[Source & note: The full text of The True-Born Irishman is available at the University of Oxford Text Archive - online; accessed 24.02.2015. The text is paginated using square brackets in the OTA edition. Dash has replaced em-dash in this version in order to separate words clearly for search purposes, &c. The letter - encoded in HTML as ſſ - has been altered to s when standing for that letter in modern typography. Some occasional typographical slips - e.g., frolie for frolic - have been silently corrected when met with.]
THE TRUE-BORN IRISHMAN; OR, IRISH FINE LADY. A COMEDY 0F TWO ACTS.
By CHARLES MACKLIN.
DUBLIN: SOLD BY THE BOOKSELLERS, M, DCC, LXXXIII.
[Price, a British Sixpence.]
| Mrs. DIGGERTY,
Lady BAB FRIGHTFUL,
Scene, Dublin. - A Room in Mr. ODoghertys House. Time, from Noon to Evening.
1.1. ACT I.
Enter ODogherty and Servant.
ODogh. WHOs there?
ODogh. Is John come in yet?
Serv. No, Sir.
ODogh. Be sure send him to me as soon as he comes in.
[Exit Serv. Enter John.]
John. I am here, Sir.
ODogh. Well, John, how is my brother after his journey?
John. The counsellor gives his compliments to you, sir, and thanks you for your enquiry: He is very well, and will wait on you as soon as he is dressed.
ODogh. Mighty well - what is that you have in your hand, John?
John. It is nothing for you, Sir - it is a card for my mistress, from Madam Mulroony; her man gave it me as I came in.
ODogh. Pray, let me see it - Mrs. Mulroony makes her compliments to Mrs. Murrogh ODogherty, and likewise to Mr. Murrogh ODogherty, and hopes to have the favour of their company on Sunday the 17th instant, to play at cards, sup, and spend the evening, with Lady Kinnegad, Mrs. Cardmark, Miss Brag, Mr. Mushroom, Cornet Basilisk, Sir Anthony All-Night, Major Gamble, and a very jolly party. - Here, John, take it to your mistress - I have nothing to say to it. (Exit John) - Well done Mrs. Mulroony - faith, and it well becomes your fathers daughter, and your husbands wife, to play at cards upon a Sunday. She is another of the fine ladies of this country, who, like my wife, is sending her soul to the devil, and her husband to a gaol as fast as she can. The booby has scarce a thousand pounds a year in the world, yet he spends above two thousand in equipage, taste, high life, and jolly parties - besides what his fool of a wise loses to that female sharper, my Lady Kinnegad and her jolly party; which, if I may judge by my own wife, is at least a good two thousand more; so that by the rule of subtraction, take four thousand pounds a year out of one, and in a very little time nothing will remain but a goal, or an escape in the packet on Connaught Monday.
[Enter William shewing in Counsellor Hamilton.]
Will. Counsellor Hamilton. [Exit William.]
ODogh. Counsellor, you are welcome to Dublin.
Coun. Brother, I am extremely glad to see you.
ODogh. By my faith, and so am I you. Odzooks give us a kiss, man: I give you my honour I am as glad to see you in Dublin at this juncture, as I should to see a hundred head of fat bullocks upon my own land, all ready for Ballinasloe Fair.
Coun. Sir, your humble servant. That is a great compliment from you, brother, I know.
ODogh. It is a very true one I assure you.
Coun. Well, I see by the news-papers that my sister is returned from her coronation frolic, and in health I suppose, or you would have wrote me word had it been otherwise.
ODogh. Yes, yes, she is in health indeed, and returned with a vengeance.
Coun. Pray what is the matter?
ODogh. Ogho! enough is the matter, the devil an inhabitant in Swists Hospital for Lunatics, is in a worse pickle than she is.
Coun. You surprise me! - in what respect, pray?
ODogh. Why, with a distemper that she has brought over with her from England, which will, in a little time, I am afraid, infect the whole nation.
Coun. Pray, what may that be?
ODogh. Sir, it is called the Irish Fine Ladys delirium, or the London vertigo; if you were to hear her when the sit is upon her - oh, she is as mad - the devil a thing in this poor country but what gives her the spleen, and the vapours - then such a phrenzy of admiration for every thing in England - and, among the rest of her madness, she has brought over a new language with her.
Coun. What do you mean by a new language?
ODogh. Why a new kind of a London English, thats no more like our Irish English, than a coxcomb fine gilded chariot like a Glassmanogue noddy. - Why what name do you think she went by when she was in England?
Coun. Why, what name dare she go by but Dogherty?
ODogh. Dogherty! - ogho - upon my honour she startles when she hears the name of Dogherty, and blushes, and is as much ashamed as if a man had spoke bawdy to her. - No, no, my dear, she is no longer the plain, modest, good-natured, domestic, obedient Irish Mrs. ODogherty, but the travelled, rampant, high-lisd, prancing English Mrs. Diggerty.
Coun. Ha, ha, ha! Mrs. Diggerty! ridiculous!
ODogh. Ay, ridiculous indeed! to change her name - was there ever such impertinence? But do you know, brother, among the rest of your sisters whims and madnesses, that she is turned a great politician too concerning my name.
Coun. Ha, ha, ha! a politician I - Why how in the name of wonder and common sense can politics and the name of Dogherty be connected?
ODogh. O its a wonder indeed! - but strange as it is, they are connected - but very ridiculously as you may imagine.
Coun. But, prithee, by what means?
ODogh. Why, you must know, we are to have an election shortly for the county that I live in, which young Lord Turnabout wants to carry for one of his own gang; and as the election in a great measure depends upon my interest, the young fox, knowing the conceit and vanity of my wife, has taken her by her favourite soible, and tickled it up, by telling her that if I direct my interest properly, it would not be difficult to procure me a title. Now, sir, this piece of flattery has stirred up such a rage of quality and title in her giddy head, that I cannot rest night or day for her importunity - in short, she would have me desert my friends, and sell myself, my honour, and my country, as several others have done before me, merely for a title, only that she may take place of a parcel of foolish idle women, and sink the antient name of Dogherty in the upstart title of Lady Thingum, my Lady Fiddle F addle, or some such ridiculous nonsense.
Coun. But, sir, pray pause a little upon this business - my sisters vanity, I grant you, may be ridiculous - but though you despise titles and ostentation, yet, as your interest can certainly make the member, were I in your circumstances, I would have a voice in the senate of my country - go into parliament for the county yourself.
ODogh. Ogh, I have been among them already, and I know them all very well. What signifies my sitting among hundreds of people with my single opinion all alone. When I was there before I was stigmatized as a singular blockhead, an impracticable fellow, only because I would not consent to sit like an image, and when the master of the puppets pulled the string of my jaw on one side, to say aye, and on tother side, to say no, and to leap over a stick backwards and forwards, just as the faction of party and jobbers, and leaders, and political adventurers directed - ah, brother, brother, I have done with them all - oh, I have done with them all.
Coun. What, and after all your expence of opposing government right or wrong, and supporting your patriots, will you give them all up?
ODogh. Indeed I will - I was patriot mad I own, like a great many other fools in this distracted country - sir, I was so mad that I hated the very name of a courtier as much as an illiterate lay-swaddling methodist does that of a regular clergyman. But I am cured of that folly; for now I find that a courtier is just as honest a man as a patriot - my dear, they are both made of the same stuff; ah, I have at last found out what sort of an animal a patriot is.
Coun. Ay! - and pray, brother, what sort of an animal is he?
ODogh. Why he is a sort of a political weathercock, that is blown about by every wind of society, which the foolish people are always looking up at, and staring, and distracting themselves with the integrity of its vicissitudes - to-day it is blown by the rough, rattling, tempest of party; next day by the trade-wind of fly, subtle, veering faction; then by the headlong hurricane of the peoples hot foggy breath; huzza boys, down with the courtier, up with the patriot, till at last the smooth, sost, gentle warm breeze of interest blows upon it, and from that moment it rusts to a point, and never stirs after - so there is your puff patriot for you - ogh, to the devil I pitch them all.
Coun. Ha, ha, ha! I am glad to find, brother, that you are come to that way of thinking at last, and I wish you had had the same notions years ago, it would have saved you many thousands.
ODogh. Indeed, and that it would - however experience is an excellent tutor, and as you are a young man, and just coming into the world, mine may be of some service to you; take this judgment from me then, and remember that an honest quiet country gentleman who out of policy and humanity establish es manufactories, or that contrives employment for the idle and the industrious, or that makes but a blade of corn grow where there was none before, is of more use to this poor country than all the courtiers, and patriots, and politicians, and prodigals that are unhanged; - so there let us leave them and return to my wifes business.
Coun. With all my heart, I long to have a particular account of her conduct.
ODogh. O, brother, I have many grievances to tell you of, but I have one thats more whimsical than all the rest.
Coun. Pray what is it?
ODogh. Why you must know, brother, I am going to be a cuckold as fast as I can.
Coun. Ha, ha, ha! thats a comical grievance indeed.
ODogh. O stay till you hear the story, and Ill engage you will say it is as comical a cuckoldom as ever was contrived.
Coun. I am glad to find, sir, it is of so sacetious a nature - pray let me hear this business?
ODogh. Sit down then, brother, for I have got a little touch of my gout, let us sit down for a moment, and I will let you into the whole affair.
Coun. Pray do, sir, for you have really raised my curiosity.
ODogh. You must know, brother, there is an English coxcomb in this town just arrived among us, who thinks every woman that sees him is in love with him, and this spark, like another Paris of Troy, has taken it into his head to make a Helen of my wife, and a poor cuckoldy Menelaus of me.
Coun. Ha, ha, ha! Pray who is the spark?
ODogh. Why the name of this cuckoldmaker is Mushroom, but from his conceit and impertinence, the women and jokers of this town have dignified him with the title of Count Mushroom. Sir, he is the son of a pawn-broker in London, who having a mind to make a gentleman of his son, sent him to the university of Oxford; where, by mixing in the follies and vices of irregular youth, he got into a most sanguine friendsh ip with young Lord Old-Castle, who you know has a large estate in this country, and of whose ancestors mine have held long and profitable leases, which are now near expiring - in short, sir, this same Count Mushroom and my Lord became the Pylades and Orestes of the age, and so very fond was my Lord of him, that out of sheer friendsh ip to the Count, he got his sister with child.
Coun. Ha, ha, ha! that was friendly indeed.
ODogh. O yes, it was what you may call modern friendsh ip, taste, and bun tun; and my Lord being a man of gratitude, in return made him his agent in this country, and sent him over to settle his affairs here. And the Count and I being in treaty to renew the leases with my Lord, and we not being able to agree upon the terms, the coxcomb sends my wife a warm billedoux, in which he very gallantly tells her, that she shall decide the difference between us, and settle the leases at her own price, only upon the trifling condition that he may be permitted now and then to be the occasional lord of her ladysh ips matrimonial manor.
Coun. Impudent rascal! And, pray, what says my sister to all this?
ODogh. Why she does not know a word of the matter.
Coun. No! pray how came you to be acquainted with his letter then, and his designs upon my sister?
ODogh. Why there is the joke: it was by the help of Katty Farrel, my wifes woman, by whose assistance I carry on a correspondence with the fellow in my wifes name, unknown to her; and by that means I shall not only detect and expose the fellow, but get an excellent bargain of the leases, which are to be signed this very day.
Coun. But, sir, I hope you wont accept of leases upon those terms.
ODogh. O, I have no time to moralize with you on that point, but depend upon it I will convince you before I sleep of the propriety of my taking the leases: Lord, what signifies it; it is only a good bargain got from a foolish lord by the ingenuity of a knavish agent, which is what happens every day in this country, and in every country indeed.
John. Sir, Mr. Mushroom and Mr. Sharp the attorney are below.
ODogh. O, they are come about the leases. I will wait on them, John.
Now, brother, you shall see one of the pertest and most conceited impudent coxcombs that has ever yet been imported into this land, or that disgraced humanity.
Mush. My compliments, Mrs. Katty, to your lady, I will be with her in the twinkling of a star, or in less time than a single glance of her own immortal beauty can pass to the centre of an amorous heart.
ODogh. Orra now did you ever hear such cursed nonsense.
Mush. My dear Diggerty, I kiss your hands. I am come on purpose - I beg ten thousand pardons - I understood you were alone - you are busy I presume.
ODogh. Indeed, Count, we are not. This gentleman is a relation - my wifes brother - counsellor Hamilton, whom you have so osten heard me talk of, and with whom I desire you will be acquainted.
Mush. Sir, I feel a superlative happiness in being known to you, I have long expected and long wish ed for it with a lovers appetite; therefore without waiting for the dull avocation of experience, or the pedantic forms of ceremony, I beg you will honour me with a niche in your esteem, and register me in the select catalogue of your most constant and most ardent friends and admirers.
Coun. O dear sir, you are superabundantly obliging - this is such a favour -
Mush. No, no, no - none, none - give me your hand, Hamilton, you are my friend Diggertys friend, and thats enough - Ill serve you - say no more - Ill serve you - rely upon me - I live in this town quite en famille - I go about every where, am of no party but those of love, pleasure and gallantry - the women like and command me at cards, tea, scandal and dancing - the men, at wit, hazard, jolly parties, a late hour and a bottle - I love ease, hate ceremony, and am at home wherever I go - thats my system, Hamilton - ha, is not that taste, life, philosophy, and summum bonum - ha, my dear, at home wherever I go, ant I, Diggerty.
ODogh. O, indeed, to give you your due, Count, you are never bash ful in any place.
Mush. Never, never, my dear.
ODogh. No faith, nor none of your family I believe.
Mush. Ha, ha, ha! never, never, my dear Diggerty - bash fulness is a mark of ignorance, an uncourtly, vulgar disease - what we men of the world are never infected with - but, my dear Diggerty, I am come on purpose to settle with you; my attorney with the leases is below, for as I know my lord would be loth to lose you as a tenant, and as I am convinced it would be for his interest you should have the lands, why we will even sign and seal at once upon your own terms - for really I think tenants in Ireland want encouragement - they are rackd too high - they are indeed - it is a shame they should be rackd so high.
ODogh. Faith, Count, theres many a true word poke in jest.
Mush. Upon my honour I am serious - you want encouragement in trade too.
ODogh. But do you really think so?
Mush. I do upon my honour, and I will speak to some people of consequence about it on the other side, as soon as I return.
ODogh. Orra but will you?
Mush. I will upon my honour.
ODogh. O aye, you politicians promise us the devil and all while you are among us, but the moment you get otother side, you have devilish bad memories.
Coun. You seem to like Ireland, sir.
Mush. O immensely, sir - it is a damnd fine country, sir - and excellent claret - excellent claret upon my honour! tis true indeed it is not such claret as we drink in London - however, upon the whole, its a pretty, neat, light, sost, silky, palateable wine, and I like it mightily - but your fish in this here country is horrid. There you want taste, Hamilton - that there is an article of the scavoir vivre, in which you are totally ignorant - quite barbarous -
Coun. Aye! in what respect, sir?
Mush. Oh, my dear Hamilton, how can you ask such a question - you, you, now - who have been in London! - why you eat all your fish here too noo -
Coun. Too noo?
Mush. Yes, all too noo - why you eat it the very day - nay, sometimes the very hour it comes out of the water - now that there is a total want of taste - quite barbarous.
ODogh. O yes, brother, we eat all our fish in this here country too noo - too noo a great deal. Now, I fancy, Count, we should keep our fish before we dress it, as you keep your venison, till it has got the hot gout.
Mush. Ha, ha, ha! - the hot gout - ha, ha, ha! - Oh, I shall expire - my dear Diggerty, I honour your hot gout - but your French is a little en Irlandois - en Provence - haut gout is the word.
ODogh. Yes, yes - I understand you - Fogo.
Mush. Ha, ha, ha! - Hamilton, you are a little odd in this here country in some points - your friend there - is - you understand me - however upon the whole, take you altogether, you are a damnd honest, tory rory, rantum scantum, dancing, singing, laughing, boozing, jolly, friendly, fighting, hospitable people, and I like you mightily.
Omnes. Ha, ha, ha!
Coun. Upon my word, sir, the people of Ireland are much obliged to you for your helter skelter, rantum scantum portrait of them.
ODogh. Indeed and that we are; and so you like us mightily?
Mush. I do upon honour, and I believe I shall marry one of your women here, grow domestic, and settle among you.
ODogh. Orra but will you do us that honour?
Mush. I really intend it.
ODogh. Faith then you will be a great honour to us, and you will find a great many relations here, Count; for we have a large crop of the Mushrooms in this here country.
Mush. O, sir, I dont doubt it, for we are a numerous family both in England and Ireland - but I beg pardon, my dear Diggerty, I must rob you of my company for a moment to pay my devoirs to your lady; I know she is impatient to see me upon a particular affair - I will return upon the wings of diligence, then sign, squeeze wax, and dedicate to wit, mirth, and convivial jollity - Hamilton, yours, yours - my dear Diggerty, give me thy hand - from this moment set me down as thy unalterable friend - for I intend to be well with thy wife this very evening.
ODogh. Sure there never was so conceited and so impertinent a coxcomb as this puppy.
Enter Katty Farrel.
Oh here is Katty Farrel. So, Katty, do you see whos here, child - your friend the counsellor.
Katty. Sir, your humble servant, I am glad to see you look so well. I hope all your good family are in health.
Coun. All very well, I thank you, Mrs. Katty.
ODogh. Well, well, now your ceremonies are over, let us to business - is your fine mistress dressed yet?
Katty. Yes, sir - but she has had a sad misfortune.
ODogh. What is that, Katty?
Katty. The money, sir, that you gave her to pay the mercers bill, from Covent-Garden, that was sent after her, she lost last night to my Lady Kinnegad, and some more of them, at bragg - but do not take any notice that I have told you of it, for she intends to borrow as much from Mr. Mushroom for a day or two as will pay the bill.
Coun. Why the woman has lost all sense of shame. (Aside.)
ODogh. Katty, that must not be. She must not do so mean a thing upon any account, as to borrow money of Mushroom. I will let you have the money to pay the bill, and do you say you borrowed it of your brother, or some friend or other, for her.
Katty. I will, sir.
[Exit. Mrs. Diggerty, Mushroom, &c. laugh very loud without.]
ODogh. So, the toilet council is broke up at last - here she comes, as fantastically fine, as a fine lady in a play. Ogho, what a head she has.
Enter Mrs. Diggerty and Mushroom.
Mrs. Dig. Brother, I am veestly glad to see you.
Coun. Welcome from England, sister.
Mrs. Dig. I am imminsely obligated to you, brother.
Coun. I hope it answered your expectation, sister.
Mrs. Dig. Transcendantly.
Coun. I am glad it pleased you.
Mrs. Dig. Ravish ingly.
Mrs. Dig. Beyond all degrees of compirison.
ODogh. O yes - beyond all degrees of compirison.
Mrs. Dig. Veest! imminse! extatic! I never knew life before - every thing there is high, tip top, the grand monde, the bun tun - and quite teesty.
ODogh. O yes, every thing there is quite teesty, brother.
Mrs. Dig. Well, Count, do you know that you pleased me veestly last night; I never saw you in such high humour - brother, I believe you do not know Mr. Mushroom, an English gentleman; pray let me have the honour of introducing him to you.
Coun. I have had that honour already, sister.
Mush. Yes, madam, Hamilton and I are old acquaintance.
ODogh. O yes they are old acquaintance, they have known each other above these two minutes.
Coun. Pray how do you like London, sister?
Mrs. Dig. O the place of the world, brother.
Coun. Then Dublin I suppose -
Mrs. Dig. O, dear brother, dont neem them together.
ODogh. O no, you must not neem them together.
Mrs. Dig. Upon my honour, Dublin, after seeing London, looks like Irish -Town or Rings-End: Oh, every thing I set my eyes on here gives me the ennui, and the countre cure.
ODogh. O yes, every thing here gives her the contre coeur; that is a disease she has brought over with her from London that we know nothing of here.
Mrs. Dig. The streets are so narrow, the houses so dirty, and the people so ridiculous! then the women, Count! ha, ha, ha! - I cant help laughing when I think of them. Well, I am convinced that the women of this here country who have never travelled, have nothing of that - a - a - non-chalance, and that jenny-see-quee that we have in London.
ODogh. O no, brother! the women have nothing of that jenny-see-quee, that she has brought over with her from London.
Mrs. Dig. But, Mushroom - I dont know if what I am going to tell you be conceit or real; but, upon my honour, when I first came from England - you must know, brother, I came over in the picket.
ODogh. O yes, brother, she came over in the picket.
Mrs. Dig. Yes, sir, I came over in the picket, and we had a great orage - I dont believe, Mr. Diggerty, you know what an orage is.
ODogh. Indeed you may take your oath I dont, my dear.
Mrs. Dig. That is, sir, becase you have not been in foreign parts - then I will tell you what an orage is - sir, an orage is a storum.
ODogh. Madam, I thank you for your intelligence - indeed you are very learned and very obliging.
Mrs. Dig. And so, as I was saying, Count, we had a great storum, and the picket - I shall never forget it - the picket landed us about twenty miles from Dublin - and so, do you know, I say, Mushroom, that I fancied, being just come from England, that the very dogs here when they barked, had the brogue, ha, ha, ha!
Omnes. Ha, ha, ha!
Mush. Why then, by all thats gothic, madam, I have thought so a thousand times.
Mrs. Dig. You have!
Mush. I have, upon honour.
Mrs. Dig. Have you ever observed it, brother? Mr. Diggerty, what do you think? Havnt the dogs of this here country the brogue?
ODogh. Indeed and that they have, my dear, and the cows too, and the sheep, and the bullocks, and that as strong as ever your own mother had it, who was an OGallagher.
Mrs. Dig. Oh!
GDogh. Not two of whose ancestors could ever speak three words of English to be understood.
Mrs. Dig. You are a strange rude man, Mr. Diggerty, to tell me of my mothers family - you know I always despised my mothers family - I hate the very name of Gallagher, and all the old Irish whatever.
Coun. The present company excepted, sister - your husband, you know -
Mrs. Dig. O, I never think of him.
Coun. Ha, thats polite indeed.
ODogh. O no, she never thinks of me.
Coun. Well, but sister, you have given us no account of the coronation, no doubt you were there.
] Mrs. Dig. There! O Moundew! - What a quistion! Why I was in every part of it - ax Mushroom else.
Mush. Every where, every where - she was every where, and with every body.
ODogh. Well, well - then I suppose it was very fine; but after all now, was it as fine as our riding the fringes here, or the lord lieutenant going to the parliament house.
Mrs. Dig. He, he, he! O shocking! dont neem them together - now that is so Irish - but, brother, what would have afforded you the highest entertainment, was the city feast. O that there was imminse.
O Dogh. O yes, that there was imminse, brother, and much finer than this here.
Coun. Then you were at the city feast too, sister?
Mrs. Dig. O dear, yes! the court never stirred without me.
ODogh. No, indeed, the court never stirred without her.
Mrs. Dig. And the lord mayor made a point of having me there: so I went with her Grace, a friend of mine, and a party of the court, as one of the housh old - but the minute I went in every eye was upon me: Lord, it was veestly pleasant to see how the she grocers, the she mercers, the she dyers, the she hosiers, and the she taylors did stare at me - I was very brilliant thats certain - rather more so than I was at the wedding.
ODogh. O indeed I dont doubt but you were a sight.
Mrs. Dig. O pray, Mr. Diggerty, be quiet, and dont interrupt me. - Well, but, brother, as I was saying, it was imminsely entertaining to hear the awkward city creatures whisper and give their vardee upon me, in their city manner - Lord, is this the handsome Irish woman? - the famous Irish toast? the celebrated Mrs. Diggerty - ha! - I dont think she is so handsome, says one - hum! - well enough, says another, only I dont like her nose - pray, doesnt she squint? says a third - O yes, she certainly squints, says a fourth - and she is a little crooked - but she is genteel - O yes, yes, the city creatures all allowed I was genteel.
ODogh. O yes, yes, to be sure they all allowed she was genteel.
Mrs. Dig. But, brother - O Lud! I had like to have forgot - do you know that the Count is one of the prettiest poets in England, aye, or in Ireland either.
Mush. O heavens! madam!
Mrs. Dig. He is, by my honour.
Coun. I do not doubt the gentlemans talents in the least, sister.
Mush. Sir, you are very polite, the lady is pleasd to rally, thats all, for my muse is but a smatterer - a slattern - a meer slip-shod lady.
Mrs. Dig. Do not mind him, brother, what I say is true. He is a mighty pretty poet, and to convince you that he is, I will shew you some verses that he indited upon me, as I was dancing at court - (Pulls them out). - Here they are, brother: Count, will you be so obliging as to read them to my brother?
Mush. Madam, as the sublime bard politely sings, the nod of beauty sways both gods and men, and I obey. Gentlemen, the title will at once let you into the whole of what you are to expect in this little production. An extempore on the famous Mrs. ODiggertys dancing at court. - Now attend -
|When beauteous Diggerty leads up the dance
In fair Britannias court,
Then evry heart is in a prance,
And longs for Cupids sport.
Beaux ogle, and pant and gaze,
Belles envy and sneer, yet praise,
As Venus herself were there;
And prudes agree, it must be she,
It must be she - or Diggerty,
It must be she - or Diggerty,
Or Diggerty, the fair.
[Bows very low to Mrs. Diggerty.] Thats all, gentlemen, thats all - only a jeu desprit, as I told you; a slight effort of a muse, bound in the silken chains of beauty and delight.
[He bows, she curtsies.]
Coun. Conceited coxcomb!
Mush. And now, madam, I have a favour to beg of you.
Mrs. Dig. O command it - what is it?
Mush. Why, madam, as the celebrated doctor Thomas Augustus Arne has honoured this hasty offspring with an alliance of his harmonious mule, and as your ladyship has frequently heretofore enlivened it with your vocal glee, shall we beg that you will once more animate these verbal images with a touch of your Promethean pipe.
Mrs. Dig. O dear, Count, you are veestly panegyrical.
Coun. Aye, aye, come, sister, as you have the tune oblige us with it.
Mrs. Dig. I will try, brother, what I can do - but, by my honour, I have a great big cold - hem, hem! -
Mush. The worse your voice, madam, the more your taste will shine.
Mrs. Dig. Nay, Count, voice or no voice I will make an effort - Sol-la-mi-fa-sol, &c. - Upon my honour I have no more voice than a killing.
SONG. [During the song Mushroom beats time conceitedly, but so as not to interrupt her, or interfere with her acting it.]
Mush. Bravo! bravissimo! carissimo! novellissimo! transcendissimo! and every superlativissimo in the sublime region of excellentissimo!
ODogh. Come, Count, now if you please we will go down, and sign the leases, and dispatch the attornies.
Mush. With all my heart.
Mrs. Dig. You dine here, Count.
Mush. Do I breathe! do I exist! I will but just step down, sign the leases, and return on the wings of inclination - ma chere belle sans, adieu. [Exit.]
Mrs. Dig. Au revoir - well, he is a most humourous creature, and mighty witty: dont you think so, brother?
Coun. Very witty, indeed, and I suppose understands a ladys toilet -
Mrs. Dig. The best of any man in the world, the most handy-creature about a woman - and such teest - but, brother, you must sup with us to-night - I have a few friends - a private peerty this evening: Lady Kinnegad, Lady Pam, old Lady Bab Frightful, Mrs. Gazette, Mr. Mushroom, Pat Fitzmungrel, Major Gamble, Mrs. Cardmark, and half a score more - quite a private peerty - you must be with us, brother - we are to have a little gambling and dancing, and are to be mighty jolly - I shall expect you - yours, yours - I must go finish my toilet. [Exit.]
Coun. What a strange turn this womans mind has taken - she is far gone I see, and must be pinched to the quick - and shall this very night.
1.2. ACT II.
[Enter Mr. and Mrs. ODogherty.]
ODogh. WELL, but, my dear, why will you be in such a passion? Why will you not hearken to reason?
Mrs. Dig. Mr. Diggerty, I will hear no reason; there can be no reason against what I say - you are the strangest man - not be a lord - sir, I insist upon it - theres a necessity for a peerage.
ODogh. O! then only shew me the necessity, and all my objections will vanish .
Mrs. Dig. Why, sir, I am affronted for want of a title: a parcel of upstarts, with their crownets upon their coaches, their chairs, their spoons, their handkerchiefs - nay, on the very knockers of their doors - creatures that were below me but tother day, are now truly my superiors, and have the precedency, and are set above me at table.
ODogh. Set above you at table?
Mrs. Dig. Yes, sir, set above me at table wherever I go.
ODogh. Upon my honour then thats a great shame. Well, well, my dear - come, come, my dear, dont be in such a fluster.
Mrs. Dig. Fluster! why sir, I tell you I am ready to expire when ever I go into the great world.
ODogh. At what, my dear?
Mrs. Dig. At what - Egh! how can you ax such an ignorant quistion? Can there be any thing more provoking to a woman of my teest and spirit, than to hear the titles of a parcel of upstart ugly creatures bawled in ones ears upon every occasion - my Lady Kinnegads coach there - my Lady Kilgobbins chair there - my Lady Casteknocks servants there - my Lady Tanderagees chariot there. And after all these titles only consider how my vile neem founds - (cries) Mrs. Diggertys servants there - Mrs. Diggertys chair there - Mrs. Diggertys coach there - it is so mean and beggarly I cannot bear it - the very thought of it makes me ready to burst my stays, and almost throws me into my hysterics. (Throws herself into a couch.)
ODogh. Nay, my dear, dont be working yourself up to your sits, your hysterics, and your tantrums now.
Mrs. Dig. My life is miserable (rises). You cross me in every thing, you are always finding fault with my routs, and my drums, and my fancy ball - tother night you would not make up a dress for it, nor appear at it - O fie, fie, fie - but you are true Irish to the very bone of you.
ODogh. Indeed I am, and to the marrow within the bone too; and what is more, I hope I shall never be otherwise.
Mrs. Dig. Ridiculous weakness! Pray, sir, do not you think, the English love their country as well as the Irish do theirs?
ODogh. O indeed I believe they do, and a great deal better; though we have a great many among us that call themselves patriots and champions, who, at the same time, would not care if poor old Ireland was squeezed as you squeeze an orange - provided they had but their share of the juice.
Mrs. Dig. Pooh, pooh! nobody minds what you say - you are always abusing every body in power - well, sir, you see the English are improving in teest every day, and have their burlettas and their operas, their Cornelys, their Almacks, their macaronies -
ODogh. O my dear, I tell you again and again, that the English can never be precedent to us. They, by their genius and constitution, must always run mad about something or other, either about burlettas, pantomimes, a man in a bottle, a Cock-lane ghost, or something of equal importance. But, my dear, they can afford to run mad after such nonsense; why they owe more money than we are worth; stay till we are as rich as they are, and then we may be allowed to run mad after absurdities as well as they.
Mrs. Dig. Mighty well, sir, mighty well! Oh mighty well.
ODogh. Heyday, whats the matter now?
Mrs. Dig. But I see your design - you have a mind to break my heart - (sobs and cries) - yes, you argue and contradict me for no other end - you do every thing to fret and vex me.
ODogh. Pray explain, my dear? What is it you mean?
Mrs. Dig. Why, sir, ever since I returned to this odious country I have been requesting and begging, and praying, that you would send to London only for the set of long-tailed horses, that I told you I admired so - but no, I cannot prevail, though you know my Lady Kilgobbin, my Lady Balruddery, my Lady Castleknock, and, in short, every lady of figure all run upon long tails - nobody but doctors, apothecaries, lawyers, cits, and country squires drive with short tails now - for my part, you know I detest a short tail.
ODogh. Well, my dear, I have sent for your brother to town, on purpose to settle all these points between us, and if he thinks it proper that you should have long tails, you may have them as long as my Lady Kilgobbins, my Lady Balrudderys tails, or any tails in the universe; and as to the title, if it can be had, why we will submit that to him likewise.
Mrs. Dig. I know it can be had - and so let me have no more trouble about it, for a title I will have - I must be a lady as well as other people - I cant bear being a plain Mrs. Diggerty any longer.
ODogh Well, well, my dear, we will try what we can do - you must be a lady! yes, yes, you shall be a lady; but by the blood of the ODoghertys, it shall be a broken-backd lady. A hump shall be your patent, my dear.
Mrs. Dig. An obstinate man! not accept of a title - in short, there is no living without it. Whos there?
Mrs. Dig. Nobody come yet?
John. No, madam.
Mrs. Dig. Whats oclock?
John. A quarter past seven, madam.
Mrs. Dig. Are the candles lit, and the cards ready?
John. They have been ready this half hour, madam.
Mrs. Dig. Shew the company into this room?
John. Yes, madam.
[A loud knocking, three servants, without.]
Will. Lady Kinnegad.
James. Lady Kinnegad.
John. Lady Kinnegad.
Enter John, shewing in Lady Kinnegad.
John. Lady Kinnegad, madam.
L. Kin. My dear Diggy - what, all alone - nobody come?
Mrs. Dig. Not a mortal, I have been sretting this hour at being alone, and had nothing to divert me but a quarrel with my husband.
L. Kin. The old fogrum! what, he wont open, his purse strings, I suppose - but you should, make him, for he is as rich as a Jew.
Mrs. Dig. Aye, but he is as close-sisted as an old judge - Lord, he has no notion of any thing in life, but reading musty books, draining bogs, planting trees, establish ing manufactories, setting the common people to work, and saving money.
L. Kin. Ha, ha, ha! the monster!
[A loud knocking.]
Will. Major Gamble.
James. Major Gamble.
John. Major Gamble.
[Enter John and Major Gamble.]
John. Major Gamble, madam.
Mrs Dig. Major, how is your gout to-day?
Major. I dont know how the devil it is, not I - hobbling up your stairs has made me sweat - Lady Kinnegad, I kiss your hands; I ask your pardon, but I must sit down - I cannot stand - I got cold last night, and I feel it to-day - what, is there nobody come yet but us - nothing going forward.
Will. Lady Bab Frightful.
James. Lady Bab Frightful.
John. Lady Bab Frightful.
L. Kin. Here she comes, as Mushroom says, Natures contradiction - youth and age, frost and-fire, winter and summer, an old body and a young mind.
[Enter John and Lady Bab Frightful.]
John. Lady Bab Frightful, madam.
Mrs. Dig. My dear Lady Bab!
L. Bab. My dear Diggy - Lady Kinnegad, I kiss your hands - O, major - why you had like to have ruined us all last night - the bank was just broke - well, I am a perfect rake - I think I was one of the last this morning. I danced till five.
L. Kin. As the old saying is, Lady Bab - you can never do it younger - Live while we live, thats the rule of happiness, you have good spirits, a good jointure, and nobody to controul you - you amiable creature.
L. Bab. Yes, I thank my stars, I never want spirits, tol, lol, lol, (sings) - I could dance till morning.
Will. Mrs. Jolly.
James. Mrs. Jolly.
John. Mrs. Jolly.
[Enter John and Mrs. Jolly.]
John. Mrs. Jolly, madam.
[Gives a card to Mrs. Dig. and exit.]
Mrs. Jolly. So, good folks.
Mrs. Dig. Madam, your most obedient.
Mrs. Jolly. What, all idle! - no loo - no brag - no hazard - nor no dancing begun yet, and Lady Bab here - but wheres Mushroom - Ive such a story for him. - Wheres the Count, Diggerty?
[Enter John with a note and exit.]
Mrs. Dig. O he will be here, never fear, madam - O this is a card from Gazette, (reads) Dear Dig, I cannot be with you at seven; but before you have playd two hands, expect me - three short visits at the Green, one in Merrion-street, two in the Mall, in Britain-street, three words at the castle with his excellency, and then I am yours for the night, and whilst I am - Gazette.
L. Kin. Well said, Gazette! - she will spread more scandal in these short visits than truth can remove in a twelvemonth.
Will. Mr. Fitzmungrel.
James. Mr. Fitzmungrel.
John. Mr. Fitzmungrel.
L. Kin. O, heres Fitzmungrel! drunk, I suppose, according to custom.
L. Bab. And brutal, according to nature; yes, yes, hes drunk I see. I will be gone, for I know he will be rude.
L. Kin. No, no, stay - let us all share in his abuse, pray.
John. Mr, Fitzmungrel, madam.
[Enter Fitzmungrel, drunk and singing.]
Fitz My dear, Mrs. ODogherty - but I know you do not love to be called ODogherty, and therefore I will call you by your English name, Mrs. Diggerty - my dear Diggerty, I have not been in bed since I saw you.
Mrs. Dig. Why where have you been, Fitz?
Fitz At the Curragh, my dear, with Pat Wildsire, Sir Anthony All-Night, Sir Toby Ruin, Dick Bash aw, and half a score more, and a fine chase we had - haux, haux, my honies - over, over, haux - but I was resolved to be with you, my little Diggerty, because I promised, so I smoaked it away to town - drove myself in my own Phaeton, and was over-turned just as I came to dirty Dublin.
Mrs. Dig. Why you are all dirty?
Fitz Yes, I had a fine set down in the dirtiest spot of the whole road.
Mrs. Dig. I hope you are not hurt?
Fitz Not I, my dear - haux - haux - whoop - no, no, my dear Diggerty, I am like a cat - I always light upon my legs - haux - haux - whoop - ha, my dear angelic cousin, Lady Bab Frightful - by Heavens, you are a beautiful creature, and look like the picture of good luck - well, shall we have another bank to night? - here, take this note into your bank (gives a note) I will go take a nap in the next room in my old chair, and when you have made it five hundred, wake me, my little babby - do you hear -
L. Bab. I will, I will - thats a good man, go, and take a nap.
Fitz My dear cousin, thourt the beauty of our family.
L. Bab. Well, well - go sleep - go sleep.
Fitz The beauty of our family, Bab - another Venus - as handsome as Medusa, and you are besides a good-natured, old, young, middleaged, giggling girl of three-score - so Ill go take my nap - haux - haux - tally ho - whoop -
Mrs. Dig. He is horrid drunk.
L. Kin. And what is worse, he is a greater brute sober than drunk.
Will. Mrs. Gazette.
James. Mrs. Gazette.
John. Mrs. Gazette.
L. Kin. Here she comes, that knows every bodys business but her own, ha, ha, ha!
Major. I will swear she is in as many houses every day as Faulkners Journal.
[Enter John and Mrs. Gazette.]
John. Mrs. Gazette, madam.
Mrs. Gaz. My dear Diggerty, you got my billet - I came to you as soon as possible - but wheres Mushroom - I do not see him.
Mrs. Dig. He will be here, Madam.
Mrs. Gaz. My dear Jolly, why you look in high bloom to night - Major, hows your gout - Lady Kinnegad, your most devoted - Oh, but Diggerty, I have a piece of news- - they say your husbands to have a peerage.
Omnes. Ha, ha, ha!
Mrs. Dig. It is very true, madam, very true - we are to be entitled.
Mrs. Gaz. Why not? I am sure there are those, that have not half your fortune, who have got peerages. And pray, my dear, what is your title to be - you must consult me upon it.
Mrs. Dig. Why, I have thought of several, but know not which to pitch upon - I am distracted about it, I have thought of nothing else this week - I wish you would all advise me - it must be something new, elegant, and uncommon - and teesty - yes, I must have it teesty - see, here is the list of titles - if you will all step into the drawing-room, we will determine upon one, and then sit down to our peerties - come, alons - sans ceremonie - Ill shew you the way - come, major -
[Exeunt, all but the Major.]
Major. Aye, aye, pack along - Ill hobble after you - get the hazard ready - but I must sit by the fire - I am cursed lame - sblood, I have trod upon some damnd shell or pebble - O damn it - curse the shell - but Lady Babs bank will be worth touching.
Enter ODogherty and Katty Farrel.
ODogh. They are all gone to their nightly devotions - well, and what did she say when you gave her the money?
Katty. O sir, she was overjoy d, and so thankful - but she will lose it all again to that Lady Kinnegad.
ODogh. Not to night, Katty; her brother was in the room before them to prevent her playing; he is resolved to settle all affairs with her this very night. But what makes this Mushroom stay so long? Sure he will come.
Katty. O never fear, sir - you never saw a man so eager, and so full of expectation.
ODogh. And so you have really dressed him up in your ladys cloaths.
Katty. I have, sir, indeed - and he is ten times fonder of himself (if possible) as a woman, I think, than he was as a man.
ODogh. Ogh I will engage I will cure him of his passion for himself, and for all Irish women, as long as he lives.
Katty. Here comes my mistress, and her brother with her, sir.
ODogh. Come, come, quick; let us get out of their way, for he is resolved to startle the lady, and waken her, if possible. Let us leave them to themselves, for I reckon they will have a sharp brush .
Enter Mrs. Diggerty and Hamilton.
Coun. Madam, madam, you shall hear me.
Mrs. Dig. Was there ever so, rude, so abrupt a behaviour - to force me from my company thus.
Coun. Tis what your insolent disease demands; the suddenness and abruptness of the shock is the chief ingredient in the remedy that must cure you.
Mrs. Dig. What do you mean, sir?
Coun. I will tell you, madam - you are not ignorant that your husband took you without a fortune; that he generously gave the little our father lest you to your younger sister, with the benevolent addition of two thousand pounds - you know too, that by marriage articles, upon a separation or your husbands death, you are entitled only to a hundred pounds a year; which cautious pittance his prudence wisely insisted on, as a necessary check upon the conduct of giddy, female youth, and thoughtless vanity, when matched with the tempered age of sobriety and discretion - now, madam, I am commissioned to inform you, that the doors are open, and that the stipulated sum will be punctually paid you, as your vicious appetite shall demand; for know, that neither your husbands love, my affection, nor a residence in this house can be enjoyed by you another hour, but on the hard condition of a thorough reformation.
Mrs. Dig. Sir!
Coun. Madam, it is true; for if female vanity will be mad, husbands must be peremptory.
Mrs. Dig. Pray, sir, do not speak so loud.
Coun. Why not?
Mrs. Dig. The company will hear you.
Coun. I know it - and I intend they shall.
Mrs. Dig. Oh, oh, oh! I shall be ash amed for ever - pray do not speak so loud - bless me, brother, you startle me - what is it you mean?
Coun. Will you hear what I have to say? will you attend to the dictates of a brothers love, with modest patience, and virtuous candour?
Mrs. Dig. I will.
Coun. Sit down - know then, in your husbands judgment, the sums you have squandered, and those you have been cheated of by your female friends, is your least offence - it is your pride, your midnight revels, insolence of taste, rage of precedency, that grieve him; for they have made you the ridicule of every flirt and coxcomb, and the scorn and pity of every sober person that knows your folly; this reflects disgrace upon your friends, contempt upon the spirit and credit of your husband, and has furnish ed whispering suspicion with stories and implications, which have secretly fixed an infectious stain upon your chastity.
Mrs. Dig. My chastity! I defy the world!
Coun. Aye, madam, you may defy it; but she who does, will find the world too hard a match for her.
Mrs. Dig. I care not what slander says - I will rely upon my innocence.
Coun. But I will not, madam, nor shall you - it is not sufficient for my sister, your husbands wife, or female reputation, to rely on innocence alone - women must not only be innocent, they must appear so too.
Mrs. Dig. Brother, I dont know what you mean by all this. I beg you will explain.
Mrs. Dig. Mushroom!
Coun. Mushroom! - as a man of wit and spirit, thought himself obliged to take some hints your levity had given him.
Mrs. Dig. I give him hints - brother, you wrong me.
Coun. Pray hear me - this spark, I say, like a true man of intrigue, not only returns your hints with a letter of gallantry, but bribes your own woman to deliver it.
Mrs. Dig. My woman!
Coun. The same.
Mrs. Dig. I am ignorant of all this, and will turn her out of the house this instant.
Coun. Sostly! hear the whole! the maid, instead of carrying the letter to you, delivers that, and many others, to her master, who, in your name, hand, stile, and sentiment, has answered them all, and carried on an amorous correspondence with the gentleman, even up to an assignation; and, now, at this very instant, the spark is preparing for the happy interview, and has made the town the confidants of his good fortune.
Mrs. Dig. O heavens!
Coun. Now judge what your husband, brother, and your friends must feel, and what the world must think of her, whose conduct could entitle a coxcomb to such liberties.
Mrs. Dig. Brother, I shall make no defence - the story shocks me! and though I know my own intentions, yet what people may say - but, be assured, I shall be more prudent for the future - perhaps I have been to blame - pray advise me - only say what I shall do to be revenged upon the fellow for his impudence, and what will convince my husband, you, and all the world of my innocence, and I will do it. I protest you have given such a motion to my heart, and such a trouble and a trembling, as it never felt before.
Coun. It is a virtuous motion - encourage it - for the anxiety and tears of repentance, though the rarest, are the brightest ornaments a modern fine lady can be deckd in.
Katty and ODogherty without.
ODogh. I shall be in here with the counsellor, Katty, and the moment he comes, bring me word.
Katty. I shall, sir.
Coun. Here your husband comes.
Mrs, Dig. I am ash amed to see him.
ODogh. Well, brother, have you spoke to her?
Coun. There she is, sir - and as she should be - bathed in the tears of humility and repentance.
ODogh. Ogh! I am sorry to see this indeed - I am afraid you have gone too far. If I had been by, I assure you, brother, you should not have made her cry. - Yerrow, Nancy, child, turn about, and dont be crying there.
Mrs, Dig. Sir, I am ash amd to see your face - my errors I acknowledge - and for the future -
ODogh. Pooh, pooh - I will have no submissions nor acknowledgments; if you have settled every thing with your brother, that is sufficient.
Mrs. Dig. I hope he is satisfied - and it shall be the business of my life -
ODogh. Pooh, pooh! say no more I tell you, but come, give me a kiss, and let us be friends at once - there - so, in that kiss, now, let all tears and uneasiness subside with you, as all fears and resentment shall die with me.
Coun. Come, sister, give me your hand, for I must have my kiss of peace too. I own I have been a little fevere with you, but your disease required sharp medicines.
ODogh. Now we are friends, Nancy, I have a favour or two to beg of you.
Mrs. Dig. Pray, command them.
ODogh. Why, then, the first thing that I ask, is, that you will send away that French rascal the cook, with his compots and combobs, his alamodes and aladobes, his crapandoes and frigandoes, and a thousand outlandish kicksh aws, that I am sure were never designed for Christian food; and let the good rough rumps of beef, the jolly surloins, the geefe and turkies, cram fowls, bacon and greens; and the pies, puddings and pasties, that used to be perfectly shoving one another off of the table, so that there was not room for the peoples plates; with a fine large cod too, as big as a young alderman - I say, let all those French kickshaws be banished from my table, and these good old Irish dishes be put in their places; and then the poor every day will have something to eat.
Mrs. Dig. They shall, sir.
ODogh. And as to yourself, my dear Nancy, I hope I shall never have any more of your London English ; none of your this heres, your that theres, your winegars, your weals, your vindors, your toastesses, and your stone postesses; but let me have our own good plain, old Irish English, which I insist upon is better than all the English English that ever coquets and coxcombs brought into the land.
Mrs. Dig. I will get rid of these as fast as possible.
ODogh. And pray, above all things, never call me Mr. Diggerty - my name is Murrogh ODogherty, and I am not ashamed of it; but that damnd name Diggerty always vexes me whenever I hear it.
Mrs. Dig. Then, upon my honour, Mr. ODogherty, it shall never vix you again.
ODogh. Ogh, thats right, Nancy - ODogherty for ever - ODogherty! - theres a found for you - why they have not such a name in all England as ODogherty - nor as any of our fine sounding Milesian names - what are your Jones and your Stones, your Rice and your Price, your Heads and your Foots, and Hands and your Wills, and Hills and Mills, and Sands, and a parcel of little pimping names that a man would not pick out of the street, compared to the ODonovans, OCallaghans, OSullivans, OBrallaghans, OShaghnesses, OFlahertys, OGallaghers, and ODoghertys, - Ogh, they have courage in the very sound of them, for they come out of the mouth like a storm; and are as old and as stout as the oak at the bottom of the bog of Allen, which was there before the flood - and though they have been dispossessed by upstarts and foreigners, buddoughs and sassanoughs, yet I hope they will flourish in the Island of Saints, while grass grows or water runs.
Katty. Mr. Mushroom is come, sir.
ODogh. What, in his womans cloaths?
Katty. Yes, sir.
ODogh. Impudent rascal! and where have you put him, Katty?
Katty. In the back parlour, sir.
ODogh. Odzooks! Katty, go down, and shew him up here - this is the largest room to exercise the gentleman in - begone, quick, and leave all the rest to me.
Katty. I am gone, sir.
ODogh. My dear, you must act a part in this farce; the better to bring the rascal into ridicule.
Mrs. Dig. Any thing to be revenged of him for his ill opinion of me.
ODogh. Step into your own room, then, and I will come and instruct you how to behave.
[Exit Mrs. Dig.]
And, brother, do you go and open the affair to the company, and bring them here to listen to [Pagthe Counts gallantry, and to be witnesses of his making me a cuckold.
Coun. I warrant you I will prepare them for the scene. But, brother, be sure you make the gentleman smart.
ODogh. Ogh, leave him to me - by the honour of the whole Irish nation I will make him remember the name of Diggerty, as sensibly as ever his school-master did hic, haec, hoc, genitivo hujus - an impudent rascal! make a cuckold of an Irish man - what, take our own trade out of our hands - and a branch of business we value ourselves so much upon too - why, sure that and the Linen Manufacture are the only free trade we have. - O, here the company come.
[Enter all the Company.]
L. Kin. Well, where is this Count, this hero of intrigue?
ODogh. Below stairs.
L. Bab. And in womans cloaths, Mr. Dogherty?
ODogh. And in womans cloaths, Lady Bab, come to make a cuckold of me; and if you will all hide yourselves in the next room, you may see how the operation proceeds - hush - here he comes - get in, get in - and do not stir - here he is - begone
[They all retire. - Exit ODogh. Enter Katty, and Mushroom in womans cloaths.]
Katty. Step into this room for a moment, sir, and I will let my mistress know you are here - I protest I should not have known you.
Mush. Should not you? Ha, ha, ha! Why I think I do make a handsome woman, Mrs. Katty.
Katty. Handsome! why you are a perfect. beauty! you are the very picture of a Connaught lady, that visits my mistress - well, I will go and see if the coast is clear, and let her know you are come.
Mush. Do, dear Mrs. Katty, and tell her my soul is all rapture, extacy, and transport, and rides upon the wings of love.
Katty. I will, I will, sir.
Mush. A man must speak nonsense to these creatures, or they will not believe he loves them. I shall have more intrigues upon my hands in this country than I shall know what to do with; for I find the women all like me. As to Lady Kinnegad, I see she is determined to have me.
L. Kin. Indeed! Conceited puppy!
Mush. But she is gross, coarse, and stinks of sweets intolerably.
L. Kin. Rascal!
Mush. Gazette is well enough; I am sure I can have her. Yes, shes a blood, but she wont do above once and away.
Gazette. Saucy fellow! - but once indeed - I assure you!
Mush. Jolly has some thoughts of me too, I see - but shes an idiot, a fool - damned silly.
Mrs. Jolly. Mighty well, sir - very well -
Mush. But of all the spectacles that ever attempted to awaken gallantry, sure Nature never formed such another antidote as poor Lady Bab.
L. Bab. Oh the villain! - an antidote - an antidote -
Mush. She always puts me in mind of an old house newly painted and white wash ed.
L. Bab. I will go tear his eyes out.
Mush. Then she is continually feeding that nose of hers, and smells stronger of rappee than Lady Kinnegad does of the Spice Islands.
L. Kin. Oh, the rascal!
Mush. That Kinnegad is a damned tartar; she and Mrs. Cardmark have fleeced poor Diggerty horridly - when I get Diggerty to England, I will introduce her to my Lord; for by that time I shall be tird of her. Oh, here the party comes. [Enter Mrs. Diggerty and Katty.] My angel! my goddess!
Mrs. Dig. O dear Mr. Mushroom, how could you venture so? I am ready to die with apprehension, lest my husband should discover you.
Mush. Never fear, my charmer; love despises all dangers, when such beauty as yours is the prize.
Mrs. Dig. But I hope, Mr. Mushroom, your passion is sincere?
Mush. Madam, the winged architect of the Cyprian goddess has fabricated a pathetic structure in this breast, which the iron teeth of Time can never destroy.
Mrs. Dig. O dear Mr. Mushroom, you are veestly kind.
Katty. Come, come, madam, do you lose no time, retire to your chamber, there you will be safe, here you may be interrupted.
Mrs. Dig. Do you step and send the servants out of the way.
Mush. Do, do, dear Mrs. Katty.
Katty. I will, I will.
Mush Dear creature, do but lay your hand upon my heart, and feel what an alarm of love and gratitude it beats.
Katty and ODogherty without.
ODogh. Well, but Katty, if she is so very ill, that is the very reason why I must see her.
Mush. Zounds! your husbands voice!
Mrs. Dig. O heavens!
Katty. My master, my master!
Mrs. Dig. What will become of me?
Katty. Run you down the back stairs, madam, and leave him to me.
Mrs. Dig. Dear sir, farewel; for heavens sake, dont discover yourself.
Mush. No, no, madam, never fear me, not for the world.
Mrs. Dig. Adieu.
Mush. What the devil shall I do, Mrs. Katty?
Katty. Sit you still, sir, at all events - I will put out the candles. (Puts them out.) - He will take you for my mistress; pretend to be very ill; leave the rest to me. Sure you can mimic a fine lady that has the vapours or the cholic.
Mush. O nobody better! - nobody better -
[Enter ODogherty with a Pistol.]
ODogh. Heyday! what in the dark, my dear?
Katty. Yes, sir, my mistress is very ill, and cannot bear the light.
ODogh. What is her complaint?
Katty. The cholic, sir.
ODogh. The cholic, sir! and what good can darkness do the cholic, sir - get candles.
Mush. Oh, oh! - no candles - no lights, pray my dear, no lights.
Katty. No, no lights - my lady has the headache, as well as the cholic, and the lights make her much worse; therefore, pray let her sit in the dark, she will soon be well - are you any better, madam?
Mush. A great deal, but no lights, pray - oh, oh, - no lights! no lights!
ODogh. Well, my dear, you shall have no lights, you shall have no lights - leave us, Katty - I have some business with your mistress. [Exit Katty.] How are you, my dear? are you any better?
Mush. Oh, a great deal, my dear.
ODogh. I am mighty glad of it, my soul. But now, my dear, I have long wanted to have a little serious conversation with you upon a business that has given me the utmost uneasiness, nay indeed the utmost torture of mind; so without farther ceremony, and in one word, to come to the point - I am jealous, my dear.
Mush. How! jealous!
ODogh. Indeed I am, as are half the husbands of this town, and all occasioned by one man, which is that coxcomb, Count Mushroom.
Mush. He is a very great coxcomb, I own, my dear.
ODogh. You may say that with a safe conscience - and a great jackanapes he is too into the bargain; though, I must own, the fellow has something genteel in him notwithstanding.
Mush. O yes, my dear, he is a very pretty fellow - that all the world allows.
ODogh. It is very true, but his prettiness will be his ruin; for as he makes it his business and his glory to win the affections of women, wherever he goes, and as he has made conquests of several married women in this town, there are half a dozen husbands of us that have agreed to poison him.
Mush. How! poison him! O horrid! why that will be murder, my dear.
ODogh. O that is none of our business - let him look to that - we must leave that to the law - the fellow is always following you to the play-house, balls, and routs, and is constantly smiling at you, and ogling, and sighing - but if ever I catch him at those tricks again, as sure as his name is Mushroom, I will put the lining of this little pistol into the very middle of his scull.
Mush. Oh, oh, oh!
ODogh. He told me this morning that he had a new intrigue upon his hands this afternoon - I wish I knew where it was; by all thats honourable, I would help the husband to put eight or ten inches of cold iron into the rascals bowels.
Mush. Oh, oh, oh!
ODogh. What is the matter, my dear? what makes you start and cry out so? - give me your hand - why you are all in a tremor! - ogho, why you have got the shaking ague.
Mush. I am mighty ill - mighty ill -
ODogh. Why you are all in a cold sweat - you had best go up stairs and lie down.
Mush. No, no, no, - oh, no! -
ODogh. Why you shall have some immediate help - here, Katty - John - William - whos there?
Will. Did your honour call, sir?
ODogh. Fly this minute to the next street to Mr. Carnage the surgeon, and bid him hasten hither to bleed my wife; then run as fast as you can to doctor Fillgrave, and tell him my wife is very ill, and must be blistered directly. Begone - fly -
Will. I will, sir.
Mush. Soh! what the devil shall I do now, I shall certainly be discovered.
ODogh. How are you now, my dear?
Mush. O better, better, a great deal.
ODogh. Oh, but for fear of the worst, I will have you bled plentifully, my dear, and half a score good rousing blisters laid on by way of prevention; for it is a very sickly time, my life.
Mush. Aye, so it is, my soul. But, my dear, I begin to be a little better; pray send the maid hither.
ODogh. What do you want with the maid, my angel?
Mush. I want her upon a particular occasion, my love - oh, oh, oh -
ODogh. Very well, my dear, Ill send her to you. I think we have the Count of the three blue balls in a fine pickle; but I have not done with him yet. I have laid a ridiculous snare for him, if he will but fall into it, that will not only expose him to the world, but cure him for ever, I think, of trespassing upon matrimonial premisses.
Mush. Was ever poor devil so sweated! I wish I were out of the kingdom! I shall certainly be poisoned among them! they are a damned barbarous people. I have osten heard of the wild Irish, but never believed there were such till now. Poison a man, only for having an intrigue with a friends wife. Zounds, we never mind such things in England; but they are unpolished beings here.
[Enter Katty with two candles.]
Mush. Oh! Mrs. Katty, get me out of the house, or I am a dead man - he suspects I have a design upon his wife, and carries a loaded pistol to shoot me.
Katty. O heavens, sir - I dont know what to do with you - here comes my poor mistress, frighted out of her wits too.
[Enter Mrs. Diggerty.]
Mush. O, madam! if you dont contrive to convey me out of the house some way or other, I shall be detected, poisoned, shot, or run through the vitals.
Mrs, Dig. I am so distracted, I cannot think - you must even discover yourself to him, and say you came hither in that disguise out of a frolic.
Mush. Zounds, a frolic! Madam, he is as jealous as a Spanish miser, or an Italian doctor; he has a pistol in his pocket loaden with a brace of balls - he would shoot me, run me through the body, or poison me directly, should he discover me - have you no closet, or cup-board? dear, Mrs. Katty, cannot you contrive to get me out of the house in some shape or other?
Katty. Why yes, sir, I have a contrivance that I think might save you.
Mush. What is it ? what is it? quick, quick, for heavens sake; for he certainly has a pistol in his pocket - he shewed it to me.
Katty. Why, sir, I have a large portmanteau trunk, by the help of which, I think, you might be safely conveyed out of the house, if you would but submit to be shut up in it.
Mush. Submit! zounds! any thing, any thing, dear Mrs. Katty, to save my own life and a ladys honour. Why, child, it is an excellent contrivance, and, in my condition, perhaps the only one that could relieve me. For heavens sake, let me see it - where is it?
Katty. It stands just without the door here in the passage - (Brings it in.) Here it is, sir, if it is but big enough - thats all the danger.
Mush. Zounds! let me try it - let me try it - quick - quick - put in my cloaths - there - cram me in - buckle me up - stay, stay - leave this end a little open for air, or I shall be stifled - very well - excellent well - Mrs. Katty - there - cram me in - it will do - snug - snug - damned snug -
Mrs. Dig. Now call the men to carry it up to your room.
Katty. Here, John, William -
Katty. Come here quickly.
Enter John and William.
Katty. Here take this portmanteau on your shoulders, and carry it up to my room - make haste.
[The servants turn it up endways, with Mushrooms head to the ground, then raise it on their shoulders. Enter ODogherty.]
ODogh. Where are you going with that portmantle?
John. Up to Mrs. Kattys room.
ODogh. Set it down here - what have you got in this portmantle, Katty?
Katty. It is, sir - it is -
ODogh. What, what is it?
Katty. Why it is - it is -
ODogh. Speak this minute, or I will put my sword up to the hilts in it.
Mush. Ah! Hold, hold - my dear Diggerty, hold - tis I - tis I -
ODogh. I - who the devil is I? -
Mush. Mushroom - your friend Mushroom.
ODogh. What! Count Mushroom!
Mush. The same - the very same. -
ODogh. Hold the candle - aye, it is my friend the Count indeed.
Mush. Zounds, my dear Diggerty - you have dropped the hot wax on my face - do pray let me out.
ODogh. And so this was the new intrigue you told me of this afternoon.
Mush. Ah, my dear Diggerty, I was but in jest, upon my honour.
ODogh. Aye, now you are right, Count - the intrigue was but in jest on my wifes side, indeed - here, ladies, come hither, and see this hero of intrigue and taste that they all admire so much.
Mujh. Ah, dear Diggerty, dont expose me.
[Enter the Company.]
Omnes. Ha, ha, ha!
ODogh. Here, John - set him upon his legs on the ground - so - there - Lady Kinnegad, pray let me introduce you to the knight of the leathern portmantle.
L. Kin. Count, your most obedient - I would salute you, but I am coarse and stink of sweets.
Mush. Ah, my dear Lady, that was only the wanton vanity of a coxcomb upon the verge of paradise as he thought.
Mrs. Jolly. Your humble servant, Count - I would strive to extricate you, but, you know, I am an idiot, a fool - ha, ha, ha!
Mush. O dear Mrs. Jolly -
L. Bab. Yes, and I am like an old house newly painted and white-wash ed, and I stink of rappee. I think a little rappee would not be amiss to clear your eyes, and refresh your spirits, and there is some for you.
(Throws snuff in his face.)
Mush. O dear Lady Bab, this is (sneezes) cruel - (sneezes) indelicate - (sneezes) and intolerable - (sneezes) but I beg you will let me out of this consinement.
ODogh. Indeed I will not, for I intend that other people shall enjoy your situation as well as I - this is Lady High-Lifes night - all the world is there - so here, John, take this portmantle on your shoulders to Lady High-Lifes, with my compliments, and never stop till you take it up stairs to the ball-room, and there set it down - they will be extremely glad to see their old friend, the Count of the three blue balls.
Mush. Mr. Diggerty - madam - ladies -
Omnes. Ha, ha, ha! away with him - away with him.
Mush. Mr. Diggerty, you shall answer for this.
Omnes. Away with him - away with him. Ha, ha, ha!
[He is carried off.
ODogh. Now, gentlemen and ladies, you may go plunder one another at cards and dice as fast as you can - and, like the Count, make yourselves objects for a farce. - If every fine lady and coxcomb in this town were turned into a farce, faith we should be the merriest people in all Europe - but ours is over for to-night, and pretty well upon the whole.
Indeed, I think tis very fairly ended: The coxcombs punish d; The fine Irish ladys mended.