THE LYING VALET. IN TWO ACTS.

THE LYING VALET; In Two ACTS. As it is performed GRATIS, At The Theatre in GOODMAN'S-FIELDS.

By D. GARRICK.

LONDON: Printed for and Sold by PAUL VAILLANT, facing Southampton-Street in the Strand; and J. ROBERTS, in Warwick-Lane. 1742. (Price One Shilling.)

DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

MEN.
Gayless
Mr. Blakes.
Sharp [the Lying Valet]
Mr. Garrick.
Justice Guttle
Mr. Paget.
Beau Trippit
Mr. Peterson.
Dick
Mr. Yates.
WOMEN.
Melissa
Mrs. Yates.
Kitty Pry
Miss Hippisley.
Mrs. Gadabout
Mrs. Bambridge.
Mrs. Trippit
Miss Medina.
Prissy
Mrs. Dunstall.

[Page]THE LYING VALET.

ACT 1. SCENE 1.

GAYLESS'S Lodgings
Enter GAYLESS and SHARP.
SHARP.

HOW, Sir! shall you be married To-morrow? Eh, I'm afraid you joke with your poor hum­ble Servant.

Gay.

I tell thee, Sharp, last Night Melissa consented, and fixed to-morrow for the happy Day.

Sharp.
[Page 2]

'Tis well she did, Sir, or it might have been a dreadful one for us in our present Condition: All your Money spent; your Move­ables sold; your Honour almost ruined, and your humble Servant almost starved; we could not possibly have stood it two Days longer—But if this young Lady will marry you and re­lieve us, o'my Conscience I'll turn Friend to the Sex, rail no more at Matrimony, but curse the Whores, and think of a Wife myself.

Gay.

And yet, Sharp, when I think how I have imposed upon her, I am almost resolv'd to throw myself at her Feet, tell her the real Situation of my Affairs, ask her Pardon, and implore her Pity.

Sharp.

After Marriage with all my Heart, Sir; but don't let your Conscience and Honour so far get the better of your Poverty and good Sense, as to rely on so great Uncertainties as a fine Lady's Mercy and Good-nature.

Gay.

I know her generous Temper, and am almost persuaded to rely upon it: What, be­cause I am poor, shall I abandon my Honour?

Sharp.

Yes, you must, Sir, or abandon me: So, pray, discharge one of us; for eat I must, and speedily too: and you know very well that that Honour of yours, will neither intro­duce you to a great Man's Table, nor get me Credit for a single Beef-Steak.

Gay.

What can I do?

Sharp.

Nothing, while Honour sticks in [Page 3] your Throat: do gulp, Master, and down with it.

Gay.

Prithee leave me to my Thoughts.

Sharp.

Leave you! No, not in such bad Com­pany, I'll assure you! Why you must certainly be a very great Philosopher, Sir, to moralize and declaim so charmingly, as you do, about Honour and Conscience, when your Doors are beset with Bailiffs, and not one single Guinea in your Pocket to bribe the Villains.

Gay.

Don't be witty, and give your Advice, Sirrah!

Sharp.

Do you be wise, and take it, Sir. But to be serious, you certainly have spent your Fortune, and out-liv'd your Credit, as your Pockets and my Belly can testify: Your Father has disown'd you; all your Friends for­sook you, except myself, who am starving with you. Now, Sir, if you marry this young Lady, who as yet, thank Heaven, knows nothing of your Misfortunes, and by that means procure a better Fortune than that you squander'd a­way, make a good Husband, and turn Oecono­mist; you still may be happy, may still be Sir William's Heir, and the Lady too no Lofer by the Bargain: There's Reason and Argument, Sir.

Gay.

'Twas with that Prospect I first made Love to her; and though my Fortune has been ill spent, I have, at least, purchased Discretion with it.

Sharp.
[Page 4]

Pray then convince me of that, Sir, and make no more Objections to the Marriage: You see I am reduced to my Waistcoat alrea­dy; and when Necessity has undress'd me from Top to Toe, she must begin with you; and then we shall be forced to keep House and die by Inches. Look you, Sir, if you won't re­solve to take my Advice, while you have one Coat to your Back, I must e'en take to my Heels while I have Strength to run, and some­thing to cover me: So, Sir, wishing you much Comfort and Consolation with your bare Con­science, I am your most obedient and half­starv'd Friend and Servant

[Going.
Gay.

Hold, Sharp, you won't leave me.

Sharp.

I must eat, Sir; by my Honour and Appetite I must!

Gay.

Well then, I am resolv'd to favour the Cheat, and as I shall quite change my former Course of Life, happy may be the Conse­quences: at least of this I am sure—

Sharp.

That you can't be worse than you are at present.

Gay.
[A knocking without.]

—Who's there?

Sharp.

Some of your former good Friends, who favour'd you with Money at fifty per Cent., and helped you to spend it; and are now become daily Memento's to you of the Folly of trusting Rogues, following Whores, and laughing at my Advice.

Gay.
[Page 5]

Cease your Impertinence! to the Door! if they are Duns, tell 'em my Marriage is now certainly fix'd, and persuade em still to forbear a few Days longer, and keep my Circumstances a Secret for their Sakes as well as my own.

Sharp.

O never fear it, Sir; they still have so much Friendship for you, not to desire your Ruin to their own Disadvantage.

Gay.

And do you hear, Sharp; if it shou'd be any body from Melissa, say I am not at home, lest the bad Appearance we make here should make 'em suspect something to our Disadvantage.

Sharp.

I'll obey you, Sir;—but I am afraid they will easily discover the consumptive Si­tuation of our Affairs by my chop-fallen Coun­tenance.

[Exit Sharp.
Gay.

These very Rascals who are now con­tinually dunning and persecuting me, were the very Persons who led me to my Ruin, par­took of my Prosperity, and profess'd the greatest Friendship.

Sharp.
[without]

Upon my word, Mrs. Kit­ty, my Master's not at home.

Kitty.
[without.]

Lookee, Sharp, I must and will see him!

Gay.

Ha, what do I hear? Melissa's Maid! What has brought her here? My Poverty has made her my Enemy too—She is certainly come with no good Intent—No Friendship there, without Fees—She's coming up Stairs—What must I do?—I'll get into this Closet and listen.

[Exit Gayless.
[Page 6] Enter Sharp and Kitty.
Kitty.

I must know where he is, and will know too, Mr. Impertinence!

Sharp.

Not of me you won't.

[Aside.]

He's not within, I tell you, Mrs. Kitty; I don't know myself: do you think I can conjure?

Kitty.

But I know you will lye abominably; therefore don't trifle with me. I come from my Mistress Melissa; you know, I suppose, what's to be done to-morrow morning?

Sharp.

Ay, and to-morrow Night too, Girl!

Kitty.

Not if I can help it.

[Aside.]

—But come where is your Master? for see him I must.

Sharp.

Pray, Mrs. Kitty, what's your Opi­nion of this Match between my Master and your Mistress?

Kitty.

Why, I have no Opinion of it at all; and yet most of our Wants will be reliev'd by it too: for instance now, your Master will get a Fortune, that's what I'm afraid he wants; my Mistress will get a Husband, that's what she has wanted for some time: you will have the Pleasure of my Conversation, and I an Opportunity of breaking your Head for your Impertinence.

Sharp.

Madam, I'm your most humble Servant! But I'll tell you what, Mrs. Kitty, [Page 7] I am positively against the Match; for, was I a Man of my Master's Fortune—.

Kitty.

You'd marry if you cou'd and mend it. Ha, ha, ha! Pray, Sharp, where does your Master's Estate lie?

Gay.

Oh the Devil! what a Question was there!

[Aside]
Sharp.

Lie, lie! why it lies—faith, I can't name any particular Place it lies in so many: his Effects are divided, some here, some there; his Steward hardly knows himself.

Kitty.

Scatter'd, scatter'd, I suppose. But harkee, Sharp, what's become of your Furni­ture? You seem to be a little bare here at pre­sent.

Gay.

What, has she found out that too?

[Aside.
Sharp.

Why, you must know, as soon as the Wedding was fixed, my Master order'd me to remove his Goods into a Friend's House, to make room for a Ball which he designs to give here the Day after the Marriage.

Kitty.

The luckiest Thing in the World! for my Mistress designs to have a Ball and En­tertainment here to-night before the Marriage; and that's my Business with your Master.

Sharp.

The Devil it is!

[Aside.
Kitty.

She'll not have it publick, she designs to invite only eight or ten Couple of Friends.

Sharp.

No more?

Kitty.
[Page 8]

No more: and she order'd me to de­sire your Master not to make a great Enter­tainment.

Sharp.

Oh, never fear—

Kitty.

Ten or a Dozen little nice Things, with some Fruit, I believe, will be enough in all Conscience.

Sharp.

Oh, curse your Conscience!

[Aside.
Kitty.

And what do you think I have done of my own Head?

Sharp.

What?

Kitty.

I have invited all my Lord Stately's Servants to come and see you, and have a Dance in the Kitchen: Won't your Master be surpriz'd?

Sharp.

Much so indeed!

Kitty.

Well, be quick and find out your Master, and make what haste you can with your Preparations: you have no Time to lose.—Prithee, Sharp, what's the matter with you? I have not seen you for some time, and you seem to look a little thin.

Sharp.

Oh my unfortunate Face!

[Aside.]

I'm in pure good Health, thank you, Mrs. Kitty; and I'll assure you, I have a very good Stomach, never better in all my Life, and I am as full of Vigour, Hussy!

[Offers to kiss her.]
Kitty.

What, with that Face! Well, bye, bye,

[going]

—oh, Sharp, what ill-looking Fellows are those, were standing about your Door when [Page 9] I came in? They want your Master too, I suppose.

Sharp.

Hum! Yes, they are waiting for him—They are some of his Tenants out of the Country that want to pay him some Money.

Kitty.

Tenants! What, do you let his Ten­ants stand in the Street?

Sharp.

They chuse it; as they seldom come to Town, they are willing to see as much of it as they can, when they o; they are raw, ignorant, honest people.

Kitty.

Well, I must run home, farewel!—But do your hear? Get something substantial for us in the Kitchen—a Ham, a Turkey, or what you will—We'll be very merry; and be sure remove the Tables and Chairs away there too, that we may have room to dance: I can't bear to be confined in my French Dances; tal, lal, lal,

[dancing]

Well, adieu! Without any Compliment I shall die if I don't see you soon.

[Exit Kitty.
Sharp.

And without any Compliment, I pray Heaven you may!

Enter Gayless.
[They look for some Time sorrowful at each other.]
Gay.

Oh, Sharp!

Sharp.

Oh Master!

Gay.

We are certainly undone!

Sharp.

That's no News to me.

Gay.
[Page 10]

Eight or ten couple of Dancers,—ten or a dozen little nice Dishes with some Fruit—my Lord Stately's Servants, Ham and Turkey!

Sharp.

Say no more; the very Sound creates an Appetite: and I am sure of late I have had no Occasion for Whetters and Provocatives.

Gay.

Curs'd Misfortune! What can we do?

Sharp.

Hang ourselves; I see no other Re­medy: except you have a Receipt to give a Ball and a Supper without Meat or Musick.

Gay.

Melissa has certainly heard of my bad Circumstances, and has invented this Scheme to distress me and break off the Match.

Sharp.

I don't believe it, Sir; begging your Pardon.

Gay.

No, why did her Maid then make so strict an Enquiry into my Fortune and Af­fairs?

Sharp.

For two very substantial Reasons; the first, to satisfy a Curiosity, natural to her as a Woman; the second, to have the Pleasure of my Conversation, very natural to her as a Woman of Taste and Understanding.

Gay.

Prithee be more serious: Is not our All at stake?

Sharp.

Yes, Sir: and yet that All of ours is of so little Consequence, that a Man, with a very small Share of Philosophy, may part from it without much Pain or Uneasiness. [Page 11] However, Sir, I'll convince you in half an Hour, that Mrs. Melissa knows nothing of your Circumstances; and I'll tell you what too, Sir, she shan't be here to-night, and yet you shall marry her to-morrow Morning.

Gay.

How, how, dear Sharp.

Sharp.

'Tis here, here, Sir! Warm, warm, and Delays will cool it; therefore I'll away to her, and do you be as merry as Love and Poverty will permit you.

Would you succeed, a faithful Friend depute,
Whose Head can plan, and Front can execute.

I am the Man, and I hope you neither dis­pute my Friendship or Qualification.

Gay.

Indeed I don't. Prithee be gone.

Sharp.

I fly.

[Exeunt.
SCENE, Melissa's Lodgings.
Enter Melissa and Kitty.
Mel.

You surprize me, Kitty! the Master not at home! the Man in Confusion! no Fur­niture in the House! and ill-looking Fellows about the Doors! 'Tis all a Riddle.

Kitty.

But very easy to be explain'd.

Mel.

Prithee explain it then, nor keep me longer in Suspence.

Kitty.
[Page 12]

The Affair is this, Madam, Mr. Gay­less is over Head and Ears in Debt; you are over Head and Ears in Love; you'll marry him to-morrow, the next Day your whole Fortune goes to his Creditors, and you and your Children are to live comfortably upon the Remainder.

Mel.

I cannot think him base.

Kitty.

But I know they are all base—You are very young, and very ignorant of the Sex; I am young too, but have more Experience: you never was in Love before; I have been in Love with an hundred, and try'd 'em all; and know 'em to be a Parcel of barbarous, perjured, deluding, bewitching Devils.

Mel.

The low Wretches you have had to do with, may answer the Character you give 'em; but Mr. Gayless

Kitty.

Is a Man, Madam.

Mel.

I hope so, Kitty, or I would have no­thing to do with him.

Kitty.

With all my Heart—I have given you my Sentiments upon the Occasion, and shall leave you to your own Inclinations.

Mel.

Oh, Madam, I am much oblig'd to you for your great Condescension, ha, ha, ha! However, I have so great a Regard for your Opinion, that had I certain Proofs of his Villany—

Kitty.

Of his Poverty you may have a hun­dred: I am sure I have had none to the con­trary.

Mel.
[Page 13]

Oh, there the Shoe pinches.

[Aside.
Kitty.

Nay, so far from giving me the usual Perquisites of my Place, he has not so much as kept me in Temper with little endearing Ci­vilities; and one might reasonably expect when a Man is deficient in one Way, that he should make it up in another.

[Knocking without.
Mel.

See who's at the Door.

[Exit Kitty]

—I must be cautious how I hearken too much to this Girl: Her bad Opinion of Mr. Gayless seems to arise from his Disregard of her—

Enter Sharp and Kitty.

So, Sharp; have you found your Master? Will Things be ready for the Ball and Enter­tainment?

Sharp.

To your Wishes, Madam. I have just now bespoke the Musick and Supper, and wait now for your Ladyship's farther Com­mands.

Mel.

My Compliments to your Master, and let him know I and my Company will be with him by Six; we design to drink Tea, and play at Cards, before we dance.

Kitty.

So shall I and my Company, Mr. Sharp.

[Aside.
Sharp.

Mighty well, Madam!

Mel.

Prithee, Sharp, what makes you come without your Coat? 'Tis too cool to go so airy, sure.

Kitty.
[Page 14]

Mr. Sharp, Madam, is of a very hot Constitution, ha, ha, ha!

Sharp.

If it had been ever so cool I have had enough to warm me since I came from home, I'm sure; but no matter for that.

[Sighing.
Mel.

What d'ye mean?

Sharp.

Pray don't ask me, Madam; I be­seech you don't: Let us change the Subject.

Kitty.

Insist upon knowing it, Madam—My Curiosity must be satisfied, or I shall burst.

[Aside.
Mel.

I do insist upon knowing—On pain of my Displeasure, tell me!

Sharp.

If my Master should know—I must not tell you, Madam, indeed.

Mel.

I promise you, upon my Honour, he never shall.

Sharp.

But can your Ladyship insure Secrecy from that Quarter?

Kitty.

Yes, Mr. Jackanapes, for any thing you can say.

Mel.

I'll engage for her.

Sharp.

Why then, in short, Madam—I can­not tell you.

Mel.

Don't trifle with me.

Sharp.

Then since you will have it, Madam—I lost my Coat in Defence of your Repu­tation.

Mel.

In Defence of my Reputation!

Sharp.
[Page 15]

I will assure you, Madam, I've suf­fer'd very much in Defence of it; which is more than I would have done for my own.

Mel.

Prithee explain.

Sharp.

In short, Madam, you was seen a­bout a Month ago, to make a visit to my Mas­ter alone.

Mel.

Alone! my Servant was with me.

Sharp.

What, Mrs. Kitty? So much the worse; for she was look'd upon as my Pro­perty; and I was brought in guilty as well as you and my Master.

Kitty.

What, your Property, Jackanapes?

Mel.

What is all this?

Sharp.

Why, Madam, as I came out but now to make Preparations for you and your Company to-night; Mrs. Pryabout, the At­torney's Wife at next Door, calls to me; Hark'ee, Fellow! says she, Do you and your modest Master know that my Husband shall indite your House, at the next Parish Meeting, for a Nusance?

Mel.

A Nusance!

Sharp.

I said so—A Nusance! I believe none in the Neighbourhood live with more Decency and Regularity than I and my Mas­ter, as is really the Case—Decency and Re­gularity, cries she, with a Sneer,—why, Sir­rah, does not my Window look into your Master's Bed-Chamber? And did not he bring [Page 16] in a certain Lady, such a Day? describing you, Madam. And did not I see—

Mel.

See! Oh scandalous? What?

Sharp.

Modesty requires my Silence.

Mel.

Did not you contradict her?

Sharp.

Contradict her! Why, I told her I was sure she ly'd: for, zounds! said I, for I could not help swearing, I am so well convin­ced of the Lady's and my Master's Prudence, that, I am sure, had they a mind to amuse them­selves they would certainly have drawn the Window-Curtains.

Mel.

What, did you say nothing else? Did not you convince her of her Error and Imper­tinence?

Sharp.

She swore to such Things, that I could do nothing but swear and call Names: upon which, out-bolts her Husband upon me, with a fine taper Crab in his Hand, and fell upon me with such Violence, that, being half delirious, I made a full Confession.

Mel.

A full Confession! What did you con­fess?

Sharp.

That my Master lov'd Fornication; that you had no Aversion to it; that Mrs. Kitty was a Bawd, and your humble Servant a Pimp.

Kitty.

A Bawd! a Bawd! Do I look like a Bawd, Madam?

Sharp.

And so, Madam, in the Scuffle, my Coat was torn to pieces as well as your Repu­tation.

Mel.
[Page 17]

And so you join'd to make me infa­mous!

Sharp.

For Heaven's sake, Madam, what could I do? His Proofs fell so thick upon me, as Witness my Head,

[shewing his Head plai­ster'd]

that I would have given up all the Maidenheads in the Kingdom, rather than have my Brains beat to a Jelly.

Mel.

Very well!—but I'll be reveng'd!—And did not you tell your Master of this?

Sharp.

Tell him! No, Madam! Had I told him, his Love is so violent for you, that he would certainly have murder'd half the At­tornies in Town by this Time.

Mel.

Very well!—But I'm resolv'd not to go to your Master's to Night.

Sharp.

Heavens and my Impudence be prai­sed.

[Aside.]
Kitty.

Why not, Madam? If you are not guilty, face your Accusers.

Sharp.

Oh the Devil! Ruin'd again!

[Aside.]

To be sure, face 'em by all means, Madam—They can but be abusive, and break the Win­dows a little:—Besides, Madam, I have thought of a Way to make this Affair quite diverting to you—I have a fine Blunderbuss charg'd with half a hundred Slugs, and my Master has a delicate large Swiss Broad Sword; and between us, Madam, we shall so pepper and slice 'em, that you will die with laughing.

Mel.
[Page 18]

What, at Murder?

Kitty.

Don't fear, Madam, there will be no Murder if Sharp's concern'd.

Sharp.

Murder, Madam! 'Tis Self defence; besides, in these Sort of Skirmishes, there are never more than two or three kill'd: for, sup­posing they bring the whole Body of Militia upon us, down but with a Brace of them, and away fly the rest of the Covey.

Mel.

Persuade me never so much, I won't go; that's my Resolution.

Kitty.

Why then, I'll tell you what, Ma­dam; since you are resolv'd not to go to the Supper, suppose the Supper was to come to you: 'Tis great Pity such great Preparations as Mr. Sharp has made should be thrown away.

Sharp.

So it is, as you say, Mrs Kitty. But I can immediately run back and unbespeak what I have order'd; 'tis soon done.

Mel.

But then what Excuse can I send to your Master? He'll be very uneasy at my not coming.

Sharp.

Oh terribly so!—but I have it—I'll tell him you are very much out of Order—that you were suddenly taken with the Va­pours or Qualms; or what you please, Ma­dam.

Mel.

I'll leave it to you, Sharp, to make my Apology; and there's half a Guinea for you to help your Invention.

Sharp.
[Page 19]

Half a Guinea!—'Tis so long since I had any thing to do with Money, that I scarcely know the current Coin of my own Country. Oh, Sharp, what Talents hast thou! To secure thy Master; deceive his Mistress; out-lie her Chambermaid; and yet be paid for thy Honesty! But my Joy will discover me.

[aside]

Madam, you have eternally fix'd Timothy Sharp your most obedient humble Servant!—Oh the Delights of Impudence and a good Understanding!

[Exit Sharp.
Kitty.

Ha, ha, ha! Was there ever such a lying Varlet? With his Slugs and his Broad Swords; his Attorneys and broken Heads, and Nonsense! Well, Madam, are you satisfy'd now? Do you want more Proofs?

Mel.

Of your Modesty I do: but, I find, you are resolv'd to give me none.

Kitty.

Madam?

Mel.

I see thro' your little mean Artifice: you are endeavouring to lessen Mr. Gayless in my Opinion, because he has not paid you for Services he had no Occasion for.

Kitty.

Pay me, Madam! I am sure I have very little Occasion to be angry with Mr. Gayless for not paying me, when, I believe, 'tis his general Practice.

Mel.

'Tis false! He's a Gentleman and a Man of Honour, and you are—

Kitty.

Not in Love, I thank Heaven!

(curtseying)
Mel.
[Page 20]

You are a Fool.

Kitty.

I have been in Love; but I am much wiser now.

Mel.

Hold your Tongue, Impertinence!

Kitty.

That's the severest Thing she has said yet.

(aside)
Mel.

Leave me.

Kitty.

Oh this Love, this Love is the De­vil!

[Exit Kitty.
Mel.

We discover our Weaknesses to our Servants, make them our Confidents, put 'em upon an Equality with us, and so they become our Advisers.—Sharp's Behaviour, tho' I seem'd to disregard it, makes me tremble with Apprehensions; and tho' I have pre­tended to be angry with Kitty for her Ad­vice, I think it of too much Consequence to be neglected.

Enter Kitty.
Kitty.

May I speak, Madam?

Mel.

Don't be a Fool. What do you want?

Kitty.

There is a Servant just come out of the Country, says, he belongs to Sir William Gayless, and has got a Letter for you from his Master upon very urgent Business.

Mel.

Sir William Gayless! What can this mean? Where is the Man?

Kitty.

In the Little Parlour, Madam.

Mel.
[Page 21]

I'll go to him—My Heart flutters strangely.

[Exit Melissa.
Kitty.

Oh Woman, Woman, foolish Wo­man! she'll certainly have this Gayless: nay, were she as well convinc'd of his Poverty as I am, she'd have him.—A strong Dose of Love is worse than one of Ratifia; when it once gets into our Heads, it trips up our Heels, and then Good Night to Discretion. Here is she going to throw away fifteen thousand Pounds; Upon what? Faith, little better than Nothing.—He's a Man, and that's all—and Heaven knows meer Man is but small Consolation.

Be this Advice pursu'd by each fond Maid,
Ne'er slight the Substance for an empty Shade:
Rich, weighty Sparks alone should please and charm ye;
For should Spouse cool, his Gold will always warm ye.
End of the FIRST ACT.

ACT. II.

Enter GAYLESS and SHARP.
Gay.

PRithee be serious, Sharp. Hast thou really succeeded?

Sharp.

To our Wishes, Sir. In short I have managed the Business with such Skill and Dex­terity that neither your Circumstances, nor my Veracity are suspected.

Gay.

But how hast thou excused me from the Ball and Entertainment?

Sharp.

Beyond Expectation, Sir.—But in that particular I was obliged to have re­course to Truth, and declare the real Situation of your Affairs. I told her we had so long dis­used our selves to dressing either Dinners or Suppers, that I was afraid we should be but aukward in our Preparations. In short, Sir,—at that instant a cursed Gnawing seized my Stomach, that I could not help telling her, that both you and myself seldom make a good Meal now-a-days once in a Quarter of a Year.

Gay.

Hell and Confusion, have you betrayed me, Villain! Did not you tell me this Mo­ment, [Page 23] she did not in the least suspect my Cir­cumstances?

Sharp.

No more she did, Sir, till I told her.

Gay.

Very well; and was this your Skill and Dexterity?

Sharp.

I was going to tell you; but you won't hear Reason; my melancholy Face and piteous Narration had such an Effect upon her generous Bowels, that she freely forgives all that's past.

Gay.

Does she, Sharp?

Sharp.

Yes; and desires never to see your Face again; and, as a farther Consideration for so doing, she has sent you Half-a-Guinea.

(shews the Money.)
Gay.

What do you mean?

Sharp.

To spend it, spend it, Sir; and re­gale.

Gay.

Villain, you have undone me!

Sharp.

What, by bringing you Money, when you are not worth a Farthing in the whole World? Well, well, then to make you happy again, I'll keep it myself; and wish Some-body would take it in their Head to load me with such Misfortunes.

(puts up the Money.)
Gay.

Do you laugh at me, Rascal?

Sharp.

Who deserves more to be laugh'd at? Ha, ha, ha. Never for the future, Sir, dispute the Success of my Negociations, [Page 24] when even you, who know me so well, can't help swallowing my Hook. Why, Sir, I could have play'd with you backwards and forwards at the End of my Line, till I had put your Senses into such a Fermentation, that you should not have known in an Hour's Time, whether you was a Fish or a Man.

Gay.

Why, what is all this you have been telling me?

Sharp.

A down-right Lye from Beginning to End.

Gay.

And have you really excused me to her?

Sharp.

No, Sir; but I have got this Half Guinea to make her Excuses to you; and, in­stead of a Confederacy between you and me to deceive her, she thinks she has brought me over to put the Deceit upon you.

Gay.

Thou excellent Fellow!

Sharp.

Don't lose Time, but slip out of the House immediately; the Back-way, I believe, will be the safest for you, and to her as fast as you can; pretend vast Surprize and Con­cern, that her Indisposition has debarr'd you the Pleasure of her Company here to Night: You need know no more; away!

Gay.

But what shall we do, Sharp? Here's her Maid again.

Sharp.

The Devil she is.—I wish I could poison her; for I'm sure, while she lives, I can never prosper.

[Page 25] Enter Kitty.
Kitty.

Your Door was open, so I did not stand upon Ceremony.

Gay.

I am sorry to hear your Mistress is ta­ken so suddenly.

Kitty.

Vapours, Vapours only, Sir, a few matrimonial Omens, that's all; but I suppose Mr. Sharp has made her Excuses.

Gay.

And tells me I can't have the Plea­sure of her Company to Night, I had made a small Preparation; but 'tis no Matter: Sharp shall go to the rest of the Company, and let 'em know 'tis put off.

Kitty.

Not for the World, Sir; my Mistress was sensible you must have provided for her, and the rest of the Company; so she is resolv­ed, tho' she cant', the other Ladies and Gen­tlemen shall partake of your Entertainment; she's very good natur'd.

Sharp.

I had better run, and let 'em know 'tis deferr'd.

[going]
Kitty.
[stopping him]

I have been with 'em already, and told 'em my Mistress insists upon their coming, and they have all promised to be here; so, pray, don't be under any Appre­hensions, that your Preparations will be thrown away.

Gay.

But as I can't have her Company, Mrs. Kitty, 'twill be a greater Pleasure to me, and a greater Compliment to her, to defer our [Page 26] Mirth; besides, I can't enjoy any thing at pre­sent, and she not partake of it.

Kitt.

Oh, no to be sure; but what can I do? My Mistress will have it so, and Mrs. Gad-about, and the rest of the Company will be here in a few Minutes; there are two or three Coachfuls of 'em.

Sharp.

Then my Master must be ruin'd in spite of my Parts.

Gay.
(Aside to Sharp)

'Tis all over, Sharp.

Sharp.

I know it, Sir.

Gay.

I shall go distracted; what shall I do?

Sharp.

Why, Sir, as our Rooms are a little out of Furniture at present, take 'em into the Captain's that lodges here, and set 'em down to Cards; if he should come in the mean time, I'll excuse you to him.

Kitt.

I have disconcerted their Affairs, I find; I'll have some Sport with 'em.—Pray, Mr. Gayless, don't order too many Things, they only make you a friendly Visit; the more Ceremony, you know, the less Welcome. Pray, Sir, let me intreat you not to be pro­fuse. If I can be of Service, pray command me; my Mistress has sent me on purpose; while Mr. Sharp is doing the Business without Doors, I may be employed within; if you'll lend me the Keys of your Side-board

(to Sharp)

I'll dispose of your Plate to the best Advantage.

Sharp.
[Page 27]

Thank you, Mrs. Kitty; but it is dispos'd of already.

[Knocking at the Door.
Kitty.

Bless me the Company's come, I'll go to the Door and conduct 'em into your Presence.

[Exit Kitty.
Sharp.

If you'd conduct 'em into a Horse­pond, and wait of 'em there yourself, we should be more obliged to you.

Gay.

I can never support this!

Sharp.

Rouse your Spirits and put on an Air of Gaiety, and I dont despair of bring­ing you off yet.

Gay.

Your Words have done it effectually.

Enter Mrs. Gadabout, her Daughter and Niece, Mr. Guttle, Mr. Trippit and Mrs. Trippit.
Gad.

Ah my dear Mr. Gayless!

[Kisses him.
Gay.

My dear Widow!

[Kisses her.
Gad.

We are come to give you Joy, Mr. Gayless.

Sharp.

You never was more mistaken in your Life.

[Aside.
Gad.

I have brought some Company here, I believe, is not so well known to you, and I protest I have been all about the Town to get the little I have—Prissy, my Dear—Mr. Gayless, my Daughter.

Gay.

And as handsome as her Mother; you must have a Husband shortly, my Dear.

Priss.
[Page 28]

I'll assure you I dont despair, Sir.

M. Gad.

My Niece too.

Gay.

I know by her Eyes she belongs to you, Widow.

M. Gad.

Mr. Guttle Sir, Mr. Gayless, Mr. Gayless, Justice Guttle.

Sharp.

Oh Destruction! one of the Quo­rum.

Gut.

Hem, Tho' I had not the Honour of any personal Knowledge of you, yet at the Instigation of Mrs. Gadabout, I have, with­out any previous Acquaintance with you, throw'd aside all Ceremony to let you know that I joy to hear the Solemnization of your Nuptials is so near at hand.

Gay.

Sir, tho' I cannot answer you with the same Elocution, however, Sir, I thank you with the same Sincerity.

M. Gad.

Mr. and Mrs. Trippet, Sir, the properest Lady in the World for your Purpose, for she'll dance for four and twenty Hours together.

Trip.

My dear Charles, I am very angry with you, faith; so near Marriage and not let me know, 'twas barbarous; you thought, I sup­pose, I should rally you upon it; but dear Mrs. Trippet here has long ago eradicated all my antimatrimonial Principles.

Mrs. Trip.

I eradicate, fye, Mr. Trippet, dont be so obscene.

Kit.

Pray, Ladies, walk into the next Room; [Page 29] Mr. Sharp can't lay his Cloth till you are set down to Cards.

Gad.

One Thing I had quite forgot; Mr. Gayless, my Nephew who you never saw, will be in Town from France presently, so I left Word to send him here immediately to make one.

Gay.

You do me Honour, Madam.

Sharp.

Do the Ladies chuse Cards or the Supper first?

Gay.

Supper! what does the Fellow mean?

Glut.

Oh, the Supper by all Means, for I have eat nothing to signify since Dinner.

Sharp.

Nor I, since last Monday was a Fortnight.

[Aside.
Gay.

Pray, Ladies, walk into the next Room: Sharp, get Things ready for Supper, and call the Musick.

Sharp.

Well said, Master.

Gad.

Without Ceremony, Ladies.

[Exeunt Ladies.
Kitty.

I'll to my Mistress, and let her know every Thing is ready for her Appear­ance.

[Exit Kitty.
Guttle and Sharp.
Gut.

Pray Mr. what's your Name, dont be long with Supper; but harkee, what can I do in the mean Time? Suppose you get me a [Page 30] Pipe and some good Wine, I'll try to divert myself that way till Supper's ready.

Sharp.

Or suppose, Sir, you was to take a Nap till then, there's a very easy Couch in that Closet.

Gut.

The best Thing in the World, I'll take your Advice, but be sure to wake me when Supper is ready.

[Exit Guttle
Sharp.

Pray Heav'n you may not wake till then—What a fine Situation my Master is in at present? I have promis'd him my As­sistance, but his Affairs are in so desperate a Way, that I am afraid 'tis out of all my Skill to recover 'em. Well, Fools have Fortune, says an old Proverb, and a very true one it is, for my Master and I are two of the most unfortunate Mortals in the Creation.

Enter Gayless.
Gay.

Well, Sharp, I have set 'em down to Cards, and now what have you to propose?

Sharp.

I have one Scheme left which in all Probability may succeed. The good Citizen overloaded with his last Meal, is taking a Nap in that Closet, in Order to get him an Appe­tite for yours. Suppose, Sir, we should make him treat us.

Gay.

I dont understand you.

Sharp.

I'll pick his Pocket, and provide us a Supper with the Booty.

Gay.
[Page 31]

Monstrous! for without considering the Villany of it, the Danger of waking him makes it impracticable!

Sharp.

If he wakes, I'll smother him, and lay his Death to Indigestion—a very com­mon Death among the Justices.

Gay.

Prithee be serious, we have no Time to lose; can you invent nothing to drive 'em out of the House?

Sharp.

I can fire it.

Gay.

Shame and Confusion so perplex me, I cannot give myself a Moment's Thought.

Sharp.

I have it; did not Mrs. Gadabout say her Nephew would be here?

Gay.

She did.

Sharp.

Say no more, but into your Com­pany; if I dont send 'em out of the House for the Night, I'll at least frighten their Sto­machs away; and if this Stratagem fails, I'll relinquish Politicks, and think my Understand­ing no better than my Neighbours.

Gay.

How shall I reward thee, Sharp?

Sharp.

By your Silence and Obedience; away to your Company, Sir.

[Exit Gayless.

Now, dear Madam Fortune, for once open your Eyes, and behold a poor unfortunate Man of Parts addressing you; now is your Time to convince your Foes, you are not that blind whimsical Whore they take you for; but let 'em see by your assisting me, that Men of Sense, as well as Fools, are some­times [Page 32] intitled to your Favour and Protection.—So much for Prayer, now for a great Noise and a Lye.

[goes aside and cries out.

Help, help, Master; help, Gentlemen, La­dies; Murder, Fire, Brimstone; help, help, help!

Enter Mr. Gayless and the Ladies, with Cards in their Hands, and Sharp enters running and meets 'em.
Gay.

What's the Matter?

Sharp.

Matter, Sir, if you dont run this Minute with that Gentleman, this Lady's Nephew will be murder'd; I am sure 'twas he, he was set upon the Corner of the Street, by four; he has kill'd two, and if you dont make haste, he'll be either murdered or took to Prison.

Gad.

For Heaven's Sake, Gentlemen, run to his Assistance. How I tremble for Melissa! this Frolick of her's may be fatal.

(Aside.
Gay.

Draw, Sir, and follow me.

[Exit Gay. and Gad.
Trip.

Not I; I dont care to run my­self into needless Quarrels; I have suffered too much formerly by flying into Passions: besides, I have pawn'd my Honour to Mrs. Trippet, never to draw my Sword again; and in her present Condition, to break my Word might have fatal Consequences.

Sharp.
[Page 33]

Pray, Sir, dont excuse yourself, the young Gentleman may be murder'd by this Time.

Trip.

Then my Assistance will be of no Service to him; however—I'll go to oblige you, and look on at a Distance.

Mrs. Trip.

I shall certainly faint, Mr. Trip­pit, if you Draw.

Enter Guttle, disorder'd, as from Sleep.
Gut.

What Noise and Confusion is this?

Sharp.

Sir, there's a Man murder'd in the Street.

Gay.

Is that all—zounds, I was afraid you had throw'd the Supper down—a Plague of your Noise—I shan't recover my Stomach this half Hour.

Enter Gayless and Gadabout, with Melissa in Boy's Clothes, dress'd in the French Manner.
Gad.

Well, but my dear Jemmy, you are not hurt, sure?

Mel.

A little with riding Post only.

Gad.

Mr. Sharp alarm'd us all with an Ac­count of your being set upon by four Men; that you had kill'd two, and was attacking the other when he came away, and when we met you at the Door, we were running to your Rescue.

Mel.
[Page 34]

I had a small Rencounter with half a dozen Villains; but finding me resolute, they were wise enough to take to their Heels; I believe I scrat some of 'em.

[laying her Hand to her Sword.]
Sharp.

His Vanity has sav'd my Credit. I have a Thought come into my Head may prove to our Advantage, provided Monsieur's Ignorance bears any Proportion to his Impu­dence.

[Aside.]
Gad.

Now my Fright's over, let me intro­duce you, my Dear, to Mr. Gayless; Sir, this is my Nephew.

Gay.
[Saluting her]

Sir, I shall be proud of your Friendship.

Mel.

I don't doubt but we shall be better acquainted in a little Time.

Gut.

Pray, Sir, what News in France?

Mel.

Faith, Sir, very little that I know of in the political Way; I had no Time to spend among the Politicians. I was—

Gay.

Among the Ladies, I suppose.

Mel.

Too much indeed. Faith, I have not Philosophy enough to resist their Solicita­tions; you take me

[to Gayless aside.]
Gay.

Yes, to be a most incorrigible Fop, s'Death, this Puppy's Impertinence is an Ad­dition to my Misery.

[Aside to Sharp.]
Mel.

Poor Gayless, to what Shifts is he reduced to? I cannot bear to see him much longer in this Condition, I shall discover my self.

[Aside to Gadabout.]
Gad.
[Page 35]

Not before the End of the Play; be­sides, the more his Pain now, the greater his Pleasure when relieved from it.

Trip.

Shall we return to our Cards? I have a sans prendre here, and must insist you play it out.

Ladies.

With all my Heart.

Mel.

Allons donc.

[As the Company goes out, Sharp pulls Melissa by the Sleeve.]
Sharp.

Sir, Sir, shall I beg Leave to speak with you? Pray, did you find a Bank-note in your Way hither?

Meliss.

What, between here and Dover do you mean?

Sharp.

No, Sir, within twenty or thirty Yards of this House.

Meliss.

You are drunk, Fellow.

Sharp.

I am undone, Sir; but not drunk, I'll assure you.

Meliss.

What is all this?

Sharp.

I'll tell you, Sir: A little while ago my Master sent me out to change a Note of Twenty Pounds; but I unfortunately hearing a Noise in the Street of, Damn-me, Sir, and clashing of Swords, and Rascal, and Murder; I runs up to the Place, and saw four Men up­on one; and having heard you was a mettle­some young Gentleman, I immediately con­cluded it must be you, so ran back to call my Master, and when I went to look for the [Page 36] Note to change it, I found it gone, either stole or lost; and if I don't get the Money immediately, I shall certainly be turned out of my Place, and lose my Character.—

Mel.

I shall laugh in his Face.

[Aside.]

Oh, I'll speak to your Master about it, and he will forgive you at my Intercession.

Sharp.

Ah, Sir! You don't know my Ma­ster.

Mel.

I'm very little acquainted with him; but I have heard he's a very good-natured Man.

Sharp.

I have heard so too, but I have felt it otherwise; he has so much Good-nature, that, if I could compound for one Broken­head a Day, I should think my self very well off.

Meliss.

Are you serious, Friend?

Sharp.

Look'e, Sir, I take you for a Man of Honour; there is something in your Face that is generous, open, and masculine; you don't look like a foppish, effeminate Tell-tale; so I'll venture to trust you.—See here, Sir,

[shews his Head,]

these are the Effects of my Master's Good-nature.

Mel.

Matchless Impudence!

[Aside.]

Why do you live with him then after such Usage?

Sharp.

He's worth a great deal of Money, and when he's drunk, which is commonly once a Day, he's very free, and will give me any thing; but I design to leave him when he's married for all that.

Mel.
[Page 37]

Is he going to be married then?

Sharp.

To-morrow, Sir, and, between you and I, he'll meet with his Match both for Humour and something else too.

Mel.

What, she drinks too?

Sharp.

Damnably, Sir; but mum,—You must know this Entertainment was design'd for Madam to Night; but she got so very gay after Dinner, that she could not walk out of her own House; so her Maid, who was half gone too, came here with an Excuse, that Mrs. Melissa had got the Vapours, and so she had indeed violently; here, here, Sir.

[point­ing to his Head.]
Mel.

This is scarcely to be born.

[Aside]

Melissa! I have heard of her; they say she's very whimsical.

Sharp.

A very Woman, and please your Honour, and, between you and I, none of the mildest or wisest of her Sex—but to return, Sir, to the Twenty Pounds.

Mel.

I am surpriz'd, you, who have got so much Money in his Service, should be at a Loss for twenty Pounds, to save your Bones at this Juncture.

Sharp.

I have put all my Money out at In­terest; I never keep above five Pounds by me; and if your Honour would lend me the other fifteen, and take my Note for it.

[Knock­ing.]
Mel.

Somebody's at the Door.

Sharp.

I can give very good Security.

[Knocking.]
Mel.
[Page 38]

Don't let the People wait Mr.—

Sharp.

Ten Pounds will do.

[Knocking.]
Mel.

Allez vous en.

Sharp.

Five, Sir.

[Knocking.]
Mel.

Je ne puis pas.

Sharp.

Je ne puis pas.—I find we shan't understand one another, I do but lose Time; and, if I had any Thought, I might have known these young Fops return from their Travels generally with as little Money as Im­provement.

[Exit Sharp.
Mel.

Ha, ha, ha, what Lies does this Fel­low invent, and what Rogueries does he com­mit for his Master's Service? There never sure was a more faithful Servant to his Ma­ster, or a greater Rogue to the rest of Man­kind; but here he comes again, the Plot thickens, I'll in and observe Gayless.

[Exit Melissa.
Enter Sharp before several Persons with Dishes in their Hands, and a Cook drunk.
Sharp.

Fortune, I thank thee, the most lucky Accident!

[aside.]

This Way, Gentle­men, this Way.

Cook.

I am afraid I have mistook the House. Is this Mr. Treatwell's?

Sharp.

The same, the same: What, don't you know me?

Cook.

Know you!—Are you sure there was a Supper bespoke here?

Sharp.
[Page 39]

Yes: Upon my Honour, Mr. Cook, the Company is in the next Room, and must have gone without, had not you brought it. I'll draw in a Table. I see you have brought a Cloth with you; but you need not have done that, for we have a very good Stock of Linen—at the Pawn-broker's.

[Aside.]

[Exit, and returns immediately drawing in a Table.

Come, come, my Boys, be quick, the Com­pany began to be very uneasy; but I knew my old Friend Lick-spit here would not fail us.

Cook.

Lick-spit! I am no Friend of yours; so I desire less Familiarity: Lick-spit too!

Enter Gayless, and stares.
Gay.

What is all this?

Sharp.

Sir, if the Sight of the Supper is of­fensive, I can easily have it removed.

[Aside to Gayless.]
Gay.

Prithee explain thy self, Sharp.

Sharp.

Some of our Neighbours, I suppose, have bespoke this Supper; but the Cook has drank away his Memory, forgot the House, and brought it here; however, Sir, if you dis­like it, I'll tell him of his Mistake, and send him about his Business.

Gay.

Hold, hold, Necessity obliges me a­gainst my Inclination to favour the Cheat, and feast at my Neighbour's Expence.

Cook.
[Page 40]

Hark you, Friend, is that you Mas­ter?

Sharp.

Ay, and the best Master in the World.

Cook.

I'll speak to him then—Sir, I have, according to your Commands, dress'd as gen­teel a Supper as my Art and your Price would admit of.

Sharp.

Good again, Sir, 'tis paid for.

[Aside to Gayless.
Gay.

I dont in the least question your A­bilities, Mr. Cook, and I am oblig'd to you for your Care.

Cook.

Sir, you are a Gentleman,—and if you would but look over the Bill and approve it

[pulls out a Bill]

you will ever and above re­turn the Obligation.

Sharp.

Oh the Devil!

Gay.
[looking on a Bill]

Very well, I'll send my Man to pay you To-morrow.

Cook.

I'll spare him that Trouble, and take it with me, Sir—I never work but for ready Money.

Gay.

Hah?

Sharp.

Then you won't have our Custom.

[Aside.

My Master is busy now, Friend; do you think he won't pay you?

Cook.

No Matter what I think; either my Meat or my Money.

Sharp.

'Twill be very ill-convenient for him to pay you To-night.

Cook.
[Page 41]

Then I'm afraid it will be ill-conve­nient to pay me To-morrow, so d'ye hear—

Enter Melissa.
Gay.

Prithee be advis'd, s'death, I shall be discover'd.

[Takes the Cook aside.
Meliss.
[to Sharp]

What's the Matter?

Sharp.

The Cook has not quite answer'd my Master's Expectations about the Supper, Sir, and he's a little angry at him, that's all.

Mel.

Come, come, Mr. Gayless, don't be uneasy, a Batchelor cannot be supposed to have Things in the utmost Regularity; we don't ex­pect it.

Cook.

But I do expect it, and will have it.

Mel.

What does that drunken Fool say?

Cook.

That I will have my Money, and I won't stay till To-morrow—and, and—

Sharp.
[runs and stops his Mouth]

Hold, hold, what are you doing? Are you mad?

Mel.

What do you stop the Man's Breath for?

Sharp.

Sir, he was going to call you Names—don't be abusive, Cook, the Gentleman is a Man of Honour, and said nothing to you; pray be pacify'd, you are in Liquor.

Cook.

I will have my—

Sharp.
[holding still]

Why, I tell you, Fool, you mistake the Gentleman, he is a Friend of [Page 42] my Master's, and has not said a Word to you—Pray, good Sir, go into the next Room; the Fellow's drunk, and takes you for another—You'll repent this when you are sober, Friend—Pray, Sir, don't stay to hear his Im­pertinence.

Gay.

Pray, Sir, walk in—He's below your Anger.

Mel.

Damn the Rascal! what does he mean by affronting me!—Let the Scoundrel go, I'll polish his Brutality, I warrant you: Here's the best Reformer of Manners in the Universe.

[Draws his Sword.]

Let him go, I say.

Sharp.

So, So, you have done finely, now—Get away as fast as you can; he's the most couragious mettlesome Man in all England—Why, if his Passion was up, he could eat you.—Make your Escape, you Fool!

Cook.

I won't—Eat me! He'll find me damn'd hard of Digestion tho'—

Sharp.

Prithee come here; let me speak with you.

[They walk aside.
Enter Kitty.
Kitty.

Gad's me, is Supper on the Table al­ready?—Sir, pray defer it for a few Mo­ments; my Mistress is much better, and will be here immediately.

Gay.
[Page 43]

Will she indeed! Bless me—I did not expect—but however—Sharp?

Kitty.

What Success, Madam?

[Aside to Melissa.
Mel.

As we could wish, Girl—but he is in such Pain and Perplexity I can't hold it out much longer.

Kitty.

Ay, that not holding out is the Ruin of half our Sex.

Sharp.

I have pacify'd the Cook, and if you can but borrow twenty Pieces of that young Prig, all may go well yet; you may succeed though I could not: Remember what I told you—about it straight, Sir—

Gay.

Sir, Sir,

[to Melissa]

I beg to speak a Word with you; my Servant, Sir, tells me he has had the Misfortune, Sir, to lose a Note of mine of twenty Pounds, which I sent him to receive—and the Bankers Shops being shut up, and having very little Cash by me, I should be much obliged to you if you would favour me with twenty Pieces till to-morrow.

Mel.

Oh Sir, with all my Heart

[Taking out her Purse]

and as I have a small Favour to beg of you, Sir, the Obligation will be mu­tual.

Gay.

How may I oblige you, Sir?

Mel.

You are to be marry'd, I hear, to Me­lissa.

Gay.

To-morrow, Sir.

Mel.

Then you'll oblige me, Sir, by never seeing her again.

Gay.
[Page 44]

Do you call this a small Favour, Sir!

Mel.

A meer Trifle, Sir—breaking of Contracts, suing for Divorces, committing A­dultery, and such like, are all reckon'd Trifles now-a-days; and smart young Fellows, like you and myself, Gayless, should be never out of Fashion.

Gay.

But pray, Sir, how are you concern­ed in this Affair!

Mel.

Oh Sir, you must know I have a very great Regard for Melissa, and, indeed, she for me; and by the by, I have a most despicable Opinion of you; for, entre nous, I take you, Charles, to be a very great Scoundrel.

Gay.

Sir!

Mel.

Nay, don't look fierce, Sir! and give yourself Airs—Damme, Sir, I shall be through your Body else in the snapping of a Finger.

Gay.

I'll be as quick as you, Villain!

[Draws and makes at Melissa.
Kitty.

Hold, hold, Murder! you'll kill my Mistress—the young Gentleman I mean.

Gay.

Ah! her Mistress!

[Drops his Sword.
Sharp.

How! Melissa! nay, then drive away Cart.—All's over now.

Enter all the Company laughing.
Gad.

What, Mr. Gayless, engaging with Melissa before your Time. Ah, ah, ah!

Kitty.
[Page 45]

Your humble Servant, good Mr. Politician,

[to Sharp.]

This is, Gentlemen and Ladies, the most celebrated and ingenious Ti­mothy Sharp, Schemer General and redoubted Squire to the most renowned and fortunate Adventurer Charles Gayless, Knight of the Woeful Countenance: Ha, ha, ha!—Oh that dismal Face, and more dismal Head of yours.

[Strikes Sharp upon the Head.]
Sharp.

'Tis cruel in you to disturb a Man in his last Agonies.

Mel.

Now, Mr. Gayless!—what, not a Word! you are sensible I can be no Stranger to your Misfortunes, and I might reasonably expect an Excuse for your ill Treatment of me.

Gay.

No, Madam, Silence is my only Re­fuge; for to endeavour to vindicate my Crimes would shew a greater Want of Virtue than even the Commission of 'em.

Mel.

Oh, Gayless! 'twas poor to impose upon a Woman, and one that lov'd you too.

Gay.

Oh most unpardonable; but my Ne­cessities—

Sharp.

And mine, Madam, were not to be match'd, I'm sure, o' this side starving.

Mel.

His Tears have softned me at once—Your Necessities, Mr. Gayless, with such real Contrition are too powerful Motives not to affect the Breast already prejudic'd in your Fa­vour—You have suffer'd too much already for your Extravagance; and as I take part in your [Page 46] Sufferings, 'tis easing myself to relieve you: know therefore, all that's past I freely for­give.

Gay.

You cannot mean it sure; I am lost in Wonder.

Mel.

Prepare yourself for more Wonder—You have another Friend in Masquerade here: Mr. Cook, pray throw aside your Drunkenness, and make your sober Appearance—Don't you know that Face, Sir?

Cook.

Ay, Master, what, have you forgot your Friend Dick, as you us'd to call me?

Gay.

More Wonder indeed! don't you live with my Father?

Mel

Just after your hopeful Servant there had left me, comes this Man from Sir Wil­liam with a Letter to me; upon which (be­ing by that wholly convinced of your neces­sitous Condition) I invented, by the Help of Kitty and Mrs. Gadabout, this little Plot, in which your Friend Dick there has acted Mi­racles, resolving to teaze you a little, that you might have a greater Relish for a happy Turn in your Affairs. Now, Sir, read that Letter, and compleat your Joy.

Gay.
[Reads]

Madam, I am Father to the unfortunate young Man, who, I hear by a Friend of mine (that by my Desire, has been a continual Spy upon him) is making his Ad­dresses to you; if he is so happy as to make himself agreeable to you (whose Character I am charm'd [Page 47] with) I shall own him with Joy for my Son, and forget his former Follies. I am, Madam, Your most Humble Servant. William Gayless.

P.S. I will be soon in Town myself to con­gratulate his Reformation and Marriage.

Oh, Melissa, this is too much; thus let me shew my Thanks and Gratitude,

[Kneeling, she raises him]

for here 'tis only Due.

Sharp.

A Reprieve! a Reprieve! a Re­prieve!

Kitty.

I have been, Sir, a most bitter Ene­my to you; but since you are likely to be a little more conversant with Cash than you have been, I am now with the greatest Since­rity your most obedient Friend and humble Servant. And I hope, Sir, all former Enmity will be forgotten.

Gay.

Oh, Mrs. Pry, I have been too much indulged with Forgiveness myself not to for­give lesser Offences in other People.

Sharp.

Well then, Madam, since my Ma­ster has vouchsaf'd Pardon to your Handmaid Kitty, I hope you'll not deny it to his Foot­man Timothy.

Mel.

Pardon! for what?

Sharp.

Only for telling you about ten thou­sand Lies, Madam, and, among the rest, in­sinuating that your Ladyship would—

Mel.
[Page 48]

I understand you: and can forgive any thing, Sharp, that was design'd for the Service of your Master; and if Pry and you will follow our Example, I'll give her a small Fortune as a Reward for both your Fide­lities.

Sharp.

I fancy, Madam, 'twould be better to half the small Fortune between us, and keep us both single; for as we shall live in the same House, in all probability we may taste the Comforts of Matrimony, and not be troubled with its Inconveniencies; what say you, Kitty?

Kitty.

Do you hear, Sharp, before you talk of the Comforts of Matrimony, taste the Comforts of a good Dinner, and recover your Flesh a little; do, Puppy.

Sharp.

The Devil backs her, that's certain; and I am no Match for her at any Weapon.

Mel.

And now, Mr. Gayless, to shew I have not provided for you by halves, let the Musick prepare themselves, and, with the Approbation of the Company, we'll have a Dance.

All.

By all means, a Dance.

Gut.

By all means a Dance; after Supper tho'.—

Sharp.

Oh, pray, Sir, have Supper first, or, I'm sure, I shan't live till the Dance is finished.

Gay.

Behold, Melissa, as sincere a Convert as ever Truth and Beauty made. The wild [Page 49] impetuous Sallies of my Youth are now blown over, and a most pleasing Calm of perfect Happiness succeeds.

Thus Aetna's Flames the verdant Earth consume,
But milder Heat makes drooping Nature bloom:
So virtuous Love affords us springing Joy,
Whilst vicious Passions, as they burn, destroy.
FINIS.

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