2.3. SCENE VII.
Gen. WORRY, and Sir HARRY MUFF.
No Sir;—theſe things never give a moments uneaſineſs to a man of the world, Sur mon hone ur.
No?—What the devil, be kick'd out of your birthright by an impudent young ſcoundrel, the ſecond ſon of an obſtinate fool of a baronet, and not take fire at it? You'd make a damn'd fine ſoldier!—
We take fire at nothing, Gen. Worry: You fine gentlemen of the laſt century, wore yourſelves out with your gunpowder paſſions before you were men:—for example, your fire has burnt you to the bone, General; ſo that you are in reality, nothing but a collection of tinder and touchwood.
Damme, you've not a ſingle ſpark of fire in your whole compoſition.
Paſſion of any kind agitates the human frame moſt horribly; and therefore we of the high ton have no paſſions at all; indeed our lives may be properly ſtiled, a kind of agreeable vegetation.
Agreeable vegetation!—what a devil of a huſband will this fellow make? [aſide.
But I'm all agog for a ſight of your delicious daughter—they tell me ſhe's a fine cretur; is ſhe any thing like Maria?— [Taking off his hat]
What the devil has he got there?—A picture in his hat inſtead of a button!
—Apropos, has Narciſſa good teeth?
What the devil will he aſk me next? [aſide]
I'll anſwer for't, ſhe'll do your table no diſcredit, if that's all;—but zounds—
Table! why my dear General, we do not underſtand each other:—Do you ſeriouſly imagine, that teeth in this enlighten'd age, like your green handled knives and forks, are mechanically conſtructed for eating?
Why, what the devil would you have 'em conſtructed for?
(aſide) why General, if you muſt know, the teeth belonging to perſons of faſhion, are tortur'd into beauteous ſemi-circles, and poliſh'd thrice a day for the admiration of the beholders.
And that's the reaſon, I ſuppoſe, why our fine Gentlemen are always upon the broad grin;—a ſet of ſlop dawdle puppies!
Why, do you really think, General, that I ſhould cut ſo capital a figure in a faſhionable grin, if I had delv'd all my days in tough, old Engliſh roaſt beef?
I tell you, I neither know nor care:—but one thing I fancy you'll find, that my daughter will not eaſily be prevailed upon to give up her notions of ſubſtantials, in compliment to your delicate appetite.
Oh leave that to me, General.—I ſhall ſoon make a convert of her; or why have I ſcaled the lofty Alps, and ſwept the aromatic vales of bleſt Italia:—if Narciſſa is fortunate enough to have a guſto for poetry and muſic, I ſhall make a rapid conqueſt.
Damn your muſic and poetry! for both of you together, would turn Worry-Hall into a mad-houſe. [aſide.)
You muſt know, General, that the Muſes all Nine, ſmil'd upon my birth, and Apollo ſtood godfather to me by proxy.
Damme, but I believe he's touch'd! [aſide.
I have written a ſong, that has made a little noiſe in the polite world;—and tach'd the crotchets to it myſelf.
His crotchets!—Oh he's paſt recovery. [aſide.
—Nay, the Scavoire vivre,
of which I've the honour to be a member, forc'd their annual prize upon me for the compoſition.—You muſt know, we were rallied a little upon a certain occaſion by the female wits of the Coterie:
—ſo you may gueſs who was fix'd upon for our literary champion. (affectedly)
You ſhall have it, though it will loſe much of its effect, from the preſſure of an Engliſh atmoſphere, upon the delicate organs of my pipe.
(walking about haſtily,)
mad as a March hare!
AIR XII. Mr. Dodd.
Ladies in vain,
Hopes to bewitch us with loves artful wiles?
Ceaſe to do ſo
Since you all know,
We have his patent for dimples and ſmiles.
Gentler beaux that pow'r poſſeſſing
Yield no more to your alarms,
Each his ſcented ſelf careſſing,
Quite enamour'd with his charms!
Pretty playthings all adieu!
Now diſſolve in am'rous ſighs,
We a ſofter clime purſue,
Froze too long beneath your eyes.
—Pſhaw! damn your ſinging, it may be very fine, but I'm not in a humour to reliſh it:—I'm touch'd to the quick at being flung by the Byrons;—and yet you ſeem to mind it no more, than the loſs of a match of billiards.
My dear General, be compos'd as I am;—and don't fret yourſelf in this abſurd manner:—
I won't be compos'd;—damme, but I will fret myſelf!—Indeed if I was of your cucumber like diſpoſition, you might expect to find me as fine a piece of ſtill life, agreeable vegitation as yourſelf; but—no, no, no, Sir!—
Now indeed, General, I mean to reſent their treatment; and to ſhew you I'm in earneſt, I'll lodge a petition againſt them by this light.
Ay; why there you are right, for your grounds are good enough:—
'Pon honour, General, you ſhall be commanding officer for the day.
If that's the caſe, I have a plan:—but I'm ſo tir'd:—walk with me into the temple, and I'll tell it to you:—I am ſure we ſhall diſcover ſome underhand dealings of this young raſcal's at the bottom, and don't doubt of bringing it home to him. (finding the doors faſt)
—What the devil's the meaning of this?—why the door's faſten'd within.— [liſtens at the key-hole]
—Zounds! here are ſome villains concealed with a
deſign to rob the houſe; liſten, Sir Harry, (Sir Harry puts his ear to the door)
here Robbin! Matthew! Jerry!—why, where the devil are theſe ſcoundrels got to?
Why really, General, I do hear a kind of confederate buz:—
What's your honour's will?
Here, break open the door directly:—ſome thieves have hid themſelves withi n ſide!—
Have they, your worſhip?—then we'll ſoon have them out.—Come along my boys!
(Enter Mat. and Jerry.)
—Thieves in our garden! we'll let 'em know that nobody ſhall encroach upon our privileges, without a good ducking, however:—
[They burſt open the door with their ſpades, and diſcover Byron:—the gardeners laugh.]
—Hell and the devil! what have we got here?—your ſervant, Mr. Byron:—I give you joy of your election, Sir!— (ſneeringly)—how compos'd the raſcal ſtands!—what, I ſuppoſe, you are a ſtick of agreeable vegitation too?
This is rather too much, damme! upon his return for one borough, to be canvaſſing for another:—Don't you ſmoak a pettycoat, General? [The General looking inquiſitively.]
Gentlemen, my preſent ſituation prevents me from returning your raillery:—
Fire! and ſmoke! my daughter's maid Jenny!—why huſſy, how dare you be lock'd up with ſuch a rake as this.
Law Sir! the gentleman only aſk'd to ſee the temple, and ſo I thought there was no harm in ſhewing it him.
Comingly kind, by all that's plump, and lovely!
How the devil did he get in when the gates were all lock'd?—but it's a lye, huſſy, he came caterwauling after you; but get about your buſineſs, you jade! you ſhan't ſtay in my houſe another minute!—
Nay then, Sir, I hope it will not offend you, ſince it can no longer be concealed, if I produce the moſt delicate teſtimony of our innocence.—
[Stepping back diſcovers Narciſſa.]
Doublets by this light!
Narciſſa! Traytor! deliver up my daughter, whom you have ſeduced, that I may puniſh her as ſhe deſerves!
Retire Narciſſa, into the citadel, I beſeech you, and I'll defend you to the laſt:—
I beg you'll give me up, your danger overpowers me. [To Byron.]
Dear Ma'm, you are only to reward the conqueror; you have nothing to do with the battle:—beſides, Mr. Muff will take care there ſhan't be much blood ſpilt.—
Matchleſs impudence!—what! laugh'd at into the bargain?—Seize him, Robin, and drag him to the canal:—Raſcals, why don't you obey my orders?
What! duck young Maſter Byron:—not I, I love him too well?—
And ſo do I:—
Villains, you are my ſlaves; and I'll make you do what I command you:—lay hold on him, I ſay!
AIR XIII. TRIO. Mr. Banniſter, Mr. Fawcet, and Mr. Kear.
He's the pride of the borough, god bleſs him ſay I!
I've poll'd for his honour, and will till I die;
In vain then you rave,
I'll not be your ſlave,
Tho' I'm a poor fellow of humble degeee:
Which of you then will bear it?
—MAT. No I ſwear it!
Or you? JERRY. No I ſwear it!
There is but one way then to ſet us all free:
We'll none of us bear it:
Will you?—both—No, I ſwear it:
Nor BOB, I declare it:
This, this is the way then, for now we are free.
[Throw down their ſpades, &c.]
You muſt excuſe me Gen'ral, though I am under the neceſſity even in this place, of defending your daughter, from any violence on her inclinations.
Scoundrels! I'll be revenged! Oh! here comes Spy!—fetch my double-barrel'd horſe-piſtols this inſtant; why the raſcal's drunk! [Enter Spy.]
Byron for ever! ſhoot who, him?—Lord love his heart—Byron for ever!—I tell you that won't do:—there's no flints:—I would not hurt a hair of his head.—Byron for ever!— (turning to Sir Harry)—So I think we wa'n't troubled to chair your fine gingerbread carcaſe:—damme, you know'd a trick worth too of that!
The devil has bewitched 'em, all to conſpire againſt me! Get out of my ſight, villain, or I ſhall be the death of you:—
Oh! if that's all—I can punch it:—Byron
for ever!—tho' he don't want a ſecond:—he's ſpunk:—he can manage 'em both—No Muffs and Indigo Nabobs—Byron
Powder and fury! I believe there's neither a brave, nor an honeſt man left in the kingdom.—Look you, Sir Harry, win her and wear her:—What! I ſuppoſe, I muſt fight this fellow myſelf (goes up to the door) but here he comes,—if he refuſes to ſurrender her, put him to death!
Well, if it muſt be ſo, it muſt; tho' 'pon my ſoul, I've no butchering ideas about me (half draws)—come, good Sir, don't put me to the fatigue of chaſtiſing you.
Sir Harry, you have more humanity:—
No, ſplit me if I have!—She's mine by deed of gift; if you diſpute that title, ſhe muſt be mine by force of arms;— (Draws, and puts himſelf in an attitude.)
Say you ſo?—come on then:—
(drawing a piſtol, Sir Harry ſprings back.)
Why, what the devil, are you afraid of the ſmell of powder? [To Sir Harry.
No, not in the leaſt, General, (confuſedly)—I am—I am—only diſconcerted a little for,—for fear of the ladies;—you ſaw they retired diſorder'd: beſides, Sir, I'm not upon an equal footing with the aſſaſſin.
No more you were, when you valiantly drew
upon a naked man.:—however, Sir, not to alarm you with the ſuperiority of my weapon, thus I reſign it into your hands [Sir Harry receives the piſtol, cocks it, and advances.
Oh then the citadel's our own General!
When you have won it, Sir! (preſents a ſecond piſtol.
[Retiring aſſrighted.] Split me, but the ruffian has got another!
[looking earneſtly at Byron] Damme, that's noble too! It's almoſt a ſin to kill ſo fine a fellow:—but the calls of honor muſt be obey'd:—come, you ſhall ſettle it like ſoldiers however:—I little thought I ſhould ever ſee another ſhot fired, (meaſures ten paces with his cane,
My dear General, what are you about?
About?—Why meaſuring the ground:—you would not fight like a couple of foot-pads, with the muzzle of the piſtol in each others mouth, would you? What the devil ails you now?
Dear General, your ear a moment (whiſpering, my conſcience forbids me.
Conſcience! who the devil ever heard of a man's having conſcience, who had no heart?—however, Sir Harry, I ſee how the land lies:—You need give yourſelf no further concern about me or my family:—I am determin'd to have a brave man for my ſon-in-law, tho' I croſs the ocean for him.
You need not put yourſelf to that inconveniency, Sir, when you behold in me, one, who is ready to lay down his life in defence of your daughter's virtue, and your honor.
Why, tho' my enemy—thou art a fine fellow I own:—and if I could forget the family grudge—
Believe me, Sir, I have lamented in ſecret the groundleſs animoſity, that has ſo long ſubſiſted between you and my father, ſo fatal to the early overtures I made the lovely Narciſſa.
Zounds! but when I recollect,—to be jockey'd by you out of the borough, and by ſuch underhand means!—
Why, Sir, you ſurprize me!—they have choſen that Gentleman, have they not? [pointing to Sir Harry.]
No, Sir, they have not.—what, you don't know, I ſuppoſe, that they have return'd you?
Upon my honour, no, Sir:—I have been employ'd ugon a much more agreeable ſervice:—and to convince you of it, as they have choſen me, contrary to my wiſhes, I am ready to reſign my ſeat in favour of any one, you ſhall appoint.
No, you young dog:—you ſhan't do that neither:—I am a little cooler than I was:—that piece of ſtill life there, has brought me to my ſenſes: [pointing to Sir Harry] I begin now to think, that the unanimous choice of a free body of people, is too ſacred, to be ſuperceded by the will of any individual; beſides your courage has charm'd me:—come, you young dog, you may releaſe your priſoners, they ſhall be upon their parole, 'till I paſs ſentence. [Byron opens the door of the temple, and brings them a little forward.] You look mighty cunning, Sir Harry, after looſing Tipplewell, and the richeſt heireſs in the county, through your delicate feelings.—damn ſuch feelings, ſay I! you'll cut a pretty figure in the modern hiſtory of Maccaronyiſm!
Why, good General, you don't know me yet:—I confeſs I have loſt a pair of pretty toys!—but with reſpect [...]
a real fine gentleman,
is infinitely beyond it's reach, I aſſure you:—ſo I ſhall laugh at the dinner-hunting tribe.
Why, where the devil did this fellow ſpring from!—
(Byron, Jenny, and Narciſſa, coming forward)
—I believe the young rogue deals in magic with both of us— (to Narciſſa)
—come hither, girl, don't tremble ſo:—I begin to think, that I've held out too long with Sir Walter—and therefore I don't know how I can ſhew a heartier deſire of reconciliation, than by rewarding his ſon of merit, with my only daughter and fifty thouſand pounds:—What ſays Narciſſa?—but I need not aſk her!—
If I may diſcover my partiality for Mr. Byron, without offending you, Sir, I ſhould tell you, that I have every reaſon in the world to admire and eſteem him.
Come hither, then, both of you; as an earneſt of my approbation, there—I've joined your hands before the parſon; and may neither you, nor I live to repent it.
This, Sir, is ſo generous, my life will be too ſhort to repay the obligation.
Demme, but I cut a pretty figure here truly!—chous'd out of my own borough, and a fine girl, by the ſon of a fox-hunting baronet;—and laughed at by the old Jew of a father, for endeavouring to accommodate him!—Well!—What's to be done?—Why, upon my arrival at Almack's, I muſt carry it off, for the preſent, by dint of bronze; tell 'em the girl was damn'd ugly; and, that the other borough had loſt it's charter.
Come, come, Sir Harry; every man's not born to be a giant-killer;—(ironically)
if it be not beneath the dignity of a fine gentleman, to rejoice at the ſucceſs
of a worthier man than himſelf, adjourn with us to Worry-hall.
Any thing for a frolic, General, for I'm in tip-top ſpirits.
All that now remains, is for me to endeavour to prevail upon Sir Walter to meet us, and conſent to make the little rogues happy:—for my own part, I am now fully convinced, that the tender affections were never implanted in the human breaſt, to be call'd forth, or ſuppreſſed, by the caprice of an unfeeling parent.
Roſy archer come away!
Give your train a holiday,
Lay your bow and quiver by,
Ceaſe to wound,—and hither hie!
Hither bring the ſmiling graces,
And the loves with cherub faces,
Bid the valleys laugh and ſay,
"Love has made a holiday!"
Hither bring, &c.
Lips of coral! eyes ſo pretty!
Out of luck foregad was I:
Tho' I'm chous'd, I'll join the ditty;—
Down thou little riſing ſigh.
May Love's tender prittle-prattle
Keep the day for ever bright,
And no jealous tittle-tattle,
Mar the raptures of the night!
May Love's tender, &c.
Gentlefolks if you'll permit me
I've a word or two to ſay,
Tho' perhaps it mayn't befit me,
On my lady's wedding-day:
Graveſt Don with eye of ferrit
Tho' he practiſe all his art,
Cannot break a woman's ſpirit,
Till he's ſtrength to break her heart.
Brother grey-beards ſhort's my ſtory,
Read your features in this glaſs,
Here's a convert now before ye
Metamorphos'd from an aſs:—
When a ſwain of merit woos her,
Make your girl a happy wife;
Nature bids you not refufe her,
In the CRISIS of her life.
When a ſwain of merit woos her,
Make your girl a happy wife;
Nature bids you not refuſe her,
In the CRISIS of her life!