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" Carb. Why, what do you think I'll lie in the “ fields, Dick? No, no, I'll have a dram, and a jug “ of his stingo too: what, I'll try the interest of my
own face rather than fail.
“ Lurch. Thy face! nay, 'tis time indeed: the “ lights in thy face, Carbuncle, begin to burn blue; « and if thou dost not get some fuel for them, they “ will go out in utter darkness-look ye, gentlemen, my
fellow travellers and friends," if you will agree to a project I have, and be content to act your parts in it, I will engage you all a lodging, and the best entertainment in the house : nay, perhaps your money too.
Sneak. I pray you, what is your project, Mr. Lurcher ? tho' I own I have no great opinion of projects, or projectors.
Carb. Demme, Dick, what is it? I love projects and whims wonderfully.
Long. I always said, upon my soul I did always affirm, that he was a very fine gentleman; tho' really I hope this project will produce a bed and a supper, “for “ I am somewhat hungry."
Lurch. Doubt it not, gentlemen : you and all the world know the character of Sir John English: he is excessively fond of quality, and piques himself upon being the most hospitable man in the county.
Carb. And what then?
Carb. Change upon him! how?
Lurch. Why, I will be a man of quality; I'll clap a blue ribbon across my shoulders, " and a patch upon “ my face;" and if you will assist me so far, if you will condescend so low as to be thought part of my equipage, why we will come rattling to his gates, and be received with as much joy and ceremony as if we were really what we appeared.
Carb. Egad, I approve it wonderfully-We'll revel in October and roast beef.
Long. Upon my soul, a very elegant design-You'll wear your best bag?
Sneak. But how will this help us to our money, Mr. Lurcher ?
Carb. Why, his lordship will take the knight to picquet after supper, and bite him.
Lurch. No, no, Sir John never plays; I have a more honourable design than that, I assure you.
Carb. What is it? Out with it, my little bully boy.
Lurch. Why, when all the family are fast asleep, we will clap on our 'masking suits and vizors
Carb. And rob the house ; very good.
Sneak. Oh, laud ! rob the house ; why, what do you think I'd be hang'd for your projects ?
Lurch. No, my hogshead of iniquity, no : we will bind thein in their beds, and one another afterwards, and yet not rob the house of a shilling.
Carb. To what purpose should you bind them, then?
Lurch. Don't enquire further beforehand-I beg you only to trust me with the conduct of this affairI'll venture my life I shall bring you all off safe: I have in our coach, which stands by the road-side, every thing that can be necessary for the execution of our design-Nay, nay,--don't let your courage sink, now we are upon action, lads
Sneak. I desire to be excus'd; I will not engage-in it.
Carb. I'll slice you if you mutter, I'll demolishWhat! do you mutiny? Go on, Dick, we'll follow you to the end of the world.
Lurch. Along, then, my lads of mettle ; be firm and united, and I will be answerable for the success.
The Court-yard to Sir John ENGLISH's House; Sir
JOHN, unbutton'd, without his Hat, and TIMOTHY SHACKLEFIGURE, his Steward.
Sir John. Good now! good now, Timothy! have you enquired what is become of cousin Betty all this day—and her companion, her little gossiping tittletattle friend-Hah, Timothy?
Shackle. An' it shall please your worship's worship, after the most painful inquisition in pursuance of your worship’s commands, I am not able to discover what your worship might
Sir John. Pr'ythee don't worship me so much, but for form sake, Timothy, tell me whither they are gone.
Shackle. Really that I cannot say, but the two young ladies were seen to walk forth early this morning with our very wise neighbour, farmer Freehold.
Sir John. So! but they left word they would return.
Shackle. I am not able particularly to affirm so much.
Sir John. Now the pox take thee, for a formal Anno Domini blockhead.
Tim. Give me leave to assure your worship, that without form or order
Sir John. Tell me where they are gone, or I'll break thy strange pate.
Tim. Really, if your worship bruises me to death, I shall most willingly perish for the truth, nor will I discover more unto your worship than I know.
Sir John. Get out o' my sight, you confounded multiplication puppy; yet stay a little; this fellow rutles me so every day with his most abominable circumbendibus phrases-Well, cousin Betty is a fine girl, she has two thousand pounds a year.--Ah, if my nephew Dick were not the most profigate rogue-But he may reform one time or other; she will never marry without my advice, that is certain.— Hark thee, thou numerical coxcomb; enquire if they expect the girls home at supper; I'll take a turn or two in the hall.
Enter Lurcher and four of his creditors as the equipage of a Nobleman, and VULTUR as his running footman.
Sneak. Laud, my heart sinks: I sweat and tremble already; I shall never hold out.
Carb. You pin-hearted puppy, recall your courage, or I'll demolish you. What, would you ruin our whole affair
Sneak. Well, dear Carbuncle, be peaceable, I will strive.
Lurch. Tom Vultur, how does his grace become me? does the man of quality sit easy on the rake?
Vult. Adnirably! you look as if you were made for a blue ribbon.
Lurchi And you flatter me as if I wore one-To bu. siness, lads, to business-Do you, Tom Vultur, you who represent my running footman, trot before and prepare the old knight to receive us.. If I can carry my design in this habit and equipage [Exit Vult.
Carb. We'll drink, and wench, and roar eternally; our whole lives shall run round in a circle of mirth.
Lurch. Joy shall be the jack, pleasure the bias, and we'll roll after happiness to the last moment of life.
Carb. Without one rub in the carpet, boys.
Long. With your favour, 'squire, how comes this Sir John English, who treats and entertains all, and is so very proud of being hospitable, to take no care of you? You say, you never personally offended him.
Lurch. Never; but I'll tell you: my father, his sis.