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THE VILLAGE LAWYER.
SCENE I..A Room in Scout's House.
[Without,] MR. and Mrs. SCOUT, R. Mrs. Scout. I tell you it shall hemScout. Nay! nay! but, my dear, now!
Mrs. Scout. It does not siguify talking--I must and will have it so.
Scout. But think, my dear, how ridiculous
Mrs. Scout. I don't care-I'm resolv'd—I'll no longer be the laughing-stock of the whole country ; do you imagine I'll
Enter MR. Scout, Mrs. Scout following, R. Scout. Nay! but my dear sweet love, that indefatigable tongue of yours would out-talk any lawyer in the kingdom; I can talk, sometimes, pretty well myself, but I stand no chance with you. Why you would out-din the whole bar itself, that tho' a lawyer
Mrs. Scout. (R.) [Sneering,] A lawyer! No one, to see you in this trim, would imagine you had ever carried on any body's suit but your own. Had you a grain of spirit left, you might-
Scout. (L.) Spirit! Nay, nay, wife, don't complain of my want of spirit. Was it not my spirit that drove me froin the capital, and made me bury my talents in obscurity? Have not I attended all the harangues of the courts with only a little whizzing on one side, and a deafness on tie other? And have not I convinced you I had too much spirit ou a certain occasion ?--[Crosses, R.)
Mrs. Scout. Very tine, indeed.--And so you make a merit of your blunders.
Scout. (R.) Blunders, indeed! I think I made a blunder in coming here.—Not a single job have I got since I have been down : not a broken head, nor a quarrel for one to get a penny by; there has not been a bastard born since we've been here !--Aud, damn me, if I don't think the
very cattle keep out of the pound, on purpose to spite me! Now, if one could put on the appearance of business, the reality will follow of course, and perhaps something may turn out
Mrs. Scout. (L.) Yes, and, in the mean time, your poor wife may starve, and your daughter lose the opportunity of settling herself handsomely, with one of the young men that pay their addresses to her, which the shabbiness of your appearance has frightened away.
Scout. Why, to be sure, I am shabby enough, of all conscience, and canuot, with any propriety, make my appearance in public :- Let me see- I have it; I'll go and purchase a suit of clothes directly.
[Crosses, L. Mrs. Scout. (R.) Purchase a suit of clothes, without a shilling in your pocket?
Scout. (L.) (), my dear, that's nothiug at all: most of the fashionable suits in London are purchased that way. . Let me see-what colour shall I chuse ? Shall it be a browna grey-a bat's wing-or
Mrs. Scout. Oh! never mind the colour, so you can only find somebody fool enough to let you have the cloth.
Scout. 0, I'll warrant you. Let me see, now—there's neighbour Snarl, that lives over the way; he keeps a large assortment of colours : I'll hum him out of a suit.
Alrs. Scout. Mr. Snarl !--Take care what you do there, husband ; his son, Charles, is in love with our Harriet, and would have married her before now, but for fear of his father's anger.--I would not for the world disappoint the girl's hopes.
Scout. Well! well! step in and bring my gown and band—it will, at least, make me have a better appearance, (Exit Mrs. Scout, R.] by hiding these damned rags of mine.-Come, wife, wake haste.-Take care you don't break the Chiua basin on the window.-Come, what a long time you are.
Re-enter Mrs. Scout, with the gown and band. Mrs. Scout. Why, I brought it as suon as I could.
Scout. Come, help me on with it ;- take care what you are about. See what a large hole here is. You sit all day with your hands before you ; and I think you might have mended it.
Mrs. Scout. I'll mend it when you come back.
Scout. There-there-now I shall do very well! And let me tell you, wife, I am not the only one that make use
of a gown to hide things that are not fit to be seen.
[Exit, L; Mrs. Scout, R. SCENE 11.-SNARL's Shop. A Counter, several pieces of
Cloth, Flannel, Baize, 8c., 4 yards Iron-grey broadcloth, Tailor's Pattern book, Shears, Yard-Measure. Table, R. A Chair, R. Side of Counter, Shop stool, L.
Enter SNARL, and CHARLES following, L. 2nd E. Snarl. Charles, have you been looking out for another shepherd, as I told you ?
Charles. (1.) No, sir, I think you have got a very good
Snarl. (R.) No such thing--I tell you that Sheepface is a rogue: here he has lived with me only a fortnight, and here are missing fourteen of my best wethers.
Charles. Consider, sir, what havock such a disorder makes in a little time.
Snarl. Yes, yes, I have considered,-and I know pretty well by this time. I have long suspected him-and last night I caught him in the very fact, killing one of my fattest wethers; and I am determined to have him up before Justice Mittimus this day :--but reach me my book, and let me look over the account of my stock,--perhaps there may be more missing.
Charles. There it is, sir, (gives an account book.) Snarl. [Sits down.] And if neighbour Gripe calls, tell him I want to see him about this rascal Sheepface. Let me see-twelve times ten is
Charles is going and meets SHEEPFACE, who enters, L.
Charles. Sheepface,-my father has discovered all ; do the best you can; beware of saying too much. [Exit, L.
Sheep. (L.) Save you, good master Snarl.
Snarl. (R.) [Crosses, L.] What! you rascal ! are you here? How dare you appear before me, after the trick you have play'd me?
Sheep. Only to tell you, I've been with neighbour Gripe, the constable, who has been speaking to me about sheepstealing, Justice Mittimus, your houour, and a power of things ; so I said to myself, as how I would not make it a secret any longer with your worship.
Snarl. Why, fellow, this affected simplicity won't serve your purpose. Did not I catch you, last night, killing one of my fattest wethers ?
Sheep. Only to keep it from dying, by my feckins .
Snarl. To keep it from dying !~
Sheep. Of the rot, an' please your sweet worship.-- It's a way I learnt of our doctor, in the parish : he cures most of his patients the same way.
Snarl. The doctor, ha ! The doctors have a licence to kill from the college ; but you have noue, I believe. Why, there was not such a breed, in all the kingdom, for Spanish wool !
Sheep. Please your worship, satisfy yourself with the blows you gave me, and make matters up, if it be your worship's good will and pleasure.
Šnarl. But 'tis not my good will and pleasure : my good will and pleasure is to see you hanged, you rascal.
Sheep. "Oh! no; don't hang me! Consider, that would be the death of me! Besides, your worship, I was only married yesterday :-leave me alone for a week or two, and who knows, but, by that time, I may save your worship the trouble.
Snarl. No, no, the gallows will be the best way, at first, and every bit as sure.
Sheep. Heaven give you the luck of it, good master Snarl. Since it must be so, I must go seek a lawyer, I fiud, or might will prevail over right. [Exit Sheepface, L.
Snarl. Six times twelve is seventy-two that is right : then nine times seven is
Enter SCOUT, L.
This was very lucky, to catch him alone. That seems to be a pretty piece of cloth, and will just suit me. Good morning to you Mr. Suarl.
Snarl. 0! what! neighbour Gripe ! walk in.
Snarl. (R.) I am my neighbour Scouts most obedient ; but I have no business with him at présent, that I know of.
Scout. (Aside.] I'll make you tell a different story presently, or I am much mistaken.--I called to settle a little account.
Snarl. I have no account to settle with any body.
Snarl. I know nothing at all about it; I don't owe any man a farthing in the world.
Scout. I wish I could say as niuch for myself, [aside. ] Wby, sir, looking over my father's accounts, I see he stands indebted to you fifty pounds; and I, u an honest man, am come to pay it.
Snari. [Turning round, rises, and shakes him by the hand.] How do you do, neighbour Scout? How do you do? I'm glad to see you!
Scout. Very well, I thank you, sir. How do you do?
Snarl. Oh! no, not at all; pray sit down.--I insist upon it.
Scout. Ah! sir, if every body was of my priuciple, I should be a deal richer than I am ; I cannot bear to be in ariy body's debt.
Snarl. Why, egad! the generality of people bear it very well.
Scout. Very true, sir, very true : when would you like to receive this money ? for I'm impatient to pay every body.
Snurl. Why, when you please...No time like the time présent.
Scout. Very true; I have it told out' at home; but as I only hold my father's effects in trust for my daughter Harriet, for form sake, you know it will be proper to have some of the other guardians present at the time of payment.
Snarl. Very true; it is so, indeed !-Well, as soon as you please.
Scout. What do you think of three o'clock his afternoon ?
Snarl. A very good time.
Scout. And, egad! it happens very lucky I've got a very fine goose, sent me by a client from Norfolk, and you shall come and dine with me :—are you fond of goose?
Snarl. Very. It's my favourite dish.
Scout. That's very lucky. Don't forget to come. think you do a deal of business here, more than all the rest of the trade around the country.
Snarl. Pretty well; I can't complain.
Scout. And Mrs. Scout will dress the goose by a valuable receipt left her by her great uncle, Alderman Dumpling. Do you like sage and onion ?
Snarl. Very inuch, indeed. Scout. You shall have it so. Why, you have such an engaging way with you, that people take more pleasure in paying you money, than in receiving it from other people.