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Enter SIR JOHN, Tailor, Barber, and Joɛ. Tai. 'Tis the fashion, sir, I assure you. Sir John. Fashions are for fools; don't tell me of fashion. Must a man make an ass of himself, because it's the fashion?
Tai. But you would be like other folks, sir, would not you?
Sir John. No, sir, if this is their likeness, I would not be like other folks. Why, a man might as well be cased up in armour; here's buckrain and whalebone enough to turn a bullet. Joe. Sir, here's the barber has brought you home a new periwig.
Sir John. Let him come in. Come, friend! let's see if you're as good at fashions as Mr. Buckram here. What the devil's this?
Bar. The bag, sir.
Sir John. The bag, sir! and what's this bag for, sir? this is not the fashion too, I hope? Bar. It's what is very much wore, sir, indeed. Sir John. Wore, sir! how is it wore? where is it wore? what is it for?
Bar. Sir, it is only for ornament.
Sir John. O, 'tis an ornament! I beg your pardon! Now, positively, I should not have taken this for an ornament. My poor grey hairs are, in my opinion, much more becoming. But, come, put it on! There, now, what do you think I am like?
Joe. Icod, measter, you're not like the same mon, I'm sure.
Bar. Sir, 'tis very genteel, I assure you. Sir John. Genteel! ay, that it may be, for aught I know, but I'm sure 'tis very ugly. G
2d Court. He must certainly divert your majesty.
Bar. They wear nothing else in France, sir. Sir John. In France, sir! what's France to me? I'm an Englishman, sir, and know no right 3d Cour. He may be diverting, perhaps ; but the fools of France have to be my examples. if I may speak my mind freely, I think there is Here, take it again; I'll have none of your new-something too plain and rough in his behaviour, fangled French fopperies; and if you please, I'll | for your majesty to bear. make you a present of this fine, fashionable coat again. Fashion, indeed!
[Exeunt Tailor, Barber, and JOE. Enter JOE with the French Cook. Joe. Sir, here's a fine gentleman wants to speak with you.
Cook. Sir, me have hear dat your honour want one cook.
Sir John. Sir, you are very obliging; I suppose you would recommend one to me. But as I don't know you
King. Your lordship, perhaps, may be afraid of plain truth and sincerity, but I am not.
3d Cour. I beg your majesty's pardon; I did not suppose you was; I only think, there is a certain awe and reverence due to your majesty, which I am afraid his want of politeness may make him transgress.
King. My lord, whilst I love my subjects, and preserve to them all their rights and liberties, I doubt not of meeting with a proper respect from the roughest of them; but as for the awe and reverence which your politeness would flatter me with, I love it not. I will, that all my subyou.jects treats me with sincerity. An honest freedom of speech, as it is every honest man's right, so none can be afraid of it, but he that is conscious to himself of ill-deservings. Sound maxims, and right conduct, can never be ridiculed; and, where the contrary prevail, the severest censure is greatest kindness.
Cook. No, no, sir! me am one cook myself, and would be proud of de honour to serve Sir John. You a cook! and pray, what wages may you expect, to afford such finery as that? Cook. Me will have one hundred guinea a year, no inore; and two or three servant under me to do de work.
Sir John. Hum! very reasonable truly! And, pray, what extraordinary matters can you do, to deserve such wages?
Cook. O me can make you one hundred dish, de Englis know noting of; me can make you de portable soup to put in your pocket : me can dress you de foul a-la marli, en galentine, a-la montmorancy; de duck en grinadin; de chicken a-la chombre; de turkey en botine; de pidgeon en mirliton a l'Italienne, a-la d' Huxelles: en fine, me can give you de essence of five or six ham, and de juice of ten or twelve stone of beef, all in de sauce of one little dish.
Sir John. Very fine! At this rate, no wonder the poor are starved, and the butcher unpaid. No, I will have no such cooks, I promise you; it is the luxury and extravagance introduced by such French kickshaw-mongers as you, that has devoured and destroyed old English hospitality! Go! go about your business; I have no mind to be beggared, nor to beggar honest tradesmen. Joe! [Exit Cook.
Sir John. Let my daughter know, the king has sent for me, and I am gone to court, to wait on his majesty.
Joe. Yes, sir.
3d Cour. I believe your majesty is in the right, and I stand corrected.
Enter a Gentleman.
Gen. May it please your majesty, here is a person, who calls himself Sir John Cockle, the miller of Mansfield, begs admittance to your majesty.
King. Conduct him in.
Enter SIR JOHN.
King. Honest Sir John Cockle, you are welcome to London.
Sir John. I thank your majesty for the honour you do me, and am glad to find your majesty in good health.
King. But pray, Sir John, why in the habit of a miller yet? What I gave you was with a design to set you above the mean dependence of a trade for subsistence.
Sir John. Your majesty will pardon my freedom. Whilst my trade will support me, I am independent; and I look upon that to be more honourable in an Englishman, than any dependance whatsoever. I am a plain, blunt man, and may possibly, some time or other, offend your majesty; and where, then, is my subsist
SCENE II.-The Palace.
1st Court. He has been in town two or three days; has not your majesty seen him yet?
King. No, but I have sent for him to attend me this evening and I design, with only you, my lords, who are now present, to entertain my self a while with his honest freedom. He will be here-presently.
King. And dare you not trust the honour of king?
Sir John. Without doubt I might trust your majesty very safely; but, in general, though the honour of kings ought to be more sacred, the humour of kings is like that of other men; and, when they please to change their mind, who shall dare to call their honour in question?
King. Sir John, you are in the right; and I am glad to see you maintain that noble freedom of
spirit: I wish all my subjects were as indepen- | dent on me as you resolve to be; I should then hear more truth and less flattery. But come, what news? How does iny lady and your son Richard?
Sir John. I thank your majesty: Margery is very well, and so is Dick.
King. I hope you have brought her up to town with you?
Sir John. She has displeased me, of late, very
King. In what?
more of this affair another time: but tell me how you like London? Your son Richard, I remember, gave a very satirical description of it; I hope you are better entertained.
Sir John. So well, that I assure your majesty, I am in admiration and wonder all day long. King. Ay! well, let us hear what it is you admire and wonder at.
Sir John. Almost every thing I see or hear of. When I see the splendour and magnificence in which some noblemen appear, I admire their riches; but when I hear of their debts, and their Sir John. You shall hear. When I was only mortgages, I wonder at their folly. When I plain John Cockle, the miller of Mansfield, a hear of a dinner costing an hundred pounds, I farmer's son, in the neighbourhood, made love am surprised that one man should have so many to my daughter. He was a worthy, honest man. friends to entertain; but when I am told, that He loved my daughter sincerely; and, to all ap- it was made only for five or six squeamish lords, pearance, her affections were placed on him. I or piddling ladies, that eat not perhaps an ounce approved of the match, and gave him my con-a-piece, I am quite astonished. When I hear of sent. But when your majesty's bounty had raised my fortune and condition, my daughter, Kate, became Miss Kitty: She grew a fine girl, and was presently taken notice of by the young gentlemen of the country. Amongst the rest, Sir Timothy Flash, a young, rakish, extravagant knight, made his addresses to her; his title, his dress, his equipage, dazzled her eyes and her understanding; and fond, I suppose, of being made a lady, she despises and forsakes her first lover, the bonest farmer, and is determined to marry this mad, wrong-beaded knight.
King. And is this the occasion of your displeasure? I should think you had rather cause to rejoice that she was so prudent. What! do you think it no advantage to your daughter, nor honour to yourself, to he allied to so great a man? Sir John. It may be an honour to be allied to a great man, when a great man is a man of honour; but that is not always the case. Besides, nothing that is unjust, can be either prudent or honourable: And the breaking her faith and promise with a man that loved, and every way deserved her, merely for the sake of a little vanity, or self-interest, is an action that I am ashamed my daughter could be guilty of.
an estate of twenty or thirty thousand a year, I envy the man that has it in his power to do so much good, and wonder how he disposes of it; but when I am told of the necessary expences of a gentleman in horses and whores, and eating and drinking, and dressing and gaming, I am surprised that the poor man is able to live. In short, when I consider our publick credit, our honour, our courage, our freedom, our publick spirit, 1 am surprised, amazed, astonished, and confounded.
1st Cour. Is not this bold, sir?
Sir John. Perhaps it may; but I suppose his majesty would not have an Englishinan a coward?
King. Far from it. Let the generous spirit of freedom reign unchecked: To speak his mind, is the undoubted right of every Briton; and be it the glory of my reign, that all my subjects enjoy that honest liberty. "Tis ny wish to redress all grievances; to right all wrongs: But kings, alas! are but fallible men; errors in government will happen, as well as failings in private life, and ought to be candidly imputed. And let me ask you one question, Sir John. Do you really think you could honestly withstand all the temptations that wealth and power would lay before you? Sir John. I will not boast before your majes
King. Why, you are the most extraordinary man I ever knew: I have heard of fathers quar-ty; relling with their children for marring foolishly for love; but you are so singular as to blame your's for marrying wisely for interest.
Sir John. Why, I may differ a little from the common practice of my neighbours--But, I hope your majesty does not, therefore, think me to blame?
King. No: Singularity in the right is never a crime. If you are satisfied your actions are just, let the world blush that they are singular.
Sir John. Nay, and I am, perhaps, not so regardless of interest as your majesty may apprehend. It is very possible a knight, or even a Jord, may be poor as well as a farmer. No offence, I hope [Turning to the Courtiers. Cour. No, no, no. Impertinent fellow!
LAside. King. Well, Sir John, I shall be glad to hear
perhaps I could not. Yet give me leave to say, the man, whom wealth or power can make a villain, is sure unworthy of possessing either. King. Suppose self-interest, too, should clash with publick duty?
Sir John. Suppose it should: "Tis always a man's duty to be just; and doubly his with whom the public trust their rights and liberties.
King, I think so; nay, he, who cannot scorn the narrow interest of his own poor self, to serve his country, and defend her rights, deserves not the protection of a couutry to defend his own; at least, should not be trusted with the rights of other men.
Sir John. I wish no such were ever trusted. King. I wish so, too: But how are kings to know the hearts of men?
Sir John. "Tis difficult indeed: yet something might be done.
Sir John. The man whom a king employs, or a nation trusts, should be thoroughly tried. Examine his private character: Mark how he lives: Is he luxurious, or proud, or ambitious, or extravagant? avoid him: The soul of that man is mean; necessity will press him, and public fraud must pay his private debts. But if you find a man with a clear head, sound judgment, and a right honest heart-that is the man to serve both you and his country.
King. You're right; and such by me shall ever be distinguished. Tis both my duty and my interest to promote them. To such, if I give wealth, it will enrich the public; to such, if I give power, the nation will be mighty; to such, if I give honour, I shall raise my own. But surely, Sir John, your's is not the language, nor the sentiments of a common miller; how, in a cottage, could you gain this superior wisdom? Sir John. Wisdom is not confined to palaces; nor always to be bought with gold. I read often, and think sometimes; and he who does that, may gain some knowledge, even in a cottage. As for any think superior, I pretend not to it. What I have said, I hope, is plain good sense, at least 'tis honest, and well meant.
King. Sir John, I think so; and, to convince you how much I esteem your plain-dealing and sincerity of heart, receive this ring as a mark of my favour.
Sir John. I thank your majesty..
King. Don't thank me now; at present I have business that must be dispatched, and will desire you to leave me before 'tis long I'll see you again.
Sir John. I wish your majesty a good night. Exit. King. Well, my lords, what do you think of this miller?
1st Cour. He talks well: what he is in the bottom, I don't know.
2d Cour. I'm afraid not sound.
3d Cour. I fancy he's set on by somebody to impose upon your majesty with this fair shew of honesty.
1st Cour. Or is not he some cunning knave, that wants to work himself into your majesty's favour?
King. I have a fancy come into my head to try him; which I'll communicate to you, and put in execution immediately. An hour hence, my lords, I shall expect to see you at Sir John's.
Sir Tim. Honest Bacchus, how dost thou do? Land. Sir, I am very glad to see you; pray, when did you come to town?
Sir Tim. Yesterday; and on an affair that I shall want a little of your assistance in.
Land. Any thing in my power, you know, you may command.
Sir Tim. You must know then, I have an intrigue with a young lady that's just come to town with her father, and want an agreeable house to meet her at; can you recommend one to me?
Land. I can recommend you, sir, to the most convenient woman in all London. What think you of Mrs. Wheedle?
Sir Tim. The best woman in all the world: I know her very well; how could I be so stupid not to think of her? Greenwood, do you know where our country neighbour, Sir John Cockle, Iadges?
Green. Yes, sir.
Sir Tim. Don't be out of the way then; I shall send a letter by you presently, which you must deliver privately into Miss Kitty's own hand. If she comes with you, I shall give you directions where to conduct her, and do you come back here and let me know.
Green. Yes, sir. Poor Kitty is it thus thy
falsehood to me is to be punished? I will prevent thy rain, however.
SIR TIMOTHY Sings.
O the pleasing, pleasing, joys,
O the raptures which arise!
Sir Tim. Marry, ay! why what is life without this letter, and then, honest Bacchus, we'll taste enjoying the pleasures of it? Come, I'll write what wine thou hast got. [Exeunt.
SCENE II-A Room.
MISS KITTY and MRS. STARCH. shions come up first at court? Kitty. But pray, Mrs. Starch, does all new fa
nothing else there but study new fashions. That's Mrs. Starch. O, dear madam, yes. They do what the court is for: And we milliners, and tailors, and barbers, and mantua-makers, go there to learn fashions for the good of the public.
Though born in a country town,
My waist is as slender,
My skin is as white,
My eyes are as bright
As the best of them all,
Enter SIR JOHN, observing them.
Kitty. And is not this a very pretty cap, too? Does not it become me?
Mrs. Starch. Yes, madam.
Kitty. But don't you think this hoop a little too big?
Sir John. No, no; too big! no. Not above six or seven yards round.
Mrs. Starch. Indeed, sir, 'tis within the circumference of the mode a great deal.
Sir John. That it may be, but I'm sure it's beyond the circumference of modesty a great deal. Kitty. Lord, papa, can't you dress yourself as you've a mind, and let us alone? How should you know any thing of womens' fashions? Come, let us go into the next room.
[Exeunt MISS KITTY and MRS. STARCH.
Enter JOE with GREENWOOD.
Joe. Sir, here's one that you'll be very glad to
Sir John. Who is it?-What, honest Greenwood! May I believe my eyes?
Green. Sir, I am very glad to see you; I hope all your family are well.
Sir John. Very well. But, for Heaven's sake,
That twinkle or sparkle at court or at ball. what has brought thee to London? What's the
I can ogle and sigh,
Then frown and be coy;
And rise in a rage ;
And softly, and softly engage.
But pray, Mrs. Starch, which do you think the most genteel walk now? To trip it away o'this manner, or to swim smoothly along thus?
Mrs. Starch. They both become you extremely.
Kitty. Do they really? I'm glad you think so, for, indeed, I believe, you are a very good judge. And, now I think on't, I'll have your opinion in something else. What do you think it is that makes a fine lady?
Mrs. Starch. Why, madam, a fine person, fine wit, fine airs, and fine clothes.
Kitty. Well, you have told me already that I'm very handsome, you know, so that's one thing; but, as for wit, what's that? I don't know what that is, Mrs. Starch.
Mrs. Starch. O madam, wit is, as one may say -the-the being very witty; that iscomical as it were; doing something to make every body laugh.
Kitty. O, is that all? nay, then, I can be as witty as any body, for I am very comical. Well, but what's the next? fine airs: O, let me alone for fine airs; I have airs enough, if I can but get lovers to practise them upon. And then, fine clothes; why, these are very fine clothes, I think; don't you think so, Mrs. Starch?
Mrs. Starch. Yes, madam.
meaning of this livery? I don't understand thee.
Green. I don't wonder that you are surprised? but I will explain myself. You know the faithful, honest love I bear your daughter; and you are sensible, since the addresses of Sir Timothy Flash, how much her falsehood has grieved me; yet more for her sake, even than my own: my own unhappiness I could endure with patience, but the thoughts of seeing her reduced to shame and misery, I cannot bear.
Sir John. What dost thou mean?
Green. I very much suspect his designs upon her are not honcurable.
Sir John. Not honourable! he dare not wrong me so!- -But, go on.
Green. Immediately after you had left the country, hearing that he was hastening to London after you, and wanted a servant, I went and offered myself, resolving, by a strict watch on all his actions, to prevent, if possible, the ruin of her I cannot but love, how ill soever I have been treated. Not knowing me to be his rival, he brought me along with him. We arrived in London yesterday, and I am now sent by him to give your daughter privately this letter.
Sir John. What can it tend to? I know not what to think; but if I find he dares to mean me wrong, by this good hand
Green. Then let me tell ye, he means you villainous wrong. The ruin of your daughter is contrived; I heard the plot; and this very letter is to put it in execution.
Sir John. What shall I do?
Green, Leave all to me. I'll deliver the letter, and, by her behaviour, we shall know better how to take our measures. But how shall I see her?