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- St. Patrick's Day - 1/7 -
ST. PATRICK'S DAY;
OR, THE SCHEMING LIEUTENANT
AS ORIGINALLY ACTED AT COVENT-GARDEN THEATRE IN 1775
LIEUTENANT O'CONNOR _Mr. Clinch_. DR. ROSY _Mr. Quick_. JUSTICE CREDULOUS _Mr. Lee Lewes_. SERJEANT TROUNCE _Mr. Booth_. CORPORAL FLINT........................ LAURETTA _Mrs. Cargill_. MRS. BRIDGET CREDULOUS _Mrs. Pitt_.
Drummer, Soldiers, Countrymen, _and_ Servant.
SCENE--A TOWN IN ENGLAND.
SCENE I.--LIEUTENANT O'CONNOR's Lodgings.
_Enter_ SERJEANT TROUNCE, CORPORAL FLINT, _and four_ SOLDIERS.
1 _Sol_. I say you are wrong; we should all speak together, each for himself, and all at once, that we may be heard the better.
2 _Sol_. Right, Jack, we'll argue in platoons.
3 _Sol_. Ay, ay, let him have our grievances in a volley, and if we be to have a spokesman, there's the corporal is the lieutenant's countryman, and knows his humour.
_Flint_. Let me alone for that. I served three years, within a bit, under his honour, in the Royal Inniskillions, and I never will see a sweeter tempered gentleman, nor one more free with his purse. I put a great shammock in his hat this morning, and I'll be bound for him he'll wear it, was it as big as Steven's Green.
4 _Sol_. I say again then you talk like youngsters, like militia striplings: there's a discipline, look'ee in all things, whereof the serjeant must be our guide; he's a gentleman of words; he understands your foreign lingo, your figures, and such like auxiliaries in scoring. Confess now for a reckoning, whether in chalk or writing, ben't he your only man?
_Flint_. Why the serjeant is a scholar to be sure, and has the gift of reading.
_Trounce_: Good soldiers, and fellow-gentlemen, if you make me your spokesman, you will show the more judgment; and let me alone for the argument. I'll be as loud as a drum, and point blank from the purpose.
_All_. Agreed, agreed.
_Flint_. Oh, faith! here comes the lieutenant.--Now, Serjeant.
_Trounce_. So then, to order.--Put on your mutiny looks; every man grumble a little to himself, and some of you hum the Deserter's March.
_Enter_ LIEUTENANT O'CONNOR.
_O'Con_. Well, honest lads, what is it you have to complain of?
_Sol_. Ahem! hem!
_Trounce_. So please your honour, the very grievance of the matter is this:--ever since your honour differed with justice Credulous, our inn-keepers use us most scurvily. By my halbert, their treatment is such, that if your spirit was willing to put up with it, flesh and blood could by no means agree; so we humbly petition that your honour would make an end of the matter at once, by running away with the justice's daughter, or else get us fresh quarters,--hem! hem!
_O'Con_. Indeed! Pray which of the houses use you ill?
1 _Sol_. There's the Red Lion an't half the civility of the old Red Lion.
2 _Sol_. There's the White Horse, if he wasn't case-hardened, ought to be ashamed to show his face.
_O'Con_. Very well; the Horse and the Lion shall answer for it at the quarter sessions.
_Trounce_. The two Magpies are civil enough; but the Angel uses us like devils, and the Rising Sun refuses us light to go to bed by.
_O'Con_. Then, upon my word, I'll have the Rising Sun put down, and the Angel shall give security for his good behaviour; but are you sure you do nothing to quit scores with them?
_Flint_. Nothing at all, your honour, unless now and then we happen to fling a cartridge into the kitchen fire, or put a spatterdash or so into the soup; and sometimes Ned drums up and down stairs a little of a night.
_O'Con_. Oh, all that's fair; but hark'ee, lads, I must have no grumbling on St. Patrick's Day; so here, take this, and divide it amongst you. But observe me now,--show yourselves men of spirit, and don't spend sixpence of it in drink.
_Trounce_. Nay, hang it, your honour, soldiers should never bear malice; we must drink St. Patrick's and your honour's health.
_All_. Oh, damn malice! St. Patrick's and his honour's by all means.
_Flint_. Come away, then, lads, and first we'll parade round the Market-cross, for the honour of King George.
1 _Sol_. Thank your honour.--Come along; St. Patrick, his honour, and strong beer for ever! [_Exeunt_ SOLDIERS.]
_O'Con_. Get along, you thoughtless vagabonds! yet, upon my conscience, 'tis very hard these poor fellows should scarcely have bread from the soil they would die to defend.
_Enter_ DOCTOR ROSY.
Ah, my little Dr. Rosy, my Galen a-bridge, what's the news?
_Rosy_. All things are as they were, my Alexander; the justice is as violent as ever: I felt his pulse on the matter again, and, thinking his rage began to intermit, I wanted to throw in the bark of good advice, but it would not do. He says you and your cut-throats have a plot upon his life, and swears he had rather see his daughter in a scarlet fever than in the arms of a soldier.
_O'Con_. Upon my word the army is very much obliged to him. Well, then, I must marry the girl first, and ask his consent afterwards.
_Rosy_. So, then, the case of her fortune is desperate, hey?
_O'Con_. Oh, hang fortune,--let that take its chance; there is a beauty in Lauretta's simplicity, so pure a bloom upon her charms.
_Rosy_. So there is, so there is. You are for beauty as nature made her, hey! No artificial graces, no cosmetic varnish, no beauty in grey, hey!
_O'Con_. Upon my word, doctor, you are right; the London ladies were always too handsome for me; then they are so defended, such a circumvallation of hoop, with a breastwork of whale-bone that would turn a pistol-bullet, much less Cupid's arrows,--then turret on turret on top, with stores of concealed weapons, under pretence of black pins,--and above all, a standard of feathers that would do honour to a knight of the Bath. Upon my conscience, I could as soon embrace an Amazon, armed at all points.
_Rosy_. Right, right, my Alexander! my taste to a tittle.
_O'Con_. Then, doctor, though I admire modesty in women, I like to see their faces. I am for the changeable rose; but with one of these quality Amazons, if their midnight dissipations had left them blood enough to raise a blush, they have not room enough in their cheeks to show it. To be sure, bashfulness is a very pretty thing; but, in my mind, there is nothing on earth so impudent as an everlasting blush.
_Rosy_. My taste, my taste!--Well, Lauretta is none of these. Ah! I never see her but she put me in mind of my poor dear wife.
_O'Con_. [_Aside_.] Ay, faith; in my opinion she can't do a worse thing. Now he is going to bother me about an old hag that has been dead these six years.
_Rosy_. Oh, poor Dolly! I never shall see her like again; such an arm for a bandage--veins that seemed to invite the lancet. Then her skin, smoothe and white as a gallipot; her mouth as large and not larger than the mouth of a penny phial; her lips conserve of roses; and then her teeth--none of your sturdy fixtures--ache as they would, it was but a small pull, and out they came. I believe I have drawn half a score of her poor dear pearls--[_weeps_]--But what avails her beauty? Death has no consideration--one must die as well as another.
_O'Con_. [_Aside_.] Oh, if he begins to moralize---[_Takes out his snuff-box_.]
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