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Let. Laws, why, don't you know me? You saw me today, but I was daunted before my father, and the lawyer, and all them, and did not care to speak out; so maybe you thought I couldn't. But I can talk as fast as anybody when I knows folks a little. (Introduces song.) And now I have shown my parts, I hope you'll like me better.

Enter HARDY.

Har. I foresee this won't do. Mr. Doricourt, maybe you take my daughter for a fool, but you are mistaken; she's as sensible a girl as any in England.

Doric. I am convinced she has a very uncommon understanding, sir. (Aside.) I did not think he had been such

an ass!

Let. (aside). My father will undo the whole. Laws, papa, how can you think he can take me for a fool, when everybody knows I beat the 'pothecary at conundrums last Christmastime? And didn't I make a string of names, all in riddles, for the Lady's Diary? There was a little river and a great house: that was Newcastle. There was what a lamb says, and three letters: that was ba, and k-e-r, ker, baker. There was

Har. Don't stand ba-a-ing there. You'll make me mad in a moment. I tell you, sir, that for all that, she's devilish sensible.

Doric. Sir, I give all possible credit to your assertions. Let. Laws, papa, do come along! (Crosses to HARDY.) If you stand watching, how can my sweetheart break his mind, and tell me how he admires me?

Doric. That would be difficult indeed, madam.

Har. I tell you, Letty, I'll have no more of this. I see well enough

Let. Laws, don't snub me before my husband-that is to be. You'll teach him to snub me, too, and I believe, by his looks, he'd like to begin now. So let us go. (HARDY pulls her.) Cousin, you may tell the gentleman what a genus I have (HARDY pulls her again)—how I can cut watch-papers, and work catgut (pulls her again)—make quadrille baskets with pins, and take profiles in shade (pushes HARDY off; he returns, and urges her to go)-aye, as well as the lady at No. 62 South Moulton Street, Grosvenor Square.

(Exeunt HARDY and LETITIA.), Mrs. R. What think you of my painting now? Doric. Oh, mere water-colours, madam. The lady has caricatured your picture.

Mrs. R. And how does she strike you, on the whole?

Doric. Like a good design spoiled by the incapacity of the artist. Her faults are evidently the result of her father's weak indulgence. I observed an expression in her eye that seemed to satirise the folly of her lips.

Mrs. R. But at her age, when education is fixed, and manner becomes nature, hopes of improvement

Doric. Would be absurd. Besides, I can't turn schoolmaster. Doricourt's wife must be incapable of improvement; but it must be because she's got beyond it.

Mrs. R. I am pleased your misfortune sits no heavier. Doric. Your pardon, madam. So mercurial was the hour in which I was born, that misfortunes always go plump to the bottom of my heart, like a pebble in water, and leave the surface unruffled. I shall certainly set off for Bath, or the other world, to-night. But whether I shall use a chaise with four swift coursers, or go off in a tangent, from the aperture of a pistol, deserves consideration. So I make my adieus. -"The Belle's Stratagem."

Bishop Percy

King John and the Abbot

'An ancient story I'll tell you anon

Of a notable prince, that was called King John; And he ruled England with maine and with might, For he did great wrong, and maintein'd little right.

And I'll tell you a story, a story so merrye,
Concerning the Abbot of Canterburye;
How for his housekeeping, and high renowne,
They rode poste for him to fair London towne.

'An hundred men, the King did heare say,
The Abbot kept in his house every day;
And fifty golde chaynes, without any doubt,
In velvet coates waited the Abbot about.

"How now, Father Abbot, I heare it of thee,
Thou keepest a farre better house than mee;
And for thy housekeeping and high renowne,
I feare thou work'st treason against my crown."

"My liege," quo' the Abbot, "I would it were knowne, I never spend nothing but what is my owne;

And I trust your Grace will doe me no deere
For spending of mine owne true-gotten geere."

"Yes, yes, Father Abbot, thy fault it is highe,
And now for the same thou needest must die;
For except thou canst answer me questions three,
Thy head shall be smitten from thy bodie.

"And first," quo' the King, "when I'm in this stead, With my crowne of golde so faire on my head, Among all my liege-men, so noble of birthe,

Thou must tell me to one penny what I am worthe.

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'Secondlye, tell me, without any doubt,

How soone I may ride the whole world about;

And at the third question thou must not shrink,
But tell me here truly what I do think."

"Oh, these are hard questions for my shallow witt,
Nor I cannot answer your Grace as yet;
But if you will give me but three weekes' space,
I'll do my endeavour to answer your Grace."

"Now three week's space to thee will I give,
And that is the longest time thou hast to live;
For if thou dost not answer my questions three,
Thy lands and thy livings are forfeit to mee."

Away rode the Abbot, all sad at that word,
And he rode to Cambridge and Oxenford;
But never a doctor there was so wise
That could with his learning an answer devise.

Then home rode the Abbot, of comfort so cold,
And he mett his shepheard a-going to fold:
"How now, my Lord Abbot, you are welcome home!
What newes do you bring us from good King John?"

"Sad newes, sad newes, shepheard, I must give:
That I have but three days more to live;
For if I do not answer him questions three,
My head will be smitten from my bodìe.

"The first is to tell him there in that stead,
With his crowne of golde so fair on his head,
Among all his liege-men so noble of birthe,
To within one penny of what he is worthe.

"The seconde, to tell him, without any doubt,
How soone he may ride this whole world about.
And at the third question I must not shrinke,
But tell him there truly what he does thinke."

"Now cheare up, Sire Abbot. Did you never hear yet,
That a fool he may learne a wise man witt?
Lend me horse, and serving-men, and your apparel,
And I'll ride to London to answere your quarrel.

"Nay, frowne not, if it hath bin told unto mee, I am like your lordship, as ever may bee;

And if you will but lend me your gowne,

There is none shall knowe us in fair London towne."

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