ILLUMINATION: OR, THE GLAZIERS' CONSPIRACY. A PRELUDE. AS IT IS PERFORMED, WITH UNIVERSAL APPLAUSE, AT THE THEATRE-ROYAL, IN COVENT-GARDEN. BY F. PILON.

LONDON: PRINTED FOR G. KEARSLEY, AT No. 46, IN FLEET STREET MDCCLXXIX.

Entered at Stationers-hall.

ADVERTISEMENT. TO THE READER.

THE Author of the following trifle is as fully satisfied of the small claim it has to public atten­tion, as the best critical anatomist in town could make him—but as the country managers procure copies of every piece play'd with success in London, that is not published, he is unwilling to have the number of his faults increased through the blunders and inaccuracies of an ig­norant [Page ii] short-hand writer. He there­fore presents his little offspring to the reader as it came into the world; for though a parent may find no great beauty in a child, few, I fancy, are so unnatural as so stand by and see one knocked o'the head, or get a broken limb, without making some effort to prevent the accident.

DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

MEN.
  • Skylight, a master glazier, Mr. LEE LEWES.
  • Dip, a tallow chandler, Mr. WILSON.
  • Quillet, an attorney's clerk, Mr. BRUNSDON.
  • Parchment. Mr. Thompson.
  • Mob, &c.
WOMEN.
  • Mrs. Skylight, Mrs. PITT.
  • Miss Skylight, Miss GREEN,

ILLUMINATION.

SCENE an Apartment in SKYLIGHT'S House,
Mrs. SKYLIGHT, Miss SKYLIGHT, and Mr. SKYLIGHT discovered at Tea.
MRS. SKYLIGHT.

SOPHIA, my dear, how do you like this tea?

SKYLIGHT.

Sophia! zounds! can't you call her plain Sue, as she was christened?

MRS. SKYLIGHT.
[Page 2]

I see, Mr. Skylight, you will never get rid of your vulgar ideras, notwithstanding all the pains I take with you.

SKYLIGHT.

But what right have you to give your daugh­ter a higher name than plain Kate, Bridget, or Susan? Are'nt these, think you, good enough for a tradesman's wife, as she must be? If you don't keep a tighter rein with that girl Bridget, she'll resemble her betters in more respects than her name: ay, and if ever she gets a husband, will put him in the fashion as well as herself, or I'm out in my calculation.

MRS. SKYLIGHT.

Why, my dear, wasn't she baptiz'd Susannah Sophia Serina?

SKYLIGHT.

Much against my will. She was call'd, Su­sannah after her grandmother; and damme, if I, was a bishop, but I'd pluck the blockhead's cas­sock [Page 3] over his ears who tack'd the other two heathenish, nonsensical additions to it—But don't sit chatting nonsense all night over that slop— go to the shop, and see the customers ar'nt neglected—I expect a few panes knockt out in the beginning of the evening, and people don't care to let 'em stand all night without mending.

MRS. SKYLIGHT.

You may look after the customers yourself; Sophy and I are engag'd this evening.

SKYLIGHT.

Why, sure, you hav'nt the impudence to leave the house of an illumination night? and the last I expect too, till we have news from the West Indies.

SUSANNAH.

Indeed, indeed, papa, we are engag'd to a coach-party, to drive through all the streets, and see the windows; indeed we are, and can't polsitivey be off, if we would maintain any thing like character.

SKYLIGHT.
[Page 4]

What, and have that haycock upon your head set fire to by squibs and crackers? I tell you what, Mrs. Prate-most, you're in the high road to lose all characters; as for your part, Bridget, damn me! but I believe romances, hard-words and quality airs, have turn'd your head; you encourage your daughter to fly in her father's face.

MRS. SKYLIGHT.

Take no notice of him, my dear; I asked you how you liked this tea?

SKYLIGHT.

Is this to be borne, now, in a man's own house?

SUSANNAH.

I like it prodigiously, mama—it is Hoisan, to be sure.

MRS. SKYLIGHT.

It is real Gunpowder, child—I had it of Mr. Bamboo, of the Sea-horse.

SKYLIGHT.
[Page 5]

I wish, from the bottom of my soul, you were both in the Sea-horse, half way to the East Indies.

MRS. SKYLIGHT.

You saw Billy Quillet himself, then?

SKYLIGHT.

Here's a fellow too! tho' I forbad him my house, he will have my daughter in spight of me—But madam, madam—I ask you once more, will you go to the shop?

MRS. SKYLIGHT.

Take no notice of him—So then you saw Billy himself?

SKYLIGHT.

Will you go to the shop?—will you go to the shop?

[With great vehemence.
MRS. SKYLIGHT.
[Page 6]

As sure as can be the man's non Pompey's prentice, as Billey Quillet says.

SKYLIGHT.

Damn me! I wish you were prentice for life to any man in the kingdom, so I cou'd get quit of your indentures.

MRS. SKYLIGHT.

Come, Sophy, we'll leave him to recover from his tantrums—[going.] You see, child, what you have to expect, if you marry a man who has no idera of the foster commotions, and whose heart is more indurate than the glass which he glazes.

[Exeunt Sophy and Mrs. Skylight.
SKYLIGHT.

So, off they go, to that puppy Quillet, the lawyer's clerk, and Abraham Skylight has seen the last of them 'till to-morrow morning

[Sits down in a melancholy posture.]

Why did I marry? Was it not as clear as plate-glass, that a prudent glazier cou'd never live in peace with a woman of [Page 7] her confounded extravagant turbulent spirit? Is there one part of her marriage vow she has not broken? Yes, let me do her justice; her chastity; that I look, upon to be a whole pane yet; and I fancy, while her present head continues upon her shoulders, it is a pane few will think worth smashing.

Enter DIP.
DIP.

What in the dumps, friend Skylight?

SKYLIGHT.

I have been thinking, Dip, what windows will be broke, 'twixt this and five to-morrow morn­ing.

DIP.

Ay, always an eye to business, but what was done last night?—Any great strokes struck?

SKYLIGHT.

Great strokes? I and my apprentices struck in half the windows about Soho Square. But how was your demand for candles to-day?

DIP.
[Page 8]

Prodigious!—prodigious!—I sold fifteen boxes between four o'clock and seven; but Lud-Hill is a mint of customers to me;—you know Doctor Solidskull the apothecary, he has set that whole quarter in an blaze.

SKYLIGHT.

Oh! that's a fine fellow for our trade; he's a magazine of patriotism; all I am afraid of, is, that as he has so much combustible stuff about him, he'll blow up one of these days, to the great loss of chandlers and glaziers. Did you take a survey of the different streets last night?

DIP.

The greater part of them, from the Cat and Gridiron at Ratcliffe Highway, to the High­lander and Bag-pipe at Tyburn turnpike.

SKYLIGHT.

How was the City?

DIP.
[Page 9]

A bonfire, from Temple Bar to the Mino­ries.

SKYLIGHT.

How was the Strand?

DIP.

For all the world like a bundle of matches lighted; a blaze all above, and brimstone all below.

SKYLIGHT.

How was Bow-street?

DIP.

I can't tell, for there was a file of musketeers at both ends of it: but what was doing about White Hall? I know nothing of what pass'd there.

SKYLIGHT.

Then you saw nothing.—Oh! my friend, how shall I relate the ever memorable action of [Page 10] Charing-Cross and the investure, storming, and reduction of the Admiralty.

DIP.

Let me hear it, let me hear it.

SKYLIGHT.

About eleven, I sallied out at the head of two and thirty glaziers, all choice hands as ever put in or knockt out a pane of glass.

DIP.

Then you did'nt meet my journeymen?

SKYLIGHT.

Oh! yes, I might have been reinforced by four chandlers at Northumberland House, but I found 'em so well posted, and doing so much execution, that I thought it a pity to disturb them.

DIP.

You were right not to take them from their work; it was a box of candles in my pocket this morning. Was the statue illuminated?

SKYLIGHT.
[Page 11]

The first night, — but a confounded Whig [...]erly wind blew the candles out, so the de­ [...] was dropt—but to the siege—from Cha­ [...]g Cross, to Downing-street, the mob stow'd as [...] as a barrel of Colchester oysters. But all [...] lads under my command were trained to [...] service last war, when I believe I need not [...] you what work our admirals and generals [...]ut for us in the illumination way.

DIP.

If we cou'd have persuaded people to put up [...]dles as often as they ought, we shou'd have [...] no great reason to complain this war; [...]o for [...] our fleet did not as it generally does, prove [...] extinguisher, it turned out for our trade a [...]pleat save-all—but on with the siege.

SKYLIGHT.

Well, Sir, through the crowd they darted, [...]ith the nimbleness of pickpockets, and gave [Page 12] such vigour to the assault on the great gate, that they were off the hinges in the glazing a garret window.—Down they thunder— rushed the mob—and Oh! my friend did su [...] business!—in ten minuits there was not a window frame left standing. The ground, Sir, w [...] covered with broken glass, and by the reflecti [...] of the lamps look'd like the sky of a fro [...] night, thick set with stars as a cake with plum [...] at Christmas—over the ruins I walked w [...] the triumph of a general a-cross the field [...] battle after a victory.—Zounds what a fight [...] was for a glazier!

DIP.

'Twas a glorious night,—but how were y [...] off for ammunition?

SKYLIGHT.

We crammed our pockets at Kensing [...] Gravel Pits, for you must know I was af [...] to trust to the Scotch pavement. But did [...] hear of any accident in the course of [...] night?

DIP.
[Page 13]

Why yes, a short-sighted gentleman was high having his eyes burnt out passing the General Advertiser because he did'nt illuminate his spectacles—and a coach full of ladies had like to have been burnt down to the ground opposite the London Tavern, owing to a squib which was thrown into one of the wo­men's heads, and raised such a conflagration in a few seconds amongst the wool, gauze, poma­tum, and false hair she had on, that there was a hole burnt through the top of the coach be­fore the flames could be got under.

Enter DICK.
DICK.

Lord, Sir, you'll lose all the fun if you do'nt go out.

SKYLIGHT.

What you rascal, have you left the shop and not a journeyman in the house but yourself?

DICK.
[Page 14]

Why, Sir, there's not another gentleman of the trade will suffer one of his men to finger a piece of putty till tomorrow morning—besides, if you let me go out I'll engage to make work for myself before I come home.

SKYLIGHT.

Get in, sirrah! and be ready to attend, if a customer should call.

[Exit Dick.
DIP.

Don't you hear a shout? Something's going forward—Come, let us patrole the streets, and see what our troops have done, then we'll finish the night at Ashley's Punch House, where we may smoak Rowley and get drunk pro bono publico.

[Exeunt.
[Page 15] Enter Mrs. SKYLIGHT, SUSSANAH, and QUILLET.
MRS. SKYLIGHT.

The coast, I see, is clear—so we may be off as soon as we please—but first tell me what your mock press gang is made up of?

QUILLET.

All limbs of the law, like your humble ser­vant —their valiant commander is clerk to Title Deed the great conveyancer—a pretty, smart, tight, little fellow—just such another as I am— sports his figure every Sunday at the Dog and Duck—you may twig him under the organ with his head frizzed like a Porcupine and grid­iron buckles.

MRS. SKYLIGHT.

Oh, gemmini! I doat upon gridiron buckles— why don't you wear them, Billy?

QUILLET.
[Page 16]

I will, my love, when the days grow colder— but gridiron buckles are broiling wear in warm weather,.—My dear Mrs. Skylight, a word in your ear, as we say in our office, Mr. Skylight— how is he as to temperance?— does he drink of an afternoon?

MRS. SKYLIGHT

Oh! heavens! like a fish— if he's sober now it's a wonder. I never knew him sober of an illumination night since I was married to him.

QUILLET.

Truly I am very proud to hear this — for you must know I have no great dependence on the courage of my press-gang; but, Lord, what's to be expected from an army of Quills and parchment? Poor lids! not one of them ever fought a battle in his life, except with hard [Page 17] words, and law Latin, In old acts of parlia­ment.

MRS. SKYLIGHT.

Now, Billy, if I understand this plot rightly, you are to come up when Mr. Skylight is pressed, as it were on Sousong and refostulate the affair with the gang.

SUSANNAH.

Yes, to be sure he is, mama; and then my papa will be so thankful, when my dear Billy gets him out of the hands of the press gang, that I'm sure he'll consent to our wedding.

QUILLET.

You have hit my plot, my angel, to the finest. hair stroke in a marriage settlement.

SUSANNAH.

Oh, gemmini! my heart beats so with plea­sure, that—Do, Billy, put your hand to it, for fear it should jump out of my bosom into yours.

MRS. SKYLIGHT.
[Page 18]

Come, come, I'll have no beating of hearts, or jumping into bosoms, truly; for as Friar Flo­rence says, in Romer and Julit, "by your leaves, you shall be alone, till Holy Church immortulate two in one."

[Going between them. [Exeunt
SCENE, the Street. An Illumination, Guns firing, Mob shouting, Marrow Bones and Clea­vers chiming.
FIRST MOB.

Did you draw in the carriage yesterday?

SECOND MOB.

By my soul, you may say that I did—I was the right hand horse, fastened without harness, to the left side of it.

THIRD MOB.

Now, why, do you see me, neighbours, shou'd we draw this here carriage, when there are beaste [...]ses enough to do it for us?

FIRST MOB.
[Page 19]

Because, you fool, there's going to be a tax upon horses.

SECOND MOB.

By my soul I'm satisfied, provided there's no tax upon legs.

THIRD MOB.

If legs were taxed by their size, you have more to pay for your calves, Paddy, than your head and shoulders are worth.

SECOND MOB.

Arrah! don't you bother your head about my calves, — they'll always enable me to take a ride when I'm not able to pay for a horse, by land or by sea.

[A press gang's whistle heard.
ALL.
[Page 20]

A press-gang! a press-gang! away, damn me! or we shall be nabb'd.

[Exeunt, running.
Enter at one door, PARCHMENT with his gang, at the other DIP and SKYLIGHT, drunk.
PARCHMENT.

Here come the heroes of the night—Stand back a little and watch them.

SKYLIGHT.

Huzza! Old England and liberty for ever.

DIP.

I say liberty—for what, do you see me, wou'd Old England be without liberty?

SKYLIGHT.
[Page 21]

And what wou'd our trade be without li­berty?

DIP.

Without liberty to break windows, 'tis most certain glazing wou'd soon go to pot.

PARCHMENT.

Come, boys, advance—holloa! who goes there? Stand I say.

SKYLIGHT.

Stand! why suppose we can't stand, what's to be done in that case?

PARCHMENT.

Come come, Sir, I fancy you don't know what company you are in.

DIP.
[Page 22]

If we may judge of our company by their breeding, we have got into damn'd bad company I think—but do you know who we are Sir? Do you know that I am Ezekel Dip the Chandler, and that this is Abraham Skylight the Glazier; two as respectable—I say respectable, honest so­ber tradesmen, as any in the parish of—in the parish of—damn me! I have forgot the name of my own parish.

SKYLIGHT.

That's because you never were a church-war­den—If you were, the poor-rate wou'd make you remember it.

PARCH MENT.

Bring them away this moment—for you see they are both drunk.

SKYLIGHT.
[Page 23]

Damn me! I'll lay you a crown we're not drunk, and I say done first.

[Pulls money from his pocket.]

Come, post your coal, my kiddy.

PARCHMENT.

Bring them away, I say; if they resist, hand cuff them.

[Attemps to drag them off.
DIP and SKYLIGHT.

I [...] [...]ch, watch—is this usage for sober citizen! Hoa! watch! watch!

Enter QUILLET.
QUILLET.

Why, sure, it is not possible!—What Mr. Skylight in the hands of a press-gang?

SKYLIGHT.
[Page 24]

The very man himself—Old Abe Skylight, of St. Martin's in the Fields—as well known there as Bow bell in Cheapside, tho' I can't say I has made quite so much noise in the pa­rish.

QUILLET.

Dear Sir, don't you know me?

SKYLIGHT.

Not I, as I'm a Christian and a glazier.

QUILLET.

What, not know Billy Quillet, the lawyer?

SKYLIGHT.

Damme, Sir, I hate the law.

QUILLET.

Sir!

SKYLIGHT.
[Page 25]

No, no, that's not my meaning—I love the law, but I hate a lawyer. The law is a dev'lish good thing, if it wasn't spoilt by you confound­ [...]d rogues the lawyers.

QUILLET.

Sir, I overlook every thing you say to me in your present condition.

SKYLIGHT.

Sir, I wish you'd overlook yourself about your business.—I am in as much dread of a lawyer as a mouse of a large tabby—a man in the clutches of a lawyer, is like a sheep in a thicket—he never gets clear, without leaving the bell of his wool amongst the brambles;

QUILLET.

I'll speak to the gentleman for you, Sir, notwithstanding your ill-treatment.

[Page 26] Enter Mrs. SKYLIGHT and SUSANNAH.
MRS. SKYLIGHT.

Where is he—where is this villain? What, in the hands of a press-gang, at last?

SUSANNAH.

Oh! Mr. Quillet, you're a lawyer, can't you get my poor papa his liberty?

MRS. SKYLIGHT.

Don't attempt it, Mr. Quillet—let the drunk­en sot go on board a man of war, it's the fit­tist place for him.

SKYLIGHT.

With your leave, my dear, I should beg to be excused this voyage—disagreeable as home [Page 27] [...] you are to me, I should prefer you both, [...] all your unpleasant circumstances, to cruiz­ [...]

QUILLET.

I'll tell you what, Sir,

[To Parchment.]

the [...]le neighbourhood is now alarmed—I am [...] known here, therefore be assured, if you [...] not set these gentlemen at liberty immediate­ [...] I'll take such measures as will make you [...] your conduct as long as you have to [...].

MRS. SKYLIGHT.

Lord! Mr. Quillet, why will you trouble [...]r head so much about him?

SKYLIGHT.

Perhaps he may not repent it,

[aside.]

for I [...] to sober a little, I think; but that's no won­ [...] —I have got a wife wou'd sober any man in [...]gland.

PARCHMENT.
[Page 28]

Sir, if you'll answer for their not being vaga­bonds, — I'm satisfied.—They shall have their liberties.

MRS. SKYLIGHT.

But, dear Sir, — Had not you better keep them in custody till to-morrow morning?—I shou'd be sorry you were to suffer by your good nature.

SKYLIGHT.

If he does, love, that's more than ever you will —But, Sir, I am obliged to you for my freedom and if I have offended you, hope you will attr [...] bute my behaviour to the state you found [...] in.

MRS. SKYLIGHT.

Why, Abraham, you have got your senses again▪

SKYLIGHT.
[Page 29]

Yes—my dear—tenderness, and affection like yours, would restore any husband to his senses.— I am heartily obliged to you, Mr. Quillet, for the pains you have taken on my account—From this hour you and I are friends—But as a hostage of my faith—here is my daughter.

MRS. SKYLIGHT.

Now you have acted like a man of sense, for once in your life, as you have done just what your wife wou'd have you.—But where is your drunken companion?—Mr. Dip, are you alive yet?

DIP.

Ask me to-morrow morning—At present I'm planet struck.

QUILLET.

Now my dear Sophia.

[Interrupting him.
SKYLIGHT.
[Page 30]

Susan, I insist upon it.

MRS. SKYLIGHT.

I say Sophia.

SKYLIGHT.

Susan I am determin'd shall be her name, if ever you hope to touch a shilling of her fortune.

QUILLET.

Susan, Sir, shall be her name, and I hope you will find, by my compliance to your wishes on every other occasion, that I wish at least to win your favour.

SKYLIGHT.

Win my favour, Sir! Win the favour of this circle, and I shall never tax you on the score of disobedience.

EPILOGUE.

DIP, recovering.
What! the press-gang gone? Then I'll home to-bed,
I think I'm sober—Skylight, how's your head?
[Seeing Mrs. Skylight.
How is his head, and Mrs. Skylight there!
How burns a candle in a foul damp air?
SKYLIGHT.

We have done great business, neighbour Dip, to-night,

DIP.
Yes, like our betters, we've brought things to light;
But, still my conscience tells me, all's not right.
SKYLIGHT.
Your conscience! come, come, friend, of that no more,
Your conscience wanted glazing long before;
That is a window-trade so often smashes,
We nail it up, to save the charge of sashes.
DIP.
Where Piccadilly joins St. James's Street,
And Kewbride coach and Richmond stages meet,
[Page 32] A fine dress'd beau, who saw the pains I took,
Gave me his hand, crying, Well d [...]e, my buck!
Lord, Sir! said I, I think it only right,
That these here people should put up some light,
And who do you think it was, come, guess now?
SKYLIGHT.

Nay, I can't tell, pr'ythee, how should I know?

DIP.
A flaming patriot, who, I'm told, can speak,
Ay, without end, for one entire week;
Who says we are ruin'd East, North, and South,
Unless he gets a place to stop his mouth.
SKYLIGHT.
Ne'er mind, patriots, man; they are bought and sold,
The fleet, and army, 'are our staple hold:
Before the summer's done, if Monseer sights,
We'll have some bonfires, and some roaring nights,
Withou [...] rejoicing, not a week will pass,
How you'll sell candles—
DIP.

Oh! how you'll sell glass.

SKYLIGHT.
Glaziers and chandlers, throughout the nation,
Will make their fortunes by Illumination.
Exeunt omnes.
THE END.

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