Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

Mrs. S. For heaven's sake, sir, if you can't relieve him, don't torment him.

Snarl. Hold your tongue, woman. I want my cloth or iny money. Mr. Scout ! Mr. Scout!

Scout. See! see! see !--There is three nice butterflies there they fly; there they fly! they fly![Jumps after them.] with bat wings-I've catch'd them, I have them--I have them-Tally-ho, tally-ho,-Oh! Oh! Oh!

[Falls in the chair. Snarl. Butterflies .-Dam'me if I can see any. I wish to see my cloth.

Scout. [Jumps on the chair.] My Lord, and Gentlemen of the Jury, my Client, Sir Hugh Witherington, charges the Defendant, Mr. Mungummery, that is, moreover, nevertheless, as shall appear, as-[Spits at him.]—[Jumps down and dances.] Dol de rol, de lol! Oh! oh! oh!

[Jumps cross-legged on the chair. Snarl. There now, he's faucying himself a tailor, and at work upon my cloth.

Mrs. Scout. Do, pray, sir, leave him, and don't torment him.

Snarl. I won't leave him without my money. See, he is getting better : I'll speak to him again. How do you do, neighbour Scout?

Scout. How d'ye do, Mr. Snarl? I am glad to see you ; I hope you are very well ? My dear, here is Mr. Snari come to see us.

Snarl. There! there! there! he knows me: heknows me. Scout. Oh, Mr. Snarl, I beg a thousand pardons; I confess I have been very unkind: but I hope you'll excuse me coming to see you. I have never called on you since I came to live in this part of the country.

Snarl. Never called on me! Oh, the devil, I shall never get my cloth again. Why, man, yon called on me this morning, and bought four yards of iron grey cloth, and I am come for my money. Besides fifty pounds your father owed mine. Aye, you may shake your head ; but dam'me, if I go out of the house without it.

Scout. Say you so? Then I'll try something else. [ Aside.] Wife! wife! wife! get up-softly! softly! get up! Don't lie snoring there : there's thieves in the house. No, no; second thoughts are best; be still while I fetch my gun and shoot them. Cover yourself up close; I'll shoot them! shoot them ! shoot them !

[Exit; R. Snarl. Thieves in the house, did he say? Egad, who

knows but, in his mad tricks, he may shoot me for a thief?
I'll get out of his way, and not stay with a madman.
Enter SCOUT, R. with a birch broom, and presents it at him.
Boh!

[Exit Snarl, L. Scout. Victoria! Victoria !-Huzza.

[ Exeunt Mr. and Mrs. Scout, R.

END OF ACT 1.

ACT II.

SCENE 1.—Justice's Office.--A covered arm chair for

Mittimus, raised on two steps in c. Table, with pens, ink, and paper, books, &c. Stool for Clerk, and chair for Scout, R. at table. JUSTICE MITTIMUS discovered sitting, CLERKS, fc. Just. So, the Court being assembled, the parties may appear. Enter SNARL, L., Scout and SHEEPFACE, with CONSTA

BLES, &C. R. Where is your lawyer, neighbour Snarl ?

Snarl. (L.) I am my own lawyer, I shall employ nobody: that would cost more money.

Scout. (R.) Why, how now, you rascal, have you imposed upon me? What's the meaning of all this ? Is that the Plaintiff ?

Sheep. (r.) [Aside to Scout.] Yes, that's his honour, my good master

Scout. O, the devil! What shall I do? I must stay and brazen it out! If I sneak out of Court it will cause suspicion.

[ Aside. Just. Come, neighbour Snarl, begin. Snarl. Well then, that thief, there Just. No abuse !--No abuse !

Snarl. Well then, I say, that rascal, my shepherd-N0,do my eyes deceive me?-Sure that is--yes-it must be he;—if I had not left him very bad, I could have swornyes, yes, 'tis him—and that other rascal came to my shop and bought-No, no, I don't mean so ;-that rascal there

has killed fourteen of my fattest wethers.-What answer
do
you

make to that ?
Scout. I deny the fact.
Snarl, What is become of them, then ?
Scout. They did die of the rot.
Snarl. 'Tis him-his voice too
Just. What proof have you got ?

Snarl. Why, this morning, he came to my house-No, no,-I mean, I went down last night to the penns, having long suspected him—'tis he! 'tis he !--and he began a long story about fifty pounds.—No, no, I don't mean thatand there I caught him in the very fact.

Scout. That remains to be proved.
Snarl. Yes, I will swear it is the very man.

Just. Why, this is the very man; but is it certain that your wethers died of the rot ? What answer do you inake to that ?

Snarl. Why, I tell you, he came this very morning, and, after talking some time, makes no more to do than carries off four yards of it.

Just. Four yards of your wethers ? Snarl. No, no, four yards of my cloth; I mean that other thief--that other, there.

Just. What other ? What other, neighbour Snarl ? Scout. Why, he's mad, an' please your worship. Just. Truly, I think so too ;-hark’ye, neighbour Snarl, not all the justices in the countyếno, nor their clerks either, can make any thing of your evidence. Stick to your wethers !-Stick to your wethers, or I must release the prisoner ; but, however, I believe it will be the shortest way to examine him myself ;-come here, my good fellow, [Sheepface crosses to Justice.] hold up your head, don't be frightened, tell me your name.

Sheep. Baa!
Snarl. It is a lie !- It is a lie !-His name is Sheepface.

Just. Well, well, Sheepface or Baa, no matter for the
name. Did Mr. Snarl give you in charge fourscore sheep,
Sheepface?
Sheep. Baa !

Just. I say, did Mr. Snarl catch you in the night, killing one of his fattest wethers ?

Sheep. Baa!
Just. What does he mean by Baa ?

Scout. Please your worship, the blows he gave this poor fellow on the head have so affected his senses he can say

nothing else ; he is to be trepanned as soon as the court breaks up: and the doctors say it is the whole Materia Medica, against a dose of jalap, he never recovers.

Just. But the act, and in that provided, forbids all blows, particularly on the head.

Snarl. It was dark, and, when I strike, I never mind where the blows fall.

Scout. A voluntary confession, a voluntary covfession!

Just. [Rising and coming forward, c.] A voluntary corfession, indeed. Release the prisoner ; I find no cause of complaint against him.

[Exeunt Constables, L. Snarl. No cause of complaint agaivst him! You are a pretty Justice, indeed :-one kills my sheep, and the other pays me with Sir Hugh Witherington, and then you see no cause of complaint against hiin.

Just. Not I, truly. Snarl. A pretty day's work I have made, indeed :-a suit of law, and a suit of iron-grey cloth, both carried against me; but as for you, Mr. Lawyer, we shall meet again.

[Exit Snarl, L. Just. O fie, neighbour Sparl, you are to blame, very much to blame, indeed.

Scout. Come, now it is all over, go and thank his worship.

Sheep. Baa, baa, baa !

Just. Enough, enough, my good fellow, take care you do not catch cold in your head, go and get trepanned, and take care of yourself, Sheepface.

Sheep. Baa! Just. Poor fellow, poor fellow. [Exit Justice, L. Scout. Bravo, my boy! You have acted your part admirably, and I think I did very well to bring you off so cleverly; and now I make no doubt but, as you are a very honest fellow, you'll pay me as generously as you promised.

Sheep. (L.) Baa !

Scout. Aye! very well, very well indeed-you did that very well just now, but there's no occasion to have it over any more.—I'm talking about my fee, you know, Sheepface !-Yes, yes, I tell you it was very well done, but at this time, you know, my fee is the question.

Sheep. Baa, baa !

Scout. How's this, am I laughed at ?-Pay me directly, you rascal, or I'll play the devil with you! I'll teach you to try to cheat a lawyer, that lives hy cheating others. I'll

Sheep. Baa!

Scout. What! again ! Braved by a mongrel cur, a bleating bell-wether! a

Sheep. Baa!

Scout. Out of my sight! or I'll break every bone in your dog's skin, you sheep-stealing scoundrel ; would you cheat one, that has cheated hundreds ? Get home to your hiding place. Sheep. Baa!

[Going, R. Scout. Away, and mind how you and your wife play the rest of your parts, and perhaps I may rgive you, if we succeed; if not, I will inake an example of you, you rascal ! Sheep. Baa, baa !

[Exit Sheepface, R. Enter Justice and KATE, L. Just. (L.) Poor fellow! like to die, you say. Kate. (c.) Yes, yoor worship.-Oh dear !

[Crying. Just. Well, well, comfort yourself; remember, you was only married yesterday.

Kate. That's the very thing, sik; if he had but lived a little longer, I should not have cared so much about it; but to be cut off just in the honey moon, is very hard. Oh! Oh! Oh! But I am not revengeful, and your worship knows how much I love my master's daughter Harriet; and Charles, Mr. Snarl's son, is in love with her ; but his father won't agree to the match.

Just. 0, I understand you. So you'll hush up matters, provided he'll agree to the marriage ; well, what say you, veighbour Scout?

Scout. (R.) Why, why, I don't know what to say to it. As you all seem willing to settle the business, I don't like to stand out, and so I agree to it. But I think, your worship, I had better go in and fill the blanks of a bond, and make him sigu it, or, when all is over, he'll retract from his word. Just. Well do so! Here he comes. Gol go'

[Exeunt Scout and Kate, R. Enter SNARL and two Constables, L. So, neighbour Snarl, I find that the blows you gave the poor fellow on the head have occasioned his death.

Snarl. Oh, the devil !

Just. But hark'ye, neighbour, I've got a proposal to make, which perhaps may not be disagreeable to you !

« VorigeDoorgaan »