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Snarl. Ah, sir, you flatter me! Scout. Not at all. Egad ! now. I recollect, I promised Mrs. Scout you should have my custom, and I don't care if I take a coat, to begin with.
Snarl. Pray, sir, look over my patterns : here's a variety of colours. Scout. This seems to be a pretty piece of cloth.
[Feeling the cloth that lies on the counter. Snarl. Very fine, and good! It is iron grey. Scout. Don't you remember our going to school. Snarl. What ! along with Old Iron Fist.
Scout. The same.-You was reckoned the prettiest boy in the whole school.
Snarl. Yes; my mother said I always was a pretty boy. Scout. This cloth scems very smooth and fine.
Snarl. Right Spanish wool, I assure you! Let me send your quantity to your house.
Scout. Stop! stop ! Pay as you go, pay as you go ; that is always my maxim.
Snarl. And, egad, a very good maxim 'tis ! I wish all my customers made use of the same.
Scout. Don't you remember the tricks you used to play the curate.
Snarl. Yes, very well. Scout. Ay, you was always full of mischief.—What is this cloth a yard ?
Snarl. Why, to any body else it should be nineteen shillings and sixpence; but
Scout. Now you are going to favour me.
Snarl. No, I am not; ovly as you are a particular friend, I won't charge you but nineteen: and, luckily, here is just your quantity cut off.
Scout. That is lucky : l'll take it home with me.
Scout. Why would you take the poor boy from his work ? I don't mind carrying it myself.
Snarl. But let me measure it; perhaps there may be some mistake.
Scout. No mistake : d'ye think I doubt your word ?
Scout. Never mind that: I leave it entirely to you. Well, good morning : don't forget the goose : you'll be sure to be there time enough to dine, before you receive your money. Good morning --- don't forget.
(Exit, l. Snarl. Damme, but he has carried off my cloth—but he'll pay. O yes, he'll pay : for he inust be a very honest man, or he never would have told me of the fifty pounds, and invite me to dine off the goose into the bargain. I am sorry I cheated him iu the cloth. But no matter: it is the way I got all my money.
SCENE III.- A Wood. Cottage on R.
Enter Kate and SHEEPFACE, L. Kute. If you wants a lawyer to get you fairly out of a scrape, my master's the man for your money, Sheepface.
Sheep. (L.) I remember he stood my friend before—from being hang’d at York ! And, would you believe it, only for mending the complexion of a bald-fac'd horse; and, I don't know how it was, I have such a treacherous memory; but somehow or other-I forgot to pay him.
Kate. (R.) 0, never inind, he won't remember that; but be careful not to tell him your master's name. I know he would not be concerned against Mr. Snarl for the world!
Sheep. (L.) No, no : I'll only tell him 'tis my master, and he'll think I mean the rich farmer i lived with formerly.
Kate. (R.) Well, well, that will do ; but here he comes : I'll go in.
[Exit R. into Cottage.
Enter Scout, L. Scout. Egad, I think I have made a good morning's work! This cloth will enable me to make a geuteel appearance :-But who have we got here? sure I should know that face. Hark ye, sir, did'nt I save you and your brother from being hang'd, some time ago, at York ?
Sheep. (R.) Yes.
Scout. (L.) And, by the same rule, I think one of you forgot to pay me.
Sheep. That was brother.
Scout. One of you got clear off, and the other died, soon. after, in prison.
Sheep. That was not I.
Sheep. For all that I was sicker than my brother ;-but I am come to ask your worship to stand my friend against a-his worship, my master.
Scout. What! the rich farmer here, that lives in the neighbourhood ?
Sheep. Yes, yeshe lives in the neighbourhood, sure enough ;--and if you will stand my friend, you shall be paid to your heart's content.
Scout. Aye! now you speak to the purpose :-come, you must tell me how it was.
Sheep. Why, you must know, my master gives me but small wages-very small wages indeed ! so I thought I might as well do a little business on my own account, and so make myself amends without any damage to him, with an honest neighbour of mine a little bit of a butcher by trade.
Scout. Well, but what business can you have to do with him ?
Sheep. Why, saving your worship's presence-l hinders the sheep from dying of the rot.
Scout. Ah !-how do you contrive that ?
Scout. What! I suppose, then, your master thinks you kill his sheep for the sake of selling their carcases ?
Sheep. Yes; and I cannot beat it out of his head for the soul of me.
Scout. Well, then, you must tell me all the particulars about it. Relate every circumstance, and don't hide a sin gle item.
Sheep. Why, then sir, you must know, that, last night, as I was going down,-(must I tell the truth ?)
Scout. Yes, yes; you must tell the truth herc, or we shall not be able to lie to the purpose any where else.
Sheep. Well, then, last night, after I was married, having a little leisure time upon my hands, I goes down to our penn ; and, as I was musing on I don't know what, out I takes my knife, and happening by mere accident, saviug your worship's presence, to put it under the throat of one of the fattest wethers—I don't know how it came about, but I had not been long there, before the wether died, and all of a sudden, as a body may say.
Scout. What! and somebody was looking on all the while ?
Sheep. Yes, master, from behind the hedge, and would have it, it died all along with me; and so, as you see, he laid such a shower of blows on me, that it kept the bride out of temper all night ; but I hope your worship will stand my friend, and not let me lose the fruits of my honest labours-all at once.
Scout. Why, there are two ways of settling this business; and one is, I thiuk, to be done without putting you to any expense.
Sheep. Let's try that first, by all means.
Scout. You have scraped up something in your master's service.
Sheep. I have been up late and early for it, sir. Scout. I suppose you have taken care to have your savings all in hard cash.
Sheep. Yes, sir.
Scout. Well, then, when you go home, take it and hide it in the safest place you can find.
Sheep. Yes, sir, that I'll do.
Scout. I'll take care your master shall pay all costs and -charges.
Sheep. Aye, so he ought : he can afford it.
Scout.- He'll have all the trouble and expense of bringing you to trial, and, after that, have the pleasure of seeing
Sheep. Let's take the other way.
Scout. Well, let me see : I suppose he'll take out a warraut against you, and have you taken before Justice Mittimus.
Sheep. So I understand.
Scout. I think the Justice's credulity is easily imposed on; so, when you are ordered before him, I'll attend; and to ail the questions that you are asked, answer nothing, but imitate the voice of the lambs, when they bleat after the ewes. You can speak that dialect.
Sheep. It's my mother tongue.
Scout. But, if I bring you clear off, I expect to be very well paid for this.
Sheep. So you shall ; I'll pay you to your heart's conent.
Scout. Be sure you answer nothing but baa !
Scout. Aye! that will do very well : be sure you stick to that.
Sheep. Yes, your worship, never fear 1. What trouble a body has to keep one's own in this world.
(Exeunt Sheepface, L. Scout into Cottage, R.
Enter SNARL, L. Snar). Aye, aye ; that's my neighbour Scout's house : he
is just come home, to give orders about the dinner, I warrant.--Egad, I think I shall make a good day's work: what, with the fifty pounds his father owed mine, which, hy the bye, I know nothing at all about, and the money for the cloth, and the goose that is to be dressed by a famous receipt of Alderman Dumpling's_Egad, I believe they are dressing it now I'll in, and see what is going forward.
[Exit, into Cottage R.
SCENE IV.-A room in Scout's House. An old Couch R. an easy Chair centre.-Table, with Basins, &c. L.
Scout and Mrs. Scout, discovered. Scout. Wife, wife-come along—I think I hear Snar) at the door : come to your place, and mind your cue.
[Sits down. Mrs. S. Never fear me I warrant I shall make an excel lent nurse.
Enter SNARL, L. Snarl. Where is my friend, Mr. Scout ?-Is the goose a dressing ? Scout. Wife, wife
here comes the Doctor-he brings me the cooling mixture the cooling mixture !
Snarl. (L.) The cooling mixture !
Mrs. S. Oh, sir! I hope you have brought something for my poor husband; he has been confined to his room, and has not been out this fortnight!
Snarl. Not out of his room this fortnight!
Mrs. S. No, sir ; this day fortnight, of all the good days in the year, he was seized with a lunacy fit, and has not been out of doors since !
Snarl. Why, woman! What are you talking about?Why, he came to my shop this morning, and, by the same token, he bought four yards of iron grey cloth, and I am come for my money.
Mrs. S. This morning !
Snarl. This morning ; and invited me to dine with him to-day off a goose, and to receive fifty pounds which his father owed mine--I'll speak to him. [Crosses, c.] How do you do, good Mr. Scout?
Scout. Oh how d'ye do, good Mr. Drench ?
Scout. Wife, wife,-keep the doctor from me, and a fig for the disease.