursed drugs, in the same manner; you'd live the longer for it.

Ail. Some, dreadful mischief will come of it, indeed-I must call him back-Dr. Last, Dr. Last!

Friend. Brother, for shame!

Ail. Don't talk to me; you want to send me to my grave- -Dr. Last, pray come back!

Enter DR. LAST.

Dr. Last. [Fiercely to FRIENDLY.] Did you call me, sir?

Friend. No, doctor, but Mr. Ailwould did. Dr. Last. Mr. Ailwould, I am not used politely here at all.

Ail. Indeed, sir, it was not

Dr. Last. I have given that there thing to ladies; nay, to children, that have been troubled with the worms, who never made a wry face, but licked their lips after it as pleasantly as if it had been so much treacle or sugar-candy. Ail. It was not I

I have discovered secret interviews in my house, which some people don't think I've dis


Friend. I dare swear, brother, my neice has no attachment but to the gentleman I have mentioned to you: in which case, yon have nothing to be angry with, all tending to the honourable purpose of marriage.

Ail. I don't care for what you say I'll send her over to France; I am determined on it. Friend. There's somebody you want to please, brother, by that, I doubt.

Ail. I know your meaning. sir; you're always harping upon the same strain. My wife is a strange hobgoblin in your eyes, brother.

Friend. Yes, brother, since 'tis necessary to be plain with you, 'tis your wife, that I mean; and

Dr. Last. And when I took the trouble of I can no more bear your ridiculous fondness for

coming myself

Ail. 'Twas he

Dr. Last. In my own chariot

Ail. He was the cause

her, than that you have for physic; nor endure to see you run hand over-head into all the snares she lays for you.

Pru. O, dear sir, don't speak so of my ladyextra-she's a woman, that nobody can say any thing against; a woman without the least grain of ar tifice or design, and loves my master !—there's no saying how much she loves him.

Dr. Last. Without demanding nothing ordinary for my trouble-I have a good mind not to marry your daughter!

Ail. I tell you it was all my brother; it was, upon my word and credit-But give me the cordial; and, to make you amends, I'll take double the quantity.

Friend. Are you mad?

Dr. Last. No, he's not-I insist upon his taking it for the honour of my medicine-And if you don't take a glass, too, you shall hear further from me.

Friend. Very well, doctor; I fear your sword less than your poison.

Dr. Lust. O, ay, poison, poison, we shall see whether it's poison.

Ail. Give it to me, doctor.

Dr. Last. Here, Mr. Ailwou'd. Ail. Pray, now, brother, let me prevail upon you, in compliment to the doctor

Friend. Nay, good brother, don't be absurd. Dr. Last. Now I'm satisfied; and I'll call upon you again in an hour. [Exit DR. LAST.


Ail. Prudence!
Pru. Sir!

Ail. Get me my armed chair here-Its inconceivable what a warmth this medicine diffuses all over my body.

Ail. Ay, only ask her how excessive fond she is of me.


Pru. Most excessive!

Ail. How much concern my illness gives her.
Pru. Yes.

Ail. And the care and pains she takes about

Pru. Right.-Shall we convince you now, Mr. Friendly, and show you directly what a surprising affection my lady has for my master?-Permit me, sir, to undeceive him, and let him see his [Aside.


Ail. As how, Prudence?

Pru. Hark! my lady is just returned. Do you step into the next room there—stretch your self out, and feign yourself dead: he may slip into the closet; I'll set the doors open, and you'll see what violent grief she'll be in, when I tell her the news.

Ail. Hey-hum!-I profess I have a mind to take her advice-but, no; I can never bear to hear the shrieks and lamentations she'll make over me; and yet, 'twill be a comfort to me to hear them too, to feel her virtuous tears beder my face, and her sweet lips kissing my cheeks a thousand times, to bring me back again to life: and her-Ah, verily, I'll do it; verily, I'll do it; Friend. Well, but, brother, did not you hear and then, sir, what will become of your fine surDr. Last say just now, that he was in doubt whe-mises?-But, Prudence, art thou not afraid, ther he would marry your daughter or not? and that her very thinking me dead will break ber after so slighting an expression, surely you will heart? not persist in your design! but let me talk to you of this gentleman who wishes to have my niece.

Ail. No, brother, if Dr. Last won't have her, I'll send her to France, and put her into a convent; I am sure she has an amorous inclination for somebody: and to let you know,

Pru. To be sure, sir, if you should keep her in her fright too long.

Ail. O, let me alone for that; I'll make the experiment this very minute; this very minute. But is there no danger in feigning one's self dead!

Pru. No, no; what danger should there be!

Tis only shutting your eyes, and stretching yourself out. [To AILWOULD.] Now, sir, we shall show you your error, and convince you how much you have injured the best of wives. [To FRIENDLY.] Twill be pleasant enough afterwards, to see how blank he will look-Here's my lady; quick, quick, both of you away!



Friend. Your servant, madam.

Mrs. Ail. Lord! my dear, I'm so disappointed ---so pleased, I mean, and so frightened-This wicked girl told me you were dead.

Ail. Yes, and a fine oration you pronounced over me!

Mrs. Ail. Nay, but, my dear, this is the most unreasonable thing-[Turning to FRIENDLYsome slight conversation, that I have had with my maid here, which Mr. Ailwould takes in a wrong sense: but, I dare swear, when he has

Oh! Heavens! Oh! fatal misfortune! what a considered the matter a little, he will think difstrange accident is this!

Mrs. Ail. What's the matter, Prudence?
Pru. [Crying.] Ah! madam!

Mrs. Ail. What is it? what do you mean by

blubbering, pr'ythee?

Pru. My master's dead, madam.
Mrs. Ail. Dead!

Pru. [Sobbing.] Ye-ye-yes.
Mrs. Ail. Are you sure of it?

Pru. Too sure, alas! No body yet knows any thing of this accident: There was not a soul but myself to help him; he sunk down in my arms, and went off like a child-See there, madam, he lies stretched out in the next room.

Mrs. Ail. Now, Heaven be praised!-What a simpleton art thou to cry?

Pru. Cry, ma'am! why, I thought we were to cry?


Ail. Get out of my sight, get out of my


Mrs. Ail. Well, but, lovely, let me explain the matter to you.

Ail. I'll never hear a word from you again as long as I live.

Mrs. Ail. Nay, sir, if you bear yourself so haughtily, you'll find me a match for you. It is not to-day, my dear, I am to learn, that your brain is full of maggots; however, you shall call me more than once before I come back to you, I assure you. [Exit.

Ail. Did you ever hear such an impudent creature? Od's my life, with what an air she carried it!-But do'st think she was in earnest, Prudence?

Pru. Troth, do I, sir.

Friend. Come, brother, to tell you the plain truth, Prudence devised this method in order to open your eyes to your wife's perfidy-She has deceived you with a show of false tenderness, but now you see her in her genuine colours.

Mrs. Ail. And for what, pray! I know of no loss he is-Was he of any use upon earth? A man troublesome to all the world; odious in his person; disgusting in his manners; never with-long out some filthy medicine in his mouth, or his stomach; continually coughing, bawking, and spitting; a tiresome, peevish, disagreeable monster!

Pru. An excellent funeral sermon, truly!

Ail. I profess my eyes were dazzled, and all my senses confused; I know not what I either hear or see: but, in the first place, I renounce physic

Enter NANCY and HARGRave.

Pru. Lord! sir, here's Miss Nancy and Mr. Hargrave.

[Aside. Mrs. Ail. Prudence, you must assist me in the execution of my design; and you may depend upon it, I will amply reward your services. Since, by good fortune, no one is yet apprised of this accident, beside ourselves, let us keep his death a secret a few day, till I have been able to settle Nan. Dear papa, what's the matter? my affairs on a sure foundation: there are pa- Ail. The matter, child! I don't know, child. pers and money of which I would possess my-[Seeing HARGRAVE.] What brings you here, sir? self-Nor, indeed, is it just, that all I have suffered with him living should not be rewarded by some advantage at his death.

Pru. To be sure, madam.

Mrs. Ail. In the mean time, I'll go and secure his keys, for I know he has a considerable sum of money in his scrutoire, which he received yesterday.

MRS, AILWOULD going to the Door, meets

[blocks in formation]

Friend. This, brother, is the young gentleman I propose as a match for your daughter; and, after what I have said, and what has happened, pretensions. I hope you will no longer refuse to listen to his

you, is your total ignorance of the medicinal Ail. Why, really, sir, my chief objection to art; if you can think of any method to remove that

Har. I must own, sir, I'm afraid I'm rather too far advanced in life to make any progress in so deep and abstracted a study.

Ail. Why, with regard to the more capital branches, I grant you; but in the subaltern offices, I'm of a contrary opinion: Suppose, now,

you were to bind yourself apprentice for a year or two to some skilful apothecary? surely, in that time you might learn to decypher a prescription, and make up a medicine with a very few blunders.

Har. D'ye think so, sir?

Ail. You might, indeed, now and then, give a dose of arsenic for salts; but that's an accident might happen to the oldest practioner.

Friend. Ah, brother, brother, what's this I hear! It was but this moment you were determined to renounce physic, and here you are talking as warmly and absurdly about it as ever!

Ail. Eh! It's very true, indeed, brother.However, let it suffice, I give the young man my daughter without any conditions at all: And now I'll go and get effectually rid of that other plague, my wife; for I shall not be easy, while we are under the same roof. [Exit. Friend. If we can't cure him of his love for drugs, we have done nothing.

Nan. I doubt, sir, that will be impossible. Friend. Hist, here comes Dr. Last-I'll take the opportunity of your father's absence to have some sport with him; put on melancholy countenances, and take your cues from me.

Pru. I know what you'd be at, sir, and I'll second you.

Enter DR. LAST.

Dr. Last. O, don't think to humbug me so!

Enter AILWOULD, behind.

Ail. What are they doing here? Nan. Dear sir, have patience-Stop where you are a little, and let them go on.

Friend. Within there; seize this fellow. Dr. Last. Liberty-I'm a free-born Briton, in my native city-If any one lays a finger upon me, I'll put him into the crown-office.

Friend. Ay, but we'll put you into Newgate first-Carry him before a justice! I'll go and be a witness.

Pru. Ay, and so will I.

Dr. Last. [In a great passion.] Well, but stay: let me go a bit-What will you be a wit ness of?

Pru. That you poisoned my master.
Dr. Last. It can't be.

Friend. We'll prove it.

Dr. Last. It's a fictitious report; for, to let you see the difference now-what I gave him was nothing in the world but a little chalk and vinegar; and, if it could do him no good, it could do him no harm.

Ail. And so, sirrah, this is the way you take people in? Your famous cordial, then, is chalk and vinegar?

Dr. Last. What! Mr. Ailwould, aren't you dead?

Ail. No, sirrah? but no thanks to you for that-so, get you out of my house, or I'll chalk

Dr. Last. Mr. Ailwould, where are you? I and vinegar you with a vengeance, you pretendhave brought you some of my essence of cucum-ing, quacking, cheating

ber, by way of a taste.

Friend. O, Dr. Last, you are come! your servant, sir, I'm glad to see you.

Dr. Last. Sir, I'm obliged to you-Where is Mr. Ailwould?

Friend. Where is he, sir ?—

Dr. Last. Aye; because I wants to speak to him.

Friend. He's dead, sir.

[blocks in formation]

Friend. Hold, sir, no more of your stuff! Dr. Last. Well, then, let me go and feel his pulse.

Friend. Nor that neither; you shan't go near him: but we insist upon your telling us what you gave him out of your vial just now!

Dr. Last. How! tell you my secret--A bookseller offered me a thousand pounds for it.

Har. A bookseller offered you a thousand pounds! That may be, sir, but Mr. Ailwould died a few minutes after you administered it; we, therefore, take it for granted, that it has poisoned him; and, unless you prove very clearly to the contrary, we shall consider you as his murderer, and treat you accordingly.

Dr. Last. Don't strike me!

don't get out of my house.

Ail. I'll break every bone in your skin, if you

Friend. Nay, brother

Dr. Last. My own chariot's below.

Ail. A cart, a wheel-barrow for such scoun drels!

Dr. Last. Don't call me out of my name. Aıl. I can't, sirrah!

Dr. Last. You did, you did, and I'll make you for it.


Ail. Get out of my house!

Dr. Last. That's all I want-He has pushed me I call you every one to witness—I'll swear

to the assault.

Friend. Take him away!

Dr. Last. [As they are taking him away.] I'll swear to the assault-and if I don't get redem fication[Hurried of

Enter POLLY.

Pol. Papa! papa! Ail. What's the matter, my dear? Pol. My mamma's gone abroad, and sa she'll never come home no more; so she won't. Ail. A good riddance! a good riddance! Pol. La, papa! if that isn't the man Is just now kissing my sister!

Pru. Ah! you little tell-tale!

Pol. Indeed, Prudence, but I am no tell-tale,

« ZurückWeiter »