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The Conductors of this Work print no Plays but those which they lave seen acted. The Stage Direetions are given from their own personal observations, during the most recent performances.

The instant a Character appears upon the Stage, the point of En. trance, as well as every subsequent change of Position, till its Exit, is noted, with a fidelity which may, in all cases, be relied on ; the object being, to establish this work as a Standard Guide to the Stage business, as now conducted on the London boards.

EXITS and ENTRANCES. R. means Right; L. Left; R. D. Right Door ; L, D. Left Door ; S. E. Second Entrance ; U. E. Upper Entrance ; M. D. Middle Door.

RELATIVE POSITIONS R. means Right ; L. Left; C. Centre ; R. C. Right of Centre; L.C. Left of Centre. The following view of the Stage with Five Peformers in front, will, it is presumed, fully demonstrate the Relative Positions.

*** The Reader is supposed to be on the Stage facing the Audience,

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

THE

DISAGREEABLE SURPRISE.

ACT I.

SCENE 1.—The Inside of a Country Inn near Bath; different bells ringing ; general bustle.

Enter PAUL PRIG, L. Prig. Quite a day of rejoicing this ;-all the bells are a ringing! What with fat citizens, dandy doctors, strolling players, young ladies who run away from their papas, and young gentlemen who run away from their creditors,

-all who prefer hot water at Bath to hot water at home ;-), Paul Prig, lead a pretty bustling life of it. [Bell rings.] There goes the bell in the parlour again. [Voice without.] And there goes Mrs. P.'s clapper in the bar ! [A voice without cries,

“Who waits here?] You do, my fine fellow, by your bellowing. Coming, coming.

AIR.— Prig.
Who'd lead an innkeeper's life?

Who'd be a horse in a mill ?
Who'd ever marry a wife,

That loves to be quiet and still ?
Wedlock has comical rigs !

Clappers I've heard, aye, and many ones !
But pretty Penelope Prig's
Is louder and shriller than any one's. [Exit, L.

'Enter JEREMY, R. Jer. Smoking work! Sixteen miles an hour upon the long trot. Chaise knocked over, horses knocked up. Confound this love, say I: it may be pretty sport for a gen

tleman ; but for us servants, 'tis the very devil ! Whenever I leave the captain, I'll get into some steady married family, where love is entirely out of the question. Why, host! landlord ! waiter! Prig !

Enter Prig, L. Prig. Comiug, your honour, coming. Jer. Is this the Boar's Head ?

Prig. No, sir ; there's been a sad revolution in affairs : that head is taken off; and my wife Penelope is the only bore in the house.

Jer. A bad sign, Mr. Prig.

Prig. Damn'd bad ! I found one sign would'nt do, so I determined to have twelve.

Jer. The deuce you did!
Prig. Yes ; the Zodiac, at your service, sir.

Jer. I should have taken you for the landlord of the Bull and Mouth, by your chattering. Can't you stand still a moment ?

Prig. Nothing stands still here, but the clock. I hope you are not in a hurry to set off.

Jer. No; but I'm in a hurry to set to. Prig. Then you'll find “ the feast of reason and the flow of soul !"

Jer. Sole! I don't much care for fish. Give me something substantial.

Prig. Food for body and mind ;-a library and a larder. Bacon in both! Hervey's Meditations and Harvey's Fish. sauce. (Bell rings.] Gad so! That's the giantess in the first floor.

Jer. The giantess !

Prig. Puts up here, on her way to Bath. Seven feet two ; carries herself extremely high : proud as a peeress!

Jer. So it appears !

Prig. We've a dwarf, not bigger than a quart decanter ! Great attraction! A fire-eater, a queer spark ; a travelling showman, who prefers my punch to his own, any day in the week; an alderinan, an elephant, a dancing master, and a dancing bear ; a merry Andrew, a sad dog! a quaker, a quack doctor, a party of strolling players, a member of parliament of no party at all! An undertaker from Bury-Street, a pastry-cook from Pie Corner, a waddling stock-jobber from Duck-J.ane, and a pastoral poet from Hungerford-Market!

Jer. Ha! ha! ha! A motley collection ! But, Mr. Prig,

don't you perceive something very peculiar in my appearance ?

Prig. [Aside.] Going to pose me in Lavater ; but I'm up. Why, to be sure, there's something devilish keen

about you.

Jer. You never guessed better in your life. 'Tis my appetite!

Prig. Glad to hear it What will you say to some partridges ?

Jer. Why grace, to be sure! I thought I smelt something good.

Prig. Should'nt wonder ; been endeavouring to keep 'em sweet for this month past. (Bell rings.] Coming ! 'T'is well that hunger is the best sauce ; for, egad, he'll get no other to his partridges !

[Exit, L. Jer. A notable adventure! My master, Captain Wing'em, meets Miss Maria Testy at a ball in London, falls desperately in love with her, and takes a wild-goose trip to Bath; where she at present resides with her father, Sir Timothy. If Cupid travels at this rate, the Lord keep me from being one of his out-riders !

Enter CAPTAIN WING'EM, R. Capt. Here we are, within the last stage of Bath. Come, Jeremy, be stirring ;-consider the impatience of love.

Jer. And of hunger, tou! If your honour can live upon air, I can't ; for it's apt to raise the wind in my stomach.

Capt. Glutton! What the deuce have you to complain of ?

Jer. A multitude of things ! Since you have been in love, you are no more like the man you were than a squib is like a cannon. I too have had my declensions. Am I not grown as lean as a halbert in your service, a downright transparency ? Hav'nt we followed the lady about like her shadow, till we have become nearly shadows ourselves ? What hope have we of better fortune at Bath than in London'; when, as if to cut off every chance of success, Sir Timothy has added another Argus to his household, in the person of Mrs. Dorothy Dunstable, whom he has placed over his daughter, as a scarecrow, to frighten away the birds from forbidden fruit !

Capt. Love is blind, Jeremy. Suppose you throw dust in her eyes, by paying, court to this venerable Maid of Honor

Jer. Or rather, from her remaining so long single, this

B

venerable lady in waiting! Why, sir, you surely forget my old sweetheart Flora, Miss Maria's waiting maid.

Capt. A lucky thought! You have already a footing in the house.

Jer. Footing indeed! I was well nigh kicked out of it : -but the game's up. We've had a tiff. Madam took it into her head to be jealous, and gave me a box ou the ear.

Capt. That was one way of offering you her hand! We must think of some new scheme; so, order the horses, that we may instantly proceed on our journey.

Jer. The horses ! the partridges first, if you please, captain. Ah! sir, I wish you would think no more of the lady; she is a sad interruption to our regular meals.

[Exit, R. Capt. Think no more of her! Impossible !

AIR.CAPTAIN WING'em.
By those cheeks of rosy hue,
By those eyes of heavenly blue, .
Coral lips with kisses press'd,
And that gently heaving breast,
By Cupid's bow, and Venus' dove,
While I live, I'll live to love!

Hear my vows address’d to thee,
God of Love, propitious be!
Let me play a borrow'd part,-
Beauty must be won by Art !
Bolts and bars their charge resign,
Touch'd by that magic wand of thine.

(Exit, K. Enter BILLY BOMBAST, through a door at the back of the

Scene.
Bomb. The dinner's almost dress'd;

And as my nostrils sniff the savory steam,

Its fragrance whets my appetite! Comes forward. Here's a catastrophe ! After an absence of six long nonths, to meet my old companions of the sock and buskin in this village. My soul's in arms, and eager for the fray !” My master, Sir Marmaduke Metaphor, expects me to join hiin at Bath. Prudence says, “ follow him ;" but what says Inclination? “To stroll, to starve !" Down, busy devil, down.- Now for my red-nos'd innkeeper. Hah!

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