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Charles. Brother, all our friends have left
yet still in a playing humor. What game shall we choose?
Henry. There are only two of us, and I am afraid we should not be much diverted.
Char. Let us play at something, however.
Hen. That is a game that would never end. It would not be as if there were a dozen, of which number some are generally off their guard; but where there are only two, I should not find it difficult to shun you, or you me; and then when we had caught each other, we should know for certain who it was.
Char. That is true, indeed. Well, then, what think you of hot cockles ?
Hen. That would be the same, you know. We could not possibly guess wrong.
Char. Perhaps we might. However, let us try.
Hen. With all my heart, if it please you. Look here, if you like it, I will be Hot Cockles first.
Char. Do, brother. Put your right hand on the bottom of this chair. Now stoop down and lay your face close upon it, that you may not see. (He does so.) 'That is well ;—and now your left hand on your back. Well master—but I hope your eyes are shut. (Carefully looking round to see.)
Hen. Yes yes; do not be afraid.
HOW TO TELL BAD NEWS.
Mr. H. Ha! Steward, how are you my old boy? How do things go on at home?
Steward. Bad enough, your honor; the magpie's dead. Mr. H. Poor mag ! so he's gone. How came he to die? Stew. Over-ate himself, sir.
Mr. H. Did he, faith? a greedy dog; why, what did he get he liked so well ?
Stew. Horse-flesh, sir; he died of eating horse-flesh.
your father's horses, sir.
Mr. H. To carry water! and what were they carrying water for ?
Stew. Sure sir, to put out the fire.
Stew. Oh, sir, your father's house is burned down to the ground.
Mr. H. My father's house burned down! and how came it set on fire ?
Stew. I think, sir, it must have been the torches.
father. Mr. H. My father gone too?
Stew. Yes, poor gentleman, he took to his bed as soon as he heard of it.
Mr. H. Heard of what?
Stew. Yes sir, your bank has failed, and your credit is lost, and you are not worth a shilling in the world. I made bold, sir, to come to wait on you about it, for I thought you would like to hear the news.
above an hour.
James. Whom do you want, sir,—your coachman or your cook? for I am both one and t'other.
Love. I want my cook.
James. I thought, indeed, it was not your coachman; for you have had no great occasion for him since your last pair of horses were starved; but your cook, sir, shall wait upon you in an instant. (Puts off his coachman's great-coat and appears as a cook.) . Now, sir, I am ready for your commands.
Love. I am engaged this evening to give a supper.
sir! I have not heard the word this half year; a dinner, indeed, now and then; but for a supper, I'm almost afraid, for want of practice, my hand is out.
Love. Leave off your saucy jesting, and see that you provide a good supper.
James. That may be done with a good deal of money, sir.
Love. Is the mischief in you? Always money! Can you say nothing else but money, money, money? My children, my servants, my relations, can pronounce nothing but money.
James. Well, sir; but how many will there be at table ?
Love. About eight or ten; but I will have a supper dressed but for eight; for if there be enough for eight, there is enough for ten.
James. Suppose, sir, at one end, a handsome soup; at the other, a fine Westphalia ham and chickens ; on one side, a fillet of veal; on the other, a turkey, or rather a bustard, which may be had for about a guinea
Love. Zounds! is the fellow providing an entertainment for my lord-mayor and the court of aldermen? James. Then a ragout
Love. I'll have no ragout. Would you burst the good people, you dog? James. Then pray, sir, say,
will have ? Love.. Why, see and provide something to cloy their stomachs : let there be two good dishes of soup—maigre; a large suet-pudding ; some dainty fat pork-pie, very fat; a fine small lean breast of mutton, and a large dish with two artichokes. There; that's plenty and variety. James.
Love. Plenty and variety.
James. Mercy! sir, how the folks will talk of it; indeed, people say enough of you already.
Love. Eh! why what do the people say, pray?
Love. Not at all; for I'm always glad to hear what the world
James. Why, sir, since you will have it then, they make a jest of you every where; nay, of your servants, on your account. One says, you pick a quarrel with them quarterly, in order to find an excuse to pay them no wages.
Love. Poh! poh!
James. Another says, you were taken one night stealing your own oats from you own horses.
Love. That must be a lie ; for I never allow them any.
James. In a word, you are the by-word every where; and you are never mentioned, but by the names of covetous, stingy, scraping, old
Love. Get along, you impudent villain !
ALDERMAN SMUGGLER-SIR HARRY WILDAIR-JOHN.—Anony
Sir Harry. Dear Mr. Alderman, I'm your most devoted and humble servant.
Alderman Smuggler. My best friend, Sir Harry, you're welcome to England.
Sir H. I'll assure you, sir, there's not a man in the king's dominions I am gladder to meet, dear, dear Mr. Alderman. (Bowing very low.)
Ald. S. Oh! my good sir, you travelers have the kindest, the most obliging ways with you.
Sir H. There is a business, Mr. Alderman, fallen out, which you may oblige me infinitely by—I am very sorry that I am forced to be troublesome; but necessity, Mr. Alderman
Ald. S. Ay, sir, as you say, necessity-But upon my word, dear sir, I am very short of money at present, but
Sir H. That's not the matter, sir ; I'm above an obligation that way;
but the business is, I'm reduced to an indispensable necessity of being obliged to you for a beating. Here, take this càne.
Ald. S. A beating, Sir Harry! ha, ha, ha! I beat a knight baronet! An alderman turned cudgel-player! ha, ha, ha! Sir H. Upon my word, sir, you must beat me, or I'll beat
choice. Ald. S. Psha! psha! you jest.
Sir H. Nay, 'tis sure as fate ; so my dear, dear Mr. Alderman, I hope you'll pardon my curiosity. (Strikes him.)
Ald. S. Curiosity! Deuce take your curiosity, sir. What d'ye mean? Sir H. Nothing at all. I'm but in jest, good sir.
Ald. S. Oh! I can take any thing in jest; but a man might imagine, by the smartness of the stroke, that you were in downright earnest.
Sir H. Not in the least, sir ; (Strikes him.) not in the least, indeed, dear sir.
Ald. S. Pray, good sir, no more of your jests; for they are the bluntest jests that I ever knew.
Sir H. (Strikes him.) I heartily beg your pardon, with all my heart, sir.
Ald. S. Pardon, sir! well sir, that is satisfaction enough from a gentleman : but seriously now, Sir Harry, if you pass any more of your jests upon me, I shall grow angry.
Sir H. I humbly beg your permission to break one or two more. (Srikes him.)
Ald. S. Oh! oh! sir, you'll certainly break my bones. Are you mad, sir ? John! John! murder, felony, manslaughter, murder! (Runs about.)
Sir H. Sir, I beg you ten thousand pardons; but I am absolutely compelled to it, upon my honor, sir; nothing can be more averse to my inclination, than to jest with my honest, dear, loving, obliging friend, the alderman. (Striking him all the time.)
(Enter John.) John. Oh! goodness! Sir Harry's murdering the poor old
Ald. S. Oh! John, oh! John, I have been beaten in jest, till I am almost murdered in good earnest.
John. Oh! for charity's sake, Sir Harry, remember what you are doing—forbear sir, or I'll raise the neighborhood.